A Ponderable

Have you ever wondered if there was a situation where encountering a naked woman was a bad thing? I assure you that the answer is “yes”. And the evidence is here.
Key quote:

A woman trying to make “manure bombs” using stockings, slipped into a slurry tank and fled the scene naked, German police said on Friday. Two women entered a farm in the northern village of Eberholzen on Wednesday evening and started to fill the stockings with manure.

“One of them slipped into the manure tank, right into the cow muck,” said a spokesman for local police. “The other one helped her out. We found their clothes in a field. One seems to have run off completely naked, the other in her underwear.”

No amount of perfume is gonna help that…


Holographic Car Simulators

Alert reader Steve was cruising through the nicholsclan archives and ran across the essay titled Digital Cars. He dropped me a note which I thought had a really cool idea in it. He says…

A few years ago, I was talking to some friends about the “marshmallowing” cars; you know, the smoothing out of the lines, the sacrificing of individual style in the name of better aerodynamics, etc. We figured that by 2020, we would be driving whirring, homogenous-looking blobs that were completely devoid of any interesting features and would leave millions of tinkerers in a state of depression. I offered up an idea to keep things interesting in the new boring car; a digital windshield and soundsystem that was connected to the drive system that, even though you were driving the vehicular equivalent of a microwave oven you could look through your digital windshield over the hood of whatever car struck your fancy. Big, gas-guzzling Cadillac? Exotic sportscar? How about the nose cone of an F-17 fighter jet? Just download the view from a software package and change your operating environment. Maybe there could be a design package that allows you to create your own “machine” along with an engine/rumble pack. It wouldn’t be the same as actually getting in there with the wrenches, but maybe it would somewhat satisfy the sensory input we are losing in these days of fuel efficiency. The same type of thing has been introduced to the world of the electric guitar (amp modeling), I think it may be in the cards for the automobile. Something to think about, or dismiss entirely…

I’ll race you to the patent office…


Never Underestimate the Power of Marketing

This is incredible. You can purchase a Denon AKDL1 Dedicated Link Cable from Amazon for only $500.99!! They don’t even try and dupe you with any $499.95 price. There it is, bold and baldfaced: $500 and change. But hey, at least the shipping is free.

What’s amazing is that this is simply a 1.5 meter CAT 5 network cable. You can pick one up for about $5 at any computer store. I have a drawer full of them at home, which now that I think of it should probably be moved from the garage to a safe deposit box since I didn’t realize I had a college fund worth of cabling just lying about.

If you’re in the mood for a good giggle, read some of the customer reviews for this product. They are hilarious.


Ross Returns

Are you pining for 1992 again? Do you miss those ginormous ears and that gangly gate? Do you not get your fill of charts and graphs sitting around conference tables at work? Well fear no more, Ross Perot is back. No, no, don’t worry. He’s not running for office. But he does have a new chart deck available.

Take a gander at the presentation at perotcharts.com. It’s a little dry, but it’s really very well done. It illustrates quite plainly the economic problems we face as a nation in the coming generation. The legacy we are leaving our children. The reality is that the big three entitlement programs (Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare) are going to eat our lunch (and dinner, and breakfast, and our after school snacks as well). It also makes clear that while Bush Jr. certainly didn’t help, he didn’t really cause the problem either. This train has been chugging down these tracks for a very long time. But now that we can feel the rails rumbling, maybe it’s time to think about moving off the tracks.

What the charts don’t say is how brain dead it is that none of the Presidential candidates are proposing any substantive plans to address the gathering gloom. Perot has done a nice job of simply illustrating the problem. There is no partisan message, no solutions offered, just a light shone into the dark. He offers that there are no painless solutions, and he’s absolutely right. Which is, of course, why neither Obama or McCain are going anywhere near the issue. It’s political suicide to offer painful solutions. I’d like to think that once in office, either of them would take these issues on. But that seems unlikely as well. Despite how clear the problem is, it is not imminent. Until the issue threatens to cripple us within the window of the next political term, I don’t think any substantive changes will be made. The other really thorny issue here is that almost any solution will require the Boomers to vote against their own self interest. This is not something the me generation has ever really excelled at.