Remote Control: The Most Complicated Convenience Device Ever
The Remote Control used to be more complicated than setting the clock on your microwave.
It's no wonder that the word "couch potato" is a recent term and not an old adage. People before the 1950s actually watched TV without a remote, as I'm sure all of your elders have told you about already. That means no channel surfing, no immobility for hours, no perfect modern-day relaxation/fattening and, most importantly, no DVRs.
Instead, they had to sit up close to the TV to manually push buttons to change the channels or lower the volume. That, or walk back and forth from their seat. It's a real toss up on which one's worse.
So, you can imagine the great fanfare that came with the invention of the remote control. In all its black and white glory, the video on the right exhibits the grandeur of the 500 pound-looking remote control meant to make 1950s life so much easier. See the brick for yourself at 0:49, complete with awesome narration.
The amount of programming and complication that went with these early TVs is amazing. It's great when technology actually scales back and makes things simpler to move forward.When I get home, I'm going to hug my remote.
The Compact Disc: You Can Listen to Them While Racing Dune Buggies
First of all, look at the record collector's mullet!
These things that people used to call "Compact Discs" which most of us currently use as coasters, really expensive one-time-use mp3 uploading tools or convenient stencils for when we need to draw a perfect circle used to blow people's minds.
They weren't a series of grooves made on a strip or a vinyl record, they were digital, and therefore "better" (although most vinyl snobs will tell you that Records actually have the superior sound quality.)
These "miniature platinum albums" or "digital wonders" and the fact that at some point these were a more convenient way to do anything is absolutely amazing. The real thing that CDs brought to us was the inability to listen to an album all the way through which I now, unfortunately, currently possess.
The biggest selling point of CDs was the fact that they play an hour (or more) of music.
Interviewed in this video is the manager of the ONLY CD MANUFACTURER IN THE U.S. at the time.
As an added bonus, here's a news report from the early 1980s where a news reporter goes around asking people what they think "it" is (while showing people a compact disc.)
Trolling: Like Those Dolls from the 90s
When it comes to out of date news reports, there are few better places you can turn to than Fox News and their recent (like the last year or so) news stories on internet trends. No matter how "into" the web the mainstream media and world gets, you always have that basic disconnect between what's popular and who's actually reporting the news.
Enter the word "Troll". Dating themselves back about 15 years, the writers of this news broadcast decided to start out with a familiar frame of reference for anyone that's wondering what a "troll" is by mentioning the old "Russ" troll dolls.Sure, they pretty much explain what a "troll" is, but they really just could not have done it in a more half-assed, out-of-touch way
The Mobile Phone: A Huge, Pocket-Held Device
Our mobile phone or cell phone--or actually, as we usually just say, "cell"--is probably one of the greatest necessities in our personal lives. But there was a time when people had corded phones. Think back...ahhh, yes, that canary yellow one in the kitchen. Remember pulling the cord as far away from people and closing the door for those private phone calls you thought you had?
Yeah, we were all culprits of the "immobile" phone at one point in our lives.
But none of us looked like this idiot guy on BBC (ok, he might be a fun guy if he didn't insist that we go along with his role playing) who tries to seem unaware of the novelty behind him walking around with a mobile phone. Of course, the whole point of the video is to show how new and radical the concept is. We're supposed to be impressed...but we're not.
Because that mobile phone looks huge and still has a cord connected to a box you still have to carry around.
And now, the first ever cell phone ad (notice the luxury, the styles, the beach, the sunset, the sexy elevator music, and the couple who really should've made more specific plans.)