Future Innovations

My good friend Professor Jay Mendell sent me a copy of “FutuREport”, a newsletter on the future, for planners, educators and other, which contains some very interesting items.

For one thing, according to Doctor Seymour L. Wolbein, Dean of Temple University’s School of Business Administration, a woman may be president of the United States in the year 2000. And I’ll bet it comes true. He noted, among other indicators, that there are many highly competent women in politics and industry. Many of them are young. It is entirely likely that one of these women leaders will be in the White House at the turn of the century.

And my good friends in Texas will find this item of interest: Texas might one day divide into five separate states, based on terrain, water use, and other considerations, exercising a right granted when it joined the Union in 1845. It’s big enough.

And a building supported by a central column filled with sand has been designed and constructed by students at the School of Architecture and Environmental Design at California Polytechnic State University. The second stage of the project will include design and installation of a solar energy environmental control system in which the sand column will act as a heat storage unit for the three-story structure.

Predictions in a study conducted for the California Department of Transportation by a group at USC include: Smog reduced by 50 percent by the year 2000 along with a 50 percent increase in free time (vacations will grow to six weeks by 2005); an average retirement age of 59 by 2005; the average work week will shrink to 35 hours by 1985 and 30 hours by the turn of the century; free public transportation and minimum guaranteed incomes will be provided by that time.

Tomorrow’s vegetables will include sweet corn without a cob (it will have a narrow stem, which can be destroyed by garbage disposals); snap peas which have edible pods; jumbo peas the size of a lima beans; and giants pumpkins growing to 400 pounds, according to Derek Fell, Director of the National Garden Bureau.

And trees that mature as much as three times faster than normal may be mass-produced in the future suggests F. Thomas Ledig of Yale. Ledig uses an infrared gas analyzer to predict seedling growth. Fast growing black spruce, for example, may mature, and be ready for use, in 35 years versus 100 years.

And a method for inducing sleep has been patented by Robert A. Monroe of Charlottesville, Virginia. Mentronics involves generating a repetitive, pleasing sound and another which matches the activity of the brain during periods of sleep. And did you know that about one-third of the 104,000 patent applications submitted last year came from foreign applicants? This compares with about 22 percent submitted the year before. Germany, the United Kingdom, Japan, and France have significantly increased their patent activity. This may be a sign that Americans are growing fat and complacent… lulled to sleep by affluence. And it seems that by 1980, only one in seven persons born will be Chinese despite the fact that the country accounts for one fifth of the world’s population. China already has a larger number of women practicing birth control than any other country.

And members of the Missouri Dental Association will take blood pressure readings on all patients as a routine part of a dental exam and encourage patients with elevated readings to see their regular physicians to do something about it. Good idea.

By: Earl Nightingale

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1 Comment

  1. Lee McIntyre on June 30, 2019 at 12:42 pm

    These are fascinating predictions! Some came to pass as predicted, and others haven’t … YET!

    You know, it would be meaningful if you could publish the dates (even if just the year) these essays were written or published. For example, the content of the above (second paragraph from the bottom) tells me it was published before 1980, but it would be interesting to know when, if that information is still available.

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