Edward R Murrow, Hurricane Bill, and the iPhone.

August 23rd, 2009, by Peter Hirshberg | located in Conversations | Comments off | trackback

Edward R Murrow was describing the London Blitz and the fierce resistance of the British people as Hurricane Bill attacked me not once, but twice yesterday. Amidst steely grey skies and giant sea swells in Brigehampton, the waves ultimately engulfed my iPod shuffle, sunglasses and me in a first surprise attack as I was running. Seconds later and 1.5 miles away the waves washed up on the entire beach where my friends were, claiming beach towels, Conde Nast magazines whose only possible purpose in life is Hamptons beach reading, and my brand new iPhone 3G . The iPod Shuffle hung on through Bob Edwards’ audiobook description of Murrow on the courage of pensioners and flower ladies during the blitz. And while telling the story of brave resistance of 1941, the shuffle finally gave way, its valor not lost on me.

And then, silence. I was without communication and humbled. But also awed by the power of nature who was merely playing around and not serious at all. (The hurricane, after all, was 500 miles to the east…)

Minutes later, I see it. Amazingly, improbably buried in the sand– one wet, sandy iPhone. And remarkably, still displaying incoming texts though otherwise going haywire (Intermittent RF electronics, warnings flashing constantly.) And sand in every orifice preventing any connections at all. I won’t go into the ensuing unpleasantness.

Yet now, 22 hours and a big bottle of compressed CO2 air blast cleaner later, the iPhone and iPod recover. Completely, it seems. I’m left wondering: did they really just survive an encounter with a sandy, briny Atlantic? Or is this just borrowed time, and a good time to schedule an appointment at the Genius Bar? Either way, I’m impressed!

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