Archive for ‘Technology’

February 25, 2013

Thinking About Gedcom — #Meme, #Genealogy, #RootsTech

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk has been thinking about GEDCOM a lot these days. As you may know, GEDCOM is the de facto standard format for a genealogical family tree file, in order for it to be shared amongst the many genealogical software programs / websites / apps. Most genealogy programs still use their own proprietary format for storing data but will import / export the data in the GEDCOM standard for you to exchange data with another program or genealogist.

Did you catch the phrase ‘de facto standard’ ? OK it is NOT an open standard maintained by ISO or ANSI standards organizations. But it is widely supported and in fact you should NOT buy or use software that does not support the export and import of GEDCOM files!

Well we are coming up on RootsTech 2013 and my mind is turning back to the technical part of genealogy again!

Today’s blog is about the GEDCOM used by Ancestry.com. Were you aware that you can export your family tree from Ancestry.com? You can by selecting/clicking on ‘Tree Settings‘ under the ‘Tree pages‘ drop down menu (Tree Settings will be the second from the bottom in the menu list). If you click on ‘Tree Settings’ you will see a screen similar to:

ANCESTRY_TreeSettings

Notice that after you click on the ‘Export tree‘ button, that you get a new button named, ‘Download your GEDCOM file‘  in that same place.

In all likelihood if you click on the  ‘Download your GEDCOM file‘ button you will get a file in your Downloads directory on your local hard drive. It will have a name of:

<your-family-tree-name>.GED

Now the phrase ‘<your-family-tree-name>’  will actually be something like ‘Eliasz Family Tree.GED’ . So your Downloads directory will have a similar named file (complete with blanks in the file name). The size of the file will be dependent on how many individuals, families, sources, etc. that you have recorded in your family tree. Figure on a file size of 2MB for about 1,100 people.

Now this file you just downloaded from Ancestry.com is really just a plain text file with a set of standardized ‘tags’ defined by the GEDCOM standard. Software vendors are free to define their own custom tags too. Although CUSTOM tags must begin with an underscore (‘_’). I was curious as to how well Ancestry.com implements/adheres to the GEDCOM standard, so I wrote a little program (in PERL for you programmer types) to analyze my GEDCOM file that I just downloaded.

ReadGedcom_ANCESTRY

My program, read_gedcom.pl, spits out a slew stats about the GEDCOM including the tags used. As you may be able to see from the screenshot, there sorted at the end were 5 custom tags:

_APID,  _FREL,  _MILT,  _MREL,  _ORIG

These names do not have any meaning except to Ancestry.com and their website’s program(s). What you also see are that in 48,538 lines (in the GEDCOM file downloaded), that 5,158 lines have one of these five custom tags. Normally, I will just ignore these tags and import the GEDCOM file into my laptop’s genealogy software (REUNION, RootsMagic, PAF, etc.) and let that software ignore these non-understandable tags and within seconds I have my Ancestry.com family tree imported in to my computer’s genealogy software. That is fine  — no problems.

But what do you think happens you if turn right around and upload that GEDCOM file into your RootsWeb family tree? If you use RootsWeb, then you know you get a LOT of _APID notes across all of your ancestors and sometimes, if you have many facts/citations for any ancestor, then the RootsWeb page for him/her will be horribly marred by all of these _APID tags!

TIP

Remember I said the GEDCOM file is a TEXT file. As such it can be edited by whatever your favorite text editor that you use. If your editor does global search/replace, then you can easily remove these CUSTOM tags (_APID, etc.). That will make your RootsWeb family tree individual pages look MUCH better.

Now I know what you are thinking. Do NOT go editing your GEDCOM file!  I agree.  Make a copy of your GEDCOM file and edit the copy of the downloaded GEDCOM file to remove the lines with ‘_APID’ on them. You can remove all custom tags, but I just bother with the _APID which are so irksome. If your editor can remove the lines with ‘_APID’ then that is what you should do. But if all your editor can do is replace the lines that have _APID on them with a blank line then that is OK too. Make those edits and save the edited (copy) file.  The blank lines seem to be ignored by RootsWeb — thank goodness.

Now you can upload the edited file, with the _APID custom tags removed to RootsWeb and your family tree will again look the way it used to before,  without these irksome custom tags.

Next time I will tell you what I found when I looked closely at what ANCESTRY.com was putting into the downloaded GEDCOM file.

February 11, 2013

Polish National Archives to post 2.4 Million Historic Church Records — #Genealogy

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk ‘s position has been overrun! I was trying to write a blog, but the course of events has been running at EXTREME Internet speed so much of this blog post may be “old news” to you — but in case its not, this is very exciting news!

NAC Scanning 2.4 Million RecordsAccording to a Polish website (The National Digital Library of Poland) …

URL: http://nac.gov.pl/node/682

  • By mid-year (2013), they plan to digitize 2.3 Million  historical  (>100 years old) vital records.
  • This will happen in two phases: March,  June
  • This PDF file (see link) lists 40 pages vital records from MANY parishes (a few synagogues too):
  • It appears the plan is to digitize about 1.37 Million records by March and the remainder (another 1 Milliion) by the end of June.

These are actual church record images! I hope they plan on digitizing records from the Kielce Archive (please do PACANOW, BIECHOW, SWINIARY, BESZOWA, ZBOROWEK, KSIAZNICE and STOPNICA parishes).

Can anyone detail the plans for JUNE yet? Unfortunately, the 1.37 Million records in March are NOT from the KIELCE archive or any parish where Stanczyk’s ancestors resided?

Do not forget about GENETEKA database in the meantime:

Thanks in advance for any answers from our genealogists resident in Poland!

January 26, 2013

RootsMagic iPhone/iPad App — #Genealogy #Software #Review, #RootsTech

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

RootsMagicAppThis jester has been a big proponent of Ubiquitous Genealogy – i.e. genealogy is portable and everywhere. I have used the Ancestry App for a long while and am well satisfied. They use a concept of synching the App with  your tree and their website. Now that the kinks are worked out, I am well satisfied. There are also MyHeritage and Heredis  Apps too. These do not synch over the “air”. You need to use your iTunes application on your desktop/laptop to move files into the App’s “sandbox” via synching your iPhone/iPad with the laptop/desktop over the iPhone/iPad cable. Tethered synching is ok but a hindrance.

Ok so the new App on the block is an offering called RootsMagic.   Stanczyk likes the Roots Magic laptop application as a full blown offering for working on your genealogy and documenting the tree and finding data on the Internet and keeping track of to-do lists, publishing your tree on CD/Web and all sorts of work that you do when your research spans years (or decades) – does anyone ever finish their genealogy? Its modern and uses Universal Character sets (so us Slavic Researchers can use our slashed Ł’s  or Cyrillic  Я’s) and other features that the Internet Genealogists have grown up with.  So I was hopeful when I received an email from Roots Magic touting their iOS offerings – Its free!

The App starts with the familiar Roots Magic splash screen that you may have grown accustomed to from the laptop application. You are then presented with a list of files from their sandbox (ugh, tethered synching). Once you select a file to work with, your family tree is presented in a Pedigree form (with three generations visible on iPhone/ four generations on iPad). At the top left is a green/white button with three lines (see image)  that will allow you to pick a particular person with whom you wish to work upon. At the bottom of the screen are four buttons:

Files,   Views,   Lists,   Tools

Files – Lets you select the family tree file you want to on from your Device or from DropBox (a cloud-based file storage service). It also has HELP (files??) which tell you how to use your Device or DropBox to get a file loaded into the App. Sadly,  the RootsMagic app does not read standard gedcom (ged)  files. It only reads files with rmgc extension (i.e. created by Roots Magic laptop application). However, it does load their database extremely fast from those rmgc files.

Views – Lets you choose to view the data in a PEDIGREE tree  or a FAMILY tree or in a DESCENDENTS outline  or in the detailed FACTS (events), NOTE, direct family members of the current INDIVIDUAL. I prefer working in FAMILY (as seen in image) view mode, then switching to INDIVIDUAL view mode for any details on that person. Clicking on NOTE really gives you access to NOTE(S), SOURCE(S), and MEDIA for that individual (and a BACK button at the top to return to INDIVIDUAL view mode).

Lists – This just gives a list of your: Sources, To-Dos, Research, Media, Addresses, Repositories, Correspondences, and PLACES. I liked places (which showed that this jester really needs to make his Places (Locations) conform to some kind of standard).

Tools – Date Calculator, Relationship Calculator, Soundex Calculator, and Calendar. Unimpressive to say the least. Lest you get your hope up, the Calendar tool only displays the Calendar for a Month/Year of your choice [I did not verify the Julian/Gregorian boundary to see if it calculates a proper month calendar for dates before 1582]. It was not worth the effort as I did not see why I would want to see what day  June 3rd, 1700 would fall on (Thursday) if you are eyes are young or your glasses are a good prescription to read the day name. Otherwise, you not notice the day names on an iPhone  [perhaps a black font, instead of gray, would give better contrast]. The Soundex is only American Soundex – why not Daitsch-Mokotoff or Bieder-Morse codes too? Really, we Slavic researchers get short shrift in the software world.  Never fear, just create a desktop icon of Steve Morse’s Soundex page to see all three Soundex/Pattern Matching methods for your family names.

iPad vs iPhone

For some reason the iPad interface treats the buttons (Files, Views, Lists, Tools) differently on the iPad. That was a bit confusing until I got used to the difference. Rotating the iPad to landscape, also brings the Surnames/Search view along side whatever view you are in. The Calendar is a bit easier to see on the iPad, but I’d still like to see the day name text in black (or at least a MUCH darker gray).

UbiquitousGenealogyThe app is strictly for viewing your family tree (et. al.). There are no tools for modifying the tree for re-import into the desktop application. Shortcomings aside, it is still a very good first effort by Roots Magic. If you have the Roots Magic laptop application, then download the free app for your smartphone or tablet and go Ubiquitous. If you do not have the Roots Magic laptop application and do not have a way to get your ged converted to Roots Magic format (rmgc) then do NOT bother to download the app – you will not be able to use it.

P.S.  Do you spell  “DESCENDENT”  – as  D-E-S-C-E-N-D-E-N-T   or    D-E-S-C-E-N-D-A-N-T ?  Both spellings are correct, but I guess I use “DESCENDANT” all of the time and so the Roots Magic use startled me.

I also would love to see the REUNION app (the Mac Software vendor) make their iOS App free or low-cost – then I’d review it here too. I am a BIG Apple eco-system fan and as such have used REUNION Mac software for a very LONG time. I would be remiss not to mention that REUNION App does exist, but its cost is a bit steep relative to the other iPhone genealogy APPs in this article.

October 1, 2012

Ancestry App – New Release — #Genealogy, #RootsTech, #Mobile

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Ancestry has a version of their app out that supports the new iOS6/iPhone product release. Stanczyk, uses iOS6, so I took the plunge and upgraded.

The changes are really subtle. I am not certain whether I have seen them or not. The tree displays fast and it appears animated. Other displays changed subtly not much here, but all good. UPGRADE (click on image).

The image by the way lists the new features for version 4.0.2 (as well as previous release 4.0). Image as text.

Notice the snazzy new iTunes/App Store interface (a part of iOS6).

Stanczyk has been busy writing a new two-article blog post on my third success with the Social Network Analysis (aka Cluster Genealogy) technique. I hope to complete that soon. As it so often happens, an initial foray kept expanding as a result of the connections.

Watch this space !

 

 

P.S. October is Polish American Heritage Month.  Here is what the Polish American Center (Philadelphia) is doing … Don’t forget on Columbus Day to celebrate our native son . The book came out in Polish in May 2012 and has now  been translated into English — They are looking for a book publisher !!!

August 23, 2012

Rapes of Wrath – Tea Party War On Science — #Opinion, #Politics, #Science

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk is a STEM worker. What is STEM? STEM = Science Technology Engineering Mathematics (S.T.E.M.). OK, STEM is an acronym for an area of focus in business and also in education. We need STEM to have a viable growing economy that produces jobs again.

Do not misunderstand me, we also need business people (especially entrepreneurial types), writers of all stripes, lawyers, teachers, etc. The USA (and indeed every country in the world) is not a country of PRODUCERS and NON-PRODUCERS! It is not. We need every worker and we need everyone to be a specialist in something and to do that something to the best of his/her ability because we are all interconnected. A rising tide, raises all boats, not just the yachts. STEM will raise the tide.

So why do Congressmen like Todd Akin ["Legitimate Rape" and "Forcible Rape" dude] (and PAUL RYAN ["Forcible Rape" co-sponsor dude], Steve King (Iowa) ["No Rape If I Didn't See  It Happen and I have NEVER seen Rape By Incest or Statutory Rape" dude] try to redefine rape? Does anyone not understand the definition of rape? This is NOT an English class exercise — we do not need to rewrite English or Law. They also pretend that Doctors [presumably the medical kind] say there is a “magical” hormone that shuts down rape pregnancy — ignoring 10,000 years of history [Young Earth time frame -- or a few million year history for STEM workers].

Now these same kind of People deny the following science:  Biology (“Legitimate Rape”/”Forcible Rape” and magic hormones), Evolution, Climate Change/Global Warming, Economics [defying paying US Bills by a steadfast refusal to raise the debt ceiling which was routine until 2011 Tea Party Caucus], Environmental Science, Geology (except that related to Oil/Gas drilling),   Cutting NASA, Cutting NIH/CDC, etc.

It does NOT stop at STEM subjects. The Tea Party kooks try to rewrite history (“The founders were against slavery” ??? or the Barton faux-history book that said,  “Thomas Jefferson freed his slaves” — this is egregious to Polish Americans as well as African Americans, because it diminishes Taduesz Kosciuszko’s historical will where he left money to buy the freedom of Jefferson’s slaves — something that Jefferson did NOT honor. They have tried to rewrite Christian Holy Tradition by saying that Jesus was a Capitalist (an Ayn Rand Selfish Capitalist at that) and that he did not try to help the poor [ignoring the overturning of temple tables story, sermon on the mount, or camel/eye of the needle parable, prodigal son, etc.]. Most religious people would be deeply offended by them rewriting the Bible and calling it “The Conservative Bible”. [did they not finish the Bible? Read the last chapter of the last book, Revelations for why this is sacrilegious]  This intense rewriting of facts from science, to history, to religion is now flowing into US law, as they try to write laws based upon these “faulty/fake notions”.

There are other consequences too. Did you see BP Oil try to discredit scientists about the rate of oil flow from the blown up Gulf well? This is a consequence of the “anti science” attitude in congress. Blame the worker, the STEM worker, not the corporation-who-is-a-person-and-yet not-an-ethical-person-or-who-cannot-be-imprisoned-person. Science jobs, outside of government or academia are scarce.

If we do not create STEM jobs the economy will continue to falter. Worse yet, if we do not have science researchers/workers then the next pandemic will have far more than economic consequences — real lives will be lost. We are overdue on a pandemic (nearing 100 years since the last pandemic) and we are ensconced in a Great Recession. Perhaps we need more Paul Krugman (New Keynesian) economists or we need to start actually listening to them and creating laws to create jobs, not new definitions of Rape! Isn’t that what the present Congress was elected to do? Then why did they spend time on 40 Rape bills or how many Voter-Id bills the last two years? Wake up America and throw out the Tea Party Caucus who just want to make up their own set of facts nonsense rather than to actually work using REAL knowledge to solve REAL problems.

STEM workers are you listening (or reading) — I am calling you out? This November VOTE and fire Tea Party caucus people. They are easy to find:

  1. They are REDEFINING RAPE
  2. They are PLEDGED to an unelected NH man (Grover Norquist)
  3. They are pushing to EXCLUDE REGISTERED VOTERS — an American Right (not a privilege)

Anyone who made the pledge to NH  or sponsored laws for “Forcible Rape” or passed laws in 2/3 of the US States to exclude REGISTERED voters need to be voted out. Just Fire Them — Mitt Enjoys Firing People, maybe you should turn the tables on Mitt and Paul Ryan and Todd Akin and Steve King and just fire them.

P.S. My apologies for the temperament of my title’s literary allusion to John Steinbeck’s great novel, The Grapes of Wrath. His title came from the song/lyrics …

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
He is trampling out the vintage where the Grapes of
Wrath are stored;

Battle Hymn of the Republic, Julia Ward Howe 1861

August 18, 2012

Ancestry App 4.0 Released! #Genealogy, #RootsTech, #iPhone

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk sees the newest Ancestry.app is out.

Mostly I like it. The user interface is a radical departure, but mostly I like it. Your family trees will be updated and that takes some time. So I am guessing how the data is stored on their Servers changed too.

The tree view now allows for more ancestors to be viewed and you can switch back/ forth between only direct lineage ancestors and seeing siblings/cousins. It felt speedier too.

OK , I am still engaged. Keep the updates coming.

August 15, 2012

Ayn Rand – A Genealogical Examination

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

05 Feb 1905 Alisa Zinov’yevna Rosenbaum born (St. Petersburg, Russian Empire). She was the eldest of the three daughters of Zinovy Zakharovich Rosenbaum and Anna Borisovna (nee Kaplan) Rosenbaum. Zinov’yevna = daughter of Zinovy. This is a Jewish Patronymic form. While she was born into Czarist Russian Empire and by this time Jews were forced to have permanent last names (i.e. Rosenbaum), you can still see Jewish patronymic tradition evidenced in her name. Likewise her father Zinovy has for a middle name a Patronymic indicating his father was probably named: Zakhar (the ‘ovich’ indicating son of) and her mother’s father would have been named Boris. So the names illustrate the Jewish patrilineal culture.

1921-1925 (or possibly even into January of 1926). Alisa Rosenbaum (aka Ayn Rand) was in an affair with a Jewish man upon whom she cheats on, by having an affair with a Communist soldier/bureaucrat. The belligerence and angry behavior in ending the affair with the Communist by Alisa endangers her and her family’s lives. This era is the topic of her first book published in America, We The Living (published 1936). Ayn Rand is herself was quoted saying …

We the Living is as near to an autobiography as I will ever write.–Ayn Rand

27 Jan 1926 Alisa Rosenbaum is in Riga getting her Russian passport for travel to US. She departs Leningrad (aka St Petersburg / Petrograd) on that date going to Le Havre, France (onto USA).

19-Feb-1926 Alice Rosenbaum  arrives in New York City, NY on board the SS De Grasse her Atlantic passage was in a Cabin (not Steerage or 3rd class). The ship manifest says she arrives from her father Sinovy Rosenbaum [who lived at Dmitrowski 16, apt 5 in Leningrad] with $50 in cash and later on she said to have had a beat-up typewriter with her on the trip. Upon arriving, she goes to her uncle Harry Portnoy in Chicago, IL.

She lives with her aunt/uncle in Chicago from February through August and arrives in Hollywood, CA on September 3rd 1926.

1927 Alice meets Frank O’Connor a budding actor on Cecil B deMille set of King of Kings (both were   extras). Alice tripped Frank on the set to get him to notice her. In June, de Mille hires Rand as a junior screen writer.

15 Apr 1929  Los Angeles California. Charles Francis O’Connor marries Alice Rosenbaum. Rand is working in wardrobe at RKO.

1 Apr 1930 Alice O’Connor (wife of Charles F. O’Connor) was married in 1929. According to the 1930 US Census, she is an actor in motion pictures. Alice (aka Ayn) lives at 823 North Gower Ave, Los Angeles, CA.

13 Mar 1931 Alice O’Connor is granted US Citizenship. She had applied for citizenship on 1st-Dec-1930. She had used the Cable Act (1922) to avoid filing a Declaration of Intent. Marriage date is confirmed and a specific location is given.

1932 Rand’s Red Pawn is sold to Universal Pictures.

1934 Her first play (Woman on Trial) opens in Hollywood in October. In November, the O’Connors move back to New York City.

16 Sep 1935 Night of January 16th (formerly, Woman on Trial) opens on Broadway. Frank O’Connor (her actor/artist husband) plays a part in the play. The play was considered a success.

18 Apr 1936 We The Living is published. See quote above for how this book is autobiographical of her life under Communist Russia. The book was a bust.  The publisher destroyed the plates for a reprint — so even after Ayn Rand becomes a popular author this work could not be reproduced. It was  Ayn Rand’s first novel. Like most first novels, it was rejected by a slew of publishers. Macmillan Company did pick it up and publish the work. They only printed  3,000 copies. When reviews were bad  and sales were weak, Macmillan destroyed the type. After Rand achieved success as an author with her later novels, a revised edition of We the Living  was republished.

Early 1939 Rand receives her last communication from her family in Communist Russia.

April 1940 The O’Connors are recorded in the US Census living at 95 East 89th Street. Frank is an actor and Ayn is a writer (novelist & playwright). Ayn works on Wendell Willkie Presidential campaign.

8 May 1943 Ayn gets Fountainhead published. This fictional work is a success. Architects like her for her fictional depiction as a kind of idealized male who was an architect. In November, the O’Connors move back to California so that Ayn can work on the Fountainhead screenplay. This is their second California era.

1944-1957 Ayn Rand works on writing her magnum opus Atlas Shrugged. Atlas Shrugged is an 1168 page dystopian sci-fi drama that takes her Objectivist kernel from Fountainhead and explores it full force Atlas Shrugged including a 60 page speech by John Galt.

Alan Greenspan, who is a part of the “Collective” consults with Rand on the economics concepts in Atlas Shrugged.

1945  Frank Lloyd Wrights hosts Ayn at his Taliesin East studio (WI) as Fountainhead hits #6 on NYT Bestseller List.

1948 Nathaniel Blumenthal (later Branden) meets Barbara Weidman who are Fountainhead fans. They would later marry. Barbara introduces Nathaniel to her ex-boyfriend Wilford Schwartz and her cousin Leonard Peikoff. Later these become a part of the Collective.

Spring/Summer 1950 Blumenthal/Weidman visit Rand and O’Connor after numerous letter by Blumenthal to Rand and an exchange of phone numbers. The two couples become close friends.

Summer 1951 Blumenthal/Weidman move to New York City to finish their studies at New York University. By October, the O’Connors move back to New York City ending their second era in California. The Collective (an ironic name) of Rand followers formed at this time. These along with Alan Greenspan (future Fed Chairman) form the “Collective”. Frank O’Connor plays host to these young intellectuals who are led by his wife Ayn.

January 1953 Blumenthal/Weidman get married and Rand/O’Connor are the matron of honor and best man at the wedding. They are now the BRANDENS.

By January 1955 Nathaniel Branden and Ayn Rand (the original cougar who is 25 years older than Branden) begin a sexual relationship on top of their friendship and intellectual pursuits.

10 October 1957 After 14 years of writing, Atlas Shrugged is published and the dedication reads, “To Frank O’Connor and Nathaniel Branden”. At first Atlas Shurgged is panned by critics. On October 13th the NYT review is published. Alan Greenspan critiques the reviewer  in the November 3rd NYT letters page.

Background / Asides about 1950’s

An enthralling piece by Bill Bradford on Alan Greenspan and Ayn Rand with insights on the Collective is found here:

http://www.adabyron.net/taemag_com_greenspan.htm

The material supplied by the Brandens with an excellent timeline whose essential points were echoed above by Bradford (who interviewed the Collective over many hours). This whole Passion Drama with who is sleeping with whom and betraying whom is a big mess requiring a scorecard, that can be found here:

http://www.noblesoul.com/orc/bio/brandens.html

A FAQ on Ayn Rand thoughts on the many topics make the many tales above appear in context and are found at the Objectivist Reference Center here:

http://www.noblesoul.com/orc/bio/biofaq.html

A stunning Mike Wallace interview from 1959 is on the Internet in a few places (in two parts). His interview can be found here:

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2012/04/mike-wallace-interviews-ayn-rand-1959/

In the above interview, she predicts the US will fall and become a dictatorship. Thankfully, 53 years later this bleak prophecy has never come true.

1st Jan 1961 There is also a 30+ minute interview at the University of Michigan, with James McConnell where she lays outs her philosophy. It is a focal point for many of the critical points I make and can be  found here:

http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/Ay

After the 1950’s end Rand is partners with the Collective including the Brandens; They publish the Objectivist newsletter and NBI Lectures on audio tapes. Ironically,  in the midst of these sordid affairs detailed at the many links above, Rand’s essay collection The Virtue of Selfishness is published. It includes articles written by Nathaniel Branden.  But the complexities of these liaisons soon begin to unravel. The unraveling continues throughout the 1960’s until November of 1970 when Ayn Rand republishes The Virtue of Selfishness  with her repudiation of the Brandens, but leaving in Nathaniel Branden’s essays. She yells at Nathaniel Branden, slaps him multiple times in one meeting, curses him with impotency , makes allegations of financial impropriety, finally closing NBI and firing the Brandens . She continues just publishing the newsletter by herself with other junior members.

1970’s Throughout the 1970’s Rand’s writings and her involvement in Objectivism decline.

1974 At the age of 69, after years of heavy smoking Ayn Rand requires surgery for lung cancer. She had started her Social Security benefits and Medicare insurance to cover her real costs of her smoking.

1976 Rand stops her writing for good.

9 Nov 1979 Frank O’Connor (you remember Ayn Rand’s husband) dies. He is buried in Kensico cemetery, Vahalla NY. Frank’s marriage to Ayn Rand had amazenly lasted 50 years amidst all the turmoil. Frank is listed in Social Security Death Database — which just to make plain to non-genealogists means he collected Social Security checks too.

6 Mar 1982 Ayn Rand dies and is buried with her husband Frank O’Connor in Kensico cemetery. You can view their tombstone at Find-A-Gravehttp://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=35266557 .

Next … Ayn Rand vs Objectivism & The Critique

P.S. I have the following genealogical documents that I found in the course of my research:

  1. Alice Rosenbaum (aka Ayn Rand, Alice O’Connor, Ayn Rand O’Connor) 1926 Ship Manifest also see above.
  2. 1930 US Census (Los Angeles, CA @ 823 North Gower Street (matches 1930 US Census, confirms marriage date)
  3. 13 March 1931 Petition For Naturalization & Certificate of Arrival.  The Certificate of Arrival is interesting as it does NOT reference the Ship Manifest and the Petition says the 1922 Cable Act eliminated her requirement for filing a Declaration of Intent. It includes her signature as Alice O’Connor.
  4. 1940 US Census
  5. Ancestry.com SSN Death Master details for Ayn Rand’s social security.

If anyone wants one of these I can email the image or the URL.

August 14, 2012

Ayn Rand – A Producer’s Intellectual Criticism of Objectivism — #Meme

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

  The reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand

–Paul Ryan @ 2005 “Atlas Society “

Perhaps last weekend you heard that Paul Ryan was named the presumptive GOP Vice-Presidential candidate? But do you know that his espoused reason for being in politics is because he read, one of Ayn Rand’s fictional novels, Atlas Shrugged (a dystopian sci-fi novel)? It kind of makes you sad, that Paul Ryan’s parents did not have more books, because if they had, then perhaps Ryan would have read, Asimov (also Russian born) or Bradbury or Clarke (collectively, the ABC’s of science fiction) and been moved by one of them instead. Perhaps if Ryan had read one those talented writers, he might be in favor (or not) of robots, free speech or intellectual property or renewable resources or evolution (think 2001 Space Odyssey). If only he had read Asimov’s Foundation trilogy, perhaps Ryan would have become a Paul Krugman. Krugman cited Asimov’s series for his inspiration at becoming an economist.

Instead, Ryan thinks the top 1% should isolate itself from the other 99% (who are not “productive”/”creative”) and his budget seems to favor that 1% greatly. That is what Atlas Shrugged is about. The “creative” separate themselves and the non-creative types should just die-off. If you read Atlas Shrugged you will see parallels to today. It is the Tea Party creating chaos to “minimize the federal government until they can strangle it.” Go Google “Strangle the government”, this is not my phraseology , but the mantra of Paul Ryan and the Tea Party thugs. So what we have here is a lower-brow variant of L. Ron Hubbard (another sci-fi writer, whose followers started a “philosophical” organization) devotees.

Ryan upon being named as Mitt Romney’s running mate said, “I’d like to thank nature … (slight pause) and God …”. This is a rather odd statement to be uttered by a person professing belief in Objectivism and also Catholicism. You see my dear readers, the phrase “I’d like to thank nature” is the pointed code-phrase of atheists (not that there is anything wrong with being an atheist). They say their coded phrase meant either to cue their listeners into the fact that they are an atheist or for the more militant atheist to mock people of religious faith who say (and have said for thousands of years), “Thank God for …”. It is a parallel construct to the religious thanks and the atheist version is of a very recent invention (i.e. less than a decade, I have found no reference to the phrase on the Internet to before 2008). It probbaly dates from the arise of the New Atheists (Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, and Daniel Dennett) in 2007.

Now as I have said being an atheist is not necessarily a bad thing. What made Ryan’s quote bad / hypocritical / unethical is that he said “nature and  God”. If you were a devout Catholic (other Christain denominations too, but Ryan espouses to be a Catholic) you would only thank God. You would not thank nature which is just a part of God’s creation. Likewise, if you were an atheist or an Objectivist you would absolutely NOT thank God. So, where does that leave the American voter? What are we to believe? The only logical / reasoned conclusion is that Ryan does NOT believe in any of: Atheism, Objectivism, or Catholicism.

So I call on all Atheists, Objectivists and Catholics to repudiate Ryan for his deceptive practice and of trying to portray himself as any/all of those ‘isms’. Now I know  that you are thinking this is the first time that Atheists, Objectivists, and Catholics can all agree on something — so lets agree Ryan is deceitful and vote for the other political ticket. If you are Pro-Deceit than the Romney-Ryan ticket would seem to be what you have been waiting for.

Because this Presidential election cycle seems to be about Ryan/Tea Party and their espousal of Objectivism, then let’s examine Ayn Rand’s life and see what it says about this absurdist sci-fi drama being foisted upon us by Mitt Romney. This is a blog with an oft genealogy theme, so let’s apply genealogy to Ayn Rand. We will use a timeline and add in  seminal documents and 1st-hand accounts of witnesses to examine her life and her followers’ lives (aka the Collective) for context and we finish with a reasoned critique of Objectivism.

The Ryan Budget is the greatest political fraud. That is how Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman’s reasoned analysis of Ryan’s proposed raising taxes on the middle class to lower taxes on the upper class without any deficit reduction for at least 20 years sees the Ryan Budget ??? So we the Asimov motivation in opposition to the Rand motivation — you be the judge on the basis of which is your favorite author/producer. But this jester’s premise is that the author Ayn Rand may influence how the USA is governed and you should be conversant on what the two parties are proposing before November.

I hope you are ruled by reason and will read these articles on Rand, Objectivism and Election 2012.

Lets start with some definitional ground work …

Ayn Rand Objectivist Concepts

  • Man as Heroic
  • Reason, only absolute reason
  • The Productive and The Creative in relation to others
  • Motivation for Man is the pursuit of his own happiness (no altruism)
  • Witch Doctor vs Attila vs Producer
  • Espoused – Atheism, Non-Violence/No-Force, Disgusted By Homosexuality (but favored protecting their rights), Anti Collective Efforts of any kind (Individualism)

Some of this sounds good and some sounds odd and all points need some explaining and a bit of context, so lets delve into these concepts in the next few articles.

Next … A Genealogical View of Ayn Rand

August 8, 2012

Family Search Indexing New Project Ohio Naturalizations — #Genealogy, #Ohio, #Naturalization

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

I am a frequent genealogy volunteer. Today, on Twitter, Family Search Indexing (@FamilySearchInd) announced a new project for Ohio Naturalizations. Since this jester has family from Cleveland (Elijasz and affiliated families i.e. Hajek) and also from Toledo (Eliasz, Sobieszczanski/Sobb, Mylek, etc.) I thought I’d pitch in some in hopes that I or some other volunteer would help by indexing my ancestor’s data.

The images for this collection are very helpful for index cards. They have a lot of info (more than we indexers are allowed to collect by the application). So look for this collection to be posted in the near future. I seemed to have had a batch of 20 mostly Italian-Americans (one German, one Brit). All last names began with ‘Pic*’. So if you have Italian ancestors from Cleveland, Cuyahoga, OH who were naturalized there and their names start with PIC, then you are about to be very happy.

 

–Stanczyk

 

August 7, 2012

1940 US Census Indexing Is Complete — #Genealogy, #Census, #1940

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

OK, Ancestry.com completed their indexing of the 1940 US Census and fast on their heels, FamilySearch.org also completed theirs — Stanczyk is not aware of the status of other 1940 Census providers’ status.

Prior To The Index

Prior to the indexes, I used Dr Stephen Morse’s One-Step website to figure out which Enumerated District (ED) I need to search sequentially, image-by-image. With most ED’s being between 35-50 images, this was not overly taxing and it yielded excellent results — after a week I had most of the people I most wanted to find.

State indexes rolled out, a few at a time. I found other high value targets in my index searches. Now that indexing is complete, I had thought to find the last few stragglers. I found some indexes as their was supposed to be in places that I had not suspected and hence the ED search did not yield them to me. A few had names that were slightly off in their transcription but none-the-less were easily findable. Some I had to get creative on imaging misspelling or mis-transcribing and I found a handful more.

I hope others did as I did in blazing my trail. When I found a badly indexed name, I used Ancestry.com’s View/Add Alternative Info. So when I finally found my Aunt Kitty (Catherine Eliasz, now married and a Perinoff), who was born as Casimiera Elijasz, but always used Catherine Eliasz in my lifetime. I entered the mis-transcribed name correctly so that other genealogists after me would be able to find my aunt Kitty more easily (and as a bonus they would also find me too).

Where’s Aunt Alice?

So, where is my Aunt Alice? I had correctly anticipated that both my aunt Alice (the eldest) and Catherine (2nd eldest) would be married and I knew the husband’s name. As you see I found my aunt Kitty. But my best efforts at locating my Aunt Alice have failed. I tried using only her first name or only the last name. I tried by other data points I knew (Detroit, MI, USA — I kept broadening the search, even though I “knew” she was in Detroit). I tried locating a woman living in Detroit born in 1910 +/- 1 year (then 2 and 5 years) who was born in Poland (and Russia, just in case they still referenced Russian-Poland partition in that way). No luck !!! I tried searching for her fist husband — not found either ??  So I tried locating her second husband — no luck, he was still single living at home with his parents. No Alice and no first husband — could they have been missed?

The Missing

So here is my list of most sought after ancestors: Aunt Alice (nee Eliasz), could be listed as some corrupted version of EPPERLY (although I tried a combination of this I could think of). My mother’s sister Helen McLean. My dad’s cousins: Emil Leszczynski, Stephen/Matthew/Stanley Sobieszczanski. I thought I would find Emil. I was prepared to find him living away at college (law school) — no luck. As for the Sobieszczanski boys I was surprised, that outside of their brother Henry, I could find none. Perhaps the three are in the US military — after all I had another uncle that served in the US Navy 1935-1938.

How about you? Do you have any AWOL ancestors from the 1940 Census too? Drop me a line (comment or email).

July 28, 2012

What Is Your Social IQ ?

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Blogger
Facebook
Flickr
Flipboard
FourSquare
Google+
iReddit
Klout
LinkedIn
Meetup
Pinterest
Skype
Stumble Upon
Tumblr
Twitter
Wordpress

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Match the App icon (on the left) to the App Name on  right.
  2. Which 3 Apps are for writing blogs (micro-blogging does not count)?
  3. How many Apps from the list have you ever used?

Answers:

1. 1 pt for each correct Apps matched with its name (answer page 7/28/2012)

2. Blogger, Tumblr, and WordPress [2 pts for each one you got]

3.  1-4  = 1 pt;   5-8 = 2 pts;    9-12 = 3 pts;   12+ = 4 pts

Perfect Score: 26:  You must be a social genius

17-25:  Highly Evolved

10-16: Socially Adept

5-9: Need to do some Googling

1-4: Internet Marooned

0: Luddite

July 27, 2012

Genealogy and Social Media — #Genealogy, #Facebook

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

There are 901 Million active Facebook users as of March 2012, according to HowManyAreThere.org  (http://www.howmanyarethere.org/how-many-facebook-users-are-there-2012/). Facebook is estimated to break one Billion users before 2012 ends (Mashable source:  http://mashable.com/2012/01/12/facebook-1-billion-users/). According to Gregory Lyons, a senior analyst at iCrossing, Facebook will reach the milestone in August [2012].

Do I have your attention genealogists? One seventh of the world’s population is on Facebook – perhaps your 2nd and 3rd cousins are there waiting for you to engage them in some family history. Skype has nearly 107 Million “Real Users” and recently hit 41.5 Million concurrent users !

So being social can help you reach more people who may have a piece to your family history. I have searched Facebook with modest success for the ‘ELIASZ’ or ‘ELIJASZ’ family name. Not everyone will friend you anymore.  I have had success in SKYPE finding an ‘ELIJASZ’ family member in my grandfather’s ancestral village of Pacanow in Poland. I once had a very lucky success with a social network in Poland, named nasza-klasa.pl (now more easily found at http://nk.pl/ ). Now this jester is minimally conversant in Polish and my “cousin” in Poland was zero conversant in English. But, I was able to use Google’s Translator (English to Polish and vice versa) with success although it did generate some laughter at times. The final result was a letter from Poland with a copy of my grandparents’ marriage record from the actual church book in Biechow, Poland! Nasza-Klasa also yielded two 2nd cousins who were born in Poland (one since moved to the US) and we keep in touch via Facebook.

How else can you use social media to aid your genealogy? Write a genealogy blog (like this blog for example). I went to a recent Polish/Slavic genealogy seminar this year and spoke to a fellow blogger, Donna Pointkouski, who writes the genealogy blog, “What’s Past Is Prologue”. Donna called genealogy blogs, “2nd Cousin Bait” . She said by writing about your genealogy searches, successes and family members, your blog can lure these more distant family tree members to you. It works because search engines like Google or Bing find your blog posts and index key words (tags/categories) and proper nouns in their databases and out they pop when 2nd/3rd cousins are trying to Google their family trees. Stanczyk has personally located two 2nd cousins and one 3rd cousin via the blog. One 2nd cousin even gave me a picture of a previously unknown grand-aunt from before 1910  — jackpot! I was then able to locate that grand-aunt in microfilm from the LDS Family History Library for her children’s birth records in Poland.

A couple more blog tips –  Sprinkle your blog posts with the lingua franca of your ethnic lineage to lure readers from your ancestral home. Finally on your blog software (WordPress,  Blogger,  Tumblr, etc.) – get the widget(s) to share your blog posts on your other social media accounts: Facebook,  Twitter,  LinkedIn,  Google+, etc.  Make sure you get the widest exposure possible to lure your family from all over. Ask family and friends to add your blog/tweets to their Flipboard and possibly ‘star’ the better posts for you to up your Klout.

Lastly, you may want to put your family tree online. Some of my greatest finds have come from collaborating with other genealogists on Ancestry.com. It is the largest collection of genealogists and paid genealogy subscribers — serious genealogists. These people found me and my family who as it turned out were a part of their family tree too. I cannot count the number of family members I have met from Ancestry.com. Let me tell you that my greatest finds were from a woman whose family I and my father thought were only friends from the “old country” whose families renewed their friendship here in the US. From this woman (Kim), who I helped out by reading her grandparents’ marriage record from a Polish church in Detroit. What do the two of us discover, but her great-grandmother was an ELIJASZ from Pacanow. As it turned out, her great-grandmother was my great-grandfather’s sister and that the two of us shared a great-great-grandfather — we were 3rd cousins! So we were blood relatives not just family friends as our parents had thought. I found out my father was her father’s best man — neither of us knew that beforehand. Her grandmother (Rose Wlecialowski) was a best friend of my grandmother. I thought I had never met this third cousin … wrong!  She had photos of me in her family pictures. We were so young neither had memories of the other. She had pictures of me as a 3 year old child that I did not have, with my young father on her grandmother’s farm. She had a picture of my young grandmother from the 1930’s with her grandmother!  This was a B-O-N-A-N-Z-A!

I found her great-grandparents’ marriage record from Pacanow and had it copied from the church book. I translated it from Russian for her (and for my records too). It confirmed that we were indeed 3rd cousins and shared great-great-grandparents (Martin Elijasz & Anna Zasucha). I also eventually found the birth record from the first child that my paternal grandparents had together over in Poland and little Wladyslaw Jozef Elijasz had Rose Wlecialowski for his god-mother. Her grandmother was a god-mother to one of my “uncles”. Poor little Wladyslaw died in infancy and never made the trip to America with my grandparents and my aunt Alice. My father and the rest of my aunts and uncles were born here in the US.

So you see, your family is out there. You just don’t know it yet. Use the social networks, USA and overseas versions. Write a blog to lure your cousins. By all means join Ancestry.com too and upload your family tree to Ancestry.com. These will grow your family tree more completely than you could if you eschewed not to use the Internet. Make your family tree mobile — load it to your iPhone and start collaborating in the Cloud. You will thank me later!

–Stanczyk

July 26, 2012

BigData means Backup … Security … Disaster Recovery … #RootsTech, #Backup

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

OK you have a laptop and / or a smartphone and / or a tablet and you also have data, perhaps a LOT of data. It creeps up on this hoarding of data / space. You need to be proactive to keep from losing your data. Primarily we speak of genealogy (or family / history) research and of course family photos and scans of documents, but perhaps you are a knowledge worker and use your computer equipment to produce works in your professional career too. I’ll speak of genealogical research / data and you can extend it to any other valuable data / files you may have.

Today’s blog came about from a cousin (alright second cousin, once removed), Robin. She was frustrated by losing files. So her family and friends had a nice debate over what she needs to do. Of course it is a very complex issue and needs to be customized to each person.

Let me state that designing a backup strategy that is free or low cost is almost impossible — unless you only have a small number of files (# and/or sizes) and can get by with the free: DropBox, GoogleDrive, Apple iCloud, etc.

You could conceivably cobble together a solution with enough “Cloud Services” and one account each for Robin and her husband on each service in order to build up a free usable amount of storage for backup on the Internet. OK, lets say that gets you “enough” space to do your backups. First off, you better hope the number/size of files do NOT increase — but industry studies says otherwise, that data more than doubles each and every year. You will therefore run out of “free” space. Also, you will now have to invent a bookkeeping system to keep track of which files are backed up on which service in which account. Is it getting complicated yet?

How much data do you have to backup? This is the first question you need to answer. If you have an Internet service that limits data transfers or subjects you to overcharge fees then you really need to think about using the cloud. Keep in mind that you need to backup and at some point  to recover a lost file(s) — now that recovery will double those overage fees. Most people can quickly generate 30-60GB of “data” from their music, videos, books, apps, and their pictures and when you throw in their work products (which actually are the smallest part of the critical space) 30-6oGB goes quickly. My wife’s tablet is almost full and we do not use much music or video.

How do you lose files? Inadvertent deletes/drops? Hardware failures? Accidental overwrites with something else? How about malware/viruses etc. ? All of the above probably. Then you need a backup solution to cover all of those eventualities. How about if you live in Florida (Hurricanes), New Orleans (Hurricanes/Floods), Oklahoma/Nebraska/Kansas (Twisters), California (Earthquakes/Mudslides), etc. or in an area where terrorism can cause catastrophic failures (NYC, DC, Seattle’s Space Needle)?

But Stanczyk, what about my sensitive or private data (financials, non-disclosure documents, personal identity, etc.)? Where do you back that up to? Is the cloud safe? Do they lose data in the cloud? Can the cloud data be stolen/hacked? What happens when the cloud crashes and is unavailable? More worries.

By now I hope you get an idea that backup is:

  1. Complex
  2. Involves Some Costs
  3. Requires Planning
  4. Custom to Each Individual / Company
  5. Recovery Needs to be Accounted for
  6. You Need Access to Backups
  7. Disaster Recovery (offsite)
  8. Need Security

You could be tempted to just rationalize that December 2012 is coming up and either the Mayan Calendar and /or the World will end and why tax your brain to do backups anyway.

Solutions

Ideally, we want the following features in a solution:

  1. 3 or 4 copies (counting the original copy)
  2. 1 remote copy for disaster recovery (fire, hurricane, flood, theft/loss etc.)
  3. Easy / Fast  recovery from the first backup (ergo 1st backup copy must be local)
  4. Backups allow you to recover from accidental delete (assuming delete happens after the first backup)
  5. If we backup data with privacy concerns then we WILL use encrypt / decrypt software before or as we make a copy
  6. The Cloud can be used as the remote copy

Complexity. Just keep it simple, remember the acronym  KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid). Trying to do backups without spending money will add complexity. So complexity / time / money are your trade-offs. In my career, we used to say, “Good | Fast | Cheap;  Pick 2″. If you want a fast and cheap backup solution it will not be any good. If you want good and fast then it will not be cheap.

Lets say you have as your work product, family trees (gedcoms), scans of documents / pictures and notes / timelines (spreadsheets) / plans – lists. This is over and above your Apps, Pics, Music, Video, etc. How much space do these files all add up to? Is it 7ooMB, 1,400MB, 2,100MB then you can probably get away with burning CDs (or DVDs). CDs hold about 702MB. Make two (or better yet three copies). You need at least three copies (original plus 2 more).

Put one CD in your bank safety deposit box (if it fits). Send a second CD to one of your family members (preferably another genealogist who lives at least 90 miles away from you). The remote CDs provide for a disaster recovery in case of something catastrophic happens at your residence. You can always retrieve the CD from the bank or your family member who may be outside the area affected by the disaster. Obviously, the further away your other copies are, the longer it will be before you can gain access to them to begin recovery — but the securer the disaster copy will be. This is fairly cheap. The flaw is … you keep getting more data / files or the files keep growing. Your family tree changes repeatedly (additions and subtractions). Sometimes you can rewrite the CD (if there is still space) and sometimes you cannot rewrite because the CD does not allow for rewriting or the space is insufficient to handle the larger file. Also if you have 30 GB that needs to be backed up or more then CDs are not viable because you need too many CDs. It is also hard to keep track of multiple versions in case you need to recover from a version that is not the last backup version. I do not recommend CDs but it is fairly simple and fairly cheap.

You can also  substitute DVDs, USB drives (also called thumb drives) for CDs which provide greater space.

Monday - Backing-Up via backup software, external drives, and the Internet/Cloud.

July 17, 2012

iGoogle is Going Bye-Bye — #RootsTech

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk is sad. Google is planning on phasing out a service that allows millions of people to personalize its home page with applications such as weather updates and stock quotes. The customization service, known as iGoogle, will be turned off in November 2013. So we have about 16 months to find a similar replacement for these capabilities …

Unless you mainly use iGoogle-mobile which will be retired sooner. The mobile version will be retired at the end of this month, on July 31, 2012. More details/suggestions are here on Google’s site.

If you have been on your iGoogle page you should have seen the following on your page:

Now the reason this jester is sad is that I used this web tool as a search engine and a kind of genealogy aggregator of news/announcements from sources that are very helpful to my personal research or to keeping me informed in general on genealogical matters. It also was a landing page (portal)  for some web widgets that performed useful tricks (date calculators, language translation, etc.).

Long time readers will recall that I recommended they use this tool. So if you use iGoogle let me know. Also please let me know what you intend to do for a work-around. Google won’t you please reconsider keeping the iGoogle tool and if you need a few ideas for making it a hit web app — email me. I have a few ideas.

Stanczyk

July 5, 2012

Celsius 233* — A Bradbury Tale — #Humor, #Science, #Religion, #FreeSpeech

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Dear Readers this neo-post-compassionate-conservative-apocalyptic-dystopian history is from the days of the year 2019. Contrary to the comical Internet Mayan conspiracy kooks, the world did not end in 2012 despite Mitt Romney being elected President of the USA and then re-elected leader of the entire English Speaking Free World in 2016 — an election that everyone now knows he purchased with his considerable undocumented wealth. We should have listened to  Vanity Fair back in 2012 — but there were just too few readers back then. Oh the misery we have endured since …

It has been a hard seven years under President Romney.  Because, of the influence of the Tea Party Evangelicals and Romney’s considerable undocumented wealth he became President.

Back on 4th July 2012, the World Science community discovered the Higgs Boson quantum particle  — the God Particle. This so enraged Romney, that the first thing that President Romney did was have Vain Capitalist LLC buy all the newspapers (especially the Murdoch Press & Hacking Software company) and leverage the hell out of them — supposedly to enhance his own considerable undocumented wealth. But that was just the ostensible reason.

They ended up bankrupting all of the press and media outlets — not hard to do in those days of the Great Recession and barely anybody reading at all and almost none at all in the South. So the newspapers and other media  went out of business and now there were only the bloggers and the Internet to keep data and information alive.

Then in 2017 when President Romney was re-elected in a very suspect election. He immediately moved to control the Internet and to ban blogging software. This precipitated World War III , which he financed with his considerable undocumented wealth while the European leaders were still so busy talking about their imaginary currency (I believe it was called, the Euro) the USA conquered the UK and then most of the European continent (except for Greece, Spain and Italy — which were non-profitable countries), Canada, New Zealand and Australia. That is why he is President of the English Speaking Free World. He is now trying to eradicate blogs and by so doing eliminate the “dangerous” bloggers too. Oddly that is how the USA finally got its first metric standard (Celsius) which it used to confuse the issue of Global Warming.

It has been historic this anti science and publication administration. First they denied the age of the Earth and its fossils, then they denied Evolution, then they denied Global Warming — even when half the US was baking like HELL back in 2012??? The last straw was the Higgs Boson, ironically the God Particle caused these religionists to pursue the pogrom against science and information.

There has been a long history of this anti knowledge movement. First the Catholics tried to censor scientists like Copernicus (who took his knowledge to the grave) and then Gallileo. By the time  Darwin had appeared, Prostestants had joined in too. So by 2012, America had a breed of religionists called “Evangelicals” who were people who Evangelized against science and reading and such things calling them the Devil’s playground. They used to rewrite biblical stories to say that the Bible’s prophets were all about the profit and were against charity. I know this sounds incredible and even unbelievable to you future historians, but I swear it is all true. If you can find any Internet documents or archived newspapers (a physical piece of pages of paper with printed texts that contained information — completely devoid of any digital means) you may be able to read it for yourself — if anyone still does that in the future.

So for the sake of the future. I am asking my blog readers to memorize my blog posts. Just pick your favorites and commit them to memory. Maybe you can write them down on paper if your family has a history of dementia. At any rate, pass them down in your family. Read them at holidays.

All remaining bloggers that have not yet been silenced are calling for their readers to do this for their blogs too. We must be able to preserve knowledge through these information Dark Ages that we are entering.

God (or Nature as the scientists are wont to say) save our immortal souls!!!

*a terrible homage to Ray Bradbury‘s Farenheit 451

July 4, 2012

Higgs Boson, #CERN, #Science, and #Comic Sans

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

 Today, CERN, announced that with a certainty of 5 sigmas they had detected a particle, akin to the Higgs Boson (via the energy, 126.5GeV, it emits as it decays). This VERY closely matched the predicted Standard Model of a Higgs Boson.

My only disappointment was that I was expecting the 1812 Overture as they made their announcement but all I got was the Comic Sans font  of the fabulous scientist, Fabiola Gianotti (member of CERN’s ATLAS team).

What was trending this early AM?   #Higgs, #CERN, #ATLAS, #LHC, #Fabiola Gianotti, and #Comic Sans .  Huh? What was a casual computer font like, Comic Sans,  doing trending?

You see Fabiola Gianotti is the Italian particle physicist in charge of the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN in Switzerland. In her presentation, she rather humorously chose to use Comic Sans, for her presentation’s font. Well apparently that insignificant detail of this momentous occasion was enough to set the entire blogerrati all a-twitter.

Five Sigmas?

What the heck is five sigmas and why did they write that as 99.9999 (six nines), just shy of 100? Sigma (σ) is known as the standard deviation. The variance from the norm either positive or negative variance from the expected value. So what the scientists were looking for was a confidence level in the data so significant, that there could not be any other conclusion. They usually accept 5 sigmas (99.9999) as their hurdle for acceptance. The only people who routinely deny five sigmas are TEA Party politicians and their followers.

Motorola in the 1970’s was searching for a level of excellence and stability and repeatability in their processes called Six Sigma. To give you an idea of Six Sigma and its impact on business, especially in the IT world from which Stanczyk did some of his best works. We would often discuss achieving six sigmas of “UP TIME” for our massive databases (Data Marts, Data Warehouses). In one year’s time there are 525,600 minutes. So to achieve six sigmas, we would need to make our databases available the entire year, except for less than 40 minutes of unavailability. The uptime would have to be more than 525,560 minutes out of 525,600. Quality/Certainty at this level comes at a very high price – so in the business world we would usually accept something less than Six Sigma.

In statistics 2 sigmas of deviation on either side of the bell curve (you remember the bell curve don’t you),  would mean you have 95% of the area under the curve, 3 sigmas would account for about 99.7%, so 5 sigmas accounts for 99.9999% of the area under the curve, leaving almost no room for error. That is a LOT of confidence.

The error function for five sigmas gives you:

0.999999426697 (so five sigmas is more accurately written as 99.9999426697 – when you multiply by 100 to get a percentage). The possibility of error is 1 minus the 5 sigmas or: 0.000000001973 . All zeroes until  the 9th decimal place. So that is pretty close to no chance for error.

 

Higgs Boson

 

Oh, today’s hullabaloo was really all about a quantum particle called the Higgs Boson (prosaically called by media types, the “God Particle”, which of course the godless, atheists (the majority) of scientists refuse to use   J  ) .  The Higgs Boson was named after Peter Higgs. Who was one of six people who came up with the theoretical model predicting the Higgs Boson. Higgs was annoyed that the particle became nicknamed the “God Particle” by the media. Higgs thought it might offend religious types. But in actuality it really just offends those who do not believe in any religion or who want to credit everything in the universe to “randomness”.

 

This boson is the one whose appearance quickly after the Big Bang is what gave mass to all other particles in the universe. Today, science has said they are 99.9999426697% (five sigmas) certain that the decay and energy release their experimental data that they have recorded show that the LHC created a Higgs Boson predicted by Dr Peter Higgs’ theoretical model.

 

Happy 4th of JULY!   Cue the 1812 Overture and the Fireworks (our big bang in the USA).

June 30, 2012

RootsTech – Saturday/Sunday Software – #Genealogy, #Meme

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk has been noticing some new software lately. This week Google had their Google I/O Conference and they released some new software there of note. For those with Apple’s iOS devices, we finally have the Google Chrome browser available to use on our iPhone/iPad. This jester quick downloaded the app as I had been waiting for it.

At RootsTech 2012, Google announced that they were going to create a microcode widget (still not here yet). But about that time, I noticed they had a new widget (see yellow highlight at the left) next to their Bookmark-This-Page star widget  in the Chrome browser, when you go to the Ancestry.com and visit your family tree. This widget was/is not available in Apple’s Safari browser. This little widget will do a look-up at FamilySearch.org on the person in your tree you are presently at. Sometimes I use this to see if there is any new database available that has something on my ancestor.

Sadly, the Chrome browser app on iPhone did not have the widget. The browser did work fast. Depending on how your brain works, you may prefer Chrome over Safari (or vice-versa). I found both functionally about the same. Here are Chrome and Safari  side-by-side (iPhone screen shots) …

 

Also new on the iOS device scene is a new app, named Heredis. It is an attractive app, but I was not willing to hand enter all my family tree again (and I have been mocked that my 1070+ person tree is SMALL). I could not find a way to import my GEDCOM from any device. I tried hooking the iPhone up to a laptop and I also tried having them on the same WiFi network — no luck. The HELP functionality was absolutely no help. My recommendation is you do not bother unless you are just starting out and do not mind entering your data by hand on your iOS device.

Heredis (in red circle)

As you can see from the screen shot I am trying to go mobile with my genealogy. There is MyHeritage, Ancestry, Mocavo, Indexing, and Heredis. There is also a RootsTech app — which EVERY technical conference should embrace for their attendees.

The Indexing App is so that you too can pitch in and help FamilySearch.org index images so we all get more databases to browse/search online.

How many do you use?

June 24, 2012

Big Data – Every Minute Of Every Day …

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

20120622-094344.jpg     Every minute of Every day,  you and I and the rest of the Internati produce data, big data in some kind of Internet colony. We email or blog or even a Facebook post or a 140 character tweet. Being genealogists we search databases and post trees with their connections and images like the 1940 US Census pages that hold our family members. And every day we post more data to the Internet. That is what the picture shows.

The pace of Big Data is increasing too.

Who backs up the Internet? Who archives the web? The “Wayback Machine” seems to record our civilization’s record so this work may last as long as Babylon’s cuneiform or Egypts hieroglyphs. Or will it? I know the Library of Congress is wrestling with Archival Issues of Digital works.

What is the disaster recovery plan of a sun spot interference or another magnetic burst? Books will survive and be immediately available but what about digital works? How do we backup all of this data exlposion?

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 429 other followers

%d bloggers like this: