When Google’s Got Nothing

The other day I was half listening to the radio when I caught a sentence about a new $100 bill coming out with an image of Ben Franklin that winked. At least, that’s what I thought I heard. The idea of a winking photo reminded me of paintings in Harry Potter movies interacting with wizards. I thought it might make a good blog post. I didn’t catch anything else in the interview but I wasn’t worried because the magical Google always has my back.

Cut to this morning, I woke up and thought, “I’m going to write about that winking Benjamin today and I set straight to work trying on finding the interview I thought I had heard. Apparently, there was a new $100 bill released in 2013 and it had amazing new technology but Ben wasn’t winking. The UK found it quite gaudy, apparently, which is neither here nor there but struck me as funny coming from a country so fond of its crown jewels.

I got a little frustrated looking for the winking Benjamin. Google has never failed me. It caused me to think back to the times before Google (the dark ages). How did we learn to change our own headlights, paint a copy of the Mona Lisa or build a fairy house without YouTube? Where did we learn how solar panels work and who invented spoons? We had to rely on schools, the people around us or books to teach us what we wanted to know. If we didn’t have access to those things, we either had to figure it out ourselves through experimentation or just…not know. Can you imagine? Do you remember wondering about something and deciding the work it would take to find the answer wasn’t worth knowing the information? I’m pretty sure the ice blade mountains on Pluto fall into that category for me. But that’s a whole other blog post.



  8 comments for “When Google’s Got Nothing

  1. October 25, 2017 at 2:51 pm

    Did you never spend Saturday afternoon in the library, telling the kids to go read another book. Actually, I taught them the Dewey decimal system so they could return books to the stacks and not bothering the cranky librarians.


    • October 26, 2017 at 1:17 pm

      Hi Joanne, the library is my guilty pleasure. That and a good bookstore. It’s where I head when I need some alone time. My older three kids spent a lot of time there. The youngest a lot less-maybe because he is a child of the internet age and finds most of his info online. He likes it once in awhile and he gets books from the school library, too, but he’s more likely to read online than anywhere else.


  2. October 25, 2017 at 4:34 pm

    I was just thinking along these lines the other day, how we have access to the answers to our burning questions at a click. How did we ever just “not know” before? Our family felt pretty smart for having a current set of the World Book Encyclopedia on our shelves, so we had some answers at our fingertips (dang, I loved those books, and the Childcraft set and the annual year-in-review book and the two three-inch high volumes that made up the dictionary…). I guess if World Book didn’t have it, it remained a mystery.


    • October 26, 2017 at 1:15 pm

      Hi Paulette-I wonder if the hipsters have started collecting old sets of Encyclopedias? We had one, too. In fact, pretty sure it’s still on the bookshelves in my parent’s home. Where do old encyclopedias go to die? Must go google that no!


  3. jenny_o
    October 25, 2017 at 5:24 pm

    The internet has changed everything. I love how you can find almost anything on it. It’s like the collective brain of mankind at the disposal of every single person who has access to it.

    And like any brain, it’s got good and bad in it. But that’s another post, too 🙂

    My mom never got around to learning much about computers and now she has resigned herself to the fact she never will. She still uses her Oxford Dictionary and her set of encyclopedias, and if she can’t find it there, only then does she ask me to look it up on the internet. My father accepted the internet and its wizardry more wholeheartedly. He would often ask me to find stuff. I found words to old tunes and old poems he learned in school, among other things. It was nice to be able to bring those back to life for him.


    • October 26, 2017 at 12:54 pm

      I love the internet, too. I’m afraid of losing it. For instance, in Puerto Rico, how many people have access to it right now? And then I wonder…would it be a good thing? Nah. It is funny how some people quickly grasp the benefits of new technology and others prefer to stick to the traditional. I can’t get my husband to accept Google Maps as a viable option. He’d rather look at a map and write down instructions. And then he’s so proud when he arrives, like “Let’s see Google Maps do that!”, uh, yeah, Google Maps would have steered you around that 20 minute traffic jam, Bro, but rock on. Don’t tell him I told you that. He’s very proud of his map reading ability.


  4. Doug in Oakland
    October 25, 2017 at 9:43 pm

    Before Google I had a set of Encyclopedia Britannica (as a child) and THE LIBRARY. The library is a magical place where people know things and know how to find out things, and WILL HELP YOU FIND OUT THINGS.
    Pardon the shouting, but I really like libraries a whole lot.
    But I really, really, like Google, even as nosy as they are. I don’t use their browser, because if you run any of their software, you get Google Update on your machine and can’t make it go away, but their search engine?
    Hell yes.
    In fact, I just Googled benjamin franklin winking and got this:
    Perhaps that is what you overheard them talking about?.


    • October 26, 2017 at 1:13 pm

      I really like libraries a whole lot, too, Doug I don’t spend as much time in them as I used to. I also saw that shutterstock photo and briefly thought about putting it on the blog post because it’s cool but then I saw they were charging for it and I felt like it was probably not free for random bloggers to post. I’m not sure how those things work but it wasn’t worth $79 to me:-)


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