To baldly go…

I saw "Star Trek – Generations" over the weekend. Great movie. But I’ll tell you what I want to know: Why do none of the spacecraft have seat belts? Whenever there’s a battle, whenever a ship crashes into the ground, all you see are people being thrown all over the place. They may have made great advances, with wondrous medical gadgets that can heal wounds in seconds, but they wouldn’t need half of that stuff if they just used seatbelts.

The amazing thing about Star Trek is the guy who operates the "Red Alert" button. He is incredibly quick. Next time you watch, note the time delay between Riker saying "Red alert" and the alarm going off. Milliseconds. And no, it’s not the computer – I saw Worf do it once.

And never, ever, have I seen better automatic doors than on Star Trek. People go to walk through them, change their minds, pause to say some last few words… none of this throws the door. The second the person has finally gone through, it shuts. Imagine trying that with 20th century automatic doors. You’d end up with your nose sliced off.

Technology is getting smaller and cheaper all the time, of course. I reckon the first person to develop a combined Walkman/mobile phone will be onto a winner. Okay, I admit it, I have a mobile phone. Not really because I’m important enough to be contacted anytime. Just ‘cos I like having it. Hey, if I want to lie on the beach and phone the speaking clock in Nairobi, I will! (Yeah yeah, sure, shout Yuppie at me).

But I’ve rediscovered the Walkman now. Keeps me occupied on my way to work. You know, in the ol’ green and yellow limousine. But if there’s one thing that will advance portable sound more than anything this decade; one thing that they should be concentrating on beyond all else, it’s an unlosable battery cover. These things must disappear through the same wormhole as all the biro lids.

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