Toronto's Metro Reference Library is hosting a Retro Futures exhibition until July 28, filled with exhibits from the collection of the Merril Collection (previously), the largest science fiction reference collection in any public library in the world.
The Merril is hosting its own annex to the exhibition at its branch (Lillian H. Smith Branch, 239 College Street, 3rd floor).
Included in the exhibitions: original Buck Rogers cartoons from a 1935 edition of the Toronto Star, collectible Jules Verne cards from 1900; pulp covers illustrating early visions of video-phones, life under domes and rapid transit and much more.
The exhibition accompanies a lecture series on related subjects with talks from Karl Schroeder, Madeline Ashby and Hugh Spencer, and there are guided tours every Tuesday at 2PM.
I am a volunteer on the board of the Toronto Public Library Foundation, which raises money from the USA for collections like the Merril; you can donate here.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a mechanical helper who never gets tired or bored? Robots could do all the chores, giving people more time for leisure. Strong metallic bodies and brilliant computerized “brains” make robots ideal protectors and friends. But what are the risks?
The word “robot” comes from a Slavonic word meaning “worker” or “servant”. The first story about robots was a play written in 1920 by the Czech writer Karel Capek. Rossum’s Universal Robots featured robotic factory workers. In time, they rebelled against their masters.
Fear that robots might get out of control is still a major concern in science fiction. In 1942 Isaac Asimov proposed Three Laws of Robotics to prevent sentient robots from harming humans.
Today’s advances in engineering and artificial intelligence have made robotics a reality. We are still a long way from having robot pals like those seen in television shows of the past.
Questions remain. If a machine looks and acts like a human, should it have the same rights and responsibilities as a human? What does it mean to be human?
Retro Futures: Exhibit Digest [David/Toronto Reference Library Blog]
We’ve been writing about Lea Redmond since 2009 here on Boing Boing. She’s just one of those kind of people who consistently makes neat things — a real Happy Mutant! Well, her latest creative venture is Home Sweet Home, an activity deck for kids (and the young at heart). It offers inspiring prompts for whimsical, […]
Listed at $159,900 this 1,075 square-foot home in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is bland on the outside but features rooms with outer space, submarine, tropical island, and moonbase motifs. The owners put a lot of work into it!
The “transient bazaar” known as Lost Horizon Night Market is a covert operation. Worlds are imagined and then built inside the blank canvasses of empty box trucks. For the event, all the “proprietors,” and their appointed box trucks, convene in an unsanctioned, though discreet, location. This location is disclosed to would-be “shoppers” via text just […]
Promoting products is almost nothing like it was back in the Mad Men days. In fact, the digital landscape has changed the ad game so much that it barely even resembles early Grey’s Anatomy days anymore. Marketing a product digitally isn’t about the right ad slogan or color scheme. It’s about crafting the narrative around […]
Every once in a while, we see a new product come along that’s so versatile and elegantly simple that it’s strange no one’s ever gone there before. Portable lights themselves aren’t new, but there’s something about the MOGICS Coconut Light that’s so seamlessly well-designed and adaptable that it feels startlingly original. The Coconut is basically […]
With the U.S. cautiously reopening, it’s probably time to take stock of where you’re at. After spending all these weeks in the house, you’ve likely already assembled a little list of items you either realized you were missing or need to replace. And those kinds of revelations probably apply to nearly every room. We got […]