Curious Times 

THIS IS YOUR BRAIN

ON CHIPS

The head of the futurology department at British Telecom claims that we are within 45 years of being virtually immortal by downloading the entire contents of our brains onto a supercomputer. "If you draw the timelines, realistically by 2050 we would expect to be able to download your mind into a machine, so when you die it's not a major career problem," Ian Pearson told Britain's Observer newspaper. Obviously, the wealthy will be the first to keep their brains on a chip, but the procedure could be routine even for the poor by the year 2075. "We are very serious about it ... 45 years is a hell of a long time in IT." Pearson also believes that a conscious computer with superhuman levels of intelligence will be created by the year 2020. While he admits that frightening sci-fi horror scenarios could develop from the advance of artificial intelligence, he also believes that many extremely positive inventions will be created. For example, he envisions an intelligent airplane enhanced with the emotion of fear. "It would definitely have emotions ... If I'm on an aeroplane I want the computer to be more terrified of crashing than I am so it does everything to stay in the air until it's supposed to be on the ground."

DEAL OF THE CENTURY:

SEE UFOs FOR ONLY EIGHT BUCKS!

Self-proclaimed Prophet Yahweh, Seer of Yahweh, claims to be able to summon UFOs at will and promises an enormous 45-day media event during which he will call down spaceships for the media to photograph. From June 1 to July 15, Prophet Yahweh will have a series of UFOs appear in the sky above Las Vegas, Nevada, culminating with a spaceship hovering over the city for two days to make sure that every media outlet in the country has a chance to film this event. The prophet claims that he is in direct telepathic communication with his "space being friends," and has been blessed to discover the "long, ancient art of summoning UFOs and spaceships on demand." He claims that since 1979 over 1,500 spaceships have appeared for him and his followers. Oh, and by the way, if you can't make it down to Las Vegas, you can watch Web broadcasts of all the action at www.prophetyahweh.com for only $7.95.

TODAY IS THE TWENTY-FIRST DAY OF THE REST OF YOUR LIFE

After using a highly scientific formula to discover that January 24 is the most depressing day of the year (you'd know all about this if you read this column more frequently, ya dummy), Dr. Cliff Arnall, a psychologist at Cardiff University in the UK has declared that May 19 was the very best day of the year to make a fresh start of life. Sorry you missed it, but in case you still care, the good doctor's equation reads M x O + BH/(H+R) x S, which translates as motivation (M) multiplied by opportunity (O) plus bank holiday proximity (BH) over increased hours of daylight (H) plus reflection of time (R) multiplied by success (S). (IC Wales)

BIG HAIRY DEAL

I suggest you stop shaving now if you want to have any chance at all of winning the World Beard and Moustache Championships being held in Berlin, Germany, on Oct. 1. Check out the bizarre facial monstrosities of the current world champion German team at www.worldbeardchampionships.com

DOES WALKING TO THE STORE FOR ICE CREAM COUNT?

British inventors have created a sneaker which keeps track of how many steps you take each day and then rations out a certain amount of television viewing time each night depending on how much energy you expended during the day. The shoes are called "Square Eyes," and are fitted with a computer chip which counts how many steps you take each day. The information is then passed on to a receiver on your television, which will shut off automatically after your earned time is up. The shoe was created specifically to encourage children to move more and spend less time in front of the tube. Using health experts' recommendations that a child should take 12,000 steps a day and watch no more than two hours of television, they programmed the shoe to allow exactly one minute of television time for every 100 steps taken. Once a child has used up their daily ration, more minutes can only be earned by taking more steps. (New Scientist)

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