By Lisa Fary
It’s still January and 2010 is already way more impressive to my sci-fi dreams than the entire last decade.
Really. What sci-fi stuff did we get out the Aughts? iPods, flatscreens, DVR, faster internet, tiny cell phones. Our existing stuff got smaller, faster, and sexier. Sure, they’re fun. Yeah, I like having all of my music (and Dr. Horrible and Star Trek and Doctor Who) in my bag.
But, I want real sci-fi stuff. Hovercrafts. Jetpacks. Robots. Mad scientists engineering extinct, mutant animals that then become a global threat that can only be taken down by giant robots!
Ahem. I got carried away there.
And I want a lunar colony, even though it would be a lot like camping. For crying out loud, Arthur C. Clarke said we’d be traveling to Jupiter by now.
However, there is some cool stuff on the horizon. No lunar colonies yet, but they’re steps toward living a Star Trek life. Here’s a look:
That’s what I see growing out of the Photosimile. It’s basically a 3D copier that makes a photoreal 3D image of any object you can jam inside there. They can then be saved as images or converted into 3D animation.
OK, maybe “holodeck” is a little far off, but it could happen. Right?
Paperless, without a Computer
Even working in online education, we manage to generate a scary amount of paper waste. As bad as we are, we’re the picture of conservation compared to a traditional classroom. How do kids who come to class with nothing in their hands create so much paper garbage? Oh, right. Because I gave them the paper even though they came unprepared.
The Boogie Board LCD Tablet is a step toward solving that problem. The pressure sensitive display is 1/8 of an inch thin and takes no power to create and hold an image; a watch battery will keep it going through 50,0000 erases. And it’s affordable. Like $30 of affordable.
The only drawback is that the tablet doesn’t save what’s on it. However, it’s still an awesome alternative to scratch paper, Post-Its, and empty junk mail envelopes, all those pieces of paper we use once and throw away.
Iron Man, Sort of
You know damn well Tony Stark wouldn’t give his suit a name like “The Puffin”. At its most bad ass, “Puffin” brings cheesepuffs to mind (yes, I know a puffin is a bird). The name just doesn’t accurately describe what NASA is building.
there’s no sound on the video – it’s not your speakers
Sure, call it a stealth, one person aircraft if you want. It’s an effing jetsuit.
Italian scientists are attempting to resurrect the auroch, a giant bovine that has been extinct for over 400 hundred years. The last person to attempt this was Hitler.
The Auroch is the prehistoric ancestor to modern cattle; although it’s prehistoric, the species managed to survive until 1627. You see them in cave paintings all over Europe, depictions of a bovine about the size of a small elephant or rhinoceros.
The scientists involved in the project concede that keeping an auroch would be difficult and potentially dangerous.
With some luck, we’ll wind up with a raging, mutant auroch. And our only hope will be a giant NASA Puffin.
Is it wrong for me to hope for that?
Lisa Fary is a graduate of the creative writing program at Florida State University and holds an advanced degree in Special Education. Her earliest influences are Princess Leia, Rainbow Bright, Astronaut Barbie, and her 6th grade teacher, Ms. Palmer. She’s angry that it’s almost 2010 and she still doesn’t have a hovercraft, but will accept a jetpack as consolation. That jetpack had better be pink with a rhinestone monogram.
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