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  • April 9, 2021

    Are You a Grammarian?

    I’m going to go in a different direction here with my usual pithy and challenging brain teasers. In today’s challenge, answer the following 7 Grammatical Questions correctly. And if you do, you will be a Grammarian! 1. Which of these sayings is using the correct pronoun? This is I, Hamlet the Dane! It ain’t me, babe. 2. Which of these is grammatically incorrect? Different to Different from Different than 3. Which is these is correct? The Californian Poppy is the state flower. The California Poppy is the state flower. 4. Which is ungrammatical? Telephone Television 5. What is the error in the popular Star Trek overture: To seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no man has gone before. Fractured infinitive particle Wrong use of a determiner They are both subjunctive clauses 6. Which of these is a grammatically incorrect phrase? A book well worth the read A path well worth the walk A meal well worth the eat 7. Why isn’t it Bill’s and Ted’s Excellent Adventure? Only Ted had the adventure It’s a compound possession—only one apostrophe is needed. There you have it! Did you get 7 out of 7? If so, then you are a Grammarian! If not, then I highly suggest you read this book! LOL!
  • March 10, 2021

    Super Game-y Bro!

    Mario Mario is an international Progressive Pioneering Superstar. This simple plumber from New York City has become quite literally the most popular video game character ever! Along with his fraternal twin brother Luigi (who is in the midst of his own breakout career with a new game for the Nintendo Switch titled Luigi’s Mansion 3). Mario Mario (or simply Mario as he is known to his fans) had his debut in the 1981 Nintendo video game Donkey Kong. Back then, he went by the alias of Jumpman. His career was just starting out, and he wasn’t sure how to brand himself at the time. “It was a crazy era of video games back then,” Mario remarks, “The graphics were a scant eight by eight pixels. I wasn’t even given much to do, just run around trying to save my girlfriend, Pauline, from that mischievous ape. I had to beg just to be able to be allowed to actually jump, which was ironic since my character’s name was Jumpman!” However, in no time, Mario became an overnight sensation throughout the golden age of video games back in the eighties, racking up such titles as Donkey Kong Junior; Super Mario Bros. 1, 2, and 3; and Super Mario Land 1 & 2. Sadly, he and Pauline broke up citing irreconcilable differences as the reason for the dissolution of their romantic relationship. However, when one door closes and another opens: and so it was that Mario met and wooed Princess Peach on the set of Super Mario Bros—which some theorize may have been the reason for Mario and Pauline’s breakup. Mario’s work however has transcended virtually all forms of media from video games, television, film, to theme parks. From 1981 to the present, Mario has appeared in over 250 video games ranging from...
  • Recently, the US Department of Justice levied an indictment against three North Korean military hackers for their role in cyber-related crimes (see video below). These included (but not limited to): Targeting of and Cyberattacks on the Entertainment Industry: Such as the destructive cyberattack on Sony Pictures Entertainment in November 2014 in retaliation for the farcical movie The Interview. Cyber-Enabled Heists from Banks: Attempts to steal more than $1.2 billion from banks in Vietnam, Bangladesh, Taiwan, Mexico, Malta and Africa. Creation and Deployment of Malicious Cryptocurrency Applications: Development of multiple malicious cryptocurrency applications including Celas Trade Pro, WorldBit-Bot, iCryptoFx, Union Crypto Trader, and more, which would provide the North Korean hackers a backdoor into the victims’ computers. Spear-Phishing Campaigns: Multiple spear-phishing campaigns that targeted employees of United States cleared defense contractors, energy companies, aerospace companies, technology companies, and more. Ransomware and Cyber-Enabled Extortion: Creation of the destructive WannaCry 2.0 ransomware in May 2017, and the extortion and attempted extortion of victim companies involving the theft of sensitive data and deployment of other ransomware. And it is to that last point that I thought a brief discussion on Ransomware would be warranted. Even Digital Batman’s own father was a victim of a ransomware attack that left him $400 poorer! In 2019 over 187.9 million users were affected by this bold malicious threat to online activities such as web‐surfing, e-commerce, gaming, and more. Put simply, this highly‐disruptive form of Internet‐viral malicious software (malware for short), not only infects your computer but holds all of your most precious files (i.e. photos, documents, apps, etc.) completely hostage—via permanently encrypting such files—until the victim is forced to pay a “ransom” to the criminal entity behind the attack for a decryption key to unlock the files. Usually to the tune of $100 ‐ $400 or more for...
  • February 4, 2021

    Science of the Heart and Stars

    In honor of Black History Month, I very much wanted to profile two wonderful Black American scientists who have greatly contributed to the advancement of humanity’s health and well-being and to our understanding of the universe! I’m speaking of none other than Progressive Pioneers Doctors Marie M. Daly and Neil deGrasse Tyson. Let’s take a look into the lives of these great Americans who make us all proud—for we are all one color: beautiful. Dr. Marie Daly STEM Revolution of Equal Opportunity When the 45th president signed into law the Hidden Figures Act honoring the four African‐American women who were instrumental in the success of NASA’s space race to the moon, we should not forget other accomplished women who have also contributed our nation’s scientific knowledge. One such venerated pioneer is Dr. Marie Maynard Daly. Dr. Daly was born in Queens, NY on April 16, 1921. She was the daughter of Ivan Daly (an immigrant from the British West Indies) and Helen Page of Washington DC. Her parents settled in the New York City area where Mr. Daly attended Cornell University in pursuit of a chemistry degree. Like her father, Dr. Marie Daly also chose to pursue a career in chemistry. She was spurred on by her grandfather’s extensive library of books about scientists and their scientific achievements. Dr. Daly graduated from Queens College magna cum laude with a BA in Chemistry. Due to labor shortages and the need for scientists during World War II, she was able to garner fellowships to study at both New York and Columbia Universities earning her a master’s and a Ph.D. (respectively). Daly’s first major publication was her thesis on the formation of pancreatic amylase on corn starch. From there, her scientific career soared. She was awarded a grant from the American Cancer Society...
  • This is a cute little post I wrote about the science behind Santa’s Enchantment. There are fictional interviews with three of the world’s leading experts on Christmas Magic.
  • November 5, 2020

    Emojis for Life😀

    With Apple, Inc. adding 117 new emojis for iOS 14.2 update, I thought it might be interesting to look at some cool emoji facts for a change:🎉 Fact 1: World Emoji Day is Saturday July 17, 2021🌎 Fact 2: Emojis were created in 1998👍🏻 Fact 3: Emojis originated in Japan🇯🇵 Fact 4: Over 48% of adults use emojis👫 Fact 5: Most tweeted emoji is Tears of Joy (14.5 billion mentions)😂 Fact 6: Number of emojis sent by brands – 145 million messages📱 Fact 7: Number of people/smiley emojis – >2000😎 Fact 8: Number of animals & nature emojis – 212🐕 Fact 9: Average number of emojis sent on Facebook each day – >60 million🦄 Fact 10: Amount of money earned at the box office for The Emoji Movie ‐ $217 million😐 Fact 11: Apple’s iOS 14.2 update now supports 3,292 emojis, including one with a medical mask (appropriate in this time of the Global COVID-19 Pandemic)😷 Fact 12: Emoji 13.0 is the set of emojis approved for release in 2020 (3,304 emojis supported all or in part on iOS 14.2, Android 11, Samsung, and soon Windows)👏 Fact 13: There is an entire website dedicated to tracking and cataloguing everything there is to know about emojis: The Emojipedia📔 Now we just need an emoji of 2020 and Satan, that’d be great way to convey via text how everyone feels right now!😱
  • October 31, 2020

    BOO!

    Happy Halloween Denizens of Digital Gotham! Tonight is Halloween, and tomorrow is November 1st, which is the famed Mexican holiday Día de Muertos (A.K.A. Day of the Dead)—a scary-fun time indeed! Therefore, I’m honoring the traditional holiday of “Tricks and Treats” (and other things to go “bump in the night”) in this post just because. All Hallows’ Eve, as Halloween is sometimes known, is celebrated not only in America but in countries from Australia, most countries in Europe, to Japan, among others. Though this holiday unofficially kicks off the American Holiday Season (consisting also of Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year’s Eve, to name a few), it has its roots in Gaelic, Welsh, and Christian influences. For most people who celebrate Halloween it’s usually about getting in costume (like a Bat with a cape! LOL!), going to parties, and if you’re a kid, ringing on people’s doors and “legally” asking for candy! Of course, Digital Batman celebrates Halloween every week when he writes this blog in his cape and cowl. Hahaha!
  • October 25, 2020

    Stan the Man!

    Nearly two years ago (2018) on November the 12th, marked a sad day for comic book and superhero movie fans alike as the world lost one of the most creative storytelling minds ever: Stan Lee. Lee was the man behind the formation of Marvel Comics and the creation of such great characters as Spider‐Man, Captain America, the X‐ Men, and Iron Man to name but a scant few. Stan Lee’s art of crafting stories about super‐science, space operas, radioactive superheroes, and all kinds of futuristic and fanciful worlds was truly digital in the analog world of comic books. Born on December 28, 1922 in New York City, Stanley Martin Lieber (known to his fans as Stan Lee) was influenced creatively at a young age by books and movies. He cited the swashbuckling adventures of Errol Flynn in his classic heroic roles from early cinema as a particular inspiration. At fifteen, Lee was the winner of the New York Herald Tribune’s Biggest News of the Week essay contest for 3 straight weeks. One of the editors there suggested that he pursue a career as a professional writer. Lee claimed that that advice probably changed his life. Lee was married for 69 years to Joan Boocock with whom he had two daughters: Joan Celia (J. C.) and Jan Lee (who died shortly after delivery). Though he had worked for several publications, it is his work with Marvel Comics that he is most remembered for. Lee was hired as an assistant to the then Timely Comics in 1939 and stayed with the publication as it evolved into Marvel Comics in the during the 1960s—he also did a stint in the U.S. Army in 1950s. Stan Lee was responsible not only for the co‐creation of many of the iconic characters that grace comics, books,...
  • June 14, 2020

    Going Pro!

    I’m sure that you’ve all seen those crazy videos on YouTube of dogs being left alone in their homes with a GoPro camera attached to them. They invariably end up getting into all kinds of mischief while their owners are away. And of course, the dog gives a, “I didn’t do it…” look that always melts their humans’ hearts. GoPro, Inc. themselves is one of those hugely successful companies that were borne out of a simple idea from a completely unrelated event. A guy by the name of Nick Woodman (hmm, Digital Batman’s alter ego’s name is Nick) back in 2002 was out surfing one day in Australia. He was hoping to capture some awesome action photos while riding the waves but was unable to because no amateur photographer had neither the affordable equipment nor the experience to get close enough for the really good shots. So was borne the idea of a high resolution, incredibly compact, and easy‐to‐use camera that could go anywhere and take any kind of action shot—and eventually action video. Not only have GoPro’s have been put on mischievous dogs but they’ve been everywhere from attached to flying drones getting impossible aerial shots (now used in motion picture productions), to spelunking and sky diving, and even into space—as one little girl did a few years ago onboard a Hello Kitty‐crewed rocket (see the Best of them All vid to the right)! This company has grown incredibly fast since 2002 and sports a huge line of products that have literally transformed the digital photography and videography landscapes! We’re building solutions that enable people to capture and share life experiences…and as a result GoPro is growing virally via content creation and sharing. ~ Nick Woodman, CEO of GoPro, inc. GoPro, Inc. received the Technology Emmy for 2013 from...
  • In honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, I thought it would be a great idea to profile two Japanese Progressive Pioneers who literally changed the world: the founders of SONY Corporation. SONY Corporation is a Japanese multinational conglomerate corporation headquartered in Kōnan, Minato, Tokyo Japan. Its diversified business includes consumer and professional electronics, gaming, entertainment and financial services. The company owns the largest music entertainment business in the world, the largest video game console business and one of the largest video game publishing businesses, and is one of the leading manufacturers of electronic products for the consumer and professional markets, and a leading player in the film and television entertainment industry. And two men, Masaru Ibuka and Akio Morita, started it all in 1946 in the devastating wake of World War II. They started out building Japan’s first tape recorder but soon expanded to transistor radios an other electronics. The name SONY was adopted in 1958 (a mashup of the Latin word Sonus for sound, and Sonny for the American slang term “sonny boy”). SONY rapidly grew into the digital mega-giant it is today. Ibuka served as president of Sony from 1950 to 1971, and then served as chairman of Sony from 1971 until he retired in 1976. He died in 1997 at the age of 89. Morita stepped down as Chairman of SONY in 1994, passing away five years later at the age of 78. Between these two men are dozens of awards, publications, and accolades that span decades. They were also involved in many charities and economic ventures helping to rebuild Japan after the war, and paving the way to making it a world economic leader. Ibuka & Morita leave behind a legacy of world‐changing Digital Revolution that reaches far into our global digital society...