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Entries in closer than we think (45)

Thursday
May222008

Luggage Blowers (1961)


Given the recent American Airlines decision to charge for your first checked bag, it seemed appropriate to look at this Closer Than We Think strip from the February 12, 1961 Chicago Tribune.

I fly out on US Airways tomorrow morning and would much rather be paying the extra 15 bucks.

Luggage Blowers

 

As our airliners increase their speeds, a greater proportion of total travel time is required for getting luggage off planes and into the hands of passengers. This problem is being intensively studied, and new methods of speedier handling are being researched.

One suggestion involves the use of aluminum containers floated on air cushions created by low-pressure jets. The next logical step would be the elimination of the containers themselves. Then just the luggage would be floated along ramps - faster than incoming passengers could walk to the baggage claim section.

Next week: Space Traffic Cop


See also:
Closer Than We Think! Throw-Away Clothes (1959)
Airport of the Future (1967)
Fuller's Traveling Cartridge (circa 1960s)
Passenger Air Travel (1945)

 

Thursday
Apr242008

Zipper-Bag Airplane (1958)


The camping trips of tomorrow will not only include throw-away clothes, but apparently stow-away airplanes. This edition of Closer Than We Think appeared in the October 19, 1958 Chicago Tribune.

Airplanes that can be stowed away between trips, like camping equipment, may be a common sight in the world of tomorrow. They could be folded up like tents, then spread out and inflated to shape.

 

The secret lies in a new kind of fabric being developed by Goodyear Aircraft Corporation. This material has a network of internal threads connecting the outside surfaces - the longer the threads, the greater the distances between those surfaces. Varying thread lengths could thus make possible any kind of shape, strong enough to be flown when inflated. Rubberizing makes the fabric airtight.

Flying machines constructed of this "cloth" have already been successfully test.

Next week: "Highway Space Wagons"


See also:
Closer Than We Think! Throw-Away Clothes (1959)

 

Tuesday
Apr082008

Super-Metropolis Map of 1975 (1961)


This edition of Closer Than We Think ran in the July 23, 1961 Chicago Tribune, and illustrates the megacities and metropolises of 1975.

As a St. Paulitan . . . St. Paulite . . . resident of St. Paul, I find the map's indication of "St. Paul Metro" pretty hilarious. You see, St. Paul has an inferiority complex due to its big twin brother, Minneapolis, which gets all the national attention. News reports describing the upcoming Republican National Convention in "Minneapolis" are about 10 miles off.

Tomorrow's map will be vastly different from today's. Great patches over much of it will indicate the super-metropolis cities which are already evolving out of our once-separated urban centers.

 

The "regional cities" of tomorrow will be nearly continuous complexes of homes, business centers, factories, shops and service places. Some will be strip or rim cities; some will be star-shaped or finger-shaped; others will be in concentric arcs or parallels; still others will be "satellite towns" around a nucleus core. They will be saved from traffic self-suffocation by high-speed transportation - perhaps monorails that provide luxurious nonstop service between the inner centers of the supercities, as well as links between the super-metropolises themselves.


See also:
Closer Than We Think
1980-1990 Developments (1979)

 

Friday
Feb292008

Closer Than We Think! Weather Control (1958)


This Closer Than We Think strip about weather control appeared in the June 22, 1958 Chicago Tribune.

In years to come, there will be satellite equipment for forecasting - as well as controlling - the weather.

 

The effects of air and humidity masses can be calculated more precisely from above. Sunspots, solar rays and other space disturbances will be more easily observed and studied. And sensitive sighting and analysis devices will make long-range predictions highly accurate.

Control of weather is the next step. In the words of Dr. I. M. Levitt, Director of the Fels Planetarium at the Frankline Institute: "In time, huge solar mirrors five or more miles in diameter may be used to reflect radiation of the sun to specific areas on earth to increase evaporation and to prevent crop-killing frosts."


See also:
Foolproof Weatherman of 1989 (1939)
Communities May Be Weatherized (Edwardsville Intelligencer, 1952)
American Version of Postcards Showing the Year 2000 (circa 1900)
The Coming Ice Age (1982)
A Wonderful Day to Fly (1980)
Glenn T. Seaborg's 1989 (1964)
Lyndon B. Johnson on 2063 A.D. (1963)
Postcards Show the Year 2000 (circa 1900)
What May Happen in the Next Hundred Years (Ladies Home Journal, 1900)
Space Colony Possible (The News, 1975)
Solar Energy for Tomorrow's World (1980)

 

Tuesday
Feb122008

Closer Than We Think! Push-Button Staff Room (1959)


The May 24, 1959 Chicago Tribune ran this Closer Than We Think strip about the war room of the future.

In the event of another war, military actions will be directed from secret, mechanized nerve centers. Ever since 1952, the Signal Corps', "Project Michigan" has aimed at the objective - to develop push-button devices that can give the top planners an immediate grasp of all situations, wherever located.

 

World-wide television (it's possible now, says Bell Telephone Laboratories) will provide two-way communication to battlefields. All conceivable kinds of data - concerning men, supplies, needs - will flash at bullet speed from film cabinets such as those lately installed by Kodak at the Pentagon. The result will be a near-instant analysis of problems, and computer-machine decisions whenever the generals want them!

Next Week: Probing Venus


See also:
Closer Than We Think! (1958-1963)
Will War Drive Civilization Underground? (1942)
Our Friend the Atom (Book, 1956)
After the War (1944)
Memory of 'Tomorrow' (New York Times, 1941)
Gigantic Robots to Fight Our Battles (Fresno Bee, 1934)
Pictures Stately Edifices (1923)
Looks for Era of Brotherhood (1923)
Poison War (1981)
Word Origins: Imagineering, continued (1942)
Nazi Paleo-Futurism (1941)
No Shooting War Before Year 2000 (1949)

 

Monday
Jan142008

Closer Than We Think! Hydrofungal Farming (1962)


The March 18, 1962 Chicago Tribune ran this Closer Than We Think strip about hydrofungal farming. The text of the strip appears below.

An Ohio State University professor is researching a novel way to keep the world's supply of food proteins in step with the explosive growth of the population.

Dr. William D. Gray believes an answer might be found by cultivating certain fast-growing fungi rich in proteins. These fungi must be grown in large quantities of water, either salt of fresh, aerated by bubble streams.

One way would be to mature the "crop" in the ocean. Plant flasks would be fastened to slowly rocking underwater tables supplied with air from hoses to the surface. These mechanized "hydrofungal" centers might prove just as effective for protein cultivation as the sea itself is for the fish to eat.


See also:
Closer Than We Think! (1958-1963)
Ocean Life by Klaus Bürgle (1960s)
Sealab 1994 (1973)
Man's Future Beneath the Sea (1968)
Solar Power of 1999 (1956)
Undersea Cities (1954)
Closer Than We Think! Fat Plants and Meat Beets (1958)
Delicious Waste Liquids of the Future (1982)

 

Tuesday
Dec042007

Closer Than We Think! Universal Language Boxes (1960)


The August 21, 1960 Chicago Tribune ran this Closer Than We Think! strip about "Universal Language Boxes" of the future.

In the world of tomorrow, you'll be able to talk in English and be understood by a Japanese who knows only his own tongue, or by an Ottoman Turk who's acquainted with his own language and no other.

 

A robot translating machine has already been developed by our Air Force. Right now it operates at only 40 words per minute and is bulky and complicated. But miniaturization, combined with magnetic tape, suggests far more dramatic possibilities for the future - a translating box that might listen to one vernacular and instantly relay a verbal translation. Any language would than be usable anywhere, universally!


See also:
Language of the Future (1982)
Connections: AT&T's Vision of the Future (Part 1, 1993)
Vision (Clip 1, 1993)
Vacations of the Future (1981)
Closer Than We Think! (1958-1963)

 

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