It's just 10 years before 2001 and becoming pretty obvious that the vision of the future offered by director Stanley Kubrick and author/screenwriter Arthur C. Clarke will be a little off. Intellectual computers along the lines of "HAL" as well as trips to Jupiter, both part of Kubrick's 1968 film "2001: a Space Odyssey," remain fantasies.
Another long shot is Kubrick's choice of which company would be ferrying passengers to space stations. One of the film's scenes shows a Pan Am space shuttle taking passengers to a station. At the time, of course, Pan Am was one of the world's premier airlines.
That's hardly the case today. With Delta agreeing to take over most of Pan Am's assets, the airline will barely resemble its former self, serving mostly Latin America as a much smaller carrier.
Among those monitoring the financial turmoil in the airline industry is Glen H. Arnold, a Newport Beach "aviation psychologist" who offers what he calls "Thairapy" to nervous fliers.
He says airline financial problems are raising passenger worries about safety and maintenance. One treatment he recommends is "flight fragrance" therapy, which involves sniffing such scents as apple spice and rose to relieve anxiety.
Another worry: Losing frequent flier miles as a result of an airline failure. Arnold says he's seeing more of those worries but quickly adds, "People don't express that kind of issue to me as much as they do safety issues."
Eclipsed in Hawaii
The problems of Lewis H. Strauss in trying to make money from the July 11 solar eclipse were chronicled here a few weeks back.
Strauss, a retired physicist, organized tour packages and flights to Hawaii from San Francisco and Los Angeles only to find that the venture was far more difficult than he had expected.
Now, Strauss reports, he missed the entire event. He says he stood on a golf course to watch the eclipse. But clouds got in the way, as they did for a lot of people who went to Hawaii to watch the event.
"There are several more eclipses this century in places like Bolivia, but I'm not going to get involved in these things any more," Strauss said.
Briefly . . .
Where's the domed stadium? One Massachusetts newsletter writer and doomsayer on California real estate is calling Los Angeles "the new Houston" of the 1990s. . . From bay town to bean town: The same newsletter calls San Francisco "The New Boston" of the 1990s. . . The California Public Utilities Commission has ordered a Lake Tahoe-area firm to form a 350-customer electric utility, about 1/30th the size of the next smallest one.