"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!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

17 July 2013

Tim Rose b. 1956 (voice of General Ackbar and Howard the Duck)
J. Michael Straczynski b. 1954 (writer Babylon 5, Thor)
Donald Sutherland b. 1935 (The Hunger Games, Invasion of the Body Snatchers)

I just don't get enough chances to remind people of Howard the Duck, a pretty good comic book that was turned into a truly awful movie. Mr. Straczynski is still getting paid to write, good for him. Mr. Sutherland gets the picture slot because I decided it's Awesome Grey Facial Hair day.

Prediction: To England in Two Days. Fast electric ships, crossing the ocean at more than a mile a minute, will go from New York to Liverpool in two days. The bodies of these ships will be built above the waves. They will be supported upon runners, somewhat like those of the sleigh. These runners will be very buoyant. Upon their under sides will be apertures expelling jets of air. In this way a film of air will be kept between them and the water’s surface. This film, together with the small surface of the runners, will reduce friction against the waves to the smallest possible degree. Propellers turned by electricity will screw themselves through both the water beneath and the air above. Ships with cabins artificially cooled will be entirely fireproof. In storm they will dive below the water and there await fair weather.

Predictor: John Elfreth Watkins in a 1900 issue of The Ladies' Home Journal

Reality: It's a big swing and a miss for my man crush today. Cunard does still have ships going between London and New York if you have seven days you want to fritter away in idleness.

Ah, frittering. Oh, idleness. Such luxuries. 

He saw airships being used in war and that's about it, which is not that surprising when you realize he is making his predictions before the Wright brothers got their contraption airborne. In his favor, a combination catamaran/hovercraft/submarine would be pretty damned cool.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Arthur C. Clarke stays earthbound for this prediction, foreseeing exciting advances in health care.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!


  1. Don't write Watkin's off so blithely! There are boat hulls that use bubble to reduce drag (http://www.gizmag.com/mitsubishi-air-lubrication-system/21196/) and hypercavitating torpedoes that do 200 knots. He got the tech right, just missed the level of commercialization and market served.
    It's actually a pretty good prediction!

    1. Hi, offlogic! Thanks for coming to the defense of 1900's version of The Most Interesting Man In The World. 200 knots, wow! Nobody's playing shuffleboard on the Lido deck of that baby.

  2. Not sure how fast the MALS hulls go, but the 200knots figure is for the Shkval torpedo (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VA-111_Shkval).

    1. I did a little quick calculation. For Watkins to be right, ships would have to travel at about 60 knots, or 70 mph for Yankee lubbers.


Traveler! Have you news... FROM THE FUTURE?