Monday, March 21, 2011

Where are my robot assistants?

I enjoy sites that look back on the past - particularly when it comes to technology and innovation. I recently found a cool blog that covers a number of tech-related topics from popular magazines such as Popular Mechanics, Mechanix Illustrated, LIFE, the Saturday Evening Post and many others. Check it out at: http://blog.modernmechanix.com/. The only contact info I could find is an email to "charlie" from modernmechanix.com. Regardless, he's done an excellent job collecting cool stories and ads from the past.

I was born in 1965, and for most of my life sci-fi movies and novels promised personal robots and hoverboards by the year 2000. This internet thing is nice and all, but WHERE ARE MY PERSONAL ROBOTS AND MY HOVERBOARD!?! Space travel was also supposed to be common place by this time. Based on NASA's lack of support from our federal government, maybe Richard Branson and other private industries are our only hope.

Back to the subject. Here's a great article from Mechanix Illustrated in January of 1953 stating that "You'll Own 'Slaves' by 1965" Robot slaves that is... note the difference in cultural sensitivity in '53 in this quote from the article, "In 1863, Abe Lincoln freed the slaves. But by 1965, slavery will be back! We’ll all have personal slaves again, only this time we won’t fight a Civil War over them. Slavery will be here to stay..." What!?! Huzzah slavery!?! Nowadays, we would clearly call these robots "assistants". Check out the awesome robot below who's dressing modern man while shining his shoes at the same time. He's clearly superior to the lowly foodbot bowing at man's feet.



If you read the text, you'll hear of a relaxing lifestyle where the everyday trog-like labors of life are taken care of by our gentle robot friends. I appreciate the certainty of the last line of the article, "One thing is certain, the robots are coming. The wonders of electronics will dominate every phase of our future life to make it more successful and pleasurable for everyone who lives on Earth." You can catch the full text and all of the page images on Charlie's blog here. Like Tom Bodett, I'll leave the light on waiting for my robot pals to arrive.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

A Spat on Tattoine

Here's a much-needed humorous break from the harsh reality of Japan and Libya today. I love the costumes here... and the final sad comment from R2-D2.



Sunday, March 13, 2011

Scenes of Terror: Japan's Earthquake and Tsunami

Love it or hate it, the Internet allows you to get a first hand view of disaster in a way that was not possible in the past. I've been watching many different first person accounts of the devastation on youtube. Here are some of the most jaw-dropping scenes... It's like a real-life Jerry Bruckheimer film. I can't imagine what the people of Japan are doing to cope with all of this madness. It's terrifying.