I put this note on my Facebook profile on New Year’s Eve 2010. It’s good to maintain perspective on all aspects of one’s life. Living as we do at “internet speed” we can easily get caught up in thinking that such-and-such isn’t fast enough or that we just can’t exist another second without $SHINYTHING. We live in an incredible time and we should appreciate it more.

By the way: this list was somewhat inspired by Louis C.K.’s appearance on Conan O’Brien’s show that went viral as the “Everything is Amazing and Nobody’s Happy” video.

Almost to 2011. I’m a big fan of maintaining perspective on things, so here are a few interesting things that happened 100 years ago, in 1911.

First U.S. coast-to-coast flight arrives in Pasadena, California after a journey of 49 days, during which the pilot, Calbraith Rodgers, made 69 stops and 16 crash landings and was followed by a train carrying spare parts. It had only been eight years since the Wright Brothers first flew for two minutes at Kitty Hawk. You can now fly non-stop across the country in a few hours.

The U.S. Supreme Court dissolves Standard Oil using the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. Successor entities become Exxon, Chevron, Amoco (among others) which are still with us today.

New York Public Library building at 5th Avenue dedicated by President Taft. 73 years later, the Ghostbusters show up. Taft is nowhere to be seen, however.

First running of the Indianapolis 500 auto race. The average speed was about 75 mph. Today’s Indy 500 speeds average over 160, with top speeds over 220 mph.

Ground breaking begins in Boston for Fenway Park. The Green Monster is soon to be born.

The first public elevator begins service at London’s Earl’s Court Metro Station. The date of the first passing of gas in an elevator remains unknown.

Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen becomes the first person to reach the South Pole. Local penguins are unimpressed.

Procter & Gamble unveils its Crisco shortening as a healthier alternative to lard. Hydrogenated oils enter the American diet and we’ve been getting fatter ever since.

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