Darts and laurels

  • Posted: Saturday, July 6, 2013 12:30 a.m.
Kids scramble for candy  tossed from floats at Faith parade.
Kids scramble for candy tossed from floats at Faith parade.

Laurels to another great edition of Faith’s Fourth of July celebration. The early cloud cover and showers moderated temperatures a bit, if not the humidity, and the parade and fireworks display provided an extravaganza for the eyes as well as the ears. Best of all, the daylong events took place safely, avoiding the kinds of mishaps that plagued July Fourth celebrations elsewhere around the country, with fireworks displays going awry and, in one horrible case, a child being fatally injured by a float. A tremendous amount of preparation goes into this event. Applause for the planners, coordinators, float builders, pyrotechnic experts, traffic controllers and others who contributed to another fun and memorable Faith Fourth.

Nylanderia fulva, are native to South America, where they’ve displaced other ant species and are so prolific they’ve dried out entire grasslands, according to USA Today. In the United States, they’ve spread to Texas, Florida, Mississippi and Louisiana. They’re called “crazy” because of their unpredictable behavior and swarming populations. Thus far, their decentralized colonies appear immune to commonly used ant chemicals. Researchers say that unless they develop a means to control the ants, they threaten to disrupt the Southern ecosystem. Unfortunately, they don’t devour kudzu.

Laurels to the man who gave us the mouse — the computer mouse, that is. Doug Engelbart, who invented the mouse and contributed to many other advancements in technology, died this week in San Francisco at age 88. He conceived of a type of external controller for computers back in the 1960s, when computers were relatively rudimentary devices that took up rooms and typically required manual inputs from data cards. The mouse didn’t become widely available until the mid-1980s. Now, many of us couldn’t imagine using a computer without one.

In the pantheon of computer geniuses, Engelbart was a true visionary — one who seized on the interactive potential of computers when others were still viewing them as merely more powerful calculators. He had a great idea — and something clicked.

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