The Hyperloop A conceptual design rendering of the Hyperloop passenger transport capsule. (Tesla Motors via Associated Press)

I didn’t realize this was an option.

Elon Musk, our “real-life Tony Stark,” the 42-year-old billionaire inventor fellow of Tesla motors and Paypal fame, has come up with an idea for a much better, cheaper, more Future high-speed rail alternative to connect L.A. and San Francisco.

As he said, “How could it be that the home of Silicon Valley and JPL — doing incredible things like indexing all the world’s knowledge and putting rovers on Mars — would build a bullet train that is both one of the most expensive per mile and one of the slowest in the world? Note, I am hedging my statement slightly by saying ‘one of.’ The head of the California high speed rail project called me to complain that it wasn’t the very slowest bullet train nor the very most expensive per mile.”

He’s not going to build it, he noted, and he won’t fund it, but he wanted to point out that if you just had tens of billions to throw at a speedy rail project, you should not throw it at the one the money is currently being thrown at.

He has since softened and says he’s considering making a prototype, but right now he’s just suggesting it so someone else can build it if it appeals to him or her.

I didn’t realize we were in Post Plans For A Thing You’d Like To See Built And Hope That It Crowdsources Its Way Into Being, but as long as we’re doing it, here are a couple of devices I’d like to see.

Technology is all about solving your day-to-day problems.

Fixed Bike

This appears to be a “fixie” bike. But when a hipster gets on board, detected by his ironic mustache and flannel or her bangs and owl-covered sweater, the bike offers the rider a cronut, just to be sure, and then sucks him into a vacuum tube where he is forcibly reeducated, given a nice button-down shirt and released back into the wild on a bike with actual brakes for the love of Pete.  Basically, a hipster trap, for when a couple of vinyl records peering out from a box propped up by an ironic flamingo lamp won’t cut it.


This is basically a device you aim at a TV if it’s showing anything to do with Anthony Weiner and it heaves the TV out the window.


This device locks every phone Anthony Weiner owns and if he manages to override it, it telephones his wife.


This device is for the people who would just lie there hitting the snooze button for weeks if you let them. It starts slow, just going off like a normal alarm. Then it starts pelting you with ice cubes. Then it starts insulting you in increasingly florid terms and dancing around you in a menacing manner. Then it gives you a sword and you have to battle it to stay in bed. Then if you’re still in bed it calls someone from work and sends them incriminating photos from your youth. Then it releases a raccoon. If you’re still not up it releases another raccoon, this one with a detonator strapped to its back, and you have 30 seconds to climb out the window or subdue the raccoon and decide which wire to cut, which should probably wake you up.

*name needs work

Death Star

You always need a Death Star.

Millennium Falcon

Hey if a Death Star is just not in the budget right now, I get it.

Really Big Animatronic Bear That Babysits


Stop Amanda Bynes

This machine just finds Amanda Bynes and stops her. Later it takes her to the park to enjoy the wildlife and buys her a smoothie and suggests some good books to help get her life back on track.

Premium Time Machine

This machine not only works for time travel, but it thoughtfully travels in time to the very front of the line of people trying to assassinate Hitler so you get a premium experience.


We really need these, if only to stop those people who always say, “HEY, WHERE’S MY HOVERBOARD?” whenever someone starts a conversation about how cool technology is these days.

Apology Earth

We’ve been sending out radio signals in the hope of contacting aliens for so long that they’re probably getting kind of annoyed with us. This device apologizes, profusely, continuously and in every possible language.


People keep seeing them, but, more problematically, the people who see UFOs keep taking part in public life. This is a fully-fledged, exactly-like-you-picture-it UFO, with fully functional abduction capacity. It hovers over UFO enthusiasts and abducts them to a secure location where they are politely discouraged from ever voting again.

Parent’s Helper
The dinner table used to be the place where generations of parents and children had awkward chats about what went on at school, how the weather was, and were nervously offered vague misinformation about sex that made everyone uncomfortable. Kids and parents today increasingly spend these meals glancing furtively at their electronic devices instead of engaging with each other. This needs to stop! Instead of instituting a No Electronics At The Table rule — so hard to enforce —  just get one of these devices – a lifelike android that impersonates you for the duration of dinner so you can stare at your phone in peace. Get one for the kids too so you can have a full conversation and neither of you ever has to look up from your iPhone again!

Ronald RayGun

It’s Ronald Reagan but it shoots rays from its eyes! Or maybe its fingertips! I’m not actually that wedded to this idea but it seems like it could attract a lot of Kickstarter support! And, hey we’re just spitballing things, right?

Giant Animatronic Shark