Thursday, July 28, 2011

The green thing

From my email (thanks, Helen):

In the line at the store, the cashier told an older woman that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment.

The woman apologized to him and explained, “We didn’t have the green thing back in my day.”

The clerk responded, ” That’s our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment.”

He was right — our generation didn’t have the green thing in its day.

Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled.

But we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.

We walked up stairs, because we didn’t have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks.

But she was right. We didn’t have the green thing in our day.

Back then, we washed the baby’s diapers because we didn’t have the throw-away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 220 volts — wind and solar power really did dry the clothes. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.

But that old lady is right; we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.

Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house — not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana.

In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn’t have electric machines to do everything for us.

When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used a wadded up old newspaper to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.

Back then, we didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.

But she’s right; we didn’t have the green thing back then.

We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water.

We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.

But we didn’t have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service.

We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 20,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint.

But isn’t it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn’t have the green thing back then?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

How the Internet Began

From my email...

In ancient Israel , it came to pass that a trader by the name of Abraham Com did take unto himself a young wife by the name of Dot.

And Dot Com was a comely woman, broad of shoulder and long of leg. Indeed, she was often called Amazon Dot Com.And she said unto Abraham, her husband, "Why dost thou travel so far from town to town with thy goods when thou canst trade without ever leaving thy tent?" And Abraham did look at her - as though she were several saddle bags short of a camel load - but simply said, "How, dear?"
And Dot replied, "I will place drums in all the towns and drums in between to send messages saying what you have for sale, and they will reply telling you who hath the best price. The sale can be made on the drums and delivery made by Uriah's Pony Stable (UPS)."
Abraham thought long and decided he would let Dot have her way with the drums. The drums rang out and were an immediate success. Abraham sold all the goods he had at the top price, without ever having to move from his tent.

To prevent neighbouring countries from overhearing what the drums were saying, Dot devised a system that only she and the drummers knew. It was called Must Send Drum Over Sound (MSDOS), and she also developed a language to transmit ideas and pictures: Hebrew To The People (HTTP). But this success did arouse envy.

A man named Maccabia did secrete himself inside Abraham's drum and began to siphon off some of Abraham's business. But he was soon discovered, arrested and prosecuted for insider trading.

And the young men did take to Dot Com's trading as doth the greedy horsefly take to camel dung. They were called Nomadic Ecclesiastical Rich Dominican Sybarites, or NERDS.

And lo, the land was so feverish with joy at the new riches and the
deafening sound of drums that no one noticed that the real riches were going to that enterprising drum dealer, Brother William of Gates, who bought off every drum maker in the land. And he did insist on drums to be made that would work only with Brother Gates' drum heads and drumsticks.

Lo, Dot did say, "Oh, Abraham, what we have started is being taken over by others!" And as Abraham looked out over the Bay of Ezekiel , or eBay as it came to be known, he said, "We need a name that reflects what we are." And Dot replied, "Young Ambitious Hebrew Owner Operators." "YAHOO," said Abraham. And because it was Dot's idea, they named it YAHOO Dot Com.
Abraham's cousin, Joshua, being the young Gregarious Energetic Educated Kid (GEEK) that he was, soon started using Dot's drums to locate things around the countryside. It soon became known as God's Own Official Guide to Locating Everything(GOOGLE)

And that is how it all began.

Monday, July 11, 2011


From my email, thanks Helen:

If you are right handed, you will tend to chew your food on the right side of your mouth. If you are left handed, you will tend to chew your food on the left side of your mouth.

To make half a kilo of honey, bees must collect nectar from over 2 million individual flowers

Heroin is the brand name of morphine once marketed by 'Bayer'.

Tourists visiting Iceland should know that tipping at a restaurant is considered an insult!
People in nudist colonies play volleyball more than any other sport.
Albert Einstein was offered the presidency of Israel in 1952, but he declined.
Astronauts can't belch - there is no gravity to separate liquid from gas in their stomachs.
Ancient Roman, Chinese and German societies often used urine as mouthwash.
The Mona Lisa has no eyebrows. In the Renaissance era, it was fashion to shave them off!
Because of the speed at which Earth moves around the Sun, it is impossible for a solar eclipse to last more than 7 minutes and 58 seconds.
The night of January 20 is "Saint Agnes's Eve", which is regarded as a time when a young woman dreams of her future husband.
Google is actually the common name for a number with a million zeros
It takes glass one million years to decompose, which means it never wears out and can be recycled an infinite amount of times!

Gold is the only metal that doesn't rust, even if it's buried in the ground for thousands of years
Your tongue is the only muscle in your body that is attached at only one end

If you stop getting thirsty, you need to drink more water. When a human body is dehydrated, its thirst mechanism shuts off.
Each year 2,000,000 smokers either quit smoking or die of tobacco-related diseases.
Zero is the only number that cannot be represented by Roman numerals
Kites were used in the American Civil War to deliver letters and newspapers.
The song, Auld Lang Syne, is sung at the stroke of midnight in almost every English-speaking country in the world to bring in the new year.
Drinking water after eating reduces the acid in your mouth by 61 percent
Peanut oil is used for cooking in submarines because it doesn't smoke unless it's heated above 450°F
The roar that we hear when we place a seashell next to our ear is not the ocean, but rather the sound of blood surging through the veins in the ear.
Nine out of every 10 living things live in the ocean

The banana cannot reproduce itself. It can be propagated only by the hand of man
Airports at higher altitudes require a longer airstrip due to lower air density
The University of Alaska spans four time zones
The tooth is the only part of the human body that cannot heal itself.
In ancient Greece, tossing an apple to a girl was a traditional proposal of marriage.  Catching it meant she accepted.

Warner Communications paid $28 million for the copyright to the song Happy Birthday.
Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair.
A comet's tail always points away from the sun
The Swine Flu vaccine in 1976 caused more death and illness than the disease it was intended to prevent
Caffeine increases the power of aspirin and other painkillers - that is why it is found in some medicines.
The military salute is a motion that evolved from medieval times, when knights in armor raised their visors to reveal their identity.
If you get into the bottom of a well or a tall chimney and look up, you can see stars, even in the middle of the day.
When a person dies, hearing is the last sense to go. The first sense lost is sight
In ancient times strangers shook hands to show that they were unarmed
Strawberries are the only fruits whose seeds grow on the outside
Avocados have the highest calories of any fruit at 167 calories per hundred grams

The moon moves about two inches away from the Earth each year
The Earth gets 100 tons heavier every day due to falling space dust
Due to earth's gravity it is impossible for mountains to be higher than 15,000 meters
Mickey Mouse is known as "Topolino" in Italy
Soldiers do not march in step when going across bridges because they could set up a vibration which could be sufficient to knock the bridge down
Everything weighs one percent less at the equator
For every extra kilogram carried on a space flight, 530 kg of excess fuel are needed at lift-off
The letter J does not appear anywhere on the periodic table of the elements.

And last but  not least:
In 2011,  July has 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays, and 5 Sundays. This apparently happens once every 823 years!