Archive for the ‘Hard-ish News’ Category

I’ll always wonder why movies don’t aim at least 100+ years into the future for a “future scene”. In this case it is understandable since Marty had to have aged 30 years, but still. I wonder how much research they really did on what 2015 would be like. Not even research, but what was the ratio of “this will be happening” to “that would be so cool” that went down in the writers room, that is what I’d like to know.

As cool as the projected future was 30-ish years ago, I’m going to contest that the real 2015 could be even better, although it won’t have the bells and whistles of flying cars and self drying jackets. So here it is, projected future vs actual future. (Note: I know it isn’t 2015 yet. I’m not waiting 3 years to write this. Nothing significant is going to change in 3 years. If it does, then you can write an article about my future vs the real future vs back to the future and see if your brain doesn’t explode!)

PROJECTED: Automatic Dog Walker
REAL:  Unemployed Bro-Dude
Advantage: PROJECTED (but not by as much as you’d think).

Sure, perhaps you’d rather a machine taking care of your pup all day instead of some smelly hippie girl with her pants 4 inches higher than they should be, but consider this: The price of perfecting that technology. How many times on long walks did the robot walker run low on gas or batteries or hyper jet fuel and just lose your dog? Is that a chance you’d be willing to take? I say yes, but I would understand opting into the human. I only say yes because of my roller coaster theory (“If it wasn’t safe, they wouldn’t let people on it”).

PROJECTED: Automatic Mega-Expensive Gas Station
REAL:  Self Service Semi-Mega-Expensive Gas Station
Advantage: REAL.

Plain and simple, price wise we are screwed either way, so that’s a wash. I wouldn’t be shocked to see the prices be right on the money when we get to 2015, but there is still nothing that can ever replicate the feeling of the perfect pump. Ever.

PROJECTED: Holomax Jaws: 19
REAL:  3d Angry Birds Movie
Advantage: TBD.

You think I’m kidding don’t you. You think I just hacked IMDB and made that page. Nope, it’s coming. Angry Birds the movie. Now, you may wonder how I can even consider giving Angry Birds the nod over a giant shark hologram that attacks you in the street… Well, here is how. Jaws 2 sucked. No way 19 would be any good. And, I think we already know how not worth the trouble and glasses 3d movies are. BUT, what if you could play the movie. What is Angry Birds knows something we don’t and by 2015 we can play an ipad 4 (new new ipad?) game in a movie theater? Jury is still out on this one.

PROJECTED: Fruit Dispenser
REAL:  Fondue Fountain Bird
Advantage: REAL.

Fruit vs chocolate. Next question please.

PROJECTED: Multi-Channel TV
REAL:  NFL Red Zone/Game Mix
Advantage: REAL.

Suck it projected future! We might even see the voice command mass produced in the next three years. What really sells the reality here is that Projected Reality offers “over 300+ channels!”, a number that is laughed at by CSPAN 9, MEUCNBC and ESPN 14 today.

PROJECTED: Cubs Beat Miami Marlins in WS
REAL:  Both Teams Can Never Meet In WS
Advantage: REAL.

This is where it really breaks down. The then fictional Miami Marlins did not exist. Now they do, and they are in the same league as the Cubs. Really what BTTF needed was for the Cubs to be the ones moving to the AL instead of the Astros. That would have probably swung this whole thing the other way. But alas, the Cubs (in Theo they trust) and the Fish are still in the NL together. Also, the points for predicting there would be a Miami Marlins go away when they failed to realize that the Marlins can’t be in the world series against the Cubbies.

Final Tally:
Real Life – 3
Projected Rality – 1
TBD – 1

Even if the Projected reality steals the Jaws 19 category (and this happens if we can’t participate in the Angry Birds Movie, at least there is a shark in Jaws 19), then it will still fall short. We’ve seen the hover board already as well. So it looks like barring dust becoming a major issue in the next three years, it looks like a brighter tomorrow that we could have ever imagined. So instead of feeding Jaws 19, how about you just keep feeding that man shark.


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What a week! The excitement in the air was elevating. But I don’t need to remind you that last week, Nov 8th -14th, was National Elevator Escalator Safety Awarenesses Week! Who could forget? It’s always the second full week of November!

This is a promotion of public safety awareness for the industry’s equipment. Everyone is invited to make this special week a huge success in cities throughout the U.S. and Canada. Safety Week provides a focal point for the industry, on a local and national level, to join together as individuals, companies and organizations and spread the word about public safety in the elevator industry. At the same time, Safety Week is an opportunity to celebrate the contributions made by the industry to the quality of life. Volunteers reach millions of riders with important safety messages in many locations during this celebration. – Elevator Escalator Safety Foundation (founded 1991)

Personally, I made this year’s Nat Double-E Safetay Week (as we say in certain circles) a huge success, by volunteering at my local subway station, with the aid -of course- of my $350 Safety Week Kit (What a steal! These are still available!). I set up camp at the bottom of the escalator, and spread the good word to my fellow Boston T Riders! It felt great to reach out to my community, knowing I was joining together with individuals everywhere, doing our part to spread escalator and elevator safety across this great nation, and parts of Canada.

escalator elevator safety kit

$350 Safety Week Kit: Planning Guide, a table cloth customized with the EESF Safety Week logo, an EESF display banner, 2 Safe-T Rider DVDs, 5 Safe-T Rider posters, 500 Safe-T Rider Activity Books and 500 Safe-T Rider stickers. (EESF.org)

However, Kinko’s refused to sponsor the cause, charging me in full for my custom ‘Safe-T ‘ emergency flow charts (still available). Some people just can’t get into the true spirit of Escalator & Elevator Safety. And that troubles me on a deep patriotic level.

If it were up to me, every week would be National Elevator Escalator Safety Awareness Week. Instead, the national calendar focuses on trivial pursuits. African American’s get the whole month of February, for history! And Flag Day?! That’s an inanimate object! I think, as a nation, we need to step back and re-prioritize our national days of respect. Maybe even do some calendar re-arrangements.

The nation’s safety is at stake, and the Elevator Escalator Safety Foundation has to share its single week with Veteran’s day! They already have monuments! I think I speak for the entire EESF when I say, get your own day, Veterans! It’s just one stupid day. I’m sure you can squeeze it in somewhere else. In the meantime, the EESF is trying to make the nation safer. Maybe you should stop shining your purple hearts, and help!

I’m proposing year-round Elevator Escalator Safety Awareness. “According to industry experts, elevators and escalators are the safest form of transportation in the world,” reports Ashley H. Rains, EESF Public Relations director, in her 5 page article, Riding Elevators and Escalators Safely. Yet injuries still occur! People simply are not aware of the danger. Just yesterday, my right shoe lace came lose on an escalator and crept uncomfortably close to the end of the stairwell. Fortunately, I had the quick wit to slip my foot out before the event-horizon, and I abandoned the shoe altogether.

That is the readiness the American public needs to adopt. Why? Let me drop some data on you:

  • Fact: Dozens of Americans deal with elevator/escalator related injuries or sickness on a monthly basis.
  • Fact: In case of fire, use stairs.
  • Fact: Elevators and Escalators are on the rise.

The threat is real. The solution is simple. Write to your local congressmen, make them aware of this important issue’s prominence, and ask them to promote year round safety awareness initiatives.

Ride safely.

And remember: when approaching a closing elevator door, leave it alone. Wait for the next one. If you’re on an elevator with violators of this rule, calmly step off, and report them to the EESF.

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Evolushark, a proponent organization for Darwin’s Theory of Evolution has chosen to use a shark as their mascot.

Evolushark Logo

Evolushark, a blue shark uniquely formed by the word “evolution”, is a science mascot specifically designed to discourage conservative Christians from trying to inject creationism into public school science curriculum. By intimidating their mascot Ichthys, Evolushark symbolically warns conservative Christians that attempts to impose their sectarian beliefs on America’s secular society face strong opposition.

That’s great for Evolushark, but they overlooked the Man Shark. While it’s true that sharks are evolutionarily perfect, the Man Shark is the natural selection for an evolution mascot. Even flying shark was considered. How did the Man Shark slip through the cracks? I suppose it just happens.

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A team of researchers at Duke University recently developed a breakthrough metamaterial that could potentially make cloaking technology science-fact. Much like a glass of water refracting light, “The cloak would act like you’ve opened up a hole in space,” a pretty official looking man explained. “All light or other electromagnetic waves are swept around the area, guided by the metamaterial to emerge on the other side as if they had passed through an empty volume of space.” Whether anyone knows what that means, experts are already theorizing military and civilian applications.

Breakthrough cloaking technology in action

However, the technology remains fundamentally flawed. Expect a follow up article listed under:


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Once upon a simpler time, in a land of kings and dragons, man had settled for a single, holy blade which commanded divine powers with an effortless sway of its cutting edge. However, the people of this prosperous land cried for something more; something sharper; something closer. Soon the innovation of two blades appeared. In due course, three blades came about, and even four blades! Ah yes, the interminable forces of facial hair seemed to be at bay, but whispers of discontent began to swell among the people. A mere four blades, the closest shave a man could get, was not close enough. The stage for revolution was set. A movement was born! (more…)

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The tri-weekly vending machine round-up is part of an ongoing effort to gain an intimate knowledge of what local vending machines offer. During this suspenseful event, my panel of experts thoroughly explore the historical nuances and cultural implications of select vending machine items.

Tonight: Cloverhill Bakery‘s authentic BIG TEXAS Cinnamon Roll, the cinnamon roll baked with that indefinable Texan charm, in Chicago, IL. I’m willing to overlook the $1.00 price if this roll makes good on its promise to be “BIG.”

But as it turns out, The BIG TEXAS Cinnamon Roll is at best a MODERATE RHODE ISLAND Cinnamon Roll. The only thing “BIG” about it is the extensive list of ingredients, which somehow comprise “less than 2%” of the entire roll. Also printed on the wrapper, Cloverhill Bakery proudly emblazons the Automated Merchandiser Reader’s Choice “Pastry of the Year,” award for the 4th year running.

What is the Automatic Merchandiser Reader’s Choice? Where and how is this competition held? And how did this, at best edible, cinnamon roll win? (more…)

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