Posts Tagged ‘parachute’
“You got to be worried when they’re agreeing about anything… Prophets. That’s the last bloody thing you want prophets to do”*…
We may define future shock as the distress, both physical and psychological, that arises from an overload of the human organism’s physical adaptive systems and it’s decision-making processes… Put more simply, future shock is the human response to over-stimulation…
– Alvin Toffler
The film above is a documentary based on Future Shock, the book written in 1970 by sociologist and futurist Alvin Toffler…
Released in 1972, with a cigar-chomping Orson Welles as on-screen narrator, this piece of futurism
is darkly dystopian and oozing techno-paranoia… A great opening features a montage of car crashes and civil unrest intercut with two figures walking in a green field (while creepy synthesizers play in the background) who are soon revealed to be automatons with creepy robot faces — a nice metaphor for the fear of the unrecognizable, cold, and chaotic future society that Toffler thought we were all headed for…
More background in the notes accompanying the film.
(After watching the film, take a whack at being a futurist yourself; try the card game, “The Thing From the Future“…)
* China Miéville,
As we brace for change, we might recall that it was on this date in 1797 that André-Jacques Garnerin accomplished the first successful parachute jump. He ascended to 2,230 ft. above the Parc Monceau, Paris, with a balloon, then released it and unfurled a silk parachute. Lacking any vent in the top of the parachute, Garnerin descended with violent oscillations– as a result of which, he suffered the first case of airsickness.
“I’m known as the pencil guy,” laughed Dalton Ghetti, 49. “I don’t mind that at all.”
The Bridgeport artist creates impossibly detailed miniature sculptures on the tip of a pencil.
He shuns a magnifying glass and uses simple tools like razor blades and needles to create delicate little figures – from a tiny, jagged handsaw to a minibust of Elvis in shades…
Readers can find the full, photo-laced story in The NY Daily News (and more in The [U.K.] Daily Mail); and readers in the Northeast can see the Brazilian-born carver’s work at the New Britain Museum of American Art, as part of its “Meticulous Masterpieces” exhibit, through this Sunday.
(Many thanks to reader PL.)
As we ponder altogether new meanings for “sharpen my pencil,” we might recall that it was on this date in 1940, at the New York World’s Fair, that the world’ first Parachute Wedding was conducted. Arno Rudolphi and Ann Hayward, were married on the Parachute Jump, a 26-story high ride created for the World’s Fair (though now working on Coney Island). The entire wedding party– minister, bride, groom, best man, maid of honor & four musicians– was suspended aloft until the newlyweds completed their vows.
A key requirement of responsible drinking is knowing one’s limits. Now thanks to the good folks at Bar Stools, and their handy “Booze Death Calculator,” one can enter a few personal facts to learn just how many quaffs of one’s favorite poison– say, appletinis or Coronas or shots of Everclear– it would take to bring the whole show to a halt. (In your correspondent’s case, it was, respectively, 25, 28, and 8.)
As we try to recall just how many steps there are in “that” program, we might wonder what Adolphe Pegoud was thinking when, on this date in 1913, he became the first European to jump from a powered plane in a parachute and land safely. (Albert Berry was the first ever; he dropped from a plane over Missouri a year earlier.) 11 days later, Pegoud invented aerobatics when he completed the first (intentional) powered loop.
A Bleriot XI of the sort that Pegoud flew (source: rafaero.free.fr)