The iPod began a revolution in portable, cool music players. But it's now beyond music; you can store photos, watch videos, even play games on today's iPods. Uploaded by fanpop.com.
Later this year, the iPod will celebrate its 10th birthday. Of all the products Apple has created that have changed our lives, none might be as revolutionary as this music player. It’s hard to imagine a world without a music player that will fit in your pocket, and yet until a decade ago you had to buy a CD and have the player with you. As it has done consistently, Apple changed everything.
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Of course, Apple has refined its breakthrough product, making it smaller and lighter while increasing its memory and usability. Now the iPod is a place to store photos, watch videos, even play games. And the technology has been incorporated into other Apple products, including the iPad and iPhone.
Another revolution the iPod helped create is the ability to build a music library a song at a time. Maybe you like one song on a CD, but don’t really care about the rest. Previously, you had to either buy the whole thing or do without. But now, you can buy just the songs you like, and customize your music library. I do, however, feel a little sorry for those who’ve grown up with this technology, taking it for granted. If you’ve lived, as I have, through the evolution of records to tapes to CDs, you have a much greater appreciation for the creative genius of Apple, and the wonder of the iPod.
No doll has ever captured the imagination of American girls the way Barbie has. She celebrated her 50th birthday in 2009. Uploaded to Photobucket by bcsmith46.
She looks pretty good for 50, don’t you think? It’s rather amazing to see the impact a simple doll has had on American girls. She doesn’t talk. She doesn’t wet. She doesn’t come with some goofy birth certificate. She’s a doll, for heaven’s sake.
And yet…she’s become an icon, both revered and reviled. Some say that Barbie’s figure leads girls to unrealistic body image issues, and contributes to anorexia and bulimia. Yeah, well. Mattel has sold over a billion of the things. There’s not that many people with eating disorders.
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Did you know her full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts? Or that she’s had more than 80 careers? That she’s had 43 pets? That she didn’t have a belly button for 41 years? Personally, I don’t know whether she’s stringing Ken along or vice versa, but I think their relationship has been platonic long enough.
So to Barbie, I say congratulations on your longevity. And happy birthday. It’s hard to imagine an American girl’s room without you.
(Originally published April 10, 2009)
(By the way…a friend of mine, Stacy McAnulty, just published an online book called My Life According to Barbie. I can personally testify that it’s funny, because I served as its copy editor. It’s available for Kindle, iPad and the Nook.)
Copyright 2009-2011, Robin G. Chalkley. All material on these pages, and the listing of items as Great American Things, is copyrighted. The exceptions are the photographs and videos, which remain the property of their respective owners.
Header photo used courtesy of Flickr photographer too melo.