austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

I don't wanna grow up

Because of the holiday (Deepavali, the Hindu Festival of Lights, not to mention a triumph of Good over Evil, and a data point used to make longwinded arguments trying to tie Star Trek: The Next Generation stardates into calendar dates) I wandered around downtown today, spending most of my time as it happens in toy stores. You'll recall last time I paid attention to toy stores I noticed the robot dinosaurs ready to attack.

I'd like to report better hopes for the survival of humanity, but I can't. If anything the situation is worse. Some company named DK released a couple of kits, including the ``Robot Warrior Kit''. There's also a ``Make Your Own Gobblebot'', which would appear to be a robot that, you know, gobbles. As in consumes smaller robots, not as in makes bird noises. Meanwhile Gearbotics, if I wrote my notes down correctly, is unleashing a ``Sonic T-Rex'', raising the prospect of a robot dinosaur with Urkel's voice who natters on about chili dogs and Doctor Robotnik.

Some other outfit has an ``RTF Ready-To-Fly Honey Bee'' model helicopter, and to emphasize the point that it's ready to fly out of the box they show it allegedly flying inside a Cubicle World office. I think we all want to fly model helicopters in Cubicle World. The Smithsonian still markets a Crystal Radio kit, so the kids of tomorrow -- even after fusion-powered flying cars get on the market and broadcast TV switches to HDTV -- will still be able to spend hours carefully snapping together parts according to well-itemized checklists and setting up a simple antenna, to discover they can't hear a thing. At least if their experience is like mine. Meanwhile the University of Cambridge sells a Digital Recording Studio Kit, which I'd have never dreamed of back when I was putting together circuits that never worked for my Radio Shack 300-in-one experiments kit.

Trivia: Among 1930s plans proposed for a New York City Municipal Airport was constructing one on the roof of Pennsylvania Station. Source: Naked Airport, Alastair Gordon.

Currently Reading: Signor Marconi's Magic Box, Gavin Weightman. Well, there's a jolt; Hugo Gernsback mentioned in a context having nothing to do with science fiction. Instead it turns out he's, perhaps, the first person to sell home-buildable radio kits, giving him the credit (or blame) for starting off ham radio too.

Subscribe
  • Post a new comment

    Error

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 2 comments