A radio DJ talk show type person we used to listen to but whose name escapes us used to harp on about the "Triple U's". In no particular order, these are unfunny, unoriginal, and another u-starting word that we've never been able to remember but is somewhere in the direction of unfunny and unoriginal.
The Triple U is when you ask the acquaintance named Michael Bolton if he likes the musician Michael Bolton. It is the joke that person has been hearing their entire life and the fact that you just thought of it and said it to him is an extraction of value from his soul to yours. "Oh hi Tim Cruise, are you any relation to Tom?" "Oh you work at the pharmacy, you must do a lot of drugs!".
It is saying "What?" really loud when someone tells you they can't hear.
It can also be the meme we as a society have collectively surfaced all in unison at a particular time. Our favorite at the moment is "the one year anniversary of 14 days to slow the spread". Which actually we should all keep saying because it perfectly captures the absurdist, morbid, monotonously terrifying eternal twilight of the last year. Sometimes the triple-U (or double-U if you can't remember the third U) serves to connect us to each other. And I think after a year of isolation we could use whatever we can get of that, even if it is unoriginal and unfunny (and un-something else).
We'd love to hear more examples of "triple-u's". Reply to this email with the ones you can think of and we'll give a shoutout to the best ones in a future iteration of this space.
So probably everyone has heard something about Gamestop's stock drama in 2021. If you're still looking for a 'splainer here's a good one, along with a semi-related article about how you're getting screwed over if you are using Robinhood for trading. Just remember the internet truism: if you aren't paying for a service then you are the product. In this case you are being sold to high frequency traders of questionable ethical provenance. -B
Why doesn't the US get to have high speed rail?
I love trains. I love traveling by trains. I love train stations. I love train naps. I love train cabins and train seats and train compartments and train bathrooms and train noises and train smells. I love movies that have train scenes. I've ridden the fastest trains in the world (Shanghai, Japan, Taiwan). I've ridden crowded old trains across eastern Europe. I've ridden trains from Paddington Station out into the Midlands. I've ridden Amtrak across the fruited plains. I've been attacked by a local in an Asian train station for being too big to shove around. I've succumbed to jet lag in a train on the Iberian peninsula and been astonished to wake up and not have missed my stop. One of my bucket list items is to take the Orient Express from Europe to Asia.
So why doesn't the US have a real train network? We're too big. We're not dense enough. We all have cars. And we're absolutely ineptly incompetent at infrastructure in general (these days).
Also here's a bonus link showing what it would be like to travel on the hyperloop (if that was a thing that had a chance to ever actually be built, which it doesn't). -B
B, why you gotta crush my hyperloop dreams??? -C