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Those who fear the future are largely afraid to laugh at it….

Archive for the ‘Blizzard 2010’ Category

Snow Removal in a 1950’s Retro Future

Posted by gregchiaramonti on February 10, 2010

Snow Removal in a 1950's Retro Future

Don’t eat the glowing snow… Wow, it’s the middle of the “February Fury” (as the Weather Channel has dubbed it) blizzard part three here in Jersey, and I could really use this Atomic Snow Removal truck from the 1950’s idea of the future. Shame about that whole radiation thing, though, so guess we’re stuck with plows and salt.

I just finished reading the book Your Flying Car Awaits – Robot Butlers, Lunar Vacations, and Other Dead-Wrong Predictions of the Twentieth Century by Paul Milo (thanks, BTW, to Raven for the xmas gift). Really fun to read about the science fact and fiction predictions over the years. Being a science/sci-fi nut since I was pretty much a toddler, I actually remembered a lot of the predictions from the 70s, 80s and 90s – from magazines like Omni, Discover, Wired, etc. And cool to make the connections of the predictions to the sci-fi movies of those same eras.

I was really disturbed by the chapter on Nuclear Fusion and Weather Control, especially the many ideas governments (including the U.S. and Russia) and engineers had for using nuclear detonations for massive construction projects. Suggestions such as creating a new harbor in Alaska, a new Suez canal and huge inland lakes using nuclear blasts were seriously considered during the 1950’s and 60’s. In the end, they decided that these areas would remain too radioactive to actually use. Glad we figured that out before it was too late! Though, I am worried lately reading online about Bill Gates dropping millions into weather control research as a way to combat climate change. Hopefully as a very, very last resort… just testing weather control systems could cause more damage than it’s worth.

If you get a chance, check out Milo’s book. Really makes you think about the predictions that are being made today and how they shape our collective vision and expectations of the future.

– Nigel Matrix

P.S.- The “Atomic Snow Removal” truck idea (however it works) is something I made up, just extrapolating from what I read in Milo’s book about the attitude in the 1950’s that we could use nuclear power to solve pretty much everything.

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