U.F.Os. - Unofficial Facts and Opinions

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In the future, we'll all be Harry Potter. Jakob Nielsen

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Historical Background

"WHAT'S COOKING" was Originally written by Henry Clay as a paper newsletter following his term as President of the Retirement Living Association (RLA), the predecessor to the Retirement Living Resident's Association (RLRA) of today.

Re-named "HAPPENINGS," it was distributed by Henry via electronic mail when the association became un-interested in continuing its distribution.

Both tended to follow the traditional newsletter format of extended articles about individual topics, with frequently only one or two topics per newsletter.

Later, Henry converted "Happenings" from a periodic, paper newsletter to an electronic-mail (E-mail) mailing list publication -- still formatted as a typical, two-column, printed newsletter, but issued on a more timely, although random rather than periodic, basis.

Late in 2014, the Office of Retirement Living, began their own electronic-mail (E-mail) mailing list. This action was a nod to the convergence of many different trends and demographic changes, both at the Masonic Villages at Elizabethtown as well as in the outside world. Trends such as timeliness, cost-savings, environmental concerns, the Smartphone, computer literacy, the number of children and grand children buying iPhones and iPads for their parents and grandparents as Christmas gifts "to keep in touch", and the popularity, success, and importance of Henry's "Happenings" E-mail list amongst residents all contributed. This list was intended for people to receive "Official" information from Residential Living Management -- electronically, rather than on paper!

The Office of Retirement Living distributed sign-up (opt-in) / permission slips to all Residents. However, as this original permission slip from the Retirement Living office indicated -- when you signed up for their mailing list, you would no longer receive paper copies of "Official Notices" in your mail box, many residents did not opt-in.

Consequently, Henry began to forward (retransmit) those notices on a daily, sometimes multiple times a day, basis; notices like, the Hospital lists, Funeral Notices, Move-In Notices, Menus and other official notices sent out by the Residential Living, Dining, and other Administrative offices. This helped keep folks informed who were reluctant to go "paperless", but who were still interested in the timeliness's of email notifications.

Then in 2016, Henry sent out this email changing the name to U.F.O.'s.

From: Henry Clay
Sent: Tuesday, April 26, 2016 11:49 AM
Subject: Unofficial Facts & Opinions (U.F.O.'s)

Apparently the notices and Materials I circulate on an almost daily basis have confused one or more residents as to their authenticity (that's why some of us are living hear) and I have been asked to change the Subject of the Emails. Henceforth they shall be known as U.F.O.'s (Unofficial Facts and Opinions).

From E-mail to a Blog

At the time of his unexpected passing in March of 2017 Henry was emailing some 700 MVE Residents on a daily basis. It was truly a labor of love, consuming large amounts of his copious free time.

Henry was using some pretty old, brute-force e-mailing techniques which periodically caused folks to inexplicably, not receive his mailings. These techniques had worked reasonably well when there were less than 500 people on the list, and he only mailed once a day.

However, times and the Internet changed.

As discovered later while attempting to continue the UFOs mailings, in reaction to the huge increase with the problem of SPAM (unsolicited E-mail, viruses, malware, ransomware, etc.), the Internet in general, and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in particular, had began cracking down on the use of "personal accounts" to send out "bulk e-mail." Mailings in excess of 1,000 addressees per day from a single account, were deemed SPAM and were arbitrarily and automatically chopped-off by software at the 1,000 address mark. (The asynchronous nature of e-mail on the Internet meant that the cut-off point was unpredictably random.) To send more, one needed to go through a series of certification steps including subscribing to a particular Code of Conduct which required specific mechanisms to maintain the integrity and security of the mailing list. In short, abuse led to regulation.

Hence, to avoid this hassle, the electronic mail mailing list is converted to a Blog.

Accessing the UFOs Blog

The primary difference between an email-mailing list and a blog is that instead of information being delivered to your e-mail inbox, you need to go visit the website where the blog is hosted to view the information. This is not unlike the Village Connect Portal, except that individual Residents can also post information, not just management. Also, unlike the Village Connect Portal, no special software is necessary to view this blog. The UFOs Blog works with any device or operating system. You simply need an internet browser -- on your desktop computer, tablet or smart phone.

To make the UFOs Blog easy to find and return to simply bookmark or add to your Favorites: http://www.mcgillsociety.org/UFOs/index.html