Circadian rhythms. Setting our clocks by light exposure. Light exposure and activity levels. Wearing your sunglasses at night. Different varieties of blindness and sleep rhythms. Retinal sensitivity to light.
Alien meat-testicle gems. Personal testicular security systems. Organic gemstones. Pearl production. How attractive our kidney stones might be to alien speculators. “Real” utility vs perceived value.
Wound sealing. Stopping bleeding in an emergency with caulking foam. Packing a wound full of tiny tampons. Failed experiments in would sealing with: beads, marbles, beans, etc. Amputation history. Ancient Greek amputation practices and efficiency records in the Napoleonic and American Civil Wars.
Keeping the peace when independent operations can make their own giant robots. Staying somewhat prepared for returning existential threats.
Stowing expensive purpose-built machinery. Aircraft graveyards. The economics of storing and securing out-of-production technology for later use.
Avoiding trouble with the square-cube law by building smaller robots. Boston Dynamics and the inevitable impression of the coming robot apocalypse. Parkour Atlas. Robot kumite.
Securing mobile war machines. EMPs. Resistance to signal-jamming. Broad attack surfaces.
Brain in a jar
IRL progress towards a brain in a jar: human brain organoids implanted on a mouse brain. Sensory apparatus and feeling pain. Getting (ethically) hairy.
Rare earth elements
Actually: not so rare! But a pain in the ass to extract. The Japanese rare earth ocean-bottom treasure trove and how it will be difficult to access. Mining rare earth elements from spaaaaaaaace and how we probably need a new colloquial name for these materials. Underwater volcanoes.
Jaeger blood rocket fuel
Magical Jaeger blood rocker fuel. Gravity gun space race. Keeping Earth as a farm for kaiju blood, fueling our expansion into the entire solar system. Throwing rocks at things for fun and profit.
Love! For James Cameron and Aliens. And the great utilitarian design of the spaceship interiors. Great world-building.
Cryosleep? Ice sublimation and mummified Sigourney Weaver. Hibernation. How to shove pine cones up your butt, chug some Nyquil, and turn into a bear. Cryogenic specimen preservations: sperm! DIY fecal plugs for hibernation.
Private space industry
The rise of private space industry. Going dystopian.
Planet? Moon? The delineation between planets and moons and looking forward to the future when we get confused again. Demoting Pluto to planetoid. Terraforming Mars. Sad news on Martian CO2 supplies for atmosphere creation. Crater settlements and whether or not you need a roof. Atmospheric density limits for human comfort and thriving.