Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell illustration

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell illustration
Poster from Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, starring Bertie Carvel & Eddie Marsan

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

6 February 2013

Rip Torn b. 1931

Fine actor with a somewhat silly name (Torn is his actual last name, Rip an obvious nickname from his youth) Rip Torn has a long and praiseworthy career in film and on the stage. his best known work in the sci-fi genre is in the Men In Black series.

Prediction: Automobiles will be cheaper than horses are today. Farmers will own automobile hay-wagons, automobile truck-wagons, plows, harrows and hay-rakes. A one-pound motor in one of these vehicles will do the work of a pair of horses or more. Children will ride in automobile sleighs in winter. Automobiles will have been substituted for every horse vehicle now known. There will be, as already exist today, automobile hearses, automobile police patrols, automobile ambulances, automobile street sweepers. The horse in harness will be as scarce, if, indeed, not even scarcer, then as the yoked ox is today.

Predictor: John Elfreth Watkins in 1900, published in The Ladies' Home Journal

Reality: Watkins does incredibly well with this one. I'd have to do some study to see if a car really is cheaper than a horse, but there is no question it is faster and more convenient. Nobody uses vehicles with one pound motors producing two horsepower and "automobile sleighs" are more toys for adults rather than kids, but if you think about how expensive and relatively rare autos were in 1900, this was a bold prediction which understood where the world was heading with remarkable accuracy.

Good on ya, Mr. Watkins.

Looking ahead one day... INTO THE FUTURE! Arthur C. Clarke predicts an interesting plot device used by Charlie Kaufman and Joss Whedon that thankfully is still science fiction and I hope always will be, so (spoiler warning) it does not come to pass... in the year 2000!

Join me then... IN THE FUTURE!

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