"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!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

6 June 2013

Daniel Logan b. 1987 (Boba Fett in Episode II)
Adam Busch b. 1978 (Warren on Buffy)
Lexa Doig b.1973 (Andromeda, Stargate SG-1, V, Continuum)
Paul Giamatti b. 1967 (Planet of the Apes)
Jason Isaacs b. 1963 (Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter series)

Looking at this list of actors, Giamatti is easily the best known, but he almost never shows up in sci-fi or fantasy. (He'll play a Spider-Man villain The Rhino next year.) The role that means the most to fans of the series would likely be Boba Fett. As an aging fanboy, I have to say this is an obsession I do not understand to this day. But I gave the picture slot to Ms. Doig, because if you know her work, it's probably from a sci-fi TV show.

And she's purdy.

Prediction: From the war panic of 1942 to as late as 2020, the tendency of architecture was to crouch. Hardly any mass of buildings erected between 1945 and the end of the century lifts up its head and looks the world in the face.

Predictor: H.G. Wells, The Shape of Things to Come, published 1933

Reality: Wells isn't right about this, of course. There has been a continuing escalation in architecture and the contest to have the tallest building in the world is still in full force. But let's look at the actually clever reasons why he is wrong.

World War I from start to finish will be one hundred years in the past this decade. It's not part of the memory of the living anymore. It's easy to forget that it was unlike any war the world had ever seen before. Writing in 1933, it was impossible for Wells to forget it and he was certain more war was coming. He even got some of the combatants right, Germany vs. Poland and the United States vs. Japan.

So here he is writing this book, correctly foreseeing that more war was coming even though war between modern nation-states was not profitable or glorious or in anyone's long-term interests. Wells took the view that humans just don't learn, or at the very minimum, the lessons take lifetimes.

Well Mr. Wells, it took a while and way too many dead bodies and destroyed cities, but for the most part, we did learn. We've avoided big wars between major industrialized nations since the end of World War II. (Wells didn't see that the war would end so quickly or so decisively.) The U.S. and the Soviets kept pushing limits to see what the other side would allow, the Soviets mostly on land and the Americans mostly in the air with spy missions, but with a little luck and some sense on both sides, we have avoided having a war we can call World War III for about seventy years now.

Does this mean we are in the clear now? That's a prediction I wish I could make. Happily, people can learn. Sadly, people also forget.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

A prediction from a movie that will be released tomorrow.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!


  1. As an architect, I am curious. What does he mean by "lift up its head and look the world in the face"?

    Is he talking about height? Vulnerability? Optimism or openness?

    It sounds a bit like some professors I had. How do you define that kind of talkitecture?

    But as you note, the height race is still going strong, even with the events of 9/11 (many people, futurists among them, predicted that tall buildings were going to go out of style. Ha!)

    And modern material and structural technologies are inspiring ever-more daring structures. Look at the Calatrava museum design in Milwaukee; it looks like it's about to take flight, and even has flapping wings. Heck, myself, even as a small-time sole practitioner, has designed a four-story addition to a one story 1914 era commercial building; an addition that projects out over the street edge with a canted, cantilevered wall.

    sure, after 9-11 there were a spate of articles in the professional slicks about how to create more hardened structures; just like this month there are a bunch of articles on creating more tornado and hurricane resistant houses. But those elements are more a specialty item (although I wouldn't be surprised to see some code changes regarding weather hazard construction. But none of that will apply to the vast majority of structures anyway, which are already built and difficult if not impossible to retrofit).

    1. Hey, ZR. I had no idea the architecture establishment was so zombie tolerant.

      Nice short essay comment to my short essay "reality" section. Talkitecture! Never heard it before, but the meaning is crystal clear. I'd like to use it in everyday conversation, but I'm not sure when or how I will wedge it in.


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