Sci-Fi’s 10 Predictions That Came True

nuke3The Atomic Bomb

The H.G. Wells book “The World Set Free” includes numerous descriptions of atom bombs. Not that impressive, until you realize the book came out 30 years before the first atomic bomb test.

Though he had some basic knowledge of atomic physics, Wells realized that they could be used to create an explosive device. Wells’ atomic bombs have no more power than regular explosives, but they continuously explode for days at a time. He even predicted that remaining in an area where an atomic bomb had gone off would create health problems for people, and that the areas could remain uninhabitable for years to come.

Leo Szilard, a researcher for the Manhattan Project even cited specific passages in a letter to Hugo Hirst. Adding “It is remarkable that Wells should have written those pages in 1914. Of course, all this is moonshine, but I have reason to believe that in so far as the industrial applications of the present discoveries in physics are concerned, the forecast of the writers may prove to be more accurate than the forecast of the scientists.

The Internet

When not defining American comedy for generations, Mark Twain dabbled the occasional sci-fi story. One of which, “From the ‘London Times’ of 1904”, actually described the internet as we know it today.

Twain’s ‘telectroscope’ was a phone system that connected people the world over. “The improved ‘limitless-distance’ telephone was introduced, and the daily doings of the globe made visible to everybody, and audibly discussable too, by witnesses separated by any number of leagues.”

The Internet

The main character of Twain’s story, a condemned murderer is even saved through the use of the telectroscope. Moments before he is to be executed, his friend catches a glimpse of his supposed victim during an event being live streamed from China.

Pretty impressive details considering the story was written in 1898.

Moon Landing

MoonLanding_250WAccording to Jules Verne’s story “From the Earth to the Moon”, the first mission to the moon was launched in December from a base in Florida. The crew consisted of three men who were seated in a large capsule constructed almost entirely from aluminum. After their moonwalk, Verne’s crew lands in the Pacific Ocean and is picked up by a U.S. Navy ship. Sound familiar?

More than 100 years before the real first moonwalk, Verne predicted many of the mission’s details in his novel. The ships even have similar names, Verne’s was the Columbiad and NASA’s was the Columbia.

Finally, one of the most astounding details is that in Jules Verne’s story, when the astronauts reach space, they experience weightlessness. Now that’s a common fact, but in 1865, when Jules Verne wrote the story, he had absolutely no way of knowing that would be the case.

220px-Radar-hatzerim-1-1Radar

While most people don’t consider Hugo Gernsback’s 1911 novel “Ralph 124C 41+” a particularly good book, they do credit it with predicting an amazing amount of the technology we use today, including remote controlled television, tape recorders and solar power.

One of his most interesting predictions was radar. Gernsback’s novel described a “pulsating polarized ether wave, if directed on a metal object can be reflected in the same manner as a light ray is reflected from a bright surface…from the intensity and elapsed time of the reflected impulses, the distance between the earth and the flyer can then be accurately estimated.”

The author even included a fairly accurate drawing of the device as well. It wasn’t until 1934 – 24 years after Ralph’s publication – that the Navy displayed its pulsing radar system.

newspapers_250WOnline Newspapers

In 1968, the Internet had yet to make printed media look as antiquated as an abacus, which makes it surprising that Arthur C. Clarke featured online newspapers in his novel “2001: A Space Odyssey”.

In just a paragraph, Clarke was able to perfectly sum up on the online news experience we’re familiar with today. “In a few milliseconds he could see the headlines of any newspaper he pleased … The text was updated automatically on every hour; even if one read only the English versions, one could spend an entire lifetime doing nothing but absorbing the ever-changing flow of information from the news satellites.” Oh, and those communications satellites? Clarke invented those, too.

Tanks

tankH.G. Wells was quite successful at predicting the war machines of the future in his novels. In addition to the atomic bomb mentioned earlier, Wells also predicted the development of the tank, or as he named them ‘Land Ironclads.’His short story was published in 1903, and featured a war correspondent’s ruminations on what these new, fearsome machine would mean for war. The land ironclads are 100-foot-long machines with remote controlled guns and accommodation for 42 soldiers, including 7 officers. They are capable of breaching trenches and followed by men on bicycles who hold the gained territory.While bicycles are not something you see on the battlefield anymore, tanks have been a big component of combat since they made their first appearance in 1916, 13 years after Wells story came out.

Virtual Reality Games

virtual-reality-L_250WThe first video game was invented in 1958, yet Arthur C. Clarke was writing about virtual reality games two years before that.

His novel “The City and the Stars” describes the city of Diaspar. A place that is entirely run by computer, even its residents. The people of Diaspar live for one thousand years, before their essence is absorbed back into the city’s Memory Banks. Many years later they will emerge again, with a fully formed adult body.The most popular form of entertainment in the city is a virtual reality game. “You were not merely a passive observer … You were an active participant and possessed — or seemed to possess — free will … There was enough flexibility to allow for wide variation. As long as the dream lasted there was no way in which it could be distinguished from reality.”

 

 

video-chat

Video Chat

These days we have Skype and computers that come with built in cameras. AT&T introduced the first ‘picturephone’ at the New York World’s Fair in 1964, but it was Hugo Gernsback who brought the idea to the public’s attention in 1911.Once again, his novel “Ralph 124C 41+”, Gernsback wrote about technology that we’d be using years later. His Telephot was a wall-mounted screen that connected you to others with the push of a few buttons. In Gernsback’s story, his hero even meets his future girlfriend over the Telephot in case of crossed wires.

 

Credit Cards

When he wrote about the use of credit cards in 1888, Edward Bellamy was pulling ideas out of the air, as shoppers could only buy something on credit if they knew the salesperson. In his novel “Looking Backwards”, Bellamy described credit card transactions that could be taking place today, even down to the duplicate receipts.

creditcards-C_600W

The novel is about a man who falls asleep in 1888 to awaken in the year 2000 to a socialist society. In Bellamy’s version of the future, the credit card system is backed by the credit of the American government. Each person is given a certain line of credit on his or her card and the government uses part of the GDP to pay off that credit. Bellamy even described how the credit card could be used the world over, for all types of currency.

scuba-diver_250WScuba Diving

In Jules Verne’s day, hanging out underwater for a prolonged period of time involved wearing a large, cumbersome suit, and being tethered to a ship by your air hose, which had to be long enough to reach the surface so you could breath. The diving apparatus he describes in “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” sounds a lot more like the scuba diving we’re familiar with today.

Verne’s system was based on Benoit Rouquayrol and Auguste Denayrouze design, which stored enough air to divers to move around untethered for 7 to 8 minutes, Verne’s device “consisted of a reservoir of thick iron plates, in which I store the air under a pressure of fifty atmospheres. This reservoir is fixed on the back by means of braces.” This gear also allowed the user to spend between 7 and 8 hours exploring the deep.

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What is The Freedom Ship?

Envision an ideal place to live or run a business, a friendly, safe and secure community with large areas of open space and extensive entertainment and recreational facilities. Finally, picture this community continually moving around the world. You are beginning to understand the Freedom Ship concept of a massive ocean-going vessel. With a design length of 4,500 feet, a width of 750 feet, and a height of 350 feet, Freedom Ship would be more than 4 times longer than the Queen Mary. The design concepts include a mobile modern city featuring luxurious living, an extensive duty-free international shopping mall, and a full 1.7 million square foot floor set aside for various companies to showcase their products.

Freedom Ship would not be a cruise ship, it is proposed to be a unique place to live, work, retire, vacation, or visit. The proposed voyage would continuously circle the globe, covering most of the world’s coastal regions.

Its large fleet of commuter aircraft and hydrofoils would ferry residents and visitors to and from shore. The airport on the ship’s top deck would serve private and small commercial aircraft (up to about 40 passengers each).

The proposed vessel’s superstructure, rising twenty-five stories above its broad main deck, would house residential space, a library, schools, and a first-class hospital in addition to retail and wholesale shops, banks, hotels, restaurants, entertainment facilities, casinos, offices, warehouses, and light manufacturing and assembly enterprises. Finally, this concept would include a wide array of recreational and athletic facilities, worthy of a world-class resort, making Freedom Ship a veritable “Community on the Sea.”

The commercial districts aboard Freedom Ship will give residents, crew, daily and overnight visitors shopping in an environment of architectural beauty and convenience. Although final drawings have not been released to the public, the commercial district will depict many of the same architectural features as a large commercial district in a major city, such as New York. There will be streets and blocks (or districts) within the commercial area of the ship. Each district will depict a different architectural theme; as one walks through the city one feels as though they are walking around the world.

The real estate sold in various districts will cater to different forms of commerce from professional offices and corporate world headquarters for major international corporations, to retail and open-air markets, to restaurant facilities. Real estate will be developed to facilitate specific forms of commerce indicative to various cultures from around the world. A truly global and international business community will flourish aboard, as goods from ashore are constantly being bought and sold. In addition, real estate is available for light manufacturing, industrial, and warehousing applications. Restaurants aboard the ship will provide fresh cuisine from around the world in atmospheres ranging from fast food to true fine dining.

An elegant, world-class hotel and casino will also be operating aboard with a large convention center capable of hosting sporting and entertainment events and trade shows… a place truly worthy of hosting The World’s Fair. People will have access to various history, technology, and art museums aboard as well as aquariums and nature preserves featuring exotic plants and animals from around the world.

The commercial district aboard Freedom Ship will sustain a population of 100,000 people comprised of 40,000 residents, 20,000 full time crew, 30,000 daily visitors, and 10,000 overnight guests to the hotel and casino.

FSI is committed to providing residents and other people with an environment capable of sustaining a vibrant commercial community. Your imagination is the limit when it comes to operating a business aboard. We desire to foster the entrepreneurial spirit within our residents and business owners and will strive to help them when possible. It is the people who own and visit the real estate aboard Freedom Ship that create a truly unique environment.

Education:

The school system aboard Freedom Ship will provide the world standard for quality in education to students (US grades K through 12) who live aboard the ship. The quality of education is one of many factors anticipated to promote the appreciation of real estate values aboard Freedom Ship.

Curriculum:

Our system of schools will provide a rigorous educational curriculum developed by blending the best attributes from other school systems around the world to create a truly unique and challenging classroom environment. FSI is dedicated to providing an environment that stresses the following areas of study. History, geography, and the arts will be stressed along with foreign language; all students will be bilingual at graduation. The sciences along with mathematics and engineering will compose another major area of study. Finally, financial education will be stressed as each and every child is exposed on a daily basis to international commerce both aboard the ship and ashore. However, the time students spend in the classroom will be limited.

The Real Classroom:

A portion of the education will happen outside of the classroom as daily field trips to see the world first hand will be the norm. In effect, students will board ferries instead of buses to visit their classroom… the world in its entire splendor! The ability to see and experience other people and their cultures firsthand is what sets Freedom Ship’s school system apart from the rest.

Sports:

Athletic facilities aboard the ship will facilitate organized sports for the school system. Basketball, tennis, track, swimming and diving, along with gymnastics, American football, soccer, hockey, and facilities for a variety of other sports from around the world will be an integral part of the school system. Students will compete against other schools aboard the ship and with other schools around the world. In effect, students will have their own World Cup for each sport as they travel ashore to compete against schools from around the world and, likewise, as those teams travel to Freedom Ship to play our students for home games as well.

Facilities:

FSI is dedicated to providing the school system with the highest quality facilities possible. Technology will be incorporated into every aspect of classroom learning. The International Library and athletic facilities will provide further opportunities for growth. However, the caring and highly qualified teachers and other professionals will prove invaluable to your child’s education. A boarding school for non-residents is also being considered. Universities are expected to have adjunct campuses aboard as well. FSI is dedicated to providing this educational environment to students at a lower cost to parents when compared to the average yearly cost in taxes to send a child to a public school in the United States.

Healthcare:

The healthcare system aboard Freedom Ship will provide the world standard for quality in healthcare to residents and crew who live aboard the ship. The quality of healthcare is one of many factors anticipated to promote the appreciation of real estate values aboard Freedom Ship.

FSI is dedicated to providing the healthcare with the highest quality facilities possible. We have budgeted $400 million in capital investment to build a large state-of-the-art Western and Eastern medicine hospital with state of the art medical equipment. A medical research facility will also be built and staffed by some of the world’s brightest scientists. We also anticipate Universities will establish medical schools aboard the ship. Physicians are encouraged to own and operate private practices as well.  FSI is dedicated to providing the medical communities an environment where all options and treatments are provided and available to the patient at a lower cost to both patient and physician when compared to current medical facilities and insurance plans.

 Visit  Freedom Ship – the City at Sea

 

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