Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Life changing inventions

USA TODAY recently came out with their top 25 “Life Changing” gadgets, services, and inventions since 1982. Here is their list in their order of importance.

1. Cellphones
2. Laptops
3. Blackberrys
4. Debit cards
5. Caller ID
6. DVDs
7. Lithium rechargeable batteries
8. IPods
9. Pay at the pump
10. Lettuce in a bag
11. Digital cameras
12. Doppler radar
13. Flat-panel TV’s
14. Electronic tolls
15. PowerPoint
16. Microwave popcorn
17. High tech footwear
18. Online stock trading
19. Big Bertha golf clubs
20. Disposable contact lenses
21. StairMaster
22. Tivo
23. Purell
24. Home satellite TV
25. Karaoke

Now this list and the order of importance is insane. How could Lettuce in a bag POSSIBLY finish behind laptops?? And yes, Tivo has revolutionized the way we watch television, changing the structure of network television which has a rippling effect on the entire entertainment industry but hey, Microwave popcorn can be prepared in minutes!

Personally, I’d move Caller ID way up, especially now that my relatives have my phone number. I’d move BlackBerrys down. They make life easy for agents, not the general population. Online stock trading usually results in users going bankrupt so I’d move that below Home satellite TV, which offers porno to the most rural parts of this great nation.

StairMasters are evil. High tech footwear is ingenious in that manufacturers found a way to sell the same Keds for hundreds of dollars more. Pay at the pump allows oil companies to operate with fewer personnel thus more profit for them and more unemployment for us (although it is kinda fun to see a coiffed Beverly Hills princess having to pump her own gas into the family Hummer).

How could YouTube be left off the list? Or those armrests with holes in them for your drinks in movie theaters? GoogleMaps? That first-down yellow stripe on televised football games? The Clapper? Jolt Cola? Viagra? GPS systems? DNA testing? The Lego toilet paper folder? E-Mail? The high-tensile external window shade for Godsakes? MRI’s? Portrait enhancement modes in photo shop computer programs? The anti-spill water bowl for dogs? HyperSonic Sound? And I’m sure you have a few more.

Oh, and don’t forget blogs…or, as I like to call them, “Bullshit in a Bag”.


english sinseh said...

Why not lettuce in a bag? If you're a writer, a fitness freak but a lousy cook.

Lester Hunt said...

Why is karaoke on the list? Are these people nuts?

blogward said...

Anyone whose life was changed by Karaoke needs one.

Anonymous said...

Whoa, whoa, whoa, Justin. Back that up. You've got no right.

Singing "Don't Go Breakin' My Heart" has helped me come to terms with not being laid for a very very very very long time.

It must be the sound system.

Cheerleader_Cutie said...

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Rob said...

I'd like to change the life of the people who invented the following on the list:

Cellphones -- But only the guy who invented the billing plans, which are slightly more complicated than tax code

Blackberrys -- Did the world really need to be able to access e-mail about penis enlargers while on the go?

DVDs -- Honestly, it is bad enough that According to Jim is in syndication. Do we need the boxed set as well? Plus, they destroyed the "Be Kind -- Rewind" sticker industry.

IPods -- With these, IM, e-mail, and cell phones, an entire generation may never have to experience a face to face conversation again.

Pay at the pump -- Insert card. Card not read. (Beat) (Beat) (Beat) (Beat x 30) Insert Card. Card Not Read. (Beat) (Beat) (Beat) (Beat x 30)

Lettuce in a bag -- Keeping E-coli preserved fro over a decade.

Digital cameras -- There will now be a whole generation that has no shots of half of grandma's head.

Doppler radar -- Enabling weather people to f*ck up a forecast with greater precision than ever before.

PowerPoint -- The high tech business solution to those boring slides from your vacation trip to the world's largest ball of twine.

Microwave popcorn -- Hey, without the ability to burn this, entire office buildings wouldn't smell like a giant bucket of ass.

StairMaster -- A necessity since the stair embargo of 1997 caused a great reduction in the number of flights of steps throughout the country.

Christine and FAZ said...

What about the World Wide Web without which we would not be here today?

Anonymous said...

Where have you been....didn't you know Al Gore invented the web in the 70s

Anonymous said...

Hey, they're life-changing, not life-improving.

blogward said...

(KISSES ASS) Ken's blog is #1 for me.

Anonymous said...

I liked Tivo better when it was called a VCR

Brian Scully said...

Pepperidge Farms Parmesan Cheese Goldfish. A life changing taste treat.

Richard Cooper said...

Big Bertha golf clubs are life changing? How? By adding sexism to elitism?

What more can we expect from people who get excited by an "under par" performance?

Mike Barer said...

World Wide Web? Ken had a great life before we all entered it!

Jack Ruttan said...

I don't know how the categories break down, but what about e-mail?

Cap'n Bob said...

As Emily, above, has demonstrated, having instant access to whores is a life-changing invention.

I'd add indentity theft, Nigerian money scams, charity sucker lists, Harvard bean counters destroying every industry extant, and made-for-DVD movies.

Anonymous said...

THe Lego toilet paper folder? Wait, what? What the Hell is that?

Mike Barer said...

CNN, ESPN, Cell Phone Cameras, Drudge Report, Instant News. The Wikipedia, You Tube, Google. Car Seat Warmers. Crackbaring Jeans (ok I just wanted to add them).

Mike Barer said...

And just to throw the "right to lifers" a bone, Open adoption.

Anonymous said...

THe Lego toilet paper folder? Wait, what? What the Hell is that?

Always remember, Google is your friend. Here you go:

Anonymous said...

I'd say CompuServe needs to be in the top 3, making e-mail accessible to the masses and creating the demand for and mass use of ISPs. (For all intents and purposes, e-mail was invented in the past 25 years.)

Blackberrys are only relevant to the USA Today reader: Business person sitting on a plane. That's just playing to the audience. "Cheap pop," the wrestler Mick Foley would say.

Diet Coke (inv. in 1982) also should have been in the top-10.

Mike Barer said...

How is Diet Coke life changing? TAB and Diet Pepsi were already on the scene.

HouseFrau said...

There is something depressing about the stairmaster being one of the greatest accomplishments of the last 25 years.

I think I would rather see "The Clapper" on there because that at least helps elderly people who cannot get out of bed turn off lights.

Anonymous said...

Probably its Diet Coke + Nutrasweet, hand in hand. The fact that diet soda was blecch and niche and boomed into mainstream such that their sales are nearly that of the mainline brand today - and that Diet Coke is ubiquitous - I think is far more impactful than, say, flat panel TVs.

Mike Barer said...

That is a valid point, Diet Soda became better tasting. In the 80s it had gone from a beverages marketed toward fat people to a beverage marketed to slim people.

Sandukus said...

you need frank sinatra - i'm too.

the german vision of him is
roger cicero and his big band
swing with german text


Dante Kleinberg said...

Taco Bell's 4th Meal
That thing where you call someplace and it wants you to say the department aloud instead of choosing from a list and then it transfer you to the wrong department

I feel sort of guilty for contributing to a sarcastic list with these cliched "And what is the deal with ______?" ideas. I should've thrown in airline peanuts or something while I was at it. I comfort myself knowing I visited Ken's site regularly before it was "hip" to do so, and hope others will cut me some slack.

Renegade said...

Their list is a little off

Check out Renegade's BS

Anonymous said...

Like that weird guy in The Graduate said -- plastic is the #1 life-changing invention, especially now that it's full of biphenol A and will kill us all by mutating our hormones into cancer cells and/or making our breasts grow really large and unwieldy.

And ya, what the hell IS the Lego toilet paper folder??

Anonymous said...

Scoopable kitty litter.

Rolling suitcases.

And of course, organic food. Oh wait . . .

Writer, Rejected said...

Heart stents? Hello? The only invention that keeps The Man (and I mean those older white dudes in power) alive just long enough to reject me again? (Ken: Check it out at www.literaryrejections.blogspot.comI think you'll appreciate.)

Missy said...

Yes, what the hell IS the Lego toilet paper folder??

I would move bagged lettuce up too- even withh the e coli.

Great blog

Anonymous said...

"Anyone whose life was changed by Karaoke needs one."

Much as I dispise it, I have a an old friend who makes her living hosting karaoke nights, so it makes her house payments.

Anonymous said...

Not to harsh anyone's mellow, but the recent invention that most changed my life was the 1996 invention of protease inhibitors, as without them, I'd have died in 1997. They saved me quite literally from teh brink of my grave. This goes for tens of thousands of other people as well.

Anonymous said...

"Such is life".Everything has its time.

yoo hoo said...

USA today doesn't even list the internets because they think people still read their printed paper. nu-uh, I haven't read a printed papper in years.

Mary Stella said...

Hmm. I use 13 out of those 25 things. It would only be 12 things if I still lived in Jersey where they still have full service gas stations. Pumping my own gas in Florida is a necessary evil.

Singing "Don't Go Breakin' My Heart" has helped me come to terms with not being laid for a very very very very long time.

Wow, Rory, so that's what's been missing from my life along with the sex. *g* I think the local biker bar has karaoke on weekends. I'm so there.

no more said...

lettuce in a bag, the greatest invention in recent years? WTF. How hard is it to break a few leaves off of a head of lettuce people....

Greatest invention of all time?
Air Conditioning

God bless ;-)

Mid-western 007 said...

Okay, perhaps I'm missing something, but is it not wierd that the Internet isn't on the list?

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