Advertising, Culture, Food, Internet, Tech

The Question That Made Milk Famous

A well-known logo from the early days of the web: AOL’s “running man.”

Once in a blue moon, comes along a slogan that encapsulates the truth of an entire era.

Throughout the 1990s, AOL would cheerfully announce the arrival of each new electronic message with the greeting: “You’ve got mail.” Back in the early days of the web, one looked forward to receiving such communication. For one, the technology was a novelty. For another, it meant that the sender was a secret online lover or a chum or a family member—that is, people you wanted to hear from.

Today, Google celebrates the converse with the blunt text: “No new mail.” Activity in the inbox can mean either more work or more junk, neither of which is welcome. The e-mail has, over time, devolved into a tool of oppression. It’s a way for the boss to stay in touch with you after work hours. In the hands of marketers, it’s an avenue to sell.

When people talk socially, they connect over text, WhatsApp, Snapchat, Facebook, not e-mail.

“Got Milk?” It was this little question, which after its appearance in 1993, turned a piece of advertising into a cultural phenomenon. By the way, it also made milk famous.


A Metropolis Built On The Edge Of A Glacier

During the previous ice age, which began 2.6 million years ago, a gargantuan sheet of ice formed over North America, whose southern edge extended as far south as what’s now New York, ending in a sharp cliff.

Over Manhattan, this layer was more than 2,000 feet thick, taller than One World Trade. Then, some 18,000 years ago, when the planet began to thaw, it began to melt and retreat.

But the rocky junk that it’d brought along stayed behind, forming a line of rubble in the shape of an intermittent ridge called “moraine,” which runs all the way from Puget Sound to Montauk Point on Long Island, forming the promontory on which the old lighthouse stands.

In the five boroughs, it’s marked by a series of hillocks, which, at its maximum height, is about 200 feet. Many neighborhoods take their names from these elevations as well as its leafy embellishments: Cobble Hill, Park Slope, Bay Ridge, Cypress Hills, etc.

The ridge once connected Staten Island and Brooklyn. Some 13,000 years ago, floodwaters from melting glaciers upstate, rushed down the valley of the Hudson River, smashing it, creating the Narrows.