Elon Musk has revealed his design for a new high-speed transportation system called the Hyperloop and the media has gone berserk. I don’t understand why. Elon says his invention will revolutionize transportation. Really? It’s essentially a pneumatic bank tube with people inside. Now I’m no scientist, but if I can’t send a roll of quarters to the teller, how are you going to stuff a family of four with luggage into one of these things?
Elon says his Hyperloop can get you from San Francisco to L.A. in approximately 30 minutes. That’s good because if it took any longer one of the passengers is going to need to take a leak. I’m sure the residents of Bakersfield would not appreciate a steady stream of urine ejected from passengers traveling at 700 miles per hour. Did Elon take micturition into account or did he think the pee would just vaporize? And forget Number 2. At those speeds you’d be creating the world’s most deadly potato gun. Only that was no potato that took off Grandpa’s head. Yuk.
Added to such injuries is another huge insult to anyone living outside a major US city. You’ve heard of ‘Fly-Over’ States? Well get ready for ‘No-Tube-For-You’ Towns. You see, Elon didn’t design the thing so that you could stop just anywhere. It’s strictly for the major cities. You can imagine how the conversation between the Hyperloop engineers and every person in the Midwest will go:
Engineer: “So we’re going to build this amazing transportation system right through your corn fields. So if you’re a busy urban professional, say a Social Media Strategist, you can zip through the useless parts of the country in half the time a stupid old airplane would take.”
Midwesterner: “That’s great! So where does it stop so I can get on board?”
Engineer: “Errrr, that’s not really how it works.”
Midwesterner: “But I want to visit my Grandpa in Bakersfield.”
I hope Elon designs a tube strong enough that people can’t break it with a heavy rock. Also, he should make it sound proof. The sound of farmers cursing at you would be pretty scary bouncing around inside your capsule. Of course at 700 mph the Doppler effect will make it sound something along the lines of, “SREEEEEWWWWWWWWW you-!”
The other thing that bugs me about the Hyperloop is that it’s so unoriginal! I’m old enough to remember a science fiction movie called Logan’s Run. I remember Michael York & Jenny Agutter zipping around in something called a Maze Car.
If I had to guess, Mr. Musk passed out after drinking stale Red Bull while watching the SyFy Channel. How else do you explain the fact that he stole an idea from a 37-year-old movie! Actually, this is where he really got the idea:
I don’t want to live in Mr. Musk’s nightmare world where we all turn into human hamsters stuck in a maze of Habitrail tubes. Does anyone remember when exploring space captured our imaginations? Clearly not. And speaking of bank tubes. Here’s a funny short film about them: