Monday, July 27, 2009

In This Ever Changing World In Which We Live In...

I'm not suggesting we Live and Let Die, but just today I was talking to a friend about things that will be gone in 25 years (he thinks wristwatches). I remember the milkman, twice-a-day mail delivery, and tv station sign-offs at night and sign-ons in the morning (with the national anthem, to boot).

So how entertaining is it to read this list of 100 Things Your Kids May Never Know About.

I wonder if my kid will ever look at my bookshelf and ponder what the book "Real Men Use DOS" is about.


Ellen K said...

Just consider that none of our kids remembers a house without a microwave oven. I remember our first one-it was huge, loud and probably cost as much as a real oven.

muckdog said...

The boom box.

Great blog!

maxutils said...

Dialing the phone?

Mrs. C said...

Our newly-bought textbook has a whole unit on "how to use a card catalog" and the encyclopedia. It was last revised in the 80's.

I am not sure how elementary school teachers now are able to teach research skills. Do they tell kids to go to "wikipedia?" I tell my boys that's a fun place to start, but if you're serious, you check out a few books from the library and go from there.

One thing the technology has changed, IMO, is that you never really know who the "experts" are any more. In some ways, that's great, and allows for more freedom of thought. But if I'm researching some malignant cancer on my leg or something like that, I want trust-able sources. And how do you figure out who's trustworthy?

I've been a reporter on a daily, and I still can't answer that. Honestly, we were just taught to be "objective" and present opposing opinions... not to evaluate their relative merit for the reader.

And honestly? I think that's why people like Jenny McCarthy are selling their books like hotcakes. The "experts" seem to have been less than forthright in their past dealings with the public, and so parents desperately wanting help for their children find someone who "understands" and claims to be able to fix things if you follow the program.


Just chatting. Great post!

Fritz J. said...

The list mentions rotary dial telephones, but that brings up the thought of how many people today remember telephones that only had a crank and you had to tell the operator what number you wanted. FWIW, the last time I encountered such a phone was in 1972 in northern California. I stopped at a pay phone and inside there was the typical pay phone except it had no dial. Instead on the wall to the right of the phone there was a square box with a crank on it. Remembering such phones from when I was a kid, I picked up the receiver, gave the crank a few brisk turns and sure enough, an operator asked me what number I was calling. She then told me how much money to put in the slots. The first dial phones I saw were in 1950 at which time I was eight years old. The community I presently live in went to dial phones in 1955 for local calls, but direct dial long distance didn't arrive until 1957.

As long as we are talking about how things change over time, I wander how many of your readers have ever used a crank to start a car? Or had a car with vacuum windshield wipers? Or wringer type washing machines? My one grandmother had a Maytag gas powered washer although she no longer used it when I was old enough to remember.

For more recent items, how many people have and still use hot air popcorn poppers?

maxutils said...

Mrs. C -- when I was in high school, we had a trivia competition called the Millard Fillmore Trivia Hunt (in honor of our arguably most trivial President.) We would spend an entire weekend researching REALLY obscure questions, and going on a scavenger hunt as well. Almost all of the questions are now answerable by typing them into google. Sometimes progress isn't.