Book Report, Volume 4

Where's My Jetpack?I'm almost finished with Where's My Jetpack?: A Guide to the Amazing Science Fiction Future that Never Arrived, which is pretty much what the title says: a snarky look at all the technological advancements we were supposed to be enjoying right now but aren't. You know: flying cars, underwater cities, all food in pill form, blah blah blah. The author breaks down how close we are to achieving universal translators and other sci-fi standbys, so it's a step beyond the book I was reading earlier this summer, Wasn't the Future Wonderful, which is just a compilation of pages from old magazines.

Wasn't the Future Wonderful

At the same time, I borrowed The New York World's Fair, 1939/1940: in 155 Photographs by Richard Wurts and Others from the library. During a conversation with my grandpa about how much he hated being in New York City, he said that he went to the 1939 World's Fair. A little online research, and I had this in my hot little hands:

The New York World's Fair, 1939/1940
During said research, I also came across these nifty Web sites:

Tales of Future Past Tales of Future Past

Modern Mechanix Blog

Modern Mechanix

(Retro Future is also cool, but somehow Blogger ate the image file, and I can't get it to re-upload. Grr!)

In addition, Amazon helpfully suggested these other books, which I may or may not track down and request from the library:

Follies of Science

Yesterday's Tomorrows: Past Visions of the American Future

Death Rays, Jet Packs, Stunts, and Supercars: The Fantastic Physics of Film's Most Celebrated Secret Agent

Death Rays, Jet Packs, Stunts, and Supercars:
The Fantastic Physics of Film's Most Celebrated Secret Agent

That last one just reminded me that Bond movies were a category at this week's pub quiz. A category in which Cathy and I only got two points, by the way. (What can I say? We were never teenage boys, so the movies never appealed to us.) We were doing so well in the first half, too:

  • World Religions
    (9 out of 10 — We were fooled by Baha'i.)

  • Television Sitcoms
    (10 out of 10 — I mean, Come on! Is there anything else that is more in my wheelhouse?)

  • Blood
    (6 out of 10 — Okay, we had some lucky guesses.)

We were tied for second at halftime, and I won a raffle prize! (I am now the proud owner of a matched set of Miller Lite beer coozies that prompted not only a pronunciation debate between the koozie/coozie and kozy/cozy factions but also a remark from Cathy: There's no armholes. After I stopped laughing, she elaborated: The beer sweaters have neckholes, but no armholes.) I think I can be forgiven for thinking that Tuesday was the night we were finally going to win big. However, we took our customary swan dive in the second half (Bond movies, ships, and . . . some category I can't even remember) and only scored 12 points. Ugh.

Thus, we wound up tied for fifth place (Again!) with Team 11. (Ha, ha, suckas!) But wait! Team 11 also won first place! Apparently there's a splinter group also calling itself Team 11, and those are the loosahs we tied with. I guess the main Team 11 is still going strong. This week I'm extra jealous because they won a prize pack from the Great Lakes Brewery. I was just down there last weekend, having some Christmas Ale. Tasty!


  1. Seriously, if you're going to put a sweater on your beer, why not go the extra step and give it little Mr. Potato Head arms, therefore requiring armholes in the koozie.

    Ah, yes, food in pill form. For those of us who hate that pesky chewing.

  2. Yeah, I'll have to tell Rungsinee, since she understands your (chewing-related) pain.