The Norman Transcript

Features

November 30, 2013

Interaction and gadgets

NORMAN — Gadgets and various inventions can make life easier particularly when it comes to making life a little easier.

For example, when Prometheus gave mankind the gift of fire, life became warmer and brighter.

Of course, Zeus was unhappy, which seemed to be a constant malady of his, because ruling the other gods and keeping them in line was like herding cats. Someone always broke one rule or another, and it usually involved humans.

However, if you prefer the less elegant version, then somehow one of those cave dwellers with a sloping forehead stumbled upon the process of making fire. You have to wonder how often he had to rediscover the gift, because if he did not tend the fire, it went out.

Later, someone must have accidentally dropped a piece of meat into the fire, and by the time he managed to get it out, the meat was cooked.

From cold, dark caves and raw meat, man or what passed for man at the time suddenly had indoor heat, light and haute cuisine. They gathered around the fire and enjoyed family grunting time together.

We have come a long way from those thrilling days of yesteryear when a stroll outside the cave could result in bringing home a lion, tiger or bear for dinner or becoming the meal for one of those critters.

Today, gathering together for a meal is a holiday occasion. The rest of the time, we are isolated bubble-dwellers. There is no need to forage for food when you can dash into a supersized grocery store (or hire someone to do it) and come out with frozen, more or less ready-to-eat meals or some other easy-to-prepare morsels that require a microwave and pushing a few buttons.

Ding. Dinner is ready.

We grab the food and head back to the television or the computer to play or work. No downtime for the wicked and weary multi-taskers we have become.

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