2011: As new technology continues to change our means of communication, the United States Postal Service scrambles to streamline their infrastructure just to stay in business. Most recently they released a list of locations on the impending chopping block. CNN publishes the sites:
Hundreds of mail-handling facilities have been named in a shutdown list released by the U.S. Postal Service as the agency tries to cut massive red ink.
The potential closings are the latest chapter in a fundamental overhaul of the agency that may also mean closing thousands of smaller post offices across the country, and cuts in tens of thousands of Postal Service jobs in years to come.
The latest list targets nearly 250 processing facilities and related “network transportation,” as the Postal Service calls its distribution system. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe planned a news conference to explain the changes.
“With the dramatic decline in mail volume and the resulting excess capacity, maintaining a vast national infrastructure is no longer realistic,” Donahoe said ahead of the news conference.
With the proposed change, postal officials say customers can expect a first class letter to take two or three days, instead of the one- to three- day standard the existing delivery system was designed to meet.
Now there is nothing mortal that accomplishes a course more swiftly than do these messengers, by the Persians' skillful contrivance. It is said that as many days as there are in the whole journey, so many are the men and horses that stand along the road, each horse and man at the interval of a day's journey. These are stopped neither by snow nor rain nor heat nor darkness from accomplishing their appointed course with all speed. The first rider delivers his charge to the second, the second to the third, and thence it passes on from hand to hand, even as in the Greek torch-bearers' race in honor of Hephaestus.
Of course, it’s not hard to be the fastest messenger service when your competition opts for sending marathoner-archetype Pheidippides out on foot or concocting some over-elaborate clandestine communication. Here, two Greek tyrants plot a revolt against the Persian Empire:
Since Histiaeus desired to give word to Aristagoras that he should revolt and had no other safe way of doing so because the roads were guarded, he shaved and branded the head of his most trustworthy slave. He waited till the hair had grown again, and as soon as it was grown, he sent the man to Miletus with no other message except that when he came to Miletus he must bid Aristagoras shave his hair and examine his head. The writing branded on it signified revolt, as I have already said.
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