Friday, June 08, 2007

Welcome to the Future

It's an exciting time to be alive.

Remember as a kid reading about cars that would glide along the highway without you having to steer, guided by buried electromagnetic sensors in the pavement? There's a test highway in California where they do it every day. It could still happen elsewhere, though how you wake up sleeping drivers before they get to their programmed exits still needs to be worked out.

I'm old enough to remember not only, of course, the introduction of cellphones and home computers, but even microwave ovens and self-service gas pumps. How cool, I thought. How futuristic. We can cook our food with vibrations now, but I have to clean my own windshield.

What did today hold for us, back then? Utopia? Free love? A complete meal in a tiny pill? Soul-less clones or shiny robots to go to work for us while we stayed home to blog in our pajamas?

Remember Philip K. Dick's "homeopapes," newspapers delivered via wire and printed out bright and early every morning while you enjoyed your percolated Ubik-brand of coffee? He was right on target in predicting blogs and; he just had the wrong name for them. Robert A. Heinlein was prescient, too — he saw microwave ovens coming way back when — he assumed we'd call them "wavers." And some claim Heinlein created the first waterbed back in the 1930s or 40s, long before hippies claimed it for themselves in the 1960s and 70s.

Dick Tracy comics and movies led us to expect the two-way wrist TV/radio. It's here now, but we call it a cell phone.

In 1950, Modern Mechanix magazine ran a Rosicrucian advertisement that promised those who responded the secret of creating life, all for the price of a postage stamp. They weren't far off, either. Test tube babies, clones and now the ability to create life without men, with sperm made from the bone marrow of females, are either here or right around the corner.

Yesterday articles about transmitting electricity without wires were splashed across the pages of newspapers and the Internet. Didn't Nicola Tesla figure that out back in the 19th century?

But there's one invention, or the benefit thereof, I'm eagerly awaiting to see in the mass market: Denny Klein's Aquygen, also known as HHOS (Hybrid Hydrogen Oxygen). He claims with his technology, a car can go 100 miles on four ounces of water.

Watch the unbelievable news report below, or download it as a .wmv file here.

Image: A scene from "Blade Runner," 1982, based on Philip K. Dick's "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?"

| | | | |


  1. Good post WS.
    I think Nikolai was on the right track, just not financially.

    Heinlein referred to a "hydraulic bed" in his novel "Stranger In A Strange Land.

    100 miles on four ounces of water?

    I hate to say it but somewhere in the dark recesses of my mind, I hear, "if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."

    Still though, if this is for real, EVERYTHING has changed.

    Science ROCKS on!

  3. so when the polar ice caps melt we can just use all that excess water to power our cars... or should i say boats?



Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.