1. CDRW
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    CDRW Contributing Member Contributor

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    Stupid time, it's stolen all the cool stuff.

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by CDRW, Aug 24, 2009.

    I was just reading over in the thread about well paying jobs in the 40's and certain of our chronologically endowed forum members started sharing some cool stuff, and that got me thinking about how things change.

    Things really have changed. When my grandpa was a teenager he would drive a team of horses by himself up into the mountains to get a wagonload of coal for the winter. It was a two day round trip, and one of his favorite stories to tell is when the wagon tongue broke and he had to chop down a tree and rough it out with his hatchet in order to get back.

    A couple decades later, he was inventing call forwarding.

    Exploring through the house when I was a kid yielded some interesting things. I found a book that had a picture of a little girl at a rock climbing school, and her safety gear consisted of a rope tied around her waist. I also found another book showing how to make your own telescope lenses. I even found my dad's slide rule. I tried to figure out how to use it and failed miserably.

    The world's fastest airplane was designed using slide rules and hand-drawn blueprints almost twenty years before I was born. I work at an engineering company, and the employee who mentored me started out here using a mixture of hand-drawn and CAD drawing. She even still has the special table.

    I just think it's strange how some things are much older than we imagine, and others are much younger.
     
  2. Torana
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    Torana Contributing Member Contributor

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    Technology replaces everything and man forgets how to function without it. That is when man begins to lose his place in the workforce. Because his creation renders him completely useless in the end.

    Welcome to the 20th century!

    It is amazing how old things really are when you stop and take the time to actually notice the items. It is even more amazing when you look at something and its use and realise that it wasn't actually all that long ago mankind couldn't function without it and now... it just takes up space. Sad really, because some of mankind's best inventions have been laid to rest in shallow 'garbage' graves because man has decided to make himself redundant.
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Pssst -- we're in the twenty-first century now. :D
     
  4. Torana
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    Torana Contributing Member Contributor

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    Gotta love those typing errors. Can't be perfect I'm afraid.
     
  5. CDRW
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    CDRW Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah, the twentieth century gave us Tolkien and Asimov. The twenty-first has given us...um...Eoin Colfer and Kenneth Oppel?
     
  6. The Freshmaker
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    The Freshmaker <insert obscure pop culture reference> Contributor

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    One of the things that strikes me about the early-to-mid 20th century is how common hitchhiking used to be. When I was younger, our next door neighbor was like a grandfather to me, and he told me stories about hitchhiking all across the country when he was in his twenties. And I've heard a lot of other older people talk about how easy it used to be to just walk down the nearest highway and hitch a ride.

    But really, who picks up hitchhikers anymore?
     
  7. CDRW
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    CDRW Contributing Member Contributor

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    Nobody's going to do it out here, that's for sure. All the hitchhikers look like they'll murder you in your sleep given the chance. There is an interesting take on it going on in DC though. It only works because everyone works in approximately the same area. At the bus stations they actually have lines for people so that drivers can come and pick up hitchhikers in order to be able to drive in the HOV lane. There's a whole culture built up around "slugging."
     
  8. canadianmint
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    canadianmint Member

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    I find it humorous when reading stories to children and coming across scenes and scenarios that seem out of place now and these are books written only 25 years ago - if that.

    Example: A Beverly Clearly book. A boy took a ride to the dump in a bathtub being towed behind his grandpa's truck.

    When I was little this would seem somewhat normal. Kids could ride in the backs of trucks too. But now, with seat belts and booster seats until you are 10 years old, the scene might seem a bit strange or perhaps more exciting to a current reader.

    Such a simple thing but so different.
     
  9. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Ok, now I know I need to skim more slowly. I first read:
    as something more like:
    Wha-ah-at???
     
  10. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    I was never really a fan of Enid Blyton but I loved Arthur Ransome. The one thing these writers had in common was that the kids in their stories used to go off, sometimes for weeks at a time, camping or exploring. They would live in tents, go sailing, and do their own cooking over a fire--with never an adult in sight. No tins or anything for them, and they all knew how to handle a boat, axe, etc. From the age of about 12. Funny thing is, my father (now aged 75, I think) used to spend holidays on Dartmoor or around Looe in Cornwall with his brothers and cousin in exactly the same way and no one was the least bit worried about them...
     
  11. Gigi_GNR
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    Gigi_GNR Guys, come on. WAFFLE-O. Contributor

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    Our group's guide told us about that while we were on a trip there.....she told us in the parking lot of the Pentagon. :p
     
  12. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    at 71 [well, i will be, in a couple of weeks], i'm happy to have been part of both worlds...

    i can remember rationing and the iceman cometh-ing during wwii, and i circulated a petition supporting our troops in vietnam... and i watched the gulf war on cnn, then sent human shields from london to iraq, in the vain hope of stopping its horrific sequel...

    i can remember party lines and having to dial only 4 digits for phone numbers, and i'm still amazed to be able to talk to folks halfway around the world who sound like they're next door, with just a few touches of little key pads...

    i can remember a long, adventurous 3-day trip by car, from ny to florida, and have fond memories of luxurious 3 hour flights from ny to london and to paris on BA and airfrance's sst concordes...

    i can remember taking the bus to see double features at big, fancy theaters for only a quarter, and i now watch movies on my tv and can even see them on my computer, if i want...

    what a lot of lives i've lived!... what a journey!
     
  13. Torana
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    Torana Contributing Member Contributor

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    I remember when we used to have a drive-in cinema at the end of the street, normal calculators in school so we were actually made and allowed to use our brains in mathematics. Mathematics was loads of fun back then, not anymore though. It's all done by calculators, which in my opinion, is NOT learning at all!
     
  14. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    I know how you feel mammamaia. While I'm not quite as life-advanced as you, I have vivid memories of different eras and some feel like a movie, instead of my own reality.

    Among my earliest political memories was when my dad wanted me to see "democracy in action." It was the late 50's when I was about 10 and my uncle was running for election to congress in Florida. He ran against Claude Pepper...yes, Sault v Pepper. LOL Dad drove us into the "dark" park of town where white people rarely ventured. Segregation was in full swing at that time, so, to be truthful, I had never seen black people in any setting but menial task jobs. I became frightened when virtually all the people outside the car were black and staring at us because we clearly didn't "belong" in their neighborhood.

    After several uncomfortable city blocks, dad pulled the car off the road and stopped in front of a large cargo door of a warehouse. He beeped the horn and the door opened...slowly as the heavy wall of wood was powered upward by two large black men tugging on a recirculating chain. The door only opened enough for us to drive through and it closed behind us.

    It was dark inside the old building and dad told me to stay close to him. That was no problem! We followed the two men deep inside the empty warehouse, up a rickety stairway and into a brightly lit room with a fog of blue cigar smoke hanging head high. There were several black men sitting at a table with a hanging light centered above.

    Dad did not hesitate to approach the man in the center, clearly the person in charge. They shook hands. My dad's white hand clutched the dark black hand of his counterpart and they seemed to know each other. I later found out that the man was a childhood friend of my father. They enjoyed a friendship that had been discouraged by both the white and black communities, but both men defied convention and maintained a lifelong friendship long before civil rights became politically correct. I learned a lot about my dad...and about race relations...that day.

    Without further delay, dad placed a large briefcase on the table, opened it and turned it toward his friend. I had never seen so much money in my life! All the bills were bundled and neatly wrapped in rubber bands. Soon, we were back in our car driving back to the white suburb of Jacksonville that I called home. On the way home, dad explained that he just purchased the "block vote" for my uncle's election. Those black men were the "leaders" of that neighborhood and would guarantee to deliver the votes of the local residents. He said it was a common practice, and that while he did not approve of buying votes, it was his job as my uncle's campaign manager.

    Claude Pepper won. LOL

    Then, there was the time I saw a small boy dragged under water by a large alligator in Gainesville, Florida. Or my job in a chemical plating company where I had to shovel sludge out of huge electroplating vats and dump it in an outdoor, open-air pit behind the building. (That would NEVER be allowed nowadays.) Of course, my experience in black ops in Vietnam is another lifetime by itself.

    Like mammamaia, I have tons of memories of other era-specific experiences; using party telephone lines, learning how to make a free pay-telephone call using a slug nickel, a surprise encounter with a water moccasin in my Tom Sawyer-style raft, seeing a high school friend get killed by another high school friend when one swerved at the other in a playful act of "chicken" that went terribly awry. In comparison with the marvels of today, I would take today's "life" over any other period of time. I will admit to a bit of jealousy though...mammamaia got to ride on a Concorde SST...too cool!
     
  15. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    I still have my engineering slide rule from my freshman year of college in 1967!
     
  16. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    You too? I have a log-log slide rule in the top drawer of my desk. I used it heavily in high school, and in my first college.
     
  17. Torana
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    Torana Contributing Member Contributor

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    Slide rules are pretty damn cool looking.
     
  18. SonnehLee
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    SonnehLee Contributing Member Contributor

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    The 21st century gave us JK Rowling and Stephenie Meyer. :p
     
  19. SonnehLee
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    SonnehLee Contributing Member Contributor

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    I wasn't allowed to use my calculator for either of my algebra one class, then didn't use it for geometry, simply because I didn't like it.

    I'm only sixteen and I grew up basically without using calculators.
     
  20. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Uh huh. Rub it in! The first time I ever saw a handheld calculator was my second year of college. My girlfriend's parents had money - they bought her a four-function calculator (Bowmar Brain) for college. It sold for about $80.00.
     
  21. Gigi_GNR
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    Gigi_GNR Guys, come on. WAFFLE-O. Contributor

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    Stupid time is stealing summer away from me, slowly but surely. :(
     
  22. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I just finished tiling the upstairs room at the family house, and we were joking that there had to be an easier way to do this as I was grouting the tile. Grouting is the physically laborious part of the job if you've never done it.

    The very evening I finished the work, there was this marathon of shows on Discovery (or maybe it was History) Channel about Rome and the Roman empire. No marathon about Rome is complete without numerous exposes on Roman construction techniques. I come to realize as I am watching this show, that while the average Roman would have been mystified by the magic panel showing the history of Rome, he would have known exactly what I was doing and how to do it had he been there to help me tile the floor upstairs. They invented the cement that comprises the thinset and grout which I was using and ceramic tiles have been around since the beginning of history.
     
  23. canadianmint
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    canadianmint Member

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    So true! I find that happens when reading bigger pieces online instead of on paper in my hands. I skim more and create a whole new story!
     

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