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BRINGING THE THRILL OF COOKIES TO YOUR FRONT DOOR

WEEKLY WHINE

Somewhere over the hill

Come, join me over the hill.

That’s right. I’ll be forty on Thursday. Kind of scary, isn’t it?

As someone who’s about to become older than I’ve ever been, I think I’m uniquely qualified to talk about where we, as a society, are going. [Answer: Over there.] And if I may, let me also point out that we, as a society, are sorely in need of a grand project.

By this I mean that we all ought to get together and try to come up with a really big, impressive thing to accomplish that will make everyone in the entire world crowd around television sets, just as they did in 1969 when Tom McClean crossed the Atlantic in a rowboat.

Also, some guys walked on the Moon. That was kind of big too.

I think that GoobNet is in a unique position to nominate Grand Projects for society to consider. We are, after all, representative of all walks of life, except for people who don’t like football or space travel, but they don’t count anyway. I have started things off with a few potential Grand Projects, and it is up to you to add to the list and help decide which of these humanity should pursue.

Movies in space: There were rumours some time ago suggesting that Pizza Hut wanted to use a giant laser beam to illuminate the Moon in such a way as to spell “Pizza Hut”, but luckily they instead decided to paint their logo on the side of a Proton launch vehicle. So how do we do something big in space without pissing off the entire planet? Easy. Unfurl a big deployable screen and project films onto it. Several cities, such as Pasadena, CA, USA, do this as a way to bring the community together; why not bring the entire global community together?

Taste-o-Vision: Ever watch those commercials for candy bars that show extreme closeups of the candy bar being torn in half? They know that because human brains are wired funny, seeing a candy bar almost makes you taste the candy bar. But if it’s a candy bar you’ve never tasted before, you need Taste-o-Vision.

Liquid mail: Remember when pneumatic tubes were all the rage and businesses used them to send documents all through the building? That’s how people feel about E-mail today. But if you want to send something physical, that means somebody has to make the delivery manually. That’s really annoying. With liquid mail, though, you merely liquefy the object you’re trying to send and pour it into a tube. Then, an extensive network of plumbing routes the object to the receiver, where it is resolidified.

Dynamic replays: In all the sports video games, you can watch replays from any angle you desire. So if John Madden the video game magnate can do it, why can’t John Madden the commentator do it? With a sufficiently high end graphics workstation, it should be possible to take footage from two or three cameras and reconstitute a three dimensional representation of the entire play. This sort of thing has been done before on a smaller scale, but imagine being able to see the entire play, through a player’s eyes, to the same resolution and level of detail as he saw it. Of course, it may not be desirable to see things through Michael Vick’s eyes.

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