We’ve been promised the commercial availability of jet packs so many times in recent years that it’s become a universal shorthand for disappointment. About this time last year, in fact, Chris wrote about a New Zealand company that planned to sell jet packs for $75,000. And then we heard nothing.
And now they’re back:
Same company, same jet packs, but now they’re projecting availability within 18 months for $100,000. The price is going up, the arrival time is later, but they’re still telling us that our jet packs are coming.
But let’s say that this happens. Say you can go down to your jet pack dealer and buy a jet pack. Say you have the hundred grand to plunk down, you go in, you pay your cash, and you buy your jet pack. You can now go up to 5,000 feet for a little under 10 minutes. What are you going to do with it?
The truth is, there’s not much you CAN do with it. You hover over the neighborhood a little, you come down, the end. You can’t even take it to the store, because you won’t be able to carry all your groceries back with you, and shopping while toting a jet pack will not be terribly comfortable. No, the bottom line is that if and when we get our jet packs, we’ll be able to do two things with it:
1. Go to Starbucks, have a latte, and return.
2. Brag to our friends that we have a jet pack.
This conflicts with our fantasies. We won’t be fighting crime with it. We won’t be commuting with it. I would be afraid to commute with it, because even if it had the ability to stay up there for a full 30-mile trip to downtown, I imagine that flying through four airport approaches and neighborhoods where police helicopters routinely hover overhead following our regularly-scheduled high-speed chases would make jet packing in Southern California the kind of adventure I would not seek.
Yet, they still promise us jet packs. I’ll settle for a car with air conditioning that works. You keep your fantasies, and I’ll have mine.
Speaking of fantasy, what DID happen here at Nerdist.com this week?
1. The week started with a visit to the Nerdist Podcast by “The Walking Dead” creator Robert Kirkman, who proved to give even better than he took. He was joined along the way by admirer and friend Damon Lindelof, and, somehow, we not only learned what “sasquatching” is, but had audience members draw it for Damon’s cash. Those of you complaining that you haven’t yet seen the pictures should ask yourself why you’d want to see that. Oh, and later, Emily posted a video of Kirkman talking about his favorite comics. What, no Jughead Digest?
2. With BBC America, unlike BBC One in the U.K., taking a week off from That Show, Kyle took the chance to discuss the history of regeneration. Some were lamer than others. And, yes, Kyle’s seen the episode that aired in the U.K. but not in North America; you’ll get that review after we catch up.
3. Colin Hanks is moving ahead with that Tower Records documentary, collecting donations on Kickstarter to finish post-production and get this thing finished. As of Friday afternoon, he was only about $7,500 short of his $50,000 goal. Looks good.
4. We got a look at the Torchwood: Miracle Day trailer. You know Torchwood — the spinoff from That Show. In fact, the word “Torchwood” is an anagram for “Enough About That Show Already.”
5. Some of you have written books. Jessica told us about them. Get finished with YOUR book so Jessica can plug it, too.
6. Becca tipped us to Nate LC’s Beachland Summer Mix. If you’re looking for a fresh soundtrack to the season, it’s a contender.
8. Ted thought that the description of the Hawkman movie — “a combination of Indiana Jones, The Da Vinci Code, and Ghost” — was a little bizarre. That prompted a discussion of best/worst log lines. It was like “Nerdist meets College Humor and has an iced beverage with Movieline.”
9. We got inspired by the kid who told us Thumbs up, everybody! For Rock and Roll!” and by a pretty amazing animated short that paid homage to Jackson Pollock and involved eating paintings.
10. Kids, guns, and violence — pretty cool animated violence laid on top of live action — were the elements in the new IS TROPICAL video for the song “The Greeks,” posted by Matthew B. Toy guns don’t do what the toy guns in this video do, in case you thought about arming yourself at Toys R Us.
11. Our Coffee Nerdist, Brett, taught us about the wisdom of weighing what you brew. Get a good scale, he says. You deserve nothing less than a perfect cup every time.
12. A Slick Gigolo trailer parody suggested that maybe the three Star Wars prequels were, you know, that way because someone locked George Lucas away and replaced him with a lesser-talented double to ruin the franchise. Some of you protested that those prequels were good movies. Eye of the beholder and all that.
13. Looks like there’s a third villain for The Dark Knight Rises, and it’s Matthew Modine. He’ll play a character called “Nixon.” Apparently, it’s still 1974 in some quarters.
14. You stalk someone and you get arrested. Chris stalks someone and she comes on the podcast. Okay, he didn’t REALLY stalk Julie Benz, but that whole airport thing was a little… well, she came on and had a great time and was terrific, so we’re good, right?
15. Muppets as Star Wars characters, available as action figures. Oh, yes, you want these.
16. Matthew B. got a preview of some of Konami‘s new games, in advance of E3. More about E3 in a second.
17. There’s, as always, a lot happening at NerdMelt this week, and Emily gave us the rundown, but let’s make sure y’all turn out to see our pal Sex Nerd Sandra as she does her first live podcast on Tuesday, June 7th. Support her, and you might learn something, like which end goes in and how you turn that thing on. Yes, that can be taken several ways.
About next week: Apparently, we have many Nerdist contributors heading to the E3 video game convention in Los Angeles, and some will be posting coverage right here. So you have that to look forward to. Me? My timing is perfect; while everyone’s converging on L.A., I’m leaving to cover a talk radio thing in New York for my other site. But I’ll still be posting stuff here (not, mercifully, about talk radio — I’ll save that for the radio site), too. In the meantime, your weekend burrito awaits, with extra chips and a large Mountain Dew with free refills. Enjoy it, won’t you?