Once again my wife and I get to play our favorite game.
The game involves a headline about someone in the news doing something. "Who is....?" one of us asks the other.
"I don't know," the other replies. "Let's look them up." So we Google, Yahoo, Bing and Wikipedia the name.
By the way, don't confuse Google, Yahoo, Bing and Wikipedia with Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young don't much like being queried about information. They do try, and they're very nice about it, but...well, their information isn't very good. Stick with Google, Yahoo, Bing and Wikipedia.
Who is Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, some are asking. Good for you! You're in the spirit of the game. Go Google, Yahoo, Bing and Wikipedia.
Who is Google, Yahoo, Bing and Wikipedia, some others are asking. Ah, welcome to the Internet. Good luck with the game.
The game this week featured hair and escorts.
"Who is Shaun White?" my wife asked.
I wrinkled my face into thought. This indicates I'm thinking.
Expressions while thinking are useful to indicate to others that you heard the question and you're thinking of an answer. Otherwise they repeat the question, and then you're likely to crossly reply, "I'm thinking!" I also sometimes use the 'smell the fart' expression to indicate I'm thinking, or to impress people, the 'stroking chin' indicator, featuring my beard.
"I don't know," I said after a few seconds, or maybe minutes, of cranking the gray matter over. At this point when I'm turning the gray matter over, I'm not sure if I'm turning the compost or starting my thinking engine. I do know I'm not turning over a new leaf.
"I think I know that name," I added. "He's an Olympic athlete, isn't he? Why are you asking?"
"He got his haircut," she replied.
And why did I care about that news?
She and I raced to Google, Yahoo, Bing and Wikipedia to get answers and confirmed who he is.
Today was another one. I glanced to the list of most read articles on one site and saw, "Suzy Favor Hamilton says she has worked as an escort." Naturally, I wondered, one, Who is Suzy Favor Hamilton? Two, Is Favor a misprint? Three, What does she mean when she says 'escort'?
But that's our Internet interconnected life, looking up the references to see what they mean.
We never needed to play this game when we were young. Number one, we didn't have the Internet sharing all this important information with us, like who had their haircut.
I think that number two is that we usually knew the names of people in the news. Does that mean that we were more informed or better informed, or that only people who had already been in the news made it back into the news?
Back before the Internet, you would need to learn things the hard way, by watching the news on television, listening to it on the radio, or reading a newspaper, and hope that one of them explained who they're talking about.
Television news programs caught onto this. "Shaun White got a haircut," they'll say at an eight o'clock news break. "Details at eleven." You'd think, Who is Shaun White? Why did he get a haircut? Then you'd stay up to watch.
I don't know what they did before television. Who delivered the news? Was it also by Pony Express? Did riders ride up and shout, "Shaun White got a haircut." Did they then race off as people asked, "What? Who?" Did people then wait for the next rider and shout at the rider as they rode up, "Who is Shaun White?"
Maybe it was by carrier pigeon. "Oh, a pigeon with a message. Shaun White got his hair cut."
"Who is Shaun White?"
"Let's hope there's another pigeon coming."
Sometime in the near future, someone will say something about Shaun White, and I'll reply, "Oh, I just read something about him. Didn't he admit that he worked as an escort?"
Sometime in the far future, someone will say something about Shaun White, and I'll reply, "Never heard of him," without even wrinkling my face in thought, stroking my chin, or smelling a fart.
Now who is Representative Kyle Kacal? Does he really think more falling televisions have killed people in America than guns and ping pong balls are more dangerous than guns?
To Google, Yahoo, Bing and Wikipedia.
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com