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Early Instructional Videos for Using a Rotary Phone

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A couple of weeks ago, we posted a hilarious and adorable video of children reacting to rotary phones. Most of them, raised on iDevices, had no idea how to use it.

It seems silly—and definitely makes us feel old—but the kids aren't alone in their confusion. Based on these early instructional videos, it seems like our ancestors were also pretty puzzled by rotary phones.

"How to Use the Dial Phone"

This 7-minute-long film, circa 1927, announced that "dial telephones will be placed in service at Midnight—Saturday, May 28th." It likely referred to Western Electric's Model 102, which was the first widely distributed telephone set, and stressed not using the new blue directory until midnight on May 28. (Seriously, don't do it until then!) 

"How to Dial a Rotary Phone"

There's no date on this film, but it was apparently shown in movie theaters. It helpfully provides examples for the audience of what the dial tone, ringing, and busy signal sound like.

"Dialing Tips"

This video, from the '50s, gives users tips for how to use a rotary phone without making mistakes, which, according to the helpful woman from "your telephone company," both "waste and lot of time" and "can cause someone else to be inconvenienced and probably irritated." Tips include: Make sure you have the right number (and use your directory to make doubly sure); write that number down, which saves time; bring your finger around until it firmly touches the finger stop, and then let go; let the dial go back by itself; and know the difference between O and 0. She uses a huge demonstration model to show the audience how it's done.

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National Geographic Ranks The 25 Happiest Cities in the Country
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Feeling unhappy? Maybe it's time to move. National Geographic recently released rankings of the 25 happiest cities in the U.S. The results: Eight of the 25 locations are in the Golden State, but the honor of No. 1 happiest city goes to Boulder, Colorado.

The rankings are based on 250,000 interviews conducted in 190 metropolitan areas between 2014 and 2015. The survey—developed by Dan Buettner, author of the new book The Blue Zones of Happiness, and Dan Witters, a senior scientist at Gallup—looked for data points that are correlated with life satisfaction and happiness, like whether or not you exercise, if you feel safe in your community, whether you feel like you live within your means, and whether you feel like you are reaching your goals.

A map of the U.S. showing which cities made the top 25 happiest cities index.
Courtesy National Geographic

Of course, all that isn’t necessarily the result of your geographical location. But you don’t see cities like Los Angeles or New York—where wealth is also clustered—on the list, so presumably San Franciscans are doing something a little differently.

Take a look for yourself. Here are the 25 happiest places in the U.S., according to the results.

1. Boulder, Colorado
2. Santa Cruz-Watsonville, California
3. Charlottesville, Virginia
4. Fort Collins, Colorado
5. San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, California
6. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California
7. Provo-Orem, Utah
8. Bridgeport-Stamford, Connecticut
9. Barnstable Town, Massachusetts
10. Anchorage, Alaska
11. Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, Florida
12. Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, California
13. Salinas, California
14. North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, Florida
15. Urban Honolulu, Hawaii
16. Ann Arbor, Michigan
17. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, California
18. Colorado Springs, Colorado
19. Manchester-Nashua, New Hampshire
20. Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, California
21. Washington, D.C.-Arlington-Alexandria, Virginia/Maryland/West Virginia
22. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, Minnesota/Wisconsin
23. San Diego-Carlsbad, California
24. Portland-South Portland, Maine
25. Austin-Round Rock, Texas

You can grab a copy of November’s National Geographic to read more about the world’s happiest places.

The cover of Dan Buettner’s The Blue Zones of Happiness and the cover of November 2017’s National Geographic.
National Geographic
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Here's How to Turn an IKEA Box Into a Spaceship
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Since IKEA boxes are designed to contain entire furniture items, they could probably fit a small child once they’re emptied of any flat-packed component pieces. This means they have great potential as makeshift forts—or even as play spaceships, according to one of the Swedish furniture brand’s print ads, which was spotted by Design Taxi.

First highlighted by Ads of the World, the advertisement—which was created by Miami Ad School, New York—shows that IKEA is helping customers transform used boxes into build-it-yourself “SPÄCE SHIPS” for children. The company provides play kits, which come with both an instruction manual and cardboard "tools" for tiny builders to wield during the construction process.

As for the furniture boxes themselves, they're emblazoned with the words “You see a box, they see a spaceship." As if you won't be climbing into the completed product along with the kids …

Check out the ad below:

[h/t Design Taxi]

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