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1967 Oct 16 Fresno Bee - Fresno, CA Paleo Future

1967 Oct 16 Fresno Bee - Fresno, CA Paleo Future

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Published by Matt Novak

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Published by: Matt Novak on Aug 09, 2009
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07/10/2013

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Monday, October It, 1967

THE FRESNO BEE

Monday Memo

Computer May Rule Household
By Desa C. Belyes
Women's Activities Editor

The nagging wife will soon be obsolete - another victim of progress. But if Dad thinks his days of being hen-pecked are over, just wait until he meets the new head of the household — the electronic kitchen computer. The year is 1999. The scene: a typical American kitchen. The case: Mom, Dad and Junior. The plot: What Is for lunch? Mom goes to her automated kitchen console and presses a series of butons. In a few seconds today's menu appears on the electronic screen. The first one suggests consomme as a first course for all, a cheese omelet for Dad, cottage cheese and tomato for Mom and broiled chicken, mashed potatoes, soinach and mushrooms for Junior. All three get fresh fruit for dessert. The second menu is tomato juice for all, chicken salad for Dad, a tuna sandwich for Mom and broiled salmon, broccoli and carrots for Junior. Dessert for everybody is chocolate pudding. Dad says, "Nuts, no machine is telling me what to eat, I'm having a cheeseburger with French fries and a cold bottle of beer." Mom consults her computer. The reply is,"Sorry, cheeseburger, fries and beer are 400 calories over allotment. Suggest you try cold roast beef, green salad and low calorie beer." Click. And Dad scowlingly agrees. Mom presses the buttons on her console to order the meal and two minutes later the family sits down to lunch. After lunch, Dad tries to sneak off for a nap — but, oh, no, Big Brother has plans for him. According to the health records maintained by the family computer, which each morning checks pulses, temperature, weight and blood pressure, Dad needs to exercise and so off he marches, still grumbling, to do his pushups and kneebends. Nor is there any relief in sight. After exercises comes Improvement hour First, there is the study of mathematics, space navigation and foreign languages spewed forth on tape. Then a session on culture led by the auto-composer which reproduces the sounds of all instruments and offers Dad the opportunity to compose his own music. Finally, as Dad slumps In exhaustion, the little beepbeep reminds him that he still has his hobby projects to finish and so he trots off again, an unhappy victim of progress, as the curtain drops on Scene: 1999. A fantasy? An impossibility? Not according to the Philco-Ford Corporation which has Just completed a color motion picture "1999 A.D." In which the "House of Tomorrow" as envisioned by company engineers and Industrial designers, will be displayed on movie screens In various film houses this fall and winter. Although the house is revolutionary in many aspects, It is completely realistic in terms of projections of today's technology, according to the designers. Certain units, they claim, will be off the drawing board and on the assembly lines within five years. Each room in the house will be six-sided to provide a wide variety of floor plans and choice of access from room to room. A dome on the roof will contain microwave antenna through which all communications — video, audio, teletype and facsimile — will be established with the outside world. An entrance way containing a sonic cleaner will remove dust from clothes and dirt from shoes. But the piece de resistance will be the central computer, Big Brother, Head of the Household, Nagging Wife, call it what you will — it will be boss. It will not only prescribe the family's meals, exercise, education and entertainment needs, it also will do it all in a space no greater than that needed for a contemporary portable radio. No more dirty dishes in the sink, no more shopping chores, no more hired help, the computer will do it all. A dishwasher that uses powdered plastic will produce disposable dishware quickly and cheaply. The computer, equipped with a video screen, will place the homemaker in contact with her favorite store. And as the video shopper scans the shelves, Mom will order by pushbutton while the computer automatically determines the amount of food to be ordered based on the inventory at home and the nutritional needs of the family. What Mom orders on her console, Dad pays for through his. At the touch of a button, he can get an up-to-the minute report on his bank balance, the amount he owes in taxes or other financial information. The only thing the computer will not do is print money. In its spare time it will take care of housecleaning and laundry and everybody will live happily ever after—once they learn how to turn the darn thing off!

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