1.  Tomes & Talismans – This is pretty amazing.  Searching for old PBS Kid’s Shows, I discovered that  Mississippi Public Broadcasting created a sci-fi series to teach children about Library Science.

 

The program was called Tomes & Talismans, and the premise was that humans were evacuating Earth because of an attack by the Wiper alien race.  The Wipers wanted to disrupt communication and data technology, and a special task force of humans were preparing a library of all human knowledge.  Underground, of course.  What an insanely awesome way to teach kids Library Science! You can see the first episode for yourself:

 


 

2.  Xanadu, The Computerized Home of Tomorrow – I actually took a field trip to Xanadu in the second grade, and can still remember how much it excited and inspired me.  Xanadu was an attraction in Kissimmee, Florida, a few miles away from Walt Disney World.  It was a fully functional house of the future, with a computer that controlled all functions – temperature, diet, greenhouse, health, learning, work, and recreation.  It stood out architecturally as well, as Xanadu was created with a hard foam insulation within a removable plastic molding.
Xanadu Ad

Xanadu Dining Room

The attraction thrived for a few years, but was sold in 1997.  The house turned into an office space (imagine reporting for a temp job there!) and was eventually demolished in the early 2000s.  There are urban explorations of the ruins of Xanadu on youtube, but here’s a tour from its heyday just to keep on the sunny side:

 


3.  Dig Dug – One of my favorite arcade games from the 80s, Dig Dug featured a spelunker of sorts in a futuristic suit who eliminated monsters by either overinflating them until they popped or dropping rocks on them.

 

Dig Dug Gameplay

 

Even as a kid I loved the simple wordplay of “Dig Dug” as a title and loved loved loved the artwork that adorned the cabinets:

 

Dig Dug artwork

 

4.  1920s view of 2000 – This looks a bit more like Coruscant than 2000s America, but the optimism is endearing.  They got a few things right, like the personal devices, fanny packs, and some of the fashion.  Kind of wish they’d hung in there with the airport design – we seem to have fallen a bit behind in that regard.

 


5.  80s Disney Souvenir bags – Just look at the design on this! Wish I’d saved one from my childhood.  From Disleelandia:

 

Disney souvenir

 

-ds

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