Time in a Bottle: How Would You Remember Today?
So in my column today I talk about a middle school on Capitol Hill that discovered a treasure trove of old documents and photos in a forgotten room. Neat story. What I didn't have space to mention was what the school can't find: an old time capsule.
They buried it sometime in the 1980s but can't remember where. They've even gone over likely spots with a metal detector.
This sort of thing happens all the, um, time. Metal cylinders are buried with much fanfare and then forgotten about. There's even a group called the International Time Capsule Society that seeks to record the location of every time capsule. (The society's list of the most wanted time capsules includes 17 lost by the city of Corona, Calif.)
Perhaps this won't happen as much in the future, now that we have GPS.
The students at Stuart-Hobson are still looking for their 20-year-old time capsule (not that old, really, but to a kid it must seem ancient). Meanwhile, they're burying a new one, filling it with things they think symbolize the year 2009. They aren't burying actual iPods but rather photos of them, along with fashion spreads cut from magazines.
It made me wonder what I would bury to represent today to tomorrow. An iPod, perhaps. Or a Blackberry. But what else? Some steroids and a baseball? A vial of the H1N1 virus? An AIG bonus? Donald Trump? (It'd be nice to get rid of him somehow.) What would help future Washingtonians remember the Washington of the past? A Metro SmarTrip card? A copy of The Washington Post? ("What's that?" said the governor of Washington in 2109.)
Help me assemble the perfect early 21st-century time capsule. Put your suggestions in the Comments section below.
May 13, 2009; 9:15 AM ET
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