I was in the Aachen-Dresden International Textile Conference last November, and most of the concepts presented are just like you say: unwashable. Promotion of in-sewn electronics does continue; this fad hasn't died out. Practically, most concepts are essentially taking an existing hard chip (i.e. steel-encased silicon) and using conventional techniques to sew it in and wire it with metal wires. There was even an outright idiotic idea - offense meant - that OLED screens would be sewn in. It turns out OLED is extremely sensitive to moisture; thus, if you can protect an OLED screen from moisture, you can protect anything. Any defect or hole in a coating, no matter how small, will render the whole coating useless. The only clear materials impervious enough are all glasslike solid metal oxides. A minute crack would destroy the whole screen.
But, fortunately, that's not all. It turns out carbon nanotubes can be made into filaments and potentially made into conductive yarn. This was shown to be washable, with no change in performance after multiple washes. There were also ideas how to make conformable electronics. Most "flexible" electronics are actually flexible only on one axis, like a credit card; bending them across two dimensions or forcing folds and bumps into them would break them. Whereas, a conformable piece of electronics would resemble a piece of a plastic bag. Conformable electronics that resist moisture would make it possible to incorporate the electronics as an insert into clothing, like washing labels are today.
But, I voted never. There are two obvious reasons. First, power. To get enough power, you need a battery, and it's unlikely that a foldable, washable and safe lithium battery could be made. So, you have a lump of hard material there anyway, and once it's there, the second reason becomes apparent: there is no need. There's nothing a lump + sheet of plastic can do that just the lump couldn't do alone. (Granted, screens, but I wrote about those above.)
"More convenient and responsive" would be my vote, so I had to vote "faster". Most apps are still clunky, and there's an obvious air of "not there yet". For instance, I want to give the spoken command "find the route options for bus from here to home". Now, I have to click the bus search client, manually write the address, and then wait. Wait a long time, because it first tries and fails to get a GPS fix. Then, it communicates with the remote server several times, each taking 1-2 seconds. Finally, I get one route option, not a selection of options. (Andropas) Since the GPS fix doesn't work and the algorithm for finding the route to the final address is rickety, usually I just memorize the bus stop numbers and directly search between them. Now an "update" installed a forced autosuggest feature that forces the user to wait until the client contacts the server for allowed options, so the memorizing stop numbers trick works even less efficiently.
This just barely beats taking a paper timetable and just looking it up there. This sort of experience isn't just one app, it's pretty much all of them.
Trans fats aren't "lifestyle", they're artificial contamination from processing. If you do hydrogenation incompletely, you also do isomerization. This is a purely technological problem, and it already has straightforward solutions. Interesterification, for instance, allows to have a "partially hydrogenated" fat without any actual partial hydrogenation. Many other countries have solved the problem already.
Personally, I think that what kills this eventually is the inability to control the degradation of the IL or the memory itself, and accumulation of harmful degradation products. Since this is a chip that you'll package and seal in, you wouldn't want to do an "oil change" now and then.
Parent is right. There's also one funny thing if you compare taxes in Finland, which most red-state Americans would call a "damn Communist country", with U.S. taxes. If you do the math on the statistics, the result is that both pay the same sum in PPP dollars. In Finland, the government does all sorts of things: healthcare (average for a developed country but efficient), education (world's best education system according to PISA), proper school lunches at no cost, free tuition at universities + a student benefit for all students, unemployment benefits, childcare, maternity benefits, child allowance, etc. The list is very long and much of it simply doesn't exist in the U.S.; not at all or in a very restricted form.
For instance, I fathered a baby recently. During the pregnancy, my wife was treated with a monthly checkup at the local municipal clinic. We went to a municipal hospital for the delivery, and were cared for excellently. The government gave us a box full of clothes and supplies for the baby. My wife could now care for the baby on maternity leave, while being paid 60% of her wages by the government. What's more, I'm a doctoral student currently. In the future, the child will get annual health checks, daycare, school and university tuition. All of this costs nothing or a nominal fee. In the U.S., all of this would be paid by me or my parents. (Ok, you're poor, so you have no choice? Wrong. I and my wife are a high-income family.) I will happily pay high taxes if I get something in return.
What force? That's the difficult question here, and the problem with your argument (an argument from ignorance). Of the four fundamental forces in nature, gravity has the longest range. But, structures larger than a supercluster are too large for gravity, because the metric expansion of the universe is a stronger "force" at that scale or larger, and necessarily tears apart any larger structures. That implies larger structures must have formed in process of the Big Bang.
The only known mechanism for creating large cosmic structures, baryon acoustic oscillations, is based on gravity. It tends to produce voids of 490 million light-years or smaller. The trouble is that you run out of possible fundamental forces when explaining the formation of larger structures. You literally need new physics to construct an object ten times larger than the limit given by known physics.
By the way, the size of the observable universe is 46.6 Mly, since the universe has expanded since then; the age of light and the current distance of its emitter are not interchangeable at cosmic distances.
The essential feature of the element is that it has a high X-ray absorbance. But, any heavy metal has a high X-ray absorbance; this is why thorium was used in the first place. The problem is the solubility: barium sulfate is essentially insoluble, but other metals are usually somewhat soluble and thus toxic. In principle you could use any heavy element (iodine, mercury, lead, uranium, thorium, bismuth, etc.). In practice, barium, iodine, bismuth and thorium have been used.
One alternative that is worth a mention is something that absorbs less that tissue, namely air.