No News is Good Snooze

March 24, 2015

Voices

You want to become a master of multitasking? Boy, have you come to the wrong place!

But you can still better yourself by reading this column, because I am indeed a responsibility-juggling virtuoso. For example, I absorb the daily news through my radio alarm while still sleeping.

I set out to translate this knowledge of world happs as a courtesy to my dear readers when I saw a web link that declared I Would Not Believe What Happens Next!!! I never did find out what happened next, but I eventually accumulated these even more fascinating internet news tidbits for your edification.

Hyperloop Transportation Technologies is building the first hyperloop transportation technology.

The hyperloop is absolutely not mere science-fiction folderol. This leap forward fulfills the dreams of everyone who sits at the bank drive-through, watching money capsules zip through the vacuum tubes and wishing they could travel like that, only at sonic speeds without actually going anywhere.

Of course, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies intends to expand its initial five-mile test oval in middle-of-nowhere California. The network could someday connect every major American metropolis, and then Des Moines.

The engineers envision the Hyperloop as a low-pollution, low-impact alternative to long-distance and regional travel. And they are already strategizing ways to take away our leg room. No word, as of yet, on the cost of checking luggage.

Speaking of getting suckered in at high rates of speed:

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway has a new entitlement sponsor that exemplifies the aerodynamic, land-based adrenaline rush so emblematic of the event.

Ladies and gentlemen, fasten your seatbelts and cover your ears for the SpongeBob Squarepants 400!

FULL DISCLOSURE: I do not personally understand NASCAR, even after watching a race. The sport has no runs or goals or baskets, and far too few cheerleaders.

Nor do I understand SpongeBob Squarepants, the cartoon character who markets every known product to children. I think he is the number one cause of migraine headaches in the post-puberty crowd; then again, I do not have my own brand of toothpaste.

I’m not saying Other People are wrong to enjoy NASCAR, or SpongeBob Squarepants, or (coming May 9!) the SpongeBob Squarepants 400. I’m saying only that I have different priorities. This may be a good thing for Other People; I once dedicated myself to dominating a pumpkin toss competition. My victory was the triumph of my life! But then the judges disqualified me for entering the under-12 age bracket.

Hastily returning to the subject of dramatic re-branding:

A nonprofit group, Women on 20s, is petitioning the White House to supplant Andrew Jackson on the twenty dollar bill.

I absolutely support commemorating awesome women on our money. The list of potential honorees includes environmentalist Rachel Carson, social activist Elizabeth Cady Stanton, congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, and a dozen other women whom we never covered in school, since only men were important through Civil War times.

Nonetheless, my thorough civics education taught me that you have to match two simple qualifications, in no particular order, to appear on American currency:

1) Be President.

2) Be dead.

That’s how we honor Alexander Hamilton and Benjamin Franklin, Salmon P. Chase and the American buffalo on our cash. We’re not one of these no-heritage European nations that resort to commemorating scientific and cultural achievements.

So until either Hillary Clinton or Oprah announces her candidacy for president, we can’t even begin discussing this radical move. If the slope gets any slipperier, what next? Bills of different sizes, so the visually impaired can tell the difference? Dollar coins that conserve resources and look kind of like pirate doubloons? Not in MY America!

Speaking of mind tricks to elevate women:

A quadriplegic woman piloted an F-35 flight simulator using only the powers of her thoughts.

Once upon a time, Jan Scheuermann trusted Pentagon surgeons enough to implant electrodes inside her skull. These doodads read signals from her neurons, enabling her to control robotic limbs. Now, she pilots very expensive military equipment.

FULL DISCLOSURE 2: I am not at all extremely crazy jealous that this woman gets to work Jedi mind tricks AND control a fighter jet.

Also, I’m pretty sure this is just a fluke occurrence, and that a teenager with zero federal funding has not invented affordable, functional prosthetics that also operate on neural signaling, only without the creepy brain implants. And even if he did, he—let’s call him “Easton LaChappelle” for no reason whatsoever—would not be so selfless as to make the software open source, thereby depriving the government of a capitalist competitor.

And that’s your news roundup! Don’t worry. Next time, I’ll just stay in bed.

 

(Photo by Steven Ritzer / CC)




This piece was written by:

Zach Hively's photo

Zach Hively

Zach Hively is the brilliance behind Fool’s Gold, the weekly column. He contributes regularly to the Durango Telegraph, and he is also a fiction writer, craft beer blogger, and work-for-hire editor. If you have nuggets to share, tweet @ZachHively or visit zachhively.com.

Contact Zach Hively

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