Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

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.

By John Kelly  |  May 13, 2009; 9:15 AM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Baby You Can Drive My Car: Men vs. Women at the Wheel
Next: Hold Your Horses: A Delay in That Massage Case


I think photos of someone updating their Twitter/Facebook accounts would be appropriate to demonstrate life as we know it.

Posted by: laur_n | May 13, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Pictures of all the soon-to-be-former car models and makes

Posted by: mfromalexva | May 13, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Some fish. With ocean overfishing our ancestors are going to wonder what they tasted like.

Posted by: jimward21 | May 13, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

You'd need a cell phone, for sure. And maybe an xray of a bent elbow. The most ubiquitous things I can think of.

Posted by: OldLady1 | May 14, 2009 7:06 AM | Report abuse

A social security check. They'll be extinct soon. Oh, and Ted Kennedy's obituary...(ooops, my bad).

Posted by: justhere | May 14, 2009 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Seeds for all the plants that will no longer be around (with descriptions and care instructions, of course).

Posted by: egengle | May 14, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

A picture of a polar bear. And throw in some satellite photos of the Arctic ice and the world's coastlines as we currently know them. (We're creating the most depressing time capsule ever.)

Posted by: Janine1 | May 15, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

And don't forget a video of Tai Shan getting a colonoscopy.

Posted by: justhere | May 15, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company