What can we expect of world in 100 years?

Published 11:18 pm Saturday, December 20, 2008

The old saying is that, “no matter how much things change, they still stay the same.”

Well, I think the author of that would change his or her tune if they talked with someone who lived 100 years ago.

Somewhere buried in the piles of e-mail I get each week, a friend sent me an interesting forward. Typically I don’t pay a lot of attention to those but this one stood out because it offered a statistical comparison of life now with that of 1908.

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I have not verified all of these so read at your own risk and take with a grain of salt, but here are a few that I thought were interesting.

The average life expectancy was 47 years.

That would have been somewhat depressing because I would already be in the twilight of my life and many people I know would already be six feet under.

Only 14 percent of the homes had a bathtub.

Uggh, maybe this statistic leads to the one before it.

Only 8 percent of homes had a telephone. Wow, if you didn’t like your neighbors with a phone you likely wouldn’t have anybody to talk to at all.

There were only 8,000 cars and only 144 miles of paved roads.

The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.

The average wage in 1908 was 22 cents per hour.

Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen.

Most women only washed their hair once a month.

You know, it is no wonder that the hairstyle of the era was long straight hair. That’s what grease will do!

The population of Las Vegas, Nevada, was only 30.

Huh, what happens in Vegas might stay in Vegas but you can be sure that everyone there is going to know about it.

Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and ice tea hadn’t been invented yet.

I really love two out of three of these but I’m not going to tell you which two.

And the list went on and on with a few others. If anyone is truly interested, send me an -email and I will share the rest.

But this got me thinking. What will life be like in another 100 years? How will things be in 2108?

Here are a few wild predictions of what things could be like (Since I likely won’t be around to find out if I am right, someone else will have to check me on these).

Computers will be in a device smaller than a watch and will pull up a screen in mid air.

Most homes will have a robot of some sort to help with domestic choirs and other things around the house.

Cars will run on water, peanut oil or some other renewable resource.

We will have had multiple women presidents and at least one will be considered among the best all time. (But it won’t be Hillary).

The Cincinnati Bengals will still be an awful football team.

And finally … human beings will still be fighting over some silly line in the sand, skin color or whose God is better.

You know, on second thought, maybe in some ways things never do change.

Michael Caldwell is publisher of The Tribune. To reach him, call (740) 532-1445 ext. 24 or by e-mail at mike.caldwell@irontontribune.com.