Monday, December 27, 2010

TXDOT to consider light rail roller coasters

Jan 1, 2011 - A San Antonio inventor has come up with a new plan to get more Texans on board for the commuter light rail proposal linking major Texas cities. The idea came to Sam Penway while he was attending the Kendall County fair last fall.

“I was watching all those people lined up to get on the carnival rides,” he said. “I got to thinking about what gets people excited about getting on a train. The answer is nothing. That’s when I figured out the idea for light rail: a roller coaster.”

The backyard tinkerer went to work and has spent the past year putting together a prototype to show the Texas Department of Transportation at upcoming hearings.

“It’s nothing real fancy,” he explained. “I just ran some rail around my sheds, and put in a few loops just to show them what it could do.”

TXDOT has already acquired right-of-way for a rail line between San Antonio and New Braunfels. Penway is hoping they will use that to install his “Blue Flash” coaster.

“Once folks get in and remember how much fun it is to ride again, I think we’ll see these spread across the state.”

TXDOT officials have not commented on Penway’s proposal, although observers noted the department has added several former carnival workers to its staff.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Pentagon enlists entertainers to win war

Dec 20, 2010 - The State Department has announced that Hollywood entertainers will lead the next “surge” into Afghanistan as a strategy to wrap up that 8-year conflict. On Sunday, President Obama will sign an executive order reinstituting the draft for “actors, musicians, poets, and comedians.”

The new strategy grew from an internal study reviewing the effectiveness of the Pentagon’s war strategy, according to a Department spokesman.

“We realized that some of our most effective weapons in the fight against terror are entertainers. They exhibit every tactic we espouse - clear goals, targeted strikes, efficient use of resources, and immediate withdrawal.”

The Pentagon is moving swiftly to audition artists and supply them with appropriate material.

“We are mostly looking for comics right now,” said the spokesperson. “It is really hard to find anything funny in this war, but we know someone is out there right now writing jokes and scathing commentary. The Taliban just cannot stand up to that type of witty repartee.”

While the goal is withdrawal by August of 2011, officials hope they can move that date up with “the right off-Broadway production.” Reporters have learned that Cabinet officials have also discussed a secret weapon. There are few details, but one leak mentioned that it involved “a medley of show tunes.”

“Kate Smith and Bob Hope helped win World War II. We are confident Chris Rock and Bill Maher can rise to this challenge and get us out of Afghanistan.”

In related news, the Screen Actors Guild is reporting an unexpected drop in membership.