1936 mural in Balboa Park predicts future!

In 1936, during the second year of Balboa Park’s extended California Pacific International Exposition, a 450-foot-long mural was painted on the inside circular wall of the Ford Building. The building is now home of the San Diego Air & Space Museum. The epic mural, which underwent a restoration in 1979, is called the March of Transportation.

The artist, Juan B. Larrinaga, depicted the progress of transportation technology over time. And at the very end of the mural he painted what he thought the future world might look like!

You can see this fantastic vision of the future near the San Diego Air & Space Museum’s exit into their gift shop.

Gazing up at the mural, I spotted strange aircraft that appeared to be a combination helicopter/flying saucer. And what appeared to be an elongated spaceship shot from a cannon. There are dirigible airships and massive skyscrapers. But the automobiles are quaintly nostalgic!

I found it difficult to take photos of the mural due to the proximity of the museum’s F/A-18 A Hornet “Blue Angel 1” and dim lighting conditions high on the wall. I apologize if the images are a bit fuzzy. But you can see how cool the imagined future is!

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I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Marvin the Martian rockets through Pacific Beach!

Aliens and extraterrestrials are commonly seen in San Diego.

Take for example, Marvin the Martian. People walking through Pacific Beach often encounter Marvin rocketing through a wall off Mission Boulevard.

Marvin the Martian (or one of his #SpaceClones) has also been spotted in other San Diego neighborhoods, including Little Italy and Normal Heights.

Marvin must have a devious plan to conquer planet Earth–or at least San Diego. Hopefully Bugs Bunny shows up soon.

But I implied many aliens. Well, a house that looks remarkably like a UFO appears to have landed in La Jolla. See it here.

And there are the flying saucers I noticed recently in North Park.

And that space monkey in Mira Mesa!

In El Cajon, highly advanced aliens from distant planets, the Space Brothers, are going to be welcomed with open arms by this interesting group.

Have I ever encountered extraterrestrials? Well, I’m not sure. I definitely saw an Unidentified Flying Something nine years ago, which I photographed here!

It’s almost Friday! Let the fun begin!

Thank you for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often, so you might want to bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and check back from time to time.

You can explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on this website’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There’s a lot of stuff to share and enjoy!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Giant squid attacks flying saucers in North Park!

A giant space squid has attacked several flying saucers on a street in North Park!

Don’t believe me? I offer evidence!

It seems every time I walk around North Park I see some new street art. I saw these newly painted electrical boxes on 30th Street south of University Avenue and I absolutely had to take photos.

Sometimes street art can seem a bit tired, presenting identical styles or themes.

At other times street art can be wildly different and imaginative! Like this!

I see the rampaging space squid emerged from the mind of @DuderDesigns. It was finished a couple of weeks ago!

Thank you for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often, so you might want to bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and check back from time to time.

You can explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on this website’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There’s a lot of stuff to share and enjoy!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Cool photographs for Star Trek Day!

Today, September 8, is Star Trek Day!

September 8, 1966 was the day when the very first Star Trek episode of the Original Series aired, titled The Man Trap. Remember the shape-shifting creature that sucked the salt out of Enterprise crewmembers?

For over fifty years, the popularity of the ever-growing science fiction franchise has persisted, providing the world with numerous movies, television series, novels, comics, video games, and even a few futuristic technological ideas that have (more or less) been realized!

In the past I’ve photographed all sorts of Star Trek related stuff: from Comic-Con cosplay and extraordinary Paramount exhibits, to artwork at IDW’s San Diego Comic Art Gallery, to the old Captain Kirk’s Coffee in South Park (a block from where Whoopie Goldberg–who played Guinan–once worked), to an amazing Gene Roddenberry exhibit at the Comic-Con Museum . . .

To celebrate Star Trek Day, please enjoy a few of these photographs!

If you’d like to see even more photos on my blog that concern Star Trek, plus written descriptions, click this tag and scroll down. You’ll notice lots of other fun stuff mixed in, too!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Star Trek’s 10 Forward warps into Gaslamp!

Star Trek has warped into San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter!

The saucer section of Enterprise must have separated, and landed somewhere near Fifth Avenue, because I see 10 Forward is to be temporarily relocated to Happy Does!

Paramount+ is bringing STAR TREK’S 10 FORWARD: THE EXPERIENCE to 2022 Comic-Con, and visitors will be able to possibly rub elbows with Guinan while drinking cocktails. It all happens at 340 Fifth Avenue. But right now, as I blog this, it appears to be sold out.

But good news! Outside, on the Happy Does patio, people will be able to freely experience an offsite concerning Star Trek: Picard! No Comic-Con badge required I was told!

Engage!

If you’d like to view my coverage of Comic-Con so far, which includes hundreds of cool photographs, click here!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

William Shatner to join Michael Jackson, R2-D2 and C-3PO!

Next Thursday, July 21, 2022, William Shatner will produce handprints during San Diego Comic-Con. And these impressions by an iconic Hollywood star will join those of many others, including the likes of Michael Jackson, R2-D2 and C-3PO!

I stepped into the Theatre Box movie theater in the Gaslamp Quarter today and saw many of the handprints that already decorate the floor. I was told some of the handprints were produced in and imported from Hollywood. But those of William Shatner will be freshly made in San Diego!

Tickets are available here to watch the handprint ceremony, and for an autograph session with the legendary Captain Kirk, plus a performance, and an afterparty!

Oh, look. Here come the now infamous hands of Will Smith…

If you’d like to view my coverage of Comic-Con so far, which includes hundreds of cool photographs, click here!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Paper Girls appear on a Comic-Con trolley!

Here come the 2022 Comic-Con trolleys!

I spotted a new trolley wrap this morning. It promotes the upcoming Amazon Prime Video science fiction television series Paper Girls. The show is about four young paper girls who become involved in an epic adventure. They must save the world when they find themselves in a war among time-travelers!

As more Comic-Con trolley wraps appear, I’ll post photos!

Comic-Con is now about a month away, and more and more cool stuff should be appearing in San Diego. Stay tuned!

UPDATE!

A couple days later I got more pics…

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Star Trek’s tricorder inspires new medical technology!

An extraordinary panel was held this afternoon at the Comic-Con Museum in San Diego.

The Science and Science Fiction of Star Trek’s Tricorder brought together four panelists who are helping to lead our way into the future. It will be a future of almost unlimited possibility, replete with groundbreaking technologies what were barely imagined when the original television series was created.

Dr. Erik Viirre, who acted as moderator, is Professor of Neurosciences at UC San Diego; Dr. Paul E. Jacobs is Chairman and CEO of XCOM Labs, and former executive chairman of Qualcomm; Dr. Yvonne Cagle is a physician, professor, retired U.S. Air Force Colonel, and former NASA astronaut; Eugene “Rod” Roddenberry, the CEO of Roddenberry Entertainment and head of the Roddenberry Foundation, is the son of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry and Majel Barrett. He is also an executive producer on Star Trek: Discovery, Star Trek: Picard, Star Trek: Lower Decks, Star Trek: Prodigy and Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.

The first thing the audience learned is that all four panelists are fans of Star Trek! (Did you know that the former head of Qualcomm, many moons ago, was founding member of Star Fleet Club La Jolla?)

The next thing we learned was that Star Trek has inspired generations of scientists, engineers, inventors and visionaries. Many technological advances we know today were first conceived by Gene Roddenberry and the experts he turned to for advice when writing the show. He wanted Star Trek to be believable and largely based on science.

We were reminded how Star Trek’s communicator became the actual flip phone, and how today’s smartphones have essentially become Star Trek’s tricorder. Think about it!

The various multi-function tricorders carried by Spock, McCoy, and other Star Trek characters could provide a user with all sorts of useful information. A tricorder could be used to ascertain location and weather, or analyze the physical environment or obtain cultural information. A tricorder could be used as a universal translator. It could even be used to assess one’s medical condition.

In many ways, your smartphone does all of those things today!

We then learned our own future contains even greater possibilities.

The panelists explained how a smartphone, or handheld mobile device, used by an ordinary person, could become a practical health tool. For example, such a medical “tricorder” could analyze the sound of irregular breathing or a cough and determine a likely medical condition or disease. And such a device, by detecting signals or other data from the user’s body, could provide a warning that a stroke or heart attack is imminent.

Projects like that are underway today!

Five years ago, The Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE was a $10 million global competition to incentivize the development of innovative technologies capable of accurately diagnosing a set of 13 medical conditions independent of a healthcare professional or facility, ability to continuously measure 5 vital signs, and have a positive consumer experience. Read more about it here.

The co-winning Canadian team, CloudDX, propelled by their Tricorder XPRIZE participation, has gone on to commercialize remote, connected patient monitoring hardware and software that anyone can easily use at home!

And that’s just the beginning.

On the International Space Station today, 250 miles above Earth, astronauts wear a Smart Shirt that senses body temperature, heart rate, blood oxygen, EKG, and even the activity of heart valves!

Can you imagine a virtual reality doctor’s visit in your future? (Oh, wait. Star Trek envisioned this already. USS Voyager’s Emergency Medical Holographic Doctor.) Advances in artificial intelligence and tele-medicine have just barely begun.

(And yes, virtual reality was envisioned many decades ago. It was the basis for many tangled plots on Star Trek: The Next Generation. The holodeck!)

Those who sat listening to this extraordinary Comic-Con Museum panel learned all of this, and more. We saw that, in the hands of thoughtful people who desire positive, healthy outcomes, our technological future can be very bright, indeed.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Fusion and the futuristic science of Star Trek!

A fascinating panel convened yesterday at San Diego’s Comic-Con Museum in Balboa Park. The Science of Star Trek – Travel at Warp Speed featured a Star Trek editor, a Star Trek writer, and three scientists from General Atomics, which is headquartered here in San Diego.

The event coincided with the Comic-Con Museum’s current exhibition honoring Gene Roddenberry, the creator of Star Trek.

Five panelists focused primarily on the technology of nuclear fusion, which has been pioneered at General Atomics for many decades. Fusion powers the fictional impulse engines of Star Trek’s starships.

It was fun to learn that Star Trek was a major inspiration of David Humphreys, a nuclear fusion scientist who has worked at General Atomics for 40 years! (Incidentally, his favorite captain is Kirk.)

All sorts of different Star Trek technology, like the matter/anti-matter warp drive, tricorders and communicators, were touched upon. The panelists loved that much of Star Trek’s speculative tech has been based on real physics and scientific possibility. Remember how Kirk would sit in the captain’s chair and sign off on a device that looked like a tablet? Some of that once-fictional tech exists today!

Other not-so-realistic Star Trek technology would be used merely as a plot device. The transporters allowed a story (and Dr. McCoy’s scrambled molecules) to quickly transition from scene to scene. Human scale teleportation remains a somewhat unlikely dream. (But who knows?)

The most exciting part of the discussion concerned the imminent emergence of sustained nuclear fusion as a potentially limitless source of cheap, clean energy. Unlike nuclear fission, with its dangerous radioactive waste and chain reaction, the technology that produces fusion is inherently safe. And its “fuel” is hydrogen, which is practically limitless. The trick is energizing and concentrating hydrogen atoms so that they fuse and become helium, as they do inside the very, very hot sun. No easy task!

Fusion has made such tremendous advances that the world now stands at the brink of major breakthroughs, due primarily to the ITER project–one of the largest scientific programs in human history–where 35 nations from around the world hope to perfect and share practical working technology. General Atomics produced the super powerful magnets utilized by ITER.

Another thing the panelists addressed is how young people today can take part in this exciting future. Diverse, good-paying jobs connected to fusion technology are going to be plentiful. General Atomics is looking for interns! Can you imagine a more interesting place to work and learn?

It was great to see how San Diego’s own General Atomics is helping to lead the way to a world that will be completely transformed in a positive way by nuclear fusion. And it was inspiring to see scientists from General Atomics out in the community. They also participated in the Barrio Logan STEAM Block Party, which I blogged about last weekend.

When I was in middle school, many moons ago, we went on a field trip to General Atomics. I remember how the scientists briefly fired their fusion reactor under a huge protective pool of water. Now, almost half a century later, we are at the cusp of something so huge, the world might be transformed beyond anything that even the creators of Star Trek envisioned!

Oh–the next photo, taken on the main floor of the Comic-Con Museum, is of Star Trek cosplayers belonging to the Science Fiction Coalition. Live long and prosper!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

A sudden Trandoshan encounter in the Gaslamp!

As I walked up Fifth Avenue in the Gaslamp Quarter early this evening, I had a sudden encounter! A fierce-looking Trandoshan from the Star Wars universe raised its head by the sidewalk!

I quickly learned this detailed model of a Trandoshan was drying in the sun, having been recently brought to life by Saturnino Martinez 3rd, a make-up artist, cosplayer, filmmaker, comic and Gray Jedi Master!

Saturnino posed for my camera while facing off against his own creation!

If you see the Wookiee bounty hunter Black Krrsantan walking around the Gaslamp during the upcoming San Diego Comic-Con, it’s probably him!

Super cool!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!