Tis the Season to Acknowledge What Works
This is the time of year when many of us are known to eat or drink a bit injudiciously. Not that has happened to me, of course, but I too may find myself, by coincidence, in need of a little relief from time to time. My search for relief reminds me that even in this age of new inventions and bold technology, some old standbys still show the way.
That is true in many areas, but for the moment, let’s take a look at over the counter medications. A slice of everyday life. Later, we will pay homage to new things that make our lives better.
I don’t know who invented Pepto Bismol. Nor do I know why they chose to make it in that signature glow in the dark pink. But I know it was invented about 100 years ago, and they got it right, bless their little hearts. Over the years, I have been afflicted with roiling innards of varying intensity on 5 continents. Whatever that stuff is, it is a liquid miracle. It has come to the rescue time and time again, in the worst circumstances. And it does so in mere moments. A miracle in a bottle. Even works on dogs, properly administered.
Next, our old friend Alka Seltzer. Likewise, an oldie but a goodie. I speculate that sales of this stuff must be astronomical around this time of year. We came to rely on it as kids for upset tummies, turned to it as adults for everything from indigestion to hangovers. Decades old, easy to administer – great stuff. Hats off to the inventors. “Plop, plop, fizz, fizz; Oh, what a relief it is.” Remember that one?
Finally, on the medical front, how about aspirin? The original miracle drug, going back to the 1800’s. A source of relief from pain, inflammation, and discomfort of all sorts. Administered at the moment of a heart attack, it can literally be lifesaving. Yet it is simple, nature based, literally centuries old. It still is in the first rank of what we reach for in our moment of need. Cheers, aspirin. Here’s to you.
So, we honor the old standbys that are still a part of daily life. But there are new inventions making their mark, too. Sometimes, we take them for granted, too. For all the curses the internet gets and deserves, think what it, and especially the World Wide Web, have meant in our lifetimes. A world of information, history, and more is at our fingertips in a way that was simply unimaginable a few decades ago. What you and I can find so easily is simply mind boggling. That includes this conversation by blog, by the way.
While we are talking about electronics, let us praise WiFi. Not long ago, connecting a mass of computers, speakers and other devices required miles of wires. Connecting and hiding them was a challenge, at best. It is so easy now to make such communications happen, almost as if by magic. This is good stuff.
Our cars are another example of technology in service to people. They routinely run for 200,000 miles today and do so with gas mileage (if they are not electronic, as most will be shortly) that was unimaginable not long ago. Of course, none of us have a clue what we are looking at under the hood these days, but that’s OK. The car can often tell us directly when something is amiss. Overall, they last longer, run better, and are orders of magnitude safer than early generations. Pretty impressive.
Years ago, it seemed that American cars were doomed. I gave up and went Japanese, with cars that more than met the standards I sought. And then, a miracle. The Americans got back into the game. Today I drive two Made in America cars that are models of efficiency. Of course, the last Japanese car I purchased was mostly made in the USA and my “American” car is as much Canadian as American, but that is another conversation. Today, lets just accept the ability of a key industry to get it right.
Old and New, We Need Them All
So, there we are. Surrounded by old favorites, boosted by new inventions and discoveries. I bet you have examples of old and new that work for you as well. All in all, not a bad time to be living, is it?
Happy holidays to one and all.
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