5 Amazing Advances That Are About to Make Hard Work Obsolete
We know how it is. Taking entire minutes away from the important things in life (i.e., reading Cracked) to address the necessities that keep your whole world from crumbling into shambles around you ... it's a total drag, man. Well, not to worry, because the technology of the future has got your (lazy) ass covered.
Yeah, you industrious types who take great joy in doing difficult tasks -- go clean your gutters. For the rest of our lazy brethren who are still reading this, probably from bed, we're here to tell you that the future is bright. This is thanks to ...
Clothes That Don't Require Laundering
Doing the laundry is one of those never-ending, pain-in-the-ass cycles that have been shitting on Sunday afternoons ever since mankind mistakenly chose garments over nudity. It's time consuming, it uses a ton of water and electricity, and it may require hanging out in a laundromat with bitter divorcees and screaming children for four hours.
So is there nothing you can do about this, science?
Every goddamn time.
Science to the Rescue
Material scientists at the Donghua University in China have developed a self-cleaning cotton fabric that eliminates stains and bacteria when it's placed in sunlight. To perform this convenient magic trick, the clothing is covered in a coating comprised of titanium dioxide and nitrogen. Titanium dioxide has long been used in products such as self-cleaning windows and odor-free socks because of its remarkable ability to break down dirt and kick microbes right in their microbial junk.
Hang them outside and you have yourself a microbe bug zapper.
Unfortunately, this method tends to only work in intense ultraviolet light, which is completely impractical for an application involving everyday clothing. To combat this glaring issue, the researchers infused the coating with nitrogen, slapped on some silver iodide nanoparticles, and told the ultraviolet spectrum to get fucked. What we're left with is ultra-sunlight-sensitive clothing that lets you leave the house looking like a filthy hobo (or, well, your average college student) and arrive at that job interview looking like the perfect candidate.
Of course, that lasts only as long as you can avoid spilling burrito juice all over your pants. That is, unless you're wearing clothing developed by the sorcerers at Ross Nanotechnology, who've created a substance called NeverWet that does this:
In case you missed it, that video shows them dumping chocolate all over a white canvas shoe, only to have it roll cleanly off like criminal charges on a banker. That's right: These guys have created a magic potion that repels anything that even thinks about leaving a stain.
To take this to its obvious conclusion: Yes, your dreams of bathing in barbecue sauce and beer without having to so much as bust out the Stain Stick are about to come true. And that's good, because somebody who is constantly spilling food on himself is surely too busy with high-power business meetings to be doing laundry.
"I ate a shoe."
Beds That Make Themselves
You don't even have to be lazy to understand why everyone hates making the bed -- it seems like such a waste of time to straighten up something that's inevitably going to get messy again during the three or four naps we take each day. Yet if company shows up, we feel like pigs for letting them see the sheets wadded up in a knot on the bed. The whole system is bullshit.
Science to the Rescue
Enter OHEA, a company that has even more to offer than a logo that looks like an Atari-era rendering of a dong (as if that weren't enough):
Blip. Blip. Beep boop.
We present to you the OHEA Smart Bed, the future of fooling everyone into believing that you aren't a lazy slob.
After watching that little girl flail around like a seizure victim for a bit (which is actually a toned-down depiction of an 8-year-old's sleep habits), you'll see that the Smart Bed is the first slumber box that automatically makes itself when you get up in the morning. Three seconds after you get out of the bed, a lid on either side of it opens to reveal a mechanical arm with rollers. After positioning the duvet, the unit pulls it up to the head of the bed and the rollers go back into hiding within the bed frame. At the same time, cords attached to the pillows at the head of the bed lift the pillows up, allowing them to hover above the surface until the coverlet is stretched into position. The pillows are then lowered back onto the bed, leaving you with a perfectly manicured masturbation pad.
We still aren't sure how all these cords and rollers and mechanical arms manage to not strangle you to death in the middle of the night, and we're fully expecting to see this scenario play out in the next installment of Final Destination. But hey, two extra minutes of sleep!
"That's two extra minutes the entire world can just lick my asshole."
Gum That Brushes Your Teeth
As you may or may not be aware, clean teeth are pretty much a requirement for most forms of face-to-face communication beyond hurling rocks and grunting. Unfortunately, the main method for obtaining clean teeth has some serious flaws: It's boring, it's repetitive, and (worst of all) it requires you to get up from the couch and move one of your arms a bit. Thankfully, there's a solution on the way, and it lies within the magic of modern military technology.
No, it's not a scary military guy screaming at you to get up off of your lazy ass and brush your goddamn teeth.
Science to the Rescue
Researchers in the U.S. Army Dental and Trauma Research Detachment have made several important contributions to the world of science. For one thing, they've proven conclusively that America does in fact have a military version of everything. Arguably more importantly, in order to combat "Mountain Dew mouth" -- a widespread problem in America's military thanks to deployed soldiers guzzling a constant stream of soda and then not having sufficient means to scrape the resulting toxic nastiness off of their pearly whites -- they've devised a chewable gum with the potential to replace the need for brushing teeth.
"When this bad boy pops, consider my lips and nose brushed, baby!"
There's essentially nothing to it: You just pop the gum into your mouth and let it work its magic. The gum -- awesomely dubbed "combat gum" -- is the product of 10 years of development, and Army researchers are hopeful that it will one day be distributed worldwide. It works by mimicking the action of brushing with toothpaste, allowing a respite from the tedium of brushing for "at least a couple of days," or what the more lazily inclined among us might refer to as "a veritable wealth of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reruns." The active ingredient is a protein that targets plaque- and infection-causing bacteria, breaking them down and leaving your teeth sparkling and gorgeous.
Or, you know, at least slightly less repulsive.
"Dear lord, you have the teeth of an infantryman."
Food Delivered Via High-Speed Tubes
Eating is a lot like dating: Everyone loves the end result, but it would be so much better if we could just turn on the tap and have it fire burritos and genitals our way without all of the preliminary effort. Sure, we no longer have to hunt or gather for our food, but shouldn't mankind be taking the extra step that keeps us from actually having to get up at all?
"... and then I decided, 'fuck legs.'"
Science to the Rescue
Lucky for us, FoodTubes is giving evolution a kick in the pants by working to transform our species from hunters and gathers into sitters and inhalers.
FoodTubes is a U.K.-based program that promises a food delivery system hearkening back to the old-timey pneumatic postal systems that crisscrossed many major cities back in the late 19th century. This guy will explain using his rudimentary PowerPoint skills and his best David Attenborough impression:
The idea is that computer-controlled linear induction motors would move consumer goods in lightweight cargo capsules through an intricate series of underground pipelines connecting homes to grocery stores. Each capsule would be routed similarly to how an Internet data packet is transported across the Web today. There would be thousands of terminals in homes, schools, and waste management facilities -- essentially eliminating the need for traditional cargo transport in many cases.
What initially appears to border on batshit crazy starts to make more sense when you realize that we rely on these exact types of systems to deal with sewage, water, and natural gas every freaking day. It also costs a dick-ton less to maintain an underground pipeline than it does to constantly resurface all those highways and roads that are continually getting pummeled by semis and delivery vans.
Plus, open-world video games have taught us that when a semi is around, bad shit happens.
What we're trying to say is that soon we may be feeding the masses by shoving sandwiches into those bank tubes your parents use to deposit checks (yes, checks are still things, last time we checked). So turn on the tap, baby, 'cause Jimmy John's ain't got shit on the future.
Learning Via Information Injected Directly into Your Brain
There comes a time in every person's life when, lazy or not, they want or need to learn a new skill. But goddamn, learning stuff is hard -- hours upon hours of studying and practice, sometimes requiring you to actually leave the house. Well, learning may be about to get a whole hell of a lot simpler, because scientists are ripping a page directly out of The Matrix and waving their science wands at it to turn it into a reality.
"When I said 'show me,' I meant for you to demonstrate your kung fu -- not show me the scans, smartass."
Science to the Rescue
We couldn't put it much better than the National Science Foundation press release:
"New research published today in the journal Science suggests it may be possible to use brain technology to learn to play a piano, reduce mental stress, or hit a curveball with little or no conscious effort."
"He's not playing with it ... he's building it."
In case all you saw there was "Blah blah little or no conscious effort FUCK YES," allow us to elaborate: Research conducted at Boston University and ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories in Kyoto, Japan, demonstrated that it's possible to use decoded functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to study the brain activity patterns of, say, a professional athlete and then, by using visual stimuli to recreate those same patterns in a target subject's brain, improve that subject's level of performance in that particular skill. And perhaps most interestingly, "the approach worked even when test subjects were not aware of what they were learning." That's right: Science is figuring out how to beam knowledge directly from one person's brain to another.
The research is in its early stages, but for anyone with even a passing interest in sci-fi, this conjures up a possible future in which you'll be able to download a concert pianist brain app on your smartphone and then, after a few short hours of staring at patterns on your screen, your new nickname's Beethoven ... along with everyone else who got the urge to become a concert pianist that day, but still.
And on that day, every magician in the world suddenly lost his source of income.
Of course, it's clear that such a technology could never really take off, because everyone knows that the true reward of perfecting a skill lies in all the heavy lifting and sweat that you pour into achieving your goals. Ahahaha! Shit! Sorry, we're just messing with you.
Hamish MacDonald will totally get around to making a personal website ... some other time.
For things you'll always be screwed on, check out 5 Things Technology Will Never Fix (And Why). Or learn about 6 Sci-Fi Technologies You'll Soon Have on Your Phone.
If you're pressed for time and just looking for a quick fix, then check out 5 Reasons Daredevil Has the Worst Villains Ever Invented.