The President's Message

July 2010

Rick Curry

Happy Independence Day! Mandatory history fun facts: We declared Independence on July 2 (to the arriving British Navy); July 4 was the day Congress settled on the text of the Declaration of Independence. July 8 was when the Declaration was first read to the public. The actual fireworks began a week later at Lyndley's Fort, S.C. It was about 2½ weeks later (Aug 2) that the famous signatures began to appear on the documents.

Thanks to Dan Holmes for his Tips & Tricks for digital photography. I think the most interesting parts of his talk were on composition and not specific to digital media. Dan is a local Ventura businessman and can be found on the Web at Dan Holmes.

Sit Up Straight!
The importance of my mother’s cheerful reminders about posture was recently emphasized to me by a chiropractor. It is not just about appearance - who knew?

What the chiropractor showed me was how the spine should look like a cobra standing up for a strike: a curve at the base near the waist and a curve at the top by the head. Then he showed me what I was doing. Then I went back to work and could easily see half of the people doing the same thing!

I, and apparently a lot of other people, crane my neck toward the screen when I get engrossed in a problem. In some apparent attempt to gain enlightenment through proximity to the radiance of the pixels, I arch forward seeming poised to literally dive into the problem.

This somewhat comical and mostly harmless histrionic becomes an issue when the position is sustained. Aside from the unflattering turtle appearance I give myself when I do this, it pulls on the muscles in the neck and shoulders and gives me an ache between my shoulder blades.

And this was my epiphany for the month: Proper posture at a computer means sitting like a concert pianist (hint: Your back should not be against the back of the chair if your hands are on the keyboard!), and your head should be back (I am still having to work on this one).

And of course, if you are feeling a need to slouch, you probably need to get up and walk around or perhaps to take a short nap. It is surprisingly difficult to absorb new ideas without a nap; our brains need a chance to file the information away.

Now remember what your mother told you and sit up straight!

Happy computing!