My boss and I sat around one day talking how much we(humans) have advanced, technologically speaking, in such a short amount of time, relatively speaking. To think of the crude devices of life and vehicles of transportation that his parents and my grandparents used, compared to today.
As a contrast. My grandfather has told me that (**Warning** "Grandfather Stories" should always be viewed with some amount of skepticism, not because they lie, they just have a penchant for exaggeration and a willingness to sacrifice certain "details" for the sake of the their grandkids entertainment. Nonetheless, the veracity of these stories I do not question.) that he came to this great state, Texas, in a covered wagon as a small child. That's right, a wagon and a horse. Compare to today, where I can go purchase a car that will not only tell me how to get where I'm going, but require minimal braking in the process because of the lasers attached to the bumpers that sense when cars get to close. This vehicle can also get satellite t.v. which can be viewed on various screens throughout.
Also, as a teenager, my grandfather worked for Western Union, delivering telegrams. Telegrams. Today, I can sip a latte at Starbucks while sitting with my laptop--no wires attached--and see what's happening in China, send an e-mail...or even better an IM, buy said car which I can choose or not to drive, map out vacation plans, transfer large sums of money, dictate a memo(to the computer,not another human), write a document that automatically corrects my mistakes, order a pizza...yada, yada, yada, basically perform every function that a person could think up.
Then today, October 4, 2004, comes along. My grandfather comes from a time when a radio program caused millions to panic by suggesting that aliens were attacking. Apparently, I come from a time that will allow us to check it out for ourselves. Truly amazing. It just happens that I have been watching the HBO mini-series "From Earth to the Moon." NASA asked for $20 billion --in 1960 dollars-- to make that trip possible. Now it appears in the lapse of a mere fifty years from Alan Sheppard's May 5, 1961, trip, some dude could be making reservations on a much more comfortable flight, with a much easier landing. "Spares in Space", that's what I'll call it.
Either way, I will thank my God that I live in such a remarkable time.