Thursday, April 2, 2015

A to Z - B

For my A to Z Challenge theme I will be posting items that are no longer with us or are close to becoming extinct.

These are great items to use if you are trying to set a time period in your story or to stay away from if you want your story to be timeless.

Today I am also going to be throwing in a comeback story that warmed my heart.

Today's items are:

Betamax Tapes. Do you remember these? If you aren't even old enough to remember VCR VHS tapes then you are too young to remember the format that competed with them for dominance and lost.  The Betamax tape was invented in 1975. It never sold as well as the VHS format and was finally declared dead in 1988. Even though in 1981 it only had a 25% share of the market, per Wikipedia®.

Blackberry®.  I know of one person who is still using a Blackberry® device but the once dominant player in the business phone market will soon be joining the dodo bird.  This product was so ubiquitous with working professionals and had spawned terms like crackberry, because of how addicted its users were to their phones and poof gone. That is marketing gone wrong.

On a happy note I just returned from vacation and while on Catalina Island I learned that all, yes the complete population, of bald eagles on the island had been wiped out by chemical companies dumping DDT off the coast of CA and the tides carried it straight to their island.  The DDT made the egg shells so thin that they cannot withstand the normal amount of pressure from the birds sitting on them to keep them warm.  The Nature Conservancy on Catalina has brought back the population by bringing in birds, and since there are still issues with DDT, taking away the eggs and replacing them with dummy eggs.  The birds care for the dummy eggs while the real eggs are carefully nurtured in an incubator until they hatch.  Once hatched the baby eagles are immediately returned to their parents nests and the dummy eggs are taken away.  This is no easy feat.  The nests are not in easy to reach locations, in fact on nest has to be reached by helicopter.

The incubation period is about 30 days and there should be babies arriving in nests soon!  Here is the link to the eagle cam so you can watch for yourself.  Two Harbors is the camera on Catalina Island.

Happy writing!


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you for visiting. I enjoyed your post on writers block.

  2. I remember the shelves filled with Betamax tapes in our home when I was young. Dad took a gamble, thinking Betamax would win the battle but sadly that was one gamble that didn't pay off.
    Great post! Thanks for sharing.

    1. It seems like we all lost since the VCR was completely replaced by discs and we are all purchasing everything again just like we did with albums to cassettes to discs. Thanks for your comment.

  3. That's very clever of Nature Conservancy. I wonder, though, if the Eagle parents know that they have dummy eggs. I would think that they could feel something -- warmth emiting from real eggs.
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