'Roid Rustlers Summer Camp
Just as the dude ranches of the 20th
century gave city slickers a taste of the cowboy life, ‘Roid Rustlers’ new two-week immersion sends civilians into the world of our Near Earth Object Neutralization heroes.
Although participants don’t actually join a NEON team, they stay in guest housing at NASA’s NEON training center in Pasadena, Calif., and experience the same simulators that cadets use to assess the threat of an incoming asteroid or comet, determine whether it needs to be nudged into a different orbit or destroyed, and carry out their mission.
Given the celebrity status of the NEON crew that saved us all from 2026 JL18 a few years ago, we expect spaces to sell out quickly.
1. Dino-Dish Grow ‘N’ Harvest Kit
It’s been 20 years since Maastricht University researcher Mark Post gave us a first taste of lab-grown meat: a hamburger that, at the time, cost $325,000 to engineer. (That’s $3.2 million adjusted for 2033.)
Sure, costs came down and we all learned to love beaker-born bacon and racks of lamb grown in stacks of petri dishes. The savings in water use, land degradation and feed grain production also have translated to better quality of life for many of the 8.5 billion humans now living on our planet. Traditional hoof-grown meat is now limited to high-end meateries. But home production of shmeat — sheeted meat product — has been limited. Until now.
Dino-Dish, from the makers of this year’s highly anticipated Dial-A-De-Extinction, allows home cooks to print stem cells of select extinct animals, choose which cut they want and then grow their own Stegosaurus steaks and T-Rex T-bones. The kit includes a pocket 3-D printer, stem cell starter and tabletop lidded meatbox to ensure the shmeat grows in a temperature- and humidity-controlled environment.
Kits are available for five dinosaurs, though the company plans to expand options next year to include woolly mammoth and pterosaur, which is rumored to taste like shicken.
2. Neighbor-B-Gone Virtual Environment
It’s hard to imagine what life was like before 97 percent of us lived in urban environments — or is it?
Developers of Neighbor-B-Gone based their research on early Internet images and the oral histories of seniors born and raised in the 20th century to create a customizable home environment system. NBG includes surround sound speakers; visual, aural and olfactory projectors; and temperature and humidity controls. It will transport you out of your small skyscraper apartment and “back to the land.”
Change your environment to suit your mood: Start with a white-noise base to cancel out neighbors shouting into Smartsleeves or stomping around in virtual gaming rigs. Then, choose your environment from now-extinct 20th century sights, sounds and smells, including a Malaysian rainforest, an undeveloped Caribbean beach, even a small-scale Midwestern family farm.
3. Perfect Imperfection Home Garden
In the decade since genetically modified crops for human consumption became the norm, flawlessly smooth, plump red tomatoes and blemish-free bananas fill the aisles of the supermarkets where we send our butler robots to shop.
But those traditional farmers protesting the contamination of their heirloom crops back in the early ‘20s with windblown GMO seed may have had a point. There is something appealing about the occasional lopsided apple or squiggle-shaped summer squash. Now you can enjoy all the enhanced vitamin content, increased pest resistance and decreased water needs of a genetically modified vegetable and still serve salads that have a homey, rustic touch.
The Perfect Imperfection kit comes with a dozen varieties of seeds that have all the advances of genetic modification but the appearance of their heirloom ancestors. The seeds are engineered for maximum yield in the standard balcony garden plot of 3 square feet. Your foodie friends will marvel over the misshapen slices of tomato in your caprese salad — so retro, yet still with 40 times the lycopene, and 20 percent of the water requirements of last century’s crops!