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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Newspapers back in the day

Many years ago - newspapers were the primary source of information for most Americans. The industry grew for decades - and believe it or not, there was a time when most big cities had 2 thriving newspapers, usually broken down political lines. Which is why a bunch were named the Democrat or the Republican, with a prefix of the city in question. First radio, and then TV began to eat away at their monopoly for supplying information. And today - with the onset of the internet, you can pretty much get the news just the way you like and have only the narrowest point of view, a blog where only you are the reader for instance. ahaha. All kidding aside - there still are a lot of good newspapers out there, but it is no secret they are struggling with all the competition for providing information.

But back in the day - say the 1930s and 1940s - newspapers were the only game in town. They owned the information and were paid very well to tell the information in a way that was honest and fair, and struggle to keep clean amidst a world that had many rich people wanting to present in a way favorable to their business or power related projects. A few of my favorites are His Girl Friday, starring Cary Grant and Rosiland Russell and Meet John Doe starring Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck. You can also check out a lot of newspaper related stories, whether it is Clark Kent, alias Superman working at The Daily Planet or Frederic March and Janet Gaynor in A Star is Born. But don't stop checking out the history there - just do a search for Newspaper - and you will find a ton of newspaper related content. Oh - here's one more favorite - from an old TV show called One Step Beyond. The episode is called Where Are They? and it begins in an old newspaper office in Chico California with reporters covering a very odd story - of rocks falling out of the sky. Cool episode indeed.

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Friday, August 21, 2009

Facebook - Days of The Primordial Ooze

Whoa - I was able to impress my kids. As any parent knows, or shall I say, a parent who is more interested in being a good parent than a good friend to their children, this is rare air. And for about 5-10 seconds, the duration of their being impressed, I took a deep breath and held it in as long as I could. ahhhhhhh. Exhale.

Here's what impressed them. I told them, girls - your dad was on Facebook over a decade before the founder was born. Incredulous, no way Daddy. Yes... Way! I was able to pull some information from the Wikipedia entry on Mark Zuckerberg, and as we all know - Wikipedia is just like the internet. It is all true (haha). Then I highlighted this part of his bio:
The idea for Facebook came from his days at Phillips Exeter Academy which, like most colleges and prep schools, had a long-standing tradition of publishing an annual student directory with headshot photos of all students, faculty and staff known as the "Facebook".
The truth is, when this old dinosaur went to school at PEA, the Exeter address book was a somewhat new idea. Printing costs had come down, and the concept of an in school address book became a reasonable idea. Thanks to my buddy Whit from Dunbar, I saw this primordial homepage of Facebook from 1974-75 (pic). Back then, we called this - a cover, not a homepage, but that is just semantics. And much to my surprise, whoa - my brother was on the homepage of facebook! And in case you were wondering, my blessed little offspring of nematodes - back then computers looked like this. The year I was born, Jack Kilby and Robert Noyce invented a really fancy thing called an integrated circuit. Noyce founded Intel - which was a new company in 1968. Here's a one minute video history lesson of modern computers- I am certain will leave you laughing, especially that super nifty GPS Garmin wanna be thing in the car.

And once again, thanks to my buddy Whit - I was able to prove my claim, that I was on Facebook well over a decade before the founder Mark Zuckerberg was born. I mean, even to kids today - a picture is worth over a thousand words. Sorry about the focus, but Whit just snapped a quick photo with his cell and uploaded to Facebook using an application in his phone. So my dear, sweet, precious children - I am getting old, and still have every intention of living long enough to be a burden to you... but I ain't THAT olde... yet.

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