Saturday, February 21, 2009

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner

Coming to your dining room soon, interesting and important people from the past for the perfect dinner party.  You can be the envy of the local social scene by entertaining dead presidents, prophets, philosophers and musicians in the comfort of your own home. Sounds like something from Star Trek, HG Wells or CNN, (remember Wolf Blitzer talking to the ghostly Campbell Brown on Election Night?), but it is coming soon.

A US technology company,  Infosys Technologies has been granted two patents in the areas of holography communications that contain the development plans behind an actual 3-D communication method using computer-generated holography such that we shall all be viewing true 3D videos and playing holographic games in about two years time.

By 2010, the devices will routinely beam 3D films, games, and virtual goods into our laps and our dinning rooms.  Combine these new visual capabilities with the amazing interactive capabilities that exist in contemporary computer games and you are able to put yourself in the game, or in the case of your dining room, project the players into your Victorian cherry wood chairs.  

Combine all this together with a giant interconnected database of historic figures and their works through services like Wikipedia and just like that,  you are having some very interesting people coming to dinner.

It has always been interesting conversation to speculate on the perfect dinner party guest list.  You want to perfect mix of intellectual, philosophical, artistic and religious individuals, such that the conversation can be spirited and entertaining...without someone getting hurt. (The good news about holographic images is that they can shoot each other in anger and its all in fun.)

Being both a cook and a gadget freak, I am already planning some of my initial dinner parties.  I thought it would be interesting to invite not only interesting dead people, but at least one other live person, (other than my wife, Kitty, my kids and me) to join in for a contemporary viewpoint and for historical perspective.  I submit these for your feedback (and to elicit envy).

Guest lists for parties in order they would be held.  

1. Jesus, Adam and Eve, Moses, Buddha,  Muhammad, John Smith, Jim Jones, Pat Robertson

2.  Mark Twain, Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi, Malcolm X, Attila the Hun, Sean Hannity 

3.  Anais Nin, Dr. Joyce Brothers, Henry Miller, Bob Guccione,  Sarah Palin

4.  Simone De Beauvoir, Ernest Hemingway,, Henri David Thoreau, Shakespeare, David Sedarus 

5. Nostradamus, Herbert Hoover, John Maynard Keynes, Jules Verne, Alan Greenspan

6. Keirkegard, Socrates, Jean Paul Sartre, Lao Tzu, Neitzsche, Bill O-Reilly 

7. Carl Jung, Sigmund Freud, Pavlov, Abraham Maslow,  Martha Stewart

8.  Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, Barrack Obama 

9.  Karl Marx , Frederick Engels, Jesse Helms, Tiny Tim, Rush Limbaugh

10.  Leonardo Da Vinci, Albert Einstein, Darwin, Galileo, The Pope

11.  Mozart, Beethoven, Bob Marley,  Kurt Cobain, John Lennon, Brittany Spears

12.  Johnny Unitas, Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson,  YA Tittle, Michael Phelps

13.  Frankenstein, Helen Keller, Barney, Moe (from the Three Stooges), Gary Busey  

14.  King Solomon, Sadam Hussein, Hitler, Stalin, PeeWee Herman

15.  Marylin Monroe, Jackie Kennedy, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Junior, Kid Rock

  16. Lewis and Clark, Sacagewea, Sir Edmond Hillary, Ferdinand Magellan, Lou Dobbs 

Of course the problem would be what to serve.  Many people on this list have never seen sushi, lettuce wraps, southern style barbeque, or even a Big Mac.  As interesting a problem as this is, the reality of the situation would be that your guests might appear to be eating, but since they are electronic the food would just sit there and get cold.  Wouldn’t want to waste a great crab cake on a holograph...I don’t care how smart or famous they are.

If any of you have some good guest list them to Kitty and she’ll start the inviting.  And remember, even though polite conversation in the South does not include religion and politics, in this case it is encouraged.   Bonn Appetit!

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