Archive for hologram

Without Walls

Posted in Classic Sci-Fi, Lucerne Village with tags , , , , , , , on July 22, 2012 by javedbabar

Mr Jewell was a patient man. He didn’t mind waiting while the receptionist completed his telephone conversation, who indicated that he wouldn’t be long.

It sounded pretty serious though. “Look, I’ll say it again. You need to sort out these building envelope and interior wall issues immediately. There’s been nothing but problems over the past few days. And don’t get me started on plumbing! I’m saving that for next week’s moan. I don’t care if your staff is out on other jobs – they should come and finish this one first!” He put down the phone, shaking his head, and looked at Mr Jewell.

“Sorry about that,” he said. “We’ve had major renovations. The whole place was redone and nothing seems to be working right. We’re relaunching the Lucerne Valley Hotel for our one hundredth anniversary, and at this rate we’ll be lucky to see the hundred-and-first.” The receptionist took a breath, adjusted his tie, and said, “Mr Jewell, how may I help you?”

He knows my name, thought Mr Jewell, maybe I should know his. He was about to ask, but noticed a badge clipped to his tie, saying TJ. He said, “TJ, I have a small problem with my room. It has only three walls.”

“Only three walls? How terrible! I’m so sorry, Sir. You may have overheard my conversation – there’s problems with both interior and exterior walls – which is it? Exterior? Dammit! They’re harder to fix! Still, that isn’t your business. I’ll take care of it for you. What about the ceiling – okay? And the floor? I’ll get it done right away. So sorry for keeping you waiting.”

Mr Jewell was impressed by his urgency, but didn’t want the poor guy to pop a transistor, so said, “Look, it’s a pleasant summer’s day. It’s not a problem right now. Hell, even if I had windows I’d have them wide open! As long as you’ve fixed it by tonight I’ll be happy. It may get cold, and noisy, with all the drinkers going home. I would be obliged if you took care of it by, say, nine o’ clock.”

“No need to wait that long, Sir,” said TJ. “It’s only a matter of a few adjustments.” He began pushing buttons and swiping objects on his touch screen, while muttering to himself. “Room fourteen is empty, maybe I could take its wall tonight. Agh! That doesn’t work. I’ll reboot the room. Okay, okay. Agh! Still no wall. Mr Jewell, I’m sorry, I can’t fix your room, so I’ll upgrade you to a Premium suite. Agh! There’s an override. Okay, let’s try Super Premium.” He punched in a code. “There, it’s done. Top floor, Mr Jewell. This lift takes you straight up there. I hope you enjoy your stay with us.”

Mr Jewell went straight up to the “room”. It confused him however. This one had no walls at all; there was a bed, furniture and en-suite, all sitting out in the open! Was this his punishment for complaining?

He called down to reception. TJ answered and said, “Ah, Mr Jewell! How do you like your room? What? No, no, not at all! Please enjoy the fresh air and scenery during the day – you have great views of Mt Alba and Lilly Lake – and when you’re ready to turn in, simply slide the switch from Transparent to Opaque. If you’re in the mood for entertainment, slide the switch below it to Movies or Holograms. I’m afraid the Horror Holograms are disabled at present. We’ve had too many guests screaming.”


Floating City

Posted in Alternative Energy, Classic Sci-Fi, Lucerne Village with tags , , , , , , , , on July 2, 2012 by javedbabar

Bobby was at the New Ideas Show in Lucerne. It was a great opportunity to do some research for his new business. He’d grown tired of salesmen chattering though and slipped into the audience for Devils’ Den. The first amateur entrepreneur brave enough to face the panel of expert investors was a tall nerdish looking boy.

“Come on up!” said the host, Collette Vapinski, a lady famous for being famous. The boy began walking swiftly but slowed down as he approached the stage. “Come on! Let’s speed it up! We’re in the age of global business. There’s no time to hang about!” The audience laughed. “Woo! There goes an Indian company spicing up your code! Choo! There goes a Chinese company copying your product and shipping it before you do!” Arthur Choo, ex-chief economist of the Bank of Canadia, looked up at her, annoyed. She mouthed, “Sorry.”

The boy had reached the stage. “Please introduce yourself and tell us about your idea.”

“Hello everybody,” said the boy. “My name is Cedric and I’d like to tell you about my idea for a floating city. It is one kilometre wide and houses up to a million citizens in high-density housing. There is large-scale vertical gardening, and a one hundred percent recycling facility that…”

“Wait a minute!” called Amisha Jordan, a promoter of traditional and low-tech technologies. “A floating city? You mean in the sea? No? In the air! How will you do that? It sounds ridiculous!”

The boy was scared by her interruption, but recovered and continued. “It will be built of a mixture of carbon alloys and holograms. All heating will be solar, cooling will be by winds, and it will levitate by means of electromagnetism. It will be useful for inhospitable regions of earth. One kilometre above the earth’s surface there are fewer noxious gases, and cleaner air to breathe…”

“Excuse me,” said Arthur Choo. “Are we speaking of the near future or several centuries yet? What’s your timeline?” It was not a hostile question.

“I’m thinking two hundred years in the future, the same time frame as Sony’s futurists.”

Someone in the audience called out “Two hundred years!” and Cedric hesitated, but Arthur Choo nodded and said, “Go on.”

Cedric was encouraged by this and spoke rapidly. “It will be an entirely independent entity, and can move with the seasons to optimise energy production and resident comfort. It will have fully secure access and good immigration controls. Of course tourism will be a major…”

Social media pioneer June Osh interrupted. “What about using these cities on other planets. Have you thought of that?”

“Yes, it is certainly a possibility for…”

“How much do you need?” she said.

Cedric answered immediately, “I’m looking for five hundred billion dollars for half of the company.”

“I’m in!” said June Osh. There was a gasp from the crowd. “But I don’t have the funds available yet so will only act as an advisor. My website Farmbook is not yet profitable, but it does have one billion members. We could try crowd funding…”

Good luck to you both, thought Bobby. Maybe he didn’t have the right frame of mind to be an entrepreneur.