Search This Blog

Loading...

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

OSU 'gender inclusive' bathrooms hit front page of student newspaper

Gender inclusive bathrooms story in OSU Barometer, Jan. 29, 2016, p. 1

PHOTO: The "gender neutral" bathrooms at OSU are now called "gender inclusive bathrooms" and they were featured in a front-page student newspaper article by Luuk Van Hoomissen, "Inclusive identity, Oregon State University houses more than 200 gender neutral restrooms," Barometer, Jan. 29, 3016, p. 1-2 online as "Oregon State University has over 200 gender inclusive on campus with plans for even more," posted Jan. 29, 2016. (See previous post OSU Pride Center moves to be 'Brave Space' and 'gender inclusive' instead of 'Safe Space' or 'gender neutral' (12/2/15))

I see a new trend here that building architects should be taking note -- I see an emerging customer demand, which appears to be popping up first on college campuses across America, for gender inclusive public restrooms a.k.a. public bathrooms or public lavatories that can be used by people of any gender identity:

"In 2008 there were less than 30 gender-inclusive restrooms on campus that we can identify by records. Today there are 200," said Steve Clark, vice president for university relations and marketing. "All forms of inclusivity are a priority to this university." Steve Clark said that all new building constructions and all major renovations will now feature restrooms that are both gender-inclusive and accessible to people with disabilities. "Through conversations with students about diversity, inclusivity, and safety, we have elevated our communications about inclusivity and inclusive excellence," Clark said.
(Quoted from Luuk Van Hoomissen, "Inclusive identity, Oregon State University houses more than 200 gender neutral restrooms," Barometer, Jan. 29, 3016, p. 1-2 online as "Oregon State University has over 200 gender inclusive on campus with plans for even more," posted Jan. 29, 2016)

The only other context that I've seen a similar issue pop up is with the so-called "family bathrooms" often requested by mothers, especially of young boys, who want to bring their child into the public bathroom of the opposite gender for safety reasons. My personal experience with this was with my mother, who had grown up in a big city where children were occasionally assaulted in public bathrooms and who insisted I go with her to the women's bathroom until I was past five years old, much to my chagrin. The last time she forced me to go with her was after she had been embarrassed by a woman screaming at her for bringing a boy into the women's bathroom! When she tried to explain the safety issue as the reason for doing it, the woman yelled back the assertion that only children who can't go unassisted should be allowed in.

Historically, the "bathroom issue," and the common confusion by most people between sexual orientation and gender identity, has always been a heated flash point in the discussion of LGBT rights ever since the 1969 Stonewall riot that is often used to mark the beginning of the gay liberation movement, which led to the first wide-spread public discussion of gay rights and the rights of transgender people. Human's instinctive desire to segregate public bathrooms by sex or gender (e.g. male vs. female) has a long cultural history and some very deep emotions associated with it.

My mother insited that public bathrooms used by women were often messier than those used by men, perhaps due to the extra needs of women dealing with periods and the fact that men more often use only the stand-up urinals. Whatever the truth is, most women I have talked to about this subject find the idea of using a men's bathroom very "scary and disgusting" because they are worried about being sexually assaulted or spied on by a man.

Most men I've talked to don't worry about a woman being present in a public bathroom, but they will often note without any prompting that they would go violent toward a male homosexual voyeur looking at them sexually. In my experience, these violent emotional reactions by straight men is at the center of the the long history of so-called "tearooms" or public toilet rooms (i.e. t-rooms or tearooms ala porcelain china tea cups) historically used by closeted gay men for anonymous sex, which led to police raids and legal crackdowns toward homosexual men.

Ironically, an infamously anti-gay Republican U.S. Senator Larry Craig was caught by police trying to solicit sex from another man in a public bathroom. Craig is just one example of many self-hating closet cases who hypocritically bash gay men while secretly engaging in gay homosexual acts.

Fortunately today, it appears that tearoom sex has become just a fetish for a small number of younger men instead of tearooms being the only sexual outlet for closeted men because society has given them no other choice. I can forgive Craig because he was from an older generation that knew firsthand about the discrimination they would suffer from coming out as gay, however, it is sad that Craig was unable to accept the positive changes that had been won by the gay liberation movement over the last few decades.

In my experience, I can't stand using a woman's public bathroom because I hate the scent of perfume and it is much harder to avoid a mess. Similarly, the family-bathrooms I've been in have been even messier probably due to the fact that children are messier than most adults. In the future, it will be interesting to see what new stereotypes are formed after gender inclusive bathrooms become more common on campus. I know that the right-wingers have already created the stereotype that "gender neutral" bathrooms are an example of the "political correctness" by liberals on college campuses. I always cringe when conservatives complain about "political correctness" by liberals because if this is really a real problem for them, then so what?

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

OSU President and Board of Trustees accept responsibility for dealing with growth issues

The Oregon State University President and the OSU Board of Trustees recently met (see article by James Day, "OSU trustees to meet next week," Gazette-Times Jan. 23, 2016, p. A2 and posted online Jan. 22, 2016 as "OSU trustees to discuss housing, presidential compensation") and they accepted the responsibility for the growth issues that have led to the decline of livability in some campus neighborhoods. (See the articles by James Day, "Ray: OSU failed to deal with growth. President gets raise; will donate it to university," Gazette-Times, Jan. 30, 2016, p. A1, A3 published online as "Ray: OSU deserves blame for enrollment, housing issues," posted Jan. 29, 2016 and James Day, "OSU likely to contribute funding to livability crackdown," gazettetimes.com posted Jan. 27, 2016)

Prior to the meeting, I contacted the OSU Board of Trustees and suggested that they needed to set measurable goals for Corvallis livability and explicitly recognize the educational importance of OSU being in a small college town that historically has allowed students to easily interact with town residents who have made a major contribution to society, including OSU professors and staff members. I warned how a party school like the University of Oregon (forty miles south of OSU in Eugene, Oregon) was suffereing because the neighborhoods near campus had deteriorated so much.

See previous posts Dealing with OSU growth and student conduct issues affecting Corvallis townies (11/30/15) and OSU mails Corvallis residents glossy whitepaper on student conduct improvement efforts (12/23/15), which include my opinion piece and letter to the editor in the local newspaper: Thomas Kraemer, "As I See It: OSU's growth is a good problem to have," Gazette-Times, Nov. 30, 2015, p. A7; Thomas Kraemer, "Don't let OSU ignore metrics," Gazette-Times, Dec. 23, 2015, p. A9.

Oregon State University President Ed Ray said Friday the school deserves criticism for the way enrollment growth and the lack of a housing plan have affected Corvallis neighborhoods.

"Enrollment has grown at a pace that we didn't control," Ray said during a panel discussion on housing at a meeting of the OSU Board of Trustees. "We didn't have the controls in place, and there were a lot of dynamics in place with housing. Shame on us if you look at where we are now. How in the hell did we not realize we needed to have a conversation about housing?"

OSU's Corvallis campus enrollment grew 21 percent in a five-year spurt, from 19,923 for the 2009-10 school year to 24,158 for 2013-14. That growth has leveled off, and Ray said he is sticking to his idea that enrollment on the Corvallis campus should be capped at 28,000.

That surge has had a dramatic effect on Corvallis, with problems as wide-ranging as low vacancy rates and high prices, altered neighborhoods because of the addition of townhouses designed for students, parking, congestion and traffic as well as noise, trash and loud parties.

In 2011 the city of Corvallis and the university embarked on the Collaboration Corvallis project, which worked for three years before sunsetting shortly after the newly assembled Board of Trustees came into being.

The panel discussion, which included a city housing official, neighborhood leaders, a Realtor and OSU's top housing official, in a way served as Collaboration Corvallis 101 for the board, although much of the material was old news to many in the audience.

"I have a much better understanding of the issues now," said Trustee Paul Kelly of Portland. "This is something that we need to do more of as a board. And it's important that we don't view this panel as the end of the conversation. We need to continue to say on top of this challenge."

Kelly also thanked Corvallis resident Jeff Hess, who was in the audience, for raising the housing issue at previous board meetings.

Ray noted that the university's expired campus master plan, which was approved in 2004, "had nothing in it on housing" and added that in the work on the current update "we have to have our own conversation about housing and be attentive to it in a way we weren't a decade ago."

The new version of the master plan, which has been renamed the university district plan, was scheduled to be adopted by the City Council in August 2015, but the work has been put on hold amid land-use updates the city is in the midst of crafting as an aid to their review of the university plan.

There is no new timetable for the city's consideration of the blueprint, which is meant to guide the university's development for the next 10 years.

And the panelists seemed to recognize that it can be a challenge to make progress even when folks have the best intent.

Trish Daniels, a former Corvallis city councilor and planning commissioner as well as a work group leader during the Collaborate Corvallis, said that some of the project's "recommendation are still working their way through the boa constrictor."

Dan Larson, executive director of University Housing and Dining Services, noted that OSU's plans for a public-private partnership to develop more on-campus housing have not borne fruit yet.

"It's a not a fast process," Larson said. "We've been working on it for two years, but it's slow-moving."
(Quoted from James Day, "Rray: OSU failed to deal with growth. President gets raise; will donate it to university," Gazette-Times, Jan. 30, 2016, p. A1, A3 published online as "Ray: OSU deserves blame for enrollment, housing issues," posted Jan. 29, 2016)

Monday, February 1, 2016

New blood test company logo apes da Vinci's Vitruvian Man sketch

Leonardo da Vinci sketch Study of human proportion

PHOTO: The Leonardo da Vinci sketch Study of human proportion, also known as the "Vitruvian Man" (see "Vitruvian Man" wikipedia.org) was created circa 1490 and it depicts a man in two superimposed positions with his arms and legs apart inscribed in a circle and square. The drawing and text are sometimes called the Canon of Proportions or, less often, Proportions of Man. (See previous posts My grandmother gave me naked man sketch by Leonardo da Vinci (4/24/13) and da Vinci's missing penis (4/29/06))

The Theranos Company CEO Elizabeth Holmes is the head of a too good to be true blood test technology startup and she recently told a major business magazine how her company logo was inspired by da Vinci's naked man sketch shown in the photo above:

"The idea, Holmes says, is for the experience of having a blood test to be "wonderful," rather than like visiting a medieval torture chamber. The centers feature high-definition video screens that play undulating concentric patterns that can also be seen on display around Theranos headquarters. "In mathematics there's a term called the golden ratio," Holmes says, explaining that it can be found in seashells and tree trunks or da Vinci's Vitruvian Man. "That ratio is the foundation of our logo, which is the circle, which is the simplest form of what's called the flower of life."
(Quoted from Sheelah Kolhatkar and Caroline Chen, "Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes tries to take her company out of the crosshairs," Businessweek Dec. 14-20, 2015, p. 47, posted online Dec. 10, 2015 as "Can Elizabeth Holmes Save Her Unicorn? Theranos wants to convince the world it's for real.")

The "Vitruvian Man" sketch has always been popular with gay men because it is not only good looking artwork, but it can be used with impunity from prudes who want to censor nudity.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Dan Savage tells readers to not send armed militia camping in Oregon dildos

Dildo partially inserted in Reality Female Condom plus original package design PHOTO: The type of supplies that are being sent to the armed militia camping in Oregon include a dildo, shown above partially inserted into a female condom, which feminists and AIDS activists hoped would help stop the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. (See my previous posts Michael Petrelis, female condoms, PEG-ES enemas for gay men (3/14/09), FDA approves 2nd female condom, but not for gays (3/13/09) and Female condom for anal sex editorial (5/12/09))

A militia group that is camping in Oregon, because it wants to privatize public lands, prompted the following news headline: BURNS, Ore. (AP), "Frustration grows as armed Oregon standoff continues ," gazettetimes.com posted Jan. 26, 2016.

In response, the Seattle newspaper columnist Dan Savage humorously gave the following advice to readers who asked how to properly recycle their old dildos in both a safe and environmentally correct manner:

" In Seattle, where I live, a community tool bank recently opened in my neighborhood-but they don't collect and lend the kind of tools you're looking to donate. . . . burying sex toys isn't environmentally responsible. And while high-quality dildos can be cleaned and safely reused, most people are pretty squeamish about the idea. Which is odd, considering that we routinely reuse actual cocks that have been enjoyed by others-so why not the fake ones?

"But even if I can't tell you what to do with your dildos, . . . I can tell you what not to do with them: Do not ship your used dildos to the anti-government militia currently occupying a federal wildlife refuge in rural Oregon. After militia members asked supporters to send them supplies -- via the US Postal Service -- their spokesperson complained bitterly about all the dildos they were getting in the mail. So if you decide to put your used dildos in a box and send them somewhere, RRR, please make sure the address on the box doesn't read: Bundy Militia, c/o Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, 36391 Sodhouse Lane, Princeton, OR, 97721."
(Quoted from Dan Savage, "Savage Love: No Place for Old Dildos," thestranger.com posted Jan. 20, 2016)

Dan Savage, as part of his answer, also references a colleague's blog post by Shelby R. King, "SLOG - Hey #bundyeroticfanfic: There Are Actual Double-Headed Dildos At the Wildlife Refuge," thestranger.com posted Jan 13, 2016, who noted the news report that said one of the protestors "Jon Ritzheimer wants you to stop sending your "hate mail," to the militia holed up at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. And by hate mail, Ritzheimer means dildos and other assorted dicks."

I first heard about this story on an early morning TV newscast that was staffed with a fill-staff of young twenty-something anchors, who laughed while telling the story that people were sending "phallic shaped" objects to the militia group because the militia group had asked to be sent camping supplies to support their militia operation. It did not surprise me that all of the newscasts I saw later in the day had deleted any reference to these "phallic" objects, and I suspect this censorship was intentionally ordered by an older station manager who wanted to avoid complaints from prudish viewers and possible fines from the FCC for violating the decency rules for free over-the-air broadcast TV stations.

One of the armed protestors was shot today and some others were arrested. It appears the seigie is nearing its end.

See previous posts:

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Gay dating app bought by China reported by 'Bloomberg West' cable TV business news show

GRINDR gay date app shown on Bloomberg West cable TV business news show Jan. 12, 2016 3:07PM PT

PHOTO: The gay dating app GRINDR was shown on screen during the very "straight" San Francisco Silicon Valley cable TV business show "Bloomberg West" (watched live Jan. 12, 2016 3:07PM PT on Bloomberg Corvallis Comcast cable TV channel 743). While photos of cute guys were being shown looking for dates, a financial expert speculated about the reasons behind the related business news story ("Chinese Gaming Billionaire Buys U.S. Gay Dating App GRINDR," bloomberg.com posted Jan. 11, 2016) In his opinion, the biggest reason might have to do more with the fact that Chinese investors are desperately moving money out of the unstable China stock market to anyplace that might be more stable, instead of them moving money to a specific stock pick like the GRINDR stock. I agree, the business demand for sex services is likely to remain strong!

The TV business show "Bloomberg West" is based in the San Francisco Silicon Valley and it has been staffed by reporters who are very knowledgeable about the high technology businesses located there, including the many with a connection to Stanford University, in Palo Alto, such as the granddaddy of Silicon Valley, Hewlett-Packard, and successors, such as Apple Computer and Google. Silicon Valley acquired its nickname from the silicon semiconductor integrated circuit chip businesses that started there, including Intel and others.

One of China's newly minted technology billionaires signed a deal to buy a controlling stake in Grindr, the world's biggest gay social-networking app.

Beijing Kunlun Tech Co., an Internet games company that helped introduce Angry Birds to China, offered $93 million in cash for 60 percent of New Grindr LLC, the company said in a statement to the Shenzhen stock exchange. Beijing Kunlun Chairman Zhou Yahui, who became a billionaire after the company listed shares last year, was scouting other potential investments in the U.S., according to a company spokeswoman, Sophie Chen. . . .

China's attitude toward homosexuality has undergone a radical transformation in the past decade. Once a facet of Chinese culture among the elite, it was pushed underground during the Communist era, and the Chinese Psychiatric Association officially classified homosexuality as a psychiatric disorder until 2001.

Recently, the gay scene has seen a resurgence. Blued, a domestic gay social-networking app founded by a former police officer, has attracted more than 3 million daily users and secured funding from venture capitalists DCM Ventures.

(Quoted from "Chinese Gaming Billionaire Buys U.S. Gay Dating App GRINDR," bloomberg.com posted Jan. 11, 2016)

I've not had a chance to explore the use of GRINDR by OSU students, but I have studied the ethnography of gay male MSM craigslist ads placed by OSU college students, who seem to use it when they are freshman, but then quickly abandon it for some unknown reason (I hypothesize the reason is that they find only a few hookups in the small college town of Corvallis and it becomes easier to cruise boys directly on campus, instead of having to fend off the trolls and weirdos that might harass them on a public dating website or smartphone app. Studying this would make a good research topic for a Master's thesis.)

UPDATE 1/20/16: This gay business story also received a one-sentence report in the printed edition of Businessweek, Jan. 18-24, p. 42, as part of the "Bid/Ask" column. They said, "A Chinese billionaire" paid $93 million for "60 percent of the gay dating app, which boasts 2 million daily visitors in 196 countries." This is a good example of a business that benefits from being able to do business globally on the internet.

See my previous posts:

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Portrayal of computers in 1957 and 1961 by movies and TV shows

Still from 1961 TV show Dobie Gillis in front of 6 million dollar computer

PHOTO: An example of the popular portrayal of computers can be seen in this still frame (at about 7 minutes) from the TV show The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis, "Dobie vs. machine" (1961) Season 2, Episode 21 first aired Mar. 14, 1961 (Watched on free 0ver-the-air broadcast KEZI-TV Channel 9.2 5:30-6:00AM Jan. 10, 2016). The TV show's title character Dobie Gillis (right) is holding a computer punch card while standing in front of a $6,000,000 computer that is supposed to use the data on the card to calculate what job Dobie would be best suited for doing after high school based on the "scientific" psychological tests performed by a psychometrician that a high school counselor told Dobie to see because he couldn't figure out what he wanted to do after graduating from high school. The scientists who test Dobie are all dressed white lab coats and they parody the spirt of that era with tests loosely based on real ones. Likewise, the computer is not a real one, but the set and prop designer caricatured the common features of computers in that era, such as magnetic tape drive storage units and flashing lights. In fact, magnetic tape and punched cards were used for input to very expensive mainframe computers that were around when this show was made, but the common portrayal of computers as being infallible brains capable of independently solving problems, while simultaneously waging evil, was laughable both back then and today. (See previous post TV Lesbians in 1961 and grocery delivery rediscovered by Wal-Mart and Amazon (1/9/16) for more on Dobie Gillis.)

It appears that the above Dobie Gillis TV show computer prop and set could have been easily recycled from the one used for some previous Hollywood movies, such as "Desk Set" shown below.

Still from 1957 movie 'Desk Set' Ms. Watson looks at an IBM EMARAC's line printer answer to a question submitted via punch cards

PHOTO: Still frame (at approx. 1:35) from a movie "Desk Set" (1957) (seen on Turner Classic Movie Channel, Comcast Ch. 784, Nov. 26, 2015 5PM PT 103 Minutes) that was made in Germany with aging Hollywood stars. It portrays the fictional IBM EMARAC computer (acronym for Electromagnetic Memory And Research Arithmetical Calculator) that was designed with enough artificial intelligence to do the job of a very skilled Reference librarian named, Ms. Watson, played by Katharine Hepburn, who is shown above examining the line printer's paper output in answer to a question submitted to the computer via a punch card typed up by the IBM computer operator seen to the left. Although the computer's flashing light display is only a fanciful invention of the set designer (who also chose, perhaps not by accident, the IBM blue company color theme) it was based on state-of-the-art IBM computer technology with the full cooperation of IBM, as was prominently mentioned in a credit at the beginning of the film. Even though the tape drive wheels are not turning in a functionally normal fashion, both the tape drive storage and the line printer look like the real ones used back then. Similarly, the small rows of lights and switches on the rack-mounted computer hardware also look like typical 1950's computer hardware. The name of the ace reference librarian character played by Hepburn, "Ms. Watson," was an ironic reference to Thomas Watson Jr. (1914-1993), who was the 2nd president of IBM, 1952-1971, and his father, Thomas J. Watson (1874-1956), who was the chairman and CEO of International Business Machines (IBM) from 1914 to 1956. Today, a more real IBM Watson computer is a a question answering computer system capable of answering questions posed in natural language, which is something this movie envisioned decades ago.

The movie "Desk Set" (1957) appears to be a masterful piece of IBM marketing because it got Hollywood stars, albeit aging ones, to help IBM sell computers by showing IBM's vision of computers being something that would help workers in their job, freeing up their time to do more things, to alleviate the common fears of workers that their jobs would be eliminated due to automation.

Spencer Tracy, Hepburn's costar in "Desk Set" (1957), plays a nerdy engineer and operations efficiency expert who has a blind faith in the ability of a computer to do the job of a reference librarian, which makes Hepburn and her co-workers fear that their jobs will be eliminated by the computer. Their fears are confirmed when everyone is terminated by the payroll department computer (payroll processing was one of the most common applications of IBM computers at the time). Happily, it all turns out to be just a fixable mistake due to human error. The movie uses this and other scenes to promote the ideas that computers are only as perfect as what humans tell them to do, and that a computer will help you do your job, instead of being a threat to it.

I saw "Desk Set" (1957) decades ago and since then I have seen it referenced by numerous books and papers from computer scientists and hardware engineers . I also heard about "Desk Set" from the head of advanced research at Hewlett-Packard, who had worked at IBM before becoming my boss 30 years after this movie was made. He was hired to bring IBM's vision of artificial intelligence research to HP Labs, where many niche applications were developed, but only recently has AI software become more common and profitable for HP.

I also noticed that the movie "Desk Set" (1957) was made in Germany, where IBM had a big operation, and so I wonder if German IBM employees any role in the making of it. Likewise, given that the movie was released around the time that Watson, Sr. died, I wonder if he even knew about it or approved it being made. Clearly, Watson's son was in charge at the time and very likely would have had to approve of it, unless it was a skunk works project by IBM people in Germany who hid from their corporate bosses. In my experience, conservative corporations like IBM would be timid about participating in anything like this with a risk of embarrassment or damage to the company reputation.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

TV Lesbians in 1961 and grocery delivery rediscovered by Wal-Mart and Amazon

Free grocery delivery truck of Herbert T. Gillis and 'Please serve yourselves' store sign over his son Dobie Gillis and friend Maynard G. Krebs in 1961 TV show 'The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis'

PHOTO: The then common, free delivery of groceries is depicted in 1961 by the popular TV character Herbert T. Gillis (top) carrying out groceries to his delivery van, which he had recently loaned out to his son Dobbie Gillis (bottom right) and friend Maynard G. Krebs (bottom left). Smaller grocers continued to deliver groceries, as a way to compete with the self-service supermarkets that became popular after World War II, in addition to welcoming customers with signs saying, "Please serve yourself" (bottom photo). It didn't work and the stores that did not go out of business morphed into being small, convenience stores selling gasoline, lottery tickets, snacks, etc. Unknown to Dobbie's father, inside his grocery delivery truck was a lost lion, which prompted the title for this episode, a parody of the TV game show "What's My Line? (1950)." The objective of this TV game show was for the panelists to guess the line of work or occupation of an ordinary guest, and when blindfolded the identity of a celebrity guest. (See "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis - What's My Lion?" (1961) release Date: January 10, 1961 (watched 12/27/2015 on free over-the-air broadcast TV channel KEZI-TV 9.2 and Comcast cable Channel 309)) and also see The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis (season 2) See wikipedia.org)

The classic TV sitcom "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis" included a historically important lesbian, gay, butch tomboy character named Zelda Gilroy, who plays the wannabe girlfriend of the title character. The character Zelda was played by the child actress Sheila Kuehl (See wikipedia.org) who would later move on to get a Harvard Law School degree and become the first openly gay person elected to the California legislature. Although she played an overtly heterosexual character, chasing after a boy, many people considered her to be too "butch" to play that role in a proposed spinoff show featuring her and Dobie. Back then, being butch caused most people to assume a woman was a lesbian dyke and in that era, any hint of homosexuality would blacklist any actor or actress except for the few roles where gender bending was considered normal.

Speaking of grocery delivery, the small Colorado town, where my Grandmother lived, had a small grocery store whose owner delivered groceries to her until the day she died. She was too blind and crippled to drive a car and shop at the big supermarkets that were built in nearby towns in the 1950's that took over most grovery sales. She was grateful for the grocery delivery service, which I assume vanished after the store owner retired.

When I saw Dobbie's father delivering groceries, it made me recall how grocery delivery was a common service years ago, and there are signs it might be coming back in the internet and smartphone age.

For example, Wal-Mart recently built a store in Corvallis to sell only groceries, and it seems like it was built mostly to be a perfect distribution point for delivering groceries to city residents because it is configured unlike typical grocery stores. It is hidden off the street, like a warehouse building, which makes me speculate that Wal-Mart plans to use this queer grocery store as a future distribution point for Wal-Mart groceries they sell customers online or via a smartphone. My speculation is further fueled further by a business magazine story by Phil Wahba, "Walmart testing new tools in e-commerce arms race with Amazon -- The world's largest retailer is testing out a free delivery service, as well as grocery pick up kiosks, as it looks for new ways to compete with Amazon," fortune.com posted Jun. 19, 2015. The article said, "Walmart has in recent years equipped more than 80 of its U.S. super centers to help fill online orders and speed up delivery. That's about the same number of distribution centers Amazon operates."

The existence of grocery delivery will be important to people who are unable to drive, due to age or medical reasons, because it will free their dependence on family or church members to buy food and deliver it to them. It looks like Walt-Mart and Amazon are rediscovering grocery delivery, which means there must be a market for this service that is bigger than just those who are unable to drive to a grocery store.