27 June 2013

Vacuum Cleaner Blog Part I: The Future of Vacuuming

Decided to shift the focus a little here, don't want to alienate the current audience so will keep trying to produce the goofy comic essays for which I have yet to win numerous accolades, but gotta grow the base a little bit, they say blog your passion so been thinking for a while now about blogging more about one of my big passions in life: vacuum cleaners. Hey, they don't suck.

So for the next six months or so I'm planning a series of posts on all things vacuum cleaner.

[Please imagine that inserted here is a photo of a classic vacuum cleaner model, maybe a 1950s housewife vacuuming thing if that's not too sexist, or you can put a 50s square man in a tie behind the vacuum if you like.  Or a frickin kangaroo in spandex vacuuming Westminster Abbey for all I care – it's your imagination – just make sure it includes a classic vacuum cleaner, please, for continuity's sake.]

Not only classic vacuum cleaners but also the new models.  And now there's roombots, which are like little robot vacuum cleaners.  What other surprises does the future hold in store for vacuum cleaner enthusiasts and their robotic vacuum cleaner overlords?

Taking a look in my crystal ball here, I'm seeing a few things.  One is the emergence of precision vacuuming.  Instead of just sucking up everything within a certain area, future vacuum cleaners will be equipped with sensors that relay information down to the molecular level about what is in the sucking path and then regulate the direction and force of the sucking to as to vacuum up only what is to be removed and nothing more.  It's quite an exciting development, frankly.

The second major trend is miniaturization. This is enabled in part by the decrease in nozzle sizes and increases in sucking power predicted by Moore's So-Called Law.  From the large industrial size models of the 1960s and 70s, some of which could barely fit inside the average two bedroom apartment, to the handheld 'dustbusters' of the 80s and 90s, vacuum cleaners have shrunk at a steady rate and it is predicted (somewhere) (I'm assuming) (I mean you find someone predicting almost anything if you Google hard enough) that the era of the nano-vacuum is at hand.

Miniaturization enables our third major trend and that is embedded vacuuming.  Instead of a separate vacuum cleaner you keep in the hall closet or even a home wall-tube system, everything will have a vacuum cleaner embedded within it.  So for example a coffee table or a nightstand or even a chest of drawers will come equipped with tiny but powerful vacuums continuously handling dust and debris removal in its immediate vicinity.  Similarly, the fibers in our t-shirts could contain eentsy li'l vacuums sucking up dust so that our clothes would not only be forever clean but also kinda tingly, in a good way.

Other trends to watch: Vacuum cleaners which serve as wireless routers and even small-scale data farms, on which we can watch YouTube videos, call friends so we can chat while we're vacuuming, maybe a vacuum cleaner you can wear on your wrist, it tells the time and displays your e-mail, shows you which of your friends are concurrently vacuuming and offers the option to chat with them about vacuuming in real time, meanwhile efficiently inhaling all unwanted debris particles and beaming them wirelessly to the nearest garbage center for analysis and processing so that your vacuum can display targeted advertising based on all the shit being sucked out of your carpets.

Next week we'll take a behind-the-scenes look at some of the prominent vacuum cleaner designers of the 20th Century, we'll recount the juiciest of their peccadilloes and indiscretions and then analyze in nauseating detail how the vacuum cleaner designs of the previous generation of vacuum cleaner designers have influenced the vacuum cleaner designs of the current generation of vacuum cleaner designers. 

18 June 2013

Random Nonsense II: The Funny Quiz

The Funny Quiz is designed to measure your silliness quotient.  So few objective measures provide a satisfying assessment.  See if you can tell how many of the following paragraphs are 'funny'.  Please take your time (and keep your grubby paws off everyone else's).

Water under the bridge is leaking out my tear ducts.  It is water under the Bridge over Troubled Water, which is to say it is troubled water but it's in the past, it has run under the bridge of my nose and it is not coming back.

The way you astral projected into my life will mean everything forever, we will always have Cleveland (the one on the astral plane, plus the one in Ohio) baby.

In order to simplify my life, reduce clutter and make more time for the important things (quality time with loved ones, video games), I have decided to temporarily suspend my omnipresence.  So I can't make your thing next week.

Did I drink way too much coffee, or is this just the way I'm wired?

Unless your back is broken, you will report to work on time tomorrow morning and you will have my egg-salad sandwich prepared exactly to my instructions or you will not be allowed to use my private trampoline ever again, never.

Be the change you hope to find in your sofa.

If the sauce is properly prepared, it should not stick to the elevator repairman.

Has anyone written on the subject of what would happen if all oil gas and coal were suddenly cut off in a single day?  If not I would like to volunteer my services, as I have a pretty clear vision of that future and have already gone to the trouble of outlining a killer screenplay, although my agent told me it would be more commercial if it starred the Muppets so I'm currently reworking it a bit.

Funny but I never knew that bandicoots, given half a chance, will eat your underwear right out of your pants pockets.

"That's the pot(head) calling the kettle(corn addict) hooked."

Leaving aside your irredentist claims, I cannot help but feel a nagging pain in my scapula, on account of which I must politely decline your invitation to attend tomorrow's awards ceremony which will be held in a hot air balloon (oops).

Q: What did the house having the windows on its upper stories refurbished say to the dumbwaiter?

A: You send shutters up my spine.

So far professor, I have not seen any indication of the truth let alone the veracity of your statements.  When donkeys fly is not an acceptable answer to this committee.

Great post Josie:  you really hit the nail in the balls with this one!

Conclusion of quiz.  Please put down your pencils, and keep your hands where we can see them.  As far as how many of the above items are 'funny', if you answered 'Zero', "none of the above", or "video kill the radio star", give yourself seven points – most of that is detritus.  If you answered between three and seven, award yourself with a nice glass of ice cold iced tea on the rocks, then proceed to the next post.  If you answered 'all of the above' or 'swamp gas manifesto thing', you should Please Report to The Front Desk for Immediate Processing

07 June 2013

Life's Many Contradictions

Spoiler Alert!  About halfway through the following blogpost, the main character, whom you will have come to love for his unshakable if unorthodox sense of honor, is brutally maimed slash(ed) disfigured at the hands of some bad actors and left to bleed out in agony.  Kind of a drag I know, but the director is attempting to make a serious point about the nature of existence, he's a pretentious ass but forgive him, he means well.  If this sort of thing bothers you, please read no further.  It is not our wish to make anyone uncomfortable.  If on the other hand you get off on that stuff, you might wanna go pop some popcorn, it's about to get quite wonderful.

Human life teems with unfathomable contradictions. 

It is undeniably meaningless, a huge pathetic waste of everyone's time.  And yet there are so many wonderful people doing so many amazing things, life really must be some kind of miracle.  Except it's not, it's an endless, pitiless swamp of misery, tripping from discomfort to embarrassment to pain and soon enough to boredom.  But think of the exquisite pleasures it offers: swimming in the warm ocean when the sun is low, a morning of languid (or if you prefer, frenetic, summary, etc.) lovemaking, intellectual surprises from one's maturing offspring, the roasting of comestibles over an open fire, the satisfaction of a tough and necessary job well done, ice cream with a brownie in there, Earth, Sly, Aretha Franklin, skiing, James Brown, so much more.  Yet such pleasures are elusive, fleeting moments of bliss punctuating the general agony, the plodding along doing what someone else demands of you, or conspiring to amass wealth or defend what you've piled up so far from the clutchy arms of everyone else. Even if you had that infinite money you could use it to live on the beach and swim in the warm ocean daily and then guess what, it gets progressively less interesting the more you do it, take pleasure in anything often enough and it starts to get old, the intensity of the enjoyment is in inverse proportion to the frequency.  

Life is indescribably beautiful; at the same time, it sucks donkey dick. 

People are essentially good, except there are so many terribly beastly ones too.  They will go to almost any lengths to help a fellow human in need, yet most need little encouragement to inflict horrible suffering on the innocent if the incentives are (im)properly aligned.  We possess a powerful gut sense of right and wrong, alongside an apparently bottomless capacity for rationalization / justification that can override our innate ethics when self-interest rears its ugly mug.  My goodness the horrible things humans do to other humans around the world on a daily, hourly basis, bayoneting babies and the like.  But did you see the latest Boney McJoyless flick, man that was some powerful stuff, think of the genius and resources that were channeled to producing such a refined work of art, and ask yourself: How could the universe mean nothing?

Life is too short, over in a blink before you know it.  It's also intolerably long, I mean there's basically food, rest, activity, companionship, responsibility, pleasure, and knowledge of the self, you can figure most of it out before you're thirty-two: then you only have fifty or sixty years left to kill – if you're lucky – while your body disintegrates and the ratio of responsibility to pleasure tilts increasingly the wrong way.  Too busy and you're stressed, not busy enough and you're vaguely dissatisfied.  And there's more, so much more you should be doing, like taking a few seconds (but not too many) to relax and enjoy life once in a while.  Damned if you do, damned if you don't, either way you're dead in the end.

"God"?  Don't get me started.

Helping other people?  That's a pretty good one, possibly the only answer worth discussing.  But what is ultimately the point of helping other entities who are just as pointless as you?  I know, I know: might as well.

In the long (enough) view, nothing that any of us can do can possibly mean anything.  Yet we are alive now and the actions we take have deep and lasting impact on our fellow survivors.  There is no meaning to our lives except the meaning we ourselves supply; yet our lives mean everything to us, in the end we have nothing else to cling to.

Such contradictions are an inextricable part of what it means to be human.  That is a fine-sounding sentence and may even be true.  What do I know?  Do I sound like I know what I'm talking about?  Because I do, and I don't.