Saturday, May 16, 2009

Nooo. Not at the museum. Not cellphones.

Be sure to bring your cell phone next time you go to the museum. More than 500 museums have replaced the audio-tour handsets or earphones with, you guessed it, your cell phone. For example, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis asks visitors to dial a local number, enter a code listed next to a piece of art and get info about the piece. At the opera, you must still remember to turn the damn phone off. However, you might be asked to use text messaging at the conclusion to vote on the encore. Too much.

Most of India never had a land line telephone. But today, over 400 million cellphone users chirp away for less than five buck a month. And they get more bang for the buck than we do. Among other things, Indian phone companies have invented methods to wire money to temples, to pay for groceries, to find jobs in addition to humble e-mail messages.

Blame it on the recession. Some desperate people are becoming voluntary prisoners, committing minor infractions so they will go to jail just to get three hots and a cot. Detroit reports four or five such arrests weekly. Up from a dozen a year before the downturn. The criminal justice system is becoming the safety net of last resort. Sad.

The rich men in Qatar hunt with peregrine falcons. The birds, which sell for $5,000 and up, can hit speeds of 200 mph in a dive. Some prized birds even have their own passports.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Lady at Tom Thumb has really had it lately..her son was injured by a bomb blast in Iraq...her daughter was in the Dallas Cowboys outdoor arena when it fell (not injured) and then she has a car totaled by a woman on a cell phone making a left hand turn in an intersection. And Texas does not pass a bill to stop cell phone use while driving. But they did prevent teens from driving & cell phoning. Also trying to pass a law for photo ID of voters...guess who is pushing that. Bill

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