omni collection online

This is a detail of page 72 of the July 1982 issue of the magazine ↑Omni. Depicted is the beginning of ↑William Gibson‘s short story ‘↑Burning Chrome.’ It is a bit of linguistic history, because here the word ‘cyberspace’ saw print for the very first time.     Fittingly enough in the same issue, right after the first part of Gibson’s short story, there is an article (Manna 1982) on ‘↑Tron‘ (Lisberger 1982) featuring double-paged stills, illustrating the subheading ‘A science-fiction film leaps inside a bizarre computer world’:  This picture spreads over pages 82 and 83 of Omni July 1982, … Continue reading

Share

vintage tomorrows

  There’s a fine new book: ‘Vintage Tomorrows’ (Carrott & Johnson 2013). Here’s the official description: What would today’s technology look like with Victorian-era design and materials? That’s the world steampunk envisions: a mad-inventor collection of 21st century-inspired contraptions powered by steam and driven by gears. In this book, futurist Brian David Johnson and cultural historian James Carrott explore steampunk, a cultural movement that’s captivated thousands of artists, designers, makers, hackers, and writers throughout the world.     Just like today, the late 19th century was an age of rapid technological change, and writers such as Jules Verne and H.G. … Continue reading

Share

xirdalium at wikipedia

No, not my humble blog here, rather the fictional element from which my humble blog here derives its name. It always bothered me, that Xirdalium—most likely an invention by Jules Verne’s son Michel—didn’t shine up in Wikipedia’s ↑list of fictional elements, materials, isotopes and atomic particles. Today I thought ‘enough is enough,’ or ‘there’s only so much a man can take,’ and created the following entry in said list: Xirdalium. An element ‘a hundred times more radio-active than radium.’ (Verne 1909 [1908]: 125) Most probably it was invented by ↑Jules Verne‘s son ↑Michel, who introduced it to the novel ‘↑The … Continue reading

Share

wireless devices 1906

Kip W ↑unearthed the above wonderful, stunningly up-to-date ↑Punch cartoon (Williams 1955: 164) by artist ↑Lewis Baumer (1870-1963), which first was published in 1906! It’s great historical evidence for how early in the development of a given technology people not only speculate about the future trajectory of said development, but also think about possible social consequences of it. WILLIAMS, RONALD EARNEST. 1955. A century of Punch cartoons. New York: Simon and Schuster. via ↑entry at ↑boingboing … Continue reading

Share

what is cited?

zeph’s pop culture quiz #53 Which movie is payed homage to by the scene about to commence in the screencap? Bonus question: Which other movies are cited in the movie the screencap stems from?     Simply leave a comment with your educated guess—you can ask for additional hints, too. [Leaving a comment is easy; just click the ‘Leave a comment’ at the end of the post and fill in the form. If it’s the first time you post a comment, it will be held for moderation. But I am constantly checking, and once I’ve approved a comment, your next … Continue reading

Share

science as servant

A 1946 advertisement for the ↑Bendix Corporation, scanned and put online by Paul Malon—↑click for larger versions, in order to be able to read all of the small text, too. The slogan ‘Creative engineering makes science your obedient servant’ not only perfectly sums up the immediate post-war era stance of absolute belief in technological feasibility, but also unmistakingly voices where science’s proper place in society should be. I maintain that the understanding of said era is quintessential for understanding our contemporary world: In present day society, the term ‘science’ has great potency. Not only is ‘science’ more or less equivalent … Continue reading

Share

harper goff’s nautilus

Just recently we heard that ↵the mash still is safe and sound at the Smithsonian—now there’s even more comforting news. The original model of ↵Captain Nemo’s submarine ‘Nautilus’ designed by ↑Harper Goff and used in ‘↑20,000 Leagues Under The Sea‘ by Richard Fleischer (1954) is kept intact ↑at the Disney Archives. FLEISCHER, RICHARD. 1954. 20,000 leagues under the sea [motion picture]. Burbank: Buena Vista Distribution. via ↑entry at ↑clockworker … Continue reading

Share

the mash still

After the ↵infamous Stim-U-Lax [and after just recently having spoken of ↵wonderful contraptions] here’s another piece of weird technology from ↑M*A*S*H: ↑the still! Following the end of production on M*A*S*H in January of 1983, 20th Century-Fox donated the O.R. set and the Swamp set to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. Included was the still. An exhibition was held at the National Museum of American History from July of 1983 to January of 1985. When the exhibition closed, the sets were packed up and placed in storage. The still is likely in a box somewhere in a warehouse. ↑still via … Continue reading

Share

proto science fiction

As the faithful reader might have noticed, I am, among other things, fond of early science fiction—of course always on the hunt for elements of ↵the cyberpunk discourse, and for entries to my ↵according list, where I strive to furnish downlod links as far as technically and legally possible. Now, in the wake of a recent panel on Victorian and Edwardian science fiction at ↑Chicon 7, over ↑at Wondermark there’s a list of according science fiction with download links. The post also hints us at the fine anthology ‘Science Fiction by Gaslight’ (Moskowitz 1968), and a commenter added the two … Continue reading

Share

paradise parking

American-born, Paris-based photographer ↑Peter Lippman explores a world of stationary cars overtaken by nature in his series entitled ↑Paradise Parking. This personal project that was two years in the making captures abandoned cars from yesteryear that are overwhelmed by roots and leaves from its surrounding natural environment. The vehicles’ rusty, tarnished finish coupled with nature’s swarming shades of green and brown wrapping its extended limbs around the cars makes for an interestingly post-apocalyptic scene. via ↑entry at ↑kueperpunk … Continue reading

Share