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Entries in omni (6)

Tuesday
Aug022011

Lust in Space: Sex and the Future in Penthouse Magazine (1978)

Readers of Penthouse magazine were treated to a special "Science and the Future" issue in October of 1978, which acted as a sort of coming out party for OMNI magazine. OMNI, "a magazine of science, science fiction and the future," was launched in October, 1978 by Kathy Keeton, the future wife of Penthouse publisher Bob Guccione.

The issue included an article on robot rights, fiction by Anthony Burgess about the decline of the British Empire in 1985, hilarious 70's fashion photography of the future, a look at six different car designs of the year 2001, and a nine page preview of what makes OMNI the "first magazine of the 21st century."

As a gentleman of the post-print pornography generation, I can't say that I'm terribly familiar with Penthouse. But this issue looks like pretty standard fare with a sci-fi twist; naked women [dressed as aliens] in provocative poses, hokey cartoons, and those infamous Penthouse letters. I never thought anything futuristic like this would ever happen to me but...

 

SPACE: the final, full-frontal frontier... the last hurrah... to go where no man has ever gone before, the forbidden and yet insidiously alluring planet of NYMPHON in the second quadrant of PHI DELTA PUBIS, hard by the tumescent moons of GLUTEON MAXIMUS. It was here that I said good-bye to an intrepid friend, a great lady, whose heaving decks and smoldering afterburners had served me well -- the Yenta Prize, peripatetic mistress of the cosmic seas. I beamed down... down into the swirling, choking vapors that envelop NYMPHON, down to the very floor of this curious planet where, unused to the dense, jellylike atmosphere, I passed out.

The Star Wars cartoon below certainly reminds me of this article from 1928 about robot lovers of the future

Sunday
Mar272011

Ebert's Art Film Revolution (1987)

OMNI magazine interviewed Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert about the future of movies for their June, 1987 issue. Ebert makes some bold and accurate predictions about how a revolution in the delivery and distribution of movies will open up the "art film" market, allowing people greater access to movies that may not make financial sense to screen in the theaters of smaller cities. An excerpt from the interview appears below.

OMNI: How will the fierce competition between television and the movies work out in the future?

EBERT: We will have high-definition, wide-screen television sets and a push-button dialing system to order the movie you want at the time you want it. You'll not go to a video store but instead order a movie on demand and then pay for it. Videocassette tapes as we know them now will be obsolete both for showing prerecorded movies and for recording movies. People will record films on 8mm and will play them back using laser-disk/CD technology.

I also am very, very excited by the fact that before long, alternative films will penetrate the entire country. Today seventy-five percent of the gross from a typical art film in America comes from as few as six --six-- different theaters in six different cities. Ninety percent of the American motion-picture marketplace never shows art films. With this revolution in delivery and distribution, anyone, in any size town or hamlet, will see the movies he or she wants to see. It will be the same as it's always been with books. You can be a hermit and still read any author you choose.

Later in the interview Ebert says that "by the year 2000 or so, a motion picture will cost as much money as it now costs to publish a book or make a phonograph album." Ebert was right, but it wasn't just film production and distribution costs that came down. With the rise of book self-publishing with sites like Lulu, the democratization of online music distribution with CD Baby, and the fact that I just can't keep up with the staggering volume of "puppy tries to roll over but can't OMG how adorable" videos, the internet really has fundamentally shaken up the media landscape.

 

Sunday
Mar212010

Sport in the Year 2000 (1986)

The March, 1986 issue of Omni magazine featured a quiz readers could take to test their knowledge of what sports would be like in the year 2000 and beyond. The thing I find funny about this was that the "correct" answers were determined by one man, Peter Ueberroth, the commissioner of Major League Baseball. While he may have been one of the most qualified people to comment on the subject, the experts aren't necessarily better than average people at predicting the future. That being said, most of Ueberroth's predictions were pretty darn accurate.

Some of Ueberroth's predictions appear below.

  • Baseball will be the most popular sport in the year 2001.
  • Pete Rose's career hit record is unlikely to be broken.
  • No major American sport of the year 2000 will see men and women playing side by side.
  • Stricter medical standards will be applied to boxing.
  • 21st century Americans will cite Babe Ruth as the greatest male sports hero of the 20th century.
  • 21st century Americans will cite Wilma Rudolph as the greatest female sports hero of the 20th century.
  • The NHL, NFL and MLB will never institute a salary cap.
  • Greater restrictions will be placed on the sale of beer in stadiums.
  • By the year 2000 someone will run a sub-2 hour marathon.

 

Previously on Paleo-Future: 

 

Wednesday
Dec302009

Video Resumes of the Future (1989)

Imagine LinkedIn, with fewer networking tools and more VHS tapes of you performing awkward magic tricks. That seems to be the future of job-hunting according to this article from the October, 1989 issue of Omni magazine.

I mean, even Arthur Radebaugh's prediction 40 years earlier of interviews via videophone was closer to the mark.


A standard printed resume suggests little, if anything, about how a job candidate talks, acts, and looks. But now there is a video resume, giving a prospective employer the chance to size up the person before the interview takes place.

Advantages? An employer can judge how well personalities will mesh before subjecting himself or the applicant to the pressure of a face-to-face interview. Just pop the video resume into a VCR.

It's also advantageous for the job seeker. "Paper resumes screen you out. Video resumes get you screen in," says John B. Kelman, president of Res-A-Vue, a video marketing company in Connecticut. "You can really put your best foot forward - no interruptions, no smoke blowing in your face."

Video resumes run about five minutes and cost from several hundred to several thousand dollars. To prepare one, a job seeker tells about his abilities and ambitions before a studio camera. The tape is then edited, complete with on-screen titles and background music.

The video resume can be used to illustrate skills that might seem unimpressive on paper. For example, a human resources vice-president prepared a video resume in which he performed magic tricks. It was shot on location all around the country. The cost: $12,000. In another instance, a scientist gave a video to his boss to prove he was management material. Says Lise Christensen, a public relations executive who recently found a job by using a video resume, "Employers get to meet you. You have an edge over anyone with only a piece of paper."

 

Previously on Paleo-Future:

 

Sunday
Mar302008

Global Warming/Cooling (1982)

The 1982 book, The Omni Future Almanac, reports on the debate between those who believe the year 2000 will bring about rapid global warming, and those that believe the earth will be cooling.

Some scientists cite 2000 as the approximate year when the carbon dioxide "greenhouse" effect will be recognized as having raised global temperatures significantly. Some environmentalists predict that CO2 pollution will create a canopy over the earth that will prevent heat from radiating into space. Most experts doubt that this effect will occur. Instead, many scientists are worried about a widespread, gradual cooling trend that could take hold by this year. If earth is indeed cooling, this climate change could signal the eventual onset of a new Ice Age that would slowly freeze much of the populated world by the year 12,000.


See also:
The Coming Ice Age (1982)
Solar Energy for Tomorrow's World (1980)
Closer Than We Think! Polar City (1959)
Communities May Be Weatherized (Edwardsville Intelligencer, 1952)

 

Tuesday
May012007

OMNI 500 (1982)

The 1982 book The Omni Future Almanac contains a list of the top companies for the year 2000.

Telecommunications services, energy, and genetic/biological engineering will probably be the significant growth areas over the coming years, and the "Fortune 500" of today will look quite different from the "OMNI 500" of tomorrow. Here is a look at what ten leading companies might look like at the turn of the century.

Warner-Amex Compunications Services
Citicorp
AT&T
Exxon
IBM
Mobil
General Motors
Cetus and Genentech
Time Inc.
Johnson & Johnson

Stay tuned as we examine the "how" and "why" of this paleo-futuristic list.