5 Everyday Annoyances (That Are About To Go Away Forever)
World hunger, genocide, global warming ... these are all problems you don't give a shit about while you're cursing an unjust god, circling the block trying to find a parking spot on street cleaning day. But there's good news for you: Technology is here to fix piddling annoyances like that. And once we solve all life's tiny problems, we're sure to get around to the big ones. Right?
You No Longer Have To Walk To Your Car
The whole point of having a car is that you don't have to use your stupid, terrible legs to move around. Why, then, do we accept that drivers have to walk both to and from their parking spaces? Since the dawn of the automotive age, cars have lacked the necessary sensors and information-processing power to come when called. But recent technological breakthroughs have finally given our top-of-the-line cars the intelligence of a dumb horse:
Tesla has "summon car" as a default feature on all its new models. True to their brand, they are catering to customers who would rather spend $70,000 than walk 70 feet. Users simply press a button on the key fob, and their car comes creeping toward them like a shameful dog. Of course, the feature is currently limited to a 40-foot range, and cars seem to only move forward or backward (no turns), but Tesla's engineers are hard at work on AI that can improve on this. But then, according to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, continuing AI research will eventually be the end of all humanity. Presumably there will be a brief window between now and then that'll be pretty cool, though.
You'll Never Step In Another Puddle Again
Until the day we completely ruin this planet, water will fall from the sky. So for the next three or four years, it seems we're stuck living with stupid puddles. Or ... are we?
Concrete engineers have developed a porous substance called Topmix Permeable, which can support heavy traffic, yet contains tiny holes that allow water to pass right through it. You can dump a thousand gallons on a tiny patch of sidewalk, and it will all soak into the pavement in less than 60 seconds, leaving not even the smallest puddle.
It'll also help with flooding and water conservation efforts. Heavy rains that normally overwhelm drainage systems can easily be handled when all of the roads, parking lots, and sidewalks can help out. Standing water is also a breeding ground for diseases that ravage communities in poorer parts of the world, so Topmix Permeable (TP for short, gotta work on that name) helps with that, too.
But perhaps most importantly, if your city installs this concrete, you will never have to step in a puddle again.
Potholes Will Be A Thing Of The Past
Potholes: the herpes of the transit system. They're unsightly, they keep coming back, and there's no good way to treat them. It can take a six-man crew an entire day to pour the necessary asphalt and pressure-roll it into place. And those patches don't even last. They leave seams between the original road and the new asphalt, so water and ice can get under the repair, recreating the pothole not long after it's been patched. That means the same six-man crew will have to do the same thing in the same place in a matter of weeks. But what can we do? We've got to patch those dangerous holes, and any patch we use is going to leave seams.
And then some possibly evil genius came up with a simple idea: Why don't we melt the roads?
A company in New Hampshire is already outfitting their trucks with powerful heaters that let two-man repair crews literally melt a road back together, leaving no seam between the old asphalt and the new. In addition to being both more effective and cheaper, the infrared patch also has a lower carbon footprint, and only takes about 15 minutes to apply. That means you can harness the power of heat to repair molten rock in less time than it takes to watch a reality show contestant say yes to a dress.
No More Waiting In Line At The Grocery Store
Waiting in line at the grocery store is the worst. That's valuable time you could be spending at home, ignoring your family. But like the Spartans at Thermopylae, cashiers are outnumbered a hundred to one. There's always going to be a bottleneck when it comes time to check out. Unless you understand two things: how much people hate minor inconveniences, and how little they value their privacy. Amazon understands the hell out of those two things.
So they've opened a chain of meat-space grocery stores called Amazon Go, where customers never have to wait in line. All you need to do is open an account and check in on their app while entering the store, then grab whatever you want and simply leave when you're finished. Amazon tracks whatever you take and bills your accounts automatically.
Yes, using only the power of object tracking and absolutely all of your personal data, Amazon has done away with the five-minute wait at the grocery store.
Never Again Will You Suffer From Wetbutt
If you've ever sat on a park bench after a fresh rain, you know the feeling: wetbutt. Designer Sung Woo Park knows that pain, and rather than swearing until he ran out of breath, as is the traditional response, he opted to do something about it. See, only the top of a bench gets wet, while the underside is mostly clean and dry. All we'd need to do is switch the two out, and voila! We now have butts as dry and merciless as the Mojave.
What, you wouldn't describe your own butt as "merciless"? Give yourself some credit.
But how? How could we possibly flip a whole bench upside-down? What are we, modestly in shape? Haha, no. That's where the mighty power of the crank comes in.
The next model has an audio notice to let you know when to stop cranking.
When you come across a wet bench, simply rotate the crank, spinning the seat until the landing pad for your ass is clean and dry. No tips yet for when the crank inevitably becomes too disgusting to use, but we're thinking the answer has got to be some sort of double-crank.
Saikat Bhowmik is a kid who has grown a beard to look like a grown-up. He has a Serious account at Twitter and an Amuzic (that's not a spelling mistake) YouTube channel. Michael Battaglino is a new contributor to Cracked. Be sure to keep an eye out for his future work.
Never again will you have to suffer the inconvenience of having to grind and sprinkle your *cough* "herbs" *cough*.
If you loved this article and want more content like it, please support our site with a visit to our Contribution Page.
Never again will you have to suffer the inconvenience of having to grind and sprinkle your *cough* "herbs" *cough.
Follow our new Pictofacts Facebook page, and we'll follow you everywhere.
Get intimate with our new podcast Cracked Gets Personal. Subscribe for funny, fascinating episodes like Inside The Secret Epidemic Of Cops Shooting Dogs and Murdered Sex Dolls And Porn Suitcases: What Garbagemen See, available wherever you get your podcasts.