Jeph Jacques's comics discussion forums

Fun Stuff => CHATTER => Topic started by: GarandMarine on 22 Jul 2013, 15:34

Title: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)
Post by: GarandMarine on 22 Jul 2013, 15:34



We go through our lives with a wide variety of tools and devices at our disposal to make our fat, decadent, western imperialist lives easier. Even in the Frozen North of Canada, where health care and all other things are rationed by a brutal (but extremely polite) totalitarian state such things exist to make life better. (or just less hellish in the case of Canuckistan). What program, tool, device or appliance do you use regularly that makes your life a hell of a lot simpler that you don't appreciate nearly enough?

Personally I have to say that automated bill pay is fething brilliant in every possible way. At least if you know exactly when and how it's going to hit, being able to just set it up so it's handled without any interference from you at all is pretty darn nice.
Title: Re: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)
Post by: jwhouk on 22 Jul 2013, 16:48
Electronic Transfer of Funds does wonders for my mental state - and it's reduced the number of checks I write on a regular basis down to about one or two a month.
Title: Re: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)
Post by: celticgeek on 22 Jul 2013, 16:59
Direct deposit is also great. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sv4wAUOJbwI)
Title: Re: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 22 Jul 2013, 23:49
People totally under-appreciate indoor plumbing.
Title: Re: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)
Post by: jwhouk on 23 Jul 2013, 06:51
Amen to that.

And paved roads.

And "horseless carriages".
Title: Re: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)
Post by: Loki on 23 Jul 2013, 06:56
And this technology where, with only a few seconds or minutes delay, you can copy part of your field of vision and the sounds surrounding you, and send it to someone on the other side of the Earth, to make them see what you see and hear what you hear.
Title: Re: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)
Post by: Akima on 23 Jul 2013, 06:58
Continuously available clean water, cold and hot!
Title: Re: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)
Post by: BeoPuppy on 23 Jul 2013, 07:44
Antibiotics.

I'd be dead 6 times over without.
Title: Re: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)
Post by: pwhodges on 23 Jul 2013, 09:29
Antibiotics.

And other things; I've survived Peritonitis (from a burst appendix abscess), TB, Cancer (had radiotherapy), Heart Attack (had stent).
Title: Re: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)
Post by: Redball on 23 Jul 2013, 11:19
Continuously available clean water, cold and hot!
Continuously pressurized clean water, pressurized not just so it flows when a tap is turned, but so when the pipes leak, as they all do, water leaks out instead of letting contaminated ground water in. That and disinfecting were major public health advances.
Title: Re: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)
Post by: J on 23 Jul 2013, 14:18
Antibiotics.

And other things; I've survived Peritonitis (from a burst appendix abscess), TB, Cancer (had radiotherapy), Heart Attack (had stent).

i think there's a good chance that a lot of us would be dead today without modern antibiotics & vaccinations, even without such traumatic ailments.




honestly though, it is rather interesting to think about the little things, and just how archaic some of them seem from only a decade or two ago.

consider the standard consumer level camera: 15 years ago we were chemically recording our images onto strips of plastic, which could be completely destroyed just by opening the back at the wrong time. and we actually had to send them off to a lab, just to find out what they looked like. i remember dropping off film at the supermarket kiosk with my mom as a kid, and not getting them back for at least a week.

and hell, that whole process was really just a streamlined version of what the earliest photographers had to do. close to 200 years of technical & artistic evolution, completely obsolete in less than 20.
Title: Re: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)
Post by: celticgeek on 23 Jul 2013, 15:40
Ah, yes, film.  And it seems as if all of the one-hour film processing places have disappeared from my area (says the man with three full rolls of 35 mm film left in his closet.) 
Title: Re: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)
Post by: Loki on 23 Jul 2013, 15:46
I read some time ago that certain color films from ages ago cannot be properly developed anymore because the company (Kodak?) was, in fact, losing money from still producing the color and I think they still hold the patent, so noone else can do it. You could still get them developed in sepia, though.
Title: Re: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)
Post by: Kugai on 23 Jul 2013, 23:47
Antibiotics.


That and modern Asthma medication.

I doubt I'd be able to be as active as I am without them.
Title: Re: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)
Post by: J on 24 Jul 2013, 02:12
i am now about 12,000 miles away from where i wrote my previous post.
Title: Re: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)
Post by: Redball on 24 Jul 2013, 05:34
i am now about 12,000 miles away from where i wrote my previous post.
On this sphere, you can't get much farther away than that.
Title: Re: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)
Post by: Carl-E on 24 Jul 2013, 07:18
On a lighter note; all these medical advances have taken away most of the natural human population control. 


There's no medical cure for outstripping our resources.  Something's going to catch up with us down the road...





Plague, anyone?
Title: Re: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)
Post by: Loki on 24 Jul 2013, 07:29
...you call that a lighter note? :psyduck:
Title: Re: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)
Post by: Carl-E on 24 Jul 2013, 08:08
Sorry, forgot the [sarcasm] tag. 
Title: Re: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)
Post by: Thrillho on 24 Jul 2013, 11:43
Our families' photos from 50 years ago are faded, sepia tinted, old.

Our photos, in 50 years time, will look exactly the same, because they are lumps of 1s and 0s.
Title: Re: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)
Post by: Masterpiece on 24 Jul 2013, 13:19
Digital preservation is not as easy as you might think. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_preservation)
Title: Re: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)
Post by: Jace on 24 Jul 2013, 16:11
Our families' photos from 50 years ago are faded, sepia tinted, old.

Our photos, in 50 years time, will look exactly the same, because they are lumps of 1s and 0s.

Wow you had pictures in only 1080p? How archaic
Title: Re: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)
Post by: J on 24 Jul 2013, 23:13
i am now about 12,000 miles away from where i wrote my previous post.
On this sphere, you can't get much farther away than that.
er, sorry. added an extra zero there.
Title: Re: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)
Post by: Carl-E on 24 Jul 2013, 23:15
We have tons of pictures on floppies from an old Sony Mavica camera. 

I have no working machine that can read floppies anymore. 



Except the camera...
Title: Re: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)
Post by: Papersatan on 24 Jul 2013, 23:46
Digital preservation is not as easy as you might think. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_preservation)
On a lighter note; all these medical advances have taken away most of the natural human population control. 


There's no medical cure for outstripping our resources.  Something's going to catch up with us down the road...


Plague, anyone?

Birth control.


Digital preservation is not as easy as you might think. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_preservation)

This.  Physical photographs can last decades with nothing but cool dry air.  Your great aunt Mildred could have put 100 photos in a box in a closet and when she dies and you clean out her house, chances are they will still have photos on them. 

If I left 100 photos on a CD rom, or a zip drive, or on my Myspace....   good luck ever seeing them again.

Digital preservation requires much more planning, both for the maintenance of the physical object holding the data, and the upgrading up formats. 
Title: Re: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)
Post by: Akima on 25 Jul 2013, 03:05
I have no working machine that can read floppies anymore.
USB floppy drives are cheap.
Title: Re: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)
Post by: Masterpiece on 25 Jul 2013, 04:02
It's also worth noting that digital storage media are hugely unreliable. A simple magnet will render your hard drive dysfunctional. Flash disks are only able to perform about 100.000 Read/Write operations, have read disturb errors and generally wear down really quickly. CDs are fairly safe, but are cumbersome, need to move in order to be read (every moving part will wear down after a while) and can get scratched very quickly. Tape recorders are even more cumbersome...

In short, digital storage is not reliable long-term.
Title: Re: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)
Post by: lepetitfromage on 25 Jul 2013, 05:49
Compared to the size of the box you'd need for all the photos on the CD, it's not all that cumbersome....




But to be honest, as much as I love me some technology, print is still superior for me. I look at them more often because they can be hung on my walls- and I have to carefully consider which photos I want to display in my home, so I always choose the "best". They are more fun to manipulate into other art forms (don't get me wrong, I love Photoshop just as much as the next guy- if not more- but there is just something so much more satisfying about getting your hands dirty/paint splattered/covered in glue). And for whatever reason, I just prefer things that I can feel. I'm the same way about certain books and albums- I love the convenience of digital media but if I really love something, I need the physical copy.
Title: Re: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)
Post by: LTK on 25 Jul 2013, 06:14
I'm pretty amazed that I have two medium-sized boxes standing in my room that are defying the forces of entropy, allowing me to keep the food inside for weeks, months or longer, until I finally decide to eat it. Without those, I'd likely lose anything that's been dead for longer than a day to insects, bacteria, fungi, or other scavengers.
Title: Re: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)
Post by: Loki on 25 Jul 2013, 15:42
A simple magnet will render your hard drive dysfunctional.

This has not been true for a long time. [1] (http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2407192,00.asp) [2] (http://www.techhive.com/article/116572/article.html) [3] (http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/202635-32-degauss-hard-disk-cheap-bulk-erase)
Title: Re: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)
Post by: Masterpiece on 25 Jul 2013, 15:56
I stand corrected.
Title: Re: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)
Post by: kelpy on 28 Jul 2013, 07:04
the oven, both conventional and microwave, and stoves too i guess. also the brave pioneers who perfected the cake making process. Also if you describe a microwave, it sounds pretty darn cool. It heats food by bombarding it with radiation, causing polarised molecules in the food to rotate and build up heat. It does this primarily through the use of water in the food as energy. Tell me that's not cool? also cake
Title: Re: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)
Post by: LTK on 28 Jul 2013, 07:31
Everything up to and including 'radiation' is correct. 'Polarised' is only sort of accurate in describing dipole molecules, and the energy comes from the microwaves, not the water. But yeah, pretty cool!
Title: Re: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)
Post by: kelpy on 28 Jul 2013, 07:45
:oops:, goddamn Wikipedia lying to me  :x
Title: Re: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)
Post by: Carl-E on 28 Jul 2013, 11:03
It's radiation the way light and heat are radiation.  It's plain old everyday electromagnetic radiation, which has nothing to do with radioactivity.  It's just got a very short wavelength (hence the name micro-waves) that allow them to jiggle molecules in water and heat up the water content of whatever you're microwaving. 

Doesn't change the fact that people call it "nuking some food"!
Title: Re: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)
Post by: Pilchard123 on 28 Jul 2013, 11:26
There's something I've never got about the name *micro*waves. The microwave band actually contains the second- (or possibly third-, if you give radio an upper bound) longest EM radiation, after radio waves. They don't even get down to micrometer wavelengths, stopping at 1mm.
Title: Re: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)
Post by: LTK on 28 Jul 2013, 11:40
Pilchard's right, microwaves are really long. Even visible light is measured in nanometers, and they get much smaller than that.
Title: Re: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)
Post by: Papersatan on 28 Jul 2013, 14:17
The OED tells me Micro is reference to their small size relative to radio waves.
Title: Re: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)
Post by: LTK on 28 Jul 2013, 14:27
That explains it! Radio engineers just had a limited perspective.  :lol:
Title: Re: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)
Post by: Akima on 28 Jul 2013, 16:39
The term microwave came into use in the 1930s when "short wave" radio was so called because the wavelength was less than 200 metres. By contrast microwave wavelengths are less than 0.3m, and ovens use about 0.1m, so you can see where the micro comes from.

The cavity-magnetron in my oven is a remarkable case of swords into ploughshares. Once a top-secret piece of military radar technology, now it heats my soup!
Title: Re: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)
Post by: Redball on 28 Jul 2013, 17:38
Before it heated your soup, I recall it heated fillings of guys on air force bases who were near the domes.
Title: Re: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 28 Jul 2013, 18:20
And first came onto the home appliance market at USD1,300 in 1955 dollars, a large fraction of the price of a car.
Title: Re: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)
Post by: Carl-E on 29 Jul 2013, 00:08
Before it heated your soup, I recall it heated fillings of guys on air force bases who were near the domes.

Also melted chocolate bars (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microwave_oven#Accidental_discovery). 

My aunt had an Amana Radarange back in the 70's...
Title: Re: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)
Post by: Kugai on 29 Jul 2013, 16:38
Title: Re: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 29 Jul 2013, 17:35
Akima once said a century is an eye-blink, and until about an eye-blink ago, the only way to get music was to play it yourself, travel, or make the musician travel.
Title: Re: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)
Post by: Redball on 29 Jul 2013, 17:37
Akima once said a century is an eye-blink, and until about an eye-blink ago, the only way to get music was to play it yourself, travel, or make the musician travel.

I wonder if more of us created music that eye-blink ago.
Title: Re: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)
Post by: Carl-E on 30 Jul 2013, 00:42
Absolutely.  Pianos, parlor guitars and fiddles were common, and nearly every community had enough musicians talented enough to play for a dance or make a community band or two.  Sheet music was a hot commodity, even well into the gramophone age...

And then there were the newly invented reed instruments of the 19th century, like concertinas and harmonicas - never need tuning (actually, they can't be tuned, which isn't quite the same thing), and the reed organ (the one you pump with your feet).  Heady times, I tell you! 


I happen to play concertina, picked one up in college...  it's fun, but it bugs the crap out of my wife, so I don't play often  :-P

(http://thumbs4.ebaystatic.com/d/l225/m/miOS1ewKLf3DrggRXE0EzWQ.jpg)


I do a mean "Over the rainbow"!
Title: Re: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)
Post by: Redball on 30 Jul 2013, 05:15
My image of those who play accordion is with a "glad" smile on their face. Do you play concertina with a smile? And why does she dislike it?
Title: Re: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)
Post by: Carl-E on 30 Jul 2013, 19:38
My face depends on whether or not I've figured the piece out yet. 

There are two reasons she dislikes it; one is the "figures it out" part.  She hates listening to someone fumble around (she has little patience in general).  Since I play completely by ear (yeah, yeah, I know, using my fingers would be easier...), there's a fair bit of fumbling until I get a tune down. 

The other reason is some jaw surgery she had as a teen.  High, pure tones go right through her teeth.  Violins drive her nuts.  I'm a whistler by nature too, but again, I try not to around my wife - it's been known to cause her pain. 
Title: Re: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)
Post by: Kugai on 30 Jul 2013, 19:43
Stay clear of Bagpipes then.
Title: Re: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)
Post by: Carl-E on 30 Jul 2013, 19:59
Ohgodno.  There was a piper at a reenactor's encampment we were at that started up at 7 AM.  We had to be up and about anyway, the place opened to the public at 8, but it was damned hard work to keep her from strangling him! 
Title: Re: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)
Post by: Masterpiece on 15 Aug 2013, 15:51
I am currently sitting in a bus on my way from Datša to Ankara, accessibg the forums through internet provided to every traveller through touchscreens built into every seat running a horrible Android Launcher.

Truly we live in the future
Title: Re: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 15 Aug 2013, 17:09
Regular professional mail and parcel delivery hasn't always been in place.
Title: Re: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)
Post by: ankhtahr on 15 Aug 2013, 17:22
Yup, as a collector of stuff that's something very noteworthy. I bought something from Italy a while ago. Three days later it arrived at my doorstep.
Title: Re: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 24 Sep 2013, 01:23
Ice on demand.
Title: Re: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)
Post by: BeoPuppy on 24 Sep 2013, 01:27
Stay clear of Bagpipes then.
Excellent band name. Folk metal, or something.
Title: Re: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)
Post by: Kugai on 01 Oct 2013, 18:38
I like Bagpipes


Especially Sauteed
Title: Re: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)
Post by: pwhodges on 02 Oct 2013, 15:25
Truth will out:

http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2013/10/faa-panel-wi-fi-is-safe-on-planes-even-during-takeoff-and-landing/ (http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2013/10/faa-panel-wi-fi-is-safe-on-planes-even-during-takeoff-and-landing/)

It's not been hard to find unequivocal evidence of that for years now; so, yeah.
Title: Re: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)
Post by: GarandMarine on 02 Oct 2013, 16:37
Thought for the day after unloading four 12 ton shipping containers. Sea freight is truly a marvel
Title: Re: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)
Post by: Kugai on 02 Oct 2013, 19:46
20 footers or 40 footers?

I preferred the 20's - got real hot in the 40 footers towards the tail end of a load.
Title: Re: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)
Post by: GarandMarine on 02 Oct 2013, 20:17
40s. They were hot as HELL from about 1/4 of the way in.
Title: Re: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)
Post by: 94ssd on 02 Oct 2013, 20:21
Despite having dyspraxia, which causes me to have difficulty with handwriting and understanding math as well as general attention issues, I have never fallen behind in my college courses mostly because I am able to take notes, create flashcards for tests, and do writing assignments on my laptop. If I had to do these things by hand (especially writing assignments) a college workload would be nearly impossible for me even with other accommodations.
Title: Re: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)
Post by: Kugai on 02 Oct 2013, 23:21
40s. They were hot as HELL from about 1/4 of the way in.

Probably a bit warmer where you are then.
Title: Re: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)
Post by: tragic_pizza on 04 Oct 2013, 21:15
When you hold your smartphone, you hold in your hand instant access to the accumulated knowledge of the ages.

Also lolcats and scat porn, so the good with the bad, I suppose...
Title: Re: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 04 Oct 2013, 23:28
Wet/dry vacuum cleaners are under-appreciated.
Title: Re: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)
Post by: Metope on 05 Oct 2013, 04:43
I used to under appreciate proper insulation and heating, but after living in Scotland for 3+ I've realised how important that stuff is for my general well being. Don't know it until you lose it, I miss double glazed windows!
Title: Re: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)
Post by: UniqueNewYork on 15 Nov 2013, 07:32
Were it not for the marvels of modern medicine, I'd probably be the modern equivalent of a court jester
Title: Re: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)
Post by: pwhodges on 15 Nov 2013, 07:53
Were it not for the marvels of modern medicine, I'd probably be dead several times over.
Title: Re: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)
Post by: Metope on 15 Nov 2013, 08:19
Were it not for modern medicine, I wouldn't have made it past the age of 3 months.
Title: Re: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)
Post by: GarandMarine on 15 Nov 2013, 10:36
Were it not for modern medicine I'd be dead, or at least much crazier then I am now.

Side note: Special mention for heated toilet seats, aka an investment I need to make.
Title: Re: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)
Post by: Carl-E on 15 Nov 2013, 10:38
Just don't get them wet...  :-D
Title: Re: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)
Post by: Is it cold in here? on 15 Nov 2013, 14:10
Matches and lighters.