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Author Topic: A Life of Comfort and Ease (Under Appreciated Modern Conveniances)  (Read 11703 times)

GarandMarine

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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.
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I built the walls that make my life a prison, I built them all and cannot be forgiven... ...Sold my soul to carry your vendetta, So let me go before you can regret it, You've made your choice and now it's come to this, But that's price you pay when you're a monster with no name.

jwhouk

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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.
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"Character is what you are in the Dark." - D.L. Moody
There is no joke that can be made online without someone being offended by it.
Life's too short to be ashamed of how you were born.
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celticgeek

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Direct deposit is also great.
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a 'dèanamh nan saighdean airson cinneadh MacLeòid
We Wear Woad When We Write Code
Ní féidir liom labhairt na Gaeilge.
Seachd reultan, agus seachd clachan, agus aon chraobh geal.

Is it cold in here?

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People totally under-appreciate indoor plumbing.
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jwhouk

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Amen to that.

And paved roads.

And "horseless carriages".
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"Character is what you are in the Dark." - D.L. Moody
There is no joke that can be made online without someone being offended by it.
Life's too short to be ashamed of how you were born.
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Loki

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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.
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Akima

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Continuously available clean water, cold and hot!
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Antibiotics.

I'd be dead 6 times over without.
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My Art.
I was into Stumpy and the Cuntfarts before they sold out.

pwhodges

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Antibiotics.

And other things; I've survived Peritonitis (from a burst appendix abscess), TB, Cancer (had radiotherapy), Heart Attack (had stent).
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"Being human, having your health; that's what's important."  (from: Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi )
"As long as we're all living, and as long as we're all having fun, that should do it, right?"  (from: The Eccentric Family )

Redball

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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.
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J

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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.
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celticgeek

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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.) 
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a 'dèanamh nan saighdean airson cinneadh MacLeòid
We Wear Woad When We Write Code
Ní féidir liom labhairt na Gaeilge.
Seachd reultan, agus seachd clachan, agus aon chraobh geal.

Loki

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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.
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the careful illusion of shit-togetherness

Kugai

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Antibiotics.


That and modern Asthma medication.

I doubt I'd be able to be as active as I am without them.
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James The Kugai 

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i am now about 12,000 miles away from where i wrote my previous post.
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Redball

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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.
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Carl-E

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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?
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Loki

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...you call that a lighter note? :psyduck:
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the careful illusion of shit-togetherness

Carl-E

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Sorry, forgot the [sarcasm] tag. 
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Thrillho

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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.
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Masterpiece

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Jace

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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
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J

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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.
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Carl-E

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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...
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Papersatan

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Digital preservation is not as easy as you might think.
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.

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. 
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[12:07] ackblom12: hi again honey
[12:08] ackblom12: I'm tired of lookin at that ugly little face

Akima

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I have no working machine that can read floppies anymore.
USB floppy drives are cheap.
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Masterpiece

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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.

lepetitfromage

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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.
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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.
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Quote from: snalin
I just got the image of a midwife and a woman giving birth swinging towards each other on a trapeze - when they meet, the midwife pulls the baby out. The knife juggler is standing on the floor and cuts the umbilical cord with a a knifethrow.

Loki

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A simple magnet will render your hard drive dysfunctional.

This has not been true for a long time. [1] [2] [3]
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Masterpiece

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I stand corrected.

kelpy

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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
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LTK


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!
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Quote from: snalin
I just got the image of a midwife and a woman giving birth swinging towards each other on a trapeze - when they meet, the midwife pulls the baby out. The knife juggler is standing on the floor and cuts the umbilical cord with a a knifethrow.

kelpy

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:oops:, goddamn Wikipedia lying to me  :x
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Carl-E

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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"!
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Pilchard123

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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.
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Pilchard's right, microwaves are really long. Even visible light is measured in nanometers, and they get much smaller than that.
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Quote from: snalin
I just got the image of a midwife and a woman giving birth swinging towards each other on a trapeze - when they meet, the midwife pulls the baby out. The knife juggler is standing on the floor and cuts the umbilical cord with a a knifethrow.

Papersatan

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The OED tells me Micro is reference to their small size relative to radio waves.
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[12:08] ackblom12: I'm tired of lookin at that ugly little face

LTK


That explains it! Radio engineers just had a limited perspective.  :lol:
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Quote from: snalin
I just got the image of a midwife and a woman giving birth swinging towards each other on a trapeze - when they meet, the midwife pulls the baby out. The knife juggler is standing on the floor and cuts the umbilical cord with a a knifethrow.

Akima

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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!
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Redball

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Before it heated your soup, I recall it heated fillings of guys on air force bases who were near the domes.
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Is it cold in here?

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And first came onto the home appliance market at USD1,300 in 1955 dollars, a large fraction of the price of a car.
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Carl-E

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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

My aunt had an Amana Radarange back in the 70's...
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Kugai

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James The Kugai 

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Is it cold in here?

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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.
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"Non-compliance is a social skill"
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In your face, darkness!  We are the light and we outnumber you!

Redball

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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.
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Carl-E

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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




I do a mean "Over the rainbow"!
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Redball

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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?
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Carl-E

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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. 
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Kugai

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Stay clear of Bagpipes then.
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James The Kugai 

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