Life Imitates Art

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Can you raise a sunken boat with nothing but ping-pong balls? Yes, actually.
"As far as I know, the first suggestion in the scientific literature about terraforming the planets was made in a 1961 article I wrote about Venus. [...] The idea was soon taken up by a number of science fiction authors in the continuing dance between science and science fiction - in which the science stimulates the fiction, and the fiction stimulates a new generation of scientists, a process benefiting both genres."

Leonardo da Vinci didn't invent the helicopter, but he did draw a picture of one.

Throw enough hypothetical inventions and scenarios out into the world and the chances are that some of them will eventually become reality. Some were ideas waiting to happen: even our stone age ancestors could see from birds that flying was possible. Some ideas required a bit more imagination. Either way, life has imitated art.

A Super-Trope to Defictionalization (deliberately doing this as part of merchandising).

Compare The Red Stapler (art makes existing things more (or less) popular).

Examples of Life Imitates Art include:

Anime, Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

The disruption of electromagnetic radiation is due to the small lattice of the I-field creating fringes that long wavelengths cannot penetrate, and that diffract wavelengths that have similar distance with the fringes. This diffraction and polarization process disrupts the electromagnetic waves. Notice in real life there is a similar experimental particle that could do the same thing in few thousandth of a second, which is still not practical but proves the theory to be correct.

Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • Electronic tagging such as ankle bracelets used to track prisoners. Developed by a judge in 1979 based on a Spider-Man newspaper strip from the same year, involving the Kingpin.
  • Carl Barks has done this at least twice. He made up a method to raise sunken ships with ping pong balls, which was later successfully used. The guy who did it was unable to patent the technique because of Barks' story. In a different comic, he drew a molecule and described some of its reactions nineteen years before it was discovered by scientists.
  • Cracked.com compiled a list of 5 Things Donald Duck Invented.
  • Tintin already travelled to the moon in "Destination Moon" and "Explorers on the Moon" (1950-1953, in publication). This was almost fifteen years before the Americans actually landed on the moon. Tintin's moon exploration was also scientifically very accurate without any typical science fiction clichés of aliens and such.

Film[edit | hide]

  • Technovelgy tracks down sci-fi tech in Real Life, such as transparent data tiles like those in Minority Report.
  • In the Jim Belushi film K-9, Detective Dooley's K-9 partner Jerry Lee (played by real police dog Koton) was shot while apprehending a suspect in the attempted murder of a police officer. Two years after the film's release, Koton (who had returned to real police work after the movie) was shot and killed while apprehending a suspect in the attempted murder of a police officer.
  • The Truman Show Delusion.
  • A fan of Iron Man built his own personal digital life assistant and named him JARVIS.
  • A giant sign in the shape of a bull was built for the movie Bull Durham. Placed over the outfield fence, if hit by a home-run ball it would light up and make noise, and the person who hit it would win a free steak. The real-life Durham Bulls baseball team kept it.
  • In the movies of Sacha Baron Cohen, the artistic premise of the story and characters is always deeply intertwined with the real-life behavior of those who aren't in on the joke. So to say that Life Imitates Art is somewhat trivial. Nonetheless, there were some moments in Bruno when the real-life external circumstances surrounding the film's production evolved similarly to the fixed prior notion of the movie's plot, as it had been conceived of before filming. This occurred when they were in Italy for Fashion Week. The plot of the movie was that Bruno would cause a major disturbance at a fashion show, resulting in his being thrown out, black-listed, and possibly even arrested. In fact, all of these things happened in real life, and so when he is later disallowed from entering fashion shows, it is because he was actually black-listed by that time.
    • Later, when Bruno sits down at a restaurant and commits "carbicide" by gorging himself on several ice cream sundaes, it was carbicide for both Bruno and the actor, Sacha Baron Cohen. Cohen had actually spent many months prior refraining from carbs, in the course of body sculpting for the role.
  • A dark, tragic version occurs in The Return. Father is given a Disney Villain Death. One of the film's other actors, 15-year-old Vladimir Garin, had one in Real Life just one month after shooting had completed; he never even lived to see the premiere.
  • After the release of 2006's Night at the Museum, the number of visitors at the American Museum of Natural History (which the movie modeled after and where it was set in the 1993 Film of the Book version) increased by 50,000 the previous year during the holiday season and 50,000 more between December 22, 2006, and January 2, 2007.

Literature[edit | hide]

  • Silence of the Lambs, a book written by a criminologist and based on real events, managed to make police profiling and the profiling by female detectives more popular, even among actual police investigators. Before that, it was, to say the least, an underdeveloped (albeit very effective) investigative branch.
    • So technically, and rather Interestingly, it is a case of Real Life Imitates Art Imitates Real Life.
  • Jules Verne's Nautilus... a long-range nuclear submarine powered by steampunk!
    • The world's first SSN was called Nautilus because of the book.
    • And Verne himself got the name from the real (and much less sophisticated) submarine designed for Napoleon by one Robert Fulton.
    • Nautilus was a popular submarine name for years, both before and after Verne's book, because the nautilus is a fairly well known sea creature.
    • Space flight was also predicted by Jules Verne.
      • What's more, he predicted that the first mission to the moon would be launched from Central Florida. For the right reasons, even: Florida is closer to the equator than almost any other part of the United States, making it much more suitable to space launches.
  • H. G. Wells' The Time Machine proposed that time was the fourth dimension about ten years before Albert Einstein's theory of special relativity.
    • Einstein based his theory of 4D spacetime on preexisting mathematical theories that were around when Wells wrote his story, though.
      • Incidentally, that part of relativity - the use of 4-dimensional non-euclidean geometries to explain General Relativity - was co-developed by Bernhard Riemann.
    • The better example is when he managed to predict isotopes before the actual research papers about them came out.
    • Also, the description in The War of the Worlds of the Heat-Ray (the original book, not the Hollywood versions which turn it into a flamethrower or generic Energy Weapon) sounds suspiciously like the yet-to-be-invented microwave laser or maser.
    • Don't forget his short story The Land Ironclads, which feature tank-like vehicles a decade before the first tanks were used in the Somme.
      • DaVinci came up with the concept first, though.
        • And even before that, the Greeks put catapults in siege towers.
  • Arthur C. Clarke's geosynchronous communication satellites.
    • Although Clarke first published the idea as a scientist before he put them in his novels, so he arguably did invent Clarke's Orbit.
  • Neal Stephenson basically predicted The Other Wiki in Snow Crash.
  • The fella who invented the waterbed in Real Life was unable to patent it because it had already been thoroughly described by Robert A. Heinlein in Stranger in A Strange Land.
  • Aldous Huxley kinda made up embryonic stem cell research in his dystopian novel Brave New World.
    • For that matter, the characters' ideas about "family" are slowly becoming more and more realistic.
  • Ray Bradbury predicted portable audio players and cell phones in the early '50s.
    • See also the two-way radio watches of Midnight, Dick Tracy, and Doc Savage (who debuted after Dick Tracy but used a radio watch before the other two).
  • The T-Minus countdown system (10, 9, 8, etc.) was first used in Woman in the Moon before being adopted by NASA.
  • In 1898 Morgan Robertson wrote a novella named Futility, or the Wreck of the Titan about an ocean liner named Titan which sinks in the North Atlantic after striking an iceberg. In the novella, Titan was one of the largest passenger ships of the time and considered indestructible, and had way too few lifeboats for its 2500 passengers, over half of which died in the accident. 14 years later... (The Real Life incident didn't have a battle with a polar bear, however.)
  • Isaac Asimov's short SF story "The Feeling of Power" is based on the premise that people would completely forget how to do mathematical calculations manually - on paper paper - and end up relying entirely on machines. His "hand computer" predates the pocket calculator. And the story was initially rejected by publishers because it was deemed ridiculous that people could forget how to do arithmetic.
    • However, when his idea became reality, educators wasted little time taking this fiction as gospel - insisting that students learn how to solve problems on "paper paper". It is worth speculating however, on how long it will be, if that day is not here already, where calculators are viewed in the same light as rulers, compasses and protractors.
  • One anecdote long known to fans of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy tells of a terminally ill fan who, inspired by the books' running joke about one being secure in the knowledge that he's prepared for anything so long as he "knows where his towel is," made sure to keep his own towel with him in his final days.
  • Go reference-spotting in Idoru. Okay, so it's made in 1995 when the internet was actually invented, but many things are just now becoming possible - and done.
    • Notably, Japan now has at least one virtual pop singer. Yes, idoru are real.
      • RAH's Moon is a Harsh Mistress (1966) had CGI of Adam Selene appearing on vidscreens.
  • Tom Wolfe's The Bonfire of the Vanities is sometimes criticised for being a thinly-veiled Roman à Clef dealing with events that happened in New York City in the late '80s and early '90s. This ignores the fact that the book was published in 1987, and all of the writing happened before that, meaning that most of the events upon which is was supposedly "based" actually didn't happen until after the novel was published.
  • Dale Brown predicted low-observable external weapons pods well before Boeing made it possible.
  • In The Sum of All Fears, it's mentioned that local wags near the Strategic Air Command HQ joked that the relatively new (at the time) Command Center was made so that the actual place matched up with the common Hollywood depictions of the facility, which were better than the original structure.
  • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle invented Sherlock Holmes, perhaps the most famous detective in history. Not content with writing about a detective, Doyle actually ended up becoming something of a detective himself, proving the innocence of two men who had been wrongfully convicted in separate cases.
  • Orson Scott Card predicted the internet in Ender's Game. Although he was not the first person to propose the idea of a global communications network, Card actually called it 'the net,' and he even anticipated trolling.
  • The topper might be Murray Leinster's prescient short story "A Logic Named Joe". In it, he describes a networked computer system in homes across the country that allows people to learn how to cheat on taxes, find hangover cures, kill their spouse using hard-to-trace household chemicals, and most of all allows young children to discover porn. He not only predicted the internet, but he predicted search engines, online porn, filtering software, and the sinister uses people have for Google. In March of 1946.
  • A throwaway reference in the backstory of John W. Campbell's "Frictional Losses": the Japanese attempted to counter an invasion (by space aliens) by supercharging airplane engines, packing the planes full of explosives, and ramming them into the invaders' ships. He published this in July 1936.
  • In Gulliver's Travels, Jonathan Swift describes the two moons of Mars as discovered by the Laputan astronomers. 150 years later, the two moons of Mars were actually discovered. (Contrary to some reports, their orbital periods and diameters do not match what is described in the book.)
  • John Brunner's Stand On Zanzibar, written in 1969 and mentioned above, takes place in 2010 when the Earth's population has reached 7 billion. He was only one year short of when that milestone was actually reached.

Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • Star Trek imagined quite a few inventions that people made real, like automatic sliding doors.
    • Clamshell cell phones almost always come in designs reminiscent of the Original Series communicators, although communicators are of course a lot more powerful in terms of the communication part.
    • Vocera's B2000 communications badge is inspired in part inspired by the combadge seen in the later Trek series. It also works the same way - tap & talk.
    • Transparent Aluminum. First mentioned in Star Trek IV in 1986. According to Wikipedia, by 2008 there were several different methods and brand products: Aluminum oxynitride (AlON) is a transparent ceramic composed of aluminum, oxygen and nitrogen that can apparently be produced in sizes large enough for windows; aluminum oxide, a chemical compound of aluminum and oxygen (Al2O3) is made transparent through a process of fusing fine particles; and transparent nanophase aluminum in various colors.
    • Fans of Star Trek wrote so many letters to NASA, that eventually, they did name the first full-scale prototype Space Shuttle Enterprise. The shuttle subsequently appeared in a mural in Star Trek: The Next Generation and the opening credits of Star Trek: Enterprise, implying that in the Trek universe the starship was named after the shuttle.
      • In one Expanded Universe novel, Kirk actually commanded the space shuttle Enterprise.
    • The creator of the mp3 was inspired by a Next Generation episode in which, as a throwaway gag, Data has ordered the computer to play him four symphonies at once. He ignored the gag and thought "hey, it might be a pretty cool to tag music files so that you actually could tell the computer to play you a specific artist or album", and the rest is history.
    • Richard Branson has also named his first commercial passenger spacecraft the VSS Enterprise.
    • Let's not forget how the ever-versatile Tricorder (and to a lesser extent, the thin computer pads of TNG) inspired the creation of Palm Pilots, PDAs, and - eventually - the iPhone.
      • followed by the iPad, and the recent tablet craze - which of course, bears more than just a casual resemblance to those data pads.
      • In a case of Defictionalization glurge, Gene Roddenberry made it clear that the term "Tricorder" was public domain, available to anyone who could build a scientific instrument similar to the prop. The latest example of this is the Tricorder X PRIZE, announced in 2011, which will be awarded to the first portable medical tool that can provide instant diagnoses a la Star Trek's medical tricorders.
    • The Captain's Log - voice and handwriting recognizing software/hardware.
    • Not to mention all sorts of stories of Real Life celebrities looking up with admiration to Nichelle Nichols as Nyota Uhura, television's first female African-American astronaut — such as Dr. Mae Jemison, NASA's first female African-American astronaut.
    • And now we can add the Universal Translator to the list. There is an app currently[when?] under development for the BlackBerry called Polyglotz. Now while there are a ton of type out a phrase and get a translation websites and programs, this is one of the first "spoken translators". You speak a phrase into your phone and the translated version is played back. It is really new and has a ton of bugs, so your BlackBerry won't help you commiserate with a roomful of Klingons. Yet.....
  • MythBusters proved a Crash-Course Landing is possible, even though there is no recorded incident of it happening in Real Life.
    • Adam and Jamie also did an episode where they addressed how to escape a rapidly-submerging car; later, a woman caught in exactly that situation managed to survived and specifically cited the Mythbusters, and that episode, as the reason.
  • The motto "To protect and serve" was originally only found on Los Angeles police cruisers, but after Hollywood started showing it on TV, other police departments started using it, so that now it is almost universal, in America.
    • Almost universal is being... very generous. "More popular than before" would be more accurate.
    • Not just in America; the motto of the Northern Constabulary, the police force of the Scottish Highlands, is "Dion is Cuidich", which is Gaelic for "Protect and Serve".
  • There is an unusual amount of electromagnetism coming from an island near New Zealand. Some more radical theories regarding this island involve harnessing the electromagnetism to render the island invisible to the naked eye... or worse. Sounds an awful lot like Lost's island...
  • In Thomas the Tank Engine, James's train once had to be mended with a bootlace after he wrecked the brake pipe after roughly handling the coaches. A few years ago, a similar incident happened with an Intercity train and it had to be mended with sticky tape.
  • The British House of Cards series depicted what might happen in the Conservative Party when Margaret Thatcher eventually fell from power. Ten days after the first episode was broadcast, she actually did.
    • Although John Major survived as PM through one election.
    • So, in fact, did Collingridge, although the election was called immediately after he entered office, whereas Major waited eighteen months until April 1992. The result in the series - a 20-seat Conservative majority - was also pretty prescient of the 1992 election, moreso because some people assumed at the time Labour would actually win.
    • And the American series variant. Anyway, the wife of a top elected official who ignores her husband's affair, rides into high level politics on his coattails, with public backlash when she fails? Hmm.
  • The University Medical Center at Princeton was replaced by the new University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro. Who would have thought?
  • The set of CTU in the hit series 24 inspired the design of a new Joint Counter-Terrorism Center in Washington, DC.
    • Well it was Donald Rumsfeld's favorite show.
  • Less than a year after Better Off Ted's Veridian Dynamics had its problems with their photosensitive scanners not recognizing black people stories came in about HP's webcams doing the same thing.
  • In the episode "Sick" of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, a woman is discovered to be purposely poisoning her granddaughter to feign sympathy/money/services from charities. The episode aired in 2004. This scenario happened in September 2010 [dead link], though not an exact match.
    • But this is a variant of the real world mental illness called Munchhausen's Syndrome, which has been known since at least 1951.
    • A pair of better examples cropped up during the first half of the 2011 season. The episode "Missing Pieces" in which a mother claims that her car was stolen with her young son still buckled into his car seat bears more than a passing resemblance to the Sky Metalwala case. Another episode, "Personal Fouls," which revolves around a well-respected coach who uses a children's charity to molest young boys originally aired a few weeks before the Penn State molestation story broke. However, according to The Other Wiki, this one was actually based on a different sports abuse case.
  • Kim Gyngell's "Colin Carpenter" sketches in The Comedy Company in the late 80s included an arc spanning several episodes in which Carpenter thinks up and pitches the idea of combining instant coffee and powdered milk in a single sachet. As of 2012 this product has existed for a while now, despite the way in which it was shut down on the show: somebody simply pointed out that powdered milk tastes absolutely disgusting.
  • Desperate Housewives had one of the saddest examples: in the Series Finale "Finishing The Hat" recurring character Karen McClusky passed away from cancer. Kathryn Joosten, who played her, was also a cancer sufferer and herself was claimed by it not long after the episode aired.

Music[edit | hide]

  • Zager & Evans's song "In the Year 2525" predicted test tube babies about 10 years before the first one was produced.
  • In the song, "One Piece at a Time" by Johnny Cash, the narrator works on an assembly line putting together Cadillacs. Since he can't afford such an expensive car, he decides to get it "one piece at a time" by sneaking parts of the car out in his lunch box and his friend's mobile home over a period of almost twenty years to avoid suspicion. While this plan failed in the song (when the car was finally put together, was an odd-looking mess since it used parts from so many different models), an automotive assembly line worker in Chongqing, China successfully put a motorcycle together this way over the course of five years beginning in 2003, though the thief got caught shortly after finally putting it together.
  • "Linus and Lucy" was played on Elton John's Red Piano. Remind you of Schroeder?
  • Weird Al's music video for "White and Nerdy" featured a throwaway joke about vandalizing the Wikipedia page about Atlantic Records. That page has now been vandalized enough times in that manner that its talk page prominently features a warning telling people to cut it out.

Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

  • In the White Wolf RPG Aberrant, the Pope's name is Benedict XVI. This was revealed in the book that came with the Storyteller's Screen, in 1999...six years before the actual Pope Benedict XVI took office.
    • Not that surprising since the names of Popes are public record, and "Benedict" is obviously a common choice. The next Benedict would have to be XVI.

Theater[edit | hide]

  • When the original production of Stephen Sondheim's A Little Night Music opened on Broadway, Len Cariou (Frederik) and Victoria Mallory (Anne) were dating. In the musical, Frederik is a middle-aged lawyer and Anne is his teenage trophy wife. However, Anne ends up running away with her stepson, Henrik. After the production closed, Victoria Mallory and Henrik's actor, Mark Lambert, ran away together without telling anyone, just as their characters did.
    • Recently, their daughter, Ramona Mallory, debuted on Broadway in the latest revival as... Anne.

Video Games[edit | hide]

  • In 2009 Cracked.com published a humorous series of photographs under an article named If Video Games Were Realistic. One of the images had a Guitar Hero controller with six buttons per fret, on each fret of the entire guitar, simulating a real six-stringed guitar. Well, guess what kind of guitar controller was published with Rock Band 3 the very next year?
  • The Team Fortress 2 Medic uses a special device called the Medigun to heal his allies. There is now a spray gun that applies stem cells extracted from the patient's skin to treat second-degree burns.
  • Leisure Suit Larry 5 had the Hard Disk Cafe, a parody of Hard Rock Cafe, but there later appeared a real Hard Disk Cafe in Calgary, AB, Canada. Maybe coincidence.
  • Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit, Hot Pursuit 2 showed sports cars being used as police units. Although unbelievable, there is a Lamborghini Gallardo (550-4) in Italy being used as an interceptor unit.
    • Which is where the paintjob for the police Gallardo in Hot Pursuit 2010 came from.
  • Remember the Air Taser that you could use to light enemies on fire in Syphon Filter? Several real-life accidents have occurred where people were lit on fire by police tasers, usually involving flammable liquids.

Webcomics[edit | hide]

  • There are doubtless a couple of people keeping lists of the number of times life has imitated Xkcd. To wit:
    • Cory Doctorow has worn a cape and goggles to an event.
    • Richard Stallman has a katana. I repeat: Richard Stallman, one of the fathers of Linux, has a freaking katana.
      • ...which was given to him by XKCD fans. Though he has joked that the only use he can think of for it is to "keep it by my bed".
    • People playing chess (and, in one instance, checkers) on roller coasters.
    • Geohashing.
    • A strip involved that guy with the black hat's girlfriend writing a virus that would cause a YouTube comment to read itself aloud to the poster before being posted. YouTube responded by adding an "Audio Preview" feature to their comment boxes.
      • But sadly, not making it mandatory.
    • A protester holding up a "citation needed" banner.
    • In this comic Stephenie Meyer beats 4chan at its own game. Moot (4chan's owner) replied by temporarily replacing /b/'s title by "Twilight appreciation zone"
    • A throwaway comment at xkcd's companion blog "What if..." in August 2014 resulted in the page for Olbers' Paradox being subject to a brief rash of edits adding "citation needed" to every time the article asserted that the night sky was dark.
  • The Ciem Webcomic Series is arguably cursed with this, especially in regards to the ways events similar to its own have occurred in the author's life not but a few years after it was written in 2007.
    • The most isolated Flippo girl (Candi) eventually suffers the most humiliating downfall, in spite being the least rebellious. The most isolated of the author's sisters was also the least rebellious, and was the first to get pregnant out of wedlock.
    • None of the sisters could save themselves for marriage. But the brothers did (except for Tom.) Ditto real life (except there was no Tom.)
    • When Candi performed "One Quiet Moment" by songwriter Bob Kauflin for her church around Christmas, a brutal massacre occurred around the same time. Only four years after that scene was written, the author performed that same song at a Christmas service at his church in Michigan - unaware that a brutal massacre was occurring around the same time in Texas. (It was later reported the New York Daily Post's website.)
    • Stan and Shalia Flippo during The Battle for Gerosha adopted the brown-haired Erin Wyer. Erin was 12 years old at the time, but going on 13. When the author's parents later decided to adopt some kids, the oldest child they adopted conveniently turned out to be a brown-haired girl who was 13 years old at the time.
    • A discovered treasure made Stan and Shalia rich, and allowed them to found the town of "Gerosha" on top of the remains of their former town. The author later found a seashell with a Gerosha "G" carved into it by nature - somewhere on the shores of Cocoa Beach in Florida. The seashell's significance towards Gerosha's naming was later retconned into the narrative, to make art and life even more consistent.
    • Candi's isolated lifestyle (while somewhat justified in the story due to the Everything Trying to Kill You Death World she lives in) is shown leading to extreme paranoia, romantic desperation, and low self-confidence. Three years after the story was written, the author was placed on an internship where a very similar sort of social isolation set in. (In an Everything Trying To Eat Your Money world.) Leading to mistrust of women and low self-confidence.
  • Schlock Mercenary fans actually made dishes from the comic - Chupaqueso (fried cheese filled with gooey cheese) and even Smutto (corn smut + natto).
  • Sluggy Freelance had an obvious Steve Irwin parody character - "Steve Uozin the demon 'unter". His last word was "Crickey!"... when he was stabbed through the chest with a long organic spike on a page from February 2005 - 1.5 years before the original was pierced in the chest by a stingray barb.

Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • In one episode of Aeon Flux, a woman who had a chunk of her spine shot out by a gun turret was able to have screaming orgasms by having the remaining nerves dangling from the gap stimulated with surgical tools. In what must be the absolute weirdest example of this trope, a few years later some doctors tried this in Real Life and found it actually works.

Web Original[edit | hide]

Real Life[edit | hide]

  • Randy Pausch's Last Lecture certainly qualifies as this. While it is of course a lecture, and thus, some structure is to be expected, it's hard not to note that the speech could, with only a little editing, qualify as a piece of art. And not just from the quality of the insights. It's got a prologue/intro, and an epilogue/afterword (the birthday cake and the explanation of the final head fakes), chapters/scenes (his list of childhood dreams), a gradually unfolding plot (Pausch's fulfillment of his dreams, and later those of others) which comes in two to three acts (the first being his own dreams, the second those of others, the possible third being the fulfillment of the dreams of others), motifs and foreshadowing (the Alice in Wonderland imagery,) Aesops (brick walls, head fakes,) a Chekov's gun (the stuffed animals imply a race to the front of the room once the lecture ends,) audience participation (again, the stuffed animals, and the birthday song as well,) an Everyman (Pausch, both by his self-descriptions, and when compared to his mentors,) a trippy nightmare fuel scene (hello.world), acknowledgments (before the last few surprises), and a multiple-twist ending that sure as hell puts M. Night Shyamalan to shame. Also a hero's journey/quest, complete with mentor figure (Andy van Dam) and the rest. They even turned the lecture into a book. (When the similarities between this and Tuesdays with Morrie were mentioned to Pausch, he quipped, "I didn't realize there was a Dying Professors section of the bookstore.")

Other[edit | hide]

  • Leonardo Da Vinci thought of a helicopter 500 years before it was made.
    • As noted at the top of the page, Life Imitates Art Imitates Art Imitates Life. Chinese toy helicopters from circa 400 BC may have been depicted in European painting prior to Leonardo's time.
  • Ray Guns were common in fiction for decades, but it was not hard science, because you just couldn't actually make a weapon just by shooting energy alone. Then the laser was invented in the 1960s.
    • Though you still can't build a gun out of them. Heavy artillery, maybe. Pistols? It's going to take a while.
      • You can buy a laser "pointer" powerful enough to set fire to paper. It's not a lethal weapon but we're getting a lot closer.
      • So far, using lasers as weapons hasn't managed to get past Awesome but Impractical. Humans are made primarily of water, and water takes an awful lot of energy to heat up. You can give someone a pretty bad burn with a laser, but it's hard to actually kill someone with one.
        • Blinding on the otherhand, or causing skin cancer!
          • Blinding can also cause plane crashes, as there have been reports of people pointing their lasers skyward and being arrested for it.
        • On the other hand military (and perhaps even civilian) aircrafts will soon be equipped with missile-destroying chemical lasers.
  • "Kremvax" started as one of several fictional Vax computers joining the internet on April 1, 1984, which was an April Fools joke by Piet Beertema. When the first genuine Moscow site joined the internet, its gateway machine soon was kremvax.demos.su
  • It's Cracked at it again with 6 Eerily Specific Inventions Predicted in Sci Fi.