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Well, 2012 is rapidly coming to an end. Only 5 more days and it will be history. I’m not going to attempt to recap events. The media, whatever form we choose to use, will do plenty of that and probably more accurately than I would. So, I’m looking to the future.
The other day I ran across a page I had torn from an old AARP News Bulletin. It was about fixtures of every day life that have vanished, are vanishing and will vanish.
Remember when neither rain nor snow would keep the mailman away? Today they are called letter carriers, the mail they carry is called snail mail and they are an endangered species.
Remember the rotary phone? As these 20th century icons gather dust, people are dropping their land-line plans and opting for cell only. Eventually folks will be talking on mini-computers the size of cell phones, and basic telephones will become memories.
Before I’ve even learned to use some of them, it is goodbye CDs, DVDs, Blu-Rays, thumb drives, video game discs and their players. Electronic entertainment will be bought and played directly from the internet.
Analog clocks and their mini forms, the wrist watch, will become retro novelties as they are replaced by cell phones synched perfectly to satellites. Springing forward and falling back will be automatically done for us.
Here’s one for you: toilet-seat bidets will wash and dry at the touch of a button, eliminating toilet paper. A far cry from my childhood days on the farm with outdoor toilets served by Sears Roebuck and Montgomery Ward catalogs.
Speaking of saving paper, gone will be glove box road maps. No need for these when map apps offer directions, traffic info, drive-time estimates and an arrow pointing to the nearest whatever.
Along that map line is a somewhat scary thought. Robots or self-driving cars are on the near horizon. Gasoline pumps, too, will become a thing of the past. When your car drives itself to a service station, it will be to plug in for a battery recharge or to fill up with hydrogen.
Not so technical or futuristic but, as a former teacher, one of my pet peeves is the disappearance of cursive writing. Some states have already officially dropped handwriting as an educational requirement, with many more currently considering doing the same. One day extra instruction may be required for students who wish to read historical documents in their original drafts.
Also on their list of going, going, almost gone are answering machines, tube televisions, phone books, bank deposit slips, printed encyclopedias, film, and incandescent light bulbs.
What can I say? I guess just Happy New Year!