Saturday, November 22, 2014

Sci-Fi Month: Thanks to Science Fiction


“Anything that one man can imagine, another man can make real.” - Jules Verne

Thanksgiving is coming for all my friends south of the border and even though we Canadians celebrate in October, there's always something to be thankful for and since it's still sci-fi month, I scoured the web for things that we can thank Science Fiction for.

There are many many inventions out there in the world today that were once dreamed up solely to exist between the pages of science fiction, be those pages bound in book or script form (I'm looking at you Star Trek). I am not a super-techy person, but I sure am glad that these awesome things exist today. There are so many more things that started out as ideas in science fiction than I am going to list here, and there will definitely be countless inventions to come in the future. As humans, it's in our nature to speculate, to create, to invent, to improve. To push boundaries. And I think we all owe a big thanks to science fiction, for being the pioneer of inventive ideas. Because without it, we might not have such awesome things as these: 

1) Cell Phones - thank Star Trek 

2) Submarines - thank Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

3) The Helicopter - the inventor of the helicopter was inspired by Jules Verne's Clipper of the Clouds


4) The Rocket - thank H. G. Wells' War of the Worlds, the inventor of the rocket became obsessed with space flight after reading it


5) Atomic Power - H.G. Wells' book The World Set Free  inspired physicist Leo Szilard to create a nuclear chain reaction 

The World Set Free

6) The Taser - Fun Fact: Taser is actually an acronym for "Thomas A. Swift's Electric Rifle" based on Edward Stratemeyer's books about an inventive boy who created and "electric rifle" inspiring the tasers of today


7) Tablets - you can thank Star Trek: The Next Generation for your iPad


8) The Waldo - I'll be honest with you, I didn't even know what the waldo was before I started researching this post, but we can thank sci-fi author Robert Heinlein for his short story about an inventor named Waldo who created a mechanical hand 

9) Nasa Canadarm - (yay Canada!) while I'm not entirely sure if it was directly inspired by it or not (please tell me if you know!), the Canadarm is pretty similar to the mission robot from 2001: A Space Odyssey 

10) The Internet - Tim Burners-Lee (credited with inventing the internet) was inspired by Arthur C. Clarke's 1964 story Dial F For Frankenstein 

Tim-Berners-Lee-WWW.jpg                     The Collected Stories of Arthur C. Clarke

There you have it, 10 pretty awesome things we might not have if not for sci-fi...and because I like to give credit where credit is due, here are the links I used to find out about all this cool stuff (and also, in case you're interested in reading more, here ya go): 


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