There’s a concept called the Library Angel, the idea that when you really need a piece of information it will drop in your lap when you least expect it. I’ve just experienced this. I was having a touch of the old writer’s block, when I stumbled upon the greatest news story ever.
Basically, US Special Forces are being impeded on missions by having to lug around a whole bunch of heavy, out-dated equipment. Obviously this isn’t what you want, so tech guys at Wright Patterson Airforce Base are designing lighter, more convenient gear that can be worn on the human body. The reason for the awesomeness is that they’re calling this project the Batsuit. In fact, the project is known as BATMAN – Battlefield Air Targeting Man-Aided kNowledge (yes, I know how convoluted that acronym is, but I don’t care).
(Of course, anyone who’s a fan of urban myths and modern folklore will know that Wright-Patterson is where they took the wreckage after a UFO crashed at Roswell. Go for it, conspiracy theorists!)
I’ve always loved this intersection between fiction and technology. I love the fact that there’s a robotics company called Cyberdyne (running a project called HAL!) and that there’s a military communications system called Skynet. I refuse to believe that flip-open mobile phones weren’t influenced by the communicators on the original Star Trek. It makes sense to me – the geek gene means that people who get into science and engineering are quite often fans of sci-fi, and of course they’re going to start making cool stuff based on old TV shows, or naming stuff after movies. Heck, it’s what I’d do.
I still want a Batmobile though.