Looper Hype Picks Up Speed

Today’s post comes from Bathtub Safety Officer Rafferty.

Greetings civilians!

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.

I’ve warned you about this in the past. I’ve warned you about everything at one time or another.

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.

"Albert Robida - The Twentieth Century - Pneumatic Tube Train" by Albert Robida - Albert Robida's The Twentieth Century (1882). Licensed under Public Domain via Commons
“Albert Robida – The Twentieth Century – Pneumatic Tube Train” by Albert Robida – Albert Robida’s The Twentieth Century (1882). Licensed under Public Domain via Commons

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?

39 thoughts on “Looper Hype Picks Up Speed”

  1. A comfortable seat, preferably reclining; readily available access to a clean toilet; a blanket, a good book and something not too sweet to sip. Perhaps a iPod with some of my favorite music. That should just about take care of it for me. Oh, and the temperature should be just right; not too warm and not too cold, and definitely not drafty.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I would like a seat by a window. Traveling inside a tube in capsule at a high speed would make me uncomfortable. I don’t like to be enclosed in small spaces. Also, I like to look out at the country side when I am traveling.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Slow morning. i think all the Baboons are riding in pneumatic tubes. This post makes the wonder again what it will be like to take the Chunnel when we travel from Amsterdam to London. It is a 5 hour trip, and the distance under the Channel is about 30 miles.


    1. I’ve taken the Chunnel going from London to Paris. As best I can remember it is not much different from other train travel. I was a little relieved when the train arrived above ground in France. The long trip in a tunnel beneath the ocean floor made me a little nervous. I don’t see any reason why I should have been nervous and I was only very slightly bothered by the experience.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I went back and checked yesterday’s blog, and that’s were BiR and Steve have been chatting. I left a note, alerting them – and any other baboons who haven’t discovered that there’s a new blog today – that they need to scroll down a bit to find it. I sent an email to Dale early this AM, but he’s apparently taken the weekend off.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. We are also taking the train from Cambridge to Glascow, which takes us up the east coast of Scotland, and across the country to the west coast of Scotland. Then we plan to travel north to a little place called Oban for a couple of days, and then down to Liverpool where we will take a ferry to Dublin.


    1. I’ve ridden the Flying Scotsman from London to Edinburgh. Lovely trip, and FAR more comfortable than driving a tiny rental car on the wrong side of the road on twisty little British roads. I’ve driven in England and Scotland on three trips. Those were three white-knuckle experiences. The first time I drove over there I trusted the other drivers to avoid collisions, hoping they could tell that I was another terrified American driver. Then I learned that the Brits don’t drive much, so the folks I encountered out on the roads were Londoners who never drove except on holiday, and they were less competent than I.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, sure! I warn you, though, you will have to put with me, husband, children, and Dil. That could be a pretty trying experience, given all the family dynamics that start swirling around when I am challenged and anxious. My goal for the trip is to enjoy myself in the moment and not worry about what catastrophe may be waiting, unseen, around the corner.

        I should also add that we are going to Northern Germany (Bremen and surrounding area) to an area that is low and swampy to see where my family came from. I recently found out that my great grandmother’s family made a fortune in the Middle Ages as they were experts in the draining of wetlands and marshes. I fear I may be part Marshwiggle. They lost all their money when the refused to become Lutheran during the 30 Year’s War.


    2. Renee, when you’re in Dublin, you’ll be about 20 south of Drogheda where my mother was born, and where most of her family still live. It was also there that mom and dad owned a pub for a number of years. Not exactly sure how many, I never visited while they were there.

      Liked by 2 people

    3. oban is in many opinions the best scotch whiskey out there. 40 or 50 a bottle around here.
      i am a scotch fan. had a memorable evening with a good host who made it his job to help me sample 30 or 40 varieties. ummmm ummm the taste and variations on smokey mossy with a bite that makes you smile comes back like a memory of an old loves perfume or the taste of the knape of her neck. funny how the brain works


  5. Oh, man, it’s time for another train trip!
    – caffeine early in the day, and later on wine.
    – some drawing paper and colored pencils.
    – an excellent book
    – a cot of some kind if it’s an overnight trip
    – a companion who enjoys trains and the adventure of the unknown; if not my trip companion, then some lovely stranger.
    – what PJ said about facilities and climate


  6. O.T.: How does one go about submitting a blog post these days? I know it has been discussed before, but I wasn’t paying attention.


  7. Scroll to the top of the screen and look ant the upper left hand corner for the words My Site. Click that and you will get a menu that says Blog posts and Add. Click that and follow your nose.


    1. When I click the “My Site” button, I get only one choice: “Create Site”.
      That looks like it takes me down a rabbit hole I don’t want to follow, where I am asked to choose a format, etc. If all I want is to submit a post, is there any simple way?


      1. Before I figured out to do it using the add a blog feature in WordPress, I just sent it to Dale in an email. It may be a little more work for him, but I still preferable to not getting a blog from you, Bill. Perhaps it makes a difference what kind of device you’re working on? On my MacBook Air, the Blog Posts with the “Add” button appears immediately when I hover the cursor over My Site.


  8. We are in Season 7, BiR. They have announced that Season 8 will be the last. In Oregon we just watched the fifth show in this season. I could spoil things for you by hinting at what happens this year . . . but I won’t. I can keep a secret!

    It is odd to watch a TV series that you know is about to conclude, for every little event in the show takes on new significance. In Downton Abbey, Lady Mary has dropped her knickers for four men by now. I’m pretty sure the fifth lucky guy will become her next husband. It looks to me like all the Downton characters are about to reach happiness, although I fear for Lord Grantham’s health. Julian Fellowes, the series writer, was recently approached by a woman who began sobbing uncontrollably when she learned he wrote the series. Between howls she begged him to grant a little bit of joy to “poor, poor Edith.” If Fellowes sabotages that character again he will need to move to another continent and change his appearance to escape the wrath of folks who identify with Lady Edith.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. i hate when watching a movie on tv or in a theater when i look down at my watch t see ther eis only 10 minutes left for them to finish the story. it affects how i view the next ten minutes and i at once start to formulate all the closing scenarios instead of watchng the flow


      1. I do the same thing, tim. With many shows you can predict the outcome based on what happens close to the end of the show. In real life we don’t know how long any “show” will last, so we can’t predict the future by checking our watches.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. for my one year journey i need some things if there is a club car where social interaction and another all together if it is confined solitary situation where i can enjoy my interests uninterrupted . in eithr case i need a place to soak in a tub. need earl gray tea or equivalent. if its solitary a couple boxes of cigars and a little weed would be good. cooking option sure would be nice i could set up a list of provisions like rice beans cumin and chile powder with olives artichoke hearts and cheese to set a foundation for other items to follow. an easy chair and a good pillow tunes that could be spun in various directions. this morning i started with thelonius monk and it sent me down an interesting thought train to miles coltrane johnny hodges art tatum charlie mingus jor bream django reinhardt jobeam, sinartra mel torme and off that away. then i thougth how i get settled in with my radio stations with tom waites as the reference and llyle lovitt as the variation and yo yo the beateles and the stones as other directions and of course broadway tunes and big band and jazz fusion spirituals and cowboy tunes afircan and european folk world music and i realize i could do that for a bunch of days and if it could lead me to where the new curiosity evolved i would be a happy man. doc watson taj mahal lenord bernstein. i can switch that quick and magazines and books and i would like art supplies, watercolors acrylics pastels and oil crayons, maybe some clay and wax, ooooooh a year of stuff to stock up on? how wonderful

    this ust have come up before. it reminds me when it does pop up of the invention i had in my mind when i was a kid that still holds an appeal t me of sitting in a pod thrust from point a to point b with air pushing me throug the tube and speed or lack of done with an umbrella like option of opening or closing to allow the air to push or not pucsh the capsule. i still like that idea. like an individual subway. the options to get on and off at different locations are a tad complicated but my engineer and i will resolve this in plenty of time before construction is completed and i need no above gound access its all below whre the air is free and the dibs shoule be much more accessible.


  10. Walk in bathtubs are considered to be safety tubs for seniors. It provides various facilities to everyone specially seniors. I like walk in bathtubs as they provide complete comfort and rejuvenate your senses. Hydro jets are also installed in many walk in tubs, which helps poor circulation, joint pain, muscle stiffness and many more. You can easily find walk in bathtub professionals to install the tub in your home according to your bathroom space. To know more you can also visit : http://www.walkinbathtubor.com


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