17 March 2011

Cracked.com Cracks Us Up Again

Cracked.com's countdowns are a riot. This one, about the 6 Most Ingenious Misuses of Military Hardware is both funny and topical for GN!

Our favorite? Rocketmail. And we don't mean the old free webmail service, either... We're talking about Rocketmail.

Cruise missiles were once used to deliver the mail. It was Postmaster General Arthur E. Summerfield who proposed the most logical solution to America's apparently cripplingly slow mail problem in the late 1950s. He was the first man who dared to ask: "Trains? Wait, why don't we just rocket that shit?"

Taking time out from its busy schedule of threatening communism and looking like a big metal dong, the Regulus missile was drafted by Summerfield to deliver the post ... from a submarine in the middle of the ocean. Wait -- why a submarine, and not just a boat? It's like they're just adding shit at this point because it sounds cool.

The United States Postal Service, in what was certainly its first and possibly its last dabble in explosive awesomeness, saw no significant problem with the plan. It took the USS Barbero out into the Atlantic and fired a cruise missile straight at a major population center -- all in order to deliver about 3,000 letters.

The whole operation was inexplicably declared a success. They delivered the water bill with a rocket, and everybody agreed that was exactly what needed to happen. Summerfield himself was quoted as saying this was "of historic significance to the peoples of the entire world" and that "before man reaches the moon, mail will be delivered within hours from New York to California, to England, to India or to Australia by guided missiles." And in a way, he was right: We did find a way to deliver mail with improbable speed; we just did it with 1s and 0s instead of flaming, hurtling cruise missiles.

Nobody's saying we chose wisely, here.

By: Brant

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