Wednesday, November 6, 2013

For All the Tea in Denmark

There was a time when mail was delivered on horseback that the idea of stringing a few wires, adding some relays and talking in a dit dot dit code, you could send a message across the country was an absurd fantasy.

Then this dude Alex came along and got the notion that using some kind of magic, and using the same type of wires and relays as a telegraph, he could send your voice anywhere that had one of his little black boxes with, you guessed it, a Bell inside.  (Talk about self-promotion!)

Marconi did Bell one better, he cast a spell that let voices fly invisibly across miles of sky and blended with some eerie whistles and hiss, could be heard on yet another box.  The radio magic was a huge success and just a couple of weeks before Betty Cronin was to release her newly patented frozen Radio Dinners, Philo Farnsworth improved Marconi's incantation and started broadcasting grainy black and white pictures to weirdly constructed radios with big tubes sticking through the front of the cabinet.

It would not be long before another Alex dreamed of a fantasy world where you could hook his new little box to Bell's little box, and providing someone at the other end had the same kind of box, you could put a piece of paper in one box and have a facsimile of it come out the other.  That of course became the "Bain" of businesses everywhere with the invention of fax spamming.

Only a short few years later, Vice President Al Gore, single handedly invented the Internet, and with a magic that is as yet still not known (Oops, sorry for the delay.  I got knocked off line.)  Anyway, people are still perfecting this unbelievable voodoo, where documents, pictures, whole files, live video, VoIP, and email are all instantly available to everyone who has a box with magic "Gates" inside.

This progression of these technologies is still astounding even today when most of us have never used a telegram, Martin (or is it Martian) Cooper cut the wires off our telephones, fax machines are now unsellable junk in thrift stores, Al Gore sold his TV network to Al Jazeera, and Bill Gates is trying to eradicate the world's diseases while viruses still plague his magic boxes.  But we need one more magical invention.

My partner, co-host, student and friend is "under-the-weather" over in Denmark.  I really want to get her a fresh cup of steaming tea to comfort her in her misery.  I need the next generation of magic boxes so I can put it in here and have it come out there.  Sorry, Adrianna.  I tried.  Maybe you could "nuke" a cup of water in that other magic box and make your own tea while I try to figure out the secret to molecular transportation.  Where is my chief engineer Scotty when I need him?

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