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  #41  
Old 03.10.2011, 12:39
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Re: Age and life

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(Someone said to me at the weekend that she expected me to be a grumpy, disillusioned sixty something year old.. )
better than a 50 year old, gay pervert. although i guess one out of 3 isn't bad
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  #42  
Old 03.10.2011, 12:47
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Re: Age and life

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(Someone said to me at the weekend that she expected me to be a grumpy, disillusioned sixty something year old.. )
Oh, you loved it. You should have just mentioned the Geritol you take daily and smiled I'm older than I look, but I'm just keeping young by slowly embalming myself with cheap Swiss wine.
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  #43  
Old 03.10.2011, 19:14
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Re: Age and life

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For me, the single most impressive change between my childhood and now has been the internet.

I've always been a nosy curious person (....) You can take back the MP3 player, the flat screen telly, the DVD player and the mobile phone, but please don't take away my access to the biggest library in the world!
I have held you in great esteem for a while, dear sir, but my respect for you has heightened even more because of this post - not least because of the similarity of our experiences.

*hat tip*

Before we got the internet at home (and I was already about 19 when that happened), I, like some kind of medieval Carthusian monk, had self-appointed myself with the patient, endless task of copying by hand all sorts of interesting information I could dig up in libraries, literally filling my room with tightly-written notebooks which I treasured. (This will give you an idea of why I then embraced Wikipedia and other knowledge-sharing web-based projects with such devotion)

And, being it so difficult back then to obtain what now a simple click on google images provides, starting when I was a child, I had been clipping interesting pictures (like places from all over the world, or animals, or ancient paintings, ruins, any sort of visual example of the marvels of the world) and archiving them, for future use.

By the time I was 21, our local libraries being too provincial and small to carry the specialized books I craved, I had collected on my own some thousands of books, mostly science and humanities essays or classics, buying them whenever I travelled abroad and in their original language whenever possible. I still remember the surprised look on one of my university professor's face when I showed up at his exam with one of the most obscure linguistics books he'd written, and which I had read years before.

Earlier this year, when my nephew turned 11, I realised I was exactly his age when I resolved to buy books with any pocket money I might have. So I decided to give him a special birthday present, one that would last for one year: I gave him 12 tickets, one for each month until his next birthday, and told him to show up at my mother's place each month, give her a ticket and in exchange he can have one of my books, the majority of which are still stored there.

Never have I seen a happier child. Note unlike us he's never known a world without access to the internet - but my guess is that there's something special about books that the internet can't still substitute. (...even if it has made life for us inquisitive-minded bibliophiles a lot easier)
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I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book
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  #44  
Old 03.10.2011, 19:25
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Re: Age and life

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Earlier this year, when my nephew turned 11, I realised I was exactly his age when I resolved to buy books with any pocket money I might have. So I decided to give him a special birthday present, one that would last for one year: I gave him 12 tickets, one for each month until his next birthday, and told him to show up at my mother's place each month, give her a ticket and in exchange he can have one of my books, the majority of which are still stored there.

Never have I seen a happier child. Note unlike us he's never known a world without access to the internet - but my guess is that there's something special about books that the internet can't still substitute.
What a great gift All of my fondest childhood memories involve books. In a world without electricity, there's always a good book and a candle. I often wonder what kids who don't know how to entertain themselves without a computer/tv/nintendo/etc will do when they experience a blackout.

We used to have about 80k books until this move to Switzerland and, though we have both been heavily involved in digital library projects, and I am finding some affection for my iPad and iBooks, I still feel like I've lost a part of myself in not being able to go to any of the walls that used to be covered in books and retrieve a book that I used to have. The smell, the feel and presence of a physical book can never be replaced by e-books, no matter how convenient to move or use the latter might be.
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  #45  
Old 03.10.2011, 19:42
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Re: Age and life

When we moved from the UK, the hardest thing to do was to decide which of the books had to 'go'. Sooo hard - but we culled about a third which went to a charity shop for the local hospice. We still brought about 30 large boxes of books, and one of the first thing we did was to get a huge bookcase made to host them all. Kindles might be very useful, but nothing beats a good book.

Only one family had a TV in our part of the village when i was a kid. Every Wednesday afternoon at 4, we would all turn up, knock on the door and "Hello Mrs B, can I watch telly please' and after 1 rivetting hour of Black Beauty, Lassie or Rintintin we would file out 'Thanks Mrs B, see you Saturday'. And of course we all turned up on Saturday for our 2nd hour of t'telly. How she put up with it, I do not know. About 15 of us turned up, all sitting on the floor, with grandad and the cats on the settee.
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  #46  
Old 03.10.2011, 19:57
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Re: Age and life

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My eight year old son saw an old fashioned telephone the other day, with the round dial that you put your fingers in the hole corresponding to the number you wanted and twisted....then let go.....

He asked - "Dad, why does that telephone have a DVD with holes on the front?"
Really cute. The advantage was, when you had to use other people's phone, there was no need to ask, "Now, how the heck do I have to use this thing?"
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