Lisa's Wedding: The Past Future is Now the Present Future
-Aug 01, 2010
On March 15, 1995 an episode of The Simpsons aired that focused around Lisa visiting a carnival
fortune teller and learning about her future love. The viewers of this episode are taken on a trip 15 years into the future, a future where Lisa Simpson is getting married and the world is a slighty different place. The signifigance in all of this is that in this particular episode, invitations are sent out for Lisa's wedding, and the date on these invitations (in the future) have now come into existence in real life. The wedding date is noted as being August 1, 2010 at 1:00 pm.
The writers seem to have had a great deal of fun in portraying a future 15 years from the time the episode was written.
So let us take a look back and see what the writers of The Simpsons felt the year 2010 was supposed to look like:
There is a resurgance in excitement for the stage production of "The Wizard of OZ"
Holographic trees as memorials to real trees
In the future it will be hard to resist those delicious "Soy Pops"
Robot librarians. Work great, but are not waterproof.
And it seems to be an hilarious flaw in all the robots.
Jim Carrey's success still lingers
The Rolling Stones are still a touring band.
That is, unless they are busy restoring historic buildings.
Commercial airlines resort to older more efficent designs
Video phones have replaced regular phones. They can even come in an antiquated rotary style.
The science of cryogenics has advanced to a working platform...
...just be sure to completey thaw first
The future contains a school system that goes, atleast, up to the 78th grade.
But the public schools are still cramped and disorderly...
...but it's okay, you are getting the finest education as taught by PEPSI.
All major television networks have joined into one all-mighty broadcasting beast
Virtual reality bar games
Fish that used to have three eyes have mutated once again and now have six
-Britain saves America in World War III
-FOX (gradually) becomes a hardcore sex channel
We are all familiar with many of the basic instruments that exist and are considered musical staples; Saxophones, trumpets, guitars, violin, the list goes on and on, but sometimes these commonly found instruments get a little stale. Thankfully humans are a clever group of people, and when they get bored (or just want a new sound) they get creative and design their own instruments. Building everything from basic cigar box guitars to a complex Symphonic House, even a large 6-person accordion.
We will begin at the basics with what nature provides us. Vegetables have a bigger share in the music world than you might think. Let us start with the World Carrot Museum, whom features people that make music out of carrots. Their are also the Wyld Men. The Wyld Men have a full length CD that features instruments made entirely from vegetables. Watch the Vienna Vegetable Orchestra work their magic. And the Totally Gourdous band.
Some would argue that the ocean already makes beautiful sounds, I agree. But the ocean makes even better sounds when you harness it's power into sea organs.
The advent of technology has made many aspects of life easier, even for musicians. Forget tube amps, amplifiers, or synthesizers, what I'm talking about might already be in your pocket. iPhones are seen everywhere now, even on stage with the touring musical group iBand whose members each use there iPhones as an instrument. They have a CD and can be found on YouTube. Lets hope they don't get a call while performing. Along the same lines, is the Gadget Orchestra put together by Jetdaisuke. This "orchestra" consists of a DS Lite, iPod Touch, iPhone, and other assortments of gear and software.
Who doesn't have old electronic hardware laying around these days? If you are a computer afficionado you probably have your share of broken or unuseable hardrives stacked somewhere. Do something neat with them and turn them into hardrive speakers. And that prehistoric ScanJet scanner? Make it play music for you. On the topic of computer scanners, their is the digital needle project, a virtual gramophone. A great attempt at using a computer scanner to decode vinyl records.
Had none of the previous items been invented to entertain our ears, it would make for a quiet and very long car ride across the country. But never fear because we would have music making asphalt. I would like to hear a Slayer version. And while your driving across America be sure and go to Ohio. Why would you want to go to Ohio you ask? Well, Ohio has 88 counties. A piano has 88 keys. Andy Woodruff noticed this and put together a fun little app that allows you play Ohio like a piano, or it can play for you, whichever you prefer. If you continue down the road and you see some bicyclist up ahead, you might be getting ready to pass the Cycologists, an amazing three man bicycle band. They have fitted their instruments into their bikes, such as the seat posts as clarinets, tuned bicycle bells, flutes that work as handlebars, and panpipes powered by tire pumps.
Last but not least, thier is the Craftsman Music Experiment by Craftsman Labs. You will never listen to your powertools the same way again.
It is thought that if you leave a bunch of monkies in a room with typewriters, they will
eventually write Shakepeare. This has yet to be proven (but I am keeping my faith). What if a bunch chickens were put into a room of pianos? Will they eventually create Beethoven? You may be thinking to yourself, "That is just as ludicrous". Yes it is, but the chickens so far have made more progress than the monkeys have.
This is an adventure of the band "Royal Quiet Deluxe" and their chickens, Kitty Wells and Patsy Cline, who play Casio Keyboards. Of the two humans in the band, one played a vintage typewriter (hence the name of the band), the other human looped bass guitar through a pedal and played rhythm guitar on top of that.
A lot of people were fascinated in this idea of music and were enjoying the sounds coming off of the demo tapes, but the group was finding it nearly impossible to get a show. After zero bookings, things were looking bleak. All of the bands hard work seemed to be for nothing. It was time to give Kitty Wells and Patsy Cline a new home at a farm since it seemed there music career was over. Then suddenly, came a big break for the band. Royal Quiet Deluxe was offered their first show opening for another band.
With a performance just months away, it was time to practice like never before. The humans woke up just before sunrise to setup equipment, with the roosters arising not far behind. Practices were grueling, messy, and hot. Once it was realized chickens can be "rebooted" things began to work a little bit more smoothly. The night of the gig had finally arrived. Once on stage, both humans and chickens were well prepared, R.Q.D. warmed up , hit a stride, and the crowd was groovin. The crowd was on their feet whooping and hollering in rejoice. And then, it was over.
The band was short-lived and a (very) minor local legend in Virginia in the late 1990s. That was just part of their story.
This is the only known existing recording of a live show peformed on April 1998:
The entirety of this amazing story can be found here, and believe me it is well worth the read.
The Simpsons Intro
The introduction to the televison show The Simpsons is a memorable cartoon classic. Although after almost 19 years, for the first time ever, the intro has been remade with HDTV in mind. Most of the changes are obvious, and like the old intro their is a quick "sweep" across the town. Here is a side by side comparison of the New vs Old.
As if life itself wasn't mysterious enough, even more bizarre things and unsolved happenings are peppered all around us. This is just on Earth, lets not even begin with outerspace. Maybe in another edition...:
Being a native Texan I have always wanted to be able to look up in the air and see a large piece of fruit floating in the sky, having it learing down at me all the time. Thanks to Cesar Saez, from Quebec Canada, this "artwork" may one day be a reality for folks living in Texas. Cesar is head of the Geostationary Banana Over Texas project. The plan is to launch a banana-shaped airship over the state of Texas in August of 2008.
Since the projects conception in 2005, the team of designers has been verifying the technical and legal aspects of this unique airship. Now in 2008 the art project is ready for production. The feasibilty of the project has been confirmed, and the 1000ft helium filled banana will hover in a near space-altitude. The technology involved actually seems really sophisticated and complicated, at least for a banana. I for one welcome our new banana overlords.
Mel Waters purchased land near Ellensburg Washington, and on this land is a supposed bottomless hole that displays paranormal properties. People would come from all over Mel's community and dump everything from old tires to dead livestock into the hole. Then, listening carefully, would never hear their garbage hit the bottom. The hole is nine feet in diameter with a retaining wall around it, the holes does not taper in any way, and it goes straight down with smooth walls. Out of curiosity, Mel decided to find out just how deep his hole really was. He discovered that the hole was in excess of 15 miles (~80,000ft) deep, a figure which he is said to have reached after spooling out 18 reels of 20 lb test fishing line, tied end on end, into the hole.
Mel decided to tell his story to the whole world on an interview with Art Bell on Coast to Coast AM on February 21st, 1997. After the interview, Mel returned home to find that US Government officials had confiscated his land and the hole. From that point on, all satellite images taken of this land had large white blocks covering the area that Mel's Hole was in (see below). This whole amazing story can be heard by downloading the recorded rebroadcast of Mel's interview on Coast to Coast AM:
To me the story seems to get a little too bizarre as it goes on. Some of it I could be believable, but some of it not so much. It is still fun to listen to though. Give it a listen for yourself, and draw your own conclusions.
What has been seen...
...cannot be unseen. Like the FedEx logo arrow, or the clouds in Super Mario Bro. being the same as the bushes.
UPDATE - 6/3/09: Conan O' Brien has taken over the "Tonight Show", while at the same time, Mario has taken over the new "Tonight Show" backdrop. And an animated version.
Once I saw the following image floating around the net, I knew I would never see a map of Earth the same way again...
South America + Africa = T-REX? Behold....
Click for fullsized expanded view
Now I think it might look more like Carnotaurus:
Phoenix Mars Mission
Phoenix Lander has been on Mars for:
8-01-08: Water has been found! After several Earth months of hard digging, the Phoenix Lander has scooped up ice water. Maybe next it will find some life?
UPDATE: The Lander has landed! The first part of the mission was a success! Check the links below for the latest info, and pictures received from mars.
The University of Arizona, in collaboration with NASA, built the Phoenix Mars Lander. Launched in August 2007 the Phoenix is designed to study the history of water and habitability potential in the Martian arctic's ice-rich soil. Phoenix has the potential to answer many of the questions we have about Mars, its history of life, and water. This mission could make 2008 a very exciting year in space news
On July 21, 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first human to walk on the moon, shortly after he was then joined by 'Buzz' Aldrin. The maps below show the coverage area of the first Apollo 11 moon mission.
After travelling hundreds of thousands of miles, the landing crew of the Apollo 11 lunar mission barely covered an area the size of a soccer field.
Click for fullsize.
Maybe you feel more comfortable with the Baseball Diamond version?
Click for fullsize.
A bit of information: "Powers of Ten explores the relative size of things from the microscopic to the cosmic. The 1977 film travels from an aerial view of a man in a Chicago park to the outer limits of the universe directly above him and back down into the microscopic world contained in the man's hand. Powers of Ten illustrates the universe as an arena of both continuity and change, of everyday picnics and cosmic mystery. The film also demonstrates the Eameses' ability to make science both fascinating and accessible."
This video is pretty old, so it has probably been seen by many people who frequent the net. It seems to circulate on just about every video site and blog out there. But everytime I watch, I am amazed.
And of course, The Simpsons made a version:
Bill Watterson's Rarest
Yes, the Watterson of Calvin & Hobbes. Just hearing those names invokes wonderful thoughts and possibly the funniest comic strip of all time. Watterson has had so many fights for the integrity of his strip and he was so abused for it. It is tragic. While I wish for all that merchandise that could have been made for Calvin and Hobbes, I wonder at the same time if it would have really detracted from the strip's virtuous nature.
PlatypusComix has a great collection of Watterson's scarecest material. "The Complete Calvin and Hobbes" wasn't completely complete. Most of what you're about to see, you've never seen before...
It was this week 30 years ago that Ohio State's Big Ear radiotelescope captured a very strong, anomalous signal as it scanned the cosmos. Whatever it was, it surprised astronomer Jerry Ehman so much that he wrote "Wow!" on the data printout. Many wonder if this was our first encounter with intelligent extraterrestrial life.