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Monday, October 04, 2010

the future


Put your hand up if you're still in the running to become the Oldest Man In The World?

About half of you. That makes sense.

Well, so am I! And I'm more confident than ever having consumed: 3 berocca, some spinach, 4 smoothies, 4 small fish and a dozen Sea Dog Pills (see the entry on Hong Kong) in the last week.

Full of both life and self-belief, I've decided to look ahead to how life will be different when I eventually claim the title. But, because I can't actually look ahead because it hasn't happened, I'm going to do that by looking backwards. I'm going to have a look at how life was different 100 years ago to give us some idea of what it might be like 100 years hence.

What follows is a list of 32 things that have been invented in the last 100 years (up until my birthday, 10th September 1978). This might be less of a blog and more a load of information copied and pasted from Wikipedia but it should hopefully make you think, 'wow, if the equivalent of all that stuff gets invented in the next century, won't it be amazing!' That's one reason why I want to be alive at the age of 132. I want to see what we come up with. I mean, look at this lot:

• 1910: Vitamin B (in my opinion, the tastiest of the vitamins. yummy)

• 1910: Dental Braces (my childhood was blighted by these but they may just keep me going - gum disease is, surprisingly, a killer)

• 1910: Neon lighting (can you imagine life without neon light? I know I can't. But will there be a new sort of light soon? Let's hope so)

• 1911: Knapsack parachute (the knapsack, by the way, was invented over three thousand years ago)

• 1913: Aerobatics (it was probably a good thing these to were invented in that order)

• 1913: Crossword (and then sudokus came along in 1979 and ruined everything)

• 1913: Stainless steel (before, just dirty dirty steel)

• 1913: X-Ray (surely x-ray specs are just around the corner)

• 1923: Television (my tv currently has 543 channels. At that rate, in 100 years time there will be more channels than people in the world)

• 1928: Sliced bread (maybe in a hundred years time we'll have pre-made Ikea furniture)

• 1929: Mechanical potato peeler (the best thing since sliced bread - although comparison carries the least weight for this product)

• 1934: Hammond Organ (what new musical instruments are in store for us? I'm hoping for something made out of moss)

• 1938: Ballpoint pen (will people remember pens when I'm a hundred? Will we be able to write on the air? I expect so)

• 1941: Computer (but it was the size of a house. Now they're the size of books. I'm sort of hoping they'll go back to house-size in a hundred years)

• 1941: Velcro (the best invention. I can't believe so many people still insist on using laces. That's medieval if you ask me)

• 1942: Bazooka Rocket Gun (bad things but great name)

• 1945: Slinky (ditto)

• 1945: Microwave oven (can be dangerous in the wrong hands)

• 1945: Nuclear weapons (ditto)

• 1946: Bikini (an amazing etymology - no time to go into it here but the story is told beautifully in this book: Wordwatching, by Alex Horne - also available on the Kindle - will I outlive books?)

• 1947: Pocket calculator (the pocket was invented in the late 18th century)

• 1947: Polaroid camera (extinct by the 22nd century?)

• 1950: Credit card (surely money will be dead too)

• 1952: Hovercraft (but when, oh when, will we get these bloody jetpacks?)

• 1967: Mumps vaccine (thank goodness. Mumps would be a silly way to go)

• 1969: Video cassette (RIP)

• 1971: Instant noodles (I'm hoping all food will be instant when I'm old. Same with washing up and writing blogs)

• 1971: Karaoke (can anything possibly be more fun? Or less fun? Depending on if you like it)

• 1974: Rubik's Cube (will I complete my first Rubik's cube before I'm 132 years old? Unlikely)

• 1977: Mobile phone (some people are very excited about how this will develop. For me, they should stop now. You can phone people and walk around, that's enough)

• 1978: Spreadsheet (this, however, could do with some more work. Excel, in particular, could be four thousand times simpler please)

• 1978: Me (or I could become four thousand times cleverer)

So, that's your lot for now. It's almost impossible to imagine life without all those things which makes life in a hundred years time even more exciting. I would say I can't wait. But I can. And I will.


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I was thinking last night that it would be lovely if now and again there was just 1 TV channel for the day. That way you would be sure to find somebody that watched the same programme as you, or if you didn't like what was on, you could read a book or do some knitting without feeling you're missing out on the hundreds of possible channels. Plus, all the shit TV gives the excellent TV a bad name.

I'm aware this is only vaguely related to the blog, but that's what I'd like to see in 100 years time. And also non-religious equivalents of churches so religious people will have to end their monopoly on caring and contemplating.

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