Monday, February 25, 2008

Diary Entry: Monday Night in Madison

Lola comes home and announces she is the only person in her department that shows up for work this Monday. I reply how wonderful it is that attendance is recommended but not mandatory. Unlimited sick leave is a fantastic benefit and I believe a standard feature of European employment. By the way, I tell her, you do realize all the 2008 Oscar acting winners are from the old world. I think Hollywood is in back in love with those societies our ancestors rebelled against so long ago.

Piffle, she says, the Oscars are all about wardrobe. Before the Fashion Police broadcasts, however, she first races to the internet to introduce me to the work of Dengue Fever, a Cambodian pop rock psychedelic dance party! I reply they remind me slightly of the uptempo country, punk, rockabilly fusion with traditional Japanese Eenka and Kayokyoku roots as performed by Asakusa Jinta. As someone once said: “believe it or not there is a lack of psychobillypunkmarching bands in the United States”.

Then it is my turn at show and tell and I inform Lola I have found the future of Madison. Behold the wonders of the Aquaduct Mobile Filtration Vehicle.

Check out the winning bike from Innovate or Die Pedal-Powered Machine Contest, an event cosponsored by Specialized Bicycles and Google. The contest, which the two San Francisco Bay Area companies announced three months ago, sought “machines that transform pedaling energy into new and useful purposes,” with an eye toward the environment. The winning entry, from a five-person team in Menlo Park, California, is a three-wheeled bike intended for people who lack access to clean drinking water. Built around a large tank, the Aquaduct Mobile Filtration Vehicle uses pedal power to run the water through a series of filters. If a rider reaches home before all of the water has been cleaned, he or she can disengage the wheels and continue pedaling—and, thus, filtering—while stationary.

In the coming socialist future, the labor of our legs will serve not only our selfish need for mobility, but also the greater good of potable beverage. We have grilled turkey and cheese sandwiches then Lola retires to watch discussions of age appropriate ear rings while I continue to ponder The Truth About Islam in Europe.