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Entries in food (67)

Sunday
Sep122010

paleofuture.tv [episode 00000]

Rather than finish the magazine I've been working on for months*, I edited the premiere episode of paleofuture.tv yesterday. As you can see, it has the the production values of amateur porn, but with 37% less nudity.**

The first episode is about food, and as I learn a bit more about how to properly put these kinds of videos together, the quality of the episodes will hopefully improve. I hope it's not a complete waste of your time, and I'll get back to blogging more regularly as my move from Minneapolis to Full Bladerunner, CA has been achieved. Enjoy.

 

*Sorry that it's taken so long. It really will be done soon.

**You can't tell, but I'm naked from the waist down.

 

Show notes:

Sunday
May022010

Jean-Marc Côté's Visions of the Year 2000 (1899)

Back in 2007, when the Paleo-Future blog was just two photos of Jane Jetson and a link to my Friendster profile, I posted some images from the National Library of France that depicted life in the year 2000.

I've since learned that these prints are from 1899, rather than 1910 as reported by the BnF. I've also learned that they were illustrated by Jean-Marc Côté, a French commercial artist who was commissioned by either a toy or cigarette manufacturer, to produce them. Interestingly enough the company that commissioned the cards went out of business before they could be distributed, leaving behind just one complete set of 50 cards. And where did I learn all of this wonderful information? From reading a book! Which I hear is FUNdamental!

Isaac Asimov's Futuredays is a card-by-card analysis of these retro-futuristic artifacts and does a wonderful job of putting them into historical context for modern readers. I highly recommend it, even though the book contradicts itself by sometimes stating that the cards were commissioned by a cigarette manufacturer and sometimes claiming it was a toy company. Enjoy!

Previously on Paleo-Future:

 

Tuesday
Apr272010

Vitamins and Exercise to Replace Girdles by 2007 (1957)

The June 26, 1957 Fairbanks Daily News-Miner ran an article titled, "Vitamins and Exercise Will Replace Girdles in 50 Years, Says Designer." An excerpt appears below, while the article in its entirety can be read at right.

The corset people are in a dither because a fashion designer says the woman of the future won't need a girdle.

Designer Adele Simpson predicted recently that 50 years hence, women will have such good figures they won't need to wear "unmentionables."

She said the improvement will come from vitamins and exercise.

Betty Vincent, educational director and fashion consultant for the Formfit Company, was quick to take issue.

Fifty years from now, she said, women still will come in assorted shapes and sizes.

Miss Vincent was willing to bet her girdle that even 500 years from now the female figure will vary little from today's models, "vitamins and exercise not withstanding."

"I think Mrs. Simpson is being unduly optimistic," she said. "Vitamins may be important to health, but they'll do little to life the bosom or control the average derriere."

Female shapes, she said, have changed but little over the past several thousand years, and to expect a radical improvement in the next half century is "wishful thinking."

Previously on Paleo-Future:

 

Sunday
Jan312010

Museum of Extinct Americana (1968)

The January 3, 1968 Arizona Republic (Phoenix, AZ) ran this cartoon depicting the "Museum of Extinct Americana." Rural Americans and private dwellings were thought to be on their way out.

While more Americans of the year 2000 were living in urban areas, American farmers haven't yet gone the way of the quagga. (This is probably a stupid city-boy question, but how common are pitchforks on farms today?)

The recent housing bubble burst put the hurt on a lot of Americans who own their own home, but this cartoon was likely commenting on population growth and the belief that the United States was at capacity; with Americans of the year 2000 living in increasingly cramped conditions.

I wish the cartoonist had included more artifacts in his museum. Do you suppose he could have guessed that the printed newspaper would be struggling as much as it has the past few years?

MARCH OF TECHNOLOGY -- Many miracles are just around the corner as today's basic research becomes tomorrow's gadgets. But many familiar facets of present-day life will vanish as the year 2000 approaches, as this cartoon illustrates.

Previously on Paleo-Future:

 

Friday
Jan292010

Plastic Skyscrapers and Frozen Dinners (1945)

I don't want to miss plastic skyscrapers; frozen-food dinners in one package... wireless transmission of electricity; the chance to live energetically to the grand old age of 150 years. Screwball? Nothing of the kind. All of these things are here already in the minds of men; in scientific possibility; in materials. They just have to be put together. -- Eddie Rickenbacker, 1945

 

 

From the book Future: A Recent History by Lawrence R. Samuel.

Previously on Paleo-Future:

 

Wednesday
Jan202010

The Victory of Chemistry Over Agriculture (1953)

To many people of the year 2010 the 1953 book, The Road to Abundance, is a heretical, nightmarish vision of the future. Chemicals and factory farming are seen as the logical next step in the evolution of food production for mankind. 

Jacob Rosin, co-writing with Max Eastman, describes the eventual "victory of chemistry over agriculture," and mankind's "bondage to the planet." The ultimate goal of Rosin's ambition was to be "more efficient than nature." In his advocacy of a completely synthetic diet Rosin called into question both the definition and the benefit of "natural foods."

 

It is therefore high time to remove the cloak of holiness from natural foods, and see them as what they are: a poorly assorted mixture of chemicals containing a large amount of indigestible materials, and a certain proportion of materials injurious to our health. This mixture has been, unfortunately, indispensable for our nutrition, since we have been unable up to now to obtain the chemicals required by our organism in a form entirely digestible and devoid of poison.

As I mentioned in an earlier blog post, each time I read a book like The Road to Abundance I can't help but imagine what the grocery stores of 2010 would look like had different marketing forces prevailed. One can picture yuppies and hipsters walking the aisles of a grocery store in some alternate universe, content in knowing that their unnatural, Certified Inorganic™ food was scientifically proven to maximize this and detoxify that. SuperPills: The All-Synthetic Food Emporium!

 

Previously on Paleo-Future: 

 

Sunday
Oct112009

Computerized Kitchen of the Future (1977)

We seem to have been waiting for the smart cupboard/fridge for quite a while now. Though the continued spread of RFID chips makes such an idea more plausible today, the future kitchen isn't yet quite what we imagined.

A January 3, 1977 piece in the Winnipeg Free Press (Winnipeg, Manitoba) predicted the smart cupboard, kitchen computers that automatically select menus and kitchen televisions for monitoring Junior in the next room. The piece appears in its entirety below.

TORONTO (CP) - The housewife of the future will be able to keep an eye on her sleeping baby by "dialing in" the nursery to get an instant picture of a kitchen television screen.

This is but one prediction Canadians can expect to come true as advances in kitchen conveniences are researched and developed, says Gordon I. Forsell, vice-president of marketing and sales for Inglis Ltd., appliance manufacturer.

"We visualize a day when a central panel or brain will allow the housewife to handle most tasks through a computerized source," said Mr. Forsell.

A kitchen computer will select menus and deliver frozen items directly from freezer to micro-wave oven. A gourmet meal may be thawed, cooked and ready-to-serve in minutres.

The computer's brain will store information such as a tally of supplies that are running short in the kitchen cupboard.

Mr. Forsell predicted that the same television screen the housewife watchers her baby on will deliver the day's news or a special college course at the push of a button.

Located centrally in the kitchen of tomorrow is the cooking area, he said. Smooth, unbroken cooking surfaces that wife clean with a cloth will be hidden beneath the kitchen counter ready to pull out and use when required.

He said a giant crisper located directly beside the sink area will keep greens fresh and well within reach. Its moisture will be automatically controlled.

Mr. Forsell said a special sink will be equipped with a food dispenser so that peels and rinds will disappear. "And paper, cans and other solid waste products will go into a trash compactor," he said.

"Also built into the kitchen of tomorrow is a year-round herb garden supported by ultra-violet light."

He said that no one will have to wash a dish, plate or pot.

"New dishwashers will add their own detergents, adjust heat automatically and handle every utensil efficiently," he said. "The dishwasher will be hidden below the counter and programmed to rise to counter top at the push of a button."

"Mr. Forsell said the kitchen of the future also will have a complete laundry centre. Programmed washers will automatically sort fabrics and colors including all the touch double-knits and delicate laces.

 

Previously on Paleo-Future: