Cyber Mechanics Go

Now that we’ve officially made it to the fabled realm known as ‘the future’, I have one question. Surprisingly, it has nothing to do with hoverboards – from time to time, I do wonder what’s holding those up, but I wouldn’t bother putting forward questions about it. No, what I want to know is this: in the present day and age, are auto service centres an essential service? Or are they a luxury?

Now, before you answer, consider that there are people who don’t hold the same opinion as you. How do I know this? I’ve spoken to people on both sides of the fence, and many of them feel quite strongly about it. At first, it seemed self-evident to me that this type of service is indeed essential, and I was quite vocal about that, only to be argued down by a cyclist friend who insisted that anything to do with motor vehicles is a luxury. That then seemed like the obvious position.

But then an indignant neighbour, who’s an ambulance driver, countered that point with the smart-sounding quip that ‘necessity is determined moment by moment’. Now I don’t know what to believe. Maybe it is all relative. For example, in Toorak, car service is less necessary than it is in Alice Springs. At the end of the day, it probably still counts as a luxury even in the desert, but I guess that’s arguable depending on what you need to get done.

Why am I so hung up on this, you ask? Well, it all started after I had a lengthy chat with a particularly gruff mechanic near Glen Iris a couple of months back. He seemed to be deep into some conspiracy theories about global pandemics, and was adamant that business as we know it would irrevocably change sometime this year. As a result, he was pretty grim about his job prospects, which is how I got talking to him in the first place – as a barber, this is the sort of stuff people bring up with you.

Anyway, this guy has another appointment coming up this week, and I feel I need know where I stand on this issue by then.

Fruit for Hair

Alright, so one of my experiments might have gone a little bit wrong, unleashing hordes of dude-bro clones into the world. However, they are all really nice, and very friendly, and they can be reset remotely which I have done. But that’s still not enough for these people.

They said it was a “blight on humanity” and I “shouldn’t be playing with lives” and now I’m locked in here researching hair treatments. How common. Well, they’ll see. They’ll ALL see. With my mastery of biology, I’ll discover the best hair treatments in all of Melbourne, nay, all the world. My hair will be so soft, so silky smooth, that I can make people do whatever I want because they’ll want their hair to feel this good. Haha!

Anyway. Hairdressers using Aveda is quite a popular trend at the moment, so that works as a basis. People love fruit, and they love the word ‘extract’ when it comes to slathering things onto themselves, so we’re going to need fruit extract. Essence of pineapple might not actually do anything for you, in terms of hair growth or nourishment, but it does mix quite well with most hair products and it’ll make you smell quite lovely. This reminds me of a conversation I had with Chad Prime right after her was reset and gained an interest in hair products. He swore up and down that acai extract was the best thing for stimulating healthy hair growth and reviving damaged and split ends, and I had to explain to him that you can’t actually repair damaged hair, acai isn’t even as good for weight loss as people think, let alone restoring hair, and he’s actually not a real person. He was quite crestfallen at the thought of it: acai, not the superfood that everyone promises? Preposterous!

The reset went as planned, though. They’re being left alone for now, no doubt finding hair salons for appointments in Melbourne and all around, swapping clothes shopping tips and auditioning for amateur theatre productions, while I’m stuck in here, seeing if I can improve hair products by adding durian fruit.

And no, you definitely can’t. Durian is straight-up nasty, man.

-Professor T

Procrastination Woes

It’s time to put the recycling out. I know this for sure because it’s currently spilling all over the floor, so really, it was time to put the recycling out several days ago. What is wrong with me, seriously? I’d actually taken my unemployment pretty well up until now. It was going to be an opportunity to get stuff done around the house, shift into a different career, maybe go on a trip if I was frugal enough.

But instead, I’m mired in the swamp of procrastination. Guess I just need the routine of getting up every morning and going to the office…or wherever. Good to know for life. Though I did manage to catch a documentary yesterday that gave me pause. It started off talking about commercial LED lighting, so I left it on because I was trying to sleep and it sounded dull enough to get me there. But then it turned out to be interesting, funnily enough- the scientific principles of LED lighting are actually pretty cool once you take away all the surface stuff- and then it sort of blended into a documentary about automation in both business and home.

So here’s me wishing I had a robotic butler to take out the recycling, but then they let people test a special automated home for sixty days and they turned out just terrible. Everything was done for them: cooking, cleaning, washing…they never even had to turn on the lights. They had special LED lights that adjusted to location and brightness, with no manual setting. At the end of the sixty days, the people inside were bored stiff and just desperately wanted to wash a dish, or iron a shirt.

Kinda sucks because I’ve forgotten everything I learned about industrial LED lighting solutions, so maybe I can catch the documentary again. Still, maybe I should be grateful that I have to take out the recycling and turn the lights on and off myself. Keeps us all sane, apparently. Thanks, lighting!

-Dai

Undercover Knitting

So far, so good; no one at the knitting club suspects that I’m actually under 65. I just love knitting so much that I lied on my application form. Feels terrible, but hey, I just want to say that I’m the victim here. Essentially, everyone is silently saying that I look older than I am. Thanks for THAT everyone. And an age limit for these kinds of things is just silly anyway.

I almost blew it the other day by displaying a certain level of mastery over technology. You see, they were all complaining about the lack of proper central ducted heating. Canberra community centres can be rather tight with their budgets and they don’t always stretch to heating. The heating just wasn’t good enough for their ailing selves, and they need an extra warm setting. I pointed out that they now make heating units with a number of settings, as well as some that have smart technology that detects exactly the right temperature level to maintain. Everyone looked at me like I’d just grown a third head, and I had to back out by saying that I’d heard about it on AM radio. That seemed to allay some of the suspicions, but they’ll be watching me closely from now on, their keen eyes observing over their knitting needles.

I don’t even know that much about technology! I only knew about central heating because we had it installed last month. I agree with the general sentiment; the traditional heating units just don’t really cut it sometimes. We asked the nice man in the shop, and he said that heating repair companies in Canberra were currently very busy with upgrading units to smarter technology. It’s a revolution, he said.

Next time, I’ll just say I read it in the Trumpeting Moon. I don’t know for sure, but I THINK that might be a newspaper that elderly people read. It definitely has a tech section, so…I need to familiarise myself.

-Delia

Haircuts Are Relaxing

I wish I could get my hair cut every single week. As in, I wish I had magical Rapunzel hair that made that feasible. It would get cut, and then grow back in a day or two…is that Rapunzel? I’m not good with remembering things. I thought it was Rapunzel who rappelled down a tower using her hair and then saved the Mad Hatter’s dinner party. I’m gonna say I’m about 80% sure on that one.

Hair appointments are just relaxing, in a way that nothing else is. I have all of my hair salon appointments in South Melbourne mapped out, going to different places so they don’t think that I’m weird, even though that’s the truth.

My running theory is that I don’t really control much in my life, and I’m SUPER bad at relaxing. I’m full of nervous energy, and I don’t even like to just sit and watch Neat-Flicks when I’m at home. I’ll watch Neat-Flicks, to be sure, but I won’t do it in a relaxed way. I’ll carry my laptop around and watch while I’m washing the dishes, doing the laundry…anything on my feet. Sometimes I just put my laptop on the chair and stand up, do some jogging on the spot, stretches…so long as I’m not sitting down, I’m golden. Well, not golden. It’s really bad that I can’t relax.

Then I get my hair done, and suddenly, I have no choice. Can’t dance around in the chair, because they’ll cut my hair wrong. Can’t stand up, because that’s silly. I HAVE to sit there, still, and I HAVE to listen to the calming snip-snip sounds, and make pleasant conversation that has nothing to do with my normal, stressful life.

It’s really nice, is what I’m getting at. Need to make another appointment, actually. Looking for recommendations for a really great hairdresser near David Jones, so…hit me up! I’m on the lookout for new hot-spots. Maybe I can get my eyebrows done, or just a styling session, or a colouring. Anything to keep me still for a few minutes.

-Belle

Aluminium is Alright

You know, I’m starting to see some of the logic behind these mortals and their actions, even if I still think them ignorant trolls who would fall in droves beneath the mighty royal magician’s force. 

I’ve seen people with strange implements that run on electricity, but they do not seem to be dangerous. Just the other day I walked unseen through a site of building while workers milled around, using their whirring tools and toolboxes. They had the best aluminium toolboxes, I heard them boast. Vaughn was complaining to Jake about how he was supposed to get toolbox central locking the day before someone stole his power saw but he didn’t think theft would be much of a problem. I’m proud to say I understood…some of their conversation. The part about aluminium tools does interest me. I know very little about this metal other than it’s light weight and incredibly versatile. I’ve seen it used in very thin sheets to wrap up food in order to store it better. What a wild thought. It made me want to buy my own aluminium toolbox to keep my things safe when I travel. Although I’m not sure if people use toolboxes to carry their clothing when they travel. 

In my realm, the main metals of choice are steel and bronze, mainly for transport and cooking wares. Here, they have aluminium accessories. They seem okay to me. It seems to be that there are a multitude of options for utes and trucks. I don’t have either of those, or a license for that matter. It’s something that I’m working on in order to blend in better with the local residents. 

I mean, I must admit, the building skills of this world are immense; one must only look at the towers that scrape the sky. Many secrets lie inside those aluminium toolboxes. This metal is not to be underestimated and should be studied further.

Law-Bot, Make Me a Will

legal will lawyersIn the future, so they say, there will be no need for making a will. Usually, our discussions at the Futurist Club are purely speculative, but this time we were treated to some cold, hard science. Bryce is taking a robotics elective, and he came up with an idea for a robot that can delegate a person’s possessions after they die in a fair way. There are always so many people fighting over that sort of thing, with Melbourne legal will lawyers having to be the mediators, and Bryce thinks this robot could provide the answer. If his robot could provide efficient prediction of when these strange lightning storms are going to hit, I’d be even more grateful, but…never mind.

Opinions were mixed, of course. Bryce generally DOES think everything can be solved with robots, and a certain number of us tend to agree with him. I’m a bit more skeptical, if only because I went to the reading of a will not too long ago, where I was left my Great Uncle Pat’s beloved canoe, The Windy Willow. Little did I know, Aunt Olga had been eyeing that canoe for years, and things sort of escalated until she attacked me with her keys and I ended up with a scar above my left eye.

What I’m really saying is that matters of law are something terrible complicated for your average robot, and perhaps even the advanced robots of today. You’ve got lawyers and attorneys who spend years in school just so they can learn this stuff and apply it with a little bit of human sensitivity, so you’re essentially making a mockery of their efforts to say that you can spend a semester programming a robot that can do their entire job.

Besides, applying law is more than just complex. It’s complex in a uniquely human way, where you have to be a human to really GET it. Best leave that to a property law expert in MelbourneI’m not trying to be robot-ist, or anything (that’s one of the worst things you can be at this club), I’m just stating a fact. 

-Myles

Interesting Windows, Interesting Building

decorate window tintsI’ve always loved the idea of living in a converted church. I mean, it’s not so nice for whoever had to vacate the church, but…hey, maybe they found a big modern building because the congregation became too big. And they left the old, traditional church building, and now I live here! I think it’s the uniqueness of the building that really appeals to me. You can live in some square apartment, or a rectangular house, OR you can live somewhere there’s a huge room for conversion into anything you like, with high ceilings and plenty of history.

And glass. I LOVE the idea of living somewhere that has stained glass. That’s rare nowadays, but there are companies in Melbourne doing decorative window glass, which is very similar. It’s the modern equivalent, you might say. Not that i want to plaster the main room in my home with some kind of circular mural depicting my wonderful exploits…in fact, I’d be happy with just keeping whatever happens to be there in the first place. Stained glass is always so nice, and it filters the light so nicely.

I’m thinking the main hall will be converted into a semi-multi-level room, so the roof stops halfway and there’s sort of an alcove. What goes up there? A bar area, bedroom…or just storage. Depends on the layout of my home in general. There are going to be a lot of decisions to make, and that’s if I even manage to find an old church building for sale.

And if there’s no stained glass, will I get some of my own? I guess if they have the window space for it, I could maybe look into getting some frosted window glass, or something similar. If I’m buying an unconventional space to make a home, I might as well go the whole hog. No sense in being shy when you’re living in a chapel. Only if it’s the right chapel, though…

-Mercy

Overachieving, for Science and Profit

trigger point dry needling courseOverachiever. I cannot believe they had the gall to call me an overachiever. We’re MED students. The whole reason we’re doing this course in the first place is because we’re overachievers, and we wanted to do a job that has long hours, complicated work and plenty of pay at the end. You know…the stuff that overachievers get.

Just because I’m doing a few extracurricular activities doesn’t mean that I’ve flown way off the handle and I’m trying to become some sort of super doctor. That acupuncture course was just because I was curious. Advanced CPR techniques are practically mandatory. Matching blood types with personality…okay, that was a bit out there, but the short course on identifying early signs of lyme disease was totally vital to my well-being, and everyone’s well-being.

And now I have the nerve- oh, the nerve– to book myself into a trigger point dry needling course, because I just think it would give me a more well-rounded medical education if I investigated all avenues of making someone fit and healthy. Does that make me a bad person? Or even a bad future physician? All my med friends are reacting like I’ve signed up for a course in summoning the power of healing crystals via ancient Arthurian spell chanting, which is terribly closed-minded of them. I got a lot out of the acupuncture course, and dare I say, I had quite the keen hand for it, so I’m hoping dry needling is going to be another speciality. It’s going to be big in a few years, and I’ll have the head-start, leaving all my other doctor friends in the dust as they scramble to clamber on the bandwagon.

Well, shame on them for not realising it sooner. There are still dry needling courses scheduled for Melbourne with spaces, but they’re filling up fast. Maybe they’ll get past their view of me as a teacher’s pet and see the light. Or maybe they’ll just get some kind of sporting injury that current medical science is powerless to correct. And then I’ll humiliate their narrow-mindedness by dry needling the heck out of those injuries.

-Rhonda

Consider the Coconut…for the Kitchen

custom designed kitchenSometimes I consider the coconut, and how people around the world think about their homes very differently. Like, that’s just a thought that crosses my mind a lot. Probably because I have a really long commute, so I use…let’s say 50% of my phone charge looking at memes. The battery steadily drains during the day, and then I leave work and I only have like 10% left, and that’s for emergencies, or if I get tagged in a really spicy meme, so I have to conserve it.

Work is really strict about us charging our devices, so basically I end up every single home commute staring out the window and thinking about stuff.

Like coconuts. And homes, which are sometimes made of coconuts, because you can make everything with coconuts. So let’s say you live in Hawaii, and even though it’s now a modern and industrialized society, you happen to live in that one semi-Amish community that likes to live like it’s 1565. Sort of. They still clearly have modern amenities like a custom designed kitchen, because there are people who come into your thatched hut to do that sort of thing. It’s a very modern, progressive Amish community. Take the good bits of the modern world, like renovations and such. And of course, it’s all just coconuts, because there’s not too much to work with and you already had the floor laid with a rather attractive palm leaf pattern. Plus, coconuts on the floor of the kitchen is just silly. You’d be trying to make traditional soup and roast lamb on a spit, and you’d be tripping over coconuts every time you went everywhere.

No, I’m thinking these kitchen makeovers would have stuff like…custom-made coconut sinks. Coconut hangers, for the hanging of things. And that’s about it, because I don’t design kitchens for a living and I’m not made of ideas. I mean, I think there are kitchen renovations in Moorabbin. They’d be the ones to ask. Probably not many coconuts used in kitchens around here though, just saying.

-Marla