Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Top Five Inventions of My Time - How About Yours?

The other day my daughter was having a Skype date with her boyfriend. The fact that she was in Australia and he was over ten thousand miles away on the other side of the world in The Netherlands, didn’t matter a whit, thanks to the wonders of modern technology ie. the Internet.
This was a far cry from the long distance dating her father and I did just thirty years ago when I donated my blood in Athens in order to be able to afford a phone call home. Oh, and I had to book that phone call 24 hours in advance!
I suppose there are people who can live without the Net—remote tribes of New Guinea, Carmelite nuns, members of the Flat Earth Society—but I’m not one of them.
Is there anything the internet can’t do? It can find you answers to all sorts of questions, keep you in touch with far-flung friends, book hotel rooms, even find you a husband. And to think, the US government wanted to keep this wonderful invention all to itself. Had it not been for its eventual application as the www we’d still be trekking to the library to research, relying on the vagaries of the postal service to keep in contact with friends, paying a fortune for travel deals etc.
That got me thinking about inventions and what I consider to be the top 5 Can’t-live-without-them inventions of the modern age.
My mother used to maintain the bobby pin was a remarkable invention. Probably. If you had enough hair to need one—or happened to like picking locks. But I need to point out that Mom was born in an age where television, walking on the moon, machines to wash dishes and clothes and even dry them, hadn’t been invented.
The Top Five Inventions that made a huge impact on my life are: Television, Immunization, Dishwashers, The Pill and the Internet.
A quick straw poll of those nearest and dearest turned up answers relative to the age of the respondent.
While our grandmothers and great-grandmothers would probably rate the invention of the radio, electricity, the old-age pension, hip and knee replacements as their Top Five, my husband’s mother maintains: Penicillin, hand held battery-driven vacuum cleaners, The Pill, electric typewriters made a huge impact on her life.
His father rates:- Television, the improved efficiency and safety of cars,antibiotics, anaesthesia, laparscopic surgery. (Can you tell he’s a surgeon?) J
My 21 yo son says:- The computer game Modern Warfare 2, stick deodorant, Toyota Landcruisers, fixed gear bikes and Atomic weapons. (what can I say, he’s a boy!) He was surprised to be told that fixed gear bikes were all we had to ride in the “olden days”!
My 24 year old skyping daughter’s are:- cell-phones, computers, iPods, skype, and MAC makeup…
My 27 yo daughter said:- ipods, laptops, wireless internet, cell phones and GHD(hair straightener). LOL!
I wonder what will our children’s children think are the greatest inventions of their era? Intergalactic travel? The cure for cancer? I can’t even begin to fathom the possibilities. Can you?
Which inventions would make your list? In-vitro fertilization? Satellite navigation? Automatic car windows? Richard Gere? Aerobics? Moosetracks icecream, credit cards, atms, something else?
I’d love to hear your Top Five. And maybe some suggestions for what kids born in the future will think are their Top Five.
I’m giving away a copy of my June release, THE SHERIFF AND THE BABY to the most interesting answer.


The Story Road said...

Hi Catherine! (waving)

#1 Remicade!!, telephones, cars, motorized lawn mowers, radios, plastic--this one gets a gold star because of the huge impact it had on the medical profession, dish washers, electric washing machines and gas dryers, electric can openers, ice makers, Lasik, 911 emergency, fans, air conditioners, blow dryers, Velcro,, sticky notes, mini-computer lap tops, antibiotics, Polio vaccine, cell phones, soy food products for people like me who are lactose intolerant, although I don't need them anymore--new and much improved feminine hygiene products--remember the old Kotex and Modess pads and the belts you had to wear--Yuck!, DHC skincare (go DHC!)gift cards and last but not least the Internet. I could go on but I'll stop here.

The Story Road said...

That was me, Cher, btw. :-)

Vanessa Barneveld said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vanessa Barneveld said...

Hi, CC! Fun post!

My top five:
1. I'm with your daughter on GHDs.
2. Wireless internet.
3. iTunes.
4. The 'delete' key.
5. Online shopping...and books are number one on the shopping list.

Kylie Griffin said...

Hey CC.

I'd go for...

1.velcro (marvellous invention in its simplicity)
2.immunisations (amazing medical breakthroughs) or wind power operated devices (gotta have green)
4.24/7 news coverage (not necessarily a good thing but it has had a huge impact on the world as we know it)
5.internet (good and bad impact)

Anonymous said...

Interesting reading this blog. ---- I must be strange, as computers the Internet and plastic hands that wave from the rear window of the car don’t do a thing for me. --- Perhaps I’m not pulling my weight as a consumer. Or just maybe I’m a rebel, because I absolutely love explaining that I don’t own a cell-phone. (I don't own a cell-phone.)

To me top inventions are about pleasure (and security). --- Let me see:
Hot water
(Soft) Beds
(Warm) Blankets
(Flannelette) pyjamas

Next comes ‘a good book’.

Looking forward to ‘The Sheriff and the Baby’ I’m quite a fan of ‘CC Coburn’.


linda s said...

1. the silicon chip and integrated circuits- affected almost all areas of living from telephones to clocks to cars to computers to the coffee pot.
2. Word processing, printers and the internet. Anyone else remember Dialogue - online before the WWW?
3. Huge digital storage devices like tetrabyte hard drives, DVD's and USB keys. Threw out the file cabinets.
4. Electronic picture frames and Ebook readers - we just switched our 7,000 pictures from fading paper & albums to digital. Will bookcases be the next to go?
5. Social networking - I can't keep up...

Bronwyn said...

Hi CC,

I'm going to have to go with Laporscopic surgery too. Oh and the C section. I know it's not technically an invention but without it I would have died in childbirth. Dishwasher comes close after that. 15 bar expresso machines. Would also die if I had to drink instant or perculated coffee. I would also like to get down on my knees and pay homage to the inventor of stilettos and sexy shoes! The inventor was probably a man since most women would label them as torture devices but I absolutely lurve hot shoes =)

Isn't it funny that the internet and the computer that I rely on every day didn't rate a mention? I could go without as long as I have coffee, medical access, my dishes clean and 4inch heels!


Anita Joy said...

Hi CC. I'm going to be very selfish with my list, not so much the greatest for the world, but the greatest for me

1. Automatic garage doors - okay, I don't actually have this one, but I look with envy at my neighbours who drive straight into their garage while I stand dripping, fumbling with the garage key as the rain pelts down and dream about having it
2. Slow cooker - throw a pile of ingredients in and by night have a hot meal already cooked and only one dirty dish to wash (and it's very forgiving, I've discovered the meat can even go in frozen )
3. Drive-through corner store - not so sure this is widespread, but it should be; when you're out of milk, bread or chocolate and the kids are a) screaming, b) needing to sleep or c) I'm still in my pajamas and it's the middle of the day, there is nothing better than to drive up to a window and have someone else do the shopping for you
4. Dishwasher - new to my house and I have considered running off with it; how did I ever survive pre-dishwasher
5. Blue tack - can wallpaper the house with kids artwork and not worry about yanking the paint off when we eventually persuade said kids it's time to remove (that does happen, doesn't it? how many years? the way we're going we needn't have worried about repainting)

CC Coburn said...

Hi Cher! Great to see you here. I did say the top 5 - not the top 50 inventions! :-) But you've taught me something new today as I had to google (where would we be without the internet?) Remicade. Glad it's made a difference to your life. I'm hoping for a cure for Alzeimers as my mom died of it and it was a horrible way to go.
Oh gosh yes! Improved feminine hygeine products. I remember the pads of the olden days, couldn't wait to be old enough to wear tampons! And then 12 years ago I had an Endometiral Ablation so no nasty periods since. Such a fantastic breakthrough in medical science. I recommend them to jsut about every woman I meet! :-)

CC Coburn said...

Hey Vanessa, I'm with you honey on the "delete" key! I started writing my first book in an ancient program called Wordstar (I think). To delete anything, you had to do about 6 keystrokes!
I'm gradually getting into the word of on-line shopping.:-)

CC Coburn said...

Hi Kylie, I agree about "green" power. Think it's marvellous people can have solar power that they sell back to the grid! And the technology for the efficiency of the solar cells etc is improving every year. Won't it be a wondrful day when we don't have to send people into dangerous mines to get coal to power anything?

CC Coburn said...

Hi Erin, no need to apologise for not having a cell phone! I hate it when people talk on them and seem to need to yell. Like I care about your life?
I'm sure with you on contraception! I hate to think how many kids I'd have had without it since I've only had unprotected sex 3 times in my life (and got three kids to prove it!) Probably TMI but how overcrowded would our world be without the Pill?
Thanks so much for being a CC fan!

CC Coburn said...

Hi Linda,
Dialogue? didn't know there was anything out there before the www -that's TWO new things I've learned today!I so agree about USBs. I could never get floppy discs and CDs right,but I love my pendrive!

Little CC said...

Hi mum,
I like Bronwyn's ideas!
I forgot to add sunglasses to my list as well as microdermabrasion, medicare (Australian else would I get paid???) and...botox...though I haven't had it yet I do have dreams...

Trace at work said:
1 - iphone
2 - facebook
3 - Guitar hero
4 - Xbox
5 - GHD (we have nice hair at work)

CC Coburn said...

Hi Bronwyn, So glad that C-sections saved you and your babe's life. Is it true they were named after Caesar - who was apparently born by one. (His poor mother!!!)
We call them Caesarians in Australia btw. LOL! about the espresso machines and heels. Too funny.

CC Coburn said...

Anita, you just have to invest in an automatic garage door - they are truly wonderful! Actually that has me wondering why no-one's mentioned remote controls for the tellie. :-) I love being able to sit on my butt and change channel. :-)
I have two slow-cookers but have never mastered the art :-(
Go dishwashers! Next house I'm having TWO - one for the dirty dishes and one for the clean and can rotate - therefore no need for so many kitchen cabinets to store the dishes in
As for those child drawings, you would be amazed how good they can look framed. Choose a couple that are really nice, put them into nice frames with matts and they will be something you treasure when you're kids are grown. Trust me, I know this! :-)


Bronwyn said...

CC, Slow cookers are the bomb! I work nights so my family have a couple a week especially in winter. They are so easy to do. Buy a McCormicks slow cooker recipe mix from Coles and away you go. One tip, though... Put more water or liquid (canned tomatoes) than the recipe calls for. You'll be onto it it no time!

CC Coburn said...

Okay... will give it a go.:-)
Have always been worried about putting raw meat into a cooker without browning it first. Thought it might end up tasting like meatloaf -ugh!

Anita Joy said...

Oh CC, I never ever brown the meat first. I figure it defeats the purpose of a quick one pot wonder, and creates more mess . We actually prefer the slow cooker for some meals (curry mmmmmmm - and then throw naan bread into the breadmaker, I so love modern appliances)!

The Story Road said...

Sorry about posting so many. I got carried away. A cure for Alzeimers would be wonderful! I've been in menopause since 2005! No periods for 5 years. Heaven!


Bronwyn said...

Sorry Anita, I always brown my meat first... I like the flavour of the seared steak to really go through it all =) And I have a serious aversion to using raw chicken in anything although I did do apricot chicken from raw in the slow cooker and it was okay. Not fantastic but alright. There are so many different ways to do it but you really can't go wrong. They are the simplest things to make!

Cathleen Ross said...

Can I add vibrator? Well someone had to say it and it might as well be me. Will I get chucked off this list now?
Cathleen Ross

Serena said...

Hi CC,
What a great topic and I could go on and give you 50 fave inventions (almost) like Cher. (Is that my friend, Cher??? Hi, sweetie!!)) And I agree with so many already posted, but I'll try not to double up too much though number one is a definite that just about everyone has niominated:

1. The Internet - it's how I keep in touch with people no matter where they are! (Queensland or Colorado?)
2. Fertility drugs without which I wouldn't have my 3 lovely sons.
3. Heat packs. I'm not talking about keeping warm but for neck and back pain, these things are the best! I have a large gel heat pack that goes in the microwave and it is truly my best friend! (OK not so much in sumemr months :)
4. Migrasticks. For non-Aussies, you might not know what a Migrastick is, but if you suffer from migraines or pretty much any pain, these are a godsend. It's a little lipstick-size roll on of peppermint and lavender oils. Roll onto the painful area and it's soothing. Really helps and no drugs involved :)
5a. Air con - in sumemr I would find it hard to be without refrigerated air conditioning whether inside the house or in my car!
5b. Almost as good as air con are ceiling fans - a must in the bedroom!!

BIG HUGS to you all.

CC Coburn said...

LOL! Squeaks aka Little CC you are SUCH a girly girl! I have no idea who gave birth to you, but I'm pretty sure it couldn't have been me!
And I'm sure you agree with Brnwyn on the C-section since youve decided you're going that route. (find a husband first!!!)
love, mum xx (who is so pleased you all have nice hair at work) :-)

CC Coburn said...

Okay,Bronwyn and Anita, I'm going to bite the bullet, dust off the slow cooker and try a curry in one soon. Great idea since I'm sick of sweating like a pig int he kitchen while trying to prepare dinner in this heat.:-)

CC Coburn said...

LOL! Cathleen of course you can say a vibrator, since of all the people I know, you'd be the one to say it!
Can't say I've tried one myself, but maybe one of these days... :-)

CC Coburn said...

Anita, how do you make naan bread in the breadmaker? I love pashwari naan, and if I could make it in my breadmaker so much the better!

CC Coburn said...

Cher, you're a hoot! Maybe you've got Alzeimers already and that's why you posted so many inventions -you forgot the question CC

CC Coburn said...

LOL! Serena, I loved your sneaky 5a and 5b! :-)
While some of us loved the Pill I can see how fertility drugs were a godsend to you.
And yes, air-con! Ever since 2001 the summers up here in Queensland have been completely unbearable. It didn't used to be like that.
CC - about to jump in the pool with my Lab!

Anita Joy said...

I'll send you the recipe CC :O)

Lynn said...

So many new things have come and list?
1-Computer - I had one of the first Commador 64 where it did NOTHING...Now it does everything for me...
2-DVR - No more commercials.
3-Debit Card - I don't think I've had more than $20 cash in my purse for years.
4-Reality TV - Dreams of becoming a fashion designer - top chef - ruling the world...

5 - contact lenses.


CC Coburn said...

Before I disappear off into the ether for another month, I wanted to let you know that I chose Bronwyn's answer of the C-section since it saved her life.
Bronwyn, can you contact me on please?
Meanwhile, have a great month everyone and it was interesting reading all your replies!

Penny Rader said...

Hmmm. My top choices would be:

Air Conditioning -- 'Cause I'm always hot. Not sexy hot, alas, just feel-like-a-furnace hot.

Computers - So much easier to write a book when I don't have to re-type every page a bazillion times.

Internet - I'm constantly amazed by how much information is availabe with just a few key clicks

Debit Cards


Dr. Pepper

JD Robb books ;D

Washing machines and dryers.

I'd like to add dishwashers, but I don't have one. :(

Sorry. Way over five.

Penny Rader said...

Aack! Forgot one of the first things that popped into my head: microwave ovens. Especially since I so rarely cook anymore.

Kandy Shepherd said...

Hi CC, I've come in a bit late-looks like a fun blog!

Linda Warren said...

Hi CC,
Late chiming in but I have to agree with Remicade and new hips and knees. They get my vote.

Love the chir-caht with your daughter. Marriage first!!! Love it.