I have a bone to pick with science. Once again scientists are developing groundbreaking technology previously seen only in movies and television, and once again it’s not a flying DeLorean, or a Hoverboard or any of the things I’ve been waiting for since I was a child.
I have a bone to pick with science.
Once again scientists are developing groundbreaking technology previously seen only in movies and television, and once again it’s not a flying DeLorean, or a Hoverboard or any of the things I’ve been waiting for since I was a child.
Developers of driverless vehicles have begun an 8,000-mile test run from Italy to China, The Associated Press reported this week.
Here’s my problem with the driverless vehicle: When I was a kid I dreamed of driving cool futuristic cars. I didn’t dream of NOT driving them. The only benefit is that a driverless car gives people the opportunity to go to a dealership and say “I wouldn’t be caught dead driving that” and “I’ll take it” in the same sentence.
Here’s a list of 10 things from movies and television I would have rather seen.
1. Mr. Fusion from “Back to the Future.” Garbage is easily converted to fuel thanks to Mr. Fusion, available in 2025 in the movie. I keep waiting for this one to come true, but no matter how far into the future I go my car just breaks down when I put garbage in its gas tank.
2. Time-traveling telephone booths a la “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure.” We’re heading the exact wrong direction in this category. Not only are there no time-travel telephone booths, but there also are no telephone booths. If Superman were alive today, he would have nowhere to change. He’d have to change in the next closest thing, a PortaPotty.
Then you’d run into a situation where people don’t want Superman to catch them as they fall off a bridge. “Did he just come from a Porta Potty? Gross, those things don’t have sinks. He’s bulletproof, not germproof.”
3. RoboCop from “RoboCop” or “RoboCop 2.” The only thing that’s come true about that movie was its depiction of Detroit. Here’s an unaltered plot summary from Wikipedia about “RoboCop”: “In a dystopian future, the city of Detroit, Mich., is on the verge of collapse due to financial ruin and unchecked crime.”
4. Brawndo from “Idiocracy.” My plants have suffered in this heat, and I need something that has what plants crave.
5. Soylent Green from “Soylent Green.” I never watched the whole movie, so I don’t know what’s in that stuff, but it looks delicious.
6. Light-sabers from “Star Wars.” The government would never allow it as a weapon, but maybe someone could develop a light-saber turkey carver.
7. The memory eraser from “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.” But weaponize it. I guess I’m actually talking about the flashy thing from “Men in Black.”
8. Babel fish from “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.” You put a fish in your ear and automatically understand any language. I’ve been trying to learn Spanish for a decade, and still the only thing I know is that you use “o” for masculine form and “a” for feminine form.The little Spanish I’ve picked up comes from playing soccer, where I’ve learned “cambio” (to change) means I’m being taken out of the game and “cambia” means I’m being taken out for playing like a girl.
9. Food-A-Rac-A-Cycle from “The Jetsons.” The show never really explained how this worked. Did it create food from thin air, or was it just some giant vending machine?
10. Roomba from Roomba TV infomercial. It’s this cool circle that vacuums all by itself. If only things you saw on TV were real.
Have something in mind that was left off the list? Wish you had a “flashy thing” to erase your memory of reading this? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 815-987-1354.