stopping off at the service plaza on the road to hell

Elysium promo image

Service plazas are a Thing here in Florida. They’re built up and down all the major highways here in Florida like beads on a beaded door curtain (the kind made popular during the 1960s hippy movement). They’re spaced about every 30 to 45 miles or so, and are primarily there for folks to stop and pee, or maybe more if the bathroom facilities are clean enough to park your rear end down on. More sophisticated service plazas have gas stations (with higher than normal prices), and even more sophisticated plazas add in food courts with multiple commercial fast food restaurants. Some, like the one close to Orlando on the turnpike at Turkey Lake, have a multi-storied Florida Highway Patrol station in addition to the other amenities. At those swankier plazas you can rest in air-conditioned comfort while scanning the headlines on your smartphone. While other states may have highway service plazas (I know Georgia does), Florida’s are special. If they ever disappear then I’ll know that the apocalypse has truly arrived in Florida.

So today I’ve pulled off into an imaginary swanky service plaza on the road to Hell and I’ve been scanning the headlines. Here’s what’s top ‘o the news this morning.

  • Red-hot planet: All-time heat records have been set all over the world during the past week –
  • In which we learn that all those warnings about a warming planet due to climate change/global warming maybe aren’t fake news about science-they-don’t-want-to-hear-anything-about after all, or that there never was any alternative interpretation of the overwhelming evidence of how we were warming the planet and acidifying the oceans with all the fossil fuels we’ve been burning for nearly two centuries now to power our civilization. It’s happening, it’s real, and it will only get worse. And in case you think we can somehow reduce the impact, there’s this report from 2009: Global Warming Is Irreversible, Study Says –

  • Madeleine Albright: ‘The things that are happening are genuinely, seriously bad’ –
  • In which we learn that electing Trump and voting for Brexit is putting us in a situation not seen since the rise of Fascism and the Second World War, from a woman who lived through the London blitz when said fascist Nazis with their luftwaffe tried to bomb London, and England, into submission. Didn’t work then, but it makes you wonder if it would work now. Another major warming we refuse to listen to.

  • Survival of the Richest –
  • In which we learn that Elysium (the film) maybe wasn’t so bonkers after all. The ultra rich are trying to band together to leave the rest of us behind on the hellscape they helped to create making their many billions. They’re trying to turn to their new(est) god beyond money, technology. Except there’s a problem with that solution: the technology they hope will be their eternal salvation either doesn’t really exist, or if it does, it’s flawed in one or more fundamental ways. For example, all those computers that we might upload our consciousness to require electricity to operate. Turn off the switch, and they immediately power down to inert lumps. They also don’t like high temperatures. With the notable (and very tiny amounts of) tech used for space exploration, everything we use was designed and built to work best in an office shirt-sleeve environment of about 72°F, not the triple digit temperatures we’re experiencing world-wide. In fact, it’s so hot right now in New Jersey that it’s slowing down high-speed trading (adding microseconds to response times) which in turn might affect the earning abilities of all those aforementioned billionaires.

I think that’s enough for now. My 8.4 MPG 6000 SUX is fueled up and ready to head out. See you at the next service plaza!