celebrity voices for car navigation systems

This isn’t a new thing, but it’s the first I’ve heard of it.  One company is now offering celebrity voices as an add-on to your in-car navigation system.  The first ones chosen were Mr. T, Burt Reynolds, and Dennis Hopper.  They didn’t get a great review in this article, so perhaps the company didn’t do enough with them.  I could think of some really cool uses for their voices, but, as “real life” tends to interfere with what would be cool, some people would get offended and want to sue, so they probably have to limit what can be done.  Maybe they should offer some different rudeness settings, from “Bring It!” to “Please be gentle because I’m a wuss”.  Then again, my idea of settings to be politically correct wouldn’t be politically correct.  *sigh*

This second article explains why having your navigation system joke with you and use unusual accents is bad.  This is obviously overreacting, as long as the celebrity voices are optional.  People can use them if they can handle it.  If it doesn’t work for them, use the standard boring voice.  I tell ya, some people are just looking to get offended, even on others’ behalf.  *sigh*

In the latter article on being offended, someone said:

Even though we all realize that a car’s navigation system is a computer, our brain still responds to anything speaking to us as if it were a person.

Really?!?  Are you sure?  I think that’s stupid.  Because my wife’s vehicle has a navigation system in it, and I never confuse it with a person.  Nor do I treat it as a person.  Actually, I usually either ignore it or turn it all the way down, because I’m a man and don’t need directions!  🙂  But if it sounded like Mr. T, I would listen to it for the humor effect.

I don’t know who these people are that confuse a computer with a real person.  If this actually happens, there shouldn’t even be verbal directions, because they might think someone is in the car with them, and so they might panic and run off the road.  I know, that sounds silly, but so does their premise of confusing the voices.  And if you’re going to account for the possibility of human stupidity, then there’s a LOT of scenarios to consider.

Why is gas $9.99/gallon?

I saw this the other day while driving around central Arkansas.

gas prices 9.99 (not really) - July 2013

Fortunately it’s not true!  But that’s the actual sign — no Photoshop or other editing.  The gas station / truck stop has been completely demolished, to be rebuilt bigger and better.

They tore it down the old-fashioned way rather than blowing it up.  I can understand there being some logistical issues with exploding a gas station, but it would’ve been really awesome to see (albeit from a safe distance).  Plus there’s another gas station across the street, so you’d get a bonus two-for-one explosion!  There is also a nearby car lot, which would probably result in more explosions.  And there’s a large billion-dollar company close also.  So the collateral damage would get expensive really quick, and thus this cannot happen.

explosion, Gaza Strip, from Israeli F-16 jet, Jan. 3, 2009

I suppose that’s why we have movies and video games — so we can virtually experience such things.  But even with a large HDTV and nice surround-sound system, you still don’t get the full impact of a real explosion.  Besides the lacking bass, you don’t get to feel the resulting shockwave from a large explosion.  I wonder if movie theaters will ever be able to simulate that.  (There’s a project for our R&D department…)  🙂

flooding / a friend’s hooptie

Today it’s flooding here.  We’re been under a flash flood warning for a few hours.  Some of the roads are completely covered with water.  This makes it fun to drive around.  (And I’m not being sarcastic.)  Since I have a truck, it can handle standing water well.  This morning I was creating waves about 5 feet high, splashing the windshield of some of the cars in the other lane.

If little childrens happen to be outside playing in the rain, I can create huge waves that envelope them, where it’s like they’re at Wild River Country for free.  And who doesn’t like going there?  So it’s a good deal all around.

Of course, it’s not always flooding, so this is a limited-time opportunity.  However, I have a friend named Lyn who used to have a hooptie (i.e., clunker) of a car — a 1981 Ford Mustang hatchback — and it had an interesting feature : the windshield washer fluid would shoot out the side, several feet past the car.  It barely even hit the windshield.  He used to drive around town and shoot water on unsuspecting kids that were walking or riding their bicycle on the side of the road.  One time a boy was so surprised by it that he drove his bicycle off in the ditch and wrecked.  He would also do this to friends in parking lots when they walked up to the window to talk to him.

Speaking of that car, it was truly unique and unusual.  You might think it was nice because it was a Mustang, but this wasn’t a nice one.  It was grey, not shiny, and it attracted bird poop like you wouldn’t believe.  We never knew whether it was because the car was grey or if it was just because of his bad luck (because he was left-handed), but it was like birds would come along and carpet-bomb the car with their droppings.

Perhaps the worst “feature” of the car was that it had no power whatsoever.  It would go from 0 to 25 in 8 seconds.  That’s flooring it.  Seriously.  The time to 60 was really bad.  I’m not sure our stopwatch would go that high, though, and I’m fairly certain he didn’t want us to time it.  It had an automatic transmission, and there had to be some engine problems for its performance to be that bad.  It also smoked some and idled really, really high.  1981 was arguably the worst year for Mustangs.

But there was another good feature of that car — the audio carried a long ways.  In fact, I think the bass was louder outside the vehicle than it was inside.  That’s not ideal, of course, but when you’re in high school and wanting to impress folks with your sound system from a distance, that’s a good quality.

I could tell a number of stories about that car, but I’ll save them for another time, before this post gets too long…

Site search tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

you’re no better than rocks

What would happen if “Mother Nature” had the same rights as humans?  There are some people trying to find out.  Van Jones, former “green job czar” of President Obama, is working with various obscure groups to give plants, trees, rocks, and such the same legal rights as humans.  Van Jones is also associated with a thinktank supported by George Soros, if that means anything to you.

Supposedly Bolivia has already given the rights of nature equal status with human rights in its legal system.  The President of Bolivia has often said “the central enemy of Mother Earth is capitalism.”  That sure makes this sound political…

Some constitutional amendments being pushed for are provisions that “Nature has a right to be completely restored”.  So does that mean any building can be torn down if nature was destroyed to build it?  Wouldn’t that include everything man-made?  If you take the concept far enough, the Earth was 100% nature before we built anything.

But even ignoring the worst-case scenario with that, it would mean that you could be sued for kicking a rock, or stepping on grass, or using firewood in your fireplace.  I know, it sounds silly.  But try to convince me there aren’t people stupid and greedy enough to do it…

Why can’t we all just get along?  I don’t have any beef with plants.  I’m even okay with eating less plants (except potatoes).

I wonder what vegetarians / vegans think about this legislation?  Some of them get mad at people eating animals, but what if people get mad at them eating plants?  This could get interesting…

Where is the common sense in all this?  Be responsible with the environment, but don’t give sticks and rocks the same rights as humans.  Is it really so difficult?  Sometimes I wonder what this world is coming to…