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Follies of Science: 20th Century Visions of Our Fantastic Future [Paperback]

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Item description for Follies of Science: 20th Century Visions of Our Fantastic Future by Eric Dregni, Jonathan Dregni, Omar Aranda, Batton Lash, Carol Lay, Chryse Hutchins, Stephanie Harvey & B. Teissier...

So what was the utopian master plan during the early twentieth century? Follies of Science is the keeper of such knowledge, offering glimpses into homeowners residing in "The Foam House of the Future," robot-on-robot battles for our nation's peace, radium-injected cures for those aches and pains, and, of course, commuters blasting away on their jet packs to work.
Aptly illustrated with full-color and black-and-white classic imagery, the visions of the future spread across page after page, pulling the reader in to what could have been and what shouldn't have been.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   127
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.25" Width: 9.25" Height: 8.5"
Weight:   1.1 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 1, 2006
Publisher   Speck Press
ISBN  1933108096  
ISBN13  9781933108094  

Availability  0 units.

More About Eric Dregni, Jonathan Dregni, Omar Aranda, Batton Lash, Carol Lay, Chryse Hutchins, Stephanie Harvey & B. Teissier

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Eric Dregni lives in Minneapolis, is dean of the Italian Concordia Language Village, and is assistant professor of English and journalism at Concordia University. He is the author of sixteen books, including four other titles from the University of Minnesota Press: Vikings in the Attic, Never Trust a Thin Cook and Other Lessons from Italy's Culinary Capital, Midwest Marvels, and Minnesota Marvels.

Eric Dregni was born in 1968.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > History > World > 20th Century
2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Popular Culture
3Books > Subjects > Science > General
4Books > Subjects > Science > Technology > General & Reference
5Books > Subjects > Science > Technology > History of Technology

Reviews - What do customers think about Follies of Science: 20th Century Visions of Our Fantastic Future?

Nice pictures...  Jan 14, 2008
If you have seen some of the other reviews you may know by now that the authors may have wished to do a little more research about the subject matter inside the book. But the pictures are nice. Yet many don't have any information and some of them are mislabeled. Some text that says it is for the photo above is, in fact, for the photo on the left or on the right. And some of the ideas, what the authors look at as follies, are, in some ways, being used right now. For example, the chapter on future homes has a picture of a metal dome. The idea is you can have as many or as few as you needed or could pay for. Yet cheap houses are still a major issue even in the 21st Century. Tiny, cheap houses, like WeeHouses, are on the market and can still give you a nice home with a green lawn without paying hundreds of thousands for the normal dream house. I bet the authors have three story houses or something. Also, I like the idea of a plane being mated with a bus. As long as the blades can be tilted up while the bus is being changed. I don't want the passengers to be sliced up. In other words, the ideas COULD be possible, they just never came about. That is not a folly it just means there was no need for it.
The folly of buying Follies of Science  Apr 23, 2007
Filled with errors of fact (e.g.,a navy "general", an autogyro described as a combination helicopter and car, etc.)as well as multiple egregious typos. Illustrations (many from old science fiction pulp magazines) lack dates and citations for the most part.
Skepticism  Feb 20, 2007
Lots of nice pictures. Okay for the loo. I'm only on page twenty of the text but have perused the pictures and captions. At this point, though, upon reading text about which I know some things, I will have to be skeptical about the things I don't know much about.

For instance, I don't know what a "cooling rod" is doing in an atomic submarine, but I do know that Admiral Rickover's proposed design for the first nuclear powered sub USS Nautilus had an isolated cooling loop of pH treated nearly pure pressurized water. We've all seen the footage of him pointing out the components in a tabletop mockup with a pretty petty officer at his side.

Also, the washdown systems of US Navy ships (not just aircraft carriers) will indeed be useful in case of nuclear fallout, chemical attack, or biological attack. Why is that a "headscratcher" to the Dregni Brothers?

I, like the Navy "general," would happily keep a nameplate of uranium on my desk. What problem do the authors have with that?

Please, an expedient way to purify water is to dig two dry wells a foot or so apart. Fill one well with contaminated water. The water that seeps into the other well will be significantly decontaminated. (This can also be done at the beach of a contaminated pond.)

Perusing pictures else in the book I find many mistakes about things nuclear/radioactive. Is this advocacy or ignorance? Are the authors Luddites about the other topics in the book? I'll have to keep that in mind as I read the rest (if I can).
Deadly "Pure" Uranium!  Feb 15, 2007
I gave up on this one as crap when I read the account of how atomic submarines used to cool their reactors with seawater, which was then exhausted overboard. (Hot, radioactive seawater -- just what I want to run over my reactor elements! Ri-i-ight...) That was followed by a description of how the U.S. Navy "general" in charge of atomic submarines was oblivious to environmental concerns because he kept a chunk of "pure uranium" on his desk.

Good illustrations cannot make up for gross ignorance of the subject matter.

Fun, but not profound  Jan 12, 2007
Lots of wonderful graphics from the fifties; the old prophetic images are sufficient reason to have this book. The informational content is not well-informed; the authors are clearly not experts in the areas of discussion, but their considerable research uncovered many interesting factoids. The overall fun-factor makes up for any lackings.

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