Friday, January 23

Soon To Be Extinct In America

Today is mr. kenju's birthday! NO, I don't think he is about to become extinct, although he is like a dinosaur in many ways.....LOL.....Happy Birthday, Mr. kenju!


Here's another batch of information to perhaps upset your day - our ways are fast disappearing.

Common Sense and some research indicate that there are: 24 THINGS ABOUT TO BECOME EXTINCT IN AMERICA

24. 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 like Reach Local and Yodel Factors like an acceleration of the print 'fade rate' and the looming recession will contribute to the onslaught. One research firm predicts the falloff in usage of newspapers and print Yellow Pages could even reach 10% this year -- much higher than the 2%-3% fade rate seen in past years.

23. 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. But this is one of those harbingers of the future that could signal the end of civilization as we know it. The argument is that if newspaper classifieds are replaced by free online listings at sites like Craig' and Google Base, then newspapers are not far behind them.

22. Movie Rental Stores
While Netflix is looking up at the moment, Blockbuster keeps closing store locations by the hundreds. It still has about 6,000 left across the world, but those keep dwindling and the stock is down considerably in 2008, especially since the company gave up a quest of Circuit City. Movie Gallery, which owned the Hollywood Video brand, closed up shop earlier this year. Countless small video chains and mom-and-pop stores have given up the ghost already.

21. 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.

20. Phone Landlines
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 landlines, one in eight only received calls on their cells.

19. Chesapeake Bay Blue Crabs
Maryland's icon, the blue crab, has been fading away in Chesapeake Bay. Last year Maryland saw the lowest harvest (22 million pounds) since 1945. Just four decades ago the bay produced 96 million pounds. The population is down 70% since 1990, when they first did a formal count. There are only about 120 million crabs in the bay and they think they need 200 million for a sustainable population. Over-fishing, pollution, invasive species and global warming get the blame.

18. 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 these days. Pre-recorded VHS tapes are largely gone and VHS decks are practically nowhere to be found. They served us so well.

17. Ash Trees
In the late 1990s, 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.

16. 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.

15. The Swimming Hole
Thanks to our litigious society, swimming holes are becoming a thing of the past. '20/20' reports that swimming hole owners, like Robert Every in High Falls, NY, are shutting them down out of worry that if someone gets hurt they'll sue. And that's exactly what happened in Seattle. The city of Bellingham was sued by Katie Hofstetter who was paralyzed in a fall at a popular swimming hole in Whatcom Falls Park. As injuries occur and lawsuits follow, expect more swimming holes to post 'Keep out!' signs.

14. Answering Machines
The increasing disappearance of answering machines is directly tied to No 20 our list -- the decline of landlines. According to USA Today, the number of homes that only use cell phones jumped 159% between 2004 and 2007. It has been particularly bad in New York; since 2000, landline usage has dropped 55%. It's logical that as cell phones rise, many of them replacing traditional landlines, that there will be fewer answering machines.
13. Cameras That Use Film
It doesn't require a statistician to prove the rapid disappearance of the film camera in America. Just look to companies like Nikon, the professional's choice for quality camera equipment. In 2006, it announced that it would stop making film cameras, pointing to the shrinking market -- only 3% of its sales in 2005, compared to 75% of sales from digital cameras and equipment.

12. 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 EPA reports that 2007 sales for Energy Star CFLs nearly doubled from 2006, and these sales accounted for approximately 20 percent of the U.S. light bulb market. And according to USA Today, a new energy bill plans to phase out incandescent bulbs in the next four to 12 years.

11. Stand-Alone Bowling Alleys
Bowling Balls. US claims there are still 60 million Americans who bowl at least once a year, but many are not bowling in stand-alone bowling alleys. Today most new bowling alleys are part of facilities for all types or recreation including laser tag, go-karts, bumper cars, video game arcades, climbing walls and glow miniature golf. Bowling lanes also have been added to many non-traditional venues such as adult communities, hotels and resorts, and gambling casinos.

10. 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% percent. Nowadays most milk is sold through supermarkets in gallon jugs. The steady decline in home-delivered milk is blamed, of course, on the rise of the supermarket, better home refrigeration and longer-lasting milk. Although some milkmen still make the rounds in pockets of the U.S., they are certainly a dying breed.

9. 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?

8. 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 had 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. The Bureau of Land Management is seeking to reduce the total number of free range horses to 27,000, possibly by selective euthanasia.

7. 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, on a bill-by-bill basis, checks account for only 49% of consumers' recurring bill payments (down from 72% in 2001 and 60% in 2003).

6. 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. Only one reopened in 2005 and five reopened in 2006, so
there isn't much of a movement toward reviving the closed ones.

5. Mumps & Measles
Despite what's been in the news lately, the measles and mumps actually, truly are disappearing from the United States. In 1964, 212,000 cases of mumps were reported in the U.S. By 1983, this figure had dropped to 3,000, thanks to a vigorous vaccination program. Prior to the introduction of the measles vaccine, approximately half a million cases of measles were reported in the U.S. annually, resulting in 450 deaths. In 2005, only 66 cases were recorded.

4. 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. Very scary. 'Colony Collapse Disorder,' or CCD, has spread throughout the U.S. and Europe over the past few years, wiping out 50% to 90% of the colonies of many beekeepers -- and along with it, their livelihood.

3. 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.

2. Analog TV
According to the Consumer Electronics Association, 85% of homes in the U.S. get their television programming through cable or satellite providers. For the remaining 15% -- or 13 million individuals -- who are using rabbit ears or a large outdoor antenna to get their local stations, change is in the air. If you are one of these people you'll need to get a new TV or a converter box in order to get the new stations which will only be broadcast in digital.

1. The Family Farm
Since the 1930s, 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.

Both interesting and saddening, isn't it?

Can you think of anything else that is facing extinction?


Last Girl On Earth - Deni said...

Say it isn't so. NOT THE MILKMAN! (I actually included him in my latest post! See #24)

RECORD ALBUMS are already extinct, and CD'S are on their way. Sadness.

Anyhow, I never got a chance to wish you a happy 2009! Tanya sent me today, and it's about time I made it over here anyhow!

Maithri said...

Happy Birthday to Mr Kenju,

What a fascinating list,

Blessings of peace and love to you my friend,


PI said...

Happy happy to the birthday boy!
Looking at the list - things 'aint what they used to be - that's for sure.
So it's a DVR I need to get then when we update our ancient stuff. Thanks for that:)
Sadly because people mistrust the 3 in 1 injection as a possible cause of autism there has been a recurrence of measles here. People forget that we used to speak of measles as 'that dread disease.'

ET said...


Your 24 things to be soon extinct is depressing.

Grannymar said...

Birthday Blessings Mr Kenju!

'anything else that is facing extinction?' Me! lol

bobbie said...

Well, first of all, Happy Birthday to Mr.Kenju.

So far as obsolete is concerned -
The most tragic of these has to be the family farm.
Hand written letters will never be lost for me. I will never stop. There are times when only a hand written letter will suffice: a thank you; a death in the family; a love letter.
I think land lines are important. And I'd hate to switch from checks.
TV "news" I could do without.
I thought drive in movies were already gone, and I miss them.
I never use my VCR any more, but what should I do with all these tapes?

Tabor said...

Yellow pages and newspapers going...but less landfill is the result. I get Netflix dvds and since we live near the Bay we notice the problem with crabs. Raising oysters under our dock is one way to improve the crab habitat. I wonder with WII and other computer games if traditional board games are next?

bobbie said...

You got me started. Now I have to write a post, expanding on my comment to you. Hope you don't mind.

sage said...

Happy Birthday, Mr. Kenju. Interesting list you have here!

Evil Twin's Wife said...

I've often wondered about newspapers - I think of all the waste (trees cut, then they get thrown in the trash: more for the landfills - or I guess some do get recycled). Sad, but with the internet at everyone's finger tips... it seems inevitable.

No_Newz said...

Wow, that is really a sad list. :( Like Deni, I too am saddened by the loss of the milkman. I heard he fathered most of my mother's children. LOL!

Happy birthday, Mr. Kenju!

Happy weekend, Mr. & Mrs. Kenju!

Arkansas Patti said...

Happy Birthday Mr. Kenju. Cake today??

Such a list. I still have a land line for it is 4 miles to the closest signal.
We do have one of the last drive in theaters here but no "sit-in" theater.
Would terribly miss my Sunday paper and notice how it is getting thinner each week. Lots to think about in that list. Times are a changing.

Carolyn said...

Happy Birthday Mr. K!! And many more :)

It's awful about all those things-- except mumps & measles.

Beverly said...

What an interesting list. Our church asks newcomers how they heard about our church. It is usually the webpage. The pastor said how much an ad in the yellow pages cost, and I was shocked. I don't remember how much it was, but it was high.

I talked to Verizon about getting rid of my landline, but I hate to sit on hold with a cell phone eating up minutes. The lady at the store told me that there is a 9.95 rate that one can get which permits 30 outgoing calls a day, with no limit on incoming calls...something I will consider.

Magazines are almost giving away subscriptions. I surely don't watch the evening news. I read the newspaper, purely out of habit, but I've already read most of it on the internet.

Anonymous said...

For the past eight years it looked like common sense was going to become extinct in America as well but is back!

Mojo said...

Nikon is the professional's choice? Which professional was that? I'd certainly call them one of the two choices for professionals, but to just diss Canon like that? Tsk tsk...

Okay, brand loyalty rant over. First off, Janmadin ki badhai to Mr!

I don't think film cameras will become extinct in America anytime soon, but they'll certainly be an endangered species. And they'll take a lot of the "ancillary" products down with them. The consumer market 35mm film camera -- and its attendant film and processing -- will probably bow out almost completely. But medium and large format will hang in there as will pro-grade 35mm gear. Look for the death of slides (and good riddance!), and the decline of color negative film. But what I think will survive -- or possibly even make a comeback -- is black and white film. I mean the "true" black and white (Tri-X e.g.) not the color-film-with-no-dye-in-the-emulsion (like T-Max CN). I say that because anyone with a few bucks can buy the stuff to process black and white film. Enlarging and printing? That's another story. But with film scanners being as readily available in the consumer market as they are, "wet" process prints aren't strictly necessary. Purists will stay with those processes, even though dye sublimation is probably just as good and a lot cheaper and more environmentally friendly.

You might even see a resurgence in the practitioners of "alternative" photo processes like tintype or daguerrotype or cyanotype. These are the oldest photographic processes known, and a few people still use them. They're pretty much limited to fine art photography applications these days, but it wouldn't surprise me to see them making a comeback. Especially as silver film becomes harder and more expensive to find.

Guess it's obvious what species of Genus Americana I"m most concerned with losing to extinction huh?

Word verification fun time again...
"Ulneaph": Guardian angel of the forearm? (pl. ulneaphim)

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Fascinating and, yes...Saddening, too! I STILL have a landline and I really do not want to give it! VCR's? Yup! I have 4...! Three of those four play and record DVD's, as well....

Too many others to remember, but suffice it to say, I'm not too happy about many of these things going "south", as they say---OR, Down The Tubes!

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Oh And...HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO Mr. Kenju....! That package that is coming may "cheer" him!

Anonymous said...

Wishing Mr. Kenju a wonderful birthday and both of you a great weekend!

Kay Dennison said...

Sad, sad, sad -- espcially the blue crabs (yum!!!!)

Happy Birthday, Mr. K.!!!!!

whimsical brainpan said...

A belated Happy Birthday to Mr. Kenju!

Interesting list. I am concerned about the honey bees and amazed that there are still milkmen out there. I thought they were extinct already.

Anonymous said...

Yellow Pages - Our area seems to be trying to buck the trend. We receive no fewer than five different telephone books. I hate it! The waste is incredible.

Ham Radio - Yes, I'm wondering how much longer I should hold onto my license. In the mid-1950s, we actually helped people in an emergency. Now, I spend my disaster-response related time volunteering with the Red Cross.

Family Farm - If there are so few family farms, will someone please explain to me why there is so much money going into farm subsidies? (Well...and into banks...and into auto manufacturers...and....)

Milkman - I didn't know we still had them. Of course the ice man (the source of my red hair, so Mom told me) has been extinct for many years.
Cop Car

Kelly Martin said...

Amateur radio isn't going extinct, it's just changing, and the changes are making it less appealing to the "communicator" type of ham that dominated amateur radio in the 50s and 60s. If you look, the ones who are saying it's going extinct are mostly this type, and it's entirely because they're upset because their cheese moved.

The number of licensed hams in the US has gone up considerably since all Morse requirements were eliminated in 2007, and we're seeing more and more young technically-inclined people join the hobby, not to chat with people (which they can do over the Internet) but instead to experiment.

See also Twitter is the Ham Radio Of Our Generation, Ham Radio, the Internet, and the Cell Phone, and The Future of Amateur Radio.

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