A Balloon Fetish?

June 2, 2022

Years ago as I drove down and up the 101 I noted the big hanger. I thought, “Hindenberg?” A couple of years later, the Google inflated the Loon balloons. I loved the name and the idea that balloons could remain in a semi stationary location providing Internet access to those in need. Maybe Sri Lanka or a storm-devastated island? Yeah.

I was interested in “Largest Airship Built in United States Since 1930s to Take Shape Soon Inside Akron Airdock.” The write up reported:

“LTA is standing on the shoulders of its predecessors here at the airdock,” said Alan Weston, the company’s chief executive officer. LTA – as in Lighter Than Air – was founded in California by billionaire Google co-founder Sergey Brin. “Because of their efforts, we are going to be able to build airships that are faster, that are safer, more environmentally friendly and have greater capabilities than any airship built before.”

Yep, another balloon and a big one.

The dollar stores in the rust belt are reporting shortages of helium. Is there a connection? Who knows.

What I do know:

  1. A certain Xoogler has an interest in balloons
  2. Previous balloon projects did not remain aloft
  3. A display of dozens of these big balloons would make a heck of a kids’ birthday party unicorn display just on a Google-like scale.

The big floater is an ideal advertising platform, right?

Stephen E Arnold, June 2, 2022


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