Fashion-forward newspaper reading

Reading the story “The Rocket Man” in the Ray Bradbury collection “The Illustrated Man,” I was struck by the following passage. You’ll quickly see why:

“That night we sat on the mechanical porch swing which swung us and blew a wind upon us and sang to us. It was summer and moonlight and we had lemonade to drink, and we held the cold glasses in our hands, and Dad read the stereo-newspapers inserted into the special hat you put on your head and which turned the microscopic page in front of the magnifying lens if you blinked three times in succession. Dad smoked cigarettes and told me about how it was when he was a boy in the year 1997.”

Ha ha! Bradbury came up with earbuds and wall-filling flat screen TVs in “Fahrenheit 451,” but envisioning the future is tougher than it seems. Be grateful you don’t need to don a “special hat” to read this blog!

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  • Ramona

    Sometimes when I read the spam comments before I realize they are spam I feel I need a tinfoil hat.

    Other than that, not so much.

    Where can one get a mechanical porch swing? Sounds like the ideal thing to become an outdoor couch potato. (Swing potato? Potatoe?) Spell check is flashing furiously!

    [There are mechanical porch swings, aren't there? At least I seem to recall having sat on one decades ago. Perhaps it was a standalone unit that could be set in a yard. You flip a switch and it swings you. Must be designed for the extremely lazy. I don't recall if music was part of it. Definitely it didn't blow wind on us. -- DA]

  • Allan

    Not exactly a hat but Google’s Project Glass comes close. Augmented Reality seems like an awesome idea until the next big power outage.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Glass

    [My newspaper never flickers when the electricity goes out, but then again, it can be hard to read it in the dark. -- DA]