Tuesday, December 29, 2009

How did they know?

This is what people in 1966 thought computers would be like in the far future year of 1999 (see left for a photo of a computer in 1966.)
Amazingly accurate!
I like their idea of email, handwritten :)

Jules Vern's 1863 predictions from his book "Paris in the 20th Century" (shelved because his editor said it was too unbelievable):

"...The Casmodage Bank possessed veritable masterpieces of the genre, instruments which indeed did resemble huge pianos: by operating a sort of keyboard, sums were instantaneously produced, remainders, products, quotients, rules of proportion, calculations of amortization and of interest compounded for infinite periods and at all possible rates..." (from page 52)

"...the Casmodage Bank issued no less than three thousand letters a day, posted to every corner of the world. A fifteen-horsepower Lenoir never ceased copying these letters, which five-hundred employees incessantly fed into it."(from page 53)

"Further, photographic telegraphy, invented during the last century by Professor Giovanni Caselli of Florence, permitted transmission of the facsimile of any form of writing or illustration, whether manuscript or print, and letters of credit or contracts could now be signed at a distance of five thousand leagues..."(also from page 53)

"The telegraph network now covered the entire surface of the earth's continents and the depths of the seas; America was not more than a second away from Europe, and in a formal experiment made in London in 1903, two agents corresponded with each other after having caused their dispatches to circumnavigate the globe."

He was obviously a time traveler, right??

Conan o'brien's prediction:
"I believe that one day, a high speed network of interconnected computers will spring up world-wide, so enriching people that they will lose their interest in idle chit chat and pornography."
ha ha

Monday, December 28, 2009

Three new things I ate this holiday

I have been exposed to these before but never tried them - they just don't seem like they would be that good. And they're not! I mean, they aren't bad, with some butter, salt and pepper added, but not something I would go out of my way to eat. What are they? Basically, very small pieces of finely broken grains of corn or hominy boiled to make a sort of corn porridge. Grits are also... Some people adore grits, as you can tell by this poem about grits!

Yorkshire Pudding
Yum! I will probably never get to eat this again unless I make it, since it is not traditionally a vegetarian dish. V's cousin was so kind as to leave the meat out of several of these and although the flavors are subtle, I thought it was quite delicious. When baked with sausages in the batter, the dish is known as "toad in the hole" (ew) which sounds totally gross.

I'm not sure if this came out the way it was supposed to. At first it seemed good - a chewy, nougatty-flavored patty-thing with whipped cream, mixed berries, and chocolate sauce. Slowly I started tasting like, a strange, spicy, peppery flavor that didn't quite seem like it belonged in a desert. Pav, named after named after the Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova, is described as 'meringue cake with a light, delicate, crisp crust and a soft sweet marshmallow center' - the one I ate was completely flat and extremely dense and chewy, rather than pouffed up. Also, the recipe has no mention of pepper or cayanne - so I think A.) it didn't turn out as intended, and B.) some liberties were taken with the recipe. Overall, i would rate this dessert... weird.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

butterflies are so HARDCORE

Ah Andy, adorable precocious little brother of Alex P. Keaton in Family Ties, what has become of you? Assault with a broken bar stool, drunk driving, domestic abuse, facing prison... neck tattoos of pretty butterflies... This 'then and now' somehow manages to make me both sad and amused at the same time.

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Monday, December 07, 2009

out of this world, man

37 years ago today, Apollo 17 was launched into space 18,000 miles from the Earth, and was able to photograph the Earth in full light for the first time. Virtually every picture showing the full Earth is derived from this one photograph. Within the next couple of years, anyone will be able to travel in to space and see the earth the way the astronauts of Apollo 17 did in 1972. Oh wait, I mean anyone wealthy with 200K of disposable income to spend on 2.5 hrs of out-of-this-world entertainment.

Wish to travel to space by age group: USA

Don't get me wrong, I'm actually quite excited about this. These things always start off for the rich but eventually trickle down to be financially accessible for everyday folk. Anyway, thinking back to the Hindenburg and the Titanic, I actually would rather not be the guinea pig strapped in the seat while the kinks in the technology are worked out ;)
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