A Small World After All: One of the most prophetic utterances of this century has to be Steve Martin's 1977 catch phrase "Let's get small."
Back then, it seemed like nothing more than a comedy routine about drugs, but 22 years later everything is, indeed, shrinking: computer chips, politicians' brains, Pamela Anderson's chest and--of course--cell phones, which will soon be small enough for bacteria to use.
The next big thing in small is batteries. At Eveready Inc., home of the Energizer Bunny, researchers are currently working on microbatteries, which are so tiny they can be implanted under the skin to monitor such things as blood-sugar level (for diabetics), body temperature and intercranial pressure (for pro wrestlers trapped in headlocks?).
Naturally, we predict other uses, such as installing flashlights in your toes so you can walk to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Other possibilities:
* Bug-zapper skin to kill mosquitoes.
* Backlit tattoos.
* Self-heating hands to keep your coffee mug warm (or self-cooling hands to keep your beer cold).
* Smiles that light up a room--literally.
* Built-in shoulder massagers.
* Halogen lamp fangs for vampires--with an infrared targeting system to avoid embarrassing miscalculations of artery location.
* Glow-in-the-dark joggers.
* Surgically implanted TV remote controls (all you have to do is think of a channel and point your finger at the set).
Eveready is also developing flat batteries--as thin as scotch tape--which presumably would allow for Elvis postage stamps that actually sing.
Honey, I Shrunk the Museum: If Michelangelo were alive today, he might be painting a Sistine thimble instead of a chapel. He might also decorate it with elephant dung, but that's another matter. The point is, miniaturization is gaining cachet in the art world. A Laguna Beach museum, for example, recently opened an exhibit featuring 56 works barely visible to the naked eye.
Sadly, the entire exhibit was accidentally vacuumed by a cleaning woman. OK, not really. But it could've happened. Two of the pieces are by artist Hagop Sandaldjian, whose entire life's work could literally fit on a single fingertip. One is a self-portrait painted on a speck of dust that sits on a strand of hair threaded through the eye of a needle. It can be seen only with a magnifying lens. The other is aptly titled "Mount Ararat on a Grain of Rice."
We think this concept holds great promise. If we could just get graffiti artists to adopt the technique. . . .
Uber Boat: Some industries appear immune to the miniaturization fad. In November, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines plans to unveil Voyager, the world's first cruise ship with its own nine-hole golf course, ice rink and rock-climbing wall--not to mention a shopping mall, nightclubs, 56-ton aquarium, cinemas, chapel and 1,350-seat theater inspired by the famous La Scala opera house in Milan.
Sorry, if it doesn't have its own baseball stadium and freeway system, we're not interested.
Best Supermarket Tabloid Headline: "Couple Arrested for Animal Cruelty--Because Water in Fishbowl Was Dirty!" (Weekly World News)
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