Lees and Orts

Imagine a robot that quietly and discreetly enters your neighborhood, collects your refuse bin and empties it into the refuse truck. It is done without waking the sleeping families and without heavy lifting for the refuse truck’s driver. This is the purpose of ROAR, a joint project with the aim to develop tomorrow’s smart transport solutions.

No, not advance shock troops for the nascent Skynet, but actual two-wheeled bots that will “collect your refuse bin and empty it into the refuse truck … without waking the sleeping families and without heavy lifting for the refuse truck’s driver.”

Thus promises Volvo in a recent press release.

We’ll be impressed if they pick up the garbage that always seems to litter the street afterward, as well as manage to not deliberately toss the blue recycle bin so it lands on a corner and cracks. 1

Au Courant

Over the years we have brought you news of the 100 Year Starship, that DARPA project that is a.) going to (temporarily) “save humanity” from itself by table-topping interstellar flight, b.) actually figure out how to shelter underground the world’s leaders and richest citizens when global contraction becomes too unbearable (read: the rest of humanity is out for their blood), or c.) put those selfsame masters of the universe out of reach of the lumpen masses by launching them into a perpetual low earth orbit. To wit:

Of course, uber-wealthy tech entrepreneurs aren’t just buying rockets for their personal amusement. They’re founding or investing in space travel – they want to get you off-planet, too. Well, not you-you, but someone like you with much, much, much more money.

And that’s where the vogue for billionaire space travel magnates gets a little weird –and maybe even sinister. It’s already very true that money expands your world; the person with the funds to have a car is less restricted in her movements than the person without one, and the person with a huge plane and the money to fly it is less restricted still…

Some people with a great deal of money care more about the fate of the world than others, but they’re all willing to cut corners if it affects the bottom line. You can tell because they have a great deal of money; you can also tell because they’re willing to spend it on a ride in a spaceship.

Which raises the question: are they just gearing up to wash their hands of the planet and leave the rest of us to clean up? By pushing outward while ignoring the problems it causes back on the home turf, are they effectively creating a galactic upper class that rests on the backs of the earthbound? Even if that’s not literally the plan, it may be the ultimate outcome.

No worries; we’re sure the powerful and obscenely wealthy have our best interests at heart.

Au Courant

Why is it British women seem to have more sand than American women? This one drove a tank over to David Cameron’s place of residence to show her displeasure…

…74-year-old (Dame Vivienne Westwood) came out in force to oppose the new fracking licenses which are being pushed through parts of northern England.

Westwood said: “Cameron accuses foreign leaders such as President Gaddafi and President Assad of supposedly using chemicals on their own people as a justification for regime change. But he is doing precisely that here in Britain by forcing toxic, life-threatening fracking chemicals on his own people against the advice of his own chief scientist.

“It’s time for regime change in Britain. Cameron plans to force householders to surrender their land and endure fracking underneath their homes. Britons no longer have any choice but to fight back.”

You may be asking yourself why Dame Westwood just didn’t walk on over to Dave’s place with a grouse gun or some such. Well, remember firearms in England are strictly controlled (and they STILL have far less gun violence there, something according to the NRA that is deemed an impossibility), hence the tank. I suppose Americans could do the same if it weren’t for Homeland Security selling all the tanks to the local police departments…

Maybe you could ask KCPD for a loaner to drive really slowly down to City Hall to protest the new streetcar?

Au Courant

Show 1 footnote

  1. Yeah, we’re looking at you, Deffenbaugh jack-booted thugs. We know the bins are only $5 to replace, but last year alone your Frisbee flips coast us $30. Enough already.

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