Thursday, March 26, 2009

What happened next?

We human beings are naturally inquisitive, even when we're not directly concerned by the events we're observing. Haven't you ever come upon some kind of a quarrel, in public, and waited around until you saw the outcome, even though you didn't know the individuals involved in the conflict, and had no idea what it was all about? There are cases in which it's terribly frustrating to discover the premises of an interesting situation, without being able to stick around long enough to find out what happened next. I've often felt that our all-too-brief human existence on the planet Earth is exactly like that. Theoretically, the general situation is intriguing, indeed more than enough to arouse the curiosity of a common mortal. But most of us will almost certainly be obliged to abandon our earthly existence without ever having an opportunity of discovering what it's all about, and what happens next.

Look, for example, at the following photo:

I believe the photo was taken in England, no doubt around the middle of last century (judging from the automobile in the background). But the only piece of solid information I have, concerning the subject of the photo, is a brief caption:

Testing the world's first rocket-propelled bicycle.

The fellow holding the handle bars seems to be about to straddle his machine, whereas the guy kneeling down behind the bike looks as if he's fiddling around with wires, or maybe lighting a match. Really, I'm as frustrated as hell. I would love to know what happened next.


  1. Really, I'm as frustrated as hell. I would love to know what happened next.

    You are dead right.

    Today, we have got flying cars, but I'm afraid we won't know the end of this story either.

    By the way, what a wonderful name for a flying car: "Terrafugia" - run away from earth (?)

  2. That Terrafugia prototype is awesome. On the road, it looks a little like an ugly three-wheeled automobile that the English used to manufacture some time ago. I can imagine a tough US customer, intent upon spending part of his bonus: "Is there a version that would let me go out fishing on lakes up in Alaska?" And the reply: "No problem, Sir. Once you drive your Terrafugia up out of the water, you can even park it on the shore, pull down the folding furniture, light up a log fire in the cockpit, and camp in the vehicle overnight with your friends."