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October 12, 2006

Star Trek Now

Growing up there were always the Star Trek wishes.  The wish for that cool communicator so we could keep in touch with our buds. The phaser that would let us take down, non-lethally (no Columbine us!), that bully. And of course the teleporter which would eliminate the need for aerobic exercise all together (as is evidenced by many Trekie physiques.)

Well, we take for granted the communicators we have today. Hell, we've surpassed them with direct contact to most anyone on the planet without letting Uhura know who we want to talk to.  And don't get us started on what Kirk would do with cell phone text messaging...

Today brings news of a real-world Phaser.  Not taser, no one-shot dart launcher here This is a Personal Halting and Stimulation Response or PHaSR.  Now the effect here is a little weak, it basically blinds the target with low frequency lasers, but it's a first step at least.  It would be lame if a good pair of sun glasses forced you to need to switch over to the kill setting.

Slightly less of a first step, that teleporter thing.  But there's progress there as well, as a group of Danish physicists report having beamed a "macroscopic atomic object containing thousands of billions of atoms."

Hell, at this rate we'll be saying "Beam us to Taco Bell Scotty" in no time.

  Thousands of billions of atoms? Sounds huge when you say it that way, kind of like describing your Mr. Wiggle using the metric system.   

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