Friday, February 6, 2009

Intelligent Design or Bright Engineering?

Recently I witnessed the quintessential peak of efficient design. Lest you think otherwise, this is not about evolution and other competing theories of existence. This missive is about one of the most amazing machines I have had the pleasure to use. I am still a bit fuzzy on the matter of the 'intelligence' behind this modern marvel.

I was feeling a bit peckish and in need of some chemical stimulation. Come on, I'm talking about coffee, high-test, straight up. What did you think I meant? Anyway, I wandered out into the world looking for that elusive nectar, the perfect cup of something spectacular. A friend referred me to, of all things, a machine. He swore up and down that I would not be disappointed.

What I discovered was an engineering marvel. A machine that brews fresh coffee on demand at the strength and caffeine level you choose. The front of the machine is glass so you get to watch all of the exciting action. Make some selections, push "Brew", and it measures out some fresh beans and grinds away. The grounds are then pressed between two layers of pristine filter paper and piping hot water streams through. The hissing and bubbling were very impressive and the aroma of the developing infusion was intoxicating.

The final perfect and delightfully aromatic result is dispensed into . . . a cup that isn't there. One would assume that a machine as talented as this would include a sensor to detect the lack of a cup. It turns out that I misunderstood the intent of this device. As the coffee gurgles down the drain, the machine flashes the words "Thank You" in cheerful bright red letters. I replied, "You're welcome. I'm glad you enjoyed it." I was truly impressed. This very polite machine not only makes you a wonderful cup of coffee, it drinks it for you too.

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