David Rodeback's Blog

Local Politics and Culture, National Politics,
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Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Brain Food, Networked Underwear, Antarctic Adventures . . .

. . . SAMs, drones, conspiracy theories, signs of the times . . .

Have you had enough politics for the year yet? I want to get a few things off my desk before 2014. There's a dash of politics here and there, but more humor than politics, I hope. And this post comes with pictures.

Brain Food

It's probably just a coincidence, I know. The first time I saw this sign on a prominent corner in American Fork, where one often sees political signs, was just after Election Day. American Fork voters defeated a very sensible proposed bond issue to help rebuild roads by a ridiculous 71-29 percent margin.

I thought, when I saw this sign, that the offer of enhanced brain function came just a little too late to save our roads and our wallets.

Without Further Comment

All I'm saying about this photo is that I took it somewhere between Fort Collins, Colorado, and the Wyoming border.

You can come up with your own caption.

Amazon Drones and WalMart SAMs

This is satire.

Amazingly, or perhaps inevitably, this next thing isn't . . .

Microsoft Smart Bra

When I first read about the Microsoft Smart Bra, I thought it was the ultimate (male) hacker paradise. Any schlub can hack into a bank or the Department of Defense, but then it's been there, done that, and on to Chinese nuclear missile codes. I can't see most hackers losing interest in bras . . .

This one is

embedded with physiological sensors that seek to monitor a woman's heart activity to track her emotional moods and combat overeating. The sensors can signal the wearer's smartphone, which then flash a warning message to help her step away from the fridge and make better diet decisions.

If it contacts a smart phone, it must be on the grid somehow, so it can be hacked remotely, which is about as close as some hackers will ever get to . . . Well, you know where that's going.

I'll pause for a couple of moments to allow you to run free through the fertile fields of metaphors and double entendres that beckon you at this moment. This is a relatively family-friendly blog, so we'll never know to what extend your list overlaps with mine.

Are you finished? Good. Now we worry a little.

What if some unrestrained leftist meddler who holds political office (as former New York City Mayor Michael "Sixteen Ounce Soda" Bloomberg won't tomorrow) decides to exploit this? What if Michelle Obama persuades our tyrant-in-chief to mandate . . .

No, no, it could be even worse. What if the White House decides that the Orwellian Affordable Care Act authorizes the administration to mandate the use of other smart, connected underthings to solve other societal problems . . . and this paragraph has to end now, believe me.

The trendiest question would probably involve the National Security Agency, and that's a good place to end, really, because it takes us back to the happy place where we began: geeks and bras.

Conspiracies Put in Their Place

I didn't, but if you spent Christmas dinner with the conspiracy theorists in the family, who felt compelled to verbalize, you might appreciate this cartoon. Apologies and a warning in advance for one of the words.


It's Summer in Antarctica

Anecdotes do not constitute data, but I was delighted several years ago when eight inches of snow greeted a global warming protest in Washington, DC. I was there at the time for other purposes. I will say that the outbound warmists I met at the airport that evening took the inclement weather and its timing with grace and good cheer.

I'd laugh a little more than I already have at a Greenpeace ship full of warmists getting stuck in Antarctic ice, and three rescue icebreakers getting stuck too, if (a) I hadn't heard about the third icebreaker while sitting in the dentist's chair, and (b) if it didn't involve actual human beings stuck in Antarctic ice. Still, if God meddles much with the weather, you have to appreciate his sense of humor. Or irony. Or something.

Meanwhile, a Utah man I know, Daniel Burton, is in Antarctica, riding his bike to the South Pole. When he started, no one had done it before, but last week someone did. So he won't be the first -- just the second or third. That should still be a good conversation starter at parties for, oh, the next few decades.

Send a good, warm thought his way. You can follow his progress at his blog.

Happy New Year, everyone!

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