Future Schlock
Grow your own genitals, tiny footballers, and more

Brit robots invade Germany. On December 11, the University of Plymouth will field a team of three miniature soccer-playing robots in an international robotic soccer tournament in Paderborn, Germany. Each of the nearly eight-centimeter tall robots is fully autonomous, relying on an image-processing microchip and UHF radio to see the ball and coordinate strategy with the other robots on the team. Sponsors of the event expect that several million Germans will watch the match on television. The University of Manchester will also be sending several dozen tiny robotic soccer fans to set fire to the stadium in the event of an English defeat.

See also...
... by Patrick Di Justo
... in the Whoa! section
... from November 30, 1999

How much is that pussy in the window? Dr. Myron Murdock, national director of the Impotence World Association, announced that within 25 years it should be possible to genetically design and grow "a functioning, erogenous sexual organ" in the shape of a penis or vagina, which would then be surgically implanted in a person suffering from some form of sexual dysfunction. These organs, which would be fashioned from human stem cells and grown in an appropriately shaped mold, would be used to replace organs which are missing, non-functional or, ahem, inadequate. Dr. Murdock made no mention of whether these brave new organs would be priced according to size, or come with a built-in vibrator.

Black holes: spit or swallow. Black holes, long thought to suck in and swallow anything placed before them, are now known to be a bit more refined in their eating habits. Computer modeling at Cambridge University has determined that these voracious collapsed stars will only swallow small amounts of matter at a time. Attempts to force-feed a black hole result in a disk of material spiraling in and then bounding outward from the surface. You may experience the same effect around the holidays.

Poop your aches away. Aegis Pharmaceuticals has announced development of a procedure that may be a cure for rheumatoid arthritis. First they grind up a cholera-like bacterium that causes deadly diarrhea. Then they spray a specific protein from the bacterium up the nostrils of arthritis sufferers. This particular protein, which apparently is not the cause of diarrhea, dramatically reduces the autoimmune effects of arthritis. Dr. Neil Williams, the man who came up with the procedure, foresees the day when diarrhea will be used to cure everything from lupus to, well, some forms of diarrhea.

Mars bugs. Finally, Mars is going to be bugged by humans. The December 3 arrival of Mars Polar Lander on the red planet's South Pole will mark the first time a microphone has been included on a planetary probe. The primary objective: to listen for sounds of Elvis. The planet's thin atmosphere will make perception of any sounds extremely difficult, but scientists are confident they will at least be able to hear the phrase "billions and billions" rebounding off the rocks.

Patrick Di Justo's genitals are all his own.