TV: Beyond 2000 (Shangrila Towers' 2000th Post!)
Back when I was a youngster, Discovery Channel used to feature science and technology programs. Of course, now the network is basically one long "Deadliest Catch/Cash Cab/American Choppers" marathon, but I still remember when shows like "Beyond 2000" graced Discovery:
I didn't realize it at the time, but "Beyond 2000" hailed from Australia. The program was a mishmash of segments detailing state-of-the-art consumer products, cutting edge scientific research, and futuristic technologies. It's sort of fun watching this stuff now, in 2012 - the announcers marvel at things like GPS devices and digital cameras, which were rare luxuries 20 years ago but are now integrated into the iPhone in your pocket:
Underlying "Beyond 2000" was a confidence that technology would change our lives radically, and for the better. Combined with "Invention!," a fellow Discovery Channel TV show that looked at the history behind the world's machines, you really got a sense of where we've been and where we're going as a species.
Of course, it's possible to take such things too seriously, and the cheerful bent of "Beyond 2000" engendered the occasional lampooning: