SciTech:The Future Is Now!
November 10, 2009 2 Comments
As a kid, one of my biggest dreams for the future was to have Star Trek sliding doors – imagine hearing that ‘whoosh’ as you went into the kitchen to get some toast. It seems that, not only do we have BETTER Trek doors, but we also managed to do a couple of other things on the way. Take a look at some of the most amazing things happening right now:
So they’ve only managed to tangle up some elementary particles, but it’s a good start, and they think they know where to go next. It involves lots of Quantum Physics insanity, where merely observing the state of a particle can fix or change it, and when that particle is ‘entangled’ with another (more crazy Physics), the two are inextricably linked, no matter their distance from one-another; changes to one are replicated in the other. Hopefully it won’t end up like poor Seth Brundle’s Telepods did.
LASERS (the shooting kind, not the optical disc kind)
“Boeing conducted a series of tests at Redstone Arsenal in Alabama with a 1-kw laser mounted on the back of a converted anti-aircraft Humvee. Shooting an invisible beam just a few centimetres in diameter and 20 times hotter than an electric stovetop, the laser burned a hole through the casing of artillery and mortar rounds, detonating them more or less instantly.” (from Popular Mechanics)
Yes folks. We now have weaponised Lasers, capable of shooting drone planes out of the sky. It’ll be a while before we can carry one on our hip though, as the current Laser Gun is so big it needs to be mounted on the top of a massive Humvee Jeep, but rest-assured; your kids will one day be able to re-enact the Greedo/Solo Mos Eisley bar scene with complete authenticity…
FTL TRAVEL or WARP SPEED
Yeah – this one’s a bit dubious, as it’s only a proposed idea for a Warp style propulsion system. Still, the will’s there. Using more energy than all of humanity produces in a millennia, they think that it should be possible to ‘Travel Without Moving’ (to quote Dune). The trick is to make space-time expand behind you, and contract in-front of you… and viola: Space just re-arranges itself around you to get you to those hot chicks on Risa that much quicker.
It’s pretty much a given now, but if you’d have asked me in 1985 whether I thought we would find extra-terrestrial life before 2010, I’d have laughed my backside off. There’s the rock (a potato sized lump of the Igneous variety, also known as ALH84001) that scientists think holds fossilised remains of microbes 4 Billion years old, and then there’s the unexplained Methane on Mars which, it’s been hypothesised, could well be a sign of life there as we speak. Now if we could only catalogue all the life on our own planet…
This was the big new thing in the Seventies and Eighties, but interest seems to have died off a bit, as the realisation that cures for old-age and deadly illnesses are not exactly coming thick and fast… but if it’s good enough for Buck Rogers, it’s good enough for me.
Truly, I jest. The scaremongering efforts of what appear to be ex-used car salesmen sicken me to my very core. Here’s the tagline:
“Your Last Best Chance For Life–and Your Family’s.”
Nice, huh? Use our service, or die like everybody else. Thanks, but I’ll take my chances – and my cash.
THOUGHT CONTROLLED COMPUTERS
And you thought that mind-controlled computers would just be for the Army? This is a kids’ toy to control a white ball… simple in theory, but the unit uses EEG technology like that used in hospitals, to monitor your brainwaves and translate those thoughts into motion.
The [Star Wars] Force Trainer (expected to be priced at $90 to $100) comes with a headset that uses brain waves to allow players to manipulate a sphere within a clear 10-inch-tall training tower, analogous to Yoda and Luke Skywalker’s abilities in the Star Wars films.
STAR TREK DOORS V2.0!
Forget your swooshing v1.0 doors – these ‘modern’ updates are near silent – and go one better than the classic sliders: They only open enough for you to pass through! Made up of slats with IR sensors, they can detect the width of the object trying to pass through, and open accordingly… check the video on the other side of the link, you’ll see what I mean.
We’re still missing a couple of things; Artificial Intelligence is still a ‘Work In Progress’, although online ‘chatbots’ are getting better every year – see http://www.elbot.com to chat to the most successful A.I. so far. Cloning’s getting there, and surgery keeps plodding on. I’m sure I even read somewhere that there were serious plans to get a Space-Elevator underway (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_elevator)…
Have you seen something better? Does your school Physics teacher have an inexplicable supply of hot Earl Grey Tea? Has your Dad been sending your Mom out late at night for coal and ice-cream? Let us know with a comment – and a link if you have one.