Monday, February 28, 2011

Broken Promises needn't  worry! This won't be a serious blog post about relationships and integrity and all that mushy kinda stuff! As always, the things I write for you here are meant to entertain, and if the subject matter is serious, trust that there's a healthy bit of "tongue in cheek"-ness to it...more or less! But I do want to talk about broken promises. We were promised things as children (I am of course assuming that most of my readers are relatively close to me in age)! We were promised houses on what looked like giant stilts with flying cars that folded up into briefcases. We were promised more flying cars and hover-boards and 3D holograms and laser guns and colonies in space (at least a permanent moon-base). We were promised these things by movies and television...and in some cases, legitimate science. At this point we've got about 2 centuries to get into a United Federation of, LET'S GET A MOVE ON!

I posted a couple pictures on my twitter feed just before I started writing this (FYI, I've bumped other topics I was thinking about writing on because of it). The pictures were of The Armadillo, the mobile drilling rig used in the movie Armageddon, and of the Lunar Rover Version 2.0. Clearly, this is a case of science following cinema...but we'll get to that a bit more later.  Because funding has been cut in our "I'm this close to starting a fur trading business and going to the barter which squirrel will be like the penny....cuz we got a lot o' squirrel round these parts" economy, the aforementioned Lunar Rover may never even get to the moon! Isn't that just sad!? We've already paid for it, we've already built it, and tested it...but it'll never get to do what it was built for, because we can't afford to send it to the track ("the track" in this scenario being the moon...just making sure you're still following me here).

Believe me when I say that I understand why! We've got defecits coming out of our ears and we want to cut spending (but not on the big ticket items, like two foreign wars that aren't doing us any good [are your gas prices going up like mine are?] and we also don't want to raise taxes on the people who can most afford it, [WTF] but I'm not gonna get into the politics of it), so some stuff has to go! But when did we decide that our dreams, the ones that make us great, had to be the first things to go! Again, I'm going to try and avoid the politics of it! Instead, let's examine those wonderful dreams we had, mourn the ones that are lost to me and my generation (maybe the next group'll get a go at 'em) and hold out hope for the ones that may just get here!

I've posted a clip in My Weekly Wrap-Up of the sneakers that do themselves up, like in Back To The Future we can hope that gets made. Of course, they have to contend with "Big Footwear" (NIKE is claiming that the independent designer can't make/sell them without their consent cuz it was their idea first [forget the fact that they were never planning on actually making them...presumably until they saw someone else did it for them] ). But let's assume that before I die, I will meet children who have never learned to tie their shoes, in part because they will no longer have to.

Laser guns...this one's kinda iffy! On one hand, you can legally purchase a commercially available laser that will burn through stuff...or you can use it to light fireworks...or really fuck with your cat... And there was some talk a while ago (if I'm not mistaken) of mounting a giant frakkin laser on a plane (like an AWACS platform) and using it to effectively explode a missile in mid air. So, it's possible that that could eventually evolve into the good ole' "Phaser Beam" we all grew up with (in this case, it's safe to say that if you can read, you grew up with phasers in the pop lexicon).  We've got laser scalpels and stuff, precise enough to do eye surgery with...I demand phasers....that is, when humanity can be trusted not to use them on ourselves...we're kinda bad making weapons better only to do worse things to ourselves...

Flying cars...I don't even need them to fold up into briefcases, but by now, shouldn't we at least be really big on high-speed/ mag-lev trains? No funding!? Yeah! Not having money does kill dreams! Remember, by the time Back to the Future II takes place, they were doing retro-fits...that means they had flying cars manufactured and cheap enough that you could fix up your old gas burner with a food processor and wheels that folded down to give you upward thrust with glowy (presumably) electro-magnets! The most we see of this technology is, what?... the tram at Epcot!? Am I right?

Anyway, this is a half-baked idea anyway, but I invite you to comment, what dreams of future/ sci-fi awesome can you think of that seem like they never will be, or are right there just beyond our reach! And don't listen to any of those crazy scientists who talk about what's actually scientifically possible! GO NUTS!

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