"During a summer in the late 1960s I discovered an easy and certain method of predicting the future. Not my own future, the next turn of the card, or market conditions next month or next year, but the future of the world lying far ahead. It was quite simple. All that was needed was to take the reigning assumptions about what the future was likely to hold, and reverse them. Not modify, negate, or question, but reverse." -- science fiction critic and writer John Clute discusses the secret of predicting the future
for Lapham's Quarterly's Future theme issue
posted by MartinWisse
on Mar 19, 2013 -
Get a grip on this.
"It turns out that opposable thumbs aren't critical for getting a good grip. Neither are fingers. Scientists have created a robotic arm that can do everything from serve drinks to draw pictures even though it has no digits. Their robotic hand, which they describe online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is a thin rubber sack filled with coffee grains or small glass spheres. When this hand comes in contact with an object, a small pipe sucks air from the sack, causing it to contract and mold to the object's shape. The contraction is small—a mere 1% change in volume–but was enough to grab most objects the researchers tested." Inside the balloon hand
. The robotic mitt
. Via: Sciencemag.org
posted by Fizz
on Oct 26, 2010 -
Honk if you've missed a payment
A disgruntled former car dealership employee was arrested in Austin for bricking 100+ cars using a dealer-installed debt collection black box. Made by Pay Technologies
, the system allows the dealer to disable a car’s ignition system, or trigger the horn to begin honking, as a reminder that a payment is due.
posted by letitrain
on Mar 18, 2010 -
Do You Want To Know RIGHT NOW How You Can Drive Around Using WATER as FUEL
and Laugh At Rising Gas Costs, While Reducing Emissions and Preventing Global Warming?
posted by jonson
on May 13, 2008 -
In 1963, General Dynamics Astronautics asked politicians, scientists, and military commanders to speculate on the potential state of the world in 2063, recording all these speculations in a book, and sealing it in a time capsule that was lost during the demolition of the General Dynamics Astronautics building. Thankfully, the entirety of the book is available as a download
thanks to the fine folks at Paleo-Future
. Found Via
posted by jonson
on Apr 14, 2008 -
In the year 1900, Ladies Home Journal writer John Elfreth Watkins Jr wrote an article entitled What May Happen In The Next 100 Years"
. This is apparently what the most learned, conservative men of the "greatest institutions of science and learning" had to say about the coming hundred years.
posted by antifuse
on Apr 19, 2007 -