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Old 10-22-2010, 03:14 PM
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Measuring Our Lives on an SF Timescale: What's Already Happened in SF? What's Coming Up Soon?


A couple months back, it hit me that my son, now 3, could live to see the year 2100. Or even 2101, as in "In A.D. 2101, War Was Beginning."

That made me think of SF landmarks that have already happened: 2001, of "A Space Odyssey" fame, has come and gone, and its 2010 sequel would be happening now. Joe Haldeman's Forever War would already be underway. The 1960s cartoon "Astro Boy" is set shortly after the year 2000, so its world is theoretically in our rearview mirror.

So what other SF is set in years that are already in our rearview mirror? What else is coming up soon?
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Old 10-22-2010, 03:25 PM
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In the Star Trek universe, right now we should not only be recovering from the Eugenics Wars, but also making our way toward World War III and first contact with an alien civilization.
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Old 10-22-2010, 03:27 PM
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Well, it's now more than 11 years since the radioactive waste dumps on the moon exploded, catapulting it out of Earth's orbit faster than the speed of light.
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Old 10-22-2010, 03:30 PM
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1984 - Totalitarian takeovers of Europe (there were some scifi gadgets like the telescreens). [1984]
1993 - Eugenics Wars begin [ST: TOS]
1994 - Comet passes between the Earth and Moon causing widespread destruction [Thundarr the Barbarian]
1996 - Khan leaves Earth on the Botany Bay in exile. He had ruled over a quarter of the Earth's population. [ST: TOS]
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Old 10-22-2010, 03:33 PM
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This is the year which all governments worldwide ban the use of aluminum! (David Brin, Earth).
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Old 10-22-2010, 03:39 PM
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There's still a chance that Nehemiah Scudder will start his ministry. But where are our mechanized roads?
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Old 10-22-2010, 03:56 PM
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Well, if Back to the Future is right, we'll get our flying cars in 5 years time.
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Old 10-22-2010, 04:36 PM
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Well, if Back to the Future is right, we'll get our flying cars in 5 years time.
Sweet! I'm going to start saving now.
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Old 10-22-2010, 05:05 PM
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Flying cars, bah! On October 16, 1997 the Jupiter 2 was launched with the goal of reaching Alpha Centauri in five years, on Lost in Space.

And whatever happened to that big monolith we found back in 2001 and the contact we made with it in 2010?
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Old 10-22-2010, 05:45 PM
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In the final decade of the twenty first century men and women in rocket ships will land on the moon.

(Forbidden Planet)

Last edited by Icerigger; 10-22-2010 at 05:47 PM.
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Old 10-22-2010, 06:17 PM
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Judgment day happened in August 29, 1997. Skynet became self-aware. In a panic, the humans tried to pull the plug. Skynet retaliated by launching the USA's nuclear weapons at their targets in Russia. Over 3 billion people died in the ensuing war.
  #12  
Old 10-23-2010, 12:01 AM
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The Macross crash-landed in 1999, and was relaunched last year. In the meantime, we had a series of wars.

The launch coincided with the beginning of a war with the aliens.

It hasn't been a good decade.

Especially since in one variant on that timeline, the planet was completely sterilized shortly afterwards. In others, we suffered a rather thorough, but not complete, scouring in February this year.

In another variant timeline, there were a series of wars starting in 1989, which ended with the crash-landing of the ship, which gave way to a decade of peace...until the aliens attacked.
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Old 10-23-2010, 05:07 AM
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Per the Universal Century timeline (Gundam) the world Federation was established in 1999. The first solar powersat was launched in 2005.

According to The Morrow Project, WWIII was fought in 1989. Prime Base was attacked and shut down within five years, putting the Project in serious jeopardy.

St. Vidicon will be martyred in just ten more years.

On 13 SEP 2000, the event known as Second Impact happened, which the world is told a resulted from a collision with a small meteor traveling at relativistic speeds impacted on Antarctica, melting most of the austral ice cap, and causing massive damage and flooding worldwide. In reality, it was a direct consequence of fiddling with the extra-Terrestrial entity known as ADAM. (Neon Genesis Evangelion)
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Old 10-23-2010, 08:36 AM
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And whatever happened to that big monolith we found back in 2001 and the contact we made with it in 2010?
Well, whatever it was, it was wonderful....



We're now ten years past the "critical mass" described in Logan's Run, where almost all the world's population is under 21, sparking the Little War and complete overthrow of the established order.
  #15  
Old 10-23-2010, 09:03 AM
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Well, if Back to the Future is right, we'll get our flying cars in 5 years time.
I have a theory about this. In his quest to put his life on the right path, Marty Mcfly inadvertently ruined the future. Picture this scenario:

Robert Rutherford III, the heir to the Rutherford fortune, a brilliant but listless twentysomething billionaire is on his way home from yet another all weekend bender. Even though his IQ is off the charts he has resigned himself to a life of idleness, debauchery, and spending the Rutherford fortune. Suddenly a black pickup truck hits his white Rolls-Royce. Robert is badly injured and spends the next few days in a medically induced coma.

After waking up and realizing that no one but his loyal valet came to visit him in the hospital, Robert vows to clean up his act and save his father's now crumbling legacy. With new found vigour he slowly raises Rutherford Industries from the ashes into the massive economic powerhouse it would be today. Personally overseeing and developing such projects as hover technology, portable fusion devices, self drying and fitting clothes, ultra-dehydrated food, dust-repellent paper, and much more, the name Robert Rutherford III becomes a house hold name often mentioned in the same breath as Einstein, Newton, or Stephen Hawking.

Robert Rutherford III's genius and humanity has inspired mankind to reach further than ever before. For the first time in human history the thought of world peace and universal prosperity doesn't sound so far fetched. All because of a fateful car accident on October 27, 1985 that forced one of mankind's greatest geniuses to reevaluate his life.

Last edited by Uosdwis R. Dewoh; 10-23-2010 at 09:07 AM.
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Old 10-23-2010, 10:46 AM
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While the Blade Runner world is 9 years away, that doesn't seem like nearly enough time to develop: flying cars (the theme of this thread?), off world colonies and at least 6 model-generations of androids. Time to get going on these things.
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Old 10-23-2010, 10:22 PM
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Sam should have been stuck leaping through bodies for almost 11 years now.
  #18  
Old 10-23-2010, 10:52 PM
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While the Blade Runner world is 9 years away, that doesn't seem like nearly enough time to develop: flying cars (the theme of this thread?), off world colonies and at least 6 model-generations of androids. Time to get going on these things.
Not to mention Los Angeles finally getting some really notable landmark skyscrapers.

The blimps projecting weird Japanese ads, though, you could probably do today...and make money off of it.
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Old 10-23-2010, 11:09 PM
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In the year 1987, NASA launched the last of America's deep space probes. Aboard this compact starship, a lone astronaut, Captain William 'Buck' Rogers, was to experience cosmic forces beyond all comprehension. In a freak mishap, his life support systems were frozen by temperatures beyond imagination. 'Ranger 3' was blown out of its planned trajectory, into an orbit one thousand times more vast. An orbit which was to return Buck Rogers to Earth five hundred years later.
  #20  
Old 10-23-2010, 11:39 PM
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On the first day of the year 2000, God was assassinated. (The Jehovah Contract)

In 2007, two time travelers arrived, both soldiers in a centuries-long future war. A cyborg "Troll" of the Kanga Empire, who wished to enslave or failing that destroy humanity. And Colonel Ludmilla Leonovna, the immortal "Thuselah" whose goal is to kill the Troll and preserve humanity. (The Apocalypse Troll)
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Old 10-24-2010, 04:55 AM
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Just 3 years ago, in 2007, at the tender age of 28, Susan Calvin began her work in Robotics, ultimately leading to the Three Laws of Robotics
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Old 05-28-2015, 09:59 PM
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Bumped.

Previous similar threads:

http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/...d.php?t=264642
http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/...d.php?t=440640

I just reread Arthur C. Clarke's The Fountains of Paradise (1978), about building an orbital elevator up from Taprobane, a fictional equatorial island strongly based on Sri Lanka. He refers to the 2015 discovery by a team of Harvard archeologists of a small shrine in a ruined palace on the island. He also mentions the 2009 "melting of the Thor reactor."

Last edited by Elendil's Heir; 05-28-2015 at 10:04 PM.
  #23  
Old 05-29-2015, 12:03 AM
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1980 war against the U.F.O.s

September 13th 1999 we lost the Moon.
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Old 05-29-2015, 12:07 AM
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So what other SF is set in years that are already in our rearview mirror?
"If you're going to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair."
  #25  
Old 05-29-2015, 12:25 AM
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Science fiction timeline:

http://scifi.wikia.com/wiki/Timeline..._future_events
  #26  
Old 05-29-2015, 05:49 AM
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Well, a whole bunch of things happened in the Whoniverse, but since the Doctor subsequently rebooted the universe, they're all questionable at best.

Later this year, Doc and Marty will arrive from 1985.
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Old 05-29-2015, 05:51 AM
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Well, a whole bunch of things happened in the Whoniverse, but since the Doctor subsequently rebooted the universe, they're all questionable at best.

Later this year, Doc and Marty will arrive from 1985.
Back in 1999, Dr. Sam Beckett stepped into his machine--and vanished.
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Old 05-29-2015, 07:04 AM
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While the Blade Runner world is 9 years away, that doesn't seem like nearly enough time to develop: flying cars (the theme of this thread?), off world colonies and at least 6 model-generations of androids. Time to get going on these things.
I know I mentioned this in another future dates thread--while Blade Runner is still a few years in the future, Roy Batty's incept date is coming up next January.
  #29  
Old 05-29-2015, 07:56 AM
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"The Rocket of 1955" by Cyril M. Kornbluth
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Purveyor of fine science fiction since 1982.
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Old 05-29-2015, 08:14 AM
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In 1999 the Volgs invaded Britain, only to be met by Bill Savage and his shotgun. Bloomin' Ada!
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Old 05-29-2015, 09:13 AM
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Of course, we know about the events of [B]2001: a Space Odyssey[B] and 2010: Odyssey Two (or The Year we Make Contact.


The events in Fredric Brown's The Lights in the Sky are Stars, with his retired astronaut (a novel concept back in the 1950s when he wrote it) took place in 1999-2000.
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Old 05-29-2015, 09:27 AM
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In the TV series Barney Miller a time traveler warns that a massive amount of platinum? was discovered, causing serious problems with the economy. I forget what year that was supposed to happen.
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Old 05-29-2015, 03:14 PM
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In the TV series Barney Miller a time traveler warns that a massive amount of platinum? was discovered, causing serious problems with the economy. I forget what year that was supposed to happen.
Here's the 1980 episode, "The Child Stealers." I'm not enough of a fan to watch it all the way through to find that reference (no script online that I could see), but maybe someone else would like to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TEFTlV_1kv0
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Old 05-29-2015, 09:06 PM
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Here's the 1980 episode, "The Child Stealers." I'm not enough of a fan to watch it all the way through to find that reference (no script online that I could see), but maybe someone else would like to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TEFTlV_1kv0
I've got nothing goin' on...

First, he tells Harris that a huge deposit of gold is discovered in Canada in 1981 and that the price plummets back to $35/oz. Later he tells him that gold is replaced by zinc in 1984! (Your linked clip got removed, these have a hazy lens flare over them for some reason but are watchable). I just happen to have seen this episode recently. BTW, the episode takes place in January 1980.

Quote:
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In the Star Trek universe, right now we should not only be recovering from the Eugenics Wars, but also making our way toward World War III and first contact with an alien civilization.
[Trek Nerd]

This was the accepted canon for TOS, but by DS9 they had sort of retconned the Eugenics War and World War III into one conflict that happended later than the 90s. In fact ST:FC states that first contact takes place in 2060 something while Earth is still recovering from WWIII...

Last edited by Hail Ants; 05-29-2015 at 09:09 PM.
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Old 05-30-2015, 05:46 AM
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I enjoyed To Your Scattered Bodies Go by Philip José Farmer and I would have absolutely sworn that gave the end of life on Earth as 1999. My recollection being aliens arrived 1999 and soon after a war ended everything. Until people were resurrected on Riverworld.

However I haven't read the book for decades, checked on Wikipedia ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riverworld ) and that gives two dates. So apparently: Initially the end of life on Earth was 1983 later modified to 2008. Either way, the time has passed.

TCMF-2L
  #36  
Old 05-30-2015, 11:46 AM
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I was watching the 1980 TV miniseries of The Martian Chronicles this morning. The first, doomed, manned flights go to Mars in 1999 and colonization begins by 2001 after most of the pesky Martians die of chicken pox. The Earth goes boom! in 2006 while Darrin McGavin watches via a telescope, leaving him and a small number of other humans surviving on Mars.

Also, some time between 2001 and 2007, Barry Morse has the technological capability to create very convincing if somewhat dim-witted android replicas of his deceased wife and daughter.
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Old 05-31-2015, 02:36 PM
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According to Fringe, the Purge should be starting any time now.
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Old 05-31-2015, 04:13 PM
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...This was the accepted canon for TOS, but by DS9 they had sort of retconned the Eugenics War and World War III into one conflict that happended later than the 90s. In fact ST:FC states that first contact takes place in 2060 something while Earth is still recovering from WWIII...
Pencil it in for April 5, 2063: http://en.memory-alpha.wikia.com/wiki/Phoenix
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Old 06-10-2015, 02:15 PM
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I can't find the London Kings baseball schedule anywhere, but they're supposed to be playing this year: http://en.memory-alpha.wikia.com/wiki/London_Kings
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Old 06-10-2015, 02:51 PM
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Of course, we know about the events of 2001: a Space Odyssey and 2010: Odyssey Two (or The Year we Make Contact.


The events in Fredric Brown's The Lights in the Sky are Stars, with his retired astronaut (a novel concept back in the 1950s when he wrote it) took place in 1999-2000.
In 3001 he moves all the dates around, but still not enough to be right.
And the Overlords arrived at the Earth in 1975 according to Childhood's End, just before the launching of the first moon rocket.
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Old 09-22-2018, 08:20 PM
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Bumped.

In Joe Haldeman's sf novel Worlds Apart (1983), he mentions "the tiny double star Janus" being discovered in 2012, "tagging along with the Sun a mere tenth of a light year away. The stars were both black dwarfs, barely hot enough to be considered stars. But one of them, Alfvén, was made of antimatter." Maybe named after this guy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hannes_Alfv%C3%A9n
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Old 09-22-2018, 09:10 PM
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2018 is the year that Eric Cartman's Dawson's Creek Trapper Keeper breaks away from humanity and becomes unstoppable.
  #43  
Old 09-22-2018, 10:40 PM
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Meanwhile Woodrow Wilson Smith is watching it all go down from his hammock.
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Old 09-22-2018, 10:48 PM
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According to Robots by McKenzie and Clement, all humans were dead by 2000, a result of the Robotic Uprising of the late 1990s.

Last edited by blondebear; 09-22-2018 at 10:49 PM.
  #45  
Old 09-23-2018, 02:16 AM
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We're only four years away now from subsisting on food rations produced by the wonderful folks at the Soylent Corporation.
  #46  
Old 09-24-2018, 09:41 AM
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1980: We did not build a generating station for the energy source was found on the planet Pluto that, beamed across the Solar System, would solve the world's energy needs. "Artery of Fire"
1980: Supreme Headquarters, Alien Defense Organization was not founded (or was it?)
1980: No flying cars "Just Imagine"
1985: We did not land the "First Spaceship on Venus" to determine that the Venusians had actually destroyed themselves in attempting an invasion of Earth.
2001: We did not launch a "Journey to the Seventh Planet", which would have been the first landing on Uranus
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Old 09-24-2018, 10:13 AM
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And in a show that isn't technically sci fi but might as well be, for all that happens:

Not only did Lisa Simpson not get married on August 1, 2010, she hasn't aged a day past 8 in decades!

There's still time for her to become president, though.
  #48  
Old 09-24-2018, 08:57 PM
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Having just finished Matt Ruff's Sewer, Gas, and Electric, I've spotted a mixed bag of stuff that happened and stuff that didn't. The book is set in 2023 but via flashbacks tells a story covering from mid 20th century up until then.
  • Walt Disney corporation accidentally creates a virus that exterminates nearly all black people on earth - no.
  • America run by crazed real estate billionaire from New York - yes.
  • Eco-terrorists in polka-dotted submarine travel the world, rescuing endangered species and capturing corporate freighters - no.
  • Great white sharks inhabit the sewers of New York - not that I know of.
  • The Boy Scouts admit girls - yes.
  • Queen Elizabeth becomes hard-nosed dictator intent on violent revenge against the USA - no.
  #49  
Old 09-24-2018, 09:58 PM
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...There's still time for her to become president, though.
Yes, the show specifically said she follows President Trump.
  #50  
Old 03-23-2019, 02:28 PM
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Just read Arthur C. Clarke's 1956 funny short story "A Question of Residence," in which British astronauts on the Moon extend their stay by a few weeks so that the reminiscences and exclusive-rights articles they've written there will be tax-free under the Capital Gains Act of 1972.
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