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Short-Term Time Capsule

Shadowboy’s kindergarten class is making individual “time capsules” for their end-of-year project: A Pringles can filled with current ephemera that each child is supposed to open when they graduate high school. It’s been interesting to think about what things might be like a mere 12 years in the future: Not only what we might have forgotten about, but also what our current selves might be surprised by in the next 12 years. Which, y’know, are the type of questions that are kind of the heart of science fiction.

Incidentally, 12 years in the past:

  • The Athena probe found evidence of water on the Moon.
  • The Monica Lewinsky scandal had just broken.
  • The FDA approved Viagra.
  • Y2K was still two years in the future.
  • Apple unveiled the iMac.
  • Pakistan and India were engaged in nuclear testing that was making everybody very, very nervous.
  • The first RFID human implantation was tested in the UK.
  • Google, Inc. was founded.
  • Matthew Shepard was beaten to death.
  • Augusto Pinochet was arrested in the UK.
  • Jesse Ventura was elected governor of Minnesota.
  • Hugo Ch├ívez became president of Venezuela.
  • Windows 98 was released by Microsoft, which had also just officially become the biggest company (financially) in the world.
  • Dolly the cloned sheep gave birth to a healthy lamb, thus confirming a clone’s ability to produce healthy offspring naturally.
  • Scientists using the Hubble Telescope took the first direct photograph of an extrasolar planet.
  • Europeans agreed to use the Euro as a standard currency.

If you were building your own time capsule to be opened in 2022, what would you put in it? And what events and discoveries do you predict for the next 12 years?

Posted in Ephemera June 18th, 2010 by Chip
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