Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Calculator: Unheralded King of the Junk Drawer

Everybody has a calculator or two lying around the house, taking up space in a junk drawer somewhere.

If you're like me, you probably take out the calculator for a total of about five minutes every month or so, and then forget about it for the rest of the time.

But you know what? If your calculator is anything like mine... it works every time without a hitch.

I have a basic solar powered Casio calculator that probably dates back to about the early 90s or so, which means it's at least 15 years old at this point. It never ceases to amaze me how it sits in the dark 99% of its life, but when I take it out to use it, like magic, it starts right up every time. Ingenious invention, that.

This leads me to dream about a world where everything is powered by solar energy. Can you imagine if you were able to park your car in your garage, turn it on and have it run for as long as you'd need it to without having to fill up for gas? Obviously, a car and a calculator are two totally different electronic beasts, but I hope that we can one day get close(r) to that reality.

In the meantime, my humble Casio calculator reigns as king of my junk drawer. Let's check back together in another 15 years or so and see if it still springs to life after spending countless hours in the dark. And maybe by that time we'll have cars and other electronic appliances that are capable of the same impressive feats.

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