•  THE TREND TO ULTRA-LARGE TOUCHSCREENS IN LUXURY AUTOS can be a “distraction increasing accident risk especially for older drivers,” according to a recent AAA study. So far, Tesla’s 15-inch screen has led the trend, but latest entry is a Mercedes-Benz 2021 S-class model reported to include a “massive 56-inch curved glass ‘Hyperscreen’ dashboard that eschews all physical buttons in favor of a completely digital & voice-controlled display, with instrument cluster & infotainment screens facing the driver & additional screen facing the front passenger… Applications will respond to a fingerprint sensor & voice recognition, in a situational and contextual way at the top of driver’s field of vision, without need to scroll thru sub-menus or give voice commands.” [THE VERGE – 1/7/21]
  •  THE NEWEST FACIAL RECOGNITION SYSTEM can now “recognize and identify people with 96% accuracy, even when wearing a mask.” Dep’t of Homeland Security, which maintains a “biometric system for passengers on international flights, deemed that finger printing is too unsanitary” (and susceptible to coronavirus exposure), and “retinal scans too difficult… While DHS frames this as a matter of public safety, it nonetheless is a controversial program.” [BUSINESS INSIDER – 1/6/21]
  •  CREATING HEAT WITHOUT FIRE, by composting wood rather than combustion, has been developed by researchers in the Netherlands, using urine as a nutrient for composting bugs. “Though distained by modern society, urine contains large quantities of nitrogen, potassium & phosphorus,” utilized for centuries as an ingredient in gunpowder, dying of cloth, and a degreasing agent. It’s also cheap, “if routine ways of collecting it existed… How to go about gathering it in bulk, given the expense of installing a network of suitably dedicated collect points, is not clear,” but French pissoirs were once commonplace, and Roman Emperors “slapped a lucrative tax on the city’s urinals.” A stock offering is eventually likely. [ECONOMIST – 1/2/21]
  •  THE MOST ABSURD ‘WOKE’ HEADLINES & STORIES OF 2O2O included: (1) “Grotesque factual scandals (like absence of violence & looting during ‘mostly peaceful protests, and ‘sexist cities permitting phallic monuments designed with language of base/ shaft/ tip to describe upward thrusting buildings ejaculating into the sky’); (2) Journalistic-cheered censorship (like the racist-nature of the Masters golf tournament, vegan recipes relying on racial stereotypes like African peanut stew, and the ‘existential crisis of systemic racism’ in America’s National Parks based on fewer than half of visitors being people of color); and (3) Newsroom mania for political groupthink (like the Alien movies being ‘an all-out assault on Black people depicted by a vicious & endlessly breeding carbon black alien mother’ and firing a reporter for attending a Halloween party with blackface as a satire of those costumes)… All equal parts frightening and ridiculous” with no end in sight. [MATT TABIBI  – SUBSTACK – 1/4/21]
  •  THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK: Check this out: Any song from any year jukebox:  http://thenostalgiamachine.com/ 

       The political parties, Democrats & Republicans, are nothing more than a pair of unfit parents in a custody battle of America – so focused on power and hurting each other, they can’t see (or don’t care) about the hurt to kids & country.