Today’s post comes from Bathtub Safety Officer Rafferty.
It’s a great day to be alive, and an even better day to stay alive. January, the most frightening month, is nearly over! Which means (to me), that things can only get better from here, unless they get worse.
This, as you know, is my mantra, though I’m reconsidering it at the moment. I’ve heard that chanting the same phrase over and over again can dry out your vocal cords. That’s not good! Maybe all mantras are a health threat. Perhaps I should downgrade this to a simple motto or a mere saying.
I’m checking in with you today to bring your attention to some very alarming news out of California and Texas – two vast places where accepted standards of behavior tend to be the opposite of cautious. These are very troubling states.
In Hawthorne, California, a big construction firm plans to build a test track for Elon Musk’s Hyperloop. This is the tube-based 800 mph transit system that promises to get people from San Francisco to Los Angeles in 30 minutes.
But this Hyperloop thing has picked up some extra steam of late, I say that knowing full well that if steam were actually involved in propelling the thing it would be even more frightening!
In addition to the test track, there is a competition going on this very day at Texas A&M University where 120 college and high school teams are vying to design a “pod” that would rocket people through this tube.
Some folks find this notion admirable and exciting. But I think asking teenagers and twenty-somethings to design a vehicle that I might ride in someday will yield concepts that are absolutely terrifying!
After all, we’re talking about an age group that enjoys roller coasters! They are famous for believing they will live forever and nothing bad can happen to them. And have you ever looked at the back seat of a car that has been driven around by high schoolers for a day? Don’t! They have no concept of cleanliness or order. The possible negative outcomes of tossing a half-eaten slice of pizza over your shoulder is something that simply cannot be considered by a teenage driver when there is a new tweet to read or send.
They are creatures of the modern era, which means they have no historical awareness that dignity and travel can co-exist. These are the people designing your conveyance of tomorrow! Why am I not enthused? It’s all about temperament, priorities and expectations. Look for USB ports, recliners and cup holders. Don’t hold your breath for designs that include cushions, headroom or bathrooms.
Where is the Hyperloop Pod design competition bringing together the best plans of senior citizens, nurses, nannies, worrywarts, baby carriage safety inspectors and worst-case scenarists? These are the people who have the kind of safety smarts that could lead to a sensible, comforting design – something close to my ideal Hyperloop Pod – which is one that’s securely bolted to the tube so it cannot move!
The leading concepts produced today may travel on the test track before the year is out. I fear I know exactly what they will be like, in the same way you can be assured that when you climb into a sealed tube, you’ll eventually be spat out at the other end!
Yours in Safety,
What do you need to have in your long-distance traveling compartment?