In The New Human,Joel Garreau, author of Radical Evolution, provides a provocative look at the human being of tomorrow. Change, he argues, is happening fast. "The cultural evolution that was launched with the sharing of ideas and the invention of cities brought us from Rome to the industrial revolution in 1,800 years. The technological revolution that took us from the Wright brothers to walking on the moon required only 66 years. I believe that in 10 or 15 years, with advancements in genetics and technology, we will see a radical evolution, and two kinds of humans will walk the earth: natural and enhanced. You have to go back 50,000 years to the Neanderthal for the last time we've seen that. One thing we do know: When two species compete for the same niche, it ends badly for one."
The other night, while we were having anal sex in the doggy position, my wife began thrashing around. I thought she was uncomfortable, but she screamed for me not to stop. The next thing I knew, she gushed fluid and almost passed out. There was no stimulation of her clitoris. How is this reaction possible?--L.B., Fort Wayne, Indiana
Only 12 percent of Americans believe life on earth evolved naturally, without a deity's interference, according to a recent Gallup poll. Thirty-one percent believe God has guided evolution. If our worldview were put to a vote, the pseudoscience of intelligent design would defeat the science of biology by nearly three to one. This is troubling, since nature offers no compelling evidence for a designer and countless examples of "unintelligent" design.
From Comments by Karen Mazurkiewicz, a spokesperson for the western New York district of the U.S. Postal Service, responding to a Buffalo News reporter who was trying to determine why National Guard sergeant Jason Lyon, deemed combat-ready after recovering from a 2004 ankle injury sustained in Iraq, was turned down for a mail carrier job on the grounds that he had a physical impairment: "We have a rich history of hiring veterans, but we have to look at each candidate and make an assessment of how they would handle the physical requirements of the job. There is a lot of bending, twisting, lifting and walking on uneven surfaces for a mail carrier. It is a very strenuous job."
Conspiracy theorists are already having a field day. With the additions of Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito, the Supreme Court has a majority of Catholics for the first time in history. Whenever a Catholic gains political office, whispers about pernicious influence and subordination to ecclesiastical authority are never far behind. Rumors such as those cited in the Washington Post and Newsweek claim justices Alito, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas belong to the ultraconservative Opus Dei, founded in 1928 by the secretive and fascistic Saint Josemaría Escrivá (left). Opus Dei does not list its members, but a spokesman for the prelature has denied the Supreme Court rumors. Don't be surprised if you see a new crop of novels about papist control of the federal government.
Are you old enough to remember when computer screens came only in black and white? Do you own the kind of truck that guys at the hardware store always try to buy from you--a truck so old it not only sports just an AM radio but has no software in it at all? Can you remember when music players were composed of several fairly heavy boxes covered with laminated walnut and had to be wrestled up onto a high shelf? Are you old enough to remember the smell of mimeograph machine fluid?
In the mid-1980s inventor Ray Kurzweil predicted that a few interconnected computers used by scientists would serve as the basis for a worldwide communications network. At the time it seemed far-fetched, but Arpanet evolved into the Internet. Kurzweil subsequently postulated the law of accelerating returns, which holds that information technology increases exponentially, doubling every year. He later predicted that computers would exceed human intelligence, eventually reaching a point--the singularity--at which civilization would fundamentally be transformed. In his new book, The Singularity Is Near, Kurzweil explores the implications of that change. He believes our bodies will evolve as much as our machines. In fact, he predicts a clear separation will no longer exist between the two. "If you describe what human beings enhanced with this technology will be capable of some decades hence," Kurzweil says, "they would appear like gods to us today."
"Prediction is very difficult," said physicist Niels Bohr, "especially of the future." But according to futurists, we are on the verge of astonishing developments. Here are four innovations we should see in the next decade.
This June, while many Americans are worrying about the life in pitchers' arms, most of the planet will be thinking about feet, especially those attached to players on the 32 teams competing in Germany for the World Cup. Sadly, this fascination with worldwide fútbol is lost on many Americans; if only they would try to wrap their heads around the beauty of a truly global excuse to yell, drink beer and watch sports over breakfast, during work and into the wee hours, maybe they would overcome their reluctance and embrace an idea of universal partying held by everyone from Brazilian samba dancers to Iraqi insurgents to Keira Knightley. The only sporting term that is exactly the same in any language? "Gooooooaaaaaal!"
It's morning. Night is over. It's time for the bad news. I think of the bad news as a huge bird, with the wings of a crow and the face of my fourth-grade schoolteacher, sparse bun, rancid teeth, wrinkly frown, pursed mouth and all, sailing around the world under cover of darkness, pleased to be the bearer of ill tidings, carrying a basket of rotten eggs and knowing--as the sun comes up--exactly where to drop them. On me, for one.
Forgive us for getting nostalgic, but Father's Day has us thinking back to the granddaddy of today's MP3 players, the Diamond Rio PMP300. This 32-megabyte marvel held about half an hour of music and in 1998 went for $200. Today Coby's MPC-827 player holds four times as much. It costs $20. This means that for the price of a lap dance you can now haul Dad into the digital age. (Hey, taking him to a strip club would have been awkward anyway.) More important, this technology is not only affordable enough to give as a gift, it's finally easy enough for him to figure out. Make sure you pick something up for yourself as well, because some truly astounding things are happening in digital media right now. Players have massive capacity, many show video, and subscription services let you put any of more than a million songs on them for $10 a month. Audio and video podcasts are blossoming like Scarlett Johansson, with offerings from talented nobodies and forward-thinking big-media properties alike. You can download The Daily Show and Lost for $2 an episode, and earlier this year Jack Black did a video podcast from the set of Nacho Libre. Apple is of course to blame for much of this joy. Although it didn't invent the technology, Apple did perform amazing feats of design and marketing. Still, though the iPod is gorgeous, iconic and in possession of 76 percent of today's MP3 market, it's a little fragile for our taste. Take the Creative gizmo pictured at left. On a recent jog during testing, we accidentally dropped this player hard on one end. It bounced several times and ended up submerged in a muddy puddle--and never stopped playing our Arctic Monkeys track. Now, we'll take a hot chick who likes to go camping over a diva who needs to be talked off the ledge if she breaks a nail--but we're not everybody. Which is why we've gathered the best and brightest so you can make your own choice. Somewhere in here is a companion with your ideal combination of brains and looks.
On a cool December night at the California Speedway in Fontana, 15,000 fans watch as two turbocharged cars--one with an American driver, the other a Japanese--roll alongside each other and gun their engines to a full growl over a quarter-mile straightaway in what could be a drag race but soon takes on the look and sound of something that usually ends in a gathering of police cars, ambulances and maybe the Jaws of Life. At 100 miles an hour at the end of the straight, both drivers pull their emergency brake to loosen their rear wheels, then crank their machines side by side into a right-hand skid, throwing up great screeching plumes of tire smoke. Seconds later they reverse the turn at full power into a screaming 90-mile-an-hour fender-to-fender left-hand slide, fighting to stay sideways without crashing into each other or the wall. Then it's right again, still skidding, still close enough to spit on each other, heading through a wild final turn and ending sidelong across the finish line. While a double snake of pure white smoke floats the taste of rubber over the wildly yelling crowd, three judges pick a winner, their decision based not on who crossed the line first but on how elegantly and powerfully the car was charged through the course entirely sideways.
<p>Avid Playboy readers already know what Sara Jean Underwood did last summer: The angel-faced 22-year-old posed for the October 2005 issue's Girls of the Pac 10 cover. What the native of Scappoose, Oregon didn't anticipate was the reaction at her college, Oregon State University. "Maybe it's because I wear a baseball cap and sweatpants to class, but I didn't know other students knew I existed," she says. "Now they come up and hug me and ask me to sign the magazine."</p>
It's a rainy afternoon when she walks into a casual bistro in the Miracle Mile section of Los Angeles. Even when she's dressed down--jeans, hair pulled back, next to no makeup--Vida Guerra turns heads. Underneath a creamy leather jacket, her white tank top hugs her curves with a vengeance, while her blue jeans stretch tautly across the most famous rear end this side of a certain singer-actress (the one formerly known as J. Lo).
Below is a list of retailers and manufacturers you can contact for information on where to find this month's merchandise. To buy the apparel and equipment shown on pages 30, 33--36, 70--73, 96--101 and 150--151, check the listings below to find the stores nearest you.
I got your call, Ms. Mattress back our building manager is on vacation and has asked me to tend to any emergencies. So here I am, the same way I was on my honeymoon: with my plunger in my hand, talking to a sex worker.
Playboy (ISSN 0032-1478), July 2006, volume 53, number 7. Published monthly by Playboy in national and regional editions, Playboy, 680 North Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60611. Periodicals postage paid at Chicago, Illinois and at additional mailing offices. Canada Post Canadian Publications Mail Sales Product Agreement No. 40035534. Subscriptions: in the U.S., $29.97 for 12 issues. Postmaster: Send address change to Playboy, P.O. Box 2007, Harlan, Iowa 51537-4007. For subscription-related questions, call 800-999-4438, or e-mail email@example.com.
Why We Fight--Acclaimed documentary filmmaker Eugene Jarecki examines the most pressing question of the day in provocative interviews with thoughtful Americans, including John McCain, Ethan Hawke, Tony Kushner and Others.