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A Brief History of Podcasting

A Brief History of Podcasting

Ever wonder about the evolution of the podcast? While podcasting is a comparatively young technology it still has a rather fascinating albeit brief history. The background of the word, “podcast” is quite fascinating and is reflective of the dynamic nature of the Internet community.

Podcasting is a term that was only coined in 2004, combining two words: iPod and broadcasting. Ironically, this definition is somewhat of a misnomer since neither component is completely accurate. Neither podcasting nor listening to podcasts requires an iPod or other portable player. In fact, podcasts can be listened to on any mp3 enabled device including a desktop computer. The name association came about simply because Apple Computer’s iPod was the best-selling portable digital audio player when podcasting began. What’s more, no over-the-air broadcasting is required either.

Even the editors of the New Oxford American Dictionary jumped on the podcasting bandwagon by declaring “podcasting” word of the year for 2005. The term was defined as “a digital recording of a radio broadcast or similar program, made available on the Internet for downloading to a personal audio player.” The word will be added to the online version of the dictionary during their next update.

The term, podcasting was coined by journalist, Ben Hammersley, and then popularized by former MTV VJ and media entrepreneur, Adam Curry. Mr. Curry created an Applescript application that automated the process of downloading and syncing audio files to iPods.

Other names or alternative interpretations of the letters, “P-O-D” were proposed, the most popular of which was “Personal On Demand”. Technology writer, Doc Searls came up with this phrase back in September, 2004. Terms such as “audio-blogging”, audio magazines” and “web-casting” have also been offered to describe this unique form of media distribution.

Other “pod”-derived phrases include “podcasters” (those who create podcasts) and “podcatchers” – the special RSS aggregators which periodically check for and download new content automatically. Podcatching software enables the user to copy podcasts to portable music & video players.

The popularity of podcasting is spreading like wildfire because of the rapid adoption of MP3 players and the desire of consumers to have fresh content. Podcasting has flourished because it gives people more control over what they listen to, and the freedom to take their programs with them with them.

Not since blogging has a technology seemed so unexpected and been so quickly and widely adopted as podcasting. Growth in this nascent industry is expected to accelerate quickly due to the rapid acceptance of the technology by the radio broadcast industry in 2005 and Apple’s iTunes distribution. The rising popularity of podcasts is challenging conventional radio’s broadcasting model.

While iTunes is less than two years old, roughly 4.8 million people downloaded a podcast in 2005, as compared with just over 800,000 in 2004. And 11.4 million listeners are expected this year, according to research from The Diffusion Group. Already the Apple iTunes service offers 15,000 podcasts and listeners have signed up for more than 7 million subscriptions.

A study by Bridge Ratings in November 2005 with radio listeners in ten national markets showed that approximately 20% of users who have ever downloaded and listened to a podcast do soon a weekly basis. This group downloads an average of six podcasts per week and spends approximately four hours a month listening to the podcasts they download.

This study projected even more dramatic growth in the industry in the future. According to Bridge Ratings, by 2010, podcast audience growth is expected to reach a conservative 45 million users who will have ever listened to a podcast. Aggressive estimates place this number closer to 75 million by this date.

How does this affect you?

With podcast listening rising exponentially, podcasts offer you a very powerful tool for promoting your products or services. The great thing about podcasts is that they are relatively easy and inexpensive to create. Podcasting can help ensure a closer relationship with your target audiences by providing them with engaging, informative and frequent updates about the goings on in your industry. If you have a website then there’s no reason you shouldn’t have a podcast available as it’s not difficult to set up and can bring a significant increase in traffic to your site. So in short podcasting should be a vital component of any online marketing campaign.



History Of Apple Trees

History Of Apple Trees

Apple trees were the most popularly grown fruit tree in colonial America and practically every settlement farm and backyard gardener planted this easily grown fruit tree, or easier, the seed of the apple could be planted to establish a permanent food supply. Growing these apple tree products could be eaten fresh or could be dried and preserved in many different ways to eat at a later time. Historical instances on the existence of apple trees are documented from folklore, legends, stone images on carved tablets, petrified slices of apples on plates for tomb offerings, and overwhelming numbers of references from Hebrew Bible scriptures and innumerable writings from poetry, songs, literary publications, and many other surviving accounts of all civilizations in the ancient world. One of the earliest archeological evidences of apple tree fruit comes from the remains of excavations from Jericho, Jordan, that has been dated 6500 BC by radiochemical analysis of carbon atoms.

The petrified remains of apple slices that were found in a saucer of an ancient Mesopotamian tomb, the burial site of royalty dates back to 2500 BC and was uncovered in southern Iran. In the ancient historical accounts of the fruit of the apple tree, there appears to be an incomprehensible trail of evidence that no other fruit could match. The interest shown in apples by the Greek and Roman philosophers, poets, historians, and literary masters was even extended to Renaissance painters, royal chefs to the Tsars of Russia and too many other references to mention.

In colonial America, apple trees were grown and planted from seeds in orchards by William Blackstone at Boston, Massachusetts in the 1600’s. Early documents on file at the National Library in Washington, DC suggest that all land owners in Massachusetts had begun growing apple trees by the 1640’s.

William Bartram, the famous explorer and botanist, wrote in his book, Travels, “I observed, in a very thriving condition, two or three large apple trees” in 1773, while traveling near Mobile, Alabama. It is important to realize that these large apple trees found growing in Alabama in 1773 could very easily have been grown from the seed planted by Creek Indians. Those seed may have been obtained by the Indians from American colonists on the Eastern coast of the United States at a much earlier time or from French farmers who settles in areas of agricultural land grants north of Mobile. General Oglethorpe planned in 1733 to plant “various plants, subtropical and temperate, which might prove valuable for Georgian farms and orchards,” according to William Bartram in his book Travels, published 40 years later. William Bartram’s father, John Bartram, trip to “East Florida” (Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas) was, in part at least, an attempt to inventory the plant resources of England’s new acquisition—after expelling the Spanish from East Florida.

Many modern botanists believe that the improved apple that we know today descended from the crabapple that is commonly interplanted with apple trees for cross pollination. Old documents record that fact “cultivated apples descended from crab-tree or wild apple-Pyrus malus.” Wild crabapple tree seeds appeared on the list of collected seeds in the Plant List of 1783 of William Bartram and his father, John Bartram. In William Bartram’s book, Travels in 1773, he “observed amongst them (fruit trees) the wild crab (Pyrus coronaria) in his explorations near Mobile, Alabama. Robert Prince established the first operating nursery in the American colonies at Flushing, New York, in the 1700’s, where he offered apple trees for sale at his nursery that was visited by General George Washington, who later became the first President of the United States. President Thomas Jefferson was planting and growing apple trees at his fruit tree orchard in Monticello, Virginia, in the early 1800’s.

The legendary Johnny Appleseed was responsible for the rapid development of the apple trees growing and planting when he established a nursery in the Midwest that sold both apple trees and seed to be planted for growing into trees in the 1800’s. Over 2000 cultivars of apple trees are listed as being grown today, many of the trees resulting from the huge apple seed dispersion that was begun by the memorable ambition of Johnny Appleseed to entirely cover the landscape of America with the fruit of apple trees.

Over the centuries, apple trees became susceptible to many disease problems such as fire blight; however, Dr. C.S. Crandall from the University of Illinois performed several backcrosses that involved modern cultivars and the apple tree ancestor ‘crabapple,’ Malus floribunda. The wild crabapple contained an immunity factor within its genetic composition towards all major bacterial and fungal diseases of apple trees. In 1989, researchers from the pomology department at Cornell University extracted an immune fire blight gene from a nocturnal moth and transplanted it into an apple fruit, resulting in the total defeat of fire blight in that particular apple tree cultivar.

Fruiting of apple trees is perhaps the most troublesome characteristic experienced by an orchardist or a backyard fruit tree gardener. Most cultivars of apple trees require cross pollination of two separate varieties in order to set fruit on the tree.

It is necessary that the blossoms of the two apple tree flowers develop pollen at the same time, in order that fruit will be set, which can be a tricky problem to correct. The simplist solution to pollinate apple trees is to use the ancestor of the modern day apple cultivars, the crabapple, which sheds its pollen over a long period of time and easily overlaps the apple tree cultivar flowering period. Crabapple trees produce a fruit that is much smaller than the common apple, but it can be used in cooking in various ways, and it is loved by wildlife in the fall and winter when wildlife food is scarce for animals and birds. Crabapple trees are also valuable when used as flowering trees that begin blooming in early spring with huge clusters of pink, white, and even red blossoms. Several outstanding grafted flowering tree selections are available, such as: Brandywine, Red Perfection, Radiant, and Spring Snow.

Apple trees are easy to grow, and if a gardener purchases a large tree, he may experience fruit development even on the first year of planting and growing. The selection of the proper cultivar of grafted apple trees is extremely important, because even though the apple fruit can be grown in most areas of the United States, the trees require different amounts of chilling temperatures in order to flower. The interesting introduction of low chill cultivars from Israel makes it possible to experience apple growing and planting as far south as Florida. Certain popularly grown cultivars of apple trees in the United States today are: Arkansas Black, Gala, Granny Smith, Red Rome, Anna, Red Fuji, Yates, Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, Anna, Ein Shemer, and Golden Dorsett. Apples contain some mysterious quality that can preserve it from deterioration for centuries. Apple slices can be dried and kept delicious for long periods of time. This mysterious characteristic may be recognized by man’s association of paradise being connected and related to Eve and Adam picking apples from a fruit tree growing in paradise for their eternal pleasure, that was planted by God and described as the tree of life at the fabled Garden of Eden. We see this fruit of paradise recurs in the history of many other ancient civilizations. A similar account that we read as children in the book of Genesis from the scriptures in the Hebrew Bible.

Perhaps this mysterious genetic quality of apples in preservation makes it so important as providing medical benefits backed up by that memorable proverb, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Experiments from researchers in California have shown that apple fruit is very rich in antioxidants, a biological compound that combats, stroke, heart disease, and many other health problems.



The History Of Golf In America Part One

The History Of Golf In America Part One


It all started long ago in 1743 which was one year before the formation of the Company of Gentleman Golfers; there is an actual shipping record of 96 golf clubs and 432 golf balls delivered from Leith Scotland to a Mr. D. Deas in Charleston, South Carolina.
This shipping order size obviously suggests that the shipment was destined for a group of golfers. Then again Mr. David Deas may have been an eccentric. It is also believed that another golf club or society was organized in Savanna Georgia around the same time period.

It took until 1888 for the first permanent golf club to form. The location was in Yonkers New York. The St. Andrew’s Golf Club was formed by a Mr. Johnny Reid and a crew of golfers who came to have the nickname of the “Apple Tree Gang”. Reid and his friends were exceptional devotees of the game of golf. Initially all that was available was 3 hole golf course that began and ended near the landmark of a large apple tree.

Many consider that Reid is the father of American golf while others would insist that Charles Blair Macdonald – a gold enthusiast, writer and golf course architect deserves the honors.

Macdonald, whom The “Golf Journal” termed the “True Pioneer of American Golf”, was the driving force behind the creation of the pivotal Chicago Golf Club, the first 18 hole golf course in the United States of America. This was in 1892 that Macdonald, the golf pioneer, was able to lay the groundwork by convincing and persuading 30 Chicago business associates to pitch in the princely sum at the time of $ 10 apiece so that a nine hole golf could be constructed and developed. This golf site was to destined to become the prestigious and historic Downers Grove Golf Course. Later the next year an additional 9 holes were added to complete the first 18 hole golf course in America.

Macdonald, who had studied in Scotland at the St. Andrews University, is also credited with development of golf course architecture in the United States. Best known of his works is the National Golf Links course on Long Island, Along with that Macdonald left his mark by both assisting in and in creation of the USGA – the United States Golf Association.

The USGA emerged in the wake of a dispute between the St. Andrew’s Golf Club and the Newport Rhode Island Golfing Clubs. In the summertime of 1894 each hosted an invitational golfing tournament, amazingly enough without the apparent knowledge of the other club . Each golf club declared the winner of their tournament to be the “National Amateur American Golf Champion”. Humorously enough a sore loser , in the person of McDonald himself , ignited the debacle and then suggested to clear the air that an official golf tournament be organized and arranged by an official golf organization . Of course this golf tournament administrative group would be be in charge of the the event.

What followed was a meeting of the delegates from Newport Golf Club, St. Andrews, the Chicago Golf Club, Shinnecock Hills Country Club and the Country Club in Brookline Massachusetts. These delegations founded the Amateur Golf Association of the United States which later to become known as the USGA . The foundation of the USGA were laid on December 22, 1894.

Thus golf was on its way to become the mainstream prestigious recreational sport of America.




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