"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 24, 2013

24 July 2013

Anna Paquin b. 1982 (X-Men, True Blood)
Summer Glau b. 1981 (Angel, Dollhouse, Firefly/Serenity, The Sarah Connor Chronicles, The 4400)
Rose Byrne b. 1979 (X-Men: First Class, 28 Weeks Later)

Yet again, a whole lot of pretty to choose from, but because of my partiality to Joss Whedon (and his not subtle tip of the hat to the great Frank Frazetta in this framing), I'm going with Ms. Glau as River Tam in Serenity.

And as always, I wish many happy returns of the day to all concerned.

Prediction: There will be no wild animals except in menageries. Rats and mice will have been exterminated. The horse will have become practically extinct. A few of high breed will be kept by the rich for racing, hunting and exercise. The automobile will have driven out the horse. Cattle and sheep will have no horns. They will be unable to run faster than the fattened hog of today. A century ago the wild hog could outrun a horse. Food animals will be bred to expend practically all of their life energy in producing meat, milk, wool and other by-products. Horns, bones, muscles and lungs will have been neglected.

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

Reality: It's a sad day here at the blog, because this is the last of the predictions from John Elfreth Watkins. No longer will the tinted photo of 1900's version of The Most Interesting Man in the World be looking out at us every Wednesday morning. I do have his replacement lined up, but quite honestly, though T. Baron Russell gets some stuff right, it just won't be the same. As my tribute to him, I have included the label Never To Be Forgotten. When I select the Predictions of the Year and present them between Christmas and New Year's, I'm sure we'll see him again.

And, oh yeah, the reality check. We still have plenty of wild animals and it's a good thing too. Cattle and sheep still have horns. The lives of food animals can be pretty miserable, but this prediction is way, way off. Sorry to see Mr. Watkins leave the field with such a disappointing result.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

We hear from H.G. Wells again from The Shape of Things to Come.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE! 


  1. Prof, i do have to thank you for giving Mr. Watkins some well-deserved attention. Not only does he make the speculative fiction guys look like complete idiots (make your own joke here), but he makes Nostradamus look like a garden variety carny mind-reader, who only gets anything remotely correct through a combination of centuries of translation errors, poetic imagery in lieu of simple, plainspoken descriptions, and a legion of fans who are prone to interpret things....loosely, let's say.

    He was right about the automobile driving out the horse, though. Now it's going to drive out the humans, too.

    1. The more I read from the futurists of the late 19th and early 20th Century, it becomes clear Edward Bellamy's Looking Backward from 1887 is a major source of ideas. Some people struggled to make a future that looks different from Bellamy's, others agreed with his main points. Several of Watkins' ideas, some of Jack London's and some of the postcards are repeating ideas first seen in Bellamy's book.

      I do not say this to disparage John Elfreth in any way. For example, I never show a picture of Bellamy because he isn't anywhere near as good looking as Watkins. His hair is weak and his mustache is a soup strainer. And beyond mere appearances, some of Watkins' best predictions don't resemble anyone else's ideas.


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