Can you email me now?

I've just wasted another hour trying to track down the early Sixties Yogi Bear episode when a mad scientist visits Jellystone in a small trailer and switches Yogi's brain with a chicken's. Metal colanders always make me think of the Yogi brain trade. This is the only Yogi cartoon that made any impact on me, although I vaguely remember the picnic baskets.

I must have been six or seven at the time, so about the age when kids started hearing lectures about not getting into cars with strangers. We had an incredibly secure childhood in a neighborhood where we couldn't make much of a move without being in view of a mommy looking out her kitchen window, so we were able to run and play all over the block, and ride bikes all around the neighborhood. We kids made our own entertainment most of the time, and participated in far fewer adult-organized activities than kids do now.

I somehow equated the warnings about strangers in cars with the Yogi cartoon. Get in a car with a stranger, and that mad little scientist will put a colander on your head, hook up some wires, and swap your brain! Come to think of it, maybe that cartoon is where our president got all his ideas about scientists!

I don't really believe Al Gore invented the internet, of course, but a bit of Yankee ingenuity has improved my son's access to email. Son Two is spending the summer doing an internship in a sweltering foreign country without air conditioning (and I don't mean St. Louis). Al Gore is probably doing his global warming slide shows somewhere in a/c comfort.

The sweltering summer interns have rigged up wires from a USB port through a metal sieve which they dangle out the window of their apartment. This soup-cans-and-string contraption somehow sucks internet vibes out of thin air, or at least picks up signals from WiFi or routers in other apartments in the building.

Communication sure has come a long way since I used to sit in the treehouse writing notes and lowering them in a bucket on a rope to my siblings. There was a nice breeze up there most of the time, and the wood was satisfyingly warm. It was very safe, and I never clucked.

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