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Pathfinders: Capitalism’s Bond Villains

Political theatre turned to Hollywood farce last month as PM Theresa “Mousey” May squared off against Vlad ‘The Impaler’ Putin over the Novichok poisonings in Salisbury. Called upon by the media to flex her non-existent muscles over Russia’s blatant attempts to murder one of the entries on its oversees shit-list, she immediately pressed the Maximum Response button by expelling a few token diplomats. Putin predictably expelled the same number of Brit Dips in retaliation, leaving the two leaders looking like kindergarten kids having a spat. Such was the damage to the Russian pin-up’s political reputation that he went straight on to win a fourth term as president by a landslide, helped no doubt by the fact that he’d banned his chief rival from contesting. May’s international standing didn’t suffer either, as it was already non-existent.

Pathfinders: Space Oddity

A dummy dressed as an astronaut rides a red Tesla Roadster into space (with Bowie’s Space Oddity playing on a loop on the in-car stereo), courtesy of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket, and leaves a smoke-trail of divided opinion behind it. It was a publicity stunt worthy of the Marvel character Tony Stark, and indeed SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has been credited as the inspiration behind Robert Downey Jr’s portrayal in the films (Musk even had a cameo part in Iron Man 2). Fans of SpaceX enthuse on the ability of private capital to do what NASA and its Russian equivalent Rocosmos never did and build a cheap reusable rocket, although this isn’t strictly fair as SpaceX is NASA-funded. Still, it is undoubtedly impressive to see two of the booster rockets make perfect synchronised landings. Ideally it should have been three but the other one crashed.

Pathfinders: The New Home Help

“Hey Google! What was 2017’s must-have gadget?”

Answer, in bland but maternal voice: “Last year’s must-have gadget was me, the Google Assistant, or you could try the Amazon Alexa, or if you’re rich and really patient, the Apple Homepod, which hasn’t come out yet.”

“Hey Google! What can you actually do that I can’t do for myself?”

“I can tell you a joke.”

The concept of a digital home assistant has probably not invaded your world to any great degree yet, despite massive promotion by the above companies. If you’re out of the loop or behind the curve then don’t feel too bad, because Apple have also failed so far to bring their pricey Homepod to shops, meaning that it is definitely bringing up the rear in the dash for dominance over the smart home hub market.

Pathfinders: Tempus Non Fugit

Socialists who are not among today’s socially-connected youth and who do not read The Sun newspaper will probably never have heard of Jack Maynard, the Brighton YouTube vlogger (like blogger, but with video, geddit?) and will certainly not care that he got himself thrown off I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here late last year after just three days on the show. But the reason for his summary expulsion from this must-be-seen-on if not must-see show is revealing.

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