Thursday, March 25, 2010

Moseying beyond the oughts

I was talking with our small town's city secretary. We had recently been at the city council meeting together. She announced proudly that her learning curve included results for my asking repeatedly for the past council minutes and the next meeting's agenda to be posted on the town's (mostly unused) Web site for all to see and evaluate. Current custom was to post the agenda pages on the City Hall front window with tape, so interested parties could peruse the agenda. Minutes were mostly unavailable to the public.

When even small towns are getting onto the Web with more than just place markers, it is a good sign to me that more universally available information about them is being promulgated and that government is becoming more open. When only the people who know where to ask and wheedle and beg and plead to see minutes of public meetings are rewarded with a few pages (with possibly a per-page charge, depending on the government involved) vs. just cranking up a browser and looking for anyone knowing or asking ONE time for the page address, I feel like progress is being made.

Now, I'll start asking for inputs for citizens on that Web page, like question & answer and reporting problems around town. Things like the state transportation department's video camera that sets when the light turns red has not been changed since a street became one-way. That means folks wanting to turn left onto the town's main street were rewarded with waiting until forever for the light to turn green for their turn. Or another newly one-way street had a missing sign to notify motorists who might have turned into oncoming traffic without the warning the sign allows. Or a school crossing sign with a missing bolt that's now swinging upside down across the street from our house. The government is nothing without the eyes and ears of the populace to help them keep up with what needs fixing.

Stand by for the progress evident in the new decade, in spite of poor economic conditions.

Comments are welcomed.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Having a ball with bearings

Having been closely involved with bearings since the 6th grade, I was nonetheless impressed with this short video telling of some of the myriad processes and machinery that make them happen in most of our devices that roll and spin and move about. Isn't technology fun?

Comments welcomed.