The Watering Hole: November 30 – The Phonograph

This is our open thread. Please feel free to offer your own comments on any topic.

Mankind’s first efforts in sound recording and reproduction were achieved by acoustic carving of materials and the playback of same by a tracking device. This is the basis of the phonograph. The medium that these devices used was called the record – a true example of function equals form. When it came time for NASA to attach an explanation of who we are, this medium was chosen as the best case method.

Magnetic media would decay within years and optical media would be difficult o interpret. So NASA sent along an audio record with operating instructions on the sleeve:

By the time one of these two releases is found, it will be a true golden oldie.

14 thoughts on “The Watering Hole: November 30 – The Phonograph

  1. A must-read for today over at BradBlog!

    Frank Schaeffer’s ‘Narrative’ of the Loons: Our Own Far Right vs. the Islamic Extremists

    What a great job of showing the similarities (and hypocrisy) of the extremists on the Right in this country in comparison to Islamic terrorists but reposting a column written by NY Times’ Op-Ed Columnist Thomas Friedman, and then writing the same op-ed (by Schaeffer) only using “an imaginary fictionalized version of Friedman’s piece, changed to fit another myth from our very own far right religious fanatic fringe” (Schaeffer’s description).

    Well done.

  2. One other article that is a ‘don’t miss”..

    Food Stamp Use Soars, and Stigma Fades

    It is very somber.. There is an amazing interactive map where you can go over with your mouse and see the stats for every county in every state. Frightening. What would we do without that safety net? This also shows the importance of putting through a vigorous Public Option for health care. The need is just so great in this country. Especially now, and it doesn’t look like it is going to turn around any time soon.

  3. I’m trying to recall what the audio record had on it: Chuck Berry and Mozart? or was it Elvis and JS Bach?

    Will follow your links Muse, both look v interesting.

  4. We are spending so much for food stamps, unemployment, and other help to out of work people, that we could just as easily put them all to work, if we could agree on what to have them do. Not everybody is physically suited to build roads, bridges, and replace aging power lines.

    The Republican Race To The Bottom is the culprit for this economic quagmire. So many jobs have left trying to beat the system with cheaper labor, that there is no industry to stimulate inside the country. We used to put people back to work in a recovery, but we are putting other countries back to work now.

    The problem with the proposed healthcare reform is it entrenches the employer-provided insurance with mandates, keeping that expense as a major component of the cost of production, which makes American companies less competitive. The healthcare needed to be de-coupled from employment, to allow manufacturers to get closer to a level playing field with Canada, Europe and Japan. They aren’t suffering nearly as badly as we are, and it’s because they don’t have to include healthcare in their business expenses.

  5. Bernie Sanders can do it, but he only gets on TV on holiday weekends, when everybody else is too busy.
    I like what he says about Bernanke at the end, too.

    The embedding is disabled, so this will get you there.

  6. Spot on, House. A major part of the reason for the collapse of American industry is that not only is the primary burden of health care laid on the back of business and workers but also that we consider health care a major profit center for our economy.

    And we are the only industrialized country that does this.

    Even an amoeba can understand that if almost 1/6 of the money generated in an economy goes to a sector that produces absolutely nothing, said economy will fail.

    • God dammit. My research project partner flaked out on me. Now, we’ll only have tomorrow to finish the damn thing. Grrrrrr!!!!! I hate to be rushed!!!

      I guess I’ll go home and grade essays.

  7. Zooey,

    My son had the same problem with about 6 hours to zero hour with a partner. He called me and I told him to do the cut and paste plus fix-up himself and claim sole authorship should she ultimately not come through. Any other choice would be dishonest.

    It was in his class in environmental law. He had already written the text and it only needed pix, layout and conversion to pdf. He got an A for the term, she did not.

      • That food stamps article is really eye-opening. And probably a truer sign of the times than the hopeful reports of the recovering economy.

        I checked out the interactive map, and much to my “surprise” lily white northern Idaho has increases in food stamp usage in some places over 100%. Don’t get me wrong, if someone needs food stamps, I think they should have them. I just don’t want to hear anyone around here (Idaho) claiming that only lazy minorities use the welfare system.

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