"John Scully's" comic strip that has a farewell every day (drawn and written by Ruben Bolling)

"John Scully's" comic strip that has a farewell every day (drawn and written by Ruben Bolling)
"John Scully's" comic strip that has a farewell every day (drawn and written by Ruben Bolling)
September 19 is the last post for this blog. Thanks to all my readers!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

13 January 2013

Liam Hemsworth b. 1990
Patrick Dempsey b. 1966

Young Liam was one of the stars of The Hunger Games. He is the baby brother of Chris Hemsworth, also known for sci-fi and fantasy films.

Dempsey is best known for Grey's Anatomy, but he showed up in a Transformers film, so he gets a mention here on the blog.

Prediction: The world population in 1975 will be 3 billion, written out as 3,000,000,000. By 2000, it will grow to 3,625,000,000.

Predictor: Leo G. Carroll as Professor Gerald Deemer in the 1955 movie Tarantula.

Reality: This is off in several fascinating ways, all of them on the low side.

Lowball estimate #1: He says 2 billion in 1955, the year the movie was made. It was actually closer to 2.8 billion then. He also says the rate of increase is 25 million a year.

Lowball estimate #2: The good professor says 3 billion in 1975. Growing by a billion in 20 years would average out to 50 million a year if we assumed linear growth. (When populations grow, it's usually exponential, a bigger population growing by more than a small one with the same rate, much in the same way the tax on a $100 item at an 8% sales tax would be $8.00, while the tax on a $10 item would be 80 cents. Same tax rate, but more tax in actual dollars on a more expensive item.) In reality, the world population was about 4 billion in 1975.

Lowball estimate #3: The weirdly precise 3,625,000,000 would be exactly the right number if we assumed linear growth of 25,000,000 a year for every year from 1975 to 2000. In reality, it was 1999 when the world population reached 6 billion.

To be fair, this screw-up belongs to the film's writers, Robert M. Fresco and Martin Berkeley. Predicting stuff is hard for everybody. Math is hard only for a portion of the population, and I think these guys belong in that portion.

Just sayin'.

Trivia: The other actors in the scene both did a lot of 50s sci-fi. The young man is played by square-jawed hero type John Agar. The delicious dish in the super styling hat is Mara Corday.

Mmmmmm.... Mara Corday!


Sorry, I lost my train of thought. Where was I?

Oh, yes, special thanks!

Special thanks: This clip was grabbed from the film by my pal Tony Hurd, who saw it and thought of this blog. That was mighty thoughty of him, as Bullwinkle J. Moose would say.

Thanks again, Tony. I love having clips up on The You Tubes.

Looking one day... INTO THE FUTURE! Monday prediction duties for the foreseeable FUTURE will be shared by Popular Mechanics and the great 1982 book The OMNI Future Almanac, now out of print. It's the Alamnac's first turn tomorrow, with a bold forecast of what countries will have nukes by the year 2000... and beyond!

Join me then... IN THE FUTURE!

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