Sunday, March 16, 2014

Searching for Cures

The flu bug has a way of blocking all activities - including blogging (I've been slammed now for a week).  Now that I've recovered,  you can hear me saying that I should just get the preventative shot to avoid this ordeal ever again. Yet each year I talk myself out of the shot when  I hear the war stories (like the one I heard this morning at Church from L.S.) of people who have unfavorable reactions to the vaccine.

This year instead of looking at the CDC data, I was curious how google predicts flu activity.  Google uses search data to determine the location, extent, and severity of the flu each year.

Clearly, this year's flu season has been milder than last year.  Somehow, I was just one of the unlucky minorities. 

The real question is .....  what else is google predicting based on our searches?

Sunday, March 2, 2014

"Breaking Blog"

My recent time drain is binge watching TV series.  I thought I had kicked the habit years ago when I binged on "24" and Boston Legal.  But alas - the habit returned in the cold wintery days of February.  Maybe I should use the excuse of the Polar Vortex.

House of Cards Season 2 consumed my entire weekend when it opened Feb. 14 - ( 13 episodes of 59 minutes each).

Then  M.I. talked me into watching the pilot show of Breaking Bad a TV series on AMC with five seasons (2008-2013) and 62 episodes - 47 minutes each (I'm mid-way through Season 4).  I was "hooked".

That is 42 hours (and still counting) of watching these two series over the last 16 days or an average of 2.6 hrs per day.  It's no wonder I have spent little time blogging

The problem with both of these series (and many more) is that there are no barriers to watching when you can stream the shows on Netflix or Amazon Prime.  No video store stockouts, or expensive DVD's to purchase, or Library wait times - instant access anytime, anywhere, on computer, tablet and even phone.

I've talked with countless people who have just started watching Downton Abbey, and began binge watching this series in order to watch the current Season 4 (opened Jan. 5, 2014).  So far I have resisted this new "habit".

I think an intervention is needed.  Or as K.C. stated - we have become slaves to our TVs once again. I wonder if there is a 12 step program for this habit.