Top Gear calls Honda Clarity “most important car in 100 years.”

I plan to make my next car either a Honda Civic or a Honda Fit if I ever get to a point where I can afford to take on a car payment, but if it takes long enough I may end up getting a Honda Clarity instead:

It’s very cool to see that the car has built-in feedback systems to encourage less fuel wasting driving habits. It’s also very cool to see that it’s a real production vehicle as well.

Conversations with a Dumbass: Angel is now a psychic. Predicts my death.

So I heard from my new friend again. She’s decided to take a new tact:

Glad to be of assistance. Someone needs to get your sorry ass through a day…considering you are much too inept to make it on your own. Only the most pathetic losers with no lives have blogs where they spend their entire day shitting on those who actually make something of their lives.
But please, by all means, fuck my memory straight in the ass b/c you can’t hurt me. I’m completely impervious to your ranting. However, I hope you will note this and it doesn’t even matter if you remember it, b/c when it happens, you will have full recall and that is all the gratification I need.
Some time down the road, in the not too distant future, my dear non-friend, you will be diagnosed with a terminal illness that will have no chance of recovery. You will find out that you have it when you go to the doctor after being sick for a very long time. It will start out as a cold and just never go away. After dealing with it for months you will notice you have lost a significant amount of weight and can’t hold down food. You’ll be shitting your brains out and puking your guts up. Wonderful description, eh? Sick of it all you will finally go to the doc and be told your diagnosis. Oh well…poor Les.
You will eventually, after a very long time of being miserably sick, die a rotting mess of a corpse. And very few, if any, will mourn your passing. This is not a voodoo curse. Laugh all you want, but I promise you it will happen exactly that way. And your atheist ass will be wondering as you lay in your bed waiting to die…“How could that bitch be so right?!” Well, Les, I have a secret to tell you…I’m able to see the future sometimes. And I saw yours before I ever knew what an asshole you were. Sometimes I get a payback when I don’t even realize that one is deserved!
So, in a few years, when you’ve long forgotten my sweet little ass, you will suddenly remember me as you wait to die. And I will also have a sudden memory of your sorry ass and I’ll be grinning ear to ear when you take your last croak of a breath!
Paybacks are a bitch, but, hey, somebody needs to have something good come from this life.

Be seeing ya around, bud!  wink

I didn’t bother to clean up her formatting this time. As far as psychic predictions go this one is pretty weak. Here’s my reply:

    What? You can’t even manage to name what horrible disease will be my undoing? Surely you can do better than that. I’d expect you’d at least be able to give a reasonable time frame rather than the astoundingly vague “sometime down the road, in the not too distant future” but “in a few years after I’ve forgotten you.” No word on what hospital it’ll be? No word on what state I’m living in at the time? Some psychic you are.

    For the record I have little doubt that I’ll die within the next 40 years. Cancer runs in my family and few of us make it through our 70’s. It’s not anything I worry about as it’s knowledge I’ve lived with for a long time. Already I’ve made a better prediction than you have. But you go ahead and dream your little fantasy if it makes you feel better. This email just adds more fuel to the blog. At least you didn’t say you were going to pray for me like so many others. That at least makes you a refreshing change of pace.


It’s 2008. Where the fuck is my self-cleaning home?

It’s always fun to see what people 40 years ago thought life would be like in 2008:

Homes in Mi’s 80th year are practically self-maintaining. Electrostatic precipitators clean the air and climatizers maintain the temperature and humidity at optimum levels. Robots are available to do housework and other simple chores. New materials for siding and interiors are self-cleaning and never peel, chip or crack.

Dwellings for the most part are assembled from prefabricated modules, which can be attached speedily in the configuration that best suits the homeowner. Once the foundation is laid, attaching the modules to make up a two- or three-bedroom house is a job that doesn’t take more than a day. Such modular homes easily can be expanded to accommodate a growing family. A typical wedding present for the 21st century newlyweds is a fully equipped bedroom, kitchen or living room module.

Other conveniences ease kitchenwork. The housewife simply determines in advance her menus for the week, then slips prepackaged meals into the freezer and lets the automatic food utility do the rest. At preset times, each meal slides into the microwave oven and is cooked or thawed. The meal then is served on disposable plastic plates. These plates, as well as knives, forks and spoons of the same material, are so inexpensive they can be discarded after use.

As usual with articles like these there’s a few things it gets spot on, some things it’s totally wrong about, and a few that are almost true. Stuff like:

The single most important item in 2008 households is the computer.

Is quite true for a lot of families these days, but not for all the reasons the article suggests:

These electronic brains govern everything from meal preparation and waking up the household to assembling shopping lists and keeping track of the bank balance. Sensors in kitchen appliances, climatizing units, communicators, power supply and other household utilities warn the computer when the item is likely to fail. A repairman will show up even before any obvious breakdown occurs.

Computers also handle travel reservations, relay telephone messages, keep track of birthdays and anniversaries, compute taxes and even figure the monthly bills for electricity, water, telephone and other utilities. Not every family has its private computer. Many families reserve time on a city or regional computer to serve their needs. The machine tallies up its own services and submits a bill, just as it does with other utilities.

Meal preparation? Not yet. You could probably rig up some sort of custom alarm system to have it wake you and your family up, but I don’t know of any off-the-shelf systems for doing so. Lots of people use it to make shopping lists and check their bank balances. The self-reporting appliance thing is possible these days to some degree, but the appliances that do so are expensive and limited in their functionality. The second paragraph hits a lot more of on the head with the travel reservations, phone messages, and so on though I get the impression that they’re suggesting a level of automation in those processes that isn’t actually present today.

What’s interesting to consider is that for all the ways that things have changed since 40 years ago there’s a lot about life that hasn’t changed all that much. While we do have the possibility of buying a TV these days that’s as big as our living room wall—even if most of us can’t afford it yet—we’re still pretty much taking care of business ourselves on a day to day basis. The robots and computers haven’t taken over all the menial tasks just yet.

But I’d love to have that four hour a day work day they talk about in that article.