Punday: Mid-week Groaner

I normally post my Punday special on Sunday. But since I have done so few lately, I decided not to wait on this one…

Next time I play golf, I am going to take an extra sock with me. That way I can use it if I get a hole in one.

A New DITH Venture: Carbon Glutton

DITH is now ready to introduce it’s latest venture: Carbon Glutton. This new effort is dedicated to cancelling out efforts to reduce carbon emissions. CO2 is a naturally occurring, colorless, odorless gas that apparently is going to kill us all in a fiery flood. Check in there often for tips on how to emit even more CO2 so that we can bring on the demise of humanity even faster. Enjoy!

Lost in the 50s

Thanks to John

According to this highly scientific quiz, I belong in 1957. I think it hit me pretty much dead on. The 50s were a relatively happy and prosperous time in the United States, sandwiched between World War II and the chaos of the 60s and 70s. I definitely long for the sweet, innocent nation we had in the 50s. Granted, it’s likely that things were not nearly as sweet and innocent as they seem. But don’t spoil my illusion, okay?


You Belong in 1957


You’re fun loving, romantic, and more than a little innocent. See you at the drive in!

1968 Retrospect: New Words

The English language is always evolving. New words are added and others slowly fade away. In 1968, The World Book choose words to be added to the 1969 edition of its dictionary. These words were no doubt in use for several years prior to 1968, but they finally gained common enough acceptance to finally be recognized.

It’s quite a long list, but I have pared it down to the more interesting ones. Below are some that you will certainly recognize, then some that never quite caught on.

Here are some words that you will certainly recognize:

  • arm twister
  • ax grinder
  • beefcake
  • brain-picking
  • character assassination
  • day-tripper
  • diploma mill
  • fertility drug
  • guinea-pig
  • handgun
  • hippie
  • in-joke (now inside joke of course)
  • instant replay
  • meat-and-potatoes
  • Medicaid
  • plain-Jane
  • R and R
  • speed reading
  • trendsetter
  • tween
  • zap

Here are some that apparently didn’t catch on after all. (Warning: a few of these are racial insensitive and rightly no longer used. They are only here as a historical study.)

  • Bob’s your uncle – you know the rest; that’s all there is to it
  • breen – a brown-tinted green color
  • Chinese homer – a home run made on a hit that travels only a short distance
  • daymare – an experience that is like a bad dream
  • GUM – state-operated department store in the Soviet Union
  • nebbish – a drab, clumsly, inconsequential person
  • nudnik – a tiresome, annoying person
  • rice Christian – an Asian or African native who converts to Christianity soley to receive food provided by missionaries
  • roadeo – a contest or exhibition of skill in driving automobiles, trucks, etc.
  • slanguage – slangy language
  • squaw winter – a brief period of prematurely cold weather in early autumn
  • telephonitis – an excessive or abnormal urge to make telephone calls

1968 Retrospect: Dentistry

According to the 1968 Year Book by The World Book, “A leading dental research scientist predicted in 1968 that tooth decay may be preventable in less than 10 years. Dr. Seymour J. Kreshover, director of the National Institute of Dental Research (NIDR) in Bethesda, MD, made the prediction on the basis of successful work done at the institute in pinpointing the organism of decay.”

Well, this prediction was way off. There have certainly been improvements in dental health, but I don’t think we can say that we are anywhere near preventing tooth decay.

In 2002, clinical trials began on a genetically modified mouthwash that should stop tooth decay. The mouthwash is squirted onto the teeth in a 5-minute process. The treatment is expected to last for a “considerable time.” The most recent information I could find indicates that the trials are moving along very cautiously because of FDA concerns. You see, this treatment permanently replaces the bacteria in the mouth that causes cavities with another bacteria. Yeah, I think it’s a good idea to proceed cautiously when you are talking about permanently altering your body’s chemistry!

1968 Retrospect: Fashion

According to The World Book 1968 Year Book, “Fashion was stripped of its dictatorial powers in 1968 by a revolutionary assertion of individuality.” After seeing some of the associated pictures, I’m thinking that the “dictatorial powers” should have been quickly reasserted.

1968woman.jpg

Okay, this isn’t actually all that bad, but what are these four ladies doing? Whatever it is, I think it is illegal in about 17 states.

1968man.jpg

I’m not typically in favor of the federal government telling us what to do. However, I believe that I could stand behind a federal law banning a guy from dressing like this. At the very least, he should have his Man Club membership revoked.

1968 Retrospect: Recorded Music Formats

In 1968, recorded music sales hit $2 billion worldwide, with about half of that being in the United States. Of the sales, 60% went to LP albums, 30% to single disks (45s), and 10% to tapes (including 4-track, 8-track, and cassette).

1968 was a turning point for the cassette format. It was the first year that cassette player sales surged past 4-track and 8-track equipment sales. Further, cassettes player sales were set to move past record players within five years.

 

A new format was introduced in 1968 that you may have never heard of: The Pocket Disc. It was introduced toward the end of the year as a truly portable format. It was 4 inches in diameter and sold for 49 cents. The idea was that you could put it in your pocket and take it with you to play at a friend’s house. It would play on a standard turntable (so long as it wasn’t one of the automatic ones) or you could purchase a smaller version of the turntable to play these discs. They even sold the discs in vending machines. However, this was a short-lived fad–passing into oblivion after only a couple of years.

Because of the short life of this format, I have not been able to find a lot of other information. The discs are extremely rare and go for hundreds of dollars now.

1968 Retrospect: Iwo Jima

You have probably seen one of the most famous pictures of all time–the raising of the flag over Iwo Jima during World War II. (See my previous post on Last Iwo Jima Flag-Raiser Dies).

iwojima.gif

However, have you seen the flag raising by Japan as the United States turned Iwo Jima back over to Japan? This occurred on June 26, 1968 per an agreement signed between the two countries on April 5, 1968.

iwojima2.jpg

Last Iwo Jima Flag-Raiser Dies

Raymond Jacobs died on January 29, 2008 of natural causes in Redding, California. He is believed to be the last surviving member of the group photographed raising the United States flag over Iwo Jima during World War II on February 23, 1945. This photograph is believed to be one of the most reproduced photographs in history.

It is really difficult to watch this generation leave us. They gave so much of their most productive years to make this country strong, yet asked so little in return.

Many spent a good portion of their childhood in poverty during the Great Depression. They didn’t enjoy the affluent, care-free lifestyle that our kids enjoy today. They were working, many times to the exclusion of an education, to help put food on the table.

Then, as they were reaching adulthood, World War II broke out. From when the United States joined the war in 1941 until the war ended in 1946, 16 million served in the military. Many more served on the home front working in factories supporting the war effort, running recycling drives, bond drives, etc.

When they returned home, they were expected to join the workforce, start families, and build this country into an industrial giant. Once again, they did so with no complaints. However, they were effectively robbed of their childhood and their “oat-sowing” early adult years.

Of the 16 million that served in World War II, only about 3 million are still with us. To this day, they are a quiet, humble people. To them, they were just doing what anyone would do. However, I happen to agree that these are amazing giants that deserve the title The Greatest Generation.

To Raymond Jacobs and everyone else in his generation (military and civilian): We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your service to this country, and for your tireless work to make this the greatest nation this planet has ever known. We owe you a debt that we cannot ever hope to repay.

1968 Retrospect: Republican Primary

On November 18, Romney announced that he had “decided to fight for and win the Republican nomination and election to the Presidency of the United States.” Early polling indicated he was the leader among moderate Republicans. However, Romney withdrew from the race on February 28 after his internal polling showed that he was certain to lose.

So why am I telling you about Mitt Romney when I’m supposed to be talking about 1968? Well, I’m not. The story above is about Mitt’s father George and his short-lived run for the White House in 1967-68.

After Richard Nixon won the presidency, George Romney was appointed to Nixon’s cabinet as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. After the end of the Nixon administration, he largely fell out of the public eye to concentrate on public service and as well as work with his church.

1968 Retrospect: A Recurring Post

I was digging around in our storage shed and ran across some old encyclopedia year books produced by The World Book. (Do they even make these things anymore?) I’ve got books that cover years 1966 through 1970.

I was thumbing through the books and found myself fascinated with them. The perspective on events is often different immediately after they occur as opposed to 40 years later.

So, I have decided on having a recurring post throughout this year called 1968 Retrospect. I will try to find unique information and perspectives that you may not find anywhere else.

I hope you enjoy it.

World War I “Blogger”

Bill Lamin from London, England found the letters his grandfather wrote during World War I a couple of years ago. He decided to share these letters with the world via a blog. He is posting each letter 90 years to the day after it was written. This way the world not only shares in some great history, but can do so in “real time”. He hasn’t even revealed if his grandfather survived the war. You have to check in to see if there is a new letter each day.

If you’re a history buff like I am, you’ll love this. Check it out: WWI: Experiences of an English Soldier