CNET Top 5
Sci-Fi inventions you don't really wantFive most awesome, unrealized inventions of science fiction that you think you want, but really aren't that practical.
You look at any modern piece of technology, and you can bet thereÃ¯Â¿Â½s a fan out there who can trace that thing back to a Star Trek episode. Science Fiction is where we dream up tomorrowÃ¯Â¿Â½s big inventions, and weÃ¯Â¿Â½ve dreamed up some awesome stuff that we already take for granted. But there are some hotly coveted science fiction gadgets that IÃ¯Â¿Â½m really happy donÃ¯Â¿Â½t exist. IÃ¯Â¿Â½m Donald Bell, and in this Top 5 IÃ¯Â¿Â½m counting down the five most awesome, unrealized inventions of science fiction that you THINK you want, but really arenÃ¯Â¿Â½t that practical. Starting off at #5: The Hoverboard from Back to the Future 2. We all saw that spoof video that tried to convince us that the hoverboardÃ¯Â¿Â½s time had come, but all it did was remind me what a horrible idea this is. Even if we find ways to bend the laws of physics and make this work, can you imagine a parking lot filled with kids riding these? First, it would look about as cool as a Segway Polo league. And second, it would take only minutes before that lot is covered in bones, tears, and lawsuits. Forget it. This next one really breaks my heart to admit, but at #4: the lightsaber. Obi-Wan calls it Ã¯Â¿Â½an elegant weapon, from a more civilized age,Ã¯Â¿Â½ but a real version would be a total nightmare. I mean, a blade of pure plasma that can cut through people like butter. What could go wrong? If Jedis were real, theyÃ¯Â¿Â½d all have less fingers than your woodshop teacher. But at least theyÃ¯Â¿Â½d have professional training. Most of us would be picking these up at Wallmart and decapitating ourselves before we make it back to the car. No thank you. At #3: the Neuralyzer from Men In Black. AKA the memory eraser. Can you imagine the shenanigans weÃ¯Â¿Â½d be up to if all we had to do was flash a little light in someoneÃ¯Â¿Â½s eyes to make them forget a few hours... or a few days? And I donÃ¯Â¿Â½t mean Will Smith using it prudently, I mean the cast of Jersey Shore. It wouldnÃ¯Â¿Â½t just be annoying, it would give us all existential paralysis. No one would know if they could trust their own mind any more. WeÃ¯Â¿Â½d have to walk around with blinders on our face -- though I guess things are already heading that way. [Occulus Rift] Coming in at #2: the Holodeck from Star Trek The Next Generation. HereÃ¯Â¿Â½s another brilliant invention that just isnÃ¯Â¿Â½t compatible with human nature. Yes, some of you would use it to take a stroll through Victorian England or meditate in the rainforest. But, and letÃ¯Â¿Â½s be real, most of you would use this thing like an interactive mastrabatorium. Human reproduction would grind to a halt. So if anyone ever invites you to a holodeck, bring hand sanitizer and some close-toed shoes. Alright, and now, the #1 sci-fi invention that sounds cool but would ultimately kill us all: a time machine. Whether weÃ¯Â¿Â½re talking Doc BrownÃ¯Â¿Â½s Delorean, Bill & TedÃ¯Â¿Â½s phone booth, or a hot tub, only bad things happen when you interfere with the continuum of space and time. Assuming time travel is even possible, if the law of causality holds true, you canÃ¯Â¿Â½t even fart in the past without disrupting the course of the future, possibly wiping out everyone you know and love. Want to travel to a future full of hoverboards? Well, thereÃ¯Â¿Â½s an equal chance youÃ¯Â¿Â½ll arrive in a post- apocalyptic wasteland where youÃ¯Â¿Â½re quickly murdered with a lightsaber and rendered down for the precious non-radioactive water in your body. What a waste of a Delorean. So there, five reasons to stop whining about all the sci-fi tech you wish you had. ItÃ¯Â¿Â½s not as great as you think. But, if you beg to differ, you can tweet me @Donald, or head over to top5.cnet.com for all rebuttals over 140 characters. IÃ¯Â¿Â½m Donald Bell, thanks for watching.