Posts tagged “Sonic Booms”

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

What It’s Like to Live in the Future

Yesterday afternoon (as most of you are aware since most of you live/work in the greater Puget Sound area) there were two really loud booms in rapid succession. It honestly sounded quite a lot like when the Atlas foundry blew up a couple of years ago, they were so strong.

What happened was this: Obama was in Seattle. Wherever the president goes there’s very restrictive airspace rules; you can’t fly within a certain radius of him, etc. This is to prevent suicide pilots from crashing into whatever building/vehicle he happens to be in. Well, some doofus who probably didn’t even know that POTUS was in town was putting around in his little pontoon boat and strayed into restricted airspace. Immediately two F-15s were scrambled from the Portland area, and pushed over 800 MPH to intercept the offending airplane. Going that fast makes some gigantic sonic booms, which were heard for a couple hundred miles in every direction (I think the booms actually formed between Olympia and Tacoma).

In the moments immediately after the booms, though, nobody knew what had caused them. I walked outside and saw that everybody else (who was home in the afternoon) was also standing outside their houses. “Any ideas?” I called out to a neighbor.

“Nope,” was the reply.

Carrie got on the laptop and looked at the news websites: King 5, Komo 4, Google News, Tacoma News Tribune, etc. But this had happened only maybe a minute earlier, so there was no actual news yet.

So then I remembered that we live in the future, and I got on the computer and logged into Twitter. I typed “Tacoma” into the search bar and sat there while the tweets started pouring in from every corner of Puget Sound, from Olympia to Seattle and beyond. Immediately the two rumors were (A) some sort of gas explosion and (B) some sort of sonic boom. After a short while tweeters quickly realized that if it were an explosion then someone would have actually witnessed it and tweeted about it, which didn’t happen. So a pair of sonic booms seemed more likely. Eventually re-tweets started coming through about official word from the FAA being sonic booms. And then quickly the real story started taking shape on twitter long before it ever appeared on any news website.

This is what it’s like to live in the future. Instant information about any major event from those who witnessed the event. Sure, you have to sift through the speculation and rumors, but you don’t have to wait around and wonder what happened until the 5:00 news that evening anymore. News comes directly from the witnesses now.

Categories: Future Living, Life.