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10 things to achieve before the end of the world

We have up to 3.25bn years to sort out gender equality, tangle-free headphones and end to global poverty. Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett writes.

india Updated: Sep 20, 2013 23:40 IST

I love a good apocalypse. But then, who doesn’t? It gives one something to work towards — something to plan for. But it is a laborious business, being someone who buys into doomsday scenarios. There are shelters to build, canned goods to stockpile, hill forts to maintain.

At least this time we have plenty of time to prepare — scientists have estimated that life on Earth will be wiped out somewhere between 1.75bn and 3.25bn years, not because the planet will implode but because things are going to get too hot to live.

With this incredibly relaxed timeframe in mind, I thought I’d compile a short list of things that we need to get sorted out before we’re wiped out.

1. The end of all known diseases, plus male pattern baldness: Thus rendering us a fit and healthy super race with excellent, long flowing locks.

2. The end of war: If we’re going to colonise other planets, we need to stop killing off so many of our own and start backing one another.

3. Tangle-free headphones: It’s incredible. All it takes is a matter of seconds in your pocket and you’re faced with a knot worse than an eco child’s rattail.

4. Gender equality: If we’re going to build a new utopia, we’re going to need the ladies on board. Also: racial equality, gay equality

5. A replacement for buffering: We know the technology is available, and yet we’re slaves to the spinning iPlayer circle. Sorting out buffering would leave time for us to concentrate on solving other problems.

6. How to introduce someone whose name you can’t remember: This happens to me at least once a week. It used to be that I would awkwardly freeze, halfway through the sentence “and this is…” as a deadly silence descends on the group. Nowadays, I retreat awkwardly to the lavatory and allow people to make their own introductions.

7. The end of world poverty: Our legacy is looking pretty shabby here, to be honest. How’s it going to look when we leave Earth and are in the process of meeting and greeting our new neighbours and they ask about our old planet was like. “Oh, it was really quite swish on our side, and there were loads of resources to go around, but instead we left over half the population in the dirt, and actually, if your house had a roof, that put you in the top 20% of human beings.”

8. The male pill: Words cannot express how badly I want this to happen.

9. The end of the 5:2 diet: (Conversation with alien continues) “So while the rest of the world’s population was literally starving, we had so much milk that we had to turn it into lakes and most of the people in my office were voluntarily going hungry in order to match up to an unrealistically skinny body ideal. It made them really unpleasant to be around but it’s OK because they all froze to death in the last ice age.”

10. The meaning of the surrealist neo-noir film Mulholland Drive: I just really want to know.

First Published: Sep 20, 2013 23:36 IST