"Where Fillmore County News Comes First"
Online Edition
Monday, July 6th, 2015
Volume ∞ Issue ∞
 
<< | < | 94 | 95 | 96 | 97 | 98 | > | >>

The marvels of small things


Fri, Apr 18th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

Take a look at your desk/work table. Notice all the small, marvels, things you can hold with one hand, which make our lives easier. Many of them have been developed in my lifetime, or not long before. A few are very ancient. I wonder how many other patents have been registered for things that didn't catch on?

Without moving from my desk chair, these are some of the things I identified: The oldest helper you see is probably the paper itself, which began with papyrus in Egypt, at least 3000 BCE. Paper made from fabric-type matrials was developed around 100 CE in China.

It may surprise you to know that the next oldest item is the scissors. Scissors have been found in archeological digs dating back to the 2nd Century CE.

Pencils made of wood and graphite, for writing on paper, were first mass-produced in the 1660's, although models formed similarly to a stylus were individually made before that time.

Staplers were made back in the 1800's, and weighed several pounds. There are so many kinds, for home, office, industry and carpentry.

In the mid-1800's, that item on which we all depend, the safety pin, was developed, and the patent sold for $400.

Edison invented the electric light bulb in 1879. Do you remember when homes, especially in rural areas, still had kerosene lamps? And many urban dwellers had gas lights until electricity was installed. What a boon for our eyes and productivity.

The humble nail clipper was first made in the 1890's. So was the ubiquitous paper clip. Now clips come in many colors and shapes, but still with the same functions.

Paper tissues (still referred to by most of us as the brand name Kleenex) was developed during the 1920's. It definitely is more sanitary than cloth hankies, but may be harder on the nose, and uses up a lot of trees.

Cellophane tape (first made by 3M) and ball point pens date to the 1930's, partially replacing glue, and ink pens of all kinds. Many people still swear that really fine penmanship requires a fountain pen, and extremely expensive pens can still be purchased. How long has it been since you saw a bottle of ink?

Plastic bags and felt tip pens became available in the 1950's. Do you remember dry sandwiches wrapped in waxed paper? Now we have to try to find a place to recycle all the bags from the grocery and other stores, which came into wide use in the 1970's. And I recall trying to get a perfect result with a lettering pe .....
[Read the Rest]

The beginning of the end

Fri, Apr 18th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

The news from our leaders regarding the war in Iraq continues in the same old vein: just hang in there, it will all turn out OK. General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker, during their appearances before Congressional committees this past week, essent ..... 
[Read the Rest]

Everyone loves a loser

Fri, Apr 18th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

Our collective mean streak sure does show itself on television. I know you think we're nice people. I think I'm nice, my friends are nice and some of my relatives are nice but somebody is enjoying the blood sport of televisions "You are a Loser!" fr ..... 
[Read the Rest]

The Three Trillion Dollar War

Fri, Apr 11th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

A new book, by Nobel economist Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Blimes, a public policy professor at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, called The Three Trillion Dollar War - the true cost of the Iraq conflict challenges the Bush administration's ..... 
[Read the Rest]

Looking back five years later

Fri, Mar 28th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

Now that we've come to the 5th anniversary of the Iraq War, it's time to look back and see what we have obtained by prematurely abandoning the search for Osama bin Laden to invade Iraq. At least we should see how the predictions of great minds that ..... 
[Read the Rest]

Water, water, everywhere?

Fri, Mar 21st, 2008
Posted in Commentary

Recent newspaper and television stories have reported scientific concerns with the appearance of medications, both human and animal in our water supplies. These are only a tiny drop in the enormous bucket of the problem. I believe that in the future, ..... 
[Read the Rest]

And We Prayed

Fri, Mar 21st, 2008
Posted in Commentary

Many of us, of certain age and blessed or handicapped as long time Minnesotans, know religious diversity as Lutheran vs: Catholic. What the Lutherans had in numbers the Catholics battled with fully uniformed nuns and movies starring Bing Crosby. Eve ..... 
[Read the Rest]

Them that serve

Fri, Mar 7th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

It must be difficult to be an elected government official. They must be responsive and accountable to various constituencies including themselves. These include the people whom they represent, which also includes people from their state or district ..... 
[Read the Rest]

Death by a thousand catastrophes

Fri, Mar 7th, 2008
Posted in Commentary

One day in the not so distant future, the Discovery Channel will air a documentary detailing the life and death of the Conservative Movement, that all-white tribe of bible-thumping, war-mongering, rich folk, who, for a brief period in American histo ..... 
[Read the Rest]
<< | < | 94 | 95 | 96 | 97 | 98 | > | >>