Today’s lunchtime news chum post is mostly about things that either aren’t around anymore, or are going away. But, as it is Friday, there are a few “clearing the links” items at the end….
- Writing. What basically prompted this theme was a wonderful article from Mental Floss about 12 letters that didn’t make the alphabet. Some of these I knew about, such as why “ye” was originally “Þe”, and was pronounced “the”, or the use of the long-s (ſ) in phrases such as “the perſute of happineſs”. Others I didn’t know about, such as the origin of the & (and why it is called “ampersand”), the yogh, the eth, and others.
- Photography. An article I had noted in November but forgotten to post was about the effect of the death of 35mm film on classic motion pictures. Basically, we’re losing the ability to make 35mm prints of films, meaning that many more obscure pictures may be lost forever, or may never be shown. Furthermore, the digital “restoration” is often off in some way from the original. In other film news, the bankruptcy of Kodak means that those “Kodak picture spots” at Disney Theme Parks are going away.
- Telephones The SF Chronicle is reporting that a new area code overlay is coming to San Francisco: 628. No more will 415 just mean “The City”. Of course, there are fewer and fewer of us who remember when there were only a few area codes in California: 213, 415, 714, 805, 916, 408, and perhaps one more I’m forgetting. Of course, 628 could become like 747, which has been in the Valley since 2009, but I’ve never seen a 747 number.
- Reading. Computerworld is already reporting that the tablet may be killing the dedicated e-Reader, just as its multipurpose sibling the smartphone put the dedicated music player (I loves me my iPod Classic, I do) on life support. I personally like single-purpose devices: I want my phone to be for communication; I want me music player to be for playing music; I want a camera that is a camera; I want an e-reader to read books. But I’m also old, and all my Ss look like Fs.
In other items:
- Brain Food. I meant to post this with yesterday’s post, but the link was a work. Evidently, eating too much fructose can make it harder to think. According to research by UCLA biology professor Fernando Gomez-Pinilla, binging on soda, candy and sugary snacks for as little as six weeks may reduce brain function. The study, which was conducted on rats, is the first to show that a diet high in fructose slows the brain, which hampers memory and learning. The article fails to note they wanted to conduct the experiment on UCLA students, but they couldn’t find a control group.
- Junk Food. Things that make you go “huh?”: Pepsi-Cola and Chicken flavored Potato Chips.
- Thinks You Need to Know. Did you ever wonder why . . . – – – . . . (better known as “SOS”) became an international emergency code? Wonder no more.