"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, January 2, 2014

2 January 2014

Kate Bosworth b. 1983 (Superman Returns)
David Gyasi b. 1980 (Cloud Atlas, The Dark Knight Rises, Doctor Who, Torchwood)
Dax Shepard b. 1975 (Idiocracy, Zathura: A Space Adventure)
Lucy Davis b. 1973 (Shaun of the Dead)
Taye Diggs b. 1971 (Equilibrium, House on Haunted Hill)
Evan Parke b. 1968 (American Horror Story, King Kong, Charmed, Planet of the Apes [2001])
Cuba Gooding jr. (Hardwired, The Devil’s Tomb, What Dreams May Come, Outbreak)
Tia Carrere b. 1967 (Warehouse 13, Relic Hunter, Kull the Conqueror, Quantum Leap, Zombie Nightmare)
Deborah Watling b. 1948 (Doctor Who, H.G. Wells Invisible Man [1959])
Charles Beaumont b. 1929 died 21 February 1967 (writer, Queen of Outer Space, Burn, Witch, Burn, Premature Burial, Twilight Zone, 7 Faces of Dr. Lao, The Masque of the Red Death)
Jason Evers b. 1922 died 13 March 2005 (The Bionic Woman, The Fantastic Journey, Escape for the Planet of the Apes, The Illustrated Man, Star Trek, The Invaders, The Brain That Wouldn’t Die)
Isaac Asimov b. 1920 (or not) died 4/6/1992 (definitely)
(won 1973 Nebula and Hugo for The Gods Themselves)
(won 1983 Hugo for Foundation’s Edge)

Long birthday list today, a lot of actors from recent genre TV and films. A short explanation of the names of people born in the first half of the 20th Century. Deborah Watling was a companion to the Second Doctor (Patrck Troughton), Jason Evers' role on Star Trek was as the balding guy who was jealous of Kirk when he was accelerated in Blink of an Eye, one of the many episodes where aliens wore shiny costumes. Charles Beaumont was a very prolific writer who died at the age of 38 and the guy in the Picture Slot needs no introduction.

Many happy returns to the living on our list, and to the dead, thanks for the memories. 

Predictor: Isaac Asimov in 1964, predicting the world of 2014

Prediction: In 2014, there is every likelihood that the world population will be 6,500,000,000 and the population of the United States will be 350,000,000. Boston-to-Washington, the most crowded area of its size on the earth, will have become a single city with a population of over 40,000,000.

Population pressure will force increasing penetration of desert and polar areas. Most surprising and, in some ways, heartening, 2014 will see a good beginning made in the colonization of the continental shelves. Underwater housing will have its attractions to those who like water sports, and will undoubtedly encourage the more efficient exploitation of ocean resources, both food and mineral. General Motors shows, in its 1964 exhibit, the model of an underwater hotel of what might be called mouth-watering luxury. The 2014 World's Fair will have exhibits showing cities in the deep sea with bathyscaphe liners carrying men and supplies across and into the abyss.

Reality:  Along with nuclear war, overpopulation was one of the two great worries of futurists in the mid 20th Century. The first didn't happen, at least not yet, and the second did happen, but not exactly in the way people thought it would. Asimov undershot the world population, now estimated at 7.1 billion, and overestimated the United States, now at about 317,300,000. This is because the growth rate has been less than exponential in industrialized nations and is finally slowing in the developing world as well. Boston-to-Washington is not a single city and the population of the top ten cities in that stretch combined does not add up to 20,000,000. The most crowded areas on earth of that size are likely in India or China.

I'll give Asimov a point for increasing penetration of desert areas. The so-called Sun Belt in the United States is mostly desert. In the past 50 years, Albuquerque doubled, Phoenix tripled and Las Vegas has nine times more people than it did in the 1960s, even more if you count its suburbs, which barely existed back in the day.

But then there's the polar and continental shelf stuff. Not so much, Isaac.

I rate this one at about 30% to 40%. Not a passing grade.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

TED Talks! Movers! Shakers! Completely inaccurate pinheads!

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!


  1. I remember reading Paul Ehrlich's "The Population Bomb" and worrying about it at the time, and of course "Soylent Green" rode the trend to success. We probably will never live under the sea but the way things are going the world's coastal cities will be dealing with rising water and some interesting innovations will come from that.

    1. I've got a set of predictions from Ehrlich lined up to be a weekly regular once the TED talks are exhausted. He stunk the place out pretty bad, numbers pulled out of... well, let's say thin air to be polite.

  2. I'll make another prediction which you're welcome to use if you (and this blog) are still around: by mid-century at the latest, and within a decade or two more likely, the "Sun Belt" will see an enormous exodus due to water shortages, and water uncertainty. Phoenix and Las Vegas in particular are already starting to see some real problems, with limited restrictions quite possible this year.

    1. Thanks, Lockwood. For the most part, I use predictions with due dates that are already passed or just a few years in the future. 2020 is about as far away as I get, though I might put one in from 2025 if I think it's good enough.

      Water supply is certainly one of the major problems with population increase and the necessary increases in agriculture to feed all these people.


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