Before there were smart phones

Saturday, December 09, 2017

This is a 1905 advertisement from the Seattle Independent Telephone Directory selling residential telephone service. It's clearly aimed at women, who apparently wore lacey dresses and Easter bonnets when they spoke on the phone back in the old-timey days. If you can't read the print on the ad, this is what they tout:

Advantages of a residence telephone
  • Makes engagements
  • Invites you friends
  • Friends can call you
  • Does your shopping
  • Reserve theatre tickets
  • Orders your groceries
  • And corrects mistakes
  • Calls the plumber
  • Hastens the delivery of goods
  • Saves letter writing
  • Calls your husband
  • Saves time and steps
  • Runs your errands
  • Calls the doctor
  • Calls the fire department
  • Calls the police

I'm guessing the home phone service wasn't really a hard sell to women, but the issue of it was the cost, which husbands might object to. The bullet points seem like a list of talking points she might use to convince him the phone bill was worth it.

Aside from that I find the active voice odd. The telephone "makes engagements" rather than you "make  engagements". Strange that they make the phone the agent of action rather than the person.
  

To Old to Die Young

Friday, December 08, 2017


Get ready for a conflicted weekend with Brother Dege.
  

Day of Infamy

Thursday, December 07, 2017
Click any image to enlarge
“Before we’re through with them, the Japanese language will be spoken only in Hell.” – Vice Admiral William F. “Bull” Halsey

“I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.” – Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto


Making pencils

Tuesday, December 05, 2017


In the above video a person makes a pencil using paper, glue and what I think is a mechanical pencil lead. It strikes me as an odd thing to craft. One doesn't think a pencil as being hand made in the old days -- like churning butter, or knitting or whatever. Instead pencils seem to be things that were always manufactured. Beside, I wonder how easy it is to break the lead in the paper tubes? Are they even practical?

At any rate, below is a video of pencil making in a factory. Oddly, it seems more natural to me than the above crafting.




Revenge and Regret

Saturday, December 02, 2017

Under Her Dark Veil by Anna Akhmatova

Under her dark veil she wrung her hands.
"Why are you so pale today?"
"Because I made him drink of stinging grief
Until he got drunk on it.
How can I forget? He staggered out,
His mouth twisted in agony.
I ran down not touching the bannister

And caught up with him at the gate.
I cried: 'A joke!
That's all it was. If you leave, I'll die.'
He smiled calmly and grimly
And told me: 'Don't stand here in the wind.'"


Eye of the Hurricane

Friday, December 01, 2017


Get ready for a jazzy weekend with Tony Succar.
  

More sleeping in space

Wednesday, November 29, 2017


From sleeping on the Moon we move onto sleeping on to sleeping on the ISS. They have much better arrangements than the lunar lander. They have little compartments with a sleeping bag tethered to the wall, a computer they can use for email and whatnot, and a door they can close for privacy and darkness.

One interesting detail -- the air needs to be well circulated or, in the weightlessness, a bubble of exhaled carbon dioxide will form around their heads as they sleep.