Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Monday, June 25, 2012



Someone recently brought up flying cars to me. I was asked, β€œIt's 2012, where is the future?”

Where is the future...

Today, I was awakened by a nearly deafening sound, that came from a pair of speakers that are nearly invisible to the naked eye.

Today, I used a device smaller than my hand to send a message to a woman who was over three miles away. I later used the same device to access a world-spanning computer network.

Today, I fed a series of explosions that pushed me down a highway made from a rock-hard substance that had been pored there. I was surrounded by vehicles that used computers to carefully measure and control thousands of explosions every second, vehicles where the loudest noise heard was the wheels against the pavement.

Today, I watched as three electron beams drew a new picture for me, one line at a time, sixty times a second, to show me a part that I was to make.

Today, I told a machine to cut hundreds of different parts out of stainless steel, and the parts were cut with a powerful beam of infrared light that was only .012” wide. The machine did all of the cutting automatically, and cut the parts out in an order that would reduce warping from heat. Each part came out exactly right, and minutes after being cut out were cool to the touch.

Today, I listened to a device smaller than the palm of a small child, that had stored on it several hours of music.

Today, I played a game with millions of people around the world.

When is the future? It was Today.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Seven things you should really have when raising a child.

There are many different things you can read on the internet, and in normal books, about what is needed to raise a child. However, they all seem to leave seemingly minor things, that when examined closer, when seen from the developing mind of a child, turn out to be very important. So here is my list of things that I feel are needed to properly raise a human being to adulthood, so that they may be productive people who can contribute to society, and can properly raise children of their own. Not all things on this list are actual physical things, some are skillsets. Many of these things work together with each other. None are extremely expensive, some are cheaper than the alternative that you already own. In fact, it could be said that if you cannot afford the things on this list, then you should not be having children.

1.) A Washer and Dryer.

Nothing is more excruciating to a young child than having to wait. And be quiet. You should make it where you do not have to take hours out of your week, to sit with your child, and wait, and be quiet, while sitting in a laundromat. If properly maintained, a washer and dryer set can last decades, and it's cheaper in the long run than feeding quarters to someone else's machines.

  1. Basic repair skills
Calling a plumber is expensive. Calling any kind of professional to repair something is expensive. Worse yet, having to replace something that you were too stupid to maintain is expensive. A plumber will charge you a hundred dollars to fix a sink or a defective toilet. The parts to fix it typically cost less than ten dollars. Books are available on simple plumbing, mechanical, and even electrical repairs, that will give you the knowledge you need. Time will give you the experience you need. And you will raise a child who has watched you keep the house, car, and lawnmower working, and will understand that this stuff isn't magic, and that it's at least worth TRYING to get it to work again.

  1. A well stocked toolbox.
Wrenches. Screwdrivers. Pliers. A hammer. You don't need Norm Abram's shop, you just need some simple tools to keep your house in repair. This will help teach your child the importance of using the right tool for a job, which tool is the right tool, the importance of keeping the tools clean and in good working order, and the importance of putting the tools back in their place.

  1. A pet.
Cat. Dog. Bird. Fish. Snail. Doesn't matter. They should learn what it is to have something that is alive, and totally dependent on you for survival. They will also learn that life doesn't last forever.

  1. A ludicrously powerful magnet.
Preferably a magnet from some kind of machine that uses magnets. Radar. Microwave. Certain electric motors. Speakers. Old CRT monitors. Hard drives. Any selection from If you can't stick it to the fridge, because last time you did it bent the metal when you took it off, that's the one you want. It's good to know that magnets can be strong enough to be dangerous, but also important to know that magnets are all around us, and make the world move.

  1. A Box of Nuts and Bolts
Assorted nuts and bolts, that have been removed from things, or found. Nobody ever remembers where they all came from. But the collection keeps growing for no reason at all. It's incredibly helpful to have spare hardware to put something back together, without having to go pay for it. Nuts and bolts should never be thrown away if they are in good condition, since you WILL end up using them for something.

  1. A bicycle
A bicycle of his or her very own, to ride. Teaching a child to ride a bike is a good way to spend time with them. And a bicycle gives them a mode of transportation that is nearly free, reasonably fast, and a skill that will last a lifetime. A bicycle will teach you things that you won't learn in school, starting with the fact that you are not indestructible. A skinned knee and collection of bruises will bring that fact home faster than any amount of well-intentioned warnings.