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.
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.
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:
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: