Isaac Asimov Predicts The Future Of 2014…From 1964

AsimovScience fiction has always been about imagining the future: technologically, philosophically, or even satirically. It doesn’t always get the future right, mind you — we may technically have jetpacks and flying cars, but they’re not nearly as sleek and omnipresent as we’d been hoping for. One of the genre’s premiere futurists was Isaac Asimov, who was a science fiction titan but who also wrote fantasy, mysteries, and volumes of nonfiction encompassing subjects such as history, science, Shakespeare, and even the Bible. But in 1964, Asimov sat down to imagine a very specific future: that distant and mysterious year of “2014 A.D.”

In an article penned for the New York Times on August 16, 2014, Asimov uses the hopeful visions of the 1964 World’s Fair to imagine what our own impending future, a few short months away, might look like, and what wonders the World’s Fair of 2014 might hold. Asimov’s predictions range from the simple to the fantastic, but it’s intriguing to see what he got right, and what he got wrong. Below we’ll excerpt some of those predictions, and see how well the late Asimov’s foresight predicted the world we all live in.

Early on he predicts that underground dwellings will be all the rage, “with easily controlled temperature, free from the vicissitudes of weather, with air cleaned and light controlled.” The surface, Asimov claims, will be largely used for agriculture and parklands. While there’s no reason we couldn’t all chilling in snazzy underground hobbit holes, subterranean housing hasn’t caught on nearly as much as Asimov thought. Instead, we continue spreading up and out, but rarely down.


Early Gravity Reviews Generating Positive Buzz And Comparisons To Kubrick

While the newest film from Mexican director Alfonso Cuarón doesn’t hit theaters in the United States until October, Gravity kicked off the 70th Venice Film Festival in Italy. The long awaited follow up to Cuarón’s Children of Men has been in the works for seven years as Cuarón and his cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki worked with Avatar director James Cameron to try to figure out how to re-create the weightlessness of outer space on a Hollywood sound stage. From everything we’ve seen from the film, it looks like Cuarón and Lubezki figured out the formula.

The early reviews from the Venice Film Festival are in and it looks like Alfonso Cuarón might have a hit on his hands. While many critics praise the film for its visual prowess, some others praise Sandra Bullock for her performance as Dr. Ryan Stone, which they consider to be the best in her long career. Considering that Alfonso Cuarón has been working on this film for so long and its mark as a visual masterpiece, it’s the type of film that begs to be watched on the biggest screen imaginable and in 3D.


Vin Diesel Talks Groot And The Guardians of the Galaxy

Vin DieselA few weeks ago, Vin Diesel was quite candid about taking a meeting with Marvel Studios, hinting that he might appear in a Marvel Cinematic Universe film as one of their comic book characters. While Marvel fans speculated that Diesel might play Dr Hank Pym (AKA Ant-Man) or the Ultron-created cyborg Vision, it turned out that The Fast & the Furious superstar will voice the treelike alien Groot in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. In a recent interview with THR, Vin Diesel opened up about how it all came together with Marvel Studios. Apparently, Marvel wanted Diesel to star in his own film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase Three. Diesel explained that he is just too busy to star in his own film. He will soon be starring in the upcoming seventh installment in The Fast & the Furious franchise. Diesel says:

What can I say about Groot? I can say something about Marvel. I take my hat off to them for being so creative and thinking outside of the box. [The focus of our initial conversation was] a fresh IP (intellectual property) that would come out in 2016 or 2017, and potentially launch the third phase.

After the Diesel rumors were flying during San Diego Comic-Con, it was clear that Marvel fans wanted to see Vin Diesel in a Marvel movie sooner rather than later, so the actor and Marvel decided to work out something else. Diesel continues:


Brain-To-Brain Interface Allows Researcher To Control Colleague

brain-brain interfaceHave you ever concentrated really hard, closed your eyes, and then tried to do something with your brain? Maybe guess which playing card your friend is holding, or get the pencil in front of you to slide across the table? Or is that just me?

We’ve always been told that our brains have far more power than we’re able to harness, and a recent experiment from the University of Washington backs that up: a researcher controlled the motions of another researcher across campus by sending a brain signal (through the internet, of course). One of the researchers, Rajesh Rao (left in the picture) was just hanging out, you know, using his brain to do some hands-free computer playing thanks to an electroencephalography machine. That’s pretty cool in itself — wouldn’t you love to be able to play video games at the same time you’re painting your nails or petting the cat or, if you’re a little wacky, playing a second video game?


Cross The Streams: Dredd, Star Trek Captains, And Donnie Darko Start A Revolution

Good day, streamers. Chances are you’ve got an extra-long weekend coming up, with Labor Day and all. If you’re not too busy doing whatever it is people do to celebrate Labor Day, rest assured that the Internet has recently unleashed a decent selection of entertainment for your eyes and mine. Have fun and be safe…celebrating Labor Day.

dreddDredd (Netflix Instant and Amazon Prime)
While the huge vocal fanbase for Dredd is still trying to get a sequel put in motion, the dark and intensely dreary reboot of the masked badass has hit not just one but two streaming services, which will certainly get more people interested in the sequel. It’s a win-win for everyone. While some people perhaps expected it to be a box office failure, few people expected it to be as good as it was, owing far more to its comic source material than the comical 1995 version. Dredd takes down a gang dealing SLO-MO, a drug that turns anyone into a Zack Snyder movie. Did I spoil it by saying he takes them down? Of course not.


The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Adds Stef Dawson And Evan Ross To The Cast

Dawson & RossThe Hunger Games: Catching Fire is ready to hit theaters this November, and principal photography on the next sequel, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, will begin this September. Production on Mockingjay will be far more ambitious considering that director Francis Lawrence will ostensibly be shooting two full-length feature films back-to-back with Part 1 and Part 2. Aside from Mockingjay’s principal cast, including Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Liam Hemsworth, casting has now begun on The Hunger Games sequel film.

As reported by our sister site Cinema Blend, Australian actor Stef Dawson will join the cast of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 and Part 2 as Annie Cresta, the winner of the 70th Hunger Games, and Finnick Odair’s love interest. Annie Cresta was a Tribute from District 4 who managed to outswim her competitors in the Hunger Games when its Gamemakers created a brilliant tsunami. Annie Cresta is a fantastic swimmer because District 4 is a fishing community. Cresta is apparently first mentioned in Catching Fire, but it looks like Francis Lawrence will hold off on her full introduction until Mockingjay in 2014.