Saturday, May 19, 2007

Where's My Flying Car?

When I was a kid in school, I was lead to believe that the future held the promise of robots, rocket trips, and tooling around in a flying car. So, where the fuck is it? It's now 2007. Computer technology is almost at a molecular level, and people are walking around with talking cameras and matchbox-sized things that have 50,000 songs on them. Isn't it a little strange that we've essentially been using the same mode of transportation for the better part of a century with little improvement on the original concept? We're getting hosed here, and with no end of it in sight.

I suppose flying cars could prove to be problematic, but hey, nothing's perfect. Just don't let Paris Hilton know, and we should be all right. If the rest of us try and stay out of trouble, and don't give the cops any reason to get riled up, then it's fly the friendly skies. Call it manifest destiny. After putting up with all this crap, we have it coming to us.

Meanwhile, there are those who have developed cars that run on water. Too bad the guy keeled over in a restaurant, dead from poisoning. Anybody know why that might happen? Maybe he didn't pay off his gambling debts, or his wife caught him with the babysitter. As for being the next guy to invent a car that runs on water, well, you go first.

In the 70's, a band from Akron, Ohio created a concept known as de-evolution. It was funny at the time, but it's not so funny now. We seem to have been conditioned to learn nothing from history, and to accept whatever mediocre garbage that's laid before us as the status-quo. If Ford put out nothing but a dumpster with four wheels, we'd be driving them, and liking it. Mighty big sunroof there, so what's to complain about?

I know there won't be any flying cars, and my childhood hopes and dreams have been dashed. We're resigned to a trailer park planet, where progress moves about as fast as a turtle on his way to a funeral. The only thing that IS progressing at a robust rate is called novo ordo seclorum. Good luck with it, and may the road rise to meet you.


Blogger Big Daddy Malcontent said...

Ironically, Stan's brother Steve lives in Golden Valley, Minn. just outside of my hometown of Minnecrapolis and the local CBS affiliate, WCCO, did a fluff piece on him.

Stan's death was caused by an aneurysm according to the Franklin County, Ohio coroner. Franklin County, eh? Where have we heard that name before? Oh yeah! That was the county that recorded more votes for Bush than registered voters in 2004. Looks like Franklin County is the new Chicago. Vote early, vote often. har har.

9:30 AM  
Blogger Panda said...

The bloody Jetsons LIED to us! I think I'll need the Sky Rover. It's armed and that may be important down the road, we'll be in a hurry. The devil might not be able to keep up.

4:59 PM  
Blogger Pissedoffcabbie said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1:15 AM  
Blogger Robin Haynes said...

I am a proponent of the Flying Car concept myself (just google me) and I don't want to dampen anyones enthusiasm - but I think it is time for a reality check. Simply put, the risk of operating any flying vehicle in uncontrolled areas is stupidly high, which is why they must operate out of airfields. We already have functional VTOL aircraft, called helicopters, and you have to ask yourself why we don't use them instead of cars? - it is really not just the rotor size. Just look around and see all the cables and pylons and people and buildings that you would need to navigate if you were able to get airborne out in the parking lot. So I am sorry, but you are not going to be able to fly up out of a traffic jam, or pop over to Wal-Mart or your girlfriend's house in your flying car.
In addition to the legal and safety issues involved, there is also the small matter that we don't actually have anti-gravity - it is just sci-fi. Any VTOL aircraft is caused to fly or hover by standing on a howling gale of air - and anyone who has ever been anywhere near such an event knows it is VERY ugly. Also, unlike other aircraft types, if powered lift vehicle looses power it suddenly takes on the flight characteristics of a cement turd.
It is, however, possible to develop a craft that can both drive on the road and fly in the air. You can drive to a small airfield (I bet there are several quite close to you right now), fly to an airfield near where you're going, and then drive to your destination. It is kind of like using the air as a freeway - fast, no traffic jams and it should be mostly automatic. I like the idea. I want one!

7:07 PM  

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