July 30, 2013

Declaration of Twitter

On July 9, 1776, George Washington—then commander of the Continental forces—read the Declaration of Independence aloud in front of a large New York audience. What’s not generally known about that address, however, was that many people in attendance were Tweeting the event as it unfolded.

GEORGE WASHINGTON (GW): When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

@FreedomLover1776: Man, that was a long sentence. Can’t he boil it down to 144 characters? #Declaration

@AtheistDude99: He just said “God.” I’m horribly offended by that. Couldn’t he have said Creator or something like that? #Declaration

GW: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

@AtheistDude99: That’s better, but I’m still strangely unfulfilled. #Declaration

@ConspiracyJoe: Did you hear that? George Washington believes in ALIENS! I TOLD YOU there are aliens! #Declaration

@MakeMoneyNow: You can make over $3,000 a day working from home with your own printing press! #Declaration

GW: That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

@GreatBritainForever67: He wants to overthrow the king! Is he insane? Long live George III! #Declaration

@AnthonyWeiner1776: There’s a hot young female over there. I’m going to send her an etching of my groin and see what happens. #Declaration

GW: Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

@VocabularyNut56: Does anyone know what “shewn” means? And who is this “Prudence” woman? #Declaration

@BeiberFan2013: I can’t believe I have to wait another 230 years before Justin Beiber starts making headlines. That stinks. #Declaration

@AnthonyWiener1776: Boy, sending that groin etching sure didn’t pan out the way I was hoping. #Declaration

GW: But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

@GreatBritainForever67: There he goes again! I think he’s actually serious about this open rebellion thing! You can’t beat the royal army! Go Britain! #Declaration

@AnthonyWiener1776 Hey, there’s another good-looking female. I’ll try sending her a groin etching, too. This great idea can’t go wrong twice, can it? LOL! #Declaration

GW: Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.

@FreedomLover1776: This Washington fellow sure does drone on, doesn’t he? I’m rapidly losing interest here. Can’t we just throw another Tea Party or something? #Declaration

@TwitterGuru79: Hey, who wants to do a flash mob in front of Wall Street? #Declaration

Posted by Ryan at 03:49 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 27, 2013

Smoking Hot Boxer


From the Sept. 16, 1939 "Saturday Evening Post." Back when smoking was so ubiquitous, even boxing events were packed with puffers. "Says Joe Williams, Famous Sports Expert." Not sure why that distinction qualifies him to opine about a longer, milder, cooler, mellower smoke, but he seems pretty sure of himself. The boxer in the corner is either interested in the smoking going on behind him, or he's slightly weirded out by the creepy massage guy wearing a turtle neck in a boxing ring, while a young Johnny Carson talks strategy. "And more puffs per pack," which was important back then, in addition to CAMELS HELD THEIR ASH FAR LONGER. No filters on these lung spikes; ring announcers hocked up viscous blorbs of lung butter between rounds, which was the definition of "contentment."

Posted by Ryan at 11:14 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Old Ads

One of my wife's purchases for our store several months ago included an old wooden crate chock full of old "Better Homes and Gardens" and "American Home" going back to 1936 - 1960s.

Some of the ads are hilarious, by today's standards, so I'm going to start posting them here, just for the hell of it, complete with my own unique brand of flippant commentary.

Posted by Ryan at 11:01 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 25, 2013

Damn Right

I hate search engine optimization (SEO) theories with the white hot intensity of a billion suns, because I think they're all basically bullshit and have the effect of turning writing in a formulaic paste of numbing conformity.

Once again, James Lileks nails it:

When you wander around the web every day you take highways and footpaths. You hit the big sites, meander through your bookmarks of niche sites. I don’t know what you visit and I don’t consult any logs that tell where traffic comes from, but I’d be willing to bet I don’t get a single hit from sites devoted to blogging or writing. To be specific: sites that tell you how to be a better blogger. I believe there are several hundred thousand of them, bursting with tips on how to snag the unblinking eye of the Google Spiders, how to boost your search-engine results to the toppermost of the list, and all the other things too depressing to consider. They’re all about content! and their content has all the joy of eating a plate of peppered putty.

Posted by Ryan at 12:28 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 18, 2013

Smart Phones Aren’t Really

Technology is a funny thing, by which I mean it’s more irritating than a tent full of mosquitoes.

There was a time, not so long ago, when I had a fairly solid grasp on emerging technologies, back when “technology” consisted almost entirely of a huge block under my desk referred to, at the time, as a “computer.” That computer was adorned with a Medusa snake-head snarl of wires that I actually understood, despite the apparent chaos.

Over the course of the last several years, however, the computers that I knew and understood have been steadily shrinking, to the point they now exist in a form known as “smart phones,” even though they’re not even remotely smart; in fact, I’d argue that “smart phones” are actually really, really dumb.

I consider smart phones dumb because they’re basically computers that can be as easily misplaced as a television remote control. I mean, with the big block computers I used to store under my desk, it was almost inconceivable that I could possibly misplace the thing. When I left the room, there was just an entirely reasonable expectation that the computer would be right there under my desk when I returned. There was simply no way I could slip that thing in my pocket, carry it around with me, and then lose it.

And then laptops came along, which—although they were somewhat smaller than the big block computers—were fairly hard to misplace, unless you happened to accidentally leave it in a coffee shop after pretending to write something to impress people sitting around you. Generally speaking, however, you weren’t all that likely to lose a laptop.

But, now, there are smart phones and tablet computers, which have attained that perfect size that allows you to pretty much lose them practically anywhere you go.

I speak with some authority on this, because I lost my cell phone a couple weeks ago, and I didn’t even realize it. As far as I can tell, my phone fell out of my pocket while I was taking my children for a walk. How and why I lost it is really not all that important; the important part is that I lost it.

Thankfully, my lost phone was discovered by a young man delivering newspapers. And that’s when things started to get weird. The paperboy presented the phone to his mother, and she set out trying to locate me, using detective work even Sherlock Holmes would admire.

Before I even knew my phone was missing, my wife received a call on her cell phone from the woman who had my cell phone (she went through my phonebook contact list, apparently). I just happened to answer my wife’s phone and I was disconcerted to hear a woman inform me “I have your phone,” as if she was holding it for ransom. Fortunately, she wasn’t interested in a reward, but she was determined to return my phone, so I gave her my address and she dropped it off in our mailbox the next day.

When I retrieved my phone from the mailbox, I was somewhat surprised to see I had several voice mail messages. Listening to the messages was a journey into technological surrealism.

First off, there was a message from my father-in-law: “Yeah, Ryan? I just got a call from some woman who says she has your phone. So, if you get this message, you should call her and get your phone back.”

The next message was from my mother-in-law: “Um, I think your phone is missing. Some woman called me and said she has it. Call her if you want your phone back.”

See? This kind of thing would NEVER happen with a traditional computer under a desk.

Posted by Ryan at 03:28 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack
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