The interociter is a fine bit of science-fictional window-dressing, first encountered in the novel (and later film) This Island Earth* by Raymond F. Jones. The first portion ("The Alien Machine") of both book and film is a genuine geek-fest: research scientist receives some oddball electronic components and an even stranger catalog, orders a kit from it and proceeds to build a strange machine. Once the machine is assembled and turned on, a person appears in the inverted-triangular screen, congratulates the builder on his skill, and invites him to join an elite group of other scientists.†
So I was looking up this widget the other day, double-checking my spelling, and found the Wikipedia article about it has a section called "Other Appearances." The thing is a trope, after all, probably more widely known than the ansible, so it's no surprise it gets shout-outs here and there.
But the very last entry in the section says this: "An Interocitor appears on the label of Café Bustelo. It depicts a woman on an interocitor video screen enjoying a cup of Bustelo coffee."
H'mm. It struck me as unlikely. I like a good cup of Cuban style coffee from time to time and Café Bustelo is an excellent version, but does it really?
Yes. It does. Really:
* Quite successfully given the Mystery Science Fiction Theatre 3000 treatment several years ago. The remainder of the film is not nearly as much of a geek-fest and the collection of nifty, mostly RCA gadgets that makes the first part such geek catnip does not continue. On the other hand, what looks like a first draft of the bridge of the Starship Enterprise is used for a lot of it....
† This is what we all hoped would happen when we finished building a Heathkit back in the day. Can't speak for anyone else but it certainly never happened to me.
4 weeks ago