Q: It was on this date (9/29) that Bell Labs introduced the first practical telephone answering machine. What was the year?
A: 1950. Actually, the answering machine was invented twelve years earlier by Willy Muller. But "practical"? Not by a long shot. It stood 3 feet tall. In 1971 PhoneMate came out with a model that weighed 10 pounds and held 20 messages on a reel of tape.
At the movies this weekend Eagle Eye with Shia LaBeouf was tops with a take of almost 30 million. I have a feeling that'll change this weekend as word spreads about how truly awful this film is. When in doubt, crash a car. We saw it Friday night, and even our 15 year-old said it was, I think his word was "empty". The crashes were so loud, so up close, so in-your-face, and so frequent, I actually had to cover my eyes because I started to get dizzy. And that's not why I like to go to the movies, much less pay $10.50 to do so.
Too bad nobody showed up for the opening of the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park this past weekend. Actually, nothing could be further from the truth. By early Saturday morning, the line to get in the door was a mile long by some estimates. They let in 500 visitors every half hour. By the end of the day 17 thousand people saw he spectacular new building and exhibits. Thousands more were turned away. The next free admission day the California Academy of Sciences is October.
Hey, Happy New Year to our Jewish friends. Rosh Hashanah begins tonight at sundown, ushering in the year 5769. 5768 just flew by didn't it?