A final note on The Da Vinci Code, which I finished last night: if this book is to be believed, it takes a brainiac team including a well-published British Royal Historian, a world-famous Harvard symbologist, and a Parisian forensic cryptologist about 75 pages to solve a riddle that a young junior professor of 18th-century literature can figure out before reading the last line. I’m not kvetching, and I’m not boasting. I’m just saying that I think I should be more famous and better paid.
I did keep turning the pages right up until the very end, too enthralled with yelling the answers and impending plot twists to the characters even to get up and refill my wine glass. Which, in this reader’s estimation, is a pretty fun way to spend a cold evening.
OK, enough of this Dan Brown business. When was the last time we had a good shark post? Or, for that matter, a good robot post? Do you see where I’m going here? Could it be … robot sharks?
Pretty damn close. According to Discovery News, the Pentagon is funding research into neural impants that will turn everyday, run-of-the-mill sharks into “Stealth Sharks.”
“The Pentagon hopes to exploit sharks’ natural ability to glide quietly through the water, sense delicate electrical gradients and follow chemical trails,” said the report, carried in Saturday’s edition.
“By remotely guiding the sharks’ movements they hope to transform the animals into stealth spies, perhaps capable of following vessels without being spotted,” the article said.
Without even mentioning the ethical issues of taking endangered wild animals and transforming them into remote-controlled drones of the U.S. military, it seems to me that this is a Very Bad Idea. Have these people never seen The Day of the Dolphin (the Oscar-nominated film in which George C. Scott and his hot lab-partner/wife teach dolphins to speak English by forging creepy paternal bonds with them and then watch in horror as their humanoid dolphin-son is abducted and used in a plot to assassinate the president)? Have they never seen Deep Blue Sea (in which a team of scientists have the bright idea to cure Alzheimer’s by injecting mako sharks with a serum to make their brains grow really, really big and then are shocked when the sharks get really, really smart and take over the lab and eat everyone, including LL Cool J‘s parrot)? Is our government really funding a project to develop A Button that controls the minds and wills of a global Army of Sharks? Is no one on the Pentagon’s payroll to ask questions like, What if the bad guys happen to get the shark remote? What if rewiring the brains of the ocean’s most ferocious and ancient creatures doesn’t exactly line up with the current national agenda? What if the sharks turn out to be as clever as they are in every movie scenario of this sort and turn around and eat us all en route to inheriting the earth?
For the second time in this post, I cannot help but feel that I have untold marketable skills that are not being put to use.