So I have a problem. One that requires more than a little blue pill to resolve.
Oh, if only a pill could solve this problem!
Or, for that matter, even a suppository.
I am deeply saddened to report that when it gets dark, and I mean very, very dark, I can’t see.
This is particularly disturbing because I do my best work at night. When it’s, you know, dark.
Yes, when my body most desperately needs to rest and rejuvenate itself, my brain is all, “Hold my beer.”
But in a good, non-alcoholic, non-electoral sort of way.
As you might be starting to suspect, I wrote this entry during the day. But I had no choice, given I can’t see at night.
You see, since everyone else in my household have brains that listen to their bodies, they’re all asleep at night.
Or should be. Get back to bed right now, Kiddo!
Sorry about that. Because of this (nearly) mass slumber, I can’t just flip on all the lights, crank up the volume on my .mod files, and take care of business.
Oh no. Everyone else in my household gets cranky when I turn the productivity up to 11 past, well, eleven. Suddenly the Missus and the one kiddo who actually does sleep at night are making snide remarks about needing rest and don’t I have work in the morning and look you’re making the dogs bark and oh my gawd what is that racket you are listening to it should be illegal to distribute it!
(My hearing is fine. Spider by They Might Be Giants is meant to be listened to loud.)
In order to appease the Missus, I turn everything off, go to bed, and when dawn’s surly light finally returns, make yet another medical appointment.
My doctor always sort of wilts and sighs when he walks into the exam room and sees me, like a blow-up punching bag suddenly deflating after one punch too many, then mutters “Oh no, not again.”
While most people would see this reaction and think, “Uh oh, I must be really sick!” I’m not worried. I’ve been here before. Seen the doc about this many times. And after the poorly hidden but inevitable eye roll, he always tells me the same thing:
“Still not getting more exercise? I really think you should focus more on that. Not being able to see in the dark? That’s nothing to worry about. You’re just getting old. Try turning on the lights.”
I am not getting old!
And turn on the lights?? Did he not read the above paragraph about other people in the house wanting it dark so they can sleep?
Since modern medical science has cast me aside despite my numerous co-pays, I was forced to do my own research.
My own experiments.
And I figured it out.
(So start writing up those Nobel Prize nominations, in case they won’t accept my self-nomination.)
I’m not getting older. Nope.
The world…is getting darker.
Hear me out. Once you see the evidence you will drop your jaws in amazement.
(Or disbelief. But if you stay silent, I can still imagine it’s amazement. So hush.)
Here’s a modern-day keyboard. Notice anything about it, aside from the dirt?
That’s right. It’s super dark.
Here’s what it looks like at night with all the lights in the house in the mandated OFF position:
Now you can see my problem (or more specifically, can’t).
And don’t tell me to get a back-lit keyboard! I’ve tried that! They require you to press a key combo to turn on the back-lighting.
Can you see any of the keys in the dark on the above keyboard? Can you? Then how the hell am I supposed to see them, hmm?
Think about it. Their design solution when you can’t see the keyboard is to require you to hit specific keys on the keyboard so you can see the keys. On the keyboard! It’s Kafkaesque!
They’ll be the first ones up against the wall when the revolution comes, let me tell you!
But, I perceive you mumbling as you nervously edge away, what do keyboards have to do with my supposition that the world is getting darker?
Well, aside from black reflecting back less light into the environment (ergo, making the surrounding environment darker), we once had, long ago, better keyboards.
And by better I don’t mean clickier (though that was better too). I mean beige:
See what this pinnacle of keyboard engineering looks like in normal lighting? Compare that to yet another modern keyboard (this time grey):
But check it out what happened when I photographed my, if the Keyboard Industrial Complex PR hacks are to be believed, “old, tired, and passé” vintage keyboard in the dark.
WTFtl;dr! It actually got brighter:
Beige is a color I can type on in the dark. Because with beige, the cold encroachment of darkness is stopped in its sneaky, disabling tracks. I can look down and see the damn keys I need to press and then press them.
Presto! No back-light, front-light, or side-light required.
And it’s not just the keyboard. Tell me, how am I going to find that black CD eject button, cleverly placed, of course, right next to the black power button, on this particular, recently manufactured computer?
But take away the above modern, fancy-pants, 1080p, USB 3.0, multi-core and multi-threaded (guess the color of the thread – hint: it’s BLACK) super computer and replace it with a late-80s, early-90s computer, and what do you get?
You get this, a right proper computing machine:
That’s right. I closed the curtains, turned off the lights, and then tented the entire house (due to termites) before taking this picture, and it still looks like I’m standing outside on a bright summer day.
That’s how much frickin’ light beige computers give off!
Now it might be the termiticide talking, but I think I’d be able to use my computer at night just fine…if it were made out of beige. But sadly, as amazing as the above computer is, it does lack one feature deemed unnecessary in the 1980s and 1990s:
Do you have tales of horror trying to use an albedo-challenged computer in the wee hours? Share them in the comments so we can commiserate together and maybe put together a kickstarter to make a modern beige computer!