Friday, February 24, 2017

The Planned Obsolescence Weekly Link Round-Up

Remembering how things used to be can be both a blessing and a curse. What's got me thinking about the Good Old Days? My front-load high-efficiency washing machine.

Nothing like this model, which is similar to the one my grandmother had for years. These old wringer washing machines weren't the safest things on the block, and my grandmother's even contributed to family lore when my mother was a child and Aunt Lois got a certain body part caught in the wringer. But that's as far as I'm going to go with that....

Eleven years ago, I bought my current washing machine after my twenty-seven-year-old one (purchased by my mother) curled up its toes. I was expecting the same sort of longevity. Wrong!

When its spin cycle started sounding like a 747 taking off at Sky Harbor, Denis called our trusted repair company, and they sent out one of their technicians. The diagnosis wasn't good. It would cost more to fix my washer than it would to go out and buy a new one.

"That's what we're seeing nowadays," the tech said. "Washing machines-- whether they're top-load or front-load-- last only ten to twelve years. On the other hand, most cars used to be worn out once they'd been driven 100,000 miles. Now we're seeing several models that are only getting started at that point."

How I long for the Good Old Days of 20,000-load washers! But while I'm waiting for the delivery folks who will be installing my new one, I'll head on out to the link corral!


►Books, Movies & Other Interesting Tidbits◄

►Channeling My Inner Indiana Jones◄

►Channeling My Inner Elly Mae Clampett◄
  • These vivid bird photographs nearly fly off the screen. 
  • Twelve photos of birds being birds.
  • A character from the Harry Potter books has provided a name for a new species of crab
  • I never tire of this video about the interconnectedness of nature. All living things are on this planet for a reason. Just because we do not understand that reason doesn't mean something doesn't deserve to live.
  • When the Oregon Zoo closed for a snow day, the animals had an absolute blast. 

►The Happy Wanderer◄
  • Alaska's Dr. Seuss House
  • Goderich, Ontario, is to be transformed into Harry Potter World for an October fan festival. 
  • Researchers think they've found a mini-continent in the Indian Ocean.
  • Every part of the tiny Polish village of Zalipie is covered in lovely floral painting.
  • The cliff dwelling here in Arizona that was saved by Teddy Roosevelt.
  • Gardiners Island has been owned by the same family for 400 years, and its history includes a witch hunt and a pirate.  

►Fascinating Folk◄
  • The life and times of Ida B. Wells, one of intersectional feminism's founders. 
  • The true story of "Hidden Figures," the forgotten women who helped win the space race. 
  • World War II Spitfire pilot Mary Ellis from the Isle of Wight has turned 100.

►I ♥ Lists◄

That's all for this week! Don't forget to stop by next Friday when I'll be sharing a freshly selected batch of links for your surfing pleasure.

Have a great weekend, and read something fabulous!


  1. Oh, I know just exactly what you mean, Cathy, about the way machines (don't) last. The first TV my husband and I ever bought was an RCA that we got right after we married. It just gave up the ghost, finally, about five or six months ago (after 32 years). They don't make TVs like that any more.

  2. Wow, amazing to think that Margot had a RCA TV that just gave up the ghost. Is RCA even a company anymore? LOL

    As to machines, washing or otherwise, yes, I'm there with you. Things are just not meant to last like they used to. Our 6-year-old house and contents have had several repairs already. And everything has a 'motherboard' these days. Which must be replaced. Our refrigerator had a design flaw in the model (which they don't make anymore, according to the repairman), which meant it leaked all over my wood floors in the middle of the night. Sigh. We had a lightning strike a couple of years ago that fried or damaged the electronic stuff in one of our garage door openers, the water softener, and my washing machine - all at that end of the house. Sheesh.

    1. If RCA is still a company, I haven't heard from it in a good long time!

      Every night as I go to bed, I glance over at my "clock radio" that I bought back in 1981. Still going strong, and not a thing wrong with it.

  3. I have an old TV and I keep on using it, even though the picture gets dark sometimes. I don't mind.

    I had a refrigerator for decades, then it broke down. I got a new one a few years ago and it wasn't working. Was it repaired? Nope. Replaced. My custodian told me that they are not repaired any more, have to get a new one.

    I just glanced at the links but always appreciate them. It's good to see the story about Ida B. Wells. I am editing something about her and just read a slew of articles.

    She was an amazing woman, in the forefront, leader of the anti-lynching campaign which took so many Black lives.

    And there were so many other African-American women who fought injustice and for equality and women's suffrage, who are unknown. Just read about several in the 1800s and early 1900s who taught, wrote, spoke, organized, traveled to Europe, etc.

    1. I am so glad that the stories of so many important women are finally coming to light.

  4. Just edited an article about Dr. Susan Smith McKinney Steward, born in 1847 in Weeksville, a village in Brooklyn founded nine years earlier as one of the first "free" Black communities in New York state.
    She was the first Black woman physician in NYS and the third in the U.S., practiced for 48 years. She was also a suffragist and public speaker about the conditions of Black women.
    W.E.B. Du Bois gave the eulogy at her funeral as she was so accomplished and well-respected.
    I learn something new every day. This blog is also educational.


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