Octocopters -- pull!

Amazon dreams of drones; farewell, Norman and John; the return of the Ditchdiggers
By PHILLIPE AND JORGE  |  December 4, 2013

Amazon.com CEO and innovator extraordinaire Jeff Bezos triggered a buzz this week when he announced that his company is looking into using drones to deliver purchases to customers within a 10-mile range — albeit without the standard pizza shtick of “If it isn’t there within 30 minutes, it’s free.”

This couldn’t have come at better time, given the fascination over our country’s use of drones in Pakistan and Afghanistan. P&J at least hope the Amazon drones — unlike President Obama’s — won’t kill innocent people. Although given America’s proclivity for using drones to blow up wedding parties, we might suggest any folks planning on ordering a few gourmet cheese and pig-in-a-blanket platters and special music CD specials from Amazon for the post-nuptials look to a more land-based caterer.

Bezos, no doubt emerging from his opium-induced haze a la Samuel Coleridge (“In Xanadu did Kubla Khan/A stately pleasure-dome decree/Where Alph, the sacred river, ran/Through caverns measureless to man/Down to a sunless sea.” Light me up another stick, drug wallah), declared his new GPS-guided delivery bots would be called “Octocopters.” These will be quite useful in urban areas, with their high density of consumers and of course absolutely no large buildings or power/telephone lines that might deceive the straight-as-the-crow-flies solely electronic guidance. Doh!

P&J think the Amazon drone will give a real boost to the gun-buying community. Skeet-shooters should be wild about the idea of knocking this new version of clay pigeons out of the air in their neighborhood, and P&J imagine a whole new breed of youngsters with BB and pellet guns (paging Ralphie and his Red Ryder gun in A Christmas Story), not to mention militia types with shotguns, seeing new and adventurous ways to play out their Xbox fantasies in real life by smoking Octocopters out of the air as they buzz toward their yuppie, anxiety-crazed, buying-obsessed destinations.

Admittedly, Mr. Bezos’s idea has a long way to go before fruition, but P&J are oiling up our Remingtons now in happy anticipation of the Octocopter invasion. What could be better than the chance to knock a copy of Ann Coulter or Bill O’Reilly’s latest piece of “literary” trash out of the sky?

Recent Passages 

Two people passed on this week whose lives impacted different strata of Vo Dilun culture.

Norman J. Jacques was a well-known — and frequently controversial — figure in our state’s history. Starting in the mid-1960’s, Norman launched a career in politics, when, at that time, he was one of the youngest people to be elected to both the Rhody House and Senate. From the start, he was viewed as someone who stirred things up. He was the first person to introduce legislation in the General Assembly to oppose the war in Vietnam and to champion legalized abortion. Needless to say, his efforts were not only soundly defeated, they also marked him a “troublemaker” among Democratic party stalwarts. Norman later went on to challenge US Representative Fernand St Germain in a Democratic primary for the 1st District US House seat. One thing was certain: Norman had cojones.

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