Amazing Tech Predictions from 1978, Come True!

Musings, Nostalgia, Technology

“Must…have…now!,” I exclaimed, as I whisked this 1978 Newsweek from atop a stack of vintage, disco-era magazines at a nearby Antique Mall. Cost: $1, same as cover price in ’78! Are you kidding? A deal to reveal… “TV of Tomorrow!”

newsweek-1978-cover-lowrez

I am mesmerized by the meticulously rendered M. Kunstler cover, with its Bruce McCall-like images of a nuclear family at play. But more so, I gasped at the cover’s eerie, uncannily accurate prescience regarding details of Our Modern Digital World.

Hold onto your Roller Derby helmet! This painting predicts:

1. Our ability to summon Uber and other ride-sharing services while tracking driver proximity.


2. Remote-controlled drones.


3. The iPhone 10. (You heard it here first.)


4. Our growing acceptance of recreational marijuana.


5. The breech at Ashley Madison and revelations of passion gone awry.


6. The announcement that Will Ferrell will soon start in a tennis dramedy. (True and coming soon.)


7. Ghost photobombs.


8. The perennial popularity of vinyl. (Vinyl? Still around? That can’t be right.)

But, bravo, Newsweek, for this unnervingly accurate, telescopic view of tech today from 1978, the year of “Grease,” “Superman” and “National Lampoon’s Animal House.” Let’s download those films by thought control, shall we?

Meanwhile, there is one futuristic, tech object I can’t identify in the shot.

I mean:

What the heck is THIS?

Perhaps the future isn’t completely knowable.

Walt Jaschek is obviously a futurist.

11 Signs We’re Writing Too Many List Posts

Content Writing, Musings

list-post

Ah, numbered lists! As content, they’re proven link-bait; they’re merciful on readers’ eyes; and they’re an easy, go-to structure – maybe a little too “go-to” – for me and my fellow content writers. Here are 11 signs we might be addicted to writing list posts.

1. We keep a list of list posts we intend to write.

2. We tell our spouses or partners, “Here are six things you can do to turn me on tonight – and one you’ll have to figure out yourself.”

3. We’d rewrite the title of “Four Weddings and a Funeral” to “Four Weddings and A Funeral You Won’t Believe.”

4. For background music while writing lists, we listen to a Spotify playlist of Franz Liszt.

5. We are bummed Listly.com is already taken. It was on our “domains-to-buy” list.

6. We get a secret thrill when Microsoft Word automatically puts a numeral or letter in front of our lists. How does it know?

7. We spend lunch thinking of “50 New Ways to Leave Your Lover.” But we can’t get further than #22, “Use the Lyft app, Hap.”

8. We try to recall the exact list of reasonsNobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.”

9. We are envious of recipe posts because they by nature get to include ingredient lists. Damn them!

10. Our Bucket Lists include doing a podcast of Celebrity Bucket Lists. (Actually, I’d listen to that.)

11. To see this last, surprising sign, download my ebook… Just kidding. I don’t have an ebook to download. 

Yet.

 Walt Jaschek has #11 on his list.

Marvel’s No-Prize: Yes, I Won One.

Comics, Flashbacks, Musings

noprize

Memory. 1968. Eighth grade. An envelope arrives from Marvel Comics! In it, another envelope. A No-Prize! Bestowed by then editor-in-chief Stan Lee, who created the No-Prize as a running joke in Marvel Comics letter columns. I wrote a published letter deemed worthy of a No-Prize — and no prize I’ve won since compares.

“Congratulations,” it says. “This envelope contains a genuine Marvel Comics No-Prize which you have just won. Handle with Care.” I did, through the decades. That’s a pic I shot recently. The outer envelope (from 625 Madison Avenue, New York, 10022) has yellowed. The No-Prize itself… is mint.