This blog covers everything except sports and gardening, unless we find a really good link about using dead professional bowlers for mulch. The author is a StarTribune columnist, has been passing off fiction and hyperbole as insight since 1997, has run his own website since the Jurassic era of AOL, and was online when today’s college sophomores were a year away from being born. So get off his lawn.

What to do outside when it's -4

Posted by: James Lileks under Praise, Technology Updated: December 30, 2013 - 12:58 PM

Nothing. Seriously, you’ll die. Stay indoors and read things on the computer. Such as:

ANCIENT MYSTERIES Have we finally solved the mystery of Easter Island? You may ask: what mystery? The natives made the statues, cut down too many trees to move the statues to their platforms, which assisted the ongoing ecological collapse. What mystery? Here’s CNN:

The key to the riddle of Easter Island was hidden in plain sight, but was not seen for long time. While we were all fixing our attention on giant statues – Moai -we forgot to pay enough attention to stone platforms they were standing on. And those platforms were the key to the riddle.

Plaftorms similar those in Peru. Later the author writes:

Large block of volcanic rocks were fitted together so perfectly that even a thin knife can be inserted between them. The only know location of identically built stone walls can be found in Peru, some 4.000 km away. According to official archaeology no contact was ever made between pre-Inka or Inka civilizations and Rapa Nui culture.

The Inka-dinka-doo culture, first discovered by James Durante, could be responsible. The author believes they came across an island chain now submerged. The first comment demolishes his entire argument. Swiftly. Then you remember something at the top of the page:

NOT VETTED BY CNN. 

So this is the part of CNN where people who don’t work for CNN and post stuff and make you wonder, the next time you hear someone say “well, CNN reported that the other day,” whether they were referencing the work of a staff journalist or someone who wrangled logon credentials and posted an expose of the subterranean lizards who run the world.

MAKE LIKE A TREE And turn into a guitar. You’ll have to go here to listen to the song, and decide for yourself whether the “Back to the Future” cover is interesting or SO CRAZY FANTASTIC. But this bears noting. The Jalopnik entry (hey, BttF wouldn’t be possible with a car) notes its Western flavor, and speculates:

This song would be perfect for some sort of Back To The Future sequel, maybe as part of a trilogy or something, set in the Old West. Doc could be a blacksmith. And maybe you could have Biff Tannen's great-grandfather or something. You could call him Buford Tannen. And there could be a train at the end. And then the train flies, and there's two children named Jules and Verne.

Yeah, that would be a good movie.

From the comments:

am i losing mind? I've seen like 2 or 3 comments (plus the writer's comment about the old west) that say that this would be great IF marty went back to the wild west.

Um....did no one see back to the future 3 or are we all being snarky and the internet's lack of intonation eating the humor out of the comments?

It’s touching that he thinks there are two options, equally plausible. Cue the jerk in the follow-up:

I keep forgetting. Americans have no conception of irony and sarcasim, you need to watch more monty python, better still the mighty boosh. Although you probably won't understand them.

I remember listening to Sarcasey Sarcasim do the top 40 countdown every weekend, although I couldn’t tell if he really liked the songs as much as he said.

SCIENCE! New frontiers in Pigeon Management. For some reason Digg highlighted this thre-year-old video today:

Let’s see how that new YouTube comments policy is working out:

Says another:

They should just pack up the pigeons and send them to another city let them deal with the pigeons that way you wouldnt have to deal with them until another city decided to dump their pigeons on you. they should do it with a modified school bus no one would ever suspect it.

Brilliant. 

MORE SCIENCE! Headline: “Nobody Will Be Driving Gas Cars in Two Years.” Okay, that’s nonsense. So what does the article say?

futurist Lars Thomsen thinks that electric cars are such a disruptive technology that they will make gasoline cars obsolete--starting in 2016, or much earlier than most other analysts suggest.

That’s different from no one driving gas cars. Business Insider relates the logic at work here:

Thomsen suggests that electric cars are a sufficiently disruptive technology that they will lead to quick behavior changes by consumers in the market for automobiles.

He uses the example of Nokia as a cautionary tale, noting that less than 10 years ago, that company dominated the world market for mobile phones.

In June 2007, Apple released its first-generation iPhone, a radical new entry from a company that for three decades had confined itself to personal computers and portable music devices.

The iPhone was such a radical rethinking of what a phone should be and how it should operate--essentially a small Internet-connected computer, operated via a touchscreen, that also provided voice calls--that it completely reset the market's vision of what a "mobile phone" should be.

Ergo, electric cars will change everything and no one will buy gas cars. Except that the iPhone worked on existing infrastructure. Think of the gas stations, pipelines, and transports as the phone network. Imagine that the iPhone didn’t work with AT&T’s network at all, and required a flavor of Wifi rarely used by anyone. Also, you couldn’t make a call for longer than four minutes, because you had to hang up and recharge.

If electric cars had the same range and price, sure, sales would be good. Enough to make gas driven cars obsolete in 104 weeks? Nonsense.

BTW, when the iPhone redefined people’s expectations, Nokia fired back with these:

Final note: the US Energy Information Administration Annual Report says the ratio of electric cars to gas cars will be 1 to 100 - in 2040. (via Wired.)

All right, now get out there and experience the wonder and mystery of the winter wonderland! Note: looking out the window counts. 

  • 1
  • Comments

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT