Tuesday, March 29, 2005

R.I.P. Mitch Hedberg

Mitch done died, taking his bizarre lateral thinking with him.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

As a matter of fact, it is rocket science.

OK, kids. Here’s a fun fact that slipped through the history books.

This is one of those blindingly obvious points that makes you go “Yeah, of course,” when it’s mentioned. Except, it’s very rarely mentioned.

The American space program, from the Mercury missions through the Apollo missions, was a vast detour from the original concept.

Ah, the glorious 60s. The Cold War. How fun was that? America had a space race with the Russians to get to the moon. Everybody knows that. What everybody forgets: the original concept was to develop a – for want of a better term – "space shuttle" that could take off from the earth, go into space, return to the earth, and land. Otherwise known as a rocket plane.

We shelved that concept in favor of space capsules on top of disposable rockets that splash-landed from freaking parachutes. Which is sort of like Columbus sailing to America and burning his boats.

It was a quick-and-dirty, short term solution aimed at beating the Reds to the moon. A flag-waving publicity stunt. An ego-boost. Far as that went, it worked great. In terms of creating the infrastructure of a space-faring civilization, it was a trip to nowhere.

The shuttle program that finally emerged was a half-assed concept – not a true space plane. It’s no wonder that two of them exploded.

Now, George W. Bush has pushed NASA back in the direction of disposable rockets and space capsules that have to be fished out of the ocean like giant tub toys. It’s so idiotic I could cry.

Ah well. To prove I'm not simply raving, the above vid clip has Werner Von Braun (“I aim for the stars – I hit London”) explaining his original space plane concept. A made-for-kiddies film short from the friendly folks at the Walt Disney Corporation.


Monday, March 21, 2005

Auto erotic asphixiation dept.


A SCIENTIST is pitching a design for an electric car. Executives sit around a conference table. AUTO COMPANY CEO reacts with disgust.

CEO: Electric car? Are you out of your frigging mind? Goddamn scientists.

CEO touches button. A trap door opens. The scientist falls.


CEO: Now. How's bout we stick with my idea? Anybody got a problem with that?

YES MEN: No sir! No sir! 2+2=5 sir.

CEO: I like the way you think.

Strides to front of office, avoiding trap door.

CEO: OK! Here’s the car of the future, gentlemen. Fuck his idea. Here's my idea! The 2010 Kamikaze!

Touches HD flatscreen display. The car appears.

CEO: It doesn’t need oil. It doesn’t need electricity. It runs on food. See? Open up the hopper here, and you drop in corn, tomatoes and steaks. Listen to that engine hum!

One of the YES MEN tentatively raises his hand.

YES MAN: But …

CEO: But?

YES MAN: But won’t people starve?

CEO: Yes! And that’s the beauty of it. Take a look at this model — the next generation. The Soylent Car! It runs on people. People!

YES MAN: But won’t we run out of people?

CEO: What’s your point?

YES MAN: But who’ll drive the car!

CEO: The car drives itself.

YES MAN: But where does the fuel come from? When there’s no more people

CEO: Other cars! (touches display) See? Ta-da! The cannibal car! It eats other … Well, see for yourself!

Cannibal Cars come roaring into the room and devour the YES MEN. They scream. CEO looks on appreciatively.

CEO: It's an exciting time to be alive, gentlemen. An exciting time to be alive.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Electric car? We don't need no steenking electric car.

Rumor on the cyber-grapevine has it GM just crushed the remaining EV-1s, despite protests from electric car enthusiasts.

This strikes me as, no offense meant to retards, retarded.