Sunday, September 27

#39 - spare parts

While at the doctor's office for a routine checkup, you see a pamphlet for an ambitious new corporation headquartered in your city. Their main operations involve the development of bionic organs for use during transplants, and the pamphlet notes that at this stage in its life, the company offers free walk-in tours. Intrigued, you head to their offices on a Saturday morning.

After a short wait, a tour guide takes you around to the different parts of the impressive facility, including a showroom and the various research and testing labs.

The company's goal is to develop these fully functional transplant parts without the use of any human or animal tissue, and everything you see seems to indicate that they are well on their way. Initial prototype organs the company created for laboratory mice tested without any failures, and the few doctors who have toured and more fully examined the facility have also come away impressed. When you casually joke that you ought to be investing in the company, the guide presents a different offer.

For this week only, the company is taking orders for their products. Within the next three months, they hope to be producing the following organs: eyes, hearts, lungs, livers, and kidneys. You would place an order and these replacement parts would essentially be held for you by the company until you needed them. The organs are expensive, and you would run the risk of purchasing something you might never use, but for a limited time you have the option of buying some interchangeable organs for yourself. The organs would be developed for your body specifically and though they could be used in the body of another individual, using the parts in this way would carry some risk. Such an action would not be endorsed by the company for fear that something could go wrong.

When you inquire further about the pricing, the guide responds with an amount that would represent about a month's worth of your income (per organ). No money is necessary up front, but will be due whenever the replacement parts are ready. Any order you place will be treated as a commitment, and when the parts you order have been completed and successfully pass extensive diagnostics testing, you will pay at that time. If for any reason the company is unable to develop a certain organ, you will not have to pay.

Do you place an order?

Sunday, September 20

#38 - the reverse diary

You are browsing the shelves and aisles of your local library when you are startled at the sight of your own name running along one of the book bindings. Taking the book in question from the shelf, you see it that your name is indeed the title, with the author listed as "various". It is a large book.

You turn to the table of contents and see chapter headings such as CHARACTER QUALITIES, FUNNIEST MOMENTS, and SHORTCOMINGS. Quickly flipping to a spot in the middle of the book, you see a quote from a friend about a fairly meaningful event involving the two of you.

You shut the book to collect your thoughts. You have no idea how it came to exist, but from what you can make out, it seems that this is a collection of thoughts about yourself from those who know you best. Good, bad, affirming, and brutally honest opinions populate this volume's pages.

As you are in a library, with no other pressing engagements, you are free to pull up a chair and read (for the couple of hours the library is still open). A quick check of the back cover reveals a bar code sticker, so checking the book out also appears to be an option. What do you do with this book? Are there any chapters you would look for, any sections you would avoid?

Sunday, September 13

#37 - flight auction

In one of the more fascinating (if ultimately trivial) news stories to recently develop, a wealthy Richard Branson-type entrepreneur has sponsored a most peculiar ebay auction. Up for auction is the ability of flight.

The listing itself provides only a few concrete details. The ability would last one week from the time of activation and would basically resemble the flight method of Superman or any similarly empowered fictional character. Put simply, one's flight would not require the use of a flying machine or any other apparatus and could be described as true flight, rather than gliding. Nothing much is said beyond this, but a money-back guarantee has been clearly noted as a part of the auction (should the winner not be fully satisfied). It has generally been assumed that the failure of the industrialist to provide what has been stated in the listing, or at the very least to back up this money-back pledge, would be disastrous for his image. So while nobody is quite sure how the experience will be provided, in essence many feel the whole ordeal to be legitimate.

Since the story has been picked up, it has naturally been followed with a great deal of interest by the various news networks and the public at large. Though the average individual will likely not possess the means to participate in the auction once it starts, that has not prevented large amounts of conversation on the subject. Two main questions generally seem to surface during discussions of the auction.

1) What will be the amount of the winning bid?
2) Would you place a bid if you had the necessary finances to do so (knowing that winning would cost a significant percentage of your net worth)?

How would you answer these questions?

Monday, September 7

#36 - time capsule

As 2010 approaches, your town, amidst much fanfare, is putting together a time capsule that will be opened 50 years from now. The capsule is meant to shed light on this first decade of the century.

In order to gain a broad perspective on the happenings and significance of the decade, a lottery-type drawing was recently held to select ten individual contributors to the capsule, one from each 10-year phase of life (0-9 years old, 10-19, etc; one's age in the year 2009).

You were chosen to represent your age range, 20-29 for most of the readers of this blog (not to discriminate against any other age group).

Each participant in the time capsule project has been asked to supply up to three items to the capsule. The objects should have some personal connection to your life between 2000-2009 while at the same time representing the decade in some fundamental way. If you are unable to choose at least one item for the capsule, you have the option of tabbing another person from your age group to participate in your stead.

What item or items do you submit to the capsule?