Monday, February 19, 2018

Tomorrow’s Tech … Today!

Tomorrow’s Tech … Today!

Many futuristic inventions have come to pass, while some may never be realized.


            One of the more hopeful projections of SF’s future societies is the idea that medicine and healing will be dramatically sped up.  On this front, Star Trek may lead the pack with its diagnostic tables, tricorders, and the good ol’ anabolic protoplaser. Richard Shaver’s Teros and Deros wielded both healthy (“ben”) and harmful (“stim”) rays.  Did you know that Wonder Woman’s healing “purple ray” was actually based on an Edgar Cayce gadget?

            In 1979’s Alien, Kane is hustled to the “infirmary” after the facehugger has latched onto him.  He lies on a diagnostic bed which analyzes him.  Alan Dean Foster’s novelization of the movie actually calls this tech “the autodoc.” 

In a deleted scene from towards the film’s end, Ripley discovers Captain Dallas cocooned to a wall by the xenomorph.  When Dallas begs for death, Ripley offers to place him in the Notromo’s autodoc, but it’s too late; incineration is the only way to keep the alien’s spawn from hatching through Dallas.

            Here on Earth, Wilhelm Reich’s belief in the healing power of concentrated cosmic energy — “orgone therapy” — led to his imprisonment by the US government, where he died in 1957.  But times change!  In 2014, NASA signed two patent agreements with Texas-based GRoK Technologies. 

One would cover the growth of 3-D human tissue for drug testing; the other involved a device to treat pain without drugs.  The hope was to employ such devices on the International Space Station.

            Regarding diagnostic beds, the limits of modern medicine still require sensors to be attached to the patient, darn it.  But on a more optimistic note, Xprize is currently offering $10 million for a working medical tricorder design!


If you can’t travel through time, perhaps you can watch history “live”!  The idea of a “television through time” has been a fruitful concept, beginning with an 1883 story, “L'historioscope,” by Eugène Mouton.  In comic books, it may be a uncomplicated as a super-fast trip into space to overtake light-waves from the past, or a “time telescope,” such as used by Superboy in a 1960 tale to show the teenaged Bruce Wayne their costumed-hero future friendship.

          Asimov’s 1956 story “The Dead Past” asks where time viewing might end, pointing out that being able to view the past might include a secret meeting held an hour ago, or private lives one second ago!  The 2000 Stephen Baxter/Arthur Clarke novel The Light of Other Days likewise opines that past-viewing would lead to society’s ruination by the elimination of privacy.  Meanwhile, on the viddy, Dr Who and Star Trek have featured time viewers in individual episodes.

          The explanation behind most fictional chronoscopes involves the harnessing of light rays emitted by past events. Strictly speaking, astronomers are viewing the past when they examine the heavens!  But so far the only theorized real-world possibility involves moving a wormhole’s exit from its gravitational field, to affect time and stretch it out for watching.  But good luck leaving the neighborhood after the show is over!

All right, gang, it's "time" to go.  Be "well"!  And come back next Monday for the next installment in a new series ... called WATCHMENUTIA ... about that favorite deconstructionist comic-book maxi-series, you-know-what.

Monday, February 12, 2018

MA-128 - Obsessive Love Tales

Have a twisted Valentine's Day with these slightly skewed love songs ...

Here's the lineup:
01 - Tapeworm of Love - Brute Force - 1967   (1:48)
02 - Alien Girl - Richard Bone - 1981   (3:04)
03 - Cold Blue Steel (Against My Head) - The Guardians of American Morality - 1987   (3:27)
04 - Plastic Love - Zed - 1983   (5:01)
05 - Creepin' Up on You - Darren Hayes - 2002   (4:52)
06 - Hypnotised - Scarlett Von Vollenman - 1981   (2:56)
07 - Helen in Your Headphones - The Dots - 1982   (3:02)
08 - Secret Love for Dinosaurs - The Procession - 1987   (3:01)
09 - Not from Her World - 4 Out of 5 Doctors - 1980   (4:28)
10 - I'm in Love with My Computer - Andy Warhol Banana Technicolor - 1982   (3:43)
11 - Contact High - Bill Lloyd - 1999   (4:31)
12 - Astral Love - Newstreet - 1982   (4:25)
13 - I'm in Love with My Walls - Lester Bangs and the Delinquents - 1981   (2:50)
14 - Loving a Siamese Twin - MAD Magazine - Jeanne Hayes - 1963   (2:18)
15 - Girls in Uniform - The Catch - 1982   (3:09)
16 - Toothless Girl - None If Any - 1985   (2:48)
17 - (My Girl's a) Hologram - The Rabies - 1982   (2:07)
18 - Plastic Doll - Bohemia - 1981   (3:02)
19 - Fictional Girl - Silent Guests - 1981   (3:28)
20 - X-Ray Specs - Moose Lodge - 1984   (1:38)
21 - Alien Too (Fallin') - French Revolution - 1988   (4:45)
22 - Anorexia - The Headhunters - 1985   (3:15)
23 - Girl in a Magazine - The Brains - 1980   (2:58)

See you next Monday!

Monday, February 05, 2018

Volume 1 of The Moody Blues’ Bio Is Released!

            Another great book from the mind of Marc Cushman (with a little help from yours truly) has arrived!

            Before I was asked to edit Marc Cushman’s book (now two volumes) about the Moody Blues, I knew very little about them, nor really cared.  I was a Beatles/Emerson, Lake & Palmer/Jethro Tull guy, as far as Britmusic went.

            But, despite myself, I came to learn a lot about this group whose music made a big WHAM! of an impact on pop culture. Marc documents the madness, hopes, disunion, and waves of popularity.  Most of this was news to me!

            I have a new appreciation for their music, especially since I’ve learned so much about the people and stories behind the songs.

            Through the kazillions of words from the Moodies, their friends, their family, and entertainment types, I learned tons of fascinatin’ info.  I came to know a lot about the group, and the thoughts of the members.

            Each wave of young consumers finds its own way to express its own feelings of joy, love, discovery, contemplation. For millions, the Moody Blues were the best at putting these thoughts and emotions into music and words.

            Whether you’re a Moody Blues fan when you finish – that’s up to you. But you’ll be thankful you started the journey. I know I am!

TRUTH IN REVIEWING:  I am the editor of this book.

(Forgive the low-res screengrabs from my digital, editing version:)

            From 1964

            To 1978

            ... You’ll learn gazillions of fascinating stories about the Moody Blues.  I promise!

See you next Monday for a special Valentine's music compilation!
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