Monday, February 24, 2014

2169 Auto Manic

It's nice that we live in a time of constant human invention. The need to grow and change is a uniquely human trait. We don't just adapt to the environment, we create it.

Of course, sometimes we go awry. For every successful invention there are ten bonehead mistakes. Sometimes it's just inventions in fashion. Remember the days of parachute pants? Roughly contiguous with the days of auto-bras? 

Auto-bras faded fairly fast. So much so that when I mentioned them to a colleague recently he thought I was talking about some sort of automatic mammary restraining device. Something requiring an app perhaps.

No, auto-bras were those things folks fastened to the front of their cars to ward off dings and chips on the hood. And, as it turned out, create a tan line in their auto's paint job. So, no more auto-bras. Except for those who still wear white Reebok hightops and sport mullets. 

Then there's the auto-toilet. Another piece of technology that's about to go down the drain. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has recalled 360,000 "Flushmate" toilet flushing systems, warning that the product can cause toilets to explode. They also warned quite fussily that such explosion would pose "impact and laceration hazards to consumers..." 

Well yeah. A shard of porcelain up your rear would in fact be a laceration hazard. 

The Flushmate uses water pressure to compress air in a canister, which explosively releases when you flush, driving anything in the toilet down the pipe. Or, apparently, across the bathroom and/or embedded in your nether regions. 

Then again, who knows how many people were hurt by plungers or snakes while removing clogs before the Flushmate. 

Still, sitting on a toilet that may explode is not my idea of a world automatically made better by invention. 

America, ya gotta love it. 

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