Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana


August 25, 2013

ED VASICEK: Weird or not, here comes the future

Flying saucers, 3D printing expected


“Yep,” Emil affirmed, “old news.” The gleam in his eye suggested I had nothing novel to offer.

“The idea of a flying saucer is making a comeback,” I resumed. “As a matter of fact, according to Livescience.com, Etnel Straatsma of Delft University of Technology in The Netherlands is working on the project now for ecological reasons.” I read part of the blog aloud:

“‘The plane of the future, in Straatsma’s vision, might be as wild as a flying saucer. She and other engineers are toying with lighter materials … as an eco-friendly alternative to passenger jets.

“‘Straatsma heads the recently formed CleanEra project, which aims to design an ‘ultra-eco-friendly plane’ that releases 50 percent less carbon dioxide per passenger-mile than current airliners. The project’s ‘greenliner’ — depicted in design illustrations as a flying saucer — would also reduce other pollutants and noise, in line with recommendations from the European Aerospace Commission, ACARE.’”

“Good grief!” Emil responded. “So, one day, I might take a flight in a flying saucer? The only time I’ve been near a flying saucer is when I got Edna really mad and … well, never mind.”

Just then, the doorbell rang. It was Elmer.

“Hi, guys,” he greeted. “I ran into your wives at the store. They told me you were being nerds talking about the future, so they wanted to escape. I thought I would come by and get in on the fun; brought an article myself.”

We welcomed Elmer into the living room and he began to share.

“When they rebuilt New Orleans on the same flood plain, I said they were nuts back then. But they wouldn’t listen to me.” Elmer’s negative, scolding personality colored his discussion. “Now UPI says a British study claims major coastal cities in the world can see flooding nine times what it now is by 2050. Climate change, population shift, and all that rot, as the Brits say.”

“The future sure is getting weird,” I commented.

“Weird or not, here it comes,” Emil philosophized. He was right.

Ed Vasicek is pastor of Highland Park Church and a weekly contributor to the Kokomo Tribune. Contact him at edvasicek@comcast.net.

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