August 8th, 2010

Blow My Mind

Whoa! Technology is SMART!

Braved the U-scan machines at Fred Meyer, as I occasionally do, and at times the system asked me just to put an item -- an unlabeled item like the Walla Walla sweet onion I'd gotten -- on the scanner. After a few moments, "ONION" appeared as the item on the screen. To be exact, "YELLOW ONION 0.68 lb, 0.46," as 46 cents was the cost.

I hadn't put in that it was an onion yet.

Before, I'd looked through the options -- choose item by picture, choose an item not pictured -- and not seen Walla Wallas as an option. That's when the system asked for a look. Somehow it recognized the onion.

How did that work? Is there a video camera and a visual database of unlabeled items that the system uses as a backup?

Maybe. It also meant that I didn't need help from an attendant, though the U-Scan seemed to want to send an attendant to me. (It told me a couple of times to wait for an assistant, then reverted back to the "Scan Next Item" step so I could keep going.)

Should I be worried about the intelligence of a U-Scan?
Cartoon Chris

The GOOD kind of "get the blood flowing"!

To avoid being a master of suspense, I'll say right now that this happened years ago and the person to whom it happened got fine very quickly. (I'd dated her before, so I always thought she was more than fine, but digress I do...)

My friend and former girlfriend Alicia once got hit by a car. The driver rolled, hitting her at low speed in a crosswalk, and no matter at what speed that happens, getting hit by thousands of pounds of car is going to affect you even if you're Arnold Schwarzenegger. So my petite former girlfriend wound up in the hospital, and to get there, she needed an ambulance.

When Alicia told me later about the accident and the ambulance ride, she was already better. And one sign that she was better is that she was also complaining "the EMT wasn't even hot!"

And an idea, glorious and hot, was spawned that day: an ambulance service staffed by hot people! You're rescued from the scene of your accident by an ambulance dispatched from Get The Blood Running Dispatchers, knowing that this person has a thing for Gender X and Types J, N, S and U, so one or two EMTs fitting those criteria pile into an ambulance that roars off to the accident scene carrying hotness. Wouldn't you feel better knowing that the highly trained and capable EMT hooking you up to the machines and racing you to the further life-saving machines at the hospital is also smokin' hot? If I wiped the blood and shattered teeth from my face to see Rosario Dawson or Kate Winslet, I know I'd feel suddenly much more zen with having lots of my blood on the outside of my body. Would also mean that there's still plenty of blood on the inside of my body, too, if you get my meaning.

Really. Just a TV show based on this would be bigger than Baywatch. IMAGINE HOW IT'D GO OVER IN REALITY.