Monday, July 17, 2006

The 10 Greatest Unsung Inventions of the 20th Century

1. The cordless phone. Everyone is all "oooh, cell phones are so cool," but no one is remembering the days when you were stuck at the phone, immobile, watching your life pass before your eyes while someone blathered on and on. But with a cordless phone, during a conversation of the same length, I can make three beds, empty the dishwasher, load the dishwasher, get the mail, sign for a package, pick up the living room, throw a load of clothes in the washer--basically anything you can do with one hand,* I can and have done while holding a cordless phone.

2. Books on CD. With books on CD, I have the best of the old and the new. I rip a book, upload it to my iPod, and thanks to this 21st century technology, I can listen to someone read aloud. I listen while I'm making beds, emptying the dishwasher, loading the dishwasher ... is this sounding familiar? Audiobooks are the new crack.

3. eBay. In bringing together the collector and the source, eBay has singlehandedly made more successful matches than e-Harmony and My Space put together.

4. Radio. Sure, we have podcasting now, and some of you scoffers may call traditional radio outmoded, but the best way to watch a baseball game is still with the television sound off and the radio on.

5. The humble blender. Now we need never go without wonderful yummy slushy drinks.

6. Transitional lenses. Now we can be blind as a bat, and no one will be the wiser.

7. The canning process that makes Pub Draft Guinness possible.

8. White boards. Although a couple of generations of children have missed the opportunity to clap erasers for the teacher.

9. Cold cereal. Think about it. Without cold cereal, Life, as we know it, would be impossible.

10. The ATM card. You say your drug dealer will only accept cash? No problem.

* No, not that.


  1. I'm 100% with you on the pub can Draft Guinness. Mmmmm, Guinness.

  2. Can I add REFRIGERATION units and ditching ice? Fresh produce from all over the world, delivered almost to your door in the dead of winter.

    HaHa! on the one-handed codicil!

  3. I feel compelled to add TiVo to the list.

    No. Commercials. Ever.

    Oh, and also, air conditioning.

    Because I live in Texas and it's 105 friggin degrees outside.

  4. I'm with you on 8½ out of 10. I HATE cordless phones. I prefer corded phones with 20,000 League wires and a headset.

    I'm neutral on the lenses until such a time as I may need them.


  5. As a corollary to #1, my second favorite invention of all time: the answering machine. If it were up to me, the phone in our house would NEVER be answered. Sadly, it is not up to me unless I am home alone.

    First favorite invention: stretch lace.


  6. Life, as we know it...sly thing, sneaking that pun in!

  7. You forgot the ice cream scoop with that de-icer inside that lets you plow into a block of vanila ice cream and scoop it out without breaking your fingers. I think entire WARS are being fought over that these days!


Gentle Readers:

For the time being, I've turned off comment moderation. Please don't spam; it's not nice.

xxx, Poppy.