In July 16 Issue
We read with interest this week of several things as we know them today that will become extinct within the next few years.
U.S. Post Office - They are pricing themselves out of existence. With e-mail, and and on-line services they will likely be a thing of the past.
Yellow Pages- This year will be pivotal for the global Yellow Pages industry. Much like newspapers, print Yellow Pages will continue to bleed dollars to their various digital counterparts, from Internet Yellow Pages (IYPs), to local search engines and combination search/listing services.
Classified Ads - The Internet has made so many things obsolete that newspaper classified ads might sound like just another trivial item on a long list.
Movie Rental Stores - While Netflix is looking up at the moment, rental stores keeps
closing store locations by the hundreds.
Dial-up Internet Access -Dial-up connections have fallen from 40% in 2001 to 10% in 2008. The combination of an infrastructure to accommodate affordable high speed Internet connections and the disappearing home phone have all but pounded the final nail in the coffin of dial-up internet access.
Phone Land Lines - According to a survey from the National Center for Health Statistics, at the end of 2007, nearly one in six homes was cell-only and, of those homes that had land lines, one in eight only received calls on their cells.
VCRs - For the better part of three decades, the VCR was a best-seller and staple in every American household until being completely
decimated by the DVD, and now the Digital Video Recorder (DVR). In fact, the only remnants of the VHS age at your local Wal-Mart or Radio Shack are blank VHS tapes.
Ash Trees - In the late 1990's, a pretty, iridescent green species of beetle, now known as the emerald ash borer, hitched a ride to North
America with ash wood products imported from eastern Asia . In less than a decade, its larvae have killed millions of trees in the Midwest, and continue to spread. They've killed more than 30 million ash trees in southeastern Michigan alone, with tens of millions more lost in Ohio and Indiana . More than 7.5 billion ash trees are currently at risk.
. Ham Radio -Amateur radio operators enjoy personal (and often worldwide) wireless communications with each other and are able to support their communities with emergency and disaster communications if necessary, while increasing their personal knowledge of electronics and radio theory.. However, proliferation of the Internet and its popularity among youth has caused the decline of amateur radio. In the past five years alone, the number of people holding active ham radio licenses has dropped by 50,000, even though Morse Code is no longer a requirement.
The Swimming Hole - Thanks to our litigious society, swimming holes are becoming a thing of the past. '20/20' reports that swimming hole owners are shutting them down out of worry that if someone gets hurt they'll sue.
Answering Machines - The increasing disappearance of answering machines is directly tied to the decline of landlines. According to USA Today, the number of homes that only use cell phones jumped 159% between 2004 and 2007.
Cameras That Use Film - It doesn't require a statistician to prove the rapid disappearance of the film camera in America .
Incandescent Bulbs Before a few years ago, the standard 60-watt (or, yikes, 100-watt) bulb was the mainstay of every U.S. home. With the green movement and all-things-sustainable-energy crowd, the Compact Fluorescent Lightbulb (CFL) is largely replacing the older, Edison-era incandescent bulb..
The Milkman - According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in 1950, over half of the milk delivered was to the home in quart bottles, by 1963, it was about a third and by 2001, it represented only 0.4%
Nowadays most milk is sold through supermarkets in gallon jugs.
Hand-Written Letters - In 2006, the Radicati Group estimated that, worldwide, 183 billion e-mails were sent each day. Two million each second. By November of 2007, an estimated 3.3 billion Earthlings owned cell phones, and 80% of the world's population had access to cell phone coverage. In 2004, half-a-trillion text messages were sent, and the number has no doubt increased exponentially since then. So where amongst this gorge of gabble is there room for the elegant, polite hand-written letter?
Wild Horses - It is estimated that 100 years ago, as many as two million horses were roaming free within the United States . In 2001, National Geographic News estimated that the wild horse population has decreased to about 50,000 head. Currently, the National Wild Horse
and Burro Advisory board states that there are 32,000 free roaming horses in ten Western states, with half of them residing in Nevada .
Personal Checks - According to an American Bankers Assoc. report, a net 23% of consumers plan to decrease their use of checks over the next two years, while a net 14% plan to increase their use of PIN debit. Bill payment remains the last stronghold of paper-based payments -- for the time being. Checks continue to be the most commonly used bill payment method, with 71% of consumers paying at least one recurring bill per month by writing a check. However,a bill-by-bill basis, checks account for only 49% of consumers' recurring bill payments (down from 72% in 2001 and 60% in 2003).
Drive-in Theaters - During the peak in 1958, there were more than 4,000 drive-in theaters in this country, but in 2007 only 405 drive-ins were still operating. Exactly zero new drive-ins have been built since 2005.
Mumps & Measles - Despite what's been in the news lately, the measles and mumps actually, truly are disappearing from the United States .
Honey Bees - Perhaps nothing on our list of disappearing America is so dire; plummeting so enormously; and so necessary to the survival of our food supply as the honey bee.
News Magazines and TV News
While the TV evening newscasts haven't gone anywhere over the last several decades, their audiences have. In 1984, in a story about the diminishing returns of the evening news, the New York Times reported that all three network evening-news programs combined had only 40.9 million viewers. Fast forward to 2008, and what they have today is half that.
The Family Farm - Since the 1930's, the number of family farms has been declining rapidly. According to the USDA, 5.3 million farms dotted the nation in 1950, but this number had declined to 2.1 million by the 2003 farm census (data from the 2007 census hasn't yet been published). Ninety-one percent of the U.S. FARMS are small Family Farms.
Ole IC - Without a doubt, Ole IC will be extinct along with several others of you. We just do not know who and how soon.......and that is a good thing.
A Hot Day
It was a stifling hot day and a man fainted in the middle of a busy intersection.
Traffic quickly piled up in all directions, so a woman rushed to help him.
When she knelt down to loosen his collar, a man emerged from the crowd, pushed her aside, and said, "It's all right honey, I've had a course in first aid."
The woman stood up and watched as he took the ill man's pulse and prepared to administer artificial respiration.
At this point she tapped him on the shoulder and said, "When you get to the part about calling a doctor,I'm already here."