Skip PBS navigation bar, and jump to content.

The Film & More
Who Made America?
The Tournament
Teachers' Guide

spacer above content
Discussion: General

go to tournament discussion

  Share Your Views
  Read Others' Views:
  Innovation vs. Invention | Future Innovations | Who Did We Miss?

Future Innovations
Read people's comments on what the future might hold.

The following are much easier to talk/complain about than produce.

1) Since most cars pollute, why shouldn't it be mandatory for these multi-millions to be equipped with a device to suck up and filter some of that dirty air?

2) Why don't they have a quick, automated, charged-battery replacement facility for electric cars -- leased at, for example, gas stations? Someone surely must have thought of this.

3) When a light bulb filament blows, why can't that fork (inside) be spring-loaded to illuminate another filament, and another, etc.

4) Why don't we have a razor that uses a "Mobius strip" (one side, one edge) for a blade? The band would be contained down the handle, whereby turning a knob would produce continuing, self-sharpened, blade sectors.

5) Why don't they design an airliner with hundreds of tubular cells for containing sedated passengers? Each would thereby have a pleasant sleep on those long, boring flights (and, in case of a crash, a pleasant death).

6) Why don't they design a facility for patrons to get a comfortable, sedated night's sleep, either underwater (with a breathing apparatus), or inside a gravity-simulated pressure chamber, or both.

7) Why carry keys that can be lost or stolen? They should be obsolete by now. Sensor solenoids (combinations, fingerprints, iris, voice, etc.) have been long perfected and would be much less expensive if mass-produced. Wouldn't it be nice to voice "unlock" and "lock" to private doors and "start" to various machines (such as your car engine)?

8) Why carry plastic cards that can be lost or stolen? Imagine a merchant checkout counter with a newly designed electronic monitor, available for immediately determining credit. You punch in your social security number (plus a 4-digit code that only you know, and can change periodically) and, soon, a picture of you appears (better than a thousand words) along with your credit voucher.

9) Why don't we have a "Universal Language."

10) Why isn't there an electronic scoring device for the Bridge card game.

11) Why isn't there a "Universal Second Language" optimized via computer analyses.

Virgil Allen Wulff
Tampa, Florida

page created on 11.9.2004
Site Navigation

About the Series | Who Made America? | Tournament | Discussion | Teachers' Guide

They Made America Home | Feedback | Search | Shop | Web Credits

© 2004 PBS Online / WGBH

They Made America