I’m back with another roundup of my favorite mini-future developments. No robots, no immortality, no space travel, and no VR nightmares. I’m talking about the little tech innovations and weird trends that seem to pop up at a crazy pace. Edible rocks and designer cats and glow in the dark hair, that kind of thing…
1) The First Cryogenically Frozen Human Being
No, the story about Walt Disney’s head is not true (much as I would like it to be). And yes, it’s possible someone has had their own head placed in a freezer before, but this is the first time everything is on the up and up.
A recently deceased woman in China has been cryogenically frozen, the first we know of. Full body, giant steel vat, the whole deal. This probably doesn’t represent a major breakthrough—they didn’t “perfect” cryogenic freezing, if it even can be perfected—but it’s an interesting milestone. Can I even call it a milestone? Probably not. An interesting “first.”
The woman will be revived in 2032 to fight Simon Phoenix and use the three seashells.
2) “Sound Tattoos”
You can tattoo a sound on your body. Sort of.
All you would be doing is tattooing the waveform of a favorite sound—a song, a scream, the sound of cicadas on a hot summer night—onto your skin. You need your cell phone and an app to actually play it, which seems like it defeats the purpose, but each to their own.
Would you do this? I haven’t had the guts get even a normal ink tattoo on my body, so I’m holding off for now. But if they reach a point where three-dimensional, moving image tattoos are a possibility, I’m gonna cover my whole back with the Raising Arizona scene of Gale and Evelle screaming at each other for 60 seconds straight.
3) Cyborg Bacteria
This one is right in my wheelhouse. Cyborg bacteria could mimic the properties of chlorophyll in photosynthesis and elevate the power of solar panels—perhaps even on robotic skin. A potential energy bonanza.
Other things they might do:
- Infect stuff
I’m not really up on my cyborg bacteria technical specs, so I can’t say how much control designers will exercise remotely over the little cuties. I do know that like most of the microscopic robotic innovations, there will be miracle applications and horror applications, so let’s tread carefully.
4) Humpbacks are Buddhist Warriors
This isn’t “futurish” but I couldn’t help myself. After a wildly successful humpback whale watching expedition in the Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia (if you want to see them, accept no substitute), I’ve been even more in love with these wonderful creatures.
So when I saw this lovely article about how humpbacks love to fight and do so not just to save their own species but many others, I had to share. They will take on packs of orcas that threaten just about anyone, and in the process save the calves of gray whales, dolphins, seals, and more.
Discreet, noble aggression.
Be water, my friend. –Bruce Lee
5) Buy Your First Shot of Teenage Blood
This is not a joke.
American adults have apparently been reading Heinlein’s Methuselah’s Children again because an increasing number are purchasing regular injections of teenage blood.
In the U.S., a single vial of teenage blood can go for as much as $7,940, injected into older patients under the auspices of a new (shady? mysterious?) company named Ambrosia.
Yes, Ambrosia. Not the disgusting southern American dish that I encountered in my youth, but a commercial business currently profiting off the interest of at least 100 American vampires.
As the IFL article explains, the blood comes from registered blood banks, probably purchased at quite a high price.
A quote from the lead scientist on the project: “it’s like plastic surgery from the inside out.”
This one both fascinates and creeps me out. The creeping out part is obvious. The fascination comes in part because I remember reading about this very process as a child in the aforementioned novel Methuselah’s Children, which itself was written in 1958. In the novel, humanity discovers how to grant immortality through regular transfusions of clean/young blood. The idea has been around for quite a while, so maybe it’s not so surprising that some people would give it a shot.
I’ll leave you with that image today. If you have the disposable income, go for it! What have you got to lose? Nothing. What have you got to gain? A few hundred years?
*Did I mention that Americans are buying and injecting themselves with teenage blood? Wtf.
**Did you read that bit about the teenage blood? I mentioned it in the blog post today. Also in the post scripts.