Friday, April 25, 2014

2213 Para-Nostril

Saw a couple of new problematic technological advances recently. One was this new parking assist feature on the Ford Escape. The commercial I saw had different people in Escapes looking around excitedly with their hands off the wheel while the car parked itself into a parallel parking slot.

Finally, a good use for technology. Who hasn't tried to parallel park with traffic coming and panicked and done it wrong. Relatively easy when there's no one on the street that wants to get by. Even easier when there's no one on the sidewalk watching. Parallel parking always gets exponentially harder in direct proportion to the number of folks observing you. 

How cool that your car can now park itself. One problem though. Does this still mean the Department of Licensing will require you to take a parallel parking test before you get your license? Why should they? You don't have to prove you can drive a three-speed on the column gearshift anymore. Automatic parallel parking is the same as an automatic transmission. 

The other problematic techno-marvel they came up with recently is artificial nostrils. Yep, nostrils. Scientists have created them in the lab using biodegradable scaffolding and stem cells from the nostril recipient. I guess you got to start somewhere. 

They've also done other body parts, including ears and various sphincters, so further full-on physical replacements are only a well-designed scaffold away. Maybe even using 3-D printing. 

I wonder though, are we opening the door to a new wave of cosmetic surgery or adornment? This one featuring parts we design ourselves? Forget piercing an ear, how about having an ear installed on your forehead? 

Or, a simpler problem: If they gave you a choice of which new nostril you liked better, how would you pick it? 

America, ya gotta love it. 

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