Over the course of 40 years, lots of things happen. Good things, bad things-because when you think about it, 40 years is a really long time. In 1965, when Maxwell Smart was talking on a shoe phone, no one thought that could ever be a reality. And here we are, all of these years later, and people are walking around with shoes on their feet, but with phones, that can do almost anything, in their hands. On a more serious note, in 1952, Jonas Salk and his team at the University of Pittsburgh invented the first effective Polio vaccine. This saved millions of lives. I am kind of hoping that within the next 40 years, someone invents a cure for cancer, or ALS, or one of the, unfortunately, many disease that affects so many people.
Walkmen, iPods and Beats-Oh my!
Turning 40 has got me thinking about all of the great inventions (as opposed to Great Expectations, which I think was a book I was supposed to read in high school) that have come to be in the course of my lifetime (so far).
In 40 years a lot has changed. Records and stereos have all but evaporated. Eight track tapes and their weighty players have come and gone. We had the high tech Walkman that everyone used to have. Walkmen have been replaced by iPods, where music magically appears. It really is magic. The music comes from the air-where does it go? I don't understand it. And then the head phones from the Walkman got smaller. Ear buds? And now ear buds have been replaced with those Beats things, that are bigger than the head phones from the Walkman were. And everyone buys whatever is being sold. Can't you people make up your mind??
Eating and Watching Flat Screens–The Perfect Combination
And then there are the really important inventions. Milky Way in a jar. That is right. You can go to the supermarket and bring home a jar of Milky Way spread. Holy crap, that is good. Folks wonder why obesity is at an all time high, it is probably because you can eat a chocolate bar with a spoon, out of a jar.
Gone is the small black and white tv from your parent's kitchen and say hello to the 300 inch high definition flat screen. And though my husband is too cheat to pay for cleaning help, we have access to 7000 different cable channels.
We have gone from rotary phones that didn't extend 12 inches from the wall to cell phones that your kids can easily lose in any location in the world... or mall... or school building... or neighbor's car... or Minnesota Vikings football game. And today I learned that they can take a card and put it in a new phone, press some buttons on the computer, say abracadabra and all the information from said missing phone instantly appears on the new phone. How does this stuff work?
And what about the invention of social media? Facebook, Twitter, Instagram–and those are the only ones that I know about. You can post a minute by minute account of your day, and other people will take the time to learn about it. Of course there are also those that stalk you, or that you stalk, but who cares... it is all fun and games until someone gets arrested for virtual harassment. For someone like me, who doesn't really like people or leaving the house, unless she absolutely has to, you can live your whole life online. This could also be a bad thing, but if I am busy on Facebook, I can't be eating the Milky Way in a jar, so it really is a win-win.
Here is to the next 40 years bringing us some inventions that will help heal the world-physically, mentally and in any other way we need them to.