Thursday, February 16, 2012

Some things never change

One of the best parts of living in The Future is that things I'd normally have to go to a library to do I can now do while couch-surfing on my laptop at home.

When I was a kid, I used to haunt the basement of my local public library, perusing the stacks of old magazines and newspapers. It was fascinating to read the letters columns of popular science magazines such as, well, Popular Science, and see what the subscriber base at the time thought of Things to Come.

I remember reading this particular letter to the editor from October of 1949, and I managed to find it again, online!

Not sure what R. Klingbeil's life was like after 1949. A Google search shows a "Klingbeil Shoe Labs" from Queens doing quite a healthy business in ice skating equipment today. I hope Klingbeil got to see Sputnik flash overhead only a decade after this note was published.

Funny, or maybe sad - - I had a similar discussion with someone about this same topic on a pier at the Banana River in Florida. We were both waiting for the final launch of Space Shuttle Discovery. I was amazed that the concept of how orbits work still evades the minds of many people currently living in the Space Age. How is this possible?

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