Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Contextual Train

Now and then, I'd think about words that had seemingly unrelated multiple meanings. I'm listing just a few that came to mind in the last few days. For that matter, "train" has bobbed up and down in my consciousness for probably years.

Choo-choo train, fancy bridal-gown train, train of thought, the verb for teaching and often showing how to do something.

I had a recent discussion with a co-worker about soup she thought was too acidic from too many tomatoes. I remembered just enough about acids and bases from school days and piped up about lime, recalling that it was somewhat alkaline. I then recalled that the lime fruit, it being citrus, would be acidic, like its skin brethren, oranges and lemons. Then I recalled that the lime I thought of pertained to limestone. Bad idea to use THAT lime to counter soup acidity! But interesting that these lime meanings are so unrelated.

About the same day my co-worker and I talked about her soup, which she lessened the acidity by adding parmesan cheese and black beans, I noted "It's kind of light in here." I immediately recognized the ambiguity. I had meant that I perceived fewer cafeteria customers than usual. As the sky was overcast, my statement could have meant room brightness. Speaking of brightness, "bright" could pertain to illumination, or intellect, or instance of apparent intellect.

We can be talking about alkalinity aspect of the pH scale, soup base, political base (firing up the base), basing feelings on certain influences, baseball base. Reaching way back, I recall "Mr. Bass Man" by Johnny Cymbal. All through the song life on the radio, I had never seen the song title in print, and was too young to buy records. I was fairly unaware of lyrics and bass singing levels. I actually used to think the song was about baseball—Mr. Base Man!

We could be talking about a musical instrument or voice level. Or a fish. Bass can be very ambiguous in written form. If spoken, the long-vowel word can be confused with base, its homophone. See base.

Left and Right
Left and right are paired for directions when used as adjectives, such as left turn and right turn. More recently, when used as nouns, left and right refer to political leanings. Left can also mean remaining items—"how many are remaining" for "how many are left". Right can mean right turn or correct turn when someone confirms a direction with someone else. (I use "correct" rather than "right" in automobile traffic navigation.)

Within the last 40 years, I have seen "straight" evolve in reference to cultural attitude (vs. hippie) to sexual orientation (vs. gay). The song "Straight Life" by Bobby Goldsboro seems so out of date now, when I think of its context when it came out.

Timing can also cloud the meaning of "hippie". Before the term became so popularized in the 60s to indicate a usually counterculture youth, it derived from "hip", a term for coolness, associated with jazz. "Mohair Sam" by Charlie Rich had lyrics that did not seem to confirm a counterculture image, particularly in the context of his 1965 appearance on Shindig, with his slicked back hair and tuxedo.

At home, I had occasionally referred to the kitchen island as a table while actually meaning its top surface, but the other party calls the island a counter. I suppose differentiating helps to distinguish the island from the table where we eat. "Counter" seems an odd word for a kitchen furnishing, as I think of integrated circuits called counters. The difference between table and counter seem more obvious at a diner. I previously mentioned counterculture. In this context, counter means opposite of.

I'm now bringing up the rear of this article, the caboose, so to speak. Besides "rear" as a position descriptor, it also means "bringing up" offspring. Rearing offspring, however, might be less common than raising them.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Creating a YouTube Playlist PDQ

In April, I wrote an article that provides step-by-step instructions for creating a YouTube playlist. In this article, I emphasize using repeatable steps with minimal keystrokes for creating a playlist—my PDQ (pretty darn quick) method.

For my Dreamy Music article from a couple of weeks ago. I wanted to create a YouTube playlist quickly so I could roll out the article and playlist at the same time. The biggest speed factor was having already vetted my list of YouTube links—for destination AND order. You can whip out a YouTube playlist similarly.

Prerequisites for creating a YouTube playlist PDQ:

  • You know how to use browser rightclicks to open the menu choice for copying a link location. Examples: Copy a Link Location, Copy Shortcut, Copy Link Address, …
  • You have an account at YouTube.
  • You know how to save a file as an HTML file.

Note: Familiarize yourself with info for creating a Youtube playlist as necessary.

Prepping your list of YouTube videos into an HTML file

  1. Open a blank email page or word processor application (Open Office, in my case).
  2. Copy and paste a URL of a YouTube video you want in your playlist. Enter a video title adjacent the URL so you instantly know where the link goes.
  3. Skip a line for readability.
  4. Repeat the previous two steps until you have all the videos you want, periodically saving the collected info as an HTML file. (For convenience, save the file to your desktop.)
  5. Rearrange and cull entries until you're happy with your list. Do a final save-as, overwriting your HTML file.

Setting up your new YouTube playlist

  1. Log in to your YouTube account.
  2. At the upper right of your account page, click the arrow to the right of your account name to open the main menu, and click Video Manager.
  3. At the left menu, click Playlists.
  4. At the upper right, click New playlist, type something in the Playlist title box, and click Create playlist. (If you want to add or change info, you can do that later.)

Entering your HTML list of videos to your new Youtube playlist

  1. At the YouTube Editing playlist window, accept or change Privacy and Settings choices, and click Add video by URL. Click Save at any time.
  2. Open your HTML playlist file in a browser.
  3. Rightclick a URL and put the link into the clipboard. Examples: Copy a Link Location, Copy Shortcut, Copy Link Address, …
  4. Paste the URL into the YouTube space—Ctrl+V or rightclick Paste, and click Add. A successful add states that the video is now in your YouTube playlist.
  5. Repeat the previous two steps until you finish adding all your YouTube links to your playlist.
  6. Click Save.

Repositioning video order if necessary

Near the checkbox at the end of each thumbnail, when you hover the mouse until the cursor turns into a cross with arrowheads, you can click and drag the video link to another position. If you want to move a video directly to the top or bottom of the list, you can select the action in the Actions menu.

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