Tag: Memory

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

https://faculty.weber.edu/jyoung/English%206710/A%20Christmas%20Memory.pdf   More

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While I read When I Whistle by Shusaku Endo this week, I thought I would go in a slightly different direction from reviewing the book. (I also just sat my last, three hour paper of the term and feel rather…interesting). When I Whistle is about memories, about growing into adulthood, and learning how to live […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Code Talkers

 

We are between Armed Forces Day and Memorial Day. The first is a minor holiday intended to honor those serving in our military. The second is a major federal holiday and is intended to commemorate our honored war dead. A recent conversation with a younger veteran led to talk of his grandfathers’ service in World War II, and that in turn led to a broader reflection on a seldom remembered or only partially understood group of Americans in the two world wars.

The younger veteran’s Hopi grandfather was a tank mechanic. His Navaho grandfather was a code talker in the Marine Corps. As we talked, I mentioned recently learning of the original WWI code talkers, a small team of Choctaw Indians in the American Expeditionary Forces. The Native American veteran replied that there were Hopi and other tribes also used as code talkers in WWII. It is just that the Navajos were the largest group and became the center of historical attention.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. God’s Little Smuggler

 

“Brother Andrew” is the pseudonym of Andrew van der Bijl, a Christian missionary who smuggled Bibles into communist countries during the height of the Cold War. His story was well known in Evangelical circles; they even made a comic book about him. He told of crossing through border checkpoints, his ancient Volkswagen stuffed with Bibles. It was like a spy thriller. He was never caught. The blindness of the crossing guards seemed miraculous.

Brother Andrew was the perfect hero for a young, deeply conservative, deeply religious boy — which is to say, my 13-year-old self. I longed to be like him. To face danger, to engage in intrigue, to take the battle to an implacable, prodigious foe — that would be glory.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Coffee as Sleep Aid

 

Friday Food and Drink Post: Calling All Coffee Snobs prompted lively comments and cued a memory. It turns out that @she uses a moka pot, by Bialetti. This simple, rugged design serves up a strong cup of coffee with some froth on top. The action is similar to a percolator, but more vigorous, giving you a froth on top similar to expresso. The device was invented by an Italian in the 1930s and is mostly popular in Europe and Latin America.

Seeing a photograph of @she’s coffee maker reminded me of my first college roommate. He was a naturalized U.S. citizen who got out of Cuba with his parents via Spain. He was also overly ambitious about numbers of classes and activities, so he would get way behind, and suddenly try to buckle down and get assignments, papers, and study done.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Renovating Memories

 

Scientists now tell us that every time we pull a memory out of long-term storage, we then re-write it, and in this rewriting, it may get changed. This may play into some instances of what has come to be known as the Mandela Effect.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Sacred Cake

 

I’d be willing to bet that each of us has, somewhere back when we were very young (I get that that’s probably not as long ago for most of you as it is for me), a special memory that’s stuck with us over the years, of someone we wish we could see again, of a thing we wish we could find again or do again, or a food we wish we could taste again, just once before we shuffle off this mortal coil.

Mr. She, one of the world’s great storytellers is spoiled for choice in this respect. The tales of his childhood (born three floors above a bar on Pittsburgh’s South Side, into the second-generation of a Polish immigrant family, in which almost all the men were furnace operators, stove tenders, and welders at the local Jones and Laughlin Steel Plant), are full of poignant, loving, and sometimes bizarre detail–who here doesn’t want to hear about Father John McKaveny, the Catholic priest with the steel plate in his head (earned in World War I), and his foul-mouthed parrot? Or about how one of Mr. She’s earliest childhood jobs was to take a small handful of coins from his “barrel-shaped Polish grandma” and go up the road to the bookie’s every day to play the numbers as instructed? So many stories, so many characters, and such a life.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. November 7: National Day for the Victims of Communism

 

On 7 November 2018, Americans dug through election results, slung and deflected stones, and fretted over the future of our country, or not. Almost all of us, including the White House press scrum, failed to note the day’s solemn and deadly significance. But, President Trump did not forget, and he had something to say, worth our reading.

Presidential Message on the National Day for the Victims of Communism
Issued on: November 7, 2018

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Sin Bin

 

The other evening, I approached an intersection as the light turned red. A white Dodge Ram 1500 custom van in the right lane caught my eye. As we slowed, I picked up on the silver and blue-gray swirling details air-brushed along the side, below the passenger rows windows. Instantly, “sin bin” popped into my head, along with memories of road-tripping, to a Lou Reed concert in Munich, Germany.

If “sin bin” does not have meaning to you, consider the following:https://i.pinimg.com/736x/90/07/be/9007be091d3b271558584924b60ec3a5--chevy-vans-custom-vans.jpg

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Persistence of Memory: Total Recall and the Mandela Effect

 

Long before Nelson Mandela died or didn’t in the 1980s, I was familiar with ideas that would come to be known as the Mandela Effect. In 1982, I was 6’1” tall. A couple of years later, I was 5’10” tall. My mother looked at me oddly one day and said, “You look shorter to me.” It was an odd thing to say, followed by a measurement taken, and I was down to 5’10”.

About the same time, someone we knew went through some odd events of his own. He was admiring a car that someone at the refinery he worked at had bought. It was a red LTD. He even stopped in the parking lot to admire it and saw the make and model. A few days later, he saw the cousin of the car’s owner. “Hey, how’s your cousin liking her new LTD?” The cousin looked at him oddly, “She’s liking it fine, Bill, but it’s a Mercury Marquis.” It seemed odd, but Bill shrugged it off and re-inspected the car in the parking lot that evening. It was a Mercury Marquis. Well, anyone could make a mistake, even a careful and precise mechanical engineer. A few weeks later, he ran into the car owner, “How is your Marquis working out for you?” “Um, fine, Bill, but it’s an LTD.” Once again, he went out into the parking lot to look the car over, and it was a Ford LTD again.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. On the Perception of the Passing of Time as We Age

 

As a kid I recall adults – my parents, my grandparents, others – every now and then talk and complain about how time flies by or some similar sentiment. When they made these statements and complaints, they weren’t talking about how quickly their workday went by or how rapidly tonight’s dinner party came and went. Instead, the context of these statements generally referred to longer time frames – how quickly the last week or the last month or six months flew by.

At the time, I didn’t really understand what they were talking about and I figured it was just something adults said. And, although it is something adults say, there is a certain truth to it. I’m in my sixties now, and I understand what those adults were talking about. I’ve understood it for a while now – I don’t know when I first experienced this phenomenon – I imagine I was around 30 years of age. As far as I know, this is a common occurrence – at some point in time most of us (all of us?) experience this perception of the speeding up of time as we age.

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“Do I forget, or do I refuse to remember?” ― Craig D. Lounsbrough I was supposed to write this post back on Sunday, March 4th, and I forgot. I was supposed to write it up yesterday, and I forgot. I’ve been out sick yesterday and today, so I suppose I could blame the fog of my brain […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Cards: The Original Flash Drive

 

“I’m as something as something in something!” Do you recognize the tune? Do you recognize what’s missing?

The syntax is there, but the content is blank. Welcome to my memory. The memory of someone who’ll never grow out of flash cards, for as long as I need to remember, not just structure, but the things that go in it. Whether I’m using them to organize thoughts, or to drill my recalcitrant memory, flash cards are Midge’s little helper. The original flash drive, if you will. Not because a card works like flash memory, but because, like a flash drive, cards are a small, easily-portable way to carry around bits of vital information.

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Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is attempting to elbow Dr. Ben Carson aside in brain expertise, claiming that if she’s elected she’ll eradicate Alzheimer’s disease by 2025. More

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Saturday Night Science: Computation, Memory, Nature, and Life

 

Is digital storage the secret of life?

UNIVAC core memory plane
UNIVAC core memory plane from the Fourmilab Museum.

Memory Is Tough: It’s possible one needs to have been involved in computing for as long as I have (I wrote my first program for an electronic digital computer in 1967, but I built a pressboard Geniac computer before my age broke into double digits, and I did outrageous things with my Minivac 601 relay computer in the early 1960s) in order to fully appreciate how difficult a problem computer memory was over most of the history of computing. In these days of 16 Gb DRAM modules, 2 Tb hard drives, and 128 Gb flash memory cards for digital cameras, it’s easy to forget that until the 1980s, the cost of random access memory dwarfed that of any other computer component, and programmers were consequently required to expend enormous effort and cleverness squeezing programs into extremely limited memory.

The reason for this is simple. While a CPU can be simplified at the expense of speed, every bit of random access memory requires physically fabricating a discrete object to hold the bit. (I exclude here historical footnotes such as Williams tubes and EBAM [electron beam addressable memory] as they were even more expensive and/or limited in capacity). When each bit was a ferrite core, through which some bleary-eyed human had to string three tiny wires, the reason for the high cost was obvious. (In the mainframe core memory era, I worked for a year on a project which ended up consuming about ten man-years to write a new operating system for a UNIVAC mainframe machine solely to avoid the need to buy another half-megabyte memory module. This made a kind of bizarre economic [if not strategic] sense, since all of the salaries of the implementors added up to far less than the memory would have cost.)

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The soft scuffle of tennis shoes across long-abandoned railroad ties fills the silence between the gentle northern breezes. With each step, a light crunch of gravel can be heard, and even the occasional pebble striking the rusty iron rail rings its tone. A cold sun hangs in the sky, the promise of a spring not […]

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I was trying to remember how to do it last night at work, and it remains elusive. I work support in a Hard Drive parts factory. We audit our manufacturing lots regularly through the process for defects. Last night I was tasked with tracking down an elusive problem. In a particular audit we inspect 54 […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. What’s in the Attic of Your Mind? — Michael Stopa

 

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