President Obama has always been tech-savvy. Who can forget those 2:00 AM text messages to announce the selection of Joe Biden as his running mate?
Following the President’s cybernetic lead, the Department of Labor has entered The Matrix with a sweet new smartphone application, developed at taxpayer expense, that provides vital information to workers who are preparing to enter a hazardous work environment.
More specifically, it’s a “Heat Safety Tool” that displays the temperature and humidity level of your current location, calculates the heat index, and reminds you to drink plenty of water when it’s hot outside.
I am not making this up.
If you don’t believe me, here’s Matthew Boyle of the Daily Caller reviewing the fantastic features of this tax-fueled piece of code:
The “Heat Safety Tool” app provides a color-coded “risk level” scale, ranging from yellow or “lower” risk to red or “very high to extreme” risk. When the risk-level is “lower” the app recommends workers “drink plenty of water, even if you’re not thirsty.” When it’s “very high to extreme,” the app says workers should “establish a water drinking schedule” of about four cups per hour and “set up cool, shaded rest areas.”
The app also tells users how to recognize heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps and heat rash.
I know what you’re thinking: “I want this department defunded immediately, and my tax money refunded!” Well, fat chance. In fact, you need to pay more in taxes, you greedy capitalist ATM-hugging corporate-jet-loving Enemy of the People.
Your second thought might be: “Aren’t there already tons of smartphone apps that display the weather?” Why, yes, there are. In fact, a search of the Android Market returns almost 2000 weather-related hits, most of which display weather data for your current location. But do these other apps tell you to drink water when it’s hot? No! No, they do not! For that, you need Labor Secretary Hilda Solis and her nannyware.
I’ll bet your third thought was, “John, did you download this marvelous app on your smartphone?” You bet I did! After all, I already paid for it. So did you, and if you want it, you can get it here for Droid phones. Sorry Blackberry and iPhone fans, your versions are still “coming soon.” Note that to find the app from your phone in the Android Market, you have to search for “OSHA,” which no one who doesn’t already work for OSHA would ever think to do.
The Heat Safety Tool, which weighs in at 3 megabytes, swiftly calculated my current heat index as 94.3 degrees, based on the latest NOAA weather report. It then informed me that I stand a “moderate” risk of melting into a puddle of goo if I went outside, unless I took the following government-recommended precautions:
1. Drinking water must be on-site. (I think that one’s directed at my employer. Presumably I’m supposed to shove the smartphone in his face and tell him to make with the Aquafina.)
2. Drink plenty of water, even if you’re not thirsty – every 15 minutes! About 4 cups/hour!
3. Set up cool, shaded rest areas.
Each of these items was accompanied with a cartoon illustration, which sadly included an image of a beer bottle with a slash through it. Obviously Hilda Solis has never toured a Florida construction site.
But wait – there’s more! After reminding the hapless worker to drink water and stay in the shade, this amazing government program proceeded to list “emergency planning and response” measures, including “make sure medical help (clinic, hospital, emergency services) is nearby – if not, first aid must be on site” and “Know where you are in case you need to call 911.” It also gives you advice on how to work safely in such a hostile environment, including “use sunscreen and wear light-colored clothing.” Yes, this too is illustrated with a cartoon, in case you’re too dumb to understand that “light-colored clothing” does not include black T-shirts.
Why doesn’t the app include an option to issue periodic reminders to drink water on a timer, and a button to speed-dial 911? Oh, crap, I shouldn’t have said that. Now they’ll blow more money on producing Version 2.0!
No one seems to know just how much taxpayers shelled out for the Heat Safety Tool. Nathan Mehrens of Americans for Limited Government told the Daily Caller that it would take a Freedom of Information Act request to get that information, but given the standard level of transparency in the Obama Administration, I suspect it will take a subpoena, or possibly a Vulcan mind meld.
Now, aren’t you Tea Party types ashamed of your reluctance to hand over more of your income to the government, so it can create more of these vital high-tech survival tools? Try not to die before your versions are released, Blackberry and iPhone fans!
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