"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!

Monday, November 25, 2013

25 November 2013

Kristian Nairn b. 1975 (Game of Thrones)
Stefanie von Pfetten b. 1973 (Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, Eureka, Battlestar Galactica, Andromeda)
Billy Burke b. 1966 (Twilight, Revolution)
Bruce Hopkins b. 1955 (Lord of the Rings, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Xena)
Tracey Walter b. 1947 (Batman, Independence Day, Star Trek: The Next Generation)
Jeffrey Hunter b. 1926 died 5/27/1969 (Star Trek)
Poul Anderson b. 1926 died 31 July 2001 (author, The Technic History series, Hoka, Tales of Known Space)
Noel Neill b. 1920 (Adventures of Superman)
Ricardo Montalban b. 1920 died 14/1/2009 (Star Trek, Spy Kids)
Shelagh Fraser b. 1920 died 29 August 2000 (Star Wars)

I love to find pairs of people who were born on the exact same day, but today we have triplets. Khan, Lois Lane and Aunt Beru! That's pretty cool, and Lois (Noel Neill) is still alive! I guess hanging out with Superman seriously reduces the chance you'll be hit by a bus.

Next year's Picture Slot?


Many happy returns to the living on our list.

Predictions: prices of consumer goods and salaries in 2010

Predictor: The OMNI Future Almanac, published 1982

Reality: I seriously love The OMNI Future Almanac. I know I can just open a page and start reading. If I've already used something, just flip pages until there's something new. Today, it's a page about the salaries and prices of consumer goods in 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000 and 2010, and it made the assumption that the inflation seen from 1970 to 1980 was The New Normal. I'm only publishing the 2010 numbers, which as you will see, are bughouse crazy with very few exceptions.

Living on a fixed income? What's that?

Here is the key to the reading the color codes of the prices and salaries.

Red means super crazy high.
Black means in the ballpark.
Green means remarkably low. 

1 lb. hamburger $22.75
1 lb. bacon $12.00
head of lettuce $5.00
ear of corn $2.50
can of soup $2.75 (Campbell's is usually a buck less, but Progresso, Andersen and other brands can be this expensive.)
1 dozen large eggs $18.00
Loaf of bread $8.00
Quart of milk $5.75
1 lb. coffee $25.00
Cup of coffee $4.50 (Is that a tall or a venti? I don't drink coffee.)
Paperback $22.00 (The only part of the publishing industry that has gone this kind of crazy is the textbook market.)
Newspaper $2.75
Magazine $30.00
Movie ticket $33.00
Gallon of gas $2.00 (Oh, don't we wish?)
Postage stamp $2.25
Candy bar $2.50
12 oz. Coca-Cola $4.75
Subway ride $20.00
Hotel room $1200.00 (I looked it up and found that the Plaza in New York charges $1000 a night, but the Alamanac was talking about a room that would cost $75 in 1980.)
Calculator $50.00 (You can get a calculator good enough to get through statistics for under $20, but the high end TI-83 and TI-89 are closer to $100, and way better than anything available in the 1980s.)
Man's haircut $40.00 (You can get them definitely cheaper, but there are places that charge this much.)
Woman's cut & set $225.00 (Same as goes for men's haircuts.)
Ten speed bike $1,000.00 (Now, 21 speeds are the standard, and if you are on a budget, it's easy to pay about $200, which was the price in 1980, but there are definitely more expensive bikes available, even more than a grand.)
U.S. compact car $70,000.00
3 room apt. rent $10,000.00 a month
3 bedroom house $1,000,000

Secretary $95,000 (average: $30,000 to $40,000)
Ad executive $375,000 (average: $170,000)
Factory worker $197,600 (average: $40,000)
High school teacher $110,000 (average: $55,000)
Subway conductor $135,000 (average: $75,000)
Major league ballplayer
(average skills) $330,000 (rookie minimum is about $500,000)

So what is today's lesson, boys and girls? Yes, we pay insane amounts for cups of coffee, it's possible to pay a lot for a haircut or a bicycle and pro sports salaries are completely out of whack with the salaries of the people in the stands.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

A really cool invention predicted to come about in 1986.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!  


  1. The two crazy low predictions are, interestingly, both areas in which the insanely wealthy are manipulating the markets to extract the maximum rent from their activities. Of course, everyone wants to make as much money as possible, but in those two areas the people at the top also have the power to control the entire market.

    The sad part is that after thirty years of hair-on-fire "inflation is going to eat your children and get your dog pregnant" fear-mongering, inflation has turned out to be a problem that is not very hard to deal with, although as Atrios points out it has become nearly the only indicator that the media cares about (or the Fed. 20% U6? No biggie. Inflation at 1%? AIIIEEEEEEE!). As I understand it, inflation only really harms the investor class; mild inflation has a tendency towards upward pressure on wages, so the 99% tend to keep up with it for the most part.

    Basically, I am bullish on the markets for pitchforks and tumbrels.

    1. My tumbrel is in terrible disrepair.

      I assume we'll need these to load our insane numbers of Obama dollars to the store to buy a jillion dollar loaf of bread, right?

  2. Thank you for your daily toil and blogs. They are featured on Ring of Fire Sci Fi convention on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/rofcon/
    BTW todays Monday movie memory was Joy from "The Bugaloos"

    1. Hi, Allen. Thanks for putting my stuff up on the Facebook page. If you could include a link each time, I'd be obliged.

  3. I own a TI-89 and it does way, way more than I'll ever need. It's hard to use if you don't use it often for statistics, the TI-84 is easier but the 89 can factor, it can factor anything!

  4. hmpf, TI calculators. If you wanted to be cool in Engineering school, you needed an HP with RPN.

    1. Now, boys. Don't make me stop the car to break this up.

    2. Nerd fights are sad, and funny.

      Now let's do Mac-Pc!

  5. I was still using my 12C with RPN in B-School; the TI-84 was required. As our Finance professor noted, she and I were the only ones who knew how to use an RPN calculator.

    Noel Neill - Do not leave out that she was the star of Superman Returns, making Lex Luthor's empire possible in the first scenes...


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