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24-Hour Daylight (1960)

I'd put this retro-futuristic prediction in the "why the hell would you do that?" file.

The August 7, 1960 Chicago Tribune ran this panel of Arthur Radebaugh's Closer Than We Think, titled "24-Hour Daylight." It imagines a world in which miniature artificial suns illuminate cities of the future. To be fair, those people look like they couldn't be happier. Does sleep deprivation cause some sort of euphoric state?

Man-made balls of fire may be used to light up tomorrow's cities. American scientists are currently pondering an idea along those lines that was first described in technical papers by George Babat, a Russian.

Bendix researcher Donald Ritchie recently reported that balls of light -- actually miniature suns -- might be created by focusing huge transmitting devices so that the rays they generate would cross each other and produce electromagnetic fields. These luminous fields could be used to light up large areas underneath them. Rays would be pointed as necessary to determine exactly where the artificial "sunlight" would fall.

Next week: Missile Movers

Previously on Paleo-Future:


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Reader Comments (11)

The people in the illustrations look like the characters from Mad Men. Who wears a bowtie while grilling steaks? That looks like Joan carrying the tray.

October 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMaxwell Hammer

What's interesting about the illustration is that it doesn't really look like daylight. It looks like one mega huge luxury car headlight bearing down on them at night.

October 22, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterlorax

That looks like some kind of... uncontrolled nuclear cores right above the city...? Probably not the safest artificial light.

And isn't that a frakin ball of fire? I think that's visible from quite a distance, how could you determine exactly where the light would fall...?

October 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLyan

Take that, anti-light pollution advocates! We dont want your stinkin stars anyway!

October 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge Jetson

There is actually a sort of hyper-euphoria that people in extreme northern and southern latitudes sometimes experience during summer when they have near-24 hour sunlight. (It has a name but I can't think of it right now.) But I don't think it's considered a good thing. Who thought this would be a good idea. Weird.

October 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSlimbolala

24 hours daylight! It is impossible and it is not good also! I don't think so that It will happen in future also! But I must say that It is very unique post!

October 24, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterglucosamine

Trying to remember a SF story that dealt with a planet with no night time. I know that NIGHTFALL by Asimov used it as a central premise, but I think there was another that dealt more with the advancements in a society that didn't need 8 hours of downtime per day. Not that people didn't sleep, but just that those extra 8 hours would be used for productive advancement. (Beggars in Spain dealt with the "no sleep" thing, I believe.) Also there was something about the economic benefit of no longer needing to expend resources to light up the night. That wouldn't seem to apply here, as a large amount of resources would have to be spent to make these things...

October 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterScott

Strangely, this made me think about UFO's and the explanation put forth by some that electro-magnetic fields caused by tectonic forces can create 'balls of light'. If this concept had been demonstrated in a laboratory back in the `60's perhaps this hypotheses is true.

November 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterWill

Yes, let's screw up the life cycles of every plant and animal living above ground-- good idea!

November 9, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterted

Sleep deprivation does cause euphoria, actually. It is a treatment for depression with a rapid, 50% efficacy rate. And, in people with manic depression, sleep loss escalates the ascent into mania.

So, even though you were being facetious, excessive exposure to light and sleep deprivation is indeed a euphoriant.

November 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterIronic

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November 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHoly

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