Kwan says that 60,000 years from now, our ability to control the human genome will also make the effect of evolution on our facial features moot. As genetic engineering becomes the norm, “the fate of the human face will be increasingly determined by human tastes,” he says in a research document. Eyes will meanwhile get larger, as attempts to colonize Earth’s solar system and beyond see people living in the dimmer environments of colonies further away from the Sun than Earth. Similarly, skin will become more pigmented to lessen the damage from harmful UV radiation outside of the Earth’s protective ozone. Kwan expects people to have thicker eyelids and a more pronounced superciliary arch (the smooth, frontal bone of the skull under the brow), to deal with the effects of low gravity.
There’s nothing to say this is what will actually happen, but Lamm’s work is certainly thought provoking.
She starts with conventional wisdom, i.e. “A year feels faster at the age of 40 because it’s only one fortieth of your life, whereas at the age of eight a year forms a far more significant proportion.” Too simple, she says; as William James once wrote, “the days, the months, and the years [seem shorter]; whether the hours do so is doubtful, and the minutes and seconds to all appearance remain about the same.” It turns out that we form a “preponderance of memories” of life between age 15 and age 25: “first sexual relationships, first jobs, first travel without parents, first experience of living away from home.” This psychological phenomenon has a wonderful name: the Reminiscence Bump.
Cicadas can live for up to seventeen years, though most of that time is spent underground, sometimes residing more than two metres below the surface. At an appointed time, they emerge from their subterranean abode, and live for a relatively brief time above ground.
While cicadas probably have few predators to worry about below ground, the situation is a little different once they reach the surface. Birds, wasps, and squirrels, where present, all enjoy feasting on them. Possibly though their biggest threat lies in urban development.
This is why leafy residential neighborhoods often have some of the best cicada sightings (and sounds). It’s also why the absolute worst thing we could do to the creatures is clear-cut whole stretches of once-rural land for new development while they’re down there. Get rid of the trees, and you get rid of the cicadas. And re-planting those sad saplings common along many freshly paved roads in the exurbs won’t help.
One is to see it as a trick question of sorts, after all, who knows what’s going to happen next week, let alone in five years time, while another is to see it as a red flag… are people so lacking in imagination they still pose such a question? Consider yourself, therefore, warned.
Since no one can see the future, I will answer by presenting twenty possible scenarios, which, admittedly, vary in their likelihood. Nevertheless, I feel it is best to try to be thorough so that at least one of the scenarios may prove true in five years. Most of the scenarios are positive, but a few negative scenarios are included for balance. Please note that during previous performance reviews I have been repeatedly told that I need to “think outside the box.”
I’m thinking that a money bin, like the one Donald Duck’s filthy rich uncle, Scrooge has, might be the best place for your money at the moment, given the way that interest rates, the Australian dollar, gold, and even sharemarkets, have been tracking in recent weeks.
And if you happen to be in Los Angeles between now and the end of June, you may have the opportunity to experience a money bin first hand, as local art collective iam8bit have built a replica, complete with soft, oversize, mock coins that facilitates swimming about the cash stash, in true Uncle Scrooge style.
NASA’s IceBridge Mission has been using a number of technologies to create a map of Antarctica’s bedrock, a process that if nothing else, gives those of us not so up on matters geology an idea what the landmass looks like without its ice and snow cover.
Gruesome events – some accidental, others deliberately genocidal – wiped out the great majority of the hemisphere’s people and the rich and remarkable societies that they’d created. In many parts of the Americas, the only humans who remained were – like the survivors in a post-holocaust novel – hunter-gatherers. Some belonged to tribes that had long practised that art, others were forced to re-acquire lost skills as a result of civilisational collapse. Imported disease made cities lethal: only dispersed populations had a chance of avoiding epidemics. Dispersal into small bands of hunter-gatherers made economic complexity impossible. The forests blotted out memories of what had gone before. Humanity’s loss was nature’s gain.
US dialects catalogued and collated. For instance, how do you pronounce mayonnaise? Depending where you live in the US, it could be “may-un-nase”, or the two two syllable “man-ase”. You might even both use. In this part of the world I’d use “may-on-nase” or “may-oh”.
While pronouncing a word correctly, depending on where you are, is one thing though, using the right word may be another. What, for example, is the appropriate word to use when referring to the strip of grass that is sometimes found between a footpath, or sidewalk, and the road?
Would it be berm, or curb strip? It could even be nature strip.