Thursday, July 2, 2009

A little bit of old and a little bit of new...

I suppose it's the Gemini in me, but I have a hard time making decisions between two distinct things. You'd think it would be easy, but for me it's never one or the other; I want to have both. It's generally not because I'm greedy, but more because I can see the benefits or advantages to both and don't want to lose one to the other. 

Maybe it's just me, but it seems that mine is the last generation to have one foot "back when..." and one foot in the Internet Era. I remember having to use card catalogs at the library and not knowing where someone was because he or she was out and cell phones weren't widely available (or were the size of shoe boxes). I guess that's why I see the value in both technology and the old way of doing things. 

I don't always think newer is better. has an article on the rise of urban farming. I grew up between two farms and eating corn off my neighbor's stalks. I was introduced to city gardens through my cousin's neighbor in Philly, and I really think the type of gardens CNN profiles are an excellent idea. They do so many wonderful things beyond bring fresh vegetables to a population that may be unfamiliar with them. Cities rose with technology at the turn of the last century, but there is something to be said for picking your own dinner. 

If one is looking to put a face on the digital age, one of the first image that springs to mind is Google. This company has become so intertwined with daily living, the name is actually a verb in the U.S. I have no idea how many times a day I "google" something. Occasionally it causes a ruckus by testing the boundaries of copyright - Google Books - or privacy - tailoring ads in Gmail to the content of an email - but in this case cited by, its Street View cameras had a positive impact. The images taken from a Dutch camera helped identify suspects and lead to their arrest for the mugging of a 14 year-old boy. The suspects robbed the boy of 165 euros ($285), but after police obtained permission from Google, prosecutors were able to clear the blurry shots and see the muggers.

Perhaps a compromise between the old school and the new school is in order. BBC Online reported on a study which found listening to the right kind of music can lower blood pressure and slow the heart rate. Most people would see this as common sense, but doctors today have found a niche in which to apply it to a greater benefit - stroke victims. Music like Verdi or Puccini, which alternates stimulating crescendos with calming diminuendos, mimics the cardiovascular rhythm and can be applied to rehabilitation for stroke victims who are trying to regain movement out of paralysis. So yes, opera is good for something. : )

(Image courtesy of

No comments: