Showing posts with label future. Show all posts
Showing posts with label future. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 31, 2016


I like to think of planes flying low through populated areas. It sounds dangerous and it would be noisy beyond belief, but I can't help thinking that it would be fun for both the pilot and the people on the ground. There must be a way to make this work. 

My guess is that the way will be found, probably in the lifetime of half the people reading this. After all, we live in the age of noise canceling headphones and accident avoidance software. All of that will continue to improve, won't it?

On another subject, I'm guessing that under Earth mines will be dug artistically with a view toward what can be done with the tunnels when the ore's run out. Even empty mines will be valuable assets.

If you're a present day private pilot you no doubt avoid the inside of clouds. Pilots die all the time in can't see what's ahead when you're in them. Accident avoidance technology will make all that a thing of the past.

People will be able to safely explore the wispy caverns floating over their heads.

Some plants will be made to grow more quickly. Expect to see beautiful trees where there were parking lots only a few years before.

 Some trees will be genetically modified to assume fun shapes like the bridge above.

Sci-fi writers long ago predicted that cars will run underwater as well as on land. Surely we'll see that soon.

 But maybe we won't want a lot of cars churning up the sea bottom.
Maybe only public transport will be allowed to do it.

 Until recently I thought artsy designs (above) were the future of bridges...

...but it seems that engineers might have the last word. Lighter, stronger bridges are on the drawing boards right now. Engineers are competing to see who can lift the most weight with the lightest and simplest structure.

The ramp would go through the center.

Twisted structures are being discussed. THAT (above) how we'll cross rivers in the future? Haw! Nobody'll believe it can just looks too improbable.

Maybe we need to see another demonstration like the one (above) that sold the famous bridge to the city of Edinburgh.

Thursday, November 06, 2014


Of all the possible futures envisioned by architects the one that appeals to me most is the one in which the world has been reforested. It would be a high tech world with all the modern innovations, but one in which nature would never be far from our front door.

Utopians disagree about the nature of this urban forest. Lots of people want to see concrete skyscrapers sticking out of tended gardens a little like the one above. That's not a bad way to go, and it would be a big improvement over what we have now, but I'd like to see some towns try a different look.

 My own taste is for a mixture of tended gardens and of primeval, wild, old-growth, urban forest. I don't mind pushing aside branches every once in a while. It's probably a wildly impractical idea, but I wouldn't mind being one of the people who try it.

These towns would be home to free-roaming wild animals.

Don't ask me how that could be made to work. Figuring out the "how" is somebody else's job.

What would the houses and sidewalks look like in such a town? Maybe something Arthur Rackhamish, like this (above).

This (above), by the way, is one of my all-time favorite landscape photos. It's a thought-provoking picture that really is worth a thousand words. You might want to enlarge it.

 Rackham's illustrations show a fondness for wild, scraggy forests.

Most artists favor the sentimental Romantic forest (above) where trees look cute, like something out of a Disney film. Not so for Arthur Rackam.

Rackham took forests as he found them. They're not easy to traverse, and they don't exist for our sake; in fact, it's not at all clear how man fits into them. They're a mystery, an enigma, a place where gnomes and mythological creatures might be plausible..

I think about things like that when I'm in the treehouse at Disneyland. Now that would be a great house to live in, but it would require a colossal old growth tree and there aren't many of those these days.

Here's a more modest ground-level house, surrounded by wild, stringy foliage. It still has the Rackham touch.

Of course this Utopian town requires creeks and rivers that would be well-stocked with fish.

Kids' walk to school would take them through beautiful caves.

Uh-oh. It's a traffic jam (above). Roads in the town are narrow and nature is always close by. I don't envision cars covered with moss like the one in the foreground, but I like the idea of narrow streets in the verdant jungle. I like the idea of leafy tunnels.

Most people would find it easier to use public transportation instead. Within the town that would be provided by miles-long roller coasters (above) that wind their way up and down through the forest.

Maybe the Disney people should build a green town like this in Tomorrowland. After all,  we're all headed for a green future.

My ideal town would contain several rope bridges.

Maybe a Chinese bridge, too. I don't know if the style would fit in, but what the heck.

Would the town have an airport? Yes, a small one. Something very high tech. The idea is to cobine very high tech with very low tech.

With stewardesses, too!

Tuesday, September 09, 2014


Fashion has been funny for at least four decades and it shows no sign of abating. The big trend in recent times is clothes that fit but don't don't fit.  Here the model wears a tailored version of the kind of felt costumes that puppets wore in TV shows like "Fireball XL-5." Maybe there's a hint of anime in it, too.

Stiff bras are funny and for that reason I predict their return. They'll keep their shape even when the girl reclines, with the result that girls will recline more often.

Nerds are everywhere nowadays and they've influenced fashion. Girls usually combine the nerd look with other things. This girl (above) starts with nerd but uses tattoos for a hipster accent and bare feet for a touch of hippy.

Here's (above) an interesting picture. It has nothing to do with what the girl is wearing, it's about the pose she's taken. She's deliberately emphasizing the line of her jaw and of the back of her neck, something only professional photographers used to do.

I'm guessing that came about because of the latest trends in bathroom design. Modern bathrooms have two large mirrors, one in front, and one in back. The result of that is that a greater number of people than ever before have an awareness of what they look like from the back and side.  That's bound to effect fashion and even the type of poses people strike in public.

   In my opinion the muscular look for women will soon go out of fashion, but that's probably just wishfull thinking.

Saturday, January 05, 2013


First of all, I don't think much of what we see around us now will survive to reach the future. All the plastic containers and ads, all the iphones and books...all that stuff will be incinerated by successors who just want to get rid of the clutter.  One thing that might survive, oddly enough, is hard wood furniture because old growth wood will become a luxury item as forests disappear. If you have a message to convey to the future you might consider carving it on the bottom of your wooden dining room table if you have a nice one.

I'm glad we have a Library of Congress and a Smithsonian but these institutions are vulnerable to fire and war, and to the apathy of the public if the culture no longer values what's in them. My guess is that most of what's in those institutions is sitting in Bekins Storage-type warehouses in the area around Washington D.C.  A fire in a single Maryland Bekins could wipe out a whole chunk of American history that's preserved there.

Then too, what the Smithsonian decides to keep is problematic. The history of a  powerful lobby like feminism might be secure unless America converts to Islam, but less powerful interests will go undocumented. We only have pictures of some of the great jazz musicians because a single individual decided to photograph them. The Smithsonian never photographed Spumco. The Savoy Ballroom and the Jitterbug weren't much covered by Smithsonian photographers. The dancing in Black clubs today is underdocumented in pictures.

My prediction for the future is that it will ransack the past for inspiration in every cultural area.  If you were to step out of a time machine in the future you'd see buildings benefiting from the latest technology to be sure, but you'd also see recreations of Fort Apache, old pagodas, the Parthenon and 50s "Googie" diners. The 20th Century will be well represented because epochs that creative are few and far between and the future will want to understand how we did it.

My guess is that the future will delight in imagining how we lived in our time. They won't hold our limited technology against us, they'll envy us in some respects. I picture levitating brains of the far future doing cosplay recreations of what it was like to be a cartoonist at Spumco. Wearing all wrong interpretations of the clothing of our time, they'll meet in clubhouses and try to recreate a typical morning at Spumco of the 1990s:

BRAIN #1: "Greetings Jun Krid-faal-lucy (John Kricfalusi)!"

BRAIN #2: Greetings "Veen-send Wahl-lair (Vincent Waller)! Let us have a Gog Session (a gag session)!"

The brains, dragging faux blue jeans from their undercarriage and wearing knitted Superfly hats, levitate to a room with a conference table.

BRAIN #1: "Okay, I have a gog that is quite humorous: The Ren dog gets into a sanitizing water container and furts (farts). Ha-ha-ha-ha."

BRAIN #2: "Er...what is a furt?"

BRAIN#1: "Um...I don't know, but a methane bubble is created."

BRAIN #2: "A bubble? Hmmmm. Let us have two bubbles to make it twice as good! Ha-ha-ha-ha."

And so on........

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Nobody understood the future like Wally Wood.  He knew that our successors will have emotional conflicts just like we do, and that many a future spat will be settled with a laser blast. Here (above) two young space patrolers squabble under the ceiling of a futuristic bachelor pad owned by a nice old granny. The spaceman's wrinkly suit appears to be caught in his buttocks, but no one seems to notice.

I love the way Wood handles his backgrounds. All his characters, even villains, creatures and old ladies, take an obvious delight in cavorting around the 50s furniture. Wood would have loved Ikea, which is as close to a real-life Wood theme park as we're likely to see. 

Wood rightly assumed that future men will lust over beautiful babes the same way we do now.  He knew that women will spend a lot of time lounging around their pads in see-through clothing, and will therefore get lots of calls from guys on their video phones.

He foresaw that young men would live in spotlessly clean, high tech apartments in the tropical jungle. No bugs or mud, just friendly, beautiful neighbors.

Wood also knew that beautiful girls will have no need to take rocket ships to other worlds.  Every strange, loathsome beast in the galaxy will sooner or later come to them.

Last of all, Wood knew that tail fin cars would make a comeback, and that the future would be full of them. How did he know!? It's uncanny!