Wednesday, September 10, 2014

FROM THE JETSONS TO CRACKBERRYS

Over fifty years ago, in 1962 to be exact, Hanna-Barbera Productions released a cartoon show called “The Jetsons”. Hanna-Barbera was an American animation studio that dominated American television animation for nearly four decades in the mid-to-late 20th century creating such iconic cartoon shows as The Flintstones, Yogi Bear, Scooby-Doo and many, many others.
The Jetsons were a space-aged family living in the 2062. Father George, his wife Jane and their two children, Judy and Elroy lived in Orbit City with their dog Astro and cleaning robot Rosie. Hard to believe as it is, the Jetsons only lasted one season with 24 episodes and while it was revived briefly in the 1980’s, it was the original 1962-63 season that has made the term “Jetsons” synonymous with “the future” to this day.
There were a lot of futuristic devices in the show that seemed pretty far-fetched to the early 1960’s viewers but in retrospect so many of the things that were marvelled at back then seem to have come to fruition.
Take the very first episode where Jane is at home working out to an in-home exercise video on her futuristic large 3D flat-screen television or how about George sitting in his easy chair reading his evening paper on a computer screen? Sound familiar?
In other episodes George has to fix something called a “computer virus” at work and everyone on the show uses video phones. A tanning bed, which wasn’t introduced to North America until 1979, was used in one show with tanning settings that included “Miami” and “Riviera”. And while flying space cars have yet to land in our lives, the Jetsons show had moving sidewalks, like we now have in airports, treadmills, that didn't hit the consumer market until 1969, and their repairman had a piece of technology called...Mac. Hmmm.
Although it’s not 2062, yet, we are now living in the 21st Century and the amount of change brought to our lives, thus far, is staggering. The changes in computer technology, the Internet, Smart phones, e-readers, e-cigarettes, social media-(i.e. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube et al), and reality television are all products and services that weren’t available prior to 1999; or if they were offered before the turn of the century they would have been in their infancy.
So much change in so little time. I can recall living in the little hamlet of Marquis in 1969 and our telephone number was 26 and the phone came complete with a hand crank on the side that you rang to get an operator who then placed your call for you.
Now, I’m holding my Crackberry and it’s a phone and a camera and I can get the internet and emails on it and I can text with it and I have a library of photos on it and it’s a video and voice recorder and a flashlight and a weather forecaster and calculator and a clock and a calendar and a filing cabinet…oh, how far old Alexander Graham Bell’s invention has come.
At this rapid pace of change, your guess is a good as mine as to what we might be seeing in technological advances in the very near future. Suffice to say that if we are as forward thinking as the writers of the Jetsons show were back in the 60’s then the sky is, literally, the limit.


“The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change”-Heraclitus, (534BCE-474BCE).

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