Thursday, January 31, 2013

1913 Water Doing

So I was thirsty recently. Perhaps because I was listening to that old song by the Australian group Midnight Oil. The "Time Has Come, Beds are Burning" one where they sing about the western desert being 45 degrees.
As the rest of the song is about hot stuff, I never really got that. 45 degrees is pretty chilly. Then I finally realized. They're Australians. They're talking 45 degrees Celsius. That’s 113 around here.
That's why I got thirsty. So I grabbed a bottle of water and a couple of things struck me. One, the water had a pull date on it. Really? What have they added to the water which will make it go bad if left to sit for too long? I may want a case or two of this stuff in my apocalypse survival shelter. Who wants to survive with stale water?
The other thing I noticed was how I drank the water. I unscrewed the cap. Then I took a drink. Then I did a funny thing; I re-screwed the cap back on.
As if I was actually trying to preserve its freshness. Like it was a carbonated drink or something, or a wine whose trip to vinegar-hood I didn't want to hasten.
Kind of funny really, because if I had poured a glass of water from the bottle, or from the water cooler in the office kitchen, or the dispenser in my refrigerator door whose tubes I haven't cleaned in 15 years, I wouldn't have thought twice about leaving it exposed. My glasses have no lids.
But with my little bottle, I re-screwed on the cap. Maybe my memory was warning me about evaporation.
From all that time I toted my canteen in the 45 degree desert.
America, ya gotta love it.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

1912 Houses of the Holey

Sometimes the solution to problems is to think out of the box. Sometimes it's to think further into it. Find a better way to utilize what you have already.
That's what I thought recently when I drove by a cemetery. As cities have expanded, the old vacant land that used to be on their perimeters has been swallowed up, and in many cases is now very close to the downtown core. Unfortunately, in the old days the farming and planting pioneers used that vacant land to plant their relatives.
Cemeteries are very efficient about people placement, with graves, vaults, crypts and other housing for the dead, and in fact are quite the example of urban density. But still, apartment buildings would fit quite nicely on said land and people living there could reduce commuter trip miles, and lessen both fossil fuel consumption and global warming.
Solution; respectfully move the deceased to those other large, and largely wasted tracks of open grass-covered land---golf courses.
Seriously, very few folks come at any one time to visit their expired relatives, so they wouldn't pose a problem to players. Even planting them along the edges of fairways would yield enormous amounts of space.
Think of the consolidation of costs. Greens-keepers and cemetery groundskeepers combined. And environmental benefits. Half as many lawnmowers belching 2-cycle pollution into the air.
Plus, some hardcore golfers would love the idea of being planted by their favorite green. "I got a hole-in-one there in '59, that's where I'd like to hole up for eternity."
Folks already pay big bucks to live in developments surrounding golf courses, think what they'd fork over to rest in peace in a little eternal abode even closer. A fairway to heaven.
And a whole different type of green house effect.
America, ya gotta love it.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

1911 Apofibs

I have a natural skepticism about pronouncements from science. I guess because I admire the scientific method. Which basically says, entertain theories only until new facts prove otherwise.
So I was a little worried recently when scientists announced the asteroid Apophis posed absolutely no threat in 2029, when it is scheduled to come within 23,000 miles of us. The moon, incidentally, orbits at about 239,000 miles. So 23,000 miles is kind of close in astronomical terms.
Far from the "absolutely no threat" section of my mind. A couple of dirt clods could change the orbit a mere 23,000 miles. Which could happen.
Because recently the scientific folks determined they had origianlly underestimated the size of Apophis. Turns out it's about 20% larger than they thought. About 1066 feet in diameter as opposed to 885 feet. Doesn't seem like much, I know, but that much extra diameter translates into far greater mass. Like a 75% increase over earlier estimates.
A bit more than a couple of dirt clods.
So all I'm saying, if they messed up once...
How could they screw up so badly? It has to do with albedo. Albedo is how much light a body reflects. And surprisingly, this really pasty white teacher I had in high school. Mr. Bedo, or Al as we called him, looked a lot bigger in a swimsuit then us tanned teens because he reflected so much light.
Apophis the asteroid is the opposite. It's far darker, so from a distance it looked smaller. Therefore, its mass was estimated as far less.
Mass, by the way, is not just what they use to calculate things like orbital arcs and whatnot. It's also a word they use in mass hysteria.
I'm checking the new Mayan calendar for any mentions of asteroids now.
America, ya gotta love it.

Monday, January 28, 2013

1910 Salad Daze

Modern times mean modern changes. Even in non-technology. A few things come to mind. Take modern salads.
There was a time when the most you could expect of a salad was iceberg lettuce. As iceberg lettuce was predominately water, and extremely light on taste, all the tastebud variety action was in the dressing. There were thousands of those, the most popular featuring a combination of ketchup and mayonnaise, also known as Thousand Island. All of the islands bearing a suspicious resemblance to sweet pickle shrapnel.
Then the restaurants started introducing us to romaine lettuce, in both romaine wedges with familiar dressings, and the ever popular Caesar salad, with or without anchovies and dangerous raw eggs.
Then we had "mixed greens", lots of different leaves of indeterminate origin, some looking like they'd recently been picked in the weed patch by the garage.
Which leads me to the current most popular salad green, arugula.
Arugula. Really? America's restaurants and chefs are currently fascinated with arugula. I'm not sure why. To me, it kind of tastes like a, um, leave.
Maybe because it's fun to say. Arugula arugula. Like a clown honking a horn on one of those toy cars. Or a small African country recently about to re-depose a formerly deposed then re-elected dictator.
Or a dance craze from the 60s. Ah yes, I remember when we used to shake our booties to the arugula.
That's another thing that's changed with time. Whatever happened to naming dances? Except for boot-scooting wanna-be rednecks, now folks either do hepped-up old ballroom dances or namelessly shake and shimmy like demented robots. What happened to the Frug? The Watusi? The Swim and the Monkey and the Funky Chicken?
And my favorite. The Mashed Potato.
It went great with any salad.
America, ya gotta love it.

Friday, January 25, 2013

1909 Electronic Eye

My friend Kris and I were talking about electronic things recently. When he was done teasing me about my classic flip-phone---okay, he used a different descriptive word than “classic”---we discussed whether I was going to join the smartphone fad anytime soon.
"I'm just not ready," I whined. As with all things technological, it's when to jump in. If you buy it too early you pay too much and the bugs antiquate it too soon. If you buy too late, you miss out on the social learning curve. I watch people swiping and gesturing on their phones and it totally mystifies me.
My current dilemma is between a phone and a phablet. Because I have another old-fashioned notion. I want to be able to put my phone in my pocket. All my modern friends carry around their phones, phablets, and tablets like a stack of books. Puts the lie to that hands-free thing hanging from their ears.
Kris said they were coming out with a smartphone for your wrist soon. But if I was such a wimp about waiting, something even smaller was bound to come along.
I think I will. I was one of the few folks that had a wristwatch with a little calculator on it back in the late seventies. It somehow enhanced the silliness of my perm. Maybe that's why I swore off early adopting.
I think I'll wait until smartphones are small enough to implant in my eye. I'm due for cataract surgery in another decade. The two needs for a new lens should just about sync up.
And then I'd have a real Eye-Phone.
Let the record show Kris warned me, though. I'll be blinking furiously to interact with the device and some irate woman will be offended.
"Were you winking at me?"
"No... I was just, uh... texting..."
America, ya gotta love it.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

1908 New Techo-Faces

I was reading online about the recent Consumer Electronics Show and all the new gadgets and gizmos coming down the pike. I was pretty amazed. And, frankly, a little scared about the faces of new technology. Literally.
One innovation is available in the new Galaxy Note 2. It's a thing for your photos called Best Face. Great name. Everyone wants to put their best face forward, right? This one goes you one better. It puts your best face in a group photo forward.
Know how every time you take a group photo there's at least one person who chooses that moment to blink, squint, or hang their mouth open in a weird way? Best Face automatically eliminates that. It takes multiple pictures across a tiny spectrum of time, then picks the best headshot in each one and melds them together as a group, as if it were all taken at once.
Dude. Drive-by photoshopping. We can now pre-record a version of reality that didn't exist in real time. And have instantaneous pictorial proof. The philosophical implications are enormous. Who says the apocalypse hasn't already come?
Another thing at the electronics show was TVs that will change channels and volume at a distance. You won't have to use a remote control, just make gestures towards your TV, which will watch you and respond.
I'm just thinking…no more making whoopee on the couch. Imagine the surprise when your best move changes you to the Televangelist network. Best face indeed.
Lastly, as I was looking at snippets from the CES event online, I got to see the new fancy-schmancy TVs they're offering, and all their supposedly luminous high-definition video quality. Face it. I was not impressed.
Not one of them had a picture any better than my computer monitor.
America, ya gotta love it.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

1907 Forging Ahead

Every now and then I'm blown away by an ad. I guess because on some level I've really grown to appreciate the creativity that goes into ad writing. Interesting that the word copyright sounds like the word ad writers use to describe themselves. A copyright protects creative endeavors and a copywriter produces creative endeavors.
Anyhow, the other day I was listening to an ad on the radio and the announcer they used in the commercial was a little too garbled when he talked.
I notice bad ad stuff too.
He kept saying the name of the company but I couldn't get whether it was Top Cot, or Top Knot, or Pot Tot, or whatever. But he did say something attention-getting about their product. He said they were "hand forged donuts."
Brilliant. Taking hand crafting to the next level. Hand Forged. You get the sense of strong vital work. Brawny arms, glistening with sweat, pounding and shaping the stubborn raw materials into an enduring and mighty work of practicality and art.
Not like "hand crafted," which by comparison invokes the frittery of a quilting bee or someone pinching dollops of clay. Or possibly extruding rosettes through a flaccid pastry cone.
And yet hand crafted, for all it's inherent wimpiness, is far better than “mass produced,” or “factory made.” “Factory made” is great if it's a car, not so much if it's a cookie.
The name of the company was easy to find by the way. All I had to do was Google "hand forged donuts" and their name popped right up. It was Top Pot, and they are based in Seattle. For the same calories, they charge quite a bit more than a Twinkie.
Even before the last part of their copyrighted name took on a different legal significance.
America, ya gotta love it.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

1906 Google Ad On

A couple of interesting factoids about American cultural trends in 2012.
One is the continuing decline in newspaper ad revenue. Folks bemoan the lack of good news reportage and the prolific glut of opinionated blogs, but the fair-and-balanced truth is, good reportage takes revenue, and if the newspapers can't sell ads, the news suffers. Last year Google, which produces no news, other than of them suing folks or folks suing them, made over $20 billion in ad revenue, more than all U.S. print media combined.
By comparison, in 2006, newspapers and magazines made more than $60 billion than Google did. Notice the interesting thing. Google's $20 billion was its total, which was more than the total print media. That means print media's total was less than $20 billion for a grand total of $40 billion max. So ad revenue for both online and print together is down at least $20 billion since 2006.
Thank goodness for radio. Where would people learn about the next big thing?
Cultural factoid two: This holiday season one third of Christmas shoppers say they engaged in "self-gifting." Self-gifting, as we know, is the best way to avoid re-gifting. Who better to know what you want for a gift than you?
And with the liberalization of moral standards generally, self-gifting is no longer frowned upon, or illegal in places like Kentucky.
One can self-gift to one's heart's content, without fear of condemnation or health issues. If you need to, you can even self-gift yourself some glasses for your failing eyesight. It's a tolerant time. If a United States Senator can filibuster himself in front of everyone on the senate floor, you can certainly self-gift.
Naturally, if you're careful of ads, viruses, and pop-ups, you are fully free to Google yourself too.
America, ya gotta love it.

1905 E-Ticket

Sometimes things misalign mentally. You take in all the information but it doesn't seem to fit. Like a square peg in a round hole. By the way, isn't a square peg a stake?
So recently I was buying an airline ticket. I got it and everything, but when the online transaction was done the company I got it from referred to it as an "E-Ticket."
I paid for my luggage online too. I wonder; does that mean I was E-Quipped?
Speaking of planes, I read recently about the Boeing Company upgrading their computer system for heightened security. So are they going to be storing all their information in the cloud?
Anyhow, what misaligned in my brain was this. I was raised in the days when Disneyland had just opened. So to me an E-Ticket means a really special ride. When Disneyland and I were young, the way they practiced crowd control was the time-honored method of price discrimination. You could go on the really good rides, but not all of them if you didn't buy more E-Tickets than were included in your admission booklet. That way the line around the Matterhorn didn't circle the entire Swiss Alps.
At the end of the day you had to leave with a bunch of A and B tickets or spend your last couple of hours riding the double-decker bus on Main Street.
Fast forward---Having an E-Ticket still raises my expectations. But for some reason today's airplane rides don't measure up. Unless it's the surprise and joy of them actually providing legroom, or a small packet of free nuts, there's almost no excitement at all.
Except on my last plane ride, when I forgot to completely empty my pockets and was treated to a vigorous pat down.
That was more like E-yew…
America, ya gotta love it.

1904 Seasonal Variation

As the seasons turn we are confronted by seasonal oddities.
Like recently, it was January First, and I heard somebody wishing someone else Happy Holidays. I immediately confronted the person. "What is your problem?" I asked. "Are you one of those people conducting a war on New Year's?"
It's New Year's Day for gosh sakes. The first of the year. It's a special time for a special reason. A ritual observance of a time honored tradition in our culture. One that is laden with meaning to white Anglo-Saxon non-religionists everywhere.
The turning of the first page of the calendar.
I mean really, what do you have against New Year's? It's the time we take down our holiday decorations. A day filled with the mass carnage of football and preemptive utter destruction of dietary New Year's resolutions.
And don't go minimizing the change of the calendar thing. When the Mayans change their calendar, everyone thinks it's the end of the world. When we change our calendar, it's as apocalyptic as a paper cut.
So say it proud. Happy New Year! 7 days after Christmas, 11 days after the Winter Solstice. And the real reason for the season, the first day after the last day of the old year.
And bonus, it often officially kicks off the other seasonal thing. Galoshes. Oh gosh, you say, galoshes, it's the time of year for slushes and sloshes.
It's definitely a weird word. Galoshes. It actually comes from a word in French, "galoche," which, oddly, means sandal. How the years change things.
But every change of every season like this, I've always wondered one thing. What about the singular? Is there such a thing as one galosh?
It's my New Year's resolution to find out.
America, ya gotta love it.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

1903 Big News

Two interesting facts gleaned from the year end media summaries. You know the ones, all the media looking through the past year raking the ashes of our flaming idiocy one last time. I guess it's supposed to help us make good on the aphorism "live and learn."
But it never does.
One of the factoids: For the first time in human history over-eating is now more of health problem than under-eating. More than 3 million deaths in 2010 were attributable to excess body weight. Only 1 million were caused by malnutrition.
Congratulations, green revolution.
"But," you say, "those figures are from 2010." Apparently there was a little lag time in collecting the data. Perhaps the collectors were out on a coffee break. A Trenta triple-rich full cream macchiato.
With whip.
Wow. 3-to-1 difference on overweight versus underweight health issues. Sounds like a distribution problem. If the overs just cut back on a third of their intake no one would starve and all the rest of us could keep eating just fine.
Second factoid: Maybe we could eat Genetically Modified Farmed Salmon. Recently approved by the FDA, GMO salmon is nearly ready for your kitchen. It'll be another green revolution, but the blue-green of the sea---and high in Omega-3 fatty acids. Lotsa lean calories too. Just because the fish grows three times as big and fast as their un-GMO natural cousins is no reason for worry. What could go wrong?
If the "gigantism" gene escapes into the environment who cares? Who wouldn't want a wild grizzly bear as big as your tool shed?
Personally, I'm waiting for them to splice in a flying fish gene too. Then the salmon would jump right into my pan and cook itself.
While I'm naturally modifying myself into a really big couch potato...
America, ya gotta love it.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

1902 Mayan Condemnent

Not long ago those of us who embrace the end of times were once again sore disappointed. Having been let down by various revelationists of the Christian persuasion, unable to ride the comet in black Nike tennis shoes, and even denied our millennial computer-geddon of Y2K, we had pinned great hopes on the Mayans and their apocalypse.
Although their new dance craze, the apocalypso, was fun.
Turns out it was just turning a calendar page for the old Middle Americans. And by Middle Americans I mean the ones actually in the middle of the American continents, not the mentally incontinent ones in the middle of the U.S. of A.
I was interested to note what beliefs recent polls reveal some folks who consider themselves "real" Americans hold true.
Like this interesting factoid. Recently President Barack Obama was reelected to his second term by the traditional electoral college. With 332 votes to Mitt Romney's 206. (Bush and Kerry, BTW, were 286 to 251) Three Republican Electors from Arizona, however, registered objections, insisting that President Obama had never submitted a "legitimate" birth certificate.
You'd think they'd learn their lesson about using the word legitimate.
But hey, as we all know in our hearts, belief has no truck with facts.
Consider this. 49% of folks who "call" themselves Republicans think that ACORN stole the election. Even though ACORN closed its doors in 2010. Perhaps they're not right about being Republicans either.
So it's no surprise fully 12% of our populace believed the Mayans were right and the world would end on December 21st.
They believe we've all gone to hell in a hand basket anyhow. Why not one woven by the Mayans?
Sadly, it didn't come, and now we're all feeling a little listless, with no sense of purpose. I believe they call it Mayannaise.
America, ya gotta love it.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

1901 Appventure

I was reading up on smartypants phones the other day and I admit, I was quite impressed with all the new labor-saving features they've built into them. Pretty darn amazing, that the computing power in one of those little things does more than a whole roomful of desktops in the 80s.
But back then we had something the smartyphoners of today lack. A real sense of adventure. Because real adventure can only come with real risk.
I guess that's one reason I've resisted joining the hive. I really don't want the other drone bees knowing all my private dances.
Take the GPS function built into every phone. It can really help you in traffic. Telling you out loud when and where to turn, with real-time assist for traffic jams and such. Pretty convenient.
It'll even label pictures taken on your phone with time of day and geographical position. Pretty spooky.
Further, if you screw up on a wilderness outing, that GPS can help rescuers find you. So where's the adventure in that? A rescue just a phone call away. Kind of makes it easy not to plan or train or do any of the preparation things that build your sense of competence and personal responsibility.
"Welcome to the summit... and welcome to you too, Siri."
And it means any misguided authority can track you anywhere too. So it comes down to the modern equation, fear versus freedom, or how much freedom would you be willing to trade to eliminate fear?
A recent poll indicated how much. 30% of Americans said they'd be willing to endure a mandatory body cavity search to fly on an airplane.
To keep it impersonal, the TSA folks will probably have an app for their phones. I can hear Siri's voice...
"Bend.. over.. now..."
America, ya gotta love it.

Monday, January 14, 2013

1900 Prius Fee

Unexpected consequences. Prius owners are now having to reap the whirlwind. And not just the wind from turbine-generated green power they use to charge their beasts. The wind of change.
Seems the state will be charging them a $100 annual fee to use the road. I get it. Charging a Prius.
Seriously, all of us regular car drivers have to pay gasoline tax. And that tax is what the powers that be use to maintain the roads upon which we drive our vehicles.
It's meant to be a fair tax. The larger the vehicle, the worse the mileage, and the more tax they have to pay. As larger vehicles are also heavier and cause more road damage that works out pretty good.
Where it's not good is that poor people that can't afford to buy a new car are disproportionately stuck for higher taxes from the old gas inefficient beaters they drive. Still, at least the fat cat brand new giant Escalade drivers get stuck too.
Up to now the same could not be said for Priuii pilots. They've been blithely and silently and maybe a little bit smugly tootling along making the rest of us maintain the roads they use up too. Plus, they've been subsidized in other ways by the rest of us. Not least because at some point we'll all bear the cost of environmentally disposing of their trunkful o'batteries.
But also because they've enjoyed any number of government incentives to purchase their vehicles in the first place. So $100 is not out of line. They already get more tax breaks than a major league sports franchise looking to build a new stadium.
But, hey, thanks to them for sharing all the clean air they helped create.
At least the wind of change is cleaner.
America, ya gotta love it.

Friday, January 11, 2013

1899 Stiff Bindling

I was doing a crossword puzzle the other day to try to stave off the increasing brittleness of my brain cells and came upon a couple of words we hardly use anymore: Bindlestiff and Hodgepodge.
Bindlestiff, while sounding like some item on the side effects warning list on a Viagra bottle, is actually a word used to describe Hobos. Tramps. Panhandlers. Kings of the Road. Voluntary wanderers from the easy confines of nine-to-five jobs and five-to-nine barcolounger-assisted leisure. Early Urban Campers.
Not to be confused with the genuinely homeless folks thrust among them by economic circumstance.
A bindlestiff was called such because of the bedroll they carried. Which, as you might have assumed already, went by the name bindle. Think bundle, and associated old German roots therefrom. Remember the Waltzing Matilda song too. Where the word bindlestiff would easily be translated into swagman. The swag and the bindle would be synonymous. (As would the term Matilda itself, which is another word for the swag or bindle.)
"Stiff" apparently just refers to the fact that they drinks a few. Alcohol then as now being the traditional lubricant for a range of anti-social behavior.
Then there's the word hodgepodge. I remember using "Modpodge," which was a light glue-like stuff used in decoupage. But I wondered about hodgepodge. It's currently used to describe any sort of jumble or mishmash.
Originally, though, the etymology dictionary says it meant stew. The podge an early word for pot, and the hodge derived from a word for shake. Shake whatever in the pot.
So, huh, it's actually another word for mulligan, or hobo stew. To which, legend has it, if you add a little wild turkey, it is a good way to loosen up a bindlestiff.
America, ya gotta love it.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

1898 Knap Crackle Pop Tart

For no apparent reason my brain wanders off on different journeys sometimes. Like recently a racquetball friend gave all us fellow players some pumpkin turnovers his wife had made. "Wow," I said, "Thanks. You usually have to pay extra for them in the city."
"Huh?" said another of my racquetball partners.
"A pumpkin turnover," I said, "It's a type of massage."
"Really?" He said.
I confessed I was just making it up.
Then he hit me with his racquet.
Note to self: Do not confuse him by equating pastries with personal services.
Another friend mentioned his knapsack the other day and it got me going in an entirely different direction. Why do they call it a knapsack?
Oh sure, the nap in knapsack has a silent 'K'. Confusing to me. Couldn't I spell in with a silent 'G' like in gnat? You wouldn't notice on the radio would you?
Anyhow, is there a real nap involved in the process? Is it meant to be loaded with soft items so you can use it as a pillow on whatever small hike you are taking it on. Because I assume a knapsack and a heavy hiking pack are different.
And a day pack and a fanny pack are different as well. (Don't you hate when people wear fanny packs in the front? The term "belly pack" would correct the usage, but that sounds way too much like a power eating episode...)
So I looked up knapsack. Turns out the knap in knapsack is from the German "knappen." Which means to eat. So it's a sack in which you place things to eat.
Perhaps a pumpkin turnover. Which, oddly, actually looks a little like a knapsack. Or a pop tart.
Don't even get me going on that word...
America, ya gotta love it.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

1897 Snap 'n Two

There's an old adage---well, as old as the internet: "If it's free, you aren't the customer, you're the product." I thought of that when I was doing my previous commentary on the hot new app known as Snapchat.
Snapchat offers a "free" service whereby you can send automatically self-destructing pictures of your life or person to friends. Naturally, this has been a boon to the sexting crowd, as now those drunken pictures of lascivious flirtation are only as lasting as a 10-second countdown.
A peepshow app.
No word whether the paid version comes with a set of Mardi Gras beads.
But you gotta ask: What does Snapchat the company get out of all this? Where do they intend to monetize your ill-considered buff-oonery?
Will they, like Facebook-infected Instagram, change their privacy policy suddenly and say that though they don't "own" your posted content, they can still use it and sell it however they wish?
Is the software that dissolves your picture reversible?
And don't be too sure your photos are dissolving. The illustrating picture in the article I read about Snapchat was a frozen screenshot. I'm sure there's already an anti-Snapchat dissolver app out there right now that personal paparazzi types have downloaded to their smartypants phones.
Lastly, who's to say Snapchat itself isn't actually storing all the photos somewhere? For future sale to the highest bidder. As every celebrity knows, take no nude pictures anywhere. They will end up online and in the tabloids.
So if you're thinking of being famous, or don't want to involuntarily be so, don't take the picture at all.
Before you drink and post, that's a snap judgment you should make. Or when it returns to haunt you, it'll give new meaning to the term "snappy comeback."
America, ya gotta love it.

1896 Snapping It Up

I read about an interesting bit of new technology the other day. And it's fading fast. Not the technology. It's getting more popular than ever everyday. No, the technology is about fading fast. As in pictures.
If you're roughly in my age group, you may remember a haunting popular song called “Traces of Love” that mentions faded photographs. That's because the old color print processing in film wasn't permanent. Exposure to UV rays and such like would cause the tint to fade and disappear.
That's why digital was such a hit. The pictures were as permanent as the device you stored them on. And if you were careful to save them in each new upgraded digital iteration you could open and view them forever.
Or if you posted them online. Or a friend took one of the pictures you innocently sent to him or her and posted it on his or her Facebook, low and behold, your drunken funny face was as eternal and ubiquitous as the internet.
Oops. Imagine the stupid things you did as a teenager. Now imagine them digitally immortalized.
Enter the new technology. It's called Snapchat. Snapchat, in a nutshell, allows you to take and send pictures to friends and foes and after a certain space of time, they will self destruct.
That space of time can be only seconds if you like. Allowing you to share a teasing photo, or a brief snapshot of the club you're hanging out in.
Naturally, it's also being adopted by the sexting crowd, who enjoy a little bit of flirtatious display but don't want their ifs ands and buts portrayed permanently.
Great idea. But like all new photo equipment I wonder about accessories.
Does it come with a flash attachment?
America, ya gotta love it.

1895 Techno Irony

I love the march of technology. And all the ironies it brings. Like recently I was listening to an ad on the radio. Radio ads are supposedly a dying enterprise. Slated to be replaced by social media offerings right and left. One of which is an outfit called Constant Contact. Which for some reason always reminds of tea.
In their radio ad, Constant Contact promised to deliver an email service, complete with internal analytics, directly to your direct customers. "Internal analytics" means that, with every email they send that gets opened, they'll deliver spy stuff back to you. (And who knows what they'll keep for themselves.) They promise a fantastic advertising response. Which they ought to, since your emails are only going out to your pre-defined list.
But that brings up the basic advertising question: How do you get new customers? Constant Contact has figured that out too. That's why they're advertising on the radio.
To get some new ones of their own...
On to building that social network. Numerous of my friends and acquaintances, weary of asking me to join Facebook---cause, you know, I refuse to turn over all my personal information to Mark Zuckerburg for him to do with however he wishes---have asked me to join LinkedIn instead.
So I noticed something the other day. LinkedIn, modern as it is, is still stymied by the ancient limitations of our language. Their invitation says, "This is a reminder that on December 3rd John Smith sent you an invitation to be part of their professional network on linked in.
That damn impersonal personal possessive pronoun.
Making all my individual friends plurals.
I guess it's a lot quicker to build a network if all your individuals are multiple personalities.
Tougher to stay in constant contact with them though.
America, ya gotta love it.