If you like looking at lists of things, this is your moment. There are lists everywhere this time of year.
Top this. Most popular that. Biggest money-making movies or artists. Highest-paid athletes. You name it, somebody has a list of it.
We’ve got a few lists of our own coming in The Daily Item this week. Our annual look back at the Top Ten news and sports stories for the past year is set for publication on Tuesday, Dec. 31. This year, we’re adding a look at the top Valley stories of the past decade on Monday, Dec. 30.
Top Ten lists can be both funny and tedious. Comedian David Letterman used to feature all sorts of oddball Top Ten lists each night on The Late Show. (BTW, I found a Top Ten list of those Letterman Top Ten lists at businessinsider.com.)
There’s even a website, Listverse.com, entirely dedicated to Top Ten lists, including one that made this editor smile — The Top Ten Silliest English Words And Their Origins.
Note to Joe Biden. Malarkey is No. 10 on that one.
As we approach the start of a new year and the end of the second decade of the 21st century, I thought I’d compile my own list: Favorite things that either didn’t exist or were so new that few of us had ever heard of them on Jan. 1, 2010.
1. iPads and other tablets: The first iPad was released by Apple in 2010 — a nice hybrid of smartphones and laptops. My wife Mary uses hers all the time. I’m a Kindle Fire guy.
2. The Waze GPS app: This actually originated before the start of the last decade, but didn’t become a big deal until after Google bought it in 2013. My wife and I sometimes argue over whether to follow Waze strictly or to deviate when we think we know better. In unfamiliar locales, I have learned it is unwise to not trust Waze.
3. Netflix and other streaming services: Netflix, which began by renting and selling DVDs, started streaming TV content in 2010. Netflix streamed its first original show, “House of Cards,” in 2013. The art of binging soon followed. We recently binged “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” on Amazon Prime.
4. Speaking of Amazon Prime, although Amazon started offering 2-day free shipping to customers for $79 a year in 2005, it didn’t really take off until the 2010s. Amazon added free access to a myriad of movies and TV shows in 2011. I’ll bet we got 75 percent of our Christmas delivered this year through Amazon Prime.
5. The Keurig coffee maker: OK, I know, the Keurig and its K-cups were an office staple before 2010. But they didn’t become common for home use until around then. We didn’t get ours till a few years ago, so I’m counting it.
There’s some other stuff I could add — like smart assistants (think Siri and Alexa), smartwatches (both of us wear Fitbit fitness watches) and Bluetooth devices becoming common in most cars. But I’ll leave it at that for now.
I hope you have a great time ringing in the New Year and making your list of what’s ahead in 2020.
I also hope you keep supporting the importance of local news reporting by subscribing to The Daily Item. We’d like to still be on your list in the coming year and 10 years from now.
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