Sealed Goldfish Chain Would Disturb Titan Colonists

Sealed goldfish keychains using live goldfish are a popular novelty in Qingdao, China. If you think for a moment, you'd find this disturbing.

Fish need oxygen; they get it from the water in which they swim. If you put them in a small, sealed environment, they exhaust the oxygen in the water relatively quickly. Then, they die.


(Sealed goldfish keychain)

Apparently, it takes only a few hours for the fish to die once placed in the keychain fob.

A similar custom was seen in Arthur C. Clarke's Imperial Earth, in the form of a unique kind of hat. A guest speaker, a resident of a colony on Titan, catches sight of this novel hat.

"Either he had taken leave of his senses, which was an acceptable working hypothesis, or there was a live fish swimming around in the third row. It was orbiting in a tiny crystal globe, surrounded by a tasteful display of corals and seashells, on the head of an intense middle-aged lady who, unluckily, was staring straight at him with popeyed concentration.

The smallest member of the audience was showing obvious signs of distress... swimming round and round at an acute angle to the rest of the world.... Should he stop talking, and warn Miss Fishbowl of the impending tragedy of which she was obviously unaware?... Alas, it was too late. With a final convulsive wriggle, the fish turned belly up and floated motionless in its crystal globe."

Clarke uses this as a way to emphasize the difference between a space colonist, who lives in a sealed environment the oxygen for which must be constantly renewed, and oblivious Earthlings, who live on a planet that endlessly provides free oxygen without machinery.

Via Gizmodo; thanks to Erik for pointing this item out, and providing the quote.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 6/13/2008)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 3 )

Related News Stories - (" Biology ")

Svalbard Seed Vault (aka Doomsday Vault) Gets Upgrades
'But they existed in the Life Bank, as did virtually every plant and animal that existed on Old Earth.' - John Varley, 1977.

China Melts Tibetan Permafrost To Plant Forest
'Can you give us a microwave spotlight?' - Niven, Pournelle, Flynn, 1995.

Hackers Insert Malware Into DNA
'They tied the memory to the bloodline and that was their record!' -

Worms Eat Plastic Now
'Slowly and inexorably, the rate of dissolution increased...' - Davis/Pedlar, 1971.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

IBM's Grain Of Sand Computer
'Our ancestors... thought to make the very sand beneath their feet intelligent...'

Liquid Metal Shape-Changing 'Soft Robotics'
'A mimetic poly-alloy... 'What the hell does that mean?''

The Hammock Caravan And Italo Calvino's Octavia
'Now I will tell you how Octavia, the spider-web city, is made.'

Super-Resolution Microscopy Provides '4D' Views
View the magnified interior of living cells.

Have I Seen The Tesla Roadster Story Before?
'Only it wasn't a vessel. It was an automobile...'

Watch 'Do You Trust This Computer' For Free Today
Thanks for making this available, Elon.

Self-Driving Car Ticketed
This just missed making my day.

Elon Musk Tweets Versions Of Clarke's Operation Cleanup
'Fortunately, the old orbital forts were superbly equipped for this task.'

Burner Generates Temporary Phone Numbers
'Interesting phone system he's got, by the way...'

Walmart’s Autonomous Robot Bees
Everyone loves bees.

EA Created AI That Taught Itself To Play Battlefield
Harmless fun for computer scientists.

Is Teleportation A Death Sentence?
'A long trail of dead, he thought, left across the stars...'

New Brain Scanner Lets You Move Around
'In Bob Arctor's living room his thousand dollar custom-quality cephscope crafted by Altec...'

Can An Entire Brain Be Simulated In A Computer?
'The miles of relays and photocells had given way to the spongy globe of platinum iridium about the size of the human brain.'

Physicists Try To Turn Light Into Matter
If E=mc squared, then... m=E/c squared!

Save Your Brain's Connectome, Upload Yourself Elsewhere
'You've got remote storage. How regular is the update?'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.