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Friday, August 29, 2014

29 August 2014

Birthdays
Jay Ryan b. 1981 (Beauty and the Beast, Terra Nova, Legend of the Seeker, Xena, Young Hercules)
Emily Hampshire b. 1981 (Earthsea, Mutant X, MythQuest, PSI Factor: Chronicles of the Paranormal, Earth: Final Conflict)
Dan Harris b. 1979 (writer, Superman Returns, X-Men 2)
John Hensley b. 1977 (Teeth, Witchblade)
Dante Basco b. 1975 (The Chronicle, Sinbad: The Battle of the Dark Knights, Alien Nation: Body and Soul, Hook)
Carla Gugino b. 1971 (Sucker Punch, Race to Witch Mountain, Watchmen, Night at the Museum, Threshold, Sin City, Spy Kids, The One, Mermaid Chronicles Part 1: She Creature, Quantum Leap, ALF)
Rebecca De Mornay b. 1959 (The Shining [1997 TV], Beauty and the Beast [1987], Testament)
Lenny Henry b. 1958 (MirrorMask, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Bernard and the Genie)
Deborah Van Valkenburgh b. 1952 (Touch, The Event, Firestarter 2: Rekindled, Sorcerers, Deep Space Nine, Quantum Leap)
Ellen Geer b. 1941 (Supernatural, Charmed, Carnivale, Practical Magic, Phenomenon, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Beauty and the Beast, Creator, Something Wicked This Way Comes, The Bionic Woman)
Joel Schumacher b. 1939 (director, Batman & Robin, Batman Forever, Flatliners, The Lost Boys, The Incredible Shrinking Woman)
Elliot Gould b. 1938 (Contagion, The Shining [1997 TV], Lois & Clark, Frogs!, Frog, The Twilight Zone [1986], Faerie Tale Theatre, The Devil and Max Devlin)
William Friedkin b. 1935 (director, Bug, Twilight Zone [1985], The Exorcist)
Charles Gray b. 1928 died 7 March 2000 (Firestar: First Contact, Tall Tales & Legends, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Beast Must Die, H.G. Wells’ Invisible Man)
Dick O’Neill b. 1928 died 17 November 1998 (Timecop, The Incredible Hulk, Wolfen, Wonder Woman, The UFO Incident, Gammera the Invincible)
Richard Attenborough b. 1923 died 24 August 2014 (Jack and the Beanstalk: The Real Story, Jurassic Park, Doctor Doolittle)
Lane Bradford b. 1922 died 7 June 1973 (Land of the Giants, Batman, Lost in Space, My Favorite Martian, The Adventures of Superman, Commando Cody: Sky Marshal of the Universe, Rocky Jones, Space Ranger, Zombies of the Stratosphere)
Barry Sullivan b. 1912 died 6 June 1994 (The Bionic Woman, The Invisible Man [1975], The Sixth Sense, The Immortal, Planet of the Vampires, Pyro… The Thing Without a Face)
Lurene Tuttle b. 1907 died 28 May 1986 (Amazing Stories, Testament, The Clonus Horror, I Dream of Jeannie, My Favorite Martian, My Living Doll, The Munsters, Twilight Zone)
George Macready b. 1899 died 2 July 1973 (The Return of Count Yorga, The Outer Limits, Twilight Zone, The Alligator People, The Monster and the Ape)

Last year, the Picture Slot went to Carla Gugino from Watchmen, a selection most heterosexual males would be happy to see me repeat. Not wanting to repeat, I would say Richard Attenborough in Jurassic Park would be the next most iconic, but he died earlier this week, so that would also feel like a repeat. My choice for next most iconic is Charles Gray in... oh, please, don't tell me you don't recognize the film.

Seriously, don't tell me. I've always thought so highly of you and this would spoil it.

Many happy returns to the living on the list and to the dead, thanks for all the memories.
 

Predictor: Terminator 2, released 1991

Prediction: On 29 August 1997, Skynet becomes self-aware.

Reality: I used both Skynet predictions last year, the launch and the self awareness. I'm not keen on repeating predictions, but I make an exception in this case. I'm of the opinion that the great fear of the late 20th Century, all out nuclear war, has receded from the public's consciousness and the two fears that have replaced it are the fear of pandemics like Ebola or SARS and the fear of what will happen when computers surpass us and we work for them. Personally, I think the fear of what the climate will become is more realistic, but there is a lot of money spent trying to convince people that isn't real and a lot of people have bought into the idea that climate change isn't a big deal.

Looking one day ahead ... INTO THE FUTURE!

Another interruption in the regular schedule for an exact date, this time from a TV show.

Join us then ... IN THE FUTURE!
 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

28 August 2014

 Birthdays
Quvenzhane Wallis b. 2003 (Beasts of the Southern Wild)
Katie Findlay b. 1990 (After the Dark, Continuum, Crash Site, SGU Stargate Universe, Fringe)
Armie Hammer b. 1986 (Stan Lee’s Mighty 7, Mirror Mirror, 2081, Reaper)
Sarah Roemer b. 1984 (The Event, The Grudge 2)
Carly Pope b. 1980 (The Tomorrow People, Elysium, Yeti: Curse of the Snow Demon, The 4400, 10.5: Apocalypse, Jake 2.0, NightMan)
Kelly Overton b. 1978 (True Blood, Beauty and the Beast [2012], Tekken, The Ring Two)
Nick Tarabay b. 1975 (Believe, Star Trek Into Darkness)
Eugene Byrd b. 1975 (True Blood, American Horror Story, Eureka, Night Stalker [2006])
Kristin Booth b. 1974 (Orphan Black, Supernatural, ReGenesis, Total Recall 2070)
J. August Richards b. 1973 (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Arrow, Warehouse 13, The 4400, Angel, Sliders, Space: Above and Beyond)
Stephanie Belding b. 1971 (Lost Girl, Eureka, Watchmen, Reaper, Earth: Final Conflict, eXistenZ)
Jack Black b. 1969 (Ghost Ghirls, Gulliver’s Travels, King Kong, The X-Files, Waterworld, The Neverending Story III, Demolition Man)
Jason Priestley b. 1969 (Day of the Triffids [2009], Termination Point, Jeremiah, Quantum Leap)
Billy Boyd b. 1968 (The Witches of Oz, Glenn, the Flying Robot, Lord of the Rings, Seed of Chucky)
Amanda Tapping b. 1965 (Supernatural, Stargate, Space Milkshake, Sanctuary, Earthsea, The X Files, Flash Forward, Forever Knight)
Melissa Rosenberg b. 1962 (writer, Twilight)
David Fincher b. 1962 (director, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Alien³)
Jennifer Coolidge b. 1961 (Click, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, Not of this Earth)
Brian Thompson b. 1959 (Flight of the Living Dead, Star Trek: Enterprise, Epoch: Evolution, Charmed, Birds of Prey, The X Files, Jason and the Argonauts [TV], Buffy, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, DragonHeart, Deep Space Nine, Weird Science, Kindred: The Embraced, Hercules, Star Trek: Generations, Doctor Mordred, Superboy, Alien Nation [TV], Star Trek: The Next Generation, Alien Nation, Fright Night Part 2, Werewolf, Knight Rider, Otherworld, The Terminator)
Daniel Stern b. 1957 (SeaQuest 2032, Little Monsters, Leviathan, C.H.U.D.)
Luis Guzman b. 1956 (Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, Rise of the Damned, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, The Adventures of Pluto Nash, SeaQuest 2032, Innocent Blood. *batteries not included)
Vonda N. McIntyre b. 1948 (won 1979 Hugo and Nebula for Dreamsnake, won 1998 Nebula for The Moon and the Sun)
Alice Playten b. 1947 died 25 June 2011 (Pioneer 12, Legend, Disco Beaver from Outer Space, The Lost Saucer)
David Soul b. 1943 (Doctor Who: Death Comes to Time, Deadly Nightmares, World War III, Salem’s Lot, Star Trek, I Dream of Jeannie)
Ken Jenkins b. 1940 (The X Files, Sliders, Babylon 5, Star Trek: The Next Generation, The Abyss, Hard Time on Planet Earth)
Donald O’Connor b. 1925 died 27 September 2003 (Alice in Wonderland [1985 and 1983], The Bionic Woman, The Wonders of Aladdin)
Nancy Kulp b. 1921 (Quantum Leap, Twilight Zone, Moon Pilot)
Jack Kirby b. 1917 died 6 February 1994 (artist, Marvel and DC comics)
Jack Vance b. 1916 died 23 May 2013 (author, The Dying Earth, Big Planet)
Simon Oakland b. 1915 died 29 August 1983 (Tucker’s Witch, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, The Starlost, Captain Nice, The Satan Bug, The Outer Limits, My Favorite Martian, Twilight Zone)
Morris Ankrum b. 1897 died 2 September 1964 (X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes, From the Earth to the Moon, Giant from the Unknown, Beginning of the End, The Giant Claw, Kronos, Zombies of Mora Tau, Earth vs. the Flying Saucers, Invaders from Mars, Red Planet Mars, Rocketship X-M)

Now, THAT's a list. Last year, I had Jack Kirby in the Picture Slot, an excellent choice if I say so myself. This year, I was in a Whedonverse nerd mood, so it's J. August Richards as Gunn from Angel. Next year, it's wide open, but if I get in an Oh That Guy mood, my goodness, it's a smorgasbord of wonderfulness. The enormous Brian Thompson, the hilarious Luis Guzman, Ken Jenkins (best known from  Scrubs), Nancy Kulp (all original Twilight Zone actors get deep respect), Simon Oakland and Morris Ankrum with 271(!) credits on imdb.com. Ankrum was a judge on Perry Mason 22 times and showed up in 11 1950s sci-fi films. Can't go wrong there.

Many happy returns to all the living on the list and to the dead, thanks for all the memories.


Predictor: 2005 Badlands, released 29 August 1988

Prediction: In 1995 a severe drought forces Americans to leave the West for the cities Water becomes more precious than gold.

Reality: Umm... this movie may just have been 20 years too early. We are in the middle of a scary damn drought right now, with before and after pictures of reservoirs as scary as before and after pictures of glaciers, with the difference being the reservoir pictures are three years apart and the glacier pictures are fifty years apart.

The odds are you did not see this movie. This is one of those movies Sharon Stone made before Total Recall, one in a long string of low budget productions she was in before she hit it big.



Never to be Forgotten: 
Stephen Lee 1955-2014

News of deaths can move very slowly, and that's the case with character actor Stephen Lee, who died two weeks ago. In some ways, it's a blessing the news wasn't released then, because that was in the middle of the Robin Williams/ Lauren Bacall/ Ed Nelson days of unpleasantness. Mr. Lee is definitely an Oh That Guy with 106 credits on imdb.com, including genre roles in Threshold, Invasion, Dark Angel, Black Scorpion I and II, Carnosaur 3: Primal Species, Babylon 5, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Prehysteria!, Quantum Leap, The Pit and the Pendulum, RoboCop 2, Hard Time on Planet Earth, Dolls, Amazing Stories and WarGames.

I don't want to make this All About Me, but Mr. Lee is about a month and a half older than I am. It's certainly makes one stop and think. I have to say that Stopping and Thinking are not my long suits.

Best wishes to the family and friends of Stephen Lee, from a fan his age. He is never to be forgotten.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Yet another interruption in the weekly schedule, this one from a movie you probably did see.

Join us then... INTO THE FUTURE!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

27 August 2014

 Birthdays
Cainan Wiebe b. 1995 (Once Upon a Time, Falling Skies, Sucker Punch, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, Supernatural, Tin Man, Sanctuary, The 4400, Dead Like Me)
Alexa Vega b. 1988 (The Tomorrow People, The Devil’s Carnival, Spy Kids, Repo! The Genetic Opera, NetForce)
Patrick J. Adams b. 1981 (Orphan Black, Rosemary’s Baby [2014], FlashForward, Lost)
Aaron Paul b. 1979 (Birds of Prey, The X Files, K-PAX, 3rd Rock from the Sun)
Diana Scarwid b. 1955 (Heroes, Lost, Wonderfalls, From the Earth to the Moon, The X Files, Strange Invaders)
Reece Shearsmith b. 1969 (An Adventure in Space and Time, The First Men in the Moon [2010 TV], Shaun of the Dead)
Clare Stansfield b. 1964 (Xena, Steel, The X Files, The Flash)
Dean Devlin b. 1962 (producer, The Librarian, Eight Legged Freaks, Godzilla [1998], Independence Day, Stargate)
Peter Stormare b. 1953 (Arrow, The Zero Theorem, Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, The Brothers Grimm, The Tuxedo, Armageddon, Minority Report, The Lost World: Jurassic Park)
Paul Rubens b. 1952 (Area 57, Mystery Men, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Batman Returns, Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, Faerie Tale Theatre)
Gary Imhoff b. 1952 (Carnivale, The Green Mile, Buffy, The Powers of Matthew Star)
Charles Fleischer b. 1950 (Black Scorpion, Lois & Clark, Back to the Future Part II, Hard Time on Planet Earth, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Knight Rider, A Nightmare on Elm Street)
Captain Kidd Brewer Jr. b. 1948 died 22 May 1990 (The Abyss, Piranha Part Two: The Spawning)
Barbara Bach b. 1947 (Caveman, The Great Alligator, The Humanoid, Screamers)
G. W. Bailey b. 1944 (Mannequin, Short Circuit, Runaway)
Ira Levin b. 1929 died 12 November 2007 (writer, Rosemary’s Baby, The Stepford Wives, The Boys from Brazil)
Hoke Howell b. 1929 died 9 May 1997 (Alien Species, Wizards of the Demon Sword, Alienator, The Greatest American Hero, Humanoids from the Deep, Project U.F.O., Kingdom of the Spiders, Bewitched, Lost in Space, The Munsters, My Living Doll)

Some good actors on the list, but few who are best known for genre. I think the most iconic from genre would be Roger Rabbit or Pee-Wee Herman if we stretch a little bit, but I was in a fabulous babe mood and went with Barbara Bach from Caveman. Complaints can be logged in the comments section.

Logged, noted and ignored.

Many happy returns to all the living on the list and to the dead, thanks for all the memories.

Predictor: Herman Kahn in the 1972 book Things to Come, published by the Hudson Institute.


Prediction: In 1985, the political system will still be a system of nations with little political unity.

Reality: In the era Kahn is predicting, NATO and the Soviet bloc certainly show political unity. More than that, OPEC made its power felt in the 1970s in a big way, but it is never mentioned in his book. In his defense, Kahn might argue that the first two show military unity and the last economic unity, but he can't because he's dead, so the grade stands. Not mentioning OPEC is a big goose egg.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

The weekly schedule is interrupted for a prediction from a movie

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

26 August 2014

Birthdays
Dylan O’Brien b. 1991 (The Maze Runner, Teen Wolf)
Jennifer Higham b. 1984 (Metamorphosis, Ella Enchanted)
Nanzeen Contractor b. 1982 (Star Trek Into Darkness, Pegasus vs. Chimera, Relic Hunter, Starhunter)
Chris Pine b. 1980 (Into the Woods, Star Trek, Carriers)
Amanda Schull b. 1978 (12 Monkeys [2014 TV], Grimm)
Mike Colter b. 1976 (American Horror Story, Men in Black 3)
Meredith Eaton b. 1974 (Paranormal Activity)
Oleg Taktarov b. 1967 (Predators, National Treasure, Rollerball [2002])
Brett Cullen b. 1956 (Under the Dome, The Dark Knight Rises, Lost, Pixel Perfect, From the Earth to the Moon, The Omen [1995 TV], Apollo 13, Deep Space Nine, Prehysteria!, V [1985], The Incredible Hulk)
Michael Jeter b. 1952 died 30 March 2003 (Taken, Jurassic Park III, The Green Mile, Waterworld, Zelig)
Jane Merrow b. 1941 (The Greatest American Hero, The Incredible Hulk, The Six Million Dollar Man, UFO, The Prisoner)
Yvette Vickers b. 1928 died 2010 (Attack of the Giant Leeches, Attack of the 50 Foot Woman)
Jim Davis b. 1909 died 26 April 1981 (The Day Time Ended, Project U.F.O., Satan’s Triangle, The Sixth Sense, Dracula vs. Frankenstein [1971], The Time Tunnel, Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter, Monster from Green Hell)

To be blunt, there is one movie star on this list and so far, he has one iconic role, though that may change depending on how well Into the Woods is received. Last year, I had Yvette Vickers in the Picture Slot because she's a fabulous babe, she was in one particular movie and the strange and newsworthy events of the discovery of her body in her home long after her death, so no exact date is given. The other surprises in this research: I'd never heard the last name Contractor before and I forgot that Michael Jeter was dead.

Many happy returns to all the living on the list and to the dead, thanks for all the memories. 
 
Predictor: FM-2030 in UpWingPriorities, published 1981

Prediction: Physical Immortality: The most basic and urgent problem facing us is death. All other human constraints are derivative. Death casts a pall over all of life. So long as we are terminal we cannot enhance the basic quality of life. So long as there is death no one is free.

Accelerators: Slow down aging through genetic and cellular intervention. Telemonitor every person for continuous protection from internal and external hazards. Reformat our terminal bodies into versatile telebodies with easy plug in replacement parts. Facilitate freefly to reduce gravitational wear and tear and rapidly break away from natural disasters. Provide universal cryonic suspension in case of unavoidable death. Spread a Psychology of Immortality - the will to live forever.


Reality: Wait... The Affordable Care Act does NOT provide universal cryonic suspension? Thanks, Obama!

We are going to be visited by the frozen ghost of FM-2030 on Tuesdays well into November. (He died in 2000 and is in cryogenic storage, naturally.) He considered his ideas so new and exciting that he had to make up words like telemonitor, telebodies and freefly just to express them. We've had some predictors I didn't care for. Notably, the racist, murderous scumbag Larry Niven comes to mind. But for pure pompous asshattery, FM-2030 is to Ray Kurzweil as Babe Ruth is to Hank Greenberg. They are both pretty stunning, but one of them is in a category by himself.

(Note: I mocked FM-2030 for making up words, but my spell checker doesn't recognize "asshattery". Google, on the other hand, knows it is a common modern slang term. I didn't make it up.)

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Herman Kahn makes yet another shot in the dark prediction about the 1970s and 1980s.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!
 

Monday, August 25, 2014

25 August 2014

Birthdays
Angelica Mandy b. 1992 (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire)
Blake Lively b. 1987 (Green Lantern)
Rachel Bilson b. 1981 (Jumper, Buffy)
Toni Wynne b. 1980 (Oz the Great and Powerful, American Horror Story, Zombie Roadkill, Spider-Man 3, 2095, The Spirithunter, Blood Feast 2: All U Can Eat)
Kel Mitchell b. 1978 (Mystery Men, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch)
Alexander Skarsgård b. 1976 (Hidden [2014], True Blood, Battleship, Melancholia)
Donavon Stinson b. 1976 (Mighty Mighty Monsters, Snowmageddon, Eureka, Reaper, The X Files: I Want to Believe, Fantastic Four, Dark Angel)
David Alan Basche b. 1968 (Real Steel, The Adjustment Bureau, War of the Worlds [2005])
Tom Hollander b. 1967 (The Invisible Woman, About Time, Pirates of the Caribbean)
Brad Dryborough b. 1967 (Falling Skies, The Cabin in the Woods, Fringe, Supernatural, Battlestar Galactica, Alien Trespass, The Day the Earth Stood Still, Stargate: Atlantis, Smallville, Alien Incursion)
Marti Noxon b. 1964 (writer/actor, Dr. Horrible Sing-Along Blog, Fright Night, I Am Number Four, Angel, Buffy)
Blair Underwood b. 1964 (The Event, Deep Impact, Gattaca, Knight Rider)
Joanne Whalley b. 1961 (Willow)
Billy Ray Cyrus b. 1961 (Sharknado 2)
Ally Walker b. 1961 (Kazaam, Witches of Eastwick [TV], Universal Soldier)
Ashley Crow b. 1960 (Supernatural, Heroes, Minority Report, Probe)
Tim Burton b. 1958 (director, Frankenweenie, Dark Shadows [2012], Alice in Wonderland, Corpse Bride, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Big Fish, Planet of the Apes, Sleepy Hollow [1999], Mars Attacks, Batman Returns, Edward Scissorhands, Batman, Beetlejuice, Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure)
Simon McBurney b. 1957 (Utopia, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, The Golden Compass)
Gene Simmons b. 1949 (Runaway, KISS Meets the Phantom in the Park)
John Savage b. 1949 (Demon Legacy, Bermuda Tentacles, Alien Rising, Dreamkiller, Fringe, Carnivale, Alien Lockdown, Dark Angel, They Nest, Star Trek: Voyager, Lost Souls, Firestorm, The X-Files, Carnosaur 2, Red Scorpion 2, Beauty and the Beast [1987 musical])
Michael Kaluta b. 1947 (artist, Bill the Galactic Hero)
John Badham b. 1939 (director, Supernatural, Heroes, Short Circuit, WarGames, Dracula [1979], The Sixth Sense)
Tom Skerritt b. 1933 (Ted, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde [TV 2008], Stephen King’s Dead Zone, Fallen 2006 TV], Category 7: The End of the World, Aftershock: Earthquake in New York, Contact, Poltergeist III, The Twilight Zone [1986], SpaceCamp, The Dead Zone, Alien, The Devil’s Rain, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, The Time Tunnel, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, My Favorite Martian)
Peter Gilmore b. 1981 died 3 February 2013 (Doctor Who, Warlords of the Deep, The Abominable Dr. Phibes)
Sean Connery b. 1930 (The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, DragonHeart, Highlander I & II, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Sword of the Valiant: The Legend of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Time Bandits, Outland, Meteor, Zardoz, Darby O’Gill and the Little People)
Graham Jarvis b. 1930 died 16 April 203 (Strange World, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids [TV], The X Files, Star Trek: The Next Generation, The Munsters Today)
Bruce Allpress b. 1930 (Power Rangers Jungle Fury, The Water Horse, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys)
Mel Ferrer b. 1917 died 2 June 2008 (Nightmare City, Eaten Alive, The Great Alligator, The Visitor, Screamers, The Amazing Captain Nemo, Logan’s Run, Wonder Woman, The World, The Flesh and the Devil)
Van Johnson b. 1916 died 12 December 2008 (Killer Crocodile, The Purple Rose of Cairo, Batman, The Pied Piper of Hamelin, Brigadoon)
Michael Rennie b. 1909 died 10 June 1971 (The Invaders, Batman, Cyborg 2087, The Time Tunnel, Lost in Space, The Lost World, The Day the Earth Stood Still)

Last year, the Picture Slot went to Blake Lively because... she's purdy. This year, looking for the iconic roles, the competition was between Alexander Skarsgård, Tim Burton, Tom Skerritt, Sean Connery (easily the biggest movie star on the list) and the winner, Michael Rennie from the original The Day the Earth Stood Still. He wins because he follows the important sci-fi rule, "You can tell they are from an advanced civilization because they are wearing aluminum."

Many happy returns to all the living on the list and to the dead, thanks fr all the memories.
 
Predictor: OMNI Future Almanac, published 1982

Prediction: The five fastest growing economies 1980 to 2000
Brazil
Nigeria
South Korea
China
Mexico

Reality: According to the World Bank data, the greatest GDP growth in that era belongs to
Guinea-Bissau
Bolivia
Mexico
Paraguay
St. Vincent and the Grenadines

To be fair, OMNI was looking at big countries, so the top five for larger populations would be
Mexico (3rd overall)
Indonesia (14th)
Pakistan (15th)
United States (28th)
South Korea (29th)

By these numbers, Brazil was the 36th fastest growing economy overall, China was 74th and Nigeria 107th. Nigeria's GDP actually shrunk in that time period.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Our second visit from fm-2030. The more I read this guy, the more I think the competition for biggest jerk among the futurists is really no competition at all.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Never to be Forgotten:
Lord Richard Attenborough 1923-2014

Lord Richard Attenborough, one of Britain's most celebrated actors and directors over the past fifty years, has died at the age of 90. Both he and his wife had been in a nursing home for several years. The cause of death has not been released.

American audiences are most likely to recall his role in The Great Escape from early in his career. His greatest directorial successes were the biopics Gandhi, Cry Freedom and Chaplin. But of course, he is mentioned here for being in the first two Jurassic Park movies. He was also in Jack and the Beanstalk: The Real Story.

On a personal note, in these pictures when he is older, he looks like a morphing stage between my dad and my dad's older brother Bill. From a distance, he could be either one of them.

Best wishes to the family and friends of Lord Richard Attenborough, from a fan. He is never to be forgotten.

24 October 2014

Birthdays
Rupert Grint b. 1988 (Harry Potter)
Chad Michael Murray b. 1981 (Left Behind, The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghost of Georgia, House of Wax, Megiddo: The Omega Code 2)
Beth Riesgraf b. 1978 (Caper)
Alex O’Loughlin b. 1976 (Moonlight, The Invisible, Man-Thing)
James D’Arcy b. 1975 (Jupiter Ascending, Cloud Atlas, Them [2007])
Kwesi Ameyaw b. 1975 (Continuum, Supernatural, Man of Steel, Once Upon a Time, Riverworld, Fringe, Stargate, Kyle XY, Fallen, Eureka, Blade: Trinity, Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, Jake 2.0, Battlestar Galactica, Smallville, Dead Like Me, Stephen King’s Dead Zone, Jeremiah, Dark Angel, Strange Frequency, The Lone Gunmen, The 6th Day)
Jennifer Lien b. 1974 (Star Trek: Voyager)
Barret Oliver b.1973 (Twilight Zone [1986], Tall Tales & Legends, Cocoon, D.A.R.Y.L., The NeverEnding Story, Jekyll and Hyde… Together Again, Knight Rider, The Incredible Hulk)
Eric Edwards b. 1966 (Blade, Candyman)
Jared Harris b. 1961 (The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, Fringe, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Resident Evil: Apocalypse, Lost in Space [1998], Tall Tale)
Mark Protosevich b. 1961 (writer, Thor, I Am Legend, The Cell)
Steve Guttenberg b. 1958 (Short Circuit, Cocoon 1 and 2, High Spirits, The Day After, The Boys from Brazil)
Stephen Fry b. 1957 (The Hobbit, The Borrowers, Alice in Wonderland [2010], V for Vendetta, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, MirrorMask, Doctor Who: Death Comes to Time, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride)
Kevin Dunn b. 1956 (Transformers, Lost, NYPD 2069, Small Soldiers, Godzilla [1998], Ghostbusters II)
Orson Scott Card b. 1951 (won 1986 Hugo and Nebula for Ender’s Game, won 1987 Hugo and Nebula for Speaker for the Dead)
Charles Rocket b. 1949 died 7 October 2005 (3rd Rock from the Sun, Star Patrol, The X-Files, Star Trek: Voyager, Lois & Clark, Hocus Pocus, Quantum Leap, Earth Girls Are Easy, Max Headroom)
Ronnie Blakley b. 1945 (A Return to Salem’s Lot, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Beyond Westworld)
Castulo Guerra b. 1945 (The Purge: Anarchy, Touch, Invasion, Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace, Lois & Clark, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Beauty and the Beast [1987], Starman [TV])
Kenny Baker b. 1934 (Star Wars, U.F.O. [1993], Prince Caspian and the Voyage of the Dawn Treader [1989], Willow, Labyrinth, Time Bandits, Flash Gordon)
William Morgan Sheppard b. 1932 (Mysterious Island, Doctor Who, Legend of the Seeker, Star Trek [2009], Transformers, The Prestige, Charmed, Star Trek: Voyager, Timecop, American Gothic, Poltergeist: The Legacy, Babylon 5, SeaQuest 2032, Needful Things, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Max Headroom, Werewolf, The Day of the Triffids [1981], Hawk the Slayer)
Jimmy Gardner b. 1924 died 3 May 2010 (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, My Hero, The Company of Wolves, Doctor Who, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe [1967], The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb)
Helena Carter b. 1920 died 11 January 2000 (Invaders from Mars)
James Tiptree, Jr. b 1915 died 19 May 1987 (author, Tales of the Quintana Roo, Up the Walls of the World)
Jorge Luis Borges b. 1899 died 14 June 1986 (author, The Book of Imaginary Beings, Labyrinths)

So here's my take on who would be in the Picture Slot depending on the main criterion.

Iconic: Today's actual criterion, and Rupert Grint edges out Kenny Baker because I had used a Star Wars picture more recently than I have used a Harry Potter picture.

Fabulous babe: Here it would be a battle between Beth Riesgraf, Jennifer Lien and Helena Carter.

Oh That Guy: I would say William Morgan Sheppard edges out Castulo Guerra, Kevin Dunn and Kwesi Ameyaw. Odd little non-genre coincidence: Sheppard played the father of fellow birthday boy Jared Harris on Mad Men.

Writer: Borges. No contest in my book.

My favorite performer on the list: Stephen Fry, also no contest.

The biggest surprise in the research: I completely forgot Charles Rocket was dead. It was assumed by the police he slit his own throat.

Many happy returns to all the living on the list and to the dead, thanks for all the memories.
 
Predictor: General Motors in 1969

Prediction: “The Wankel will … dwarf such major post-war technological developments as xerography, the Polaroid camera and color television.”

Reality: Ha! Wankel rotary engines! It's actually a damned clever idea, but it's still internal combustion, so it's no solution to the problems we face concerning the use of the world's resources. The reason it didn't take off was if a seal wore out or if a radiator hose busted, these things could overheat very quickly. The overheating flaw can be overcome, but it got bad press for being unreliable and General Motors stopped cheerleading the Wankel.

It's also a little quaint the Polaroid camera gets to be in the major post-war technological developments list, since we now think of that as being obsolete. If I could go back 45 years and make a suggestion, the transistor is a better choice. The microprocessor is another huge leap forward, but that's the early 1970s, so you couldn't use it in 1969.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

OMNI Future Almanac day! Yay! (Also known colloquially as Monday.)

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!