What aspects of daily life in the United States in 2012 would be unbelievable to a person in the year 2000?

From Quora:

Answer by Oliver Emberton:

  • We would interact with our games consoles by waving our limbs like a drunken mime. The most popular platform for this would have a name that sounds like urine. This would become one of the great success stories of the decade:

  • The US would elect a black president.
  • People increasingly avoid the phone; the most common way to make a date is now via text message, which costs more per character then sending data into space [1].
  • The most pressing social issue in 2012 will be fought mostly over chicken sandwiches:

  • Sharing intimate aspects of your life – from drunken photos of you making out with a stranger, to broadcasting what music you're listening to as you listen to it – will become so routine as to be banal.
  • Smartphones: half the US carries the freakin' Internet in their pocket. Back in 2000, this was the coolest in mobile tech: 

  • September 11th would embroil the US in two new wars longer than WW2.
  • The idea of not having access to a fact, anywhere, would become almost laughable in the western world. Schools redesign themselves to accommodate this new reality.
  • A website started by a Harvard undergraduate – Facebook – would become the world's most popular in about 5 years. It would be so ubiquitous that a film about its geeky founder would be a lauded commercial hit.

  • Google would turn from a 40 employee startup [2] to a global verb.
  • The US would convince much of the world that re-invading Iraq is a moral imperative to protect civilisation from weapons of mass destruction. They would be wrong.
  • Following the daily and intimate lives of celebrities through posts of 140 characters would become a mainstream past time. Said 'tweets' would be the subject of debate on TV, scandal and lawsuits.
  • The US would come within hours of defaulting on their 14 trillion dollar national debt. In 2000 the US was running a record surplus.
  • Popular concepts like 'tagging', 'walls', 'unfriend', 'retweet', 'like', 'poke' and more would completely redefine our social interactions.
  • People would carry all their music with them in tiny devices called 'iPods'. CDs would be so passé.
  • People would stream all their music over the Internet. iPods would be so passé.
  • Apple would recover from near bankruptcy to become the most valued company on Earth; ultimately over twice that of Microsoft.
  • The most popular books of the decade are soft porn for ladies (50 Shades).
  • No-one buys a holiday, insurance or hit singles in the real world anymore.
  • We would land a robot on Mars using a flying crane; that robot would zap alien rocks with a laser. For science!
  • The longest and debatably worst global recession in modern times would hit in 2008. Combining the 2012 and 2008 recessions, stock lost between 10-20 years of gains, and the US would have their credit rating reduced.
  • In 1999, a 2.7 megapixel camera cost just under $6,000, making it the first "affordable" digital camera [3]. We now expect more from a cheap phone.
  • People would buy virtual gifts and cards – that cost real money. This would not last, fortunately:

  • An obscure website – YouTube – would grow to serve over 4 billion videos worldwide *every day*. The most popular would consist of cats and fingers being bitten by Charlie.
  • Climate change remains controversial in the US, despite 9 of the 10 hottest global temperatures ever recorded, global floods, heatwaves, storms, receding polar ice and 4,000 US states of emergency in one month alone.
  • The US would be without a replacement for the retired Space Shuttle, and would pay Russia to take them into space [4].

  • Michael Jackson and Steve Jobs would be taken from us far too soon.
  • A website built entirely from user contributions would grow into the largest and most comprehensive encyclopedia ever made and it would be free too.
  • A distressingly high percentage of people WUD RITE LIK3 THIS, FML. This is increasingly tolerated and even advocated by schools [5].
  • The financial future of the whole of Europe may well depend upon Greece, a country smaller than Uruguay. 
  • Quora – a website where people answer questions in far too much detail – would flourish and consume many needless lives. But not mine!
  • People would complain nothing exciting happened in the last 10 years.

[1] http://phys.org/news129793047.html
[2] http://www.google.com/about/comp…
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/His…
[4] http://www.guardian.co.uk/scienc…
[5] http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/…

What aspects of daily life in the United States in 2012 would be unbelievable to a person in the year 2000?

Satanic app NY cartoon

Research War Stories: When Media Relations Meets America’s Most Wanted

Research War Stories: When MR meets America’s most wanted.

In the popular “War Stories” column, which has run sporadically in the magazine “Quirk’s Marketing Research” since 1994, Art Shulman, president of Shulman Research in Van Nuys, Calif., presents humorous tales of life in the research trenches, based on his own experiences and those of researcher friends and colleagues. Each month in Quirk’s they feature a few anecdotes from past War Stories columns…

Mark Michelson relates that a number of years ago his company sent a mystery shopper to evaluate an optical store in Florida. The shopper seemed like a nice guy on the phone and his references were good. For the shop he had to get an exam, buy glasses and return to pick them up.
In between his shopping trips to the store, he was featured on America’s Most Wanted. The store manager recognized him and had him arrested after he picked up his glasses.
He still managed to send his report in, though.

keep calm and make up your mind blue

Gerald Linda was mystified once when a respondent, upon being told the group was being videotaped, hid his face and fled the room. Pity! Fugitives from justice have opinions, too.
Another time, Linda reports, one member of the “dissatisfied” group recruited for a focus group tried to get the other group members to sign an affidavit. It turns out he was in the midst of a lawsuit against the client.
Autumn Last Leaf Falling

A Minor Tribute to Autumn

Now that Summer has officially departed for this year, it’s now the season many in the Northern Hemisphere purport to admire…

Maxine Has Low Fat Diet

“Oh, the leaves are so GORGEOUS!”

Booth Fall Leaves Cartoon

Yeah, well, we all know why that is…  We know what’s around the corner…

Church Mice Fall Comic Strip

Football season begins with iced Gatorade and flip flops and ends with portable heaters, steaming hot chocolate and ski boots.
Indecisive Weather Cartoon
But let’s all stay sentimental if only just for a minute while we’re all just starting out in this season all together, all right?

Is the Cloud Secure Cartoon

Remember, it’s less than 90 days before the pressure is on to jump onto the compulsory holiday season consumption bandwagon!…

rob a snowman

And don’t forget the chance to jump aboard the holiday seasonal employment bandwagon as well…

Resume of Giraffe

And among the last but not least, here’s a cartoon or two I picked out simply because they’re weird…

Raining Missing Socks

Don’t forget, less than six more weeks before we have to change all the clocks… again!

Bathe the Cat CartoonHigh Crime Neighborhood for Homeless Cartoon

Fiddler Pun Cartoon


Joan Rivers B & W Closeup

Ten of Joan Rivers’ Better Quotes

In recent months, it seems, the news has been dominated by the Obituaries.

People die all the time, of course.  Life by its very nature implies Death.  But over the past 50 days or so, with the passing of Robin Williams, Lauren Bacall and – most recently – Joan Rivers, the Grim Reaper seems to have commanded even more than his usual amount of attention.

Regular readers of this blog (and I believe the 6 or 7 of you already know who you are) are familiar with my chosen format: conventional essays of an observational nature leavened with humorous quotations from celebrities — many of whom are renowned for their wit.

One of those quotes, posted a year ago close to Mothers’ Day, was from Joan Rivers.  If you use the search bar at the top of this page and search “Joan Rivers” you’ll find it soon enough.  I recently went back to update that post by inserting the year of her death into what had formerly been a blank space to denote that she was – at the time of the original posting – still living.

But Ms. Rivers’ talent generated more than just a few memorable quotes.

The Joan Rivers Show Check Presented to Miami Relief Fund

The lady’s fans, who appear to have been Legion, have been unstinting in their eulogies and a number of other quotes have surfaced.  A recent article published to the Web via Variety‘s own blog selected their own favorite Top Ten.  I thought they were each at least as good as the one I had selected more than a year ago.

So, with respect to both David Letterman and the most famous friend Heidi Abramowitz ever had, please enjoy (courtesy of Variety) Ten Quotes from Joan Rivers:

1. “I’ve had so much plastic surgery, when I die they will donate my body to Tupperware.”
2. “I blame my mother for my poor sex life. All she told me was, ‘The man goes on top and the woman underneath.’ For three years my husband and I slept in bunk beds.”
3. “My mother could make anybody feel guilty – she used to get letters of apology from people she didn’t even know.”
4. “I don’t exercise. If God had wanted me to bend over, he would have put diamonds on the floor.”
5. “I knew I was an unwanted baby when I saw that my bath toys were a toaster and a radio.”
6. “My husband wanted to be cremated. I told him I’d scatter his ashes at Neiman Marcus – that way, I’d visit him every day.”
7. “People say that money is not the key to happiness, but I always figured if you have enough money, you can have a key made.”
8. “The first time I see a jogger smiling, I’ll consider it.”
9. “I hate housework! You make the beds, you do the dishes and six months later you have to start all over again.”
10. “When I die (and yes, Melissa, that day will come; and yes, Melissa, everything’s in your name), I want my funeral to be a huge showbiz affair with lights, cameras, action. I want Craft services, I want paparazzi and I want publicists making a scene! I want it to be Hollywood all the way. I don’t want some rabbi rambling on; I want Meryl Streep crying, in five different accents. I don’t want a eulogy; I want Bobby Vinton to pick up my head and sing ‘Mr. Lonely.’ I want to look gorgeous, better dead than I do alive. I want to be buried in a Valentino gown and I want Harry Winston to make me a toe tag. And I want a wind machine so that even in the casket my hair is blowing just like Beyonce’s.”

Joan Rivers & Miss Piggy

– Joan Rivers, one of the definitive female stand-up comedians, writers, talk show hosts, directors and actors of the 20th Century (1933 — 2014)

What are Some Good Ways of Annoying Chinese People?

Funny / Sad ; as seen on Quora:

Answer by Kent Fung:

  • Ask them to make you sushi.
  • Compliment them for the great things Samsung makes.
  • Ask them if they know kung fu. (Make a Bruce Lee noise in case they don’t seem to know what you mean. Or even if they do. Don’t forget the karate chop motion!)
  • Ask them to do your math homework.
  • Prove to them that you’re down with the Chinese by telling them about this one “friend” you have … who’s Vietnamese. Ask if they know your “friend,” refuse to accept “no” for an answer.
  • Speak English to them VERY  … LOUDLY … and SLOWLY. Nod a lot for no apparent reason as you do so.
  • Ask a mainlander why China doesn’t just leave Taiwan alone.
  • Ask a person from Taiwan why Taiwan doesn’t just accept Chinese rule.
  • Mistake a Hong Kong person for a mainlander
  • Wrinkle your nose at whatever it is that they’re eating

What are some good ways of annoying Chinese people?

Another Poll for August/September


Some Thoughts on Labor Day

First of all, Happy Labor Day to each and every one of you who visit this blog!  I appreciate you all more than mere words can ever express!

Betty Boop labor day gif

Now . . . the premise is we honor those who work for a living . . . by giving them a holiday from work . . .

Have I got that right?

Just checking . . .

And we “honor” them because . . .

All throughout the rest of the year they are held in contempt.   


 Oh, no he di’n’t! . . .  **snap**

Let’s face it, in Western culture, anybody who actually has to work for a living is looked upon as somebody who has failed.

The whole idea, we are taught from the cradle, is to make your living without having to expend any significant effort.  To make more than enough to live free from want without having to break a sweat.  To possess a talent so close to an ingrained reflex, that you cannot help but earn a living from it.

And not just enough on which to subsist.

Oh no, it has to be enough for you to actually prosper and grow increasingly wealthy as the years go by.

Gee, not too demanding! . . .

Please take a moment to consider:Labor Day - thats_what_daddy_always_said

What is the primary desire of the overwhelming majority of Americans?

To be wealthy.

And what is their primary character flaw?

They are lazy.

And their secondary character flaw?

They are “veridical-ly” challenged.Labor Day anti-union-card

I’ll give you a moment to look that one up . . .

So what we appear to have here is a culture that praises wealth, denigrates sacrifice through effort and places no shame on dishonesty.  As a matter of fact, skillful lying is often viewed as a useful tool in both business and life.

Let us also consider: when someone is found guilty of a crime, do they make apology?  Rarely.

And even if they do, do you honestly believe they are sorry for what they have done?  nixon engraved portrait

Please! . . .  They are sorry they got caught.  Look directly at the image to the right of this sentence.

The flaw, according to the culture in which America marinates today, is not supposed to be that they should have known better, or that they should have acted better, only that they should have been slick enough to commit their offense undetected.  

The other irony about the holiday this year is, of course, the scarcity of good jobs in America today.

Mind you, I’m not saying that there are no jobs at all, nor am I suggesting that unemployment hasn’t grown less in recent years . . .

Made in China op-ed cartoon

There is work out there to be done.  There is no shortage of opportunity for anyone who has no objection to actually having to work.  As long as you understand and are willing to accept that nothing is going to fall out of the sky directly into your lap, you’ve already grasped the most essential concept.


The problem is getting to the payoff that makes it all seem worthwhile.

I’m talking about how hard it is to find good jobs, the kind that allow you to support yourself and your family working just one job for a mere 40 hours a week: the kind that allow you to actually earn a living that allows you to maintain a household reasonably free from want and financial hardship.

The kind of jobs that used to be much more common in America: the kind that allowed you to pay your bills each month and additionally salt a little something away in the bank for a rainy day.  And still have a life beyond that of a paid drone.

I’ve already shown you an engraved portrait of one Republican President; please permit me now to show you an engraved portrait of another Republican President . . .

Abe Lincoln-labor-day-quoteHard to believe they both were members of the same political party, isn’t it?  Well, not really, when you consider that about the only thing these two had in common United Garment Workers poster(besides a premature departure from the Oval Office) was the fact that the party they headed had the same name . . .  More a matter of coincidence than any deliberate common political philosophy.  What a difference a century makes ! . . .

All that being said, (and as incredible as what I am about to write may sound), I sincerely believe that good jobs can return to America. 

But it’s not going to happen by itself.  The same management figures who have sent jobs overseas will have to bring them back.  What will do that?

Financial pressure.

When the board room boys recognize that it is in their own best financial interest (yes, we have to use the Greed carrot-and-stick, it’s all they respond to), they will move production back here just as fast as they took it away 2-3 decades ago.  Vintage_Labor_Day_Card-02

The impetus must come from the political leadership, which must have the backing of the people who do the work, who have the ability to benefit the most: Labor.

And the political leadership cannot be a lone figure.  Having a Chief Executive who favors the working man is not enough, those who work must make it an equal priority to see that a leader is matched up with a legislative and judiciary environment that will support him.  

We’ve all seen enough of the kind of stalemate politics that results otherwise.

Sticking to your guns is all well and good, just as long as the gun in question isn’t pointing at your own head.

But enough of all this political ranting, foaming at the mouth and screeching about what’s wrong . . .

The undeniable facts remain:

  1. America has been a great country.

  2. Her labor force has made her so. 

  3. She can easily become one yet again.  

  4. And once again, her labor force will make her so.

So let us all be mindful of our history so as not to repeat the mistakes of the past, while we begin to take the steps that can ensure our even brighter future.

LABOR DAY BANNER various occupations

Let us remember to celebrate this holiday in the proper way – with an awareness of what American Labor has built:

labor_day Rosie the Riveter

Let us be thankful for the resources with which this country has been blessed.

 labor-day-composite graphic

And let us never lose sight of what we — all of us — labor for:

Purpose, Security, Accomplishment, and Progress.

Happy Labor Day!

LaborDayStamp-1                       Two Cows Reverse Psych Fail



“Confidence is 10% hard work and 90% delusion.”


“There is no one of-woman-born who does not like Red Lobster cheddar biscuits.  

Anyone who claims otherwise is a liar and a Socialist.”

Tina Fey portrait

–  Tina Fey, American writer, actress and comedian best known for her leading performances on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” and “30 Rock”  and her early memoir, “Bossypants” (1970 –    )

“I think men who have a pierced ear are better prepared for marriage.

They’ve experienced pain and bought jewelry.”

Rita Rudner

Rita Rudner, American dancer, stand-up comedian, writer and actress; known for her insightful comedic observations based on stereotypes but always incorporating an unanticipated twist at the punchline      (1953 –     )