25 THINGS ABOUT TO BECOME EXTINCT
Will this happen in our life time?
25. U.S. Post Office
They are pricing themselves out of existence. With e-mail, and online
services they are a relic of the past. (refer to #9) Packages are also
sent faster and cheaper with UPS.
24. Yellow Pages
This year will be pivotal for the global Yellow Pages industry. Much
like newspapers, print Yellow Pages will continue to bleed dollars to
their various digital counterparts, from Internet Yellow Pages (IYPs),
to local search engines and combination search/listing services like
Reach Local and Yodel Factors like 20 an acceleration of the print 'fade
rate' and the looming recession will contribute to the onslaught. One
research firm predicts the falloff in usage of newspapers and print
Yellow Pages could even reach 10% this year -- much higher than the
2%-3% fade rate seen in past years.
23. Classified Ads
The Internet has made so many things obsolete that newspaper classified
ads might sound like just another trivial item on a long list. But this
is one of those harbingers of the future that could signal the end of
civilization as we know it. The argument is that if newspaper
classifieds are replaced by free online listings at sites like
Craigslist.org and Google Base, then newspapers are not far behind them.
22. Movie Rental Stores
While Netflix is looking up at the moment, Blockbuster keeps closing
store locations by the hundreds. It still has about 6,000 left across
the world, but those keep dwindling and the stock is down considerably
in 2008, especially since the company gave up a quest of Circuit City ..
Movie Gallery, which owned the Hollywood Video brand, closed up shop
earlier this year. Countless small video chains and mom-and-pop stores
have given up the ghost already.
21. Dial-up Internet Access
Dial-up connections have fallen from 40% in 2001 to 10% in 2008. The
combination of an infrastructure to accommodate affordable high speed
Internet connections and the disappearing home phone have all but
pounded the final nail in the coffin of dial-up Internet access.
20. Phone Land Lines
According to a survey from the National Center for Health Statistics, at
the end of 2007, nearly one in six homes was cell-only and, of those
homes that had land lines, one in eight only received calls on their
19. Chesapeake Bay Blue Crabs
Maryland's icon, the blue crab, has been fading away in Chesapeake Bay
.. Last year Maryland saw the lowest harvest (22 million pounds) since
1945. Just four decades ago the bay produced 96 million pounds. The
population is down 70% since 1990, when they first did a formal count.
There are only about 120 million crabs in the bay and they think they
need 200 million for a sustainable population. Over-fishing, pollution,
invasive species and global warming get the blame.
For the better part of three decades, the VCR was a best-seller and
staple in every American household until being completely decimated by
the DVD, and now the Digital Video Recorder (DVR). In fact, the only
remnants of the VHS age at your local Wal-Mart or Radio Shack are blank
VHS tapes these days. Pre-recorded VHS tapes are largely gone and VHS
decks are practically nowhere to be found. They served us so well.
17. Ash Trees
In the late 1990's, a pretty, iridescent green species of beetle, now
known as the emerald ash borer, hitched a ride to North America with ash
wood products imported from eastern Asia . In less than a decade, its
larvae have killed millions of trees in the Midwest , and continue to
spread. They've killed more than 30 million ash trees in southeastern
Michigan alone, with tens of millions more lost in Ohio and Indiana .
More than 7.5 billion ash trees are currently at risk.
16. Ham Radio
Amateur radio operators enjoy personal (and often worldwide) wireless
communications with each other and are able to support their communities
with emergency and disaster communications if necessary, while
increasing their personal knowledge of electronics and radio theory.
However, proliferation of the Internet and its popularity among youth
has caused the decline of amateur radio. In the past five years alone,
the number of people holding active ham radio licenses has dropped by
50,000, even though Morse Code is no longer a requirement.
15. The Swimming Hole
Thanks to our litigious society, swimming holes are becoming a thing of
the past. '20/20' reports that swimming hole owners, like Robert Every
in High Falls, NY, are shutting them down out of worry that if someone
gets hurt they'll sue. And that's exactly what happened in Seattle . The
city of Bellingham was sued by Katie Hofstetter who was paralyzed in a
fall at a popular swimming hole in Whatcom Falls Park . As injuries
occur and lawsuits follow, expect more swimming holes to post 'Keep
14. Answering Machines
The increasing disappearance of answering machines is directly tied to
No 20 our list -- the decline of landlines. According to USA Today, the
number of homes that only use cell phones jumped 159% between 2004 and
2007. It has been particularly bad in New York ; since 2000, landline
usage has dropped 55%. It's logical that as cell phones rise, many of
them replacing traditional landlines, that there will be fewer answering
13. Cameras That Use Film
It doesn't require a statistician to prove the rapid disappearance of
the film camera in America . Just look to companies like Nikon, the
professional' s choice for quality camera equipment. In 2006, it
announced that it would stop making film cameras, pointing to the
shrinking market -- only 3% of its sales in 2005, compared to 75% of
sales from digital cameras and equipment.
12. Incandescent Bulbs
Before a few years ago, the standard 60-watt (or, yikes, 100-watt) bulb
was the mainstay of every U.S. home. With the green movement and
all-things-sustaina ble-energy crowd, the Compact Fluorescent Lightbulb
(CFL) is largely replacing the older, Edison-era incandescent bulb. The
EPA reports that 2007 sales for Energy Star CFLs nearly doubled from
2006, and these sales accounted for approximately 20 percent of the U.S.
light bulb market. And according to USA Today, a new energy bill plans
to phase out incandescent bulbs in the next four to 12 years.
11. Stand-Alone Bowling Alleys
Bowling Balls. US claims there are still 60 million Americans who bowl
at least once a year, but many are not bowling in stand-alone bowling
alleys. Today most new bowling alleys are part of facilities for all
types or recreation including laser tag, go-karts, bumper cars, video
game arcades, climbing walls and glow miniature golf. Bowling lanes also
have been added to many non-traditional venues such as adult
communities, hotels and resorts, and gambling casinos.
10. The Milkman
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in 1950, over half of
the milk delivered was to the home in quart bottles, by 1963, it was
about a third and by 2001, it represented only 0.4% percent. Nowadays
most milk is sold through supermarkets in gallon jugs. The steady
decline in home-delivered milk is blamed, of course, on the rise of the
supermarket, better home refrigeration and longer-lasting milk. Although
some milkmen still make the rounds in pockets of the U.S. , they are
certainly a dying breed..
9. Hand-Written Letters
In 2006, the Radicati Group estimated that, worldwide, 183 billion
e-mails were sent each day.. Two million each second. By November of
2007, an estimated 3.3 billion Earthlings owned cell phones, and 80% of
the world's population had access to cell phone coverage. In 2004,
half-a-trillion text messages were sent, and the number has no doubt
increased exponentially since then. So where amongst this gorge of
gabble is there room for the elegant, polite hand-written letter?
8. Wild Horses
It is estimated that 100 years ago, as many as two million horses were
roaming free within the United States . In 2001, National Geographic
News estimated that the wild horse population has decreased to about
50,000 head. Currently, the National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory board
states that there are 32,000 free roaming horses in ten Western states,
with half of them residing in Nevada . The Bureau of Land Management is
seeking to reduce the total number of free range horses to 27,000,
possibly by selective euthanasia.
7. Personal Checks
According to an American Bankers Assoc. report, a net 23% of consumers
plan to decrease their use of checks over the next two years, while a
net 14% plan to increase their use of PIN debit. Bill payment remains
the last stronghold of paper-based payments -- for the time being.
Checks continue to be the most commonly used bill payment method, with
71% of consumers paying at least one recurring bill per month by writing
a check. However, a bill-by-bill basis, checks account for only 49% of
consumers' recurring bill payments (down from 72% in 2001 and 60% in
6. Drive-in Theaters
During the peak in 1958, there were more than 4,000 drive-in theaters in
this country, but in 2007 only 405 drive-ins were still operating.
Exactly zero new drive-ins have been built since 2005. Only one reopened
in 2005 and five reopened in 2006, so there isn't much of a movement
toward reviving the closed ones.
5. Mumps & Measles
Despite what's been in the news lately, the measles and mumps actually,
truly are disappearing from the United States . In 1964, 212,000 cases
of mumps were reported in the U.S. By 1983, this figure had dropped to
3,000, thanks to a vigorous vaccination program. Prior to the
introduction of the measles vaccine, approximately half a million cases
of measles were reported in the U.S. annually, resulting in 450 deaths.
In 2005, only 66 cases were recorded.
4. Honey Bees
Perhaps nothing on our list of disappearing America is so dire;
plummeting so enormously; and so necessary to the survival of our food
supply as the honey bee. Very scary. 'Colony Collapse Disorder,' or CCD,
has spread throughout the U.S. and Europe over the past few years,
wiping out 50% to 90% of the colonies of many beekeepers -- and along
with it, their livelihood.
3. News Magazines and TV News
While the TV evening newscasts haven't gone anywhere over the last
several decades, their audiences have. In 1984, in a story about the
diminishing returns of the evening news, the New York Times reported
that all three network evening-news programs combined had only 40.9
million viewers. Fast forward to 2008, and what they have today is half
2.. Analog TV
According to the Consumer Electronics Association, 85% of homes in the
U.S. get their television programming through cable or satellite
providers. For the remaining 15% -- or 13 million individuals -- who are
using rabbit ears or a large outdoor antenna to get their local
stations, change is in the air. If you are one of these people you'll
need to get a new TV or a converter box in order to get the new stations
which will only be broadcast in digital..
1. The Family Farm
Since the 1930's, the number of family farms has been declining rapidly.
According to the USDA, 5.3 million farms dotted the nation in 1950, but
this number had declined to 2.1 million by the 2003 farm census (data
from the 2007 census is just now being published). Ninety-one percent of
the U.S. FARMS are small Family Farms.