"Boring conversation anyway."
Right before this. The wince after Han says “We’re all fine here. Now, thank you. How are you?” is perfect.
That Disastrous Car Homer Simpson Designed Was Actually Ahead of Its Time
I’ll admit that I’m not a Simpsons “fan,” in that I don’t go out of my way to watch the show. However, I have seen the 1991 episode “Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?” in which Homer discovers his long lost brother is an auto exec and then designs a car.
It’s the story of love, of loss, and, ultimately, Homer designs a car so terrible that the company goes bankrupt. Now, 23 years later, Wired investigates those designs. Were they bad ideas, or just ahead of their time?
It’s a great look at a very memorable Simpsons episode (even to me). Here are some of my favorite points from the article:
- Multiples horns, all of which play “La Cucaracha” - Automakers have stuck with standard noises (good choice), but today’s steering wheels do have multiple spots to hit for the horn. As Homer says, “You can never find a horn when you’re mad.”
- A separate soundproof bubble dome for kids, with optional restraints and muzzles - The auto industry has gotten more and more careful about putting kids as old as 12 in child and booster seats, but the focus there is safety, not keeping them quiet.
- An engine that will make people think “the world is coming to an end” - The roaring V-12s of which Homer spoke came in the 90s with Dodge Vipers and Lamborghini Diablos. Growing concern for avoiding actual Armageddon has brought us fuel-saving systems that disengage cylinders at lower speeds, turn of the engine at idle, or go silent altogether
Check out the whole list at Wired.
June 26th 1994 - Aerosmith releases “Head First” on the internet
Aerosmith is first major band to premiere a new song on the Internet. "Head First" was downloaded to over 10,000 CompuServe subscribers within its first eight days of availability.
I wasn’t able to find the file size that was uploaded but Given that the average user had a 28.8 kbps modem it’s likely that the song took 20-30 minutes to download.
Here’s what’s weird “Head First” is not a popular song. Actually, the song is so obscure that it doesn’t even have it’s own wikipedia page (though it is sometimes incorrectly mentioned as a “Cryin’” b-side). Nice to see that even in the early days of the internet, no one was able to manufacture popularity. Internet users are a mysterious bunch and you’ll never know what’s going to blow up, and what’s going to flop. Even when Aerosmith, one of the biggest bands in the world, released a new song on the internet it didn’t gain any traction. At least the internet is consistent.
Remember when it took 20-30 minutes to download a song? Now I download an album in about a minute. I love living in the future.