No comments | Friday, May 03, 2013
1865 Jules Verne Predicted the Moon Landing
Verne's perscient novels from the Earth to the Moon and Around the Moon featured a spaceship called the Columbiad, which blasted off from a launchpad in Florida and carried three astronauts into space. After impressively completing a trip to the moon, the ship crash-landed in the Pacific Ocean. Sound familiar? That's because it almost precisely describes the first US moon mission, Apollo 8, which took place more than 100 years later, in December 1968. Interestingly, NASA named its Apollo 11 command module the Columbia, inspired by Verne's famous fictional vessel.

1898 Mark Twain Predicted the Internet
The Sardonic scribe forecast the internet a century before its birth. In this short story "From the 'London Times' of 1904," Twain described an invention based on the Telectroscope, a never-produced 19th century device that was intended to use an enormous network of phone lines to connect the world.

1953 Ray Bradbury Predicted Flat-Screen TVs
In his novel Fahrenheit 451, the science-fiction master writes that members of his futuristic society are obsessed with large, flat-screen televisions (which didn't hit the market until 1997): "How long you figure before was save up and get the fourth wall torn out and a fourth-wall TV put in? It's only two thousand dollars," says character Mildred to her husband. Incidentally, Bradbury wasn't too far off on the price tag either.

1966 Star Trek Predicted Bluetooth
Crew members of the starship Enterprise were the first to use a Bluetooth-like device, a hands free communication tool that wouldn't be created until 1994, when it paved the way for mobile phones. Thankfully, the crew was exempt from roaming fees. 

1968 James Berry Predicted Online Shopping
This sci-fi writer described click-and-buy home shopping in the November 1968 issue of Mechanix Illustrated. "Instead of being jostled by crowds, shoppers electronically browse through the merchandise of any number of stores," he speculated about today's consumer trend, which debuted in 1995.

1990 Total Recall Predicted Full-Body Scanners
The (US) Transportation Security Administration captured headlines in 2010 with airports controversial use of full-body scanners which are eerily similar to the one that sees through Arnold Schwarzenegger's skin in this futuristic 1990 flick.

1991 Francis Ford Coppola Predicted YouTube
In an interview for the documentary Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse, the director says, "Suddenly, one day some little girl in Ohio is gonna be the new Mozart and make a beautiful film with her father's little camera-corder and for once, this whole professionalism about movies will be destroyed, forever and it will really become an art form." YouTube arrived 14 years later.

1995 The Simpsons Predicted a Food-Processing Trend
Soya food sales quintupled between 1996 and 2011. But who could have known about their jump in popularity in 1995? In the sixth season of The Simpsons, an episode called "Lisa's Wedding" flash-forwards to the far-off year of 2010, where no home could be complete without satellite dishes, motion-controlled video games and stacks of soya snacks.

They got it wrong (or are still to arrive in the future?)
A shortened workday
Prediction: "The average work day is about four hours. But the extra time isn't totally free. A jobholder's spare time is used in keeping up with new developments- on the average, about two hours of home study a day."
Reality: The average workday is eight hours. And many employees work after hours. And many employees work after hours. Worse, many employees regulary check their e-mail and do work while on vacation.

Climate controlled cities
Prediction: "You whiz past a string of cities, many of them that keep them covered by the keepered by the new domes that keep them eventually climatized year-round.
Reality: Global warming has caused the Earth's temperature and sea levels to rise, resulting in extreme weather conditions and more severe storms. Dome-closed cities? Let's hope they're on the horizon.

Automated Doctors' visits
Prediction: "Medical examinations are a matter of sitting in a diagnostic chair for a minute or two, then receiving a full health report."
Reality: "We wish it were that easy. Waiting times at the clinic can be frustratingly long- even longer at public hospitals. And exam time can be added to that.

[Source: Reader's Digest]


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