Elon Musk recently unveiled more details behind his Hyperloop, a pneumatic tube that would transport passengers from Los Angeles to San Francisco in 30 minutes. "You know those old office tubes they used to fire office documents in, in the 1950s? Now imagine a mouse crawled into that tube. Now imagine is wasn't a mouse, it was you," John Oliver said. "And now just sit back and relax in that aluminum capsule and enjoy a half an hour of this," he said, cutting to clips of people screaming their hearts out on rollercoasters. Then again, Oliver's not sure that would be any worse than a flight on Delta.
The Hyperloop is the brainchild of Elon Musk, the man behind Space X, Tesla Motors and... Paypal. "If that sterling example is any indication I'm sure that passengers can look forward to having their transit capsule frozen without warning, and then waiting several weeks for customer service to even acknowledge it." At the same time, Musk's reputation is giving this idea a lot of traction in the media. People even seem to think that Musk was the inspiration for the Tony Stark/Iron Man character, which is so far from the truth Oliver can't even stand it.
"No no no no no! Wrong again lamestream media. There's no possible way that Elon Musk could have inspired the Tony Stark character, because Elon Musk was born in 1971 and Tony Stark first appeared in 1963. This is basic fact checking," he shouted, literally slamming his hands on the table. "These kind of mistakes have to stop happening. This is a catastrophic error and you've pushed me too far."
The media is also having trouble even explaining what the Hyperloop is, as demonstrated by a CNN New Day correspondent who brought out a bunch of toy planes and trucks. So Oliver turned to the source, Musk himself, to try to figure out just what the heck a Hyperloop. His answer wasn't much better. "Okay. 'It's a cross between a Concord, a rail gun and an air hockey table?' Well, that is not an explanation, that's naming three things that sounds fast." More importantly, by Oliver's estimation (or at least the graphics team over at the Daily Show) that actual combination would look something like the image below, which Oliver thought would be much better way to travel than an aluminum tube.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.