Odyssey -- for adventures in science!

Life, The Universe, and Lunar Football

By Chris Piercy

My dear friends and readers, I write to you from the future. My name is Chris and it is the year 2100. Now how exactly am I writing to you from a time that has yet to happen? In the year 2084 a scientist by the name of Dr. Vinchete discovered the secret to time travel, making it possible for people like me, in the present to send things back to people like you, in the past. Well, that is to say, our past and your present. But that is all very confusing and has a lot to do with tachyons and matter displacement, so I will leave the boring scientific discussion at that.

I suppose that you are curious to know what the world is like in 2100. You, I’m sure, know that many advancements were made between 1900 and 2001, so it will be of no great surprise to you to hear that many great things have happened in the time between 2001 and 2100. I do not have much space in which to write of all the many wondrous new technologies, but I will present to you what I can.

Let’s start with something you are very familiar with – television. We no longer have television, as you know it. Now don’t get all upset. While we don’t have TV like you do, we have something that is actually much more exciting. We have a sort of interactive, virtual reality system in which your thoughts and dreams are connected to a computer to create an artificial reality tailored to your specific tastes. It is so realistic that you can taste, smell, and feel what you are "seeing." Of course, there are many grumpy old adults out there who say that this technology churns kids’ brains into mush.

Astronomy fans will be delighted to hear of some of the finds discovered over the past 100 years. A new plant, one almost as large as Saturn, was discovered orbiting our sun beyond Pluto. It has such a large gravitational pull that it has been proven to be the cause of the discrepancies in Uranus’ and Neptune’s motions. A single-cell bacteria was found to live on Europa, but other than that, I’m sad to say, we haven’t discovered any other life . . . yet.

A very popular sport is Zero-Gravity Football, which is played on the Moon’s surface in giant arenas. It’s kind of a slow-paced sport though, since you can’t move very quickly in a low-gravity environment. But you don’t have to go to the sideline to get oxygen, since you already wear an oxygen apparatus under your uniform.

Here’s something that you might like: there are no schools! Well, at least there are no school buildings (they were torn down many years age). Everyone is educated at home via computerized teachers. If you are interested in becoming a doctor, for instance, your whole educational curriculum is individualized to your interest from a young age. You still learn a lot of boring stuff that you will most likely never use, but for the most part it is a good system. In fact, the dropout rate is nearly non-existent and employment has shot though the stratosphere – literally!

To make my point, in 2076 the first moon colony to accommodate ordinary citizens was founded. Many new jobs have sprung up on the moon and much of the earth’s fruit and vegetable crop is grown in large lunar greenhouses. Since there are no bugs, there is also no need for harmful pesticides. If your favorite fruit happens to be the nectarine, you no longer have to worry about it being "in season" because all fruits and vegetables are grown year-round.

In history we have read much about the wars of the 20th century and how your people always wished for peace. With the abundance of food, the near-absence of hunger, and the sharing of natural resources, we now rarely see outbreaks of violence, but it is not altogether gone. While hunger is not impossible to eradicate, human greed is impossible to completely control. We still have evil and we continue to fight it daily, but at least very few people have to wake up wondering where their next meal will come from.

So do we have a world government? No, although this is still often proposed. The United States is still the United States (except with the added states of Puerto Rico and Guam) and the Queen (although not the same queen you know) still rules Great Britain. There is a greater cooperation between the countries, but individualism, thankfully, has not been lost to modernism. Communism finally died out in 2045 when China finished the long process of becoming a democracy.

The important thing to remember is that in 2100 kids are still kids. They still have sports heroes. They still dream of becoming astronauts, presidents, and farmers. They still listen to music. In 2100 much has changed, and yet, in the bigger picture, nothing has changed. Oh, and we still read ODYSSEY every month. The latest issue has a contest for people to write what the earth will be like in 2200, but that’s for someone else to write.