fun stuff, journal

Phones and fun times

Today I snapped this image in an old folks’ home, and thought how funny it was that they’d used the kind with the spinning dials. My parents kept one in the house as a novelty item when I was growing up. In my day (ie 90s), phones had buttons.

By the way, it has dawned on me these last two years that there are five year olds out there who do not recognise landline telephones, by courtesy of their parents only keeping smartphones at home.

I can practically feel the G-force from the speed with which humanity is hurtling toward new technological vistas. Or maybe it’s just existential panic.

☎️ 📞 📲

Anyway, out of interest, I got Googling. According to The Smithsonian, the first evidence of a device for long-distance communication, concocted by a genius/geniuses of centuries past, dates back to 1200-1400 years ago.

The object uncannily resembles the modern day version of two paper cups joined by a string, only this was made of resin-coated gourd and cotton twine. It came from the Chimu empire in Northern Peru.

Here is the Smithsonian article about it!


This is an update regarding two other little story arcs I started in previous blog posts.

• I am still doing working memory training with Dual-N-Back.

Before I began, I thought progressing to some of the levels beyond N=3 sounded impossible… and then I reached them. More than anything, this has boosted my general confidence. I feel less afraid of completing instructions, and probably this forms a big part of doing anything without screwing it up.

At the moment, I am working on maintaining a high accuracy at N=5.

This graph from the app is, for me at least, really interesting to see.

People online complain about how boring N-Back is, but the activity still holds my attention* somehow.

In the last month, I checked my emails a great deal.

In late August, most applicants received an invitation to an interview, or they were sent a rejection letter. Not me! Would you believe that history repeats itself? Thirteen years after the first time it happened, I have been placed on a waitlist** for med school AGAIN.

⬆️ ➡️ 🔃 🔁 🔄 ⚠️

Oh, well.

How are you? Do you have a story about five-year-olds or phones?

Image credit:

*Maybe as I find other areas of my life so tear-inducingly boring, staring at squares and listening to nonsensical strings of letters seems fun in comparison.

**Waitlist for the interview, rather actual school admission.


15 thoughts on “Phones and fun times

  1. So hope is still alive! No stories about 5 yr olds but phones yes. My grandmother had a party line, so I knew all about them. There was an internal phone system/intercom at work that was basically a party line – you could tell if someone was talking as the light would be on. If you lifted the receiver you could listen in so there was no expectation of privacy. The younger staffers had no clue and got themselves in trouble with the SWMNBN because she would listen in on EVERY conversation.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s been 20 years since I last had a landline. When I was a kid in the ’80s, we had a rotary dial phone along the lines of this harvest gold gem:

    It was rented from the phone company, and in the early ’80s, we were on a “party line”, meaning you could listen in on the neighbours’ phone conversations.

    We also had harvest gold appliances, including this fridge:

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dr B says:

      I remember that too. Nobody in our Cumbrian village had a phone and we all had to use the single phone box in the village centre. I remember standing outside in the freezing cold waiting for my turn!

      Liked by 2 people

      • It’s been making its way into conversation (because of recent news) – the British instinct to form orderly queues has been impressing the rest of the world. Now I am picturing such a queue outside the phone box!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • The cradle switch broke the line connection when depressed and made the connection when lifted, just as the rotary dial broke and remade the connection as it turned round. The coins, when inserted, made the connection for the dial but it was possible to tap out the same number of breaks and makes by using the cradle switch thus making a call at no cost.
        Well, you did ask!!!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. FAO : Dr B, especially..
    In our Cumbrian village, September 2022, there is no signal, still, If people have accidents on the fells , below phone signal height. or our potholed roads, they need at least one able bodied person to find the nearest occupied house. There, a landline might connect them to the emergency service they need. Ambulance usually !

    Phones, and freeze dried inst6ant mash too ? Why didn’t the Incas rule the world ?


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