Updates Fridays

The Concrete and the Purely Speculative

I know I said that I would finish my diatribe on genre this week, but I’m afraid I’m going to have to put the last installment of my meandering musings on hold until next week. Something very important has come up that I urgently need to tell you all about.

Self. Healing. Concrete.

I’m not making this up. It’s full of a bacteria that excretes limestone. The bacteria is dormant until activated by the water that seeps in through any cracks in the concrete. Then the bacteria wake up, start feeding on the nutrition capsules that are also included in the concrete, and begin producing limestone to seal the cracks.

This is a pretty cool idea. Bio-concrete. That’s pretty awesome, right? …Says one part of my mind.

The other part is busy thinking about how this could go horribly, catastrophically wrong.

I think this habit comes of being a science fiction writer. I do this all the time: I hear about some neat development in technology, and immediately start imagining worst case scenarios.

It’s not because I believe that these disasters are likely, or even possible. Usually my mind flashes to these situations before I’ve even had a chance to understand the science behind whatever new invention I’m learning about, so I have no idea how it actually works. It’s all just fiction, you know? Just speculation, not a genuine concern based in reality at all.

But I can’t turn it off.

So bio-concrete. That’s pretty cool…UNTIL THE BACTERIA IN THE CONCRETE GETS OUT AND STARTS COVERING THE WHOLE WORLD WITH LIMESTONE! Soon we will be a planet of statues, all frozen in our last horrified moments, like a global version of Pompeii. All because of the concrete. The hubris! The folly! Why, why didn’t they listen to me!!

Oh, because I’m full of shit. That’s why.

But seriously, someday the super pessimistic, catastrophe-oriented part of my brain will be totally right about something. And I will ignore it, just like I always do. And then later when I’m dead, I’m going to feel really, really silly.

Anyway. Henk Jonkers invented self-healing concrete. Woah. Nice one, dude.