Communications from the Past and Present

By Richard E Walrath and Patricia L Johnson

Dating of three charcoal cave paintings located at The Cave of Chauvet – Pont -D’Arc, located in southeastern France indicates these drawings are approximately 31, 000 years old, making the drawings the oldest known cave paintings in the world.

These paintings were only discovered in 1994 by Jean-Marie Chauvet and two friends who are all interested in speleology [scientific study of caves] and the three have made numerous findings throughout the years.

This finding was even more amazing because of the location of the cave. Although the entrance is relatively high up on a mountain, it’s not very far from a popular hiking trail in the French countryside.

More information on the paintings as well as general information about the location of the find may be found at the following site: Once you click on the “Visit the Cave” icon be sure to enlarge the graphics so you don’t miss any of the detail.

30,000 plus years ago we began communicating by drawing pictures on cave walls and never stopped introducing new forms of communications.

During the Roman Empire the earliest of messages were sent using metal to reflect the sun from one location to another.

Ships at sea signaled to one another by raising or lowering flags and/or firing cannons. American Indians communicated using both smoke signals and drums.

Paper was invented and we had wooden block movable type printing until such time as Johannes Gutenberg came along and developed a printing press with metal movable type. Paper was being produced from wood pulp making it more readily available and the newspaper was born and flourished.

The typewriter and photographs soon followed, along with the microphone. Samuel Morse invented Morse code and the first long distance electric telegraph line.

Pony Express was started for mail and newspaper delivery and a patent was issued for the first fax machine. The modern typewriter was invented along with the mimeograph machine [a copying machine]. Alexander Graham Bell patents the electric telephone. Edison patents the phonograph and high speed photography captures motion. By the mid 1920’s we had the first successful talking motion picture. It didn’t take long for radios and TV’s to follow.

By the early 1950’s computers were being sold commercially and once the microprocessor was invented in 1971, the door was pushed wide open for the electronic miracles that followed.

Cell phones, cell phone networks, Walkman’s, desktop computers, laptops, computer mice, CD Rom drives, DVD’s, satellite TV, Blue Ray, the list goes on and on and on.

When the United States relinquished control of the internet in 1994 and the World Wide Web was born, communications could be sent with lightning speed. If you can find it on the internet, you can usually share the file with your friends and family through e-mail, instant messaging, text messaging, video calling or by posting to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter or any number of other social networking sites.

Over the past several elections the internet has turned into a tool for savvy politicians. They’ve learned they can reach millions of voters at the right price and they can sway the voters with their promises, or in all too many instances, their lies. At one time the internet was “the source” for factual information, but when it comes to politics or political issues, you really have to be willing to search for the truth.

The internet has also become the place to find the perfect bumper sticker. Bumper stickers have been around as long as the Model T, but not readily available to the average voter. Now you can order your bumper sticker over the internet, at any number of places, and have it shipped directly to you. There have been a lot of ‘cute’ bumper stickers that have made their way onto our bumpers, or our windows, or wherever else you choose to display, but we don’t think there are any that even begin to compare with the following, which may also be a perfect example of some hanky-panky on the internet.

“I’ll Kiss Your Elephant if you’ll Kiss My Ass”

This particular bumper sticker is being advertised on a national retailer’s website as follows:

Yet, when you order the bumper sticker your order will indicate you are ordering the following bumper sticker:

“I’ll Hug Your Elephant if you’ll Kiss My Ass”

Perhaps the change in wording is simply a typo and whether the word change is intentional or simply an error, the fact remains – when it comes to communications in this country – “We’ve come a long way Baby”.

© 2012 Richard E Walrath and Patricia L Johnson

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