Wednesday, February 24, 2021

READERS WEEK: Some comments and some pics . . .


Steve M drew my attention to not having fully redacted Count P's full name in yesterday's Readers Write post about names. I have now corrected that . . . mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.



Whilst on the topic of Readers Writing, I also omitted to mention that Graham E had sent me a response to my gripe as to why no one had yet made a film out of the Isaac Asimov Foundation series of books.  Apparently it is happening.


Graham regularly sends me snippets of information and items of interest, so much so that I sometimes save them and post them in a group in a segment which, in his honour is designated The G Spot.

From wikipedia:

The Foundation series is a science fiction book series written by American author Isaac Asimov. First published as a series of short stories in 1942–50, and subsequently in three collections in 1951–53, for thirty years the series was a trilogy: Foundation, Foundation and Empire, and Second Foundation. It won the one-time Hugo Award for "Best All-Time Series" in 1966. Asimov began adding new volumes in 1981, with two sequels: Foundation's Edge and Foundation and Earth, and two prequels: Prelude to Foundation and Forward the Foundation. The additions made reference to events in Asimov's Robot and Empire series, indicating that they were also set in the same fictional universe.

The premise of the stories is that, in the waning days of a future Galactic Empire, the mathematician Hari Seldon spends his life developing a theory of psychohistory, a new and effective mathematical sociology. Using statistical laws of mass action, it can predict the future of large populations. Seldon foresees the imminent fall of the Empire, which encompasses the entire Milky Way, and a dark age lasting 30,000 years before a second empire arises. Although the inertia of the Empire's fall is too great to stop, Seldon devises a plan by which "the onrushing mass of events must be deflected just a little" to eventually limit this interregnum to just one thousand years. To implement his plan, Seldon creates the Foundations—two groups of scientists and engineers settled at opposite ends of the galaxy—to preserve the spirit of science and civilization, and thus become the cornerstones of the new galactic empire.

One key feature of Seldon's theory, which has proved influential in real-world social science, is the uncertainty principle: if a population gains knowledge of its predicted behavior, its self-aware collective actions become unpredictable.


Here is Graham's email to me:

Hi Mr O,

Noticed you mentioned the Foundation series this morning......

Prayers answered

Foundation is an upcoming American science fiction television series based on the book series of the same name by Isaac Asimov and produced by David S. Goyer for Apple TV+. In January 2021, Goyer stated “...with Foundation we can tell the story, hopefully, over the course of eighty episodes; eighty hours, as opposed to trying to condense it all into two or three hours for a single film”. Foundation is set to premiere in 2021

On June 22, 2020, as part of its Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple released a teaser trailer for the series. Apple also announced that the series will premiere in Autumn 2021.


Mr G

Thanks, Graham, I am looking forward to watching it.  I remeber being right into Asimov sci fi in my uni days.


The following pics and text were sent to me by John P, thanks John . . . 


300-year-old library tool that enabled a researcher to have seven 
books open at once, yet conveniently nearby 
(Palafoxiana Library, Puebla).

350-year-old pocket watch carved from a single Colombian 

In 1955, this small electric narrow gauge train was installed in New 
York’s Holland Tunnel to monitor traffic speed.

A British couple sleeps inside a "Morrison shelter” used as 
protection from collapsing homes during the WWII 'Blitz' bombing 
raids. March 1941.

Philco Predicta Television from the late 1950s.

This car is a French 'Delahaye 175s roadster', introduced at the Paris 
motor show in 1949. Only one was ever made. it was recently sold at 
auction for around five million dollars.

Kodak K-24 camera, used for aerial photography during WW2 by the 

Motorised roller-skate salesman in California, 1961.

A rail zeppelin and a steam train near the railway platform. Berlin, 
Germany, 1931.

Soviet peasants listen to the radio for the first time, 1928.

One wheel motorcycle, Germany, 1925.

The open side view of an old adding machine.

FBI's fingerprint files, 1944.

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