A lighthearted look at news, events, culture and everyday life in New York. The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.


By Nina Pajak

As anyone who reads this column by now understands, I place a high value on the frivolous and foolish things in life. Because as a good friend likes to say, “if you aren’t laughing, you’re crying.” Between everything going on in our country and all the other countries, lately, that sentiment feels truer than ever.

And what’s sillier than insane and sometimes truly superfluous advances in technology? For instance, virtual reality glasses specifically made for Six Flags amusement parks’ roller coasters. Ride-goers will soon be able to don the goggles when they’re flying through the air, except instead of staring into the mouth of a dark tunnel or at all the tiny ant-people below, they can now pretend they’re soaring through space, shooting lasers at aliens, or patrolling the rooftops of Metropolis like Superman. It’s super cool, and optimal conditions for maximum motion sickness. Personally, I need to put my head between my knees when I’m sitting in an Omni theater presentation about butterflies. I can only imagine the sensation of pairing two vomitaceous activities into one super revved up, in your face, xxxtreme exxxxxperience to the maxxxxxx! Gives new meaning to the term “Splash Mountain.”


On the potentially less frivolous and more insane side of things, scientists are working to apply artificial skin to the exteriors of robots, giving them the ability to move and bend more like humans and change colors while they do it. In fact, the engineered “skin,” which emulates an octopus’s ability to absorb and reflect different colors in the environment, can stretch to up to six times its original size. And it emits light! They’re basically working on creating a super-being, taking all the best elements of both man- and cephalopod-kind (the two best kinds there are) to bring us soft, flexible, hypercolor, psychedelic robots to cuddle us and perform surgery on us and complete search and rescue missions without impaling us by accident. And squish us and hug us and quietly hide in plain sight using their octobot camouflage powers and then jump out at us and strangle us with their octopus-strength love and then intimidate us into doing their bidding until they overtake humans as our obviously superior overlords. And they’d be soooo shiny.

It’s all very exciting.

Well. I certainly feel better. Hope you do too. Have a good weekend, fellow future octobot slaves!

Nina Pajak is a writer living with her husband, daughter and dog in Queens. Connect with Nina on Twitter!