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Tonight's campfire

In search of (a pen)
The lost art of letter writing

One of my favorite shows as a kid …

Was the Leonard Nemoy hosted In Search Of.

Has letter writing gone the way of Bigfoot?

What attracted me to it was a couple of things. First were the topics. Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, the Holy Grail … what was not to like. They fired my imagination as a kid as much as I look back on them and laugh a little today. There was also the documentary style. For the times, it blended truth with fiction and speculation and a willingness to believe that the world held secrets that, if only we searched harder, we might yet find. Or maybe it was they mystery most of all. How the legend was born, why it lived on, and what the future might hold. Other reasons I liked the show? There was the opening music, Leonard Nemoy’s trusted voice, and how it presented just enough to leave you wanting to explore more. No, I’ve never seen Bigfoot, but during my visit to Northern California, I wasn’t so much looking for the creature as I was thinking about the show.

Which brings me to a new idea if the the series ever gets renewed: I would like to introduce the concept of the Lost Art of Letter Writing as a topic worthy of being told. Does anybody remember the halcyon days of writing handwritten notes to family and friends? It was a completely organic and original form of communication that we unwittingly left behind. Why? Email was touted as being the technology that would take letter writing to the next level. Thirty years later, I’m not convinced that email wasn’t the death knell for the golden age of the epistle.

And by epistle, I mean the real handwritten thing. Not the typed version that ends up unread and unanswered in an email box. Okay, I’ll admit – I’m probably sounding like a Luddite. But can we all just agree to give good old fashioned letter writing another chance?

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Factoid: László Bíró invented the first ballpoint pen in 1938. His invention coupled ink-viscosity with a ball-socket mechanism which acted compatibly to prevent ink from drying inside the reservoir while allowing controlled flow.

Mailbag: Campfire Breaks
Cowboy answers fan mail

It’s a well known cliché …

That you shouldn’t reinvent the wheel.

Cowboy answers fan mail

But why not? What if a square wheel is better? In this modern day world that everything is turned on its head, there’s really no telling. Same goes with the campfire. Lots of people are going around and saying, “hey, the campfire is fine.” But if that’s the case, why are so many of our “in person” campfire talks not drawing big crowds, or really any people at all? Hint: It has nothing to do with the quality of our talks (in our opinion). That’s where Campfire Park’s very own Cowboy at the Campfire steps in to answer Suzy from Toledo’s letter about that the campfire reboot at Campfire Park is all about. Think “square wheel” only better.

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Factoid: A new analysis of burned antelope bones from caves in Swartkrans, South Africa, confirms that Australopithecus robustus and/or Homo erectus built campfires roughly 1.6 million years ago.

Rudi Talks Trilogy
Looking back on the odyssey

The thing about writing a book …

It’s never guaranteed.

Rudi riffs on the creative process

Lots of people talk about it, and some even give it an honest start, but finishing? Now that’s pretty rare. Even rarer still is co-writing a book, and here’s the clincher: writing two more to make it a trilogy. Not saying it’s perfect, but what masterpiece is. Most importantly it’s done … with the exception of the abridged version. Stay tuned!

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Rule of the Ninja: “Never doubt, never fear, never overthink.”

Era Before Phones (BP)
An in-depth geologic look

Granted, it was a bizarre time.

People actually had to talk to each other face to face.

Introducing Dino the phone-eating dinosaur

And there were only three channels on the TV.

As unpleasant as that sounds, somehow it worked (although I have my doubts).

Dino is just trying to understand modern life

But how exactly did people survive (even thrive) before phones?

Here at Before Phones (BP) “Where the Dinosaurs Roam” we explore the latest discoveries about the Pre-Phone era. Our methodologies include interviews with other dinosaurs, the latest archeological finds and a range of other innovative research techniques.

Mysteries We Explore

Nothing to fear, Dino will not harm you (but he may eat your phone)

Here at Before Phones (BP), we are dedicate to trying to understand the cryptic pre-phone era.

Unresolved questions include:

  • How people drove without texting?
  • What is was like to have only 24 photos to a roll?
  • How people (dinosaurs) coped with the boredom?

Our Goal

Dino interviews other dinosaurs

The pre-phone era also had its charm (so they say).

Our goal is to understand how society worked without everyone staring at their phone all day (and night).

  • To inform, inspire and educate about the pre-phone era
  • Feature guests from the Before Phone (BP) era
  • Continuously improve our understanding of phonelessness

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Tidbit: The average smart phone user checks their phone 47 times per day.