Category Archives: Culture Too

Why Didn’t Somebody Tell Me?!

We never watch CNN. I don’t even notice what’s on it when we’re scrolling through the listings. I just assume it’s all news. But this evening, after we had finished watching Life of Pi which I had recorded a few days ago, while I was looking for the cats the husband picked up the remote and when I got back I heard a delightfully familiar voice: Mike Rowe! Must be a Dirty Jobs rerun, I thought. But it wasn’t one I remembered and nothing about it looked particularly dirty. Even more strange, I noticed the CNN logo in the lower right corner of the screen. Hmmm… interesting.

Finally, at a commercial break we learned that the name of the show is Somebody’s Gotta Do It. And it’s in its second season and I had never heard of it before! How can this be? Never mind; what’s important is that OMG! MIKE ROWE IS BACK ON TV EVERY WEEK! Let it rain.

Rules and Such

You know, sometimes it’s hard to tell whether a social media “rule” is actually a generally accepted social convention or merely the opinion of the author of a list of rules like this list of The 29 Rules of Social Media. Now, to start with, I have a rule for blogs and other websites that I wish everyone would follow and that is, DON’T have weird features on your website that make it difficult or confusing for first time visitors like, for example, like having the content not appear until you move your mouse to the right. What the F, dude? Seriously? Why?

But anyway, moving on. Some of the 29 rules are site specific so I’ll skip over the ones for sites I’ve never visited, and I’ll skip over some others because I simply don’t have anything to say about them. First, for all sites:

Share several times a day, but space out your posts every few hours. – I’m not good with scheduling. Well, I’m okay but I share when I have something to say or when I have a few minutes when I have nothing better to do. It’s social media, dude, not like a job.

Respond to all comments as quickly as you can. – I would like to respond quickly but sometimes I just don’t have anything to say and sometimes I don’t think of anything until hours or a day or two later.

Know the art of the hashtag. 1 hashtag is fine. 10 hashtags are not. – Agreed. I don’t use hashtags much anyway.

Always keep the 80/20 rule! Entertain and inform your audience first, sell to them second. – I hadn’t heard of the 80/20 rule. It depends on what I’m looking for. If I’m looking for entertainment I expect it to be 100% entertainment. If I’m looking for shoes or fabric or something it’s okay if you’re trying to sell it to me.

These are for Twitter:

Don’t automatically direct message people that follow you. – Shouldn’t that be “people who follow you”? Anyway. Not sure about this one. Seems like a good rule but I can see how this might seem polite to some people.

Don’t use all 140 characters. Give people room to retweet with a reply. – Ridiculous! Sometimes 140 characters is barely enough and you expect me to limit myself to even fewer?

I haven’t been on Twitter regularly for a long time. I like it, maybe better than Facebook, and keep thinking I want to get back on it but for some reason I just don’t.

For Facebook:

Don’t Like your own post. – Do people do that? Actually, I wouldn’t do it but I don’t see how it could hurt or inconvenience anyone. So someone’s post has 4 likes instead of 3, or 1 instead of none. Is this really a problem? Sure it says something about you if Like your own posts but other than that…

Don’t post or tag photos of fans, customers, or employees without permission. – Probably a good idea for legal reasons.

Don’t tag people or pages that aren’t relevant to your post. – Agreed. I haven’t experienced this myself though.

Don’t ask for Likes, Comments, or Shares. – OMG! YES! Please, please, please stop doing this! I get so freaking tired of the “Share if…” you love your mom, dad, kids, husband, wife, brother, sister, America, Jesus, or puppies images on Facebook. This is one of those things, though, that I was talking about that are probably opinions more than social conventions because almost everyone seems to think this is okay.

I’m not on LinkedIn or Instagram so I won’t comment on those. I signed up for Pinterest but I’ve never used it because there were no instructions or “getting started” guide or anything like that. Or at least not an adequate guide. I can’t remember exactly. Sure I could have figured it out but I hate being a newbie and not knowing how to do anything and having to figure it out as I go along. The rules? I’m not sure. I was interested in Pinterest mainly as a way of keeping track of things I see online that I want to be able to find again so I don’t have to keep bookmarking things and have an endless list of bookmarks which I will probably lose again because I always do eventually. But that was just my idea; I’m not sure how Pinterest really works and it’s kind of annoying to think that if I ever started using it I would have this social obligation to use it a certain way and follow certain rules when all I really want to do is keep track of stuff.

I’m on Google+ but I rarely use it. I think I might (not sure because I haven’t used it that much) like it better than Facebook if anyone I know was actually on it and actually used it but the few family and friends I have that use social media prefer Facebook so that’s where I go too.

Thanks.

All-Natural Chemicals

I have nothing better to post this morning so let’s pick on the Food Babe. I saw this thing on Facebook, quoting her saying that she would not eat anything that an 8-year-old could not pronounce. So, I’m just wondering how many of these words the average 8-year-old can pronounce and whether or not Ms. Hari eats bananas. Or anything else. Well… she must eat something since she’s still alive.

Yes, It Is Time For New Eyeglasses

My bottle of Diet Dr. Pepper has an ad on the label for Avengers: Age of Ultron. When I first looked at it I could have sworn it said “Ass of Ultron”. After taking off my glasses, holding the bottle closer, and squinting and staring at it for a few seconds I was able to make out that the word is actually “Age”. It seems to me though, that Ass of Ultron has possibilities as a movie. “Age of” is so overused.

It just so happens that I did already have an eye Dr. appointment scheduled.

Office Jargon

A-Z of Modern Office Jargon. If I worked in an office I would stay in trouble for making fun of the way my bosses and co-workers talk. “Let’s take this offline.” “But we’re not online right now.”

Some of the words on the list have been in use so long they seem like just normal, ordinary language: heads-up, no-brainer, and even “issues” are all common and not just in the office. It’s more a matter of how these words, and some others on the list, are used in an office or political setting to mask what is really being said that makes it jargon. Some, however – “thought shower”, “upskill”, “backfill” – are merely ridiculous.

This list is from a book, Who Touched Base In My Thought Shower?: A Treasury of Unbearable Office Jargon by Steven Poole. I’m thinking it might be a great idea if everyone who works in that kind of office sent a copy of it to their boss. Anonymously, of course.

Authenticity

Charles at Dustbury picked his Quote of the Week from this longish essay on authenticity. The liberal bashing made me cringe a bit. Liberal stereotyping is like any other kind of stereotyping: true of only a small percentage of the group in question. Or maybe I’m not really an “authentic” liberal.

I’m a huge fan of authenticity but I have to admit that I like a lot of things that are not authentic and that sometimes I don’t even know what’s authentic and what’s not. But I absolutely do not think an artist’s background has anything to do with authenticity. To suggest that it does is un-American. Yes, it is. America is all about the idea that any kid can grow up to be anything he or she wants to be. America is supposed to be a “melting pot” right? (Although, I think some people are not fond if that idea.) Cultural appropriation is authentically American. We’ve been doing it for so long, sometimes we don’t even realize we’re doing it. It’s just that certain cultures are off limits. According to certain people.

But you know… when I think about it, all this bitching and whining and preaching and finger-pointing is authentically American too. Thank goodness we all have that right, even if it is really freaking annoying sometimes.

Shoes!

When I see the title Best Catwalk Shoes of Milan Fashion Week I immediately think, “Oh boy! Ridiculous high fashion shoes to make fun of,” but some of these are actually wearable and even more that would be wearable if I wore high heels. But there is a lot to make fun of too so let’s have a look, shall we.

#3 is one of the ridiculous ones but also, somehow, attractive?

Ooooooo! My sparkly little girl heart loves #8 but wearable? Sadly, not in my world. Same for #9, except I’m not so fond of the poodle.

#’s 11 and 13 set a new bar for ugly.

Well… #17 made me stop and stare for a while.

#21 is quite ordinary but nice. I might actually wear something like that.

#29 is… um… notable. I like the colors but the human foot was not made to walk in that position.

#32 – Hmmmm… green snake skin. I am tempted to think I could wear green snakeskin, with a more reasonable heel of course, but… no, probably not.

#34 is interesting. I sort of like them but of course I’d fall hurt myself if I tried to wear them.

#’s 36 and 37 – Oh, are chunky heels coming back? I could probably wear those. Not sure if I want to.

#42 – Hahahahahahahahaha! I hope those come in kids’ sizes.

#44 – OMG! No!

#45 – No, but wow!

#51 – Wait! What?

#52 – Oooo! Lights! Okay, yeah. I sort of hate to admit it but I would wear those with jeans. And #53. Those are cool.

#54 – WTF?

Oooo! Call me crazy but I want #62. And the skirt too. Yeah, yeah, I know it looks like Grandma’s sofa. Shut up.

#63 – Maybe for the Christmas party?

#70 – I would say maybe without the pom-poms but the heels look a little wrong somehow.

The Truth About “Superfoods”

Here’s an interesting and useful article: A Closer Look at Dr. Oz’s 15 Superfoods. You’ll notice that many of the health claims made for these foods are at least partly true. It’s just that Dr. Oz and the many other people pushing the idea of “superfoods” have turned it up to 11 when it really needs to be turned down to about 5. And, you know, that seems to be a problem with much of what you see these days both online and in the the “real world” – everything is turned up to 11.

I know that’s not exactly an original thought; everyone says that. But it just seems like it keeps getting worse. There are so many people wanting attention and yes, I want attention too. I want 1,000 page views a day and 50 comments on every post. But I can’t bring myself to turn up the drama like some people do. I’m not even sure it would work for me if I tried.

Wow, that really went off track. This was supposed to be about food. If I could get the whole world to pay attention to me – if I could have my own TV show to tell everyone what to eat – my advice could be summed up with that ancient phrase, “All things in moderation.” Some foods are better for you than others but too much of anything can be bad, so eat just a little more of the good things and less of the bad things. But who would watch a show like that?

Rats!

NFL football season is over. Oh, there’s that game coming up, that “Superbowl” thing. Big, fat, hairy, stinking deal. Oh, yeah, we’ll watch, with sad thoughts of what might have been. I am put in the position of having to root for the team that beat my team, because I certainly can’t root for that other team. You know… the P-P-P-P… Dammit, you know who I mean. Oh, well, there’s always next year.

Actually, I am ready for football season to be over. It’s funny… I enjoy watching some of the games and I always look forward to the beginning of the season but by December, if not late November, I am feeling overwhelmed by football and looking forward to there being no football. Then, sometimes, I get interested in the playoffs and start enjoying football again for a few weeks. And the Superbowl… I love that it’s kind of over the top and practically a national holiday. But this year… Blah. Yay! Football is over!

There Is No “Privilege”

Pardon me for getting serious for a moment. Adam Savage posted a link to this lengthy whine about “male nerd privilege” on Twitter. I have to confess, I tried, I really did, but I only managed to read about half of it before I decided, “I can’t take this nonsense anymore.” I am so very, very tired of “my suffering is worse than your suffering” screeds.

Listen boys and girls, suffering is always individual and very personal and is not necessarily proportional to the sufferers actual situation and the injustices suffered. What one person can easily shake off might be a deeply personal and hurtful attack to another and telling someone that “your suffering is nothing compared to mine” is just as hurtful as actual bullying.

Sadly, even with all our technology and sophistication, underneath it all we are still just educated apes. (Who was it who said that?) We form hierarchies and if we try to take away the hierarchies and make everyone equal we just form different hierarchies. We have alpha males and alpha females and the alphas and non alphas behave almost exactly like alphas and non alphas among our ape ancestors. More than 100 years of feminism and more than 200 years of democracy has not changed that and one thousand more years will still not likely change it very much. I don’t think that means we should just accept our ape nature though. We, as individuals, can behave like the higher beings we like to believe we are.

And we can start by holding our heads up and not whining quite so much no matter what our position in the hierarchy. We can show sympathy to other people who are suffering instead of belittling their feelings. We can refuse to play the game that keeps some people down while protecting those at the top.

And here’s one more thing. Each of us can choose not to suffer, not to be victims. To say, “just grow a thicker skin” sounds like exactly the opposite of what I said above. A lot of people would say it’s “blaming the victim” but it’s a fact that bullies pick on people who are the most fun to pick on so you can definitely help yourself by being less fun to pick on.

Bullies should definitely be severely punished when caught but punishing bullies will make other bullies more subtle and clever and harder to catch. It’s like fighting cockroaches and terrorists – there will always be more and you can’t ever stop fighting them. But the best way to help victims is to help them be tougher and the best help may come from other victims saying, “I understand; I feel your pain,” instead of, “Ha! you think you suffer? You don’t know suffering.”

6 Things We Never Want to See Lists of Again

Nicole asked for it so you got it. Sorry (no, I’m really not) I don’t know how to create one of those annoying slide shows but to be as authentic as possible I present these in reverse order of annoyingness. (Yes, it is so a real word. I know because I just made it up myself. Shut up, Firefox spellchecker.)

6. # Superfoods You Should Eat More Of – Actually, I sort of enjoy these good food lists a little bit because I like seeing that something I already like is “good for me” but at the same time the benefits they attribute to the listed foods are always way out in space. If it was really that easy to prevent cancer, lower cholesterol, improve memory, and live 20 years longer the medical profession would have gone out of business centuries ago.

5. # Books you must read before you die – I do like book lists but when they frame it as “books you must read” it’s a bit of a turn off. There are more books than any individual can possibly read in a lifetime and you have to choose according to your own tastes and interests. How about simply “Books Worth Reading” instead?

4. # Places You Must Visit Before You Die – You know, that “before you die” phrase is pretty silly isn’t it? You’re not going to do these things after you die are you? Anyway, on to my main point… What if I never get to visit these places? Does that mean my life is empty, wasted? And you notice that these lists never include places like Branson, Missouri or Eureka Springs, Arkansas. They’re always heavily biased in favor of exotic, expensive, and hard to get to places. Someday maybe I will make a list of “Things You Must Do Before You Die” that includes things like, “Enjoy a stupid TV show with your family” and “Sit outside on a summer evening listening to the night sounds and watching fireflies.”

3. # Things You Should Never Eat – We don’t need to be told what we shouldn’t eat. I think most people have figured out which foods are bad for you. We are told often enough. And even though it changes somewhat from year to year – sometimes things that were bad turn out to be good and vice versa – two things that will always be on the list are fat and sugar. But even these are not so bad in small amounts. The oldest advice is still the best: “All things in moderation.” We don’t need a list; we just need to remember that.

2. # Items Every Woman Should Have In Her Closet – Let me point out that “Every Woman” does not live in New York city, work in an upscale office, and attend fashionable parties every weekend. One item you always see on these lists is “the little black dress.” I have never in my life owned a little black dress. Where would I wear such a thing? Chili’s? Even if I did go to the kind of places where one wears a little black dress I probably wouldn’t because that’s what everyone else would be wearing, right? That’s what I call a uniform. Besides the LBD, there is usually nothing else on such lists that I either own or feel that I need.

1. # Things You Should Never Say To […..] – This is my top list pet peeve. There are dozens of different versions of it – Things you should never say to parents of young children, Things you should never say to a Teacher, Things you should never say to a woman, Things you should never say to a man, and so on. Honestly, there are a few things that you should never say (or that a polite person would never say) but these lists always go beyond the limits of what a polite person wouldn’t say and into the “Things we just don’t want to hear because we know it’s true but we don’t want to believe it,” and “Perfectly legitimate opinions that we disagree with,” categories. But it is really the whole idea of this type of list that is wrong. You can’t tell other people what not to say. To the makers of these lists and the members of the groups they represent I say, get over yourselves. You are not special and you don’t have any special right to be protected from the opinions of others.

Dustbury also has a list.

Real Women Don’t Need Your Advice

Here’s one of those things I bookmarked, hoping I would get around to it one day. (See? See? Sometimes I really do “get around to it”.)

9 Things Middle Aged Women Should Stop Doing Immediately. First of all, stop telling your elders what they should or should not do. “Middle aged” women have been there, done that. We’ve seen fashions come and go and we’ve tried silly fads and we are so over it. We know what we like; we know what looks good on us; and we know when it is okay to just not care and do whatever the hell we want to. That said, I have to admit that I agree with most of these. In fact, DO NOT WAIT until you are over 45 to stop smoking, tanning, wearing too much make-up, and comparing yourself to other women.

But, if you know me you know which one I have to say something about: “Mom jeans”. Now the really funny thing about this is that most of the rest of the list is all about “stop acting like a teenager” but about the jeans the author says: “Once a woman hits the age of 45, it doesn’t mean she has to start wearing unflattering, high-waisted jeans.” That’s right, ladies; you can show off your butt cleavage until you’re 90+. Okay, okay! I know they don’t necessarily have to be that low to escape the dreaded “mom jeans” title. (Do they?) But what is so wrong with jeans that come up to one’s natural waistline? Unflattering? That is always, always, always a matter of opinion and varies from person to person.

Personally, I actually don’t think high-waisted jeans look good on me but neither do the low-riders or the in between jeans. That’s why I never wear tucked in blouses with pants. Pants that fit at my natural waistline are simply more comfortable so that’s what I wear. Frankly, anti-mom-jeans articles make me want to get a t-shirt that says, “This Is What a Real Woman Looks Like” and tuck it into my properly waisted jeans and proudly walk down a busy city street. I generally don’t care what other people wear, however, I really don’t want to see your underwear or your butt crack. Sorry, (no I’m really not) I’m just old-fashioned that way.

The articles says, “Ladies, have a little pride!” Indeed. Do have a little pride. Have a lot of pride. Wear what you like; wear what you feel comfortable in and wear it proudly.

Class Has No Expiration Date

Oh, this might get me in trouble with some people but I’m going to say it: Yes, definitely, sexy does have an expiration date, though the photos of Tina Turner and Cher (the latter obviously airbrushed) seem to suggest otherwise. Seriously, Cher didn’t look that good when she was 30. She couldn’t because they hadn’t invented Photoshop yet.

I don’t have any particular problem with cosmetic surgery as long as it’s subtle and not overdone. If I had the money I would definitely go there myself someday. But “sexy” is not the only way to be attractive. Grace, dignity, charm, elegance, style, class – these are attractive alternatives to sexy at any age but older women should absolutely aspire to these qualities instead of trying to be “sexy”. And I think there might be some debate as to what, exactly, is sexy. Is Miley Cyrus sexy, or merely skanky?

Now I know someone out there is thinking “sex sells”. Don’t say it. Everyone knows that. But why does what sells always have to rule our attitudes and behavior? If seeing a sixty year old in her underwear makes you want to buy some like them for yourself, fine. Go ahead, buy. Then go home, put them on, then put a nice, modest outfit on over them and hold your head up and feel good about yourself, whatever your age, whatever your style. Don’t copy your style from a model in an underwear ad or from a celebrity who has cosmetic surgery done so often it could be considered a hobby.

We older women should be leaders, not followers. We should be setting the example for younger women not copying them. Not that they will follow, at least not immediately. They’re too busy following the latest trends. But eventually every normal woman gets tired of all that nonsense and just wants to be herself.

The Ice Bucket Challenge

I guess some people are getting tired of the Ice Bucket Challenge and saying “enough already”? To be honest I haven’t seen very much complaining or criticism. What I have seen a lot of is people getting indignant about people complaining about the Ice Bucket Challenge. Which is pretty much normal for this sort of thing. For every person who makes the tiniest squeak about anything there will be 10,000 people shouting about what a horrible person he is.

Personally, okay, I know it’s for a good cause and a lot of money has been raised because of it and that’s all a good thing. And people are having fun with it and that’s a good thing too. But the intimidation factor does bother me. “Either donate money or get ice dumped on your head and don’t you dare say anything against the great and wonderful Ice Bucket Challenge.” Perhaps calling it “intimidation” is a bit overly dramatic but it does definitely involve peer pressure.

A few people, however, are able to handle challenges with perfect class and style.

I Don’t Have Anything To Say But I’m Going to Talk Anyway

Some days I have absolutely nothing to say and other days I have too much to say and no energy to say it and I start to think, “Why am I still doing this? How much longer will I keep doing this?” If Blogger would make one or two more little improvements I might switch back to that. I would miss my links page though. But I need to work on that some so, I don’t know… maybe I’m just getting tired of the whole thing. On the other hand, I want to have something for those times when I do really have something to say. And I like being part of a “community” even if I am destined to always be the weird, lonely girl that almost everyone ignores.

This week is the hottest this year so far. They are forecasting triple digits for this weekend. Everyone is complaining and yeah, I am too a little bit, but I really don’t mind all that much. Now I feel like it’s really summer, not just a perpetual spring. I know I’m making that sound like a bad thing. Of course I am more comfortable when the temps are in the 70’s and 80’s, but it’s August and it’s supposed to be hot. It’s hard to explain. I guess I’m more comfortable (in a different sense) when things are the way they are supposed to be.

I have really slacked off on sewing. I haven’t started one of these yet like I had intended to do. I have been working for over a week on a baby dress that I could have finished in a day. But you know, it’s like that sometimes. Sometimes you feel inspired and feel an urgency (which in my case is almost always imaginary) and other times you just can’t stay interested. Maybe it’s because it’s August. Is this the lazy month?

It’s also the month that school starts. Not something I have to deal with anymore, thank goodness. It always seems wrong to me that school starts in the middle of August. It’s supposed to start in September, the day after Labor Day. Anything else will always be wrong.

We started watching The Strain. I have mixed feelings about this show. It has a little too much “gross horror movie” stuff for my taste but it is also interesting enough that I want to stick with it to see what happens next. The new season of Haven starts soon. I’ve been seeing ads for it. I sort of feel like they started to lose me last season but not completely. I still want to keep watching.

By far my favorite series that’s on right now is Defiance. Here are two behind the scenes videos.

It’s Almost Over!

If you live in the U.S. and subscribe to cable or satellite TV you already know that this is “Shark Week.” Shark Week isn’t an actual thing, of course. It’s just a stunt that The Discovery Channel came up with back in the 80’s and they’re still doing it every year in August. The first year we had cable I thought it was sort of a fun idea. The second year, still sort of fun but 75% of it was stuff we had seen the year before. The third year, pretty much over it. The fourth year, SO over it.

Most of the programs broadcast during Shark Week fall into one of two categories: 1. Trying to convince us that sharks are almost cuddly, and 2. Showing us horrible shark bite wounds and bleeding stumps and interviewing shark bite victims who say things like, “I don’t feel any malice toward the shark. He was just doing what comes natural. I was in his territory. Yes I still dive.” You know… that’s an admirable attitude I suppose but I would find it a lot easier to believe in the sincerity of those statements if just once in a while they would show someone expressing what would be entirely normal feelings after experiencing something like that: “I am afraid of sharks, I [bleeping] hate sharks and hell no I’m not going back in the water.”

In the last two or three years the whole Shark Week thing has gotten completely out of hand. Not to be left out, Nat Geo Wild decided to have their own version of Shark Week but they can’t call it that, of course, so they’re calling theirs Shark Fest. In addition, every other channel is dragging out and rerunning every shark related program they can find. SyFy was repeatedly showing Sharknado and another shark movie with a similar title that I can’t remember now. Almost everywhere you look it was sharks, sharks, sharks! Even locally they were having some kind of shark thing at the Oklahoma Aquarium. (saw it on the local news, wasn’t really paying attention.)

And then there’s this:

Okay, that is cute.

But it’s all educational, right? No, it’s not. No matter how many times they get caught doing this sort of thing they will keep on doing it, and they still have just enough legitimate shows to lure scientists into talking to them, thinking that they are interviewing for a legitimate educational program. It’s not at all surprising considering the masses of people who believe in ghosts, bigfoot, UFOs, alligators in the sewers, and that the moon landing was faked, but it is disappointing.

Finally, I have to ask, why sharks? Yeah, I suppose they’re interesting and TV producers can create a lot of drama with them, which is all most people want to see, but I think it’s sad that, of all the fascinating things in the natural world, sharks get a whole week every year. Why don’t we have bird week, or Insect Week? There are a lot more species of insects than there are of sharks. Wait! Let’s call it Creepy Crawlies Week then they could include arachnids too! Surely they could create enough drama with that.

“Digital Natives”

From Fillyjonk’s Progress:

There was the usual “OMG the upcoming generation are all such digital natives that they will REBEL if you want to use an actual, dead-tree textbook!” but the funny thing is, in my department, we have at least anecdotal information (from informally polling students) that many of them HATE e-books, and hate them more strongly than the e-book users dislike paper books. And the idea that we have to totally overturn models of teaching that have worked for generations because these new kids have shorter attention spans, and like to be entertained, and bla bla bla. And part of me is going, “But the good students in my department would consider that slander, and they’re in that age group”…

Any attempt to characterize a large group of people, whether it’s an age group, a race, members of a profession, or any other groups we choose to divide people into, will always be inaccurate and unfair. The characteristics you ascribe to the group may be true of a large number of members but never all and usually fewer than half. I keep reading this stuff about how today’s, kids, teens, and twenty-somethings are “digital natives” – that they have never known a world in which there were no computers or cell phones and therefore they are almost like a different species from us older folk who just don’t quite “get” all this new technology. The truth is that in all age groups there are both technophiles and technophobes, just as in every generation there are people who can work on cars and people to whom anything mechanical is mysterious and confusing.

People my age who grew up watching Star Trek have been waiting for these gadgets for over half our lives. I wanted a smart phone years before the things even existed. The smartest and most ambitious did not wait. They made it all happen. Digital natives? My generation created this digital world we live in now. What does that make us?

Yeah, I sort of get how if ebook readers have been around for all or most of your life (and really they haven’t been available for that long yet) that you might be just as comfortable with one as with paper and ink books and might even prefer them but, on the other hand, you might not. There’s no reason why you should. Books still have the same advantages no matter what your age. Oh yes, I like my Kindle. I like being able to store hundreds of books in the space of just one. I like the built in dictionary. I like being able to download books from sites like Project Gutenberg for free. But sometimes while reading a book on Kindle I really miss being able to flip back to a previous chapter to review something I read earlier. It seems to me that with textbooks the ability to do that would be needed even more.