Thursday, December 15, 2016

MA-83 - 45s & Favorites, Disc 16

Here are more songs from the past that are either
  • inarguably great dittys that continue to stand the test of time
  • symbolic of a pathetic attempt to live in the past
I say, why not BOTH?

01. Taxman (Take 11) - The Beatles (2:31)
02. I Talk to the Wind - King Crimson (6:08)  1969
03. In a Broken Dream - Python Lee Jackson (3:39)  1970
04. One Monkey Don't Stop No Show - Honey Cone (3:45)  1971
05. Hurting Each Other - Carpenters (2:48)  1971
06. Watching the River Flow - Bob Dylan (3:34)  1971
07. Chapel of Love - Bette Midler (2:43)  1972
08. When My Baby's Beside Me - Big Star (3:22)  1972
09. Comic Book Heroes - I'm Your Superman - Rick Springfield (3:39)  1973
10. Sister Mary Elephant - Cheech & Chong (3:34)  1973
11. Wild Tales - Graham Nash (2:13)  1973
12. Who Do You Think You Are - Jigsaw (2:57)  1974
13. To Each His Own - Faith, Hope & Charity (5:18)  1975
14. Howzat! - Sherbet (3:45)  1976
15. Hold On -  Ian Gomm (2:59)  1978
16. Rock Lobster (DB Records version) - The B-52's (4:38)  1978
17. Kitty - Racey (3:21)  1979
18. Fish Heads - Barnes & Barnes (2:25)  1980
19. Eaten by the Monster of Love - Sparks (2:59)  1982
20. Earthquake Song - The Little Girls (2:38)  1983
21. The Real End - Rickie Lee Jones (5:02)  1984
22. Sgt  Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise) - A Day in the Life -  Big Daddy (4:56)  1992

... And a few random comments on some of the tracks:
Track #4:  You know your singing group is lackluster when you have to hire an outside singer (Rod Stewart) to have a hit.
Track #9:  A great pair of interlocked tracks from Springfield's second studio album, 1973's Comic Book Heroes.  Whenever I listen, I'd swear that the second part, "I'm Your Superman," is like half a musical step lower than the guitar intro track.
Track #13:  This is not only a fun disco song -- of which there are very few, in my opinion -- but a fine statement of human rights and free thoughts
    The best of business, In the line of business, Is to mind your business --
    So mind your business, If you got no business, Then make it your business
    To leave other people's business alone!
    To each his own, that's my philosophy!

Track #17:  This song is of course, the original from which Toni Basil fashioned her version, "Mickey."
Track #18:  You know that half of Barnes & Barnes is Bill Mumy, the sci-fi star?
Track #22:  From 1992, the wonderful conceit of the band Big Daddy's Sgt Pepper's is that it's performed by a 1950s doo-wop band that has just escaped from a media-free captivity for several decades.  Each song on this frabjous album is performed in a various 1950s pop trope.  The melding of the album's final song with Buddy Holly's legend is super-stupendous.

MA-83 - 45s & Favorites, Disc 16

Thanks to all, and I'll see you on Monday with more exciting news from Book Land!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Tomorrow's Tech -- Today!

 Tomorrow’s Tech … Today!

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


          You might call this concept a parallel universe to hold your leftovers.  Official Marvel Comics doctrine is that shapeshifters send extra mass or energy there and bring it back at will.  After a 1986 reboot of the entire DC universe, John Byrne hand-waved a “pocket universe” into existence to preserve the big-selling Legion of Super-Heroes title, and Superboy’s presence in it (since Superboy had been doctrinally removed). 

          This is familiar to many folks as a videogame trope, an endless backpack from which to pull weapons or other tools whenever your points or energy are high enough.

          While it’s a nice theory, there’s no current science that suggests how to access these hypothetical supply closets, or even their possible existence.  Asimov’s 1972 The Gods Themselves  points out one danger inherent in tapping a hyper-dimension for supplies:  What if the other side is leeching from you, too?  For that matter, what if they want their stuff back?
          And even more important, wouldn’t it be great if, instead, you could take a “pocket nap”?


           Peg legs, Captain Hook, and wooden dentures aside, IRL manufactured organ replacements began with the Jarvik artificial heart, first implanted in 1982.  

         A decade earlier, Martin Caidin’s novel Cyborg started the fictional trope of replacement parts, developing into Star Trek’s Borg and Luke Skywalker’s replacement hand.  On this Earth,  limbs are easier to replace than organs, with some hand models possessing grip facilities detected by nerve impulses.  

          However, there’s no foreseeable future for a brain-in-a-jar running machinery, as in The Ship Who Sang and many Golden Age SF tales.  It looks as if Dr McCoy was right when, in “The Menagerie,” he talked of the medical difficulties involved with jacking into the human brain.


           Star Trek TOS had “food processors.”  They were called “replicators” in TNG, and were byproducts of transporter technology, converting bulk materials into a desired molecular pattern.  “Earl Grey, hot,” anyone? 

          3-D printers have been available since the early 2000s, but are presently limited to nonorganics.  In 2005, researchers reported success in using “cell jet printers” to print first bacteria and even mammalian cells.  A company named Digilab sells the “CellJet Cell Printer.”  Stay tuned!


          One of the fond ideas of the Industrial Revolution was concentrated food, usually called “food pills.”  William Hope Hodgson's The Night Land (1912) is one of the earliest examples of this, with food tablets as well as "dehydrated water" (!) in the far future.  In The Patchwork Girl of Oz (1913), Professor Wogglebug has invented Square Meal Pills.  Other literary references include Ray Bradbury tales, and Stephen King’s The Running Man.  In films and video, 1964's Santa Claus Conquers the Martians  includes Ice Cream or Cake food pills.  Star Trek’s Kelvans used food pills, and similar things appeared in a few Lost in Space episodes.  Food concentrates are also familiar from The Jetsons and Futurama.

          But, as a 2010 article about failed predictions points out, given a standard adult 2000-calorie diet, present technology would still require you to choke down a pound or so of pills a day.  And besides, who would rather pop a pill than eat a knish or a hamburger?

See you Thursday!
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© by Mark Alfred