2014-02-28 / Columnists

Slice Of Life

Not Asking Much
by Beth Hanning

The recent pothole debacle all over the tri state area has me scratching my brow. A routine 40 minute trip took me 90 minutes last Saturday afternoon. Not only were the potholes a distraction, but so were the awful drivers trying to maneuver the wreckage.

According to National Geographic over 17 million tons of salt will be deposited on United States roads this winter and require $7 billion of repairs. Potholes are not the only things that the road salt creates. It also deteriorates concrete, decays our cars and causes environmental damage. Obviously we need something to keep the roads safe, however how can there not be a chemist that can create a different type of solution than can melt ice or asphalt that can withstand the damage brought on by the salt? We have phones that we can talk to but not a type of road surface that can withstand salt?

While thinking about the erosion of our roads I started to think of other technological inventions that can probably assist us and make our lives easier. 1- Computer databases that can cross over agencies: During Hurricane Sandy I was amazed at FEMA’s ability to know every aspect of my life as soon as I entered my social security number into the website. The questions that authenticated our identities included questions regarding siblings, past addresses and phone numbers. It was so factual I actually thought Big Brother was looking over my shoulder as I was typing. However, eight months later I received a memo from New

York City that they were auditing their records to make sure that listed dependents were still legitimately being covered under the health insurance plans. The letter asked us to send in birth certificates for my two daughters and proof that I was actually married to my husband. So I sent in the birth certificates but the marriage certificate was not good enough proof. I had to prove that I was still married. (Of course I did not read the fine print that stated you need a marriage certificate and an additional piece of proof). Acceptable proof was either recent tax returns or bank statements. Homeland Security could have figured out that John

Hanning and I still share the same address. I am sure many people have fought bureaucratic nonsense dealing with different agencies in New York City alone. 2- The dentist: Now this is not to offend any of the wonderful dentists out there but think about it: there has to be a better way to have good dental hygiene. I dream about a day when the dentist does not equal agony. Again there has to be some young wunderkind that can invent a piece of technology to fill our cavities without using a drill. Maybe even magical toothpaste that can erase the cavities directly out of my mouth?

Now the two mentioned ideas above are only two of the things that I think could actually be invented due to the amazing innovations we have already seen in the last few years. Please young geniuses get to it you could change the world. Thanks.

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