3 Taking Agriculture to the Skies
As the world's population increases, food production meets more and more challenges. The United Nations has announced that farms need to magic up a freaking 70 percent increase in their food production by 2050 or else everyone's going to just flat out starve. The problem: Nothing short of science fiction insanity can provide enough crops for our needs.
Luckily, scientists are entirely at home with both science fiction and insanity. Thus, their solution to the pressing "need more farmland" dilemma is vertical farming.
This looks suspiciously like every crappy SimCity spinoff rolled into one.
The problems with modern agriculture are twofold: There's not enough farmland to answer the call of increasing demands, and the logistics of bringing crops to consumers -- the majority of whom are city dwellers -- are mind-boggling.
Giant skyscraper farms aim to solve the shit out of both problems in the same way regular skyscrapers solve population issues in large cities. A vertical farm not only can provide massive crops from a tiny slot of land, but also can be built right in the middle of the city it's meant to feed. Each floor of a farming skyscraper has a separate farm on it, and each of these farms is specifically designed so that every single plant receives the same amount of sunlight.
And yet they still bicker over who gets the corner office.
These farm skyscrapers -- versions of which are already in the planning stage in farmland-lacking places such as Abu Dhabi and Las Vegas -- employ many different farming styles in a way that not only makes them feasible, but makes them complement each other: Water-based hydroponic farming methods, for instance, tend to be a hassle due to the constant need of dumping nourishment (ie., shit) into the water. The skyscraper handily solves this by farming fish in the same water, making the fish poop fertilize the plants.
And if that's ingenious, wait until you see the freaking 360-degree "crop circle" farm floor that's tended by robots:
All too soon we'll be incubating our children this way.
But surely, a construction of those proportions would consume, like, all the electricity? Actually, no -- that whole monstrosity runs on wind power and sewage.
"You're not hearing me, I'm saying use poop. For all of it. For everything. Forever!"
2 Your Drinks Will Be Made of Your Own Pee
Despite the number of people who try to convince us that pee is perfectly fine and even healthy to drink, most of us can't get past the fact that, frankly, it's freaking disgusting. We've seen where it comes from. We know its secrets.
But hey, we're not scientists.
The Nobel Prize committee has been very clear on that point.
The good people at NASA aren't just completely at ease with the ickiest of bodily liquids; they're actually hell-bent on putting it to good use. In an effort to distance themselves even further from the average human being, NASA scientists have spent a good $250 million to inspect piss and turn it back into water. Decades of research and a dickload of pissy prototypes later, NASA scientists have indeed managed to develop a machine that filters piss and adds it to other liquids derived from, no kidding, human sweat and evaporated laundry water -- seemingly for no other reason than to create yet another horrible obstacle for astronauts to overcome.
The funny thing is, that unholy concoction is far cleaner than U.S. tap water.
Share and enjoy!
And don't think that these studies have been done to provide astronauts with clean liquids in space; NASA doesn't give a shit about what its astronauts drink.
Several U.S. communities have developed a boner for the system and have in fact already implemented it. One of the largest piss-to-water plants is currently in Orange County, California, doing its part to provide slightly used water for a respectable 500,000 people.
And the urinals have never been cleaner.
For that small, strange segment of our readers who find the idea of introducing ex-pee to your daily life intriguing, NASA has also developed a version of the system you can use at home. The product has the refreshingly honest name of Pee-Recycling Bag, and it uses a process called forward osmosis to convert your piss into a healthy, drinkable, sugary fluid.
And now we all know how energy drinks are made.
"It helps aerate the ginseng!"