Tag Archives: Wall Street Journal

You Can Tune a Piano, and Now You Can Scan a Fish

2013-06-23 14.45.31I was reading a fashion article in the Wall Street Journal the other day, because I always get my fashion tips from stockbrokers. That might explain a lot, actually. Anyway, it seems that ‘50s fashions are on the way back, but the writers were explaining that they were not as tight as Mad Men outfits, nor as loose as Happy Days. They look cute, though, as long as I don’t have to be some guy’s slavish secretary or dance at the sock hop.

Speaking of being in style, you may have noticed a fashion faux pas in one of the president’s latest speeches. Not Obama, of course, who is always impeccably turned out, but the lady sitting behind him. This economic speech has been replayed about every seven and a half minutes on the cable news cycle, and there is an unfortunately arm-challenged woman to his right who is wearing a sleeveless black dress. I want to say to her, “Honey, I feel your pain. Everything trendy out there is sleeveless these days, but some of us just can’t pull it off.” I mean, I make sure my arms are covered before I even take out the trash. Not that I take out the trash.

Anyhow, I couldn’t quite get the sense of this not-your-mother’s-poodle-skirt article, but I noticed that there was one of those weird, square things that you scan in the bottom corner, so I Googled “weird square things that you scan,” (seriously; try it) and it told me that it was a QR code. I had known this in the past, but since I didn’t have a smart phone, it didn’t matter. Now, of course, I was eager to use yet another function of my new phone, so I went to the Google Play store and started to install the most authoritative-sounding app, QR Droid. Right? It’s a QR code; I have a Droid. Case closed. Well, it wanted me to agree to all sorts of privacy-invading things, so I got nervous, cancelled the download, and went to the internet to get reviews on the best QR code scanners, just in case I was about to lose all fifteen dollars in my bank account. About that time, Michael came downstairs and asked me what I was doing, and I said looking for information on QR scanners. “Hand me your phone.” Being the trusting sort of mom that I am, I handed it over. He pushed a few buttons and handed it back. “There ya go.” “What did you do?” “Installed QR Droid.” OK, then.

2013-06-23 14.43.16Naturally, I had to scan everything in the paper after that, and I found that I was completely uninterested in watching videos of people reenacting the article that I’d just read. It’s still cool, though. Amazingly, just a few hours later, I unwrapped the redfish that we’d bought at Whole Foods, and it had a QR code! A fish with a code! I ran to get my phone, since scanning a fish is bound to be far more entertaining than scanning a newspaper. It was. Since the fish was still partly frozen, I had to keep pressing my thumb on the code to keep the frost away, but it read the code and took me to www.Mayafish.net. I keyed in my fish’s own personal i.d. number, and the website told me all about it! Now I know everything about the nutritional content of redfish, its sustainability, and its levels of mercury. It also told me where this particular fish was born, what it was fed, when it was harvested, and the temperature of its shipping container. How much easier this makes it to heed Jamie Oliver’s advice, “Never eat meat if you don’t know ‘ees Mum’s name.” That’s an unapologetic carnivore, for sure. Leave it to Whole Foods to give us more information than we ever thought possible about our food. I do appreciate them, but I know I paid extra for it!

So now I am set up to learn even more about pretty much everything, since those little squiggles are ubiquitous these days. To tell you the truth, though, I’ve never used the app again. I guess once you scan a fish, anything else just seems ordinary.

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