Extinct in America
We recently saw a list of "Things About To Go Extinct in America," and it made us think about how life changes.
Many of the changes are surely signs of the times. For instance, take outhouses. Back in 1950, about a quarter of American households didn't have complete indoor plumbing. But by 2000, more than 99% of households did.
Or, consider the switch to digital cameras, meaning cameras no longer need film. Or the fact that fluorescent bulbs are replacing incandescent bulbs because they save energy and money. Or that VCRs have gone the way of 8-track tapes. Or that movie rental stores keep dwindling since people can have movies delivered directly to them.
Here are the top 10 things on that endangered list, for better or worse.
1. The Family Farm. The small number of working farms is obvious, but, on the positive side, the increasing interest in organic foods and specialty crops is keeping some operations going.
2. Analog TV, which is being replaced with Digital TV. If you don't have cable or satellite service, you will soon need a converter box.
3. TV news. Viewership for network evening news has been declining for decades because there are so many other sources of news.
4. Honey bees. It's scary, but honey bee populations have collapsed by 50% to 90% in the U. S. and Europe in recent years.
5. Mumps and measles. With vaccines, these diseases are no longer common among American children, saving many thousands of lives. Those who oppose vaccinations should take heed.
6. Drive-in theaters. There were 4,000 in 1958, but only 400 in 2007. Did you even imagine there are that many?
7. Personal checks. Credit cards, bank debit cards and on-line bill payments are making them rarer and rarer.
8. Wild horses. The number of free-range roaming horses has dropped in the last century from two million to less than 50,000.
9. Hand-written letters. Cell phones, emails and cheaper long-distance have virtually done away with the old tradition. Once, they published the letters of famous people, but in the future we may see on-line books with titles like The Emails of Barack Obama.
10. The home-delivery milkman. Are there really any left?
Look around. You'll probably see other things that are going the way of the quill pen. But look for things that are on the upswing, as well. Being in on the next trend sure beats being part of the last one.