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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Sept. 20, 2011 / 21 Elul, 5771

We are innovative masters

By Tom Purcell




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | While searching the Internet last week, I stumbled upon a Google Archives article that made me chuckle.

The article ran in the St. Petersburg Times on Jan. 7, 1992. It touted the introduction of a video phone, from the American Telephone & Telegraph Co., that allowed consumers to send and receive video and voice calls.

"The 6-pound phone contains a built-in camera and tiny video screen and is about the size of a phone-answering machine," said the article.

And it only cost $1,500!

That was 19 years ago, prehistoric times where technology is concerned.

I didn't get my first cell phone until 1994. It wasn't as big as the early brick phones, but it was too big to put in my pocket.

I paid $20 a month for the service and, if I remember correctly, 35 cents for every minute used during peak time. That cost added up fast.

But it was worth every penny.

I still have bad memories of my high school years in the late '70s. I spent hours standing by the payphone trying to call my parents for a ride home.

But we had only one phone line, and my five sisters tied up the line every moment of the day. Since call waiting hadn't been invented, all I ever got was the buzzing busy signal.

When was the last time you heard one of those?

Caller ID was not yet commonplace, either, so I was forced to spend hours screening calls for my sisters. They made me tell whatever fellow was calling them that they weren't home.

I always felt bad for those fellows -- because the brothers of the girls I was calling were telling me the exact same lies.

Alas, advances in technology would soon resolve these problems.

By 1990, about 70 percent of Americans had answering machines and were using them to screen their calls.

Caller ID eliminated the need of brothers across America to lie for their sisters.

And call waiting made it possible for high school kids to get hold of their parents for a ride no matter who was tying up the line.

Look at us now.

I have an Android smartphone. It is a computer that fits in the palm of my hand -- it's 50,000 times more powerful than the giant IBM machines that took up whole city blocks just 30 years ago.

I can use it to do research, navigate the country (GPS), watch a movie or press my thumbs against the keypad (texting) to pervert the English language.

Sometimes, I even use the thing to phone people.

The point is, America has enjoyed so much technology innovation so fast, we have come to take it for granted -- but we shouldn't.

Consider some of the top innovations from past 50 years, according to Popular Mechanics:

Microwave oven, 1955. Jet airliner, 1959. Integrated circuit, 1959. Communications satellite, 1962. Coronary bypass surgery, 1967. Smoke detector, 1969. MRI, 1973. Personal computer, 1977. GPS, 1978. DNA matching, 1984. Genetic sequencing, 1998. MP3 player, 1998.

Innovation is the ticket to a better economy and future.

Heck, when Jimmy Carter was president, he said the world was going to run out of oil -- but technology advancements made it possible to find and extract oil deeper down.

Despite our current woes, America is plum full of creative geniuses who are right now innovating important innovations that will drive massive efficiencies and real wealth.

I am reminded of this when I stumble upon video-phone articles that date back to 1992.

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© 2011, Tom Purcell

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