Saturday, December 1, 2012

Bifocals at the Monitor Liberation Day, Red Apples, and Rosa Parks

When the history of technology is written, scholars will probably agree that the fall of the desktop and laptop and the rise of the tablet and the smartphone were all related to aging eyes.

For whatever reason, after a certain age, the desktop screen is always just a bit too far, or too close. Bifocals were supposed to address this situation, but they never seem to quite do the trick.

Bifocals at the Monitor Liberation Day, however, seems inexactly named. Some Internet sites suggest that bifocals are liberating. In general, these sites are maintained by or for optometrists or ophthalmologists. But, inasmuch as people often leave a pair of glasses near their computer screens, the name of today's microminiholidayette also suggests the possibility that one might sneak into a neighbor's cubicle and 'liberate' his or her bifocals.

Fortunately, today is Saturday and most people will be away from their cubicles for the weekend. Keep your glasses nearby just in case someone is feeling prankish at home.

And, while you're at home, eat a red apple. Today is also Eat a Red Apple Day. Whether an apple a day really keeps the doctor away is still a matter of conjecture. But it surely won't hurt.

On December 1, 1955 Rosa Parks boarded a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. She'd been shopping; she was tired. But Parks was also the secretary of the Montgomery chapter of the NAACP. The NAACP was looking for a good case to test the constitutionality of segregated seating on intrastate public conveyances. If Ms. Parks had been merely tired, it would have been easy to give way. But she was also determined. Thus, even though she knew she was breaking the law, Parks refused to give her seat to a white man who also wanted to sit down. Parks was arrested because of her refusal. Five days later, the Montgomery Bus Boycott began. The American Civil Rights Movement was underway. Some of the Usual Suspects, therefore, remember today as Rosa Parks Day.

Today is also World AIDS Day.

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