Toasters of Tomorrow

In chapter two of Yesterday’s Demons, Fritz describes the ludicrous amount of technology planet Verde once had before the cataclysmic Blackout tossed the world into the Dark Ages:

Well having chips inside everything was great for when you just had to turn on the toaster with your mobile, which I guess people must have needed to do back then. … [But the] excessiveness of it all is really a bit embarrassing.

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Photo by Frank Oschatz

Pre-Blackout Verde is not too far from where we are today. We have smartphones, smart homes, and smart appliances. When I wrote the lines above, I tried to think of the most absurd “smart device” I could imagine. To succinctly describe a complete technological overdose, what’s something that, at least in our world, would almost certainly never be “smart”?

I thought toasters were a pretty safe bet, because how is your phone ever going to put a piece of bread into one? But it turns out I was oh so wrong.

A “smart” toaster, complete with an app for your phone that communicates with the toaster over Bluetooth, is on its way. It is a nifty solution to the problem of burning your bread to a crisp because you toasted it without realizing the previous hungry person to use the device had set it to 11. But… it’s a toaster! Are we really so lazy we now have a toasting app?

The point: I clearly stink at trying to dream up the ridiculous.

STEM clothes for girls

I’m blessed to have three daughters.  The two that have been born are almost 5 and 3 and they both know what they want to be when they grow up: mommies and doctors.  The eldest wants to be a pediatrician.  The younger one wants to specialize in family practice.  Rose and I will be happy with whatever our children choose to do with their lives, so long as they are pursuing their dreams. But at the same time, we’re happy with our girls’ early goals because we try to encourage all of our children to take interest in any STEM-related field: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.

Our girls also love princesses as much as the next girl.  They’re just as likely to be wearing a princess dress as they are a tank top and shorts on a hot Texas day.  They have Minnie Mouse bed sheets.  When we fold the red and pink load of laundry, it’s mostly their stuff.  I’m totally OK with all of that.

But I was also really happy to see these STEM clothes for girls on Kickstarter.  I know my girls would love shirts and dresses featuring dinosaurs and chemistry added to their wardrobe.

Hat tip to GeekDad for the link.