Monday, November 23, 2009

Possibly the best thing about America...?

There is a whole lot to like about America, and I think we can probably all agree on that. By no means do I think we are perfect, but we get a whole lot of stuff right, and we have a history of improving ourselves.

For a variety of reasons, the United States has been the source of much of the great technological invention of the last 150 years or so. [To briefly get off on an almost political tangent...I would like my left wing readers to recognize that one of the the two biggest reasons is our version of capitalism, and I would like my right wing readers to recognize that the other of the two biggest reasons is our history of encouraging immigrants. OK, off my soapbox]

The steam engine, the cotton gin, the thresher, the combustion engine. They weren't all necessarily invented here (or exclusively here) but they certainly came to fame here. Mass production, oil refining, steel making...again, none of it was invented here, but it was all perfected here and the world is a better place because of it. How about the airplane? The electric light could be the single most important invention ever (OK Germans, the printing press is right there). The world would look a whole lot different without the silicon chip or the Internet, too.

A huge portion of the world's great medical breakthroughs have come from our Universities and Hospitals. Many of the great materials and chemicals science comes from American labs and school as well. We even invented the business school (eh...no comment on that).

But...you know what could well be the single greatest American Invention ever? Thanksgiving!!! Seriously, it is an entire day devoted to eating and watching football...what could possibly be more American than that? Also, it is a four and a half day weekend with no expectation of shopping or tree-trimming or any of the other pressure of Christmas. Just a day to hang out with family, eat turkey and think about how lucky you are.

I will be spending the weekend with a small portion of my actual family (Munchkin), along with my newly acquired family (The Boy's) and then my pretend one (Smoking Hot Roommate, et al). In addition, a Venezuelan girl from school and her husband are coming along to learn why we have a random five day break in the middle of the year. Boy are they in for a treat!!!

So, in case I don't get to post before then...everyone have a great holiday! And try and give thanks for living in a country cool enough to invent a holiday like this:-)

7 comments:

nifer said...

Happy Thanksgiving AM!

Thisisme said...

You're always good for a outloud chuckle!! (:

M said...

AM, just wanted to say i have throughly enjoyed going through your blog. Most interesting and a sure way to while the hours away at work. I will certainly be back for more.

Lisa said...

happy TG! Am actually jealous right now

Rachel H. said...

Happy Thanksgiving! Hope it's great! :)

Ezekiel said...

I thought Tim Berners-Lee invented the ol' internet? He is British.

Anyway, Happy Thanksgiving to all! I would totally be there with my family if plane tickets didn't cost so much. Ah well. Eat some stuffing and pumpkin pie for me.

Accidentally Me said...

Ezekiel - I did a little research to check...:-) Cuz I am a dork. It is not really clear who "invented" the Internet (it was not Al Gore...) but the technology mostly came out of the US Defense Department, and work done at MIT and UCLA. Time Berners-Lee is generally credited with inventing the World Wide Web, which makes the Internet actually usable for most people, but he didn't invent the actual Internet.

Also...while he was in fact British, he was living and working in the US (right down the street, at the Fancy Big Name University that I got into but didn't go to:-)) at the time. Which fits in nicely with my earlier point about immigration...

Wow, that all tied up nicely, didn't it?