Tag Archives: telephone

Does Smaller Really Translate to Better?

Not so many years ago, even as recently as the early nineties, land lines connected to home-bound telephones were the norm. When the cell phone made its appearance, they were huge and looked ridiculous.

Since then, these so-called cell phones have morphed into small rectangular devices that appear to be not much thicker than a piece of paper. You can take pictures, watch movies, enjoy concerts, and engage in a plethora of events that are difficult to see.

One of the unique things I have found in these communication devices are the sounds they emit. They use every note or group of notes from “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” to “The Star Spangled Banner” and every song in between.

The ringtones emit the same song depending on your carrier. It’s not unusual to hear the same ringtone on your phone that plays on your friend’s phone and causes you to do a double take when you hear the same on a television phone. Frankly, it’s all a bit much for me.

The phone was created to circumnavigate the extended letter writing process of contacting another, not to check weather, see the latest movie release or anything else but to place a phone call. Now wouldn’t life be much simpler if we used the phone for what it was intended? . . . nuff said, even if I do text a picture or two now and again.

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On and Off

Consider the light bulb. It’s smooth and round. Screws in and out easily. Operates with the flick of a switch and most importantly illuminates the darkness, saving us from all manner of evil nasties (things that go bump in the night) and worst of all, the dreaded boogie man. If you look back a few hundred years, people were eating and reading by the light emanating from wood fires, candles, oil lamps, fire flies, bio-luminescent moss and anything else that would create an absence of darkness.

Until that magical day in eighteen seventy-nine when Thomas Edison flipped a switch and …(insert car screeching to a halt effect here) …hold the phones… (I can say that since the telephone pre-dated the light bulb by three years)… You mean to tell me that we’ve been duped into believing Edison invented the light bulb for all these years and it was really Humphrey Davy in eighteen hundred six? I guess I’ll have to retract the “Hold the phones” comment. Sorry, Alexander, I honestly didn’t know that the light bulb had you by seventy years.

Coincidentally, this scenario mirrors the technique some authors employ when plying their trade. You’re in the middle of this exceptional novel, in tune with the storyline, the characters, and even the scenery and settings; in your mind, you have it all figured out–you know exactly where the author is going. As you near the ending, you’re rounding third and heading for home. With just a few pages left, you begin your slide and tag home plate. As you begin the last page, you realize that the author is out in left-center field. He has managed to throw you a curve that “The Babe” himself couldn’t hit. This is the moment when that exceptional novel turns into a great novel.

The next time you’re at a baseball game and you want to make a call, all you need to remember is that Dr. Martin Cooper invented the device we have all come to depend on: the cell phone. What does this have to do with light bulbs and landlines? Absolutely nothing. So grab a candle, tie a string between two tin-cans, and take the cheap way out.

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