Tag Archives: stick

Museums Get Tough on the Selfie Stick

Walking through museums behind young children scares me. Weird huh? Well, young children have young minds. Those minds have not quite matured enough to figure out that running into the 3000 year old vase swinging your toy is not a good idea.

Children usually lack that bit of common sense and need an adult to guide them through this experimental period of their lives. My years as an educator have taught me that sometimes this common sense passes on to the next generation and sometimes it doesn’t.

In the prehistoric world very few people lived to see 30 years old. Why? Because back then, without medicine and technology, one grand act of stupidity took them out of the human breeding population for good.

But, we’ve moved on. We invented. We, as a species, overcame the chance that doing a stupid thing results in your untimely death. There are no more Wooly Rhinoceroses to play cow tipping with.

Likewise, we now have rules of no running in the museum. Museums hired guards to patrol the art galleries to enforce this rule. Calmness and serenity should descend in the art museum. Unfortunately, human ingenuity is known for creating both chaos and order.

Enter the latest act of social silliness, the selfie stick. According to Molly Shilo of the Observer the MoMA is the latest in a long string of museums including the Frick and the Guggenheim that have seen the potential danger in our latest social craze. In response, they have all outlawed the use of selfie sticks in the museum.

No more can the young carefree mind swing a selfie stick around and carelessly carve up a Caravaggio. No one will accidentally poke a Pollock. That 3,000-year-old vase of the sheer genius and artistic style of a civilization long dead is still viewable to everyone.

In the end, this is a good thing. It’s a sign that the museums are responding to popular outside trends and are trying to save both the world of art history and the youth of today.  It saves the art world from unmitigated disaster and any youths from making a stupid life-changing mistake in the name of a selfie.

The young student of the arts may not understand what the big deal is. They may even rebel at the idea of not being allowed to have this fun. I wish to encourage a sense of patience to these future protectors of human ingenuity. Your selfie is not worth it.

In order to explain this concept, one must understand  that while we have a better chance of surviving the consequences of our actions. If you mutilate a $41.1 million Matisse with your selfie stick you may wish you didn’t survive.   Your allowance sure won’t.

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4 Fun Ways to Destroy Your USB Stick Drive Data and Your Sanity.


Do you back up your pictures or design work to a USB flash stick?  These wonderful tools are a great way to get the mobility, the memory, and the convenience you need to store those pictures in case your computer either fails or can’t be with you.  The stick drives are available in sizes up to 256 Gb (Kingston sells for around $420 US) and you can fit it in your pocket. So what could go wrong?  Here are 4 ways to destroy your sanity and your USB flash drive in the process.

  • Let Windows fix your USB. No, I’m not anti-windows.  I once lost a USB to this method.  I first ran into this with Windows Vista and Windows 7 seems to have continued the trend.  If you format the USB stick in a way that Windows doesn’t like, namely anything not formatted by the Windows OS; it asks you if you want Windows to fix it for you.   If you ever use anything other than a Windows-based machine, you may quickly discover that your drive is unusable.
  • Do not put your name on it. – Having worked in many a computer lab and with many USB drives, I can honestly say they all look-alike and the number of these you find stuck in the back of a computer at the end of the day is amazing. Putting your name on your USB makes sense if you are going to a place where you have to use a computer that isn’t yours, or if you want to give your client a copy of your work.  This way you do some branding with your name and you enable the business you left your stick at by accident to get your work back to you.
  • Reformat your USB  – If you know what you are doing on computers this is an ok thing to do.  I can’t really understand why you’d want to, but it is possible.  Otherwise, you might reformat your USB so that only certain operating systems will be able to communicate with it and others won’t by accident. Nothing thrills a customer like putting your USB in their computer to see nothing happen.  A USB flash stick works by using flash (electric) memory not magnetic tapes or disks.  Therefore if you reformat it, the data is gone and even that family member who is the techno geek can’t get it back.
  • Do not transfer your files to another storage solution. – When you lose your main computer system, notice I didn’t say “if”, you want a backup of all your work. USB drives work like all other forms of technology.  They are wonderful; until they fail.  In the paranoid world of the computer systems administrator, you want at least 2 redundant back ups of everything you create on a computer system.  Yep, that’s 3 total copies.  A USB drive is an option, but I would also consider another alternative also.  RAID drives, a second hard drive that backs up everything on to a separate hard drive, is a viable option.  Unfortunately, RAID sometimes becomes expensive and needs some tech know-how to make it work properly.   DVD’s are also good option and all the major operating systems can read them.  But they only hold about 4 gigs of data and in today’s 32+ gig world, do you really want all those disks?  But they do have a shelf life of about 100 years.  Burn’em and forget’em can be your backup motto.

Diligence pays when you understand what USB stick drives are capable of and what they are not.  Don’t put all your data in one basket.  Your sanity will thank you.

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