Jetman, flying cars, the future

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In the news recently was someone called Jetman, who built his own jetpack with four rockets on it.  Supposedly he can go 190 mph.  Here’s a video:

That would be awesome to have.  I wonder if we’ll ever have flying cars or something like that.  There are still companies working on it, and every few years there’s news that it’s almost ready.  I’m thinking it won’t happen until computers are controlling them.  That may seem kinda scary, but even more scary is bad drivers and drunk drivers in a flying car.  Crashes would be even more dangerous, causing much more collateral damage.

He uses a parachute to land, which might seem lame for a jetpack, but I bet landings would be really tricky to maneuver, as well as extremely dangerous.

FYI, computer-controlled cars are already on the road — just not available for purchase yet.  Google has been testing them in certain areas.  So far, with hundreds of thousands of miles, they appear safer than the average human driver.  I’m not sure how I feel about that.  I actually enjoy driving; however, if I’m able to do other stuff during road trips, like video games, reading, sleeping, etc., then that would be awesome.

world record birthday Cheetos

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I figure at some point most everyone thinks it would be neat to somehow get in the Guinness Book of World Records.  Today I had a random thought along those lines, but not for that purpose.  I recently had a birthday (which was cancelled, BTW, for everyone who keeps bringing it up), and I was craving Cheetos.  (We have some baked Cheetos here, which are good, though not quite the same… more like cheese popcorn than Cheetos.  But I digress…)  Anyway, if only I had a bag of Cheetos for every time someone said I was getting old…  🙂

Then I wondered what the world record would be for the most bags of Cheetos received as birthday gifts.  That would be a fun record to break.  🙂  The concept could also be applied to Oreos…

Cheetos - many industrial sized bags, $65 per bag supposedly

I searched for a picture to go with this post and found this one.  Supposedly the guy in the picture bought these industrial-sized bags of Cheetos direct from the factory for $65 per bag and bought 28 bags.  I’m not sure I have sufficient space to store that many Cheetos in my house, and I’m most certain that the WAF (Wife Approval Factor) of that would be near 0.  So maybe I won’t be chasing this world record after all… (though I still must admit it would be fun to try).

Why is gas $9.99/gallon?

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I saw this the other day while driving around central Arkansas.

gas prices 9.99 (not really) - July 2013

Fortunately it’s not true!  But that’s the actual sign — no Photoshop or other editing.  The gas station / truck stop has been completely demolished, to be rebuilt bigger and better.

They tore it down the old-fashioned way rather than blowing it up.  I can understand there being some logistical issues with exploding a gas station, but it would’ve been really awesome to see (albeit from a safe distance).  Plus there’s another gas station across the street, so you’d get a bonus two-for-one explosion!  There is also a nearby car lot, which would probably result in more explosions.  And there’s a large billion-dollar company close also.  So the collateral damage would get expensive really quick, and thus this cannot happen.

explosion, Gaza Strip, from Israeli F-16 jet, Jan. 3, 2009

I suppose that’s why we have movies and video games — so we can virtually experience such things.  But even with a large HDTV and nice surround-sound system, you still don’t get the full impact of a real explosion.  Besides the lacking bass, you don’t get to feel the resulting shockwave from a large explosion.  I wonder if movie theaters will ever be able to simulate that.  (There’s a project for our R&D department…)  🙂

Yosemite Sam and Nerf guns

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If someone is annoying you by repeatedly shooting you with a Nerf gun in the office, what do you do?  If diplomacy doesn’t work, you respond with a bigger gun.  🙂

For some reason, my intro reminded me of Yosemite Sam.  (Yeah, I watched a lot of Looney Tunes growing up.)  Here’s the quote:

Yeah?  Well, I talk LOUDLY and I carry a bigger stick.  And I use it, too!  WHAM! ~ Yosemite Sam, on foreign policy

I’m not sure I’d want Yosemite Sam as a minister of foreign affairs, but he might do better than some of the current politicians…  He would certainly be more amusing and funny, although not intentionally.  Consider this:

Whether playing a buccaneer, Arabian knight or the roughest, toughest, meanest, old prospector west of the Pecos, Yosemite Sam’s slapstick physical humor always sets his audiences laughing.  This rootin’, tootin’, six gun shootin’, varmit-huntin’ wild man of the west believes in his own innate superiority and charges his way into one misadventure after another — and as loudly as possible.  The only thing shorter than the fuse on his temper is Yosemite Sam himself and this walking keg of dynamite is always ready for action.  From his ten gallon hat to his fire red mustache, Yosemite Sam is the most flamboyant of all Bugs Bunny’s adversaries.  But the funniest thing about Yosemite Sam is that he has absolutely no sense of humor which makes him the perfect foil, or fool, for Bugs Bunny.

It’s amazing that he’s so funny despite having no sense of humor.  Ironically, that might suit him as a politician, since most of them are professionally humorless (which is lame and boring).

diet colas with artificial poop

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The other day I wrote about a spa using bird poop in facials, and at the end of the discussion I joked about what would be the next use of poop.  At the time, I was unaware of a breaking news story about diet colas that is somewhat related.  (Are you getting scared yet?)

diet cola - now with more artificial poopRecently the patent details for the artificial sweetener aspartame became available online, and well, it’s made with a certain byproduct.  (Are you sure you want to keep reading?  It might get even worse.)  Obviously it’s an artificial sweetener, which has certain connotations, but there’s more than you’d expect.  Some versions of aspartame are made by harvesting the protein waste (i.e., poop) of genetically modified E. coli bacteria, then adding methanol to it.  (On a side note, how someone invented this process is beyond my imagination, so I looked it up.  In 1965 a chemist was trying to create an anti-ulcer drug, and while generating a hormone for it, he licked his finger and accidentally discovered the sweet taste of aspartame.  Go figure…)

Aspartame is one of the most common artificial sweeteners, and it’s sold under the brand names NutraSweet® and Equal®.  It’s used because it’s about 200 times sweeter than table sugar, so less can be used, which lowers the calories in the food or beverage.  It is used in thousands of different food products.  The FDA maintains that it is completely safe.

It may be safe, but this is one of the those things that I kinda wish I didn’t know…

bird poop facials — only $180

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I’ve heard of people drinking coffee made from poop, which is crazy enough.  But at least it’s cooked and processed to some degree.  Now there’s a new use for poop.  (But wait, there’s more!)

Now a spa in New York City is offering bird poop facials for $180 each.  Supposedly it gently exfoliates the skin.  I’m no beauty expert, but aren’t there other ways to do that?  Anyway, it’s called a “geisha facial”, which is supposedly a Japanese beauty secret.  (I’m thinking I’d keep the ingredients list secret if this was my product, but I’m no marketing expert, either.)

I know what some of you are thinking — “But you never mentioned the smell!!!”  🙂  Of course they have to account for that; how many people would stay in a spa if it smelled like crap?  At this spa, they surround you with aromas of camellia, lavender, and rose.  They mix the bird poop with a rice bran, so it supposedly smells like toasted rice.  The treatment begins with steam to open the pores and soften the skin, then they leave this poop mixture on your face for five minutes.  I guess they want the bird poop to soak in.  (Remember, they’re a professional business and they charge you a lot of money, so obviously they must know what they’re doing.)  The owner says the bird feces brings out the dirt and dust that builds up in the skin and leaves the customer feeling refreshed.

poop - jar of poopOh, and they don’t use just any ol’ bird poop, because that would be gross.  It’s only from nightingales, because they eat seeds that produce the natural enzyme that is the active ingredient.  Seems to me it would be good to cut out the middleman in this situation…

The article says that about 100 people get this pooperizing procedure done at this spa every month, which, doing the math, brings in $18,000 — every month.  That’s a lot of money for a procedure using bird poop and rice bran.  Seems like a high-profit business to be in.  They must be doing something right.  (I’d guess it’s the advertising and promotion — how else are you going to convince people to pay big bucks to get poop smeared on their face?)

A doctor (also in New York) has predicted that animal extracts will grow in popularity, that they offer “a new definition of natural”, because some marketed natural products could be harmful to the skin.  However, I also learned that because this is sold as a cosmetic rather than a drug, there is no obligation to back up their claims with evidence.

What’s going to be the next use of poop?  Actually, never mind — I don’t want to know.

caption contest: car wreck – how did this happen

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We haven’t had a caption contest recently, so let’s get that restarted.  It’s real simple to play — think of something funny / humorous to go with this picture.  The only rule is to keep it clean.  And regardless of whether you have anything to contribute, you can enjoy the comments other people leave, too.

car between buildings

Let me also add that comments usually pour in over the next week, so this is the type of post that it’s good to check back on.  You can also subscribe to the comments (whether for just this post or all comments) if you would rather be notified that way.

(To see our other caption contests, click on the “Say What?” category in the sidebar.)