Tuesday, December 29, 2009

What Will We Call The Last Decade?

The first decade of the Twenty-First Century is in the bag. We had the pop cultural “-ies” of the 20th Century. (Fifties, Sixties, Seventies, et al.) but is this kind of branding of the decades by the “-ies” over? What are we going to call the last decade? The Aughts? Seriously?

I’ve been thinking about this for more than ten years. It seems just yesterday that it was the last year of The Nineties and we were worrying about Y2K and surfing the web on Lycos or Ask Jeeves. Times have changed. One thing we’ve never really gotten a handle on is what to call this last decade.

On Twitter and Facebook I finally proposed the question. I mean, where else can I get a good feel for what to call this unnamable decade except by crowdsourcing? The results were staggeringly diverse. Some were funny. Some political. Other just clever.

The first response I got on Twitter was from @profnet who asked, “How about The Zilches?” Good one. A contender for the top ten list. @ruthseely chimed in with an interesting term I hadn’t heard yet. “I thought they were called the naughties,” she tweeted. “A term at which I always giggled although I didn't witness much naughtiness.”

“Here is the name for the past decade,” @OneCauseATATime suggested. “Death of Common Sense” Funny, perhaps, depending on which side of the political fence you stand on, but probably not going to make the list by most standards.

Keeping with the political tone, @cpmomcat suggested that the Aughts was actually a good term for the last decade: “The Aughts seems appropriate,” she tweeted. “We aught to have elected Gore or Kerry, we aught to have regulated, etc. I know ought is not spelled with an ‘a’ - but it still works for me.”

A couple of people suggested “the 0’s (ohs not zeros)” which prompted a follow up by @profnet: “I also like the "Uh-Ohs" (play on the Oh-Ohs). :-)”

My Facebook friends were a little more acerbic. A college buddy of mine said: he liked “The ies-less-ies”? A former coworker of mine voted for “The Single Digits.”

No matter what we end up calling this decade my college friend put it best when he said, “Anyone who calls it ‘The Two Thousands’ sounds like a moron!”

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

2010 Wish List

It's that time of year when people get all starry eyed about the coming year while getting misty eyed about the one that just passed. In the middle are the predicitons and wish lists. Here I present my wish list for 2010:

1) The cure for some deadly disease spurred by stem cell research, specifically ALS because I work for The ALS Association Greater New York Chapter. While I realize an outright cure is virtually impossible in the next 12 months the least I can wish for is a breakthough in treatment to help prolong life or raise the quality of life for people with ALS (PALS). I'd also like to see some promising research for a cure on the genetic level.

2) The discovery of an earth-like exoplanet in the "goldilocks" zone" where we find some form of primitive life at least. This year was another banner year for finding exoplantes, especially earth-like ones with water. For most astrophysicists, finding water on any exoplanet in the habitable zone would be the most promising precondition for then finding life of some sort. I doubt we could find Yoda hanging out on Degobah but even some sign of an atmosphere where evidence of life exists on a watery world would be miraculous and astounding.

3) The unveiling of an Apple tablet that kicks a**. I hear the Kindle is a great product. Sadly, I can't afford one because I can't buy something that pretty much only reads books. It has to be multifunctional and technology is passed the point where I'd buy JUST a book reader. Meld my other media passions with book reading and you just might have yourself a winner there buster. And if it came from Apple? Grand Slam. (Books. Music. Movies. Apple!) I'd probably dig deep into the wallet and pull out my credit card for a really useful Apple Tablet. One that I can read Kindle book files on (because I already shop extensively on Amazon) and with ability to play music, watch movies, surf the web, check emails and with at least minimal word processing and photo editing power. I want the iTouch but bigger and better. I'd pay $499 for this device if I could stop lugging around my laptop back and forth to work everyday.

4) Change. I want change. The change I voted for. Congress seems to miss the point of the 2008 election. People really did want change. We certainly didn't want Republicans (the party of zero ideas) putting the kibosh on every single darn thing the president proposed. We didn't want rude Sentaors shouting "liar" in congress. We didn't want Health Care Reform hijacked by crazies. We didn't want bank lobbyists and CEOs derailing regulation. We wanted America to become number one in the world for economics, research, science, politics, the environment and commerce. How are we going to get there arguing with ourselves looking like fools? We wanted change. Are we getting it? We need to look at 2009 as a benchmark and ask if we're really heading in the direction that we wanted to go.

The above are some ideas I had off the top of my head that I expanded on for this blog post. It came about when someone tweeted about a public Google Wave on imagining 2010. I went there and dashed off a list for the science and technology section. That inspired this post. So a fifth wish would be for much more of that type of stuff. Ideas, conversations and the like extended and shared through innovative web-based software.

So there's my wish list for 2010.

Do you have a wish list? It's probably better than mine. So please feel free to share your wish list in the comments below or link to your own 2010 wish lists on your blog. I'd love to hear them.

Enjoy your holidays and have a Happy New Year.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

What is your favorite b-movie villain(s)?

I was watching the old Mighty Morphin Power Ranger movie with my 7 year old son. He loves this movie. I was always very much too old for this series thinking it silly and childish (unlike my fascination with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which came out when I was in college.) Anyway, what makes this movie watchable (actually there are two things) is the villain, Ivan Ooze. He's a cross between Batman's Joker, a glam rocker and Carl Reiner. He's deliciously evil and deliberately campy. What other evil villain bent on world destruction can hock a luggie that creates an army of evil henchmen?

The other reason the movie is watchable (for the men at least) is Dulcea, master warrior on the planet Phaedos.

So my question is, what other b-movie villains are your favorites?