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1000 Questions asks eight earth-shattering technology questions of today's most compelling personalities.

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Anne Kerry Ford
Edited by Brian Dunning

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Not many graduate from Julliard when they're only 20, and none without good reason. Anne Kerry Ford began her career in theater and quickly graduated to Broadway, where her list of musical credits is so long that to list any part of it is a crime of omission. Not that she's been limited to musical theater: Anne also sang at a White House Easter party for President Reagan, and for Itzakh Shamir at Israel's 40th birthday.

On the big screen, Anne played Dudley Moore's wife in Lovesick, and also appeared in Clean and Sober with Michael Keaton and in Peter Weir's Fearless. But she is a singer at heart, and has dedicated much time to the music of the late Kurt Weill (The Three Penny Opera). In July of 2003, the World Art Celebrities Journal voted Anne one of the top 25 American cabaret & concert singers. Judge for yourself - check out her CD's In the Nest of the Moon and Something Wonderful.

And now, with a harsh desk lamp in her face and the interrogator putting 1000 Questions to her, Anne Kerry Ford sings like a canary:

0001. In all of history, what is your favorite invention?

I am partial to clean laundry, anytime, all the time, so the clothes washing machine would have to be high on the list of favorites. (Also, I live rather far from a stream or river...)

Also, bravo to the invention of sunscreen.

0010. What do you hope will be invented next?

It would be great if someone could come up with a way to transform garbage into fuel. Not just SOME garbage, but all of it! That would certainly solve a lot of the world's problems right there.

On a lesser note, it would also be nice if there could be a gizmo that you attach to your phone that would punch all the right buttons to get you through to a real live person on the end of the line, then ring you back when you have been connected.

0011. What would you un-invent if you could?


And, well, TV. Not that the concept of TV in itself is bad, it just seems to have gone astray from the original concept of "bringing arts and entertainment" into the home. Obviously, the programming has been lowered (in most cases) to pander to the masses and has very little to offer that is truly uplifting or interesting or educational. Today people depend on TV to decompress from the stress of our society, as a result, our society is more anti-social. The performing arts have also suffered because audiences don't go out as much.

TV, with all of its amazing potential, has become a societal ill.

0100. What popular invention do you consider the most ridiculous?

Seat warmers in cars. Maybe they are great if you live in Montana, but does a Californian like me really need a seat warmer?

0101. If marooned on a desert island, what three technological devices would you bring with you, and why?

Probably a short-wave radio, so I would feel connected to the rest of the planet; a fishing rod, so I could eat; and a luxury yacht, so I could leave.

0110. When have you suffered at the hands of technology?

Pretty much all the time!! I think telephones are imposing, and whoever invented "call waiting" should be shot. Ditto for cell phones...do people really need to be able to reach each other 24/7?

And e-mail! Being able to write a quick little note to someone sounds like a cool thing, but I spend countless hours deleting unwanted e-mail. It has become a nightmare.

And the dependency on e-mail is ridiculous. If my computer goes down and I can't get my e-mail, I freak out! What if something important came in for me? (AS IF!!!)

0111. If you had to revert and freeze the world's technology at a particular time in history, what year would you choose and why?

Probably, just before the atom bomb was invented. People had figured out most of the important things that make life easy and comfortable, but we hadn't crossed that line towards "weapons of mass destruction".

1000. If you found yourself sitting at a Unix terminal as Earth's last hope while, outside, aliens were wiping out humanity, what would you type?

Well, this is it. Although the aliens seem to be behaving rather badly, I am still convinced that the Universe and its inhabitants are basically good, despite the occasional neurotic upheaval. OM MANI PADME HUM.

Anne Kerry Ford

Visit Anne Kerry Ford's web page.

1000 More Questions:

Kari Byron

Robert X. Cringely
Tech industry observer

Margaret Easley

Susan Egan
Broadway, Film, and TV star

Robert Goerman
Paranormal investigator

Grant Imahara

Anne Kerry Ford
Singer and actress

Robert Llewellyn
Actor, Writer

Holly McPeak
Pro beach volleyball player

Ted Nugent
Rock legend

Neal Pollack

James Randi
Pseudoscientific demystifier

Lisa Richard
Tech exec turned singer

Michael Shermer
Publisher, Skeptic Magazine