Thursday, May 22, 2008

Where's my flying car?

Last weekend I had the pleasure of touring an underground missile silo as part of an Air Force open house. It wasn't a real "operational" silo, it was a training version, but it was identical to the hundreds of genuine Minuteman Missile launch silos littered throughout Central Montana. It was neat, but I couldn't help but think how old everything looked. It looked like a science fiction set from the 50s.

Notice anything unusual in the picture above? Ignore the fact that it says "Secret/Crypto" on it and they completely let me take pictures of it. Look at the DATE. August 1971. Sigh.

Does it bother anyone else that a large part of America's nuclear deterrent is running off of 60s technology? Don't get me wrong, I'm no idiot (except when it comes to warming up cheese in the microwave), but it seems to me that we're not as up to date as we should be. So I did a little research on when various things were created.

1. F-15 fighter: First flight- 1972

2. F-16 fighter: 1975

3. A-10 Thunderbolt- 1972

4. M-1 Abrams main battle tank: 1980

5. M-16 rifle: 1964

6. B-52 Bomber: 1952!!!!

7. AH-64 Apache: 1982

8. Space Shuttle: First launch was in 1981

9. Electric Car: 1832!

I could go on and on. Certainly some of these creations have been updated over the years, thanks to computer technology. The B-52 that flies today may look the same as the one that first flew 56 years ago, but it's a much improved beast. But by the same token, the space shuttle that blasted off 27 YEARS ago is very similar to the one that just took off a couple of months ago. Of course they have the same capabilities! The 2008 version can't go to the moon, Mars, or anywhere besides Earth orbit, just the same as the 1981 model.

This saddens me. It seems that people worked their asses off from 1800 to 1980, then we just stopped. I'm just as (probably more) guilty as most people when it comes to being happy with what I have. Is this what happened to the entire world?

Well, I can't stand for it. I'm leading the way in Manly Man Candle Manufacturing, but I'm only one man. Tomorrow I'll give you all a list of inventions that I want to see built, and it's time for you to get cracking.

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