Friday, January 12, 2007

Time Machine?

...or perhaps just a memorial to the way things used to be. The days when people used pay phones, and sometimes there'd be several people waiting their turn. A few days ago (scroll down a few posts) I wrote about Superman using phone booths as a place to change his clothes, morphing from Clark Kent into Superman, The Man of Steel! No more. Those booths haven't been around in years.

In those innocent days when comic book heros seemed real to us kids Dick Tracey was a super cop, a fantastic detective. He had what seemed to be something that would never become reality ~ a Two-Way Wrist Radio, the size of watch, or perhaps just a bit bigger. Essentially hardly any smaller than many of today's cell phones, which contain a built-in clock. Even a camera!

Not that long ago if you saw someone walking along, gesticulating with their hands, and talking to themselves you'd get out of their way. They were obviously crazy! Nowadays you look for the tiny earpiece jammed into one of their ears and the tiny microphone dangling below their chin. To be polite you pretend you're not trying to listen in on their conversation.

Just think of all the crimes detective Tracey could have solved if he could have sent digital images from the crime scene to headquarters, or received digital mug shots of criminals with similar crimes straight from the files downtown. Back in 1950 that was as farfetched as men travelling to the moon, pure science fiction. Reality today is that pay phones are history.


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