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A random story from the archives

"Whatever happened to open markets?"
Dateline: 12 January 2012
Vladimir Putin is relishing his new-found fame. Since retirement from politics, he has become one of the top-paid business speakers with his angle on the demise of Western economies. “Whatever happened to the promise of capitalism?” he asked at a UN-hosted conference in New York yesterday. “Just have a look at the USA. They panicked...

Older stories

Nothing is lighter than air
Nothing solid that is, unless it’s mostly nothing
Dateline: 26 November 2026
First discovered by Chinese scientists in 2013, graphene aerogel was considered the lightest material in existence, less dense than air itself, or helium for that matter. Also called aerographene, it’s made of carbon nanotubes bonded together in a super-porous structure, like a sponge. Technically a solid, it acts more like a 3D gas; you can...
New hope for fusion energy
This time it’s different
Dateline: 19 November 2029
After almost a century of research and experimentation, we are on the cusp of finally harnessing the power of nuclear fusion to energize our cities. The old wisecrack, that “nuclear fusion is only a decade away, and always will be,” no longer holds true. Fusion occurs when two atoms fuse together to create a new,...
Making it in space
Space isn’t just for astronauts and tourists
Dateline: 12 November 2033
We’ve gotten used to astronauts from all sorts of countries heading into orbit and visiting one of the several space stations there. And we’re also hardly excited when yet another multi-millionaire and their friends launch on a sub-orbital flip, or ride SpaceX around the planet. But there’s another industry that’s booming in space. It’s Zero-G...
Pharma meets Farmer
Forget the jab and take a bite instead
Dateline: 15 September 2029
Farmers and ‘Pharmas’ are the unsung heroes of bringing the Covid-19 pandemic to its knees in developed and developing economies. Enabled by the most prolific marketing campaign the world has ever seen, the phrase ‘eat your greens’ has taken on a new meaning. For decades, ‘Big Pharma’ has successfully scaled vaccines and antibodies to fight...
The World’s First Trillionaire
Elon Musk grabs the title as SpaceX soars
Dateline: 29 October 2031
Forty years ago, science fiction author Ben Bova surmised that the world’s first trillionaire would be born on the back of commercial space operations, and he wasn’t wrong. According to Forbes, Elon Musk’s personal fortune has quadrupled in a decade and now stands at just over a trillion dollars, making him not only the world’s...
E-cars stay in the slow lane
Start the electric car revolution without me
Dateline: 21 October 2026
Yes, I know. When Tesla stock shot up six years ago, making Elon Musk the world’s richest person, we all thought the market was prescient, and that the age of cyber trucking had finally arrived. Electric cars were going to be the next big thing, and soon! Well, it turns out that the stock market...
China’s perfect storm
The great fall of China reaches a crescendo
Dateline: 14 October 2051
Looking back over a generation, we’ve witnessed the rise and rise of China, and its subsequent collapse. For four decades, China was seemingly unstoppable, adopting urbanization and market principles and tech innovation. Almost a billion people were hauled out of poverty in rural villages and inserted into the industrial economy of China’s teeming cities. At...
Must love robots
We’re all in love with machines
Dateline: 8 October 2028
Love me, love my bot. Yes, it’s true; for many of us, it’s beyond an attachment to a phone or mobile device. But that’s where it started. We grew up with phones, connected to the global zeitgeist, and we became dependent on them. Co-dependent, you might say, as they couldn’t function without us either. Then...
CEO hangs upside down during keynote
They won’t forget this one
Dateline: 1 October 2024
In a bizarre turn of events, CEO Jared Youngman took off his shirt, strapped on a pair of gravity boots and hung from his ankles in the middle of a new product launch last night. Even more surprisingly, his audience remained quiet and attentive for the three-minute ‘meditation’ interlude, after which the tech billionaire calmly...
Solar storm maroons astronauts on Lunar Gateway
Who switched off the internet?
Dateline: 24 September 2031
That’s the problem with the digital, connected, electronic age. When you’re used to the lights always being on, and everything available, on demand, it’s a shock to the system when the world goes dark and silent. The Sun has been so quiet for so long that we’ve become complacent and were totally unprepared for the...