Category Archives: …The Hell Is This?
On New Year’s Day 2020, I noted that we are not living in a future with flying cars, much less floating cities patrolled by superheroes. As I said then, that’s the downside, but the upside is that we’re not living in this either…
How quickly reality likes to disabuse us of our quaint notions.
Ok, so it’s not exactly like the way the 80s envisioned 2020, but let’s look around us –
- Computer and communications networks linking nearly the entire world
- Global economy teetering on the brink of collapse
- People being socially ostracized for thinking outside the Officially Approved Narrative
[from the sourcebook NeoTribes, 1995]
- Corporations essentially ruling, or at least strongly influencing, the world
- Worldwide pandemic, with people wearing facemasks outside to avoid breathing the “bad air”
I’m sure you can think of more. The Cyberpunk book even mentions something called “Storm Technologies” coming to prominence into 2019 and 2020, which might amuse any Qanon fans out there.
But not William Gibson, not Rudy Rucker, not “The Mighty Bruces” Bethke and Sterling, not even Mike Pondsmith and the crew at R. Talsorian predicted this.
A prototype smart toilet that can identify you by your “analprint” and monitor your trip to the loo has been created by researchers at Stanford University. It’s equipped with cameras and sensors that collect information on your bodily waste, and it uses that data to look for any health issues you might have.
The “analprint” is the toilet’s primary way of identifying each user. Much to the authors’ dismay, it’s also the aspect of the toilet that’s gotten the most attention since the paper describing the proto-toilet was published in a press release and the journal Nature Biomedical Engineering on Monday.
“It’s a minor part of our system,” Seung-min Park, a senior research scientist at Stanford University and the paper’s lead author, told The Verge.
The article reports that the inspiration for “analprints” was Salvador Dali. Somehow not surprised.
It’s not a bad idea, in theory. It could help people discover health problems before they become serious. But of course, it can’t be that simple.
The article cites privacy concerns, which are well-founded in a bizarrely disturbing way – the government has always been up your ass, but this makes it literal. But the article also notes “due to the fixed camera angles of the GoPro, the smart toilet would film female genitalia in addition to the anal region, which is why the first study included an all-male participant pool.”
Imagine your toilet being hacked.* Not only are you at risk for identity-theft-by-ass-recognition, you might end up the star of the show on the internet somewhere. With your identity clearly known.
The forthcoming game Cyberpunk 2077, dark and oppressive as it is, might be looking a little too optimistic.
H/T to this Redstate article I found while researching , and to Ace of Spades HQ, your go-to source in all toilet-related concerns.
*Now there’s a phrase I never envisioned writing.
“”I am”… I said
To no one there
And no one heard at all
Not even the chair”
– Neil Diamond, “I Am… I Said”
Mr. Horrible is upset that someone keeps taking his chair. Someone who isn’t even there –
H/T Ace of Spades HQ –
Storing and processing music in the cloud depends on vast data centers that use a tremendous amount of resources and energy.
Devine translated plastic productions and the electricity use to store and transmit digital audio files into greenhouse gas equivalents (GHGs). He then compared the GHGs from recorded music in the US in 1977, 1988, 2000 and 2016.
The findings are clear. The GHGs caused by recorded music are much higher today than in the past. In 1977 the GHGs from, recorded music were 140 million kg. By 2016, they were estimated to somewhere between 200 million kg and over 350 million kg.
“I am a bit surprised. The hidden environmental cost of music consumption is enormous,” Devine says.
Even worse than the “bovine methane emissions” aka cow farts. You can’t really blame the cows for cow-ing. But I guess if you’re gonna have a planet-scale brown note, it might as well be a D-major.
Let’s add to the worldwide suicide note (heh) with a song that gleans a bit of insight as to how progressives arrive at their conclusions (hint: it involves some atmospheric emissions of their own, and I’m not talkin’ the C02 kind), as performed by some young fellows who tragically died in a different kind bovine emission-related incident.
American Digest asks the question– “The Japanese: Nuked Too Much Or Not Enough?”
As the Digest put it, “Lots of dancing, singing, video games and the selling of noodles. Complete with a Surfing Tommy Lee Jones working for a BIG payday at 3:16.”
So, nuked too much or not enough? The answer is “Yes.”
It wasn’t nuclear radiation that affected them. Rather, it was radioactive exposure to the West, which left their physiology and intellect intact, but severely mutated them on a cultural level. They’re still Japanese, but with a strangely and deeply warped American element mixed in.
Still, they seem happy with it, and I find it highly entertaining.
If there is a God and he is indeed omniscient, it is also true that he foresaw the human race’s ability to create a great many things that would change the world, improve the overall quality of life here on Earth, and maybe even one day move beyond it. I can’t help but wonder what the hell he would make of this $2,400 laser bong.
The B-LAZE Laserbong, made by Silicon Cali, uses a 2W, 445Nm frequency laser. And you have to wear protective eyewear.
Protective eyewear. To smoke weed. Seriously.
The company founder, Justin Zelaya, described potential customers as ranging from “Bitcoin core developer” to “mad scientist, like myself.” Yeah, I can see that.
I really, truly, honestly do not know whether this is better or worse than this other use of lasers.
Perhaps an enterprising snack company can appeal to the secondary market among cyberpunk laserstoners with products displaying the integration of corn chips and high technology. Frito-Layzer, if you will.
“Load up on drugs, kill your friends”
– Kurt Cobain, 1991
Nirvana was set to perform their recent hit single, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” on the British music chart television program “Top of the Pops.” …What resulted was, and still is, one of the greatest middle fingers and live performances ever
Kurt doing his best(?) Morrissey impression. Kinda wonder what a Nirvana cover of the Smiths would have sounded like. Or vice versa.
It’s that time of year again, Rocktober. And to celebrate, let’s have some…. not rock.
Andy Rehfeldt posts a rare video of Black Sabbath performing live –
The music rather suits the video, given the Mod outfits (especially Ozzy’s fashion disaster) and the stage set. Seriously, a big rainbow over your stage screams “Lounge” far more than it suggests “Metal.”
I guess they’ve had hot air blown up their skirts long enough, and now they’re blowing it back. Or something. The one dead front and center looks like she’s trying to drop something like it’s hot.
As someone on that thread observed, “But isn’t it hilarious that when these women think about Trump, their first thought is exposing their sexual parts?”