Imaginings from 1900 about what Life would be like in the year 2000

In 1900, German chocolate company Hildebrands produced a series of postcards imagining the wonders of life in the year 2000.

The optimistic renderings envisioned people in Victorian fashions enjoying lives of boundless leisure and comfort enabled by a century of technological advancement.

The predicted innovations range from accurate (live broadcasts of plays) to absurd (cities covered by weather-proof glass roofs) to depressingly plausible in the near future (summer holidays at the North Pole).

Movable sidewalks.

 


Moving an entire city block by rail.

 

 

Strolling on a lake with the aid of balloons.

 

A live audiovisual broadcast of a theatre performance.

 

Weather-controlling machines.

 

A hybrid railship.

 

Tourist submarines.

 

Personal airships.

 

Tourism at the North Pole.

 

X-ray surveillance device.

 

Weather-proof city roofing.

A 21,000 Car Parking Lot

As part of the settlement after it got caught cheating on its emissions tests, Volkswagen has bought back about 350,000 of its U.S. diesel vehicles. The automaker so far has spent more than $7.4 billion on the cars, according to court filings seen by Reuters.

Where does VW put all those cars? Wherever it can find the space.

The German automaker has 37 remote storage facilities across the U.S., and they’re not just parking lots. The sites include a former football stadium in the Detroit suburbs, an old paper mill in Minnesota and a giant patch of land in the California desert.

A court filing seen by Reuters said that, “Volkswagen had reacquired 335,000 diesel vehicles, resold 13,000 and destroyed about 28,000 vehicles. As of the end of last year, VW was storing 294,000 vehicles around the country.”

The Southern California Logistics Airport in Victorville, Calif., is already well-known as an “aircraft boneyard” — a sort of desert purgatory for old airplanes.

Now VW has made it a major place to store its diesel VWs and Audis.

“These vehicles are being stored on an interim basis and routinely maintained in a manner to ensure their long-term operability and quality, so that they may be returned to commerce or exported once U.S. regulators approve appropriate emissions modifications,” VW spokeswoman Jeannine Ginivan said in a statement to Reuters about the Victorville facility.

VW reportedly leased 134 acres at the site. That is enough to hold 21,000 cars while the company decides their fate: whether to be fixed — or scrapped for parts.

The aircraft area

 

 

The Museum of Failures

Every successful product launch is usually preceded by a string of failures, but we only remember the winners and ignore the failures and pretend they never happened. A new museum is set to open in Sweden that hopes to make this right.

The “Museum of Failures” is the brainchild of Dr. Samuel West, an organizational psychologist, who has spent the last seven years studying failure and success and what people say about both.

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Dr. Samuel West holding the Nokia N-Gage.

“I got tired of all of this glorifying of success, especially within the domain of innovation where 80 to 90 percent of all projects fail,” Dr. West said.

Then, he stumbled into the Museum of Broken Relationships—which collects mementos from failed romances and displays them under glass—while he was on a family trip to Zagreb, Croatia, and he had a light bulb moment.

“I rushed out, and I had this sort of eureka moment that I’m going to start the Museum of Failures. Like, there’s no going back,” Dr. West told NPR.

The purpose of the museum, Dr.West says, is to show that innovation requires failure. “If you are afraid of failure, then we can’t innovate,” he said.

Scheduled to open in June this year, the museum will showcase over sixty failed products and services from around the world. “Every item provides unique insight into the risky business of innovation,” the museum’s website says.

Some of the products that will be on display includes —Harley-Davidson perfume; Bic pens made especially for women; Coca-Cola Blak, a coffee-inspired drink; Nokia N-Gage that was a mobile phone and a gaming console in one; Apple Newton, a personal digital assistant; beef lasagna from Colgate; and more recent products such as Amazon Fire Phone and Google Glass.

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The Twitter Peek, a device for tweeting, launched in 2008.

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Frozen beef lasagna from a toothpaste company.

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The Harley-Davidson’s fragrance, according to Dr. Samuel West, was a “total flop.

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Apple Newton, an early PDA.

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Trump: The Game was released in 1989, based on buying and selling properties.

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The Sony Betamax video cassette player, which lost the format war to its rival, VHS.

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Coca-Cola BlaK was a coffee-flavored version of the soft drink, launched in 2006.

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Bic for Her pen, which was discontinued at the end of 2016.

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Google Glass.

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Kodak pioneered the digital camera in the 1990s but failed to market it.