Monday, April 09, 2007


The parking meters in this town appear to operate using some sort of simple computer on the order of like a pocket calculator. A series of questions popped into my head upon considering this:

- If you hit one of these parking meters with an EMP, would it die?
- Does an EMP even affect a pocket calculator? I don't actually know to what extent a pocket calculator's brain is hardwired as opposed to software-based, nor to what extent an EMP affects en electronic device whose brain is hardwired.
- Parking meters are made of pretty solid, thick metal. Would that work as shielding against a handheld EMP device? (I'm aware these things don't actually exist in the first place, but I imagine they wouldn't be able to generate a nuclear-scale amount of power)
- Assuming the EMP works, could you then just park there and not worry about feeding the meter at all?
- Are you not even supposed to park in spaces where the meter's broken?

This is the sort of thing I think about when I'm walking to work from the bus.