13 Comments

  1. Heh, and I just watched the Arrested Development episode where Gob tries to use a talking magazine ad in his ventriloquism act, setting up his questions to be answered by the 4 words the magazine ad would say…

  2. Wondermark is occasionally brilliant, but I found that it was just too lengthy to keep on my daily reading list. So it’s nice to have people who filter out the chaff and submit the gems to CIDU.

  3. “Talking magazine ad”? Have I missed that technology wave?

    Here’s a brief-lived technology some geezers may remember. Before they decided that they could make greeting cards with recorded sound cheaply enough with actual electronics, there was a somewhat fascinating and thoroughly frustrating system which had a flexible but firm plastic ribbon with one bulbous end anchored to the center of a panel of a greeting card. The ribbon had a pattern of raised frets along its length, which physically encoded an audio waveform. You grip the card by the edges with fingers of one hand, so that the surface is free to vibrate, and with the other hand run your thumbnail along the plastic ribbon, backed by that index finger. If you achieve the right grip and speed, the vibrations from pulling the ribbon will be amplified by the card acting as a sounding board, and you will hear the message. Which might be “Happy Birthday” taking up three or four feet of ribbon.

  4. “Rough/roof/Ruth!”
    Gee, maybe I should have said Dimaggio??

    A parallel to the dog joke would be finding out that the clock can really talk after all. This is just a ‘guy is dumb’ joke. He thinks he’s figured out the trick rather than just realizing the obvious.

  5. @ Mitch4
    While they have never become common (probably because they are incredibly expensive and quickly become annoying), magazine ads that could play a digitally recorded message have existed since the late 1980s. Twix and Absolut Vodka are two of the more famous (such as that is) brands who used talking magazine ads. Arrested Development was specifically mocking the little remembered magazine ad campaign for NBC’s sitcom My Name Is Earl, which featured a recorded message stating the name of the show.

  6. There are some instances of roads that have rumble strips where if you drive over them at the right speed you’ll hear music. One such example (America the Beautiful):

  7. And of course there are talking clocks, which are very useful for people who cannot see. There was one in the 1970’s with a clever mechanism: an inner disk and outer ring made of magnetic tape. The outer ring rotated once every hour and the inner one once every twelve hours. When you pressed the talk button, a tape head made an arc starting in the center. “Twelve … o’clock.” “Twelve … oh one.” etc.

    The oldest playable phonograph recording that still exists was made in 1878 and was an experiment in inventing a talking clock. You can listen to it here: http://www.tinfoil.com/cm-0101.htm

  8. Had exactly the same thought as Folly!

    I have never seen a card with a recording in it. But I am one to buy cards at the dollar store – for 50cents (until they switched to cards from Hallmark – now everyone except Robert’s family (who do not use computers- even the 20 something and the teen daughters) and my 94 yo mom who no longer has access to email – get a nice birthday/anniversary email. Last year by the time we went to write the Christmas cards it was Dec 24 and still had to wrap the gifts for Robert plus cook dinner, so we skipped sending out cards.

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