Saturday, March 27, 2010

Where's My Hovercraft?

When I was a kid we would speculate about "the future" and wonder how far technology might take us. My memory of grade school predictions generally involved everyone having a hovercraft in stead of a car. That would be cool. It would be like THE JETSONS. And for some reason everyone thought we'd stop eating food and start taking supplements. I'm going on record as saying that's never going to happen. Frankly, humans like food way too much to go for the pill-only thing.

They have, in fact, invented hovercrafts but most of us can neither afford one nor could we manage with that as our primary mode of transportation. But in another 20 years, who knows? That might be the green solution currently evading us.

I do get a little nuts every time I hear people running down technology. Know what? We have some pretty amazing crap. Like, last week I was reading an article about scientists in Berlin who have-- hold onto your wands, Hogwarts students-- invented an invisibility cloak. I'm not making it up-- click here. They found a way to bend light around a tiny object using a special cloak... and under infrared it vanishes. How freaking COOL is that????

Plus, I remember everyone's astonishment at this thing called a "WALKMAN." It was TINY-- the size of a cassette... which is something with yucky brown tape that unravels when least convenient... then later there were discs. Now my MP3 player is the size of a credit card, no thicker than a pinky finger, and it plays videos as well as music. And since we were talking about modes of transportation-- the newer vehicles will copy any CD you pop into the player, save all the songs to the car's internal MP3 player, and you can edit them-- or transfer them to your personal player. Plus I have GPS. I can't get lost.

Frankly-- that's more cool than hovering.

We didn't have the internet when I was a kid, either. Al Gore was busy doing something else, I suppose. But I DO remember, probably around high school, the news announcing that you could get information on something called PRODIGY. Later COMPUSERVE. There were vague references to email and websites soon to follow... and none of us knew the difference between the two for a while. I was among the first nerds to get interested, and before long everyone was on AOL... or Earthlink... and that godawful ping-ping-ping-blaaaaaaaaaaaaarchhhhhhccccghhhhhhaaaaaaaaakkkkkkkk noise was the sound of the future!! We could hear the modem dial back then.

Today I post this from an internet cafe with Wifi... while listening to music on a tiny MP3 player and my connection was automatic, silent, and free. Honestly? I may not be doing it under an invisibility cloak in a hovercraft... but gimme a few years.


  1. I totally want a jet pack. Just saying.

  2. Now I know what to get you for your birthday.

  3. with all the stuff that has's also cool what hasn't. Last night, we went to dinner, stopped at the store to grab a bottle of wine and flowers and dropped by a friend's house to wish her happy birthday. We all stood around talking and eating chips and salsa and it was exactly the same thing we would have done 10 years ago. Kinda cool.

  4. Dude, I totally want some cool toys too! :D