In recent decades it has become even easier for people to work without moving at any time from their home. This has led, despite various smart foods, drinks, and home fitness kits, to worrying levels of obesity.
Since the 2150s, of course, it has been compulsory for all adults over 25 to walk at least 15,000 steps a day and at least 30,000 steps per week in the open air. To support this in recent times, Earth’s Government started a programme to build green open-air spaces for the ‘Walk a Long Life (WaLL) programme.
The WaLL programme has proven most successful in getting people walking again. With tax incentives associated with having an approved health profile, there has clearly been a marked decline in home-based obesity.
However as ever, with a benefit, one can often experience a disadvantage. In this case, recent studies have shown that the net effect of driving a largely sedentary population to the WaLL has been a steep rise in other health issues. Too many people it seems, over many decades, have simply forgotten how to walk properly and we are now witnessing a sharp rise in musculoskeletal problems.
Dinosaur Skyland is the very latest in Artificial Reality and CE (Consumer Edutainment). Orbiting around 100 miles above sea level, Skyland is basically a place to take the family back in time for a luxury holiday, to the Jurassic period when dinosaurs ruled the Earth.
Holiday makers can get close up and personal with the widest range of creatures from that period. If learning is your thing then Skyland provides a range of options to study the animals, including to actually become part of their daily routine. If thrills are why you are there then you can joust with the most fearsome of dinosaurs, from the Slasharapter to Megasaurus and Tyrannosaurus rex.
The World famous T. rex experience includes such optional fun extras as ‘Watch your Granny get Swallowed Whole’ and ‘Feed the kids to the Rapter’. There is also a ‘break it off with your partner’ service mediated by a pair of suitably empathetic Velocirapters that has proven very popular since Skyland opened its clouds to visitors.
It was at Dinosaur Skyland that Cat almost got bitten in half by a T. rex.
When I went into space for the first time (that was to Planet Pzzxamix to investigate Trebor Snosrap) I was nervous about the whole toilet thing. Extra anxious and shy about such matters, I had envisaged I would spend most flights with all relevant sphincters tightly clenched until the journey ended and I could find a proper toilet.
How relieved I was (in more ways than one) to discover the Space SaniDroid. A sort of auto-loo that allowed you to go in total privacy even with someone else effectively standing right beside you. Shielding you from all potentially embarrassing noises and odours (whether the producer of such or recipient) the SaniDroid was every nervous ‘toileter’s’ relief station.
Of course, everything happens so much more naturally on a spaceship in the 23rd Century where artificial gravity has removed the weightlessness problems associated with excretion. So the SaniDroid has no need to worry about airflows, essential for early space travelers to ‘go’ safely.
The only possible problem with a SaniDroid is linked to unlikely power failure. That has happened to me once. All the lights went out and the body permeable door to the SaniDroid disappeared leaving me potentially visible to everyone whilst engaged in duties on my throne. All would have been ok though as with the lights out my modesty was preserved until Cat showed up with a massive torch……
In the early 23rd Century Earth is a relatively peaceful place. Since the 4th and 5th World Wars of the 22nd Century, Earth relies on its Grand Council, headed up by the President of the Earth, to coordinate the still separate 44 countries that are spread across the 4 Concatanates (Cadabra, G-Soft, Malachite, and Sino-Soviatek) that divide Earth’s population.
The Grand Council came into being as both of the World Wars really ended in stalemate and at a time when it began to be clear that the people of Earth were not alone in the galaxy. This realisation made some coordination of the 4 Concatanates, essential.
The existence of a President of the Earth is however largely symbolic and the President and Council are really only significant when there is an alien incursion or war that needs to be dealt with or when the constant ‘skullduggery’ of the 4 Concatanates sails too close to the edge of armed conflict on Earth.
RARSP (the Rapid Alien Response Space Patrol) was noteworthy as a dumping ground for senior military personnel who, for whatever reason, could not be sacked for incompetence. That was until the Mud Lizard war of 2170 when General Xplozhen exposed their most senior staff as total misfits, incapable of filling the role of senior officers in war.
Of particular concern to Xplozhen had been Captain’s Krik and Noslen. Krik it turned out was addicted to the Class Alpha drug Orphium and during the war on the Moon with the Sequestrans had shot several of his own men, who he mistook as aliens whilst on a high. He was locked up when he started to believe he was a unicorn.
With Noslen things were even worse. His incompetence in the field on the Moon led to him blowing up an entire platoon of the troops he was responsible for. He blew himself up at the same time but survived. Unfortunately, he was mentally affected by the experience and subsequently drifted between relative lucidity and moments when he believed he was the Greek God Poseidon.
He was finally relieved of all duties when he slapped General Xplozhen at a briefing after the General tried to drink a glass of water, claiming that the General was stealing his property. After Xplozhen’s intervention RARSP was totally revamped and became the key inter-planetary fighting force it is today.
Earth’s leading unicorn jockey has been banned from all competition for life by the Board of Unicorn Racing. A veteran with over 20 years experience, and winner of the Sinosovurean Cup 7 times, Peakoch was found guilty of riding with a prosthetic horn on champion unicorn ‘Thrust’.
Thrust, winner of the Sinsovurean Cup 3 years in a row a few years back, made a surprising comeback in the recent Legends 500 race. He and Peakoch unseated all 7 other riders in the first half of the race using the trademark ‘unicorn thrust’ that had helped to make them both champions in previous years.
In random post-race checks, Thrust’s horn was found to be 1cm over the previous maximum recorded length for race unicorns. Closer examination showed that Thrust’s horn was actually broken and that PeaKoch had procured a prosthetic extension to enable Thrust to race again with a realistic chance of success.
In mitigation, Peacoch’s Attendant AIs attempted to show that his only motivation was to see his favourite unicorn, so distressed by the break in his horn, go out on a high.
Dougall McBeckHam was the Captain of Explorer 237, the first ship from Earth to land on Plasmolidium and encounter Mud Lizards.
Dougall was the first member of the McBeckHam clan not to pursue a career as an aireality star or intergalactic footballer for nearly a century. Accordingly, he was extremely proud to be leading the exploratory mission to this new world. The McBeckhams were the owners of Scotland.
Unfortunately, on Plasmolidium Dougall contacted malaria after being attacked by a mega-mosquito. He survived this but was subsequently massacred with the rest of his crew by unprovoked Mud Lizards attacks.
Dougall was returned to Earth by the Mud Lizards with a declaration of war carved into his and his crew’s foreheads.
Since then the McBeckHams have made another fortune from merchandising Mud Lizard memorabilia and associated fashion accessories.