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Welcome to the Paleofuture blog, where we explore past visions of the future. From flying cars and jetpacks to utopias and dystopias.

This Week in Time Capsules: Are Time Capsules Still Cool?

This Week in Time Capsules: Are Time Capsules Still Cool?

This week in our time capsule round-up we have a new time capsule vault in Massachusetts, an "evidence packet" submitted into capsule evidence in Iowa, and some Great Recession artifacts in Florida sure to bum out the good people of tomorrow.

Also, a columnist in California worries that with the kids these days all hopped up on their Twitters and their Chatted Snaps, maybe time capsules just aren't cool anymore. But were they ever? Answer: no. Well, probably not.

Iowa Town's "Evidence Packet" Will Be Opened in 100 Years

In honor of the town's 100th birthday, North Liberty, Iowa is assembling a time capsule with an interesting assortment of items. Their low-tech time-traveling box includes a letter from the Governor, a nametag from the "Kum and Go" convenience store, and an "evidence packet" from the local police department. The local press didn't specify if the "evidence packet" had any evidence in it. But that would make for quite the time capsule caper. [Press Citizen]

Columnist Laments That Time Capsules Used to be Cool

A columnist in Gustine, California is frustrated with people in his local community who aren't exactly flooding the local historical society with letters for their new time capsule.

Dean Harris writes:

Historians are making plans to soon bury the time capsule for another 25 years… but so far the flood of letters and items to be included has been more like a trickle, if that.

Maybe that's just a sign of the times we live in.

Twenty-five years ago, putting something in the time capsule was still cool.

The columnist says that it may be easier to use Facebook or Instagram or Twitter, but a time capsule submission is something much more tangible. While I appreciate the sentiment—and agree that physical items stand a slightly better chance at making it into the future—I really doubt that time capsules were ever truly considered "cool." [WestsideConnect]

Massachusetts Vault Will Carry Letters and Photos to 2063 A.D.

The town of Wilbraham, Massachusetts recently buried a small vault filled with items to be unearthed in fifty years. The capsule contains letters, photographs, and printed items from the local high school. Strangely, there isn't any mention of three-dimensional items. If you're going to go to the trouble of burying a vault (and it looks like a nice vault!) then you'd think that you could be bothered to include some non-flat materials. Maybe they did, and the local press just didn't mention it. I guess I'll have to wait until 2063 to find out. [Mass Live]

Floridians Send Incredibly Depressing Time Capsule Into the Future

A time capsule was sealed in Manatee County this week as part of Florida's Viva Florida celebration. Set to be opened in 2055, it's designed to show the people of the future plenty of evidence of economic hardship inside.

"We included a lot of stuff about finding jobs, finding social services," capsule organizer Pam Gibson told the Herald Tribune. "That's one of the sad realities we're living with right now."

There are a lot of similarities between time capsules of today and the time capsules of the 1970s, mostly thanks to the down economies of both eras. But honestly, this takes it to a whole other level of sad. [Herald-Tribune]

Image: Photograph of the 2063 time capsule stone by Alex Lyman for Mass Live

Timothy Leary Once Thought Orgasmic Brain Radios Would Replace Drugs

Timothy Leary Once Thought Orgasmic Brain Radios Would Replace Drugs

The Futures of the West, Utopian and "Less Utopian" Alike

The Futures of the West, Utopian and "Less Utopian" Alike