Syd Mead Illustration for January 2015

Syd Mead Illustration for January 2015
Syd Mead Illustration for January 2015

Sunday, January 25, 2015

25 January 2015

 Birthdays
Tayler Marshall b. 2000 (Jack the Giant Slayer)
Poppy Rogers b. 1992 (Five Children and It, From Hell, The Tenth Kingdom)
Rupert Simonian b. 1991 (Peter Pan [2003])
Dustin Ingram b. 1990 (True Blood, Paranormal Activity 3, Sky High)
Tom Hopper b. 1985 (Knights of Badassdom, Merlin, Doctor Who)
Michael Trevino b. 1985 (The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, Charmed)
Charlie Bewley b. 1981 (Extant, The Vampire Diaries, The Twilight Saga)
Christine Lakin b. 1979 (The Frankenstein Theory, Race to Witch Mountain, Seven Days, Big Monster on Campus, 3rd Rock from the Sun)
Mia Kirshner b. 1975 (Lost Girl, Defiance, The Vampire Diaries, The Crow: City of Angels, My Secret Identity, Dracula: The Series, War of the Worlds)
Kurt Evans 1974 (Arrow, Fringe, Watchmen, The Andromeda Strain [2008], Supernatural, The 4400, Stargate SG-1, Smallville, Battlestar Galactica, Dead Like Me, Tru Calling, Andromeda, The X-Files)
Carlos Antonio b. 1972 (American Horror Story, Lost Tapes)
Johnny Green b. 1972 (Monster Man, Buffy, Twilight Zone [1986], Back to the Future)
Alex Nevil b. 1965 (Star Trek [2009], Star Trek: Enterprise, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Lois & Clark, Ultraman: The Ultimate Hero)
Don Mancini b. 1963 (screenwriter, Child’s Play, Tale’s from the Crypt)
Eugene Osment b. 1959 (Minority Report, A.I. Artificial Intelligence)
Dinah Manoff b. 1958 (Child’s Play, Mork & Mindy)
Jenifer Lewis b. 1957 (Mystery Men, Meteor Man)
Lynn Hancock b. 1951 (Evilspeak)
Diane Salinger b. 1951 (Salem, Carnivale, Charmed, Deep Space Nine, Mann & Machine, Batman Returns, Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, Creature)
John Terry b. 1950 (Lost, Hawk the Slayer)
Richard Poe b. 1946 (Gotham, Star Trek: The Next Generation)
Leigh Taylor-Young b. 1945 (Deep Space Nine, Looker, Soylent Green)
Anita Pallenberg b. 1944 (4:44 Last Day on Earth, Barbarella)
Tobe Hooper b. 1943 (director, Djinn, Taken, The Others, Perversions of Science, Dark Skies, Tales from the Crypt, Freddy’s Nightmares, Amazing Stories, Invaders From Mars, Lifeforce, Poltergeist, Salem’s Lot)
John Owens b. 1942 (The Wolfman [2010], Dinotopia, Alice in Wonderland [1999], An American Werewolf in London, Doctor Who, Scrooge [1970])
Gregory Sierra b. 1941 (Vampires, Deep Space Nine, The Ray Bradbury Theatre, The X-Files, Honey, I Blew Up the Kid, Something Is Out There, The Munsters Today, The Greatest American Hero, The Clones, Beneath the Planet of the Apes)
Diana Hyland b. 1936 died 27 March 1977 (The Invaders, The Green Hornet, Hercules and the Princess of Troy, Twilight Zone)
Dean Jones b. 1931 (Once Upon a Brothers Grimm, The Love Bug, Mr. Superinvisible)
King Donovan b. 1918 died 30 June 1987 (Invasion of the Body Snatchers [1956], The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, The Magnetic Monster)

Notes from the birthday list.
1. The Picture Slot. No disrespect intended, but today's list is low on star power. The best known names are probably are probably Dean Jones and Gregory Sierra, but the closest either of them gets to iconic is Jones in The Love Bug, a movie I include somewhat grudgingly. The person who is most important to the genre is likely Tobe Hooper, but I couldn't decide on which of his film posters to use. Last year, the Picture Slot was Richard Poe, not a well known actor but iconic as Gul Evek, one of the first Cardassians shown on Star Trek: The Next Generation. In the spirit of that choice, the Picture Slot this year is given to King Donovan, the guy with the pitchfork in front in this production still from the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Apropos of the minimal star power on today's list, Donovan may be the least known actor in the picture. The women are the lovely Dana Wynter and Carolyn Jones and of course, the other guy is Kevin McCarthy, the star of the film.

2. Spot the Canadians! Our two Canadians are fairly easy to spot. The only hint I'll give is that they were both born after 1970. Good luck.

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

Predictor: Robert A. Heinlein in his 1956 book The Door into Summer

Predictions: I finally settled on the year 2000, a nice round number and only thirty years away. I was afraid that if I made it any longer I would be completely out of touch. The changes in the last thirty years (my own lifetime) had been enough to make a man’s eyes bug out – two big wars and a dozen little ones, the downfall of communism, the Great Panic, the artificial satellites, the change to atomic power – my when I was a kid they didn’t even have mulitmorphs.”

Reality: Okay, this paragraph kind of lands us in the middle of the story. Our hero is alive in 1970 and he is going to sleep in suspended animation until 2000. That means the past 30 years are 1940 to 1970. His predictions are another big war to rival World War II (wrong), communism's fall (a few decades too early), the Great Panic (no big economic downturn in that era), the artificial satellites (true and the book was written before Sputnik), the change to atomic power (at least partial credit here) and "multimorphs" on most sci-fi refer to shapeshifters (crazy wrong). With as many as he got right and the ones that have become true in the past sixty years, I'll say this one is more Sensible Bob than Ridiculous Bob. 

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Another prediction from the Old Faithful of all my sources, The OMNI Future Almanac. 

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

24 January 2014

Birthdays
Mischa Barton b. 1986 (Phatasmagoria: The Movie, Zombie Killers: Elephant’s Graveyard, The Sixth Sense)
Karis Page Bryant b. 1985 (Charmed, Universal Soldier: The Return)
Justin Baldoni b. 1984 (Heroes, Charmed, The Helix… Loaded)
Remy Ryan b. 1984 (Opious, The Lost Room, RoboCop 3, The Flash [1990], Beauty and the Beast)
Craig Horner b. 1983 (Legend of the Seeker, Cyber Girl)
Carrie Coon b. 1981 (The Leftovers)
Kristen Schaal b. 1978 (Last Man on Earth)
Ed Helms b. 1974 (Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian)
Matthew Lillard b. 1970 (Scooby-Doo, Area 57, Thir13n Ghosts, Wing Commander)
Stephanie Romanov b. 1969 (Angel, Seven Days)
Phil Lamarr b. 1967 (Futurama, Real Steel, Samurai Jack, Spider-Man 2, Evil Alien Conquerors, Invader ZIM)
Julie Dreyfus b. 1966 (The Crow: Stairway to Heaven)
Nastassja Kinski b. 1961 (Cat People, To the Devil a Daughter)
Peter Woodward b. 1956 (Dracula [2013 TV], Fringe, National Treasure: Book of Secrets, Stargate: Atlantis, Charmed, Crusade, Babylon 5: A Call to Arms, Brimstone, )
William Allen Young b. 1954 (District 9, Babylon 5, The Twilight Zone [1985])
Michael Des Barres b. 1948 (Dead Like Me, Charmed, Sliders, Lois & Clark, Waxwork II: Lost in Time, Superboy, Super Force, ALF, Deadly Nightmares, Ghoulies, I, Monster)
Michael Ontkean b. 1946 (PSI Factor: Chronicles of the Paranormal, The Stepford Husbands, Deadly Nightmares, Tales of the Unexpected, Necromancy)
David Gerrold b. 1944 (screenwriter, The Trouble With Tribbles)
Sharon Tate b. 1943 died 9 August 1969 (The Fearless Vampire Killers)
Barton Heyman b. 1937 died 15 May 1996 (The Exorcist, Twilight Zone)
John Hollis b. 1931 died 18 October 2005 (Superman I, II and IV, The Day of the Triffids [1981 TV], Flash Gordon, The Empire Strikes Back, Blakes 7, The Tomorrow People, Captain Kronos – Vampire Hunter, Doctor Who, Creatures the World Forgot, A for Andromeda)
Jerry Maren b. 1920 (Frankenstein Rising, Twilight Zone [1986], Wizards and Warriors, Something Wicked This Way Comes, TRON, The Amazing Captain Nemo, Lidsville, Bigfoot, Planet of the Apes [1968], Bewitched, Superman and the Mole People, The Wizard of Oz)
William Hudson b. 1919 died 5 April 1974 (The Reluctant Astronaut, Batman, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Moon Pilot, Men Into Space, Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, The Amazing Colossal Man, The She-Creature, Rocky Jones, Space Ranger)
John Hudson b. 1919 died 8 April 1996 (I Dream of Jeannie, Men Into Space, The Screaming Skull)
Ernest Borgnine b. 1917 died 8 July 2012 (Gattaca, Merlin’s Shop of Mystical Wonders, Laser Mission, Alice in Wonderland [1985], Escape From New York, The Black Hole, Future Cop, The Devil’s Rain, The Neptune Factor, Captain Video and his Video Rangers)
C. L. Moore b. 1911 died 4 April 1987 (author, Northwest Smith, Cthulhu Mythos)
Estelle Winwood b. 1883 died 20 June 1984 (Batman, Bewitched, The Cabinet of Caligari, Twilight Zone, Blithe Spirit)
E.T.A. Hoffmann b. 1776 died 25 June 1822 (author, The Sandman, The Tales of Hoffmann, The Nutcracker and the Mouse King)

Notes from the birthday list.
1. The surprising stuff. Usually I start with the Picture Slot decision when explaining stuff about our birthday boys and girls, and I will do so today as well, but the over-riding theme of today's list is how many things I didn't realize.

I did not realize there is someone still alive from the cast of The Wizard of Oz, a movie which celebrates its 76th anniversary this year. Jerry Maren, born in 1920, was the middle guy in The Lollipop Guild, is the last known survivor from the cast and good on ya, Mr. Maren.

I did not realize how many genre credits Ernest Borgnine had. I still think of him as Marty or Fatso or McHale, but showed up in a lot of fantasy and sci-fi, including Captain Video, a show that was well before my time.

I did not realize the actress Estelle Winwood lived to be 101.

I did not think Michael Ontkean was much older than I am and I did not know he was Canadian, the only one on today's list.


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


Predictor: Albert D. Shaw (1841-1901), politician, diplomat and president of the Canadian Niagara Power Company

Prediction:
One of the greatest cities in the United States will be found to occupy the area between Buffalo and Niagara Falls. I think that, early in the 20th Century, there will be a city of 1,000,000 inhabitants there. It will be one of the greatest manufacturing cities in the world. Nature has done everything to favor its locality.

Reality:
Yes, it's true, nature has blessed Buffalo in every way, especially if you like the MIND-NUMBINGLY FUCKING COLD WINTERS!

Buffalo is still a city of about 250,000. Across the border, its sister city of Hamilton is closer to 500,000. I'm going to cut Mr. Shaw some slack, not just because of the awesome soup strainer on his top lip, but also because the technology of electrical transformers was in its infancy. Even our new predictor George Sutherland writing in 1901 makes predictions that places nearest electrical generating plants would be developed earlier than other locales. Nowadays, the wires can easily carry power many hundreds of miles away from the source.
Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Sundays mean a visit from our pal, (usually) Ridiculous Bob, looking into his crystal ball at 1970 or 2000 from a 1956 vantage point.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!
 

Friday, January 23, 2015

23 January 2015

Birthdays
David Knoll b. 2000 (The Strain)Jack Reynor b. 1992 (Transformers: Age of Extinction, Dollhouse)
Veronica Gomez b. 1982 (Dude, Where’s My Car?)
Sonita Henry b. 1977 (Olympus, Young Dracula, Doctor Who, Star Trek [2009], The Fifth Element)
Ewen Bremner b. 1972 (Snowpiercer, Jack the Giant Slayer, The Lost Room, AVP: Alien vs. Predator, Judge Dredd)
Ariadna Gil b. 1969 (Pan’s Labyrinth)
Mariska Hargitay b. 1964 (Lake Placid, Freddy’s Nightmares, Ghoulies)
Gail O’Grady b. 1963 (Time Trax, Superboy, Werewolf [TV])
Richard Roxburgh b. 1962 (Sanctum, Van Helsing, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen)
John H. Tobin b. 1955 (Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, UFO: Target Earth)
David Patrick Kelly b. 1951 (K-PAX, The Crow, Tales from the Darkside, Dreamscape)
Richard Dean Anderson b. 1950 (Stargate, Legend [TV])
Richard Gilliland b. 1950 (Parts Per Billion, Torchwood, Vampire Clan, Star Kid, Dark Skies, Bug)
Rutger Hauer b. 1944 (True Blood, 2047 – Sights of Death, Dracula 3D, Metal Hurlant Chronicles, Meteor, Minotaur, Batman Begins, Salem’s Lot, Smallville, Flying Virus, The 10th Kingdom, Merlin, Lexx, Omega Doom, Buffy the Vampire Slayer [movie], Ladyhawke, Blade Runner)
Gil Gerard b, 1943 (Star Trek New Voyages: Phase II, Reptisaurus, E.A.R.T.H. Force, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century)
Greg Hildebrandt b. 1939 (Illustrator)
Tim Hildebrandt b. 1939 died 11 June 2006 (Illustrator)
Arlene Golonka b. 1936 (Dr. Alien, The Girl with Something Extra)
Lou Antonio b. 1934 (director, Dark Skies, American Gothic; actor, Bewitched, Star Trek, I Dream of Jeannie)
Walter Michael Miller b. 1923 died 9 January 1996 (won 1961 Hugo for A Canticle for Leibowitz)
Florence Halop b. 1923 died 15 July 1986 (Gemini Man, Captain Nice)
Frances Bay b. 1919 died 15 September 2011 (Repo Chick, Charmed, Inspector Gadget, The X Files, Quantum Leap, Critters, Arachnophobia, ALF, Alien Nation, Amazing Stories, Fairy Tale Theatre, Topper [1979 TV movie])
Susan French b. 1912 died 6 April 2003 (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Flatliners, Quantum Leap, Somewhere in Time, Captain America II: Death Too Soon)
Dan Duryea b. 1907 died 7 June 1968 (The Bamboo Saucer, Twilight Zone)


Notes from the birthday list.
1. The Picture Slot. In previous years, I used the Star Wars poster done by the Hildebrandt twins and the cover art from A Canticle for Leibowitz as representatives for our birthday boys and girls, but this year I decided to choose an iconic role. There are several choices on from TV, notably Richard Dean Anderson, Gil Gerard and Lou Antonio from his role on Star Trek, but looking at movie roles, the best choice is Rutger Hauer from Blade Runner. I do feel like a geezer when I can only name people older than I am as candidates for The Picture Slot, as though I am not keeping up with current trends. In my defense, iconic isn't easy and there's a lot of randomness in it.

2. A fledgling Canadian. David Knoll, who turns 15 today, was born in Canada. The Strain is a Canadian sci-fi show, but it's quite a stretch to assume a person is Canadian from a single credit on one show. He's the only Canadian born actor on the list today.

Many happy returns to all the living on the list and to the dead, thanks for all the memories. 
 
Predictor: H.G. Wells in his 1902 book Anticipations

Prediction: The new ethics will hold life to be a privilege and a responsibility, not a sort of night refuge for base spirits out of the void; and the alternative in right conduct between living fully, beautifully, and efficiently will be to die. For a multitude of contemptible and silly creatures, fear-driven and helpless and useless, unhappy or hatefully happy in the midst of squalid dishonour, feeble, ugly, inefficient, born of unrestrained lusts, and increasing and multiplying through sheer incontinence and stupidity, the men of the New Republic will have little pity and less benevolence. To make life convenient for the breeding of such people will seem to them not the most virtuous and amiable thing in the world, as it is held to be now, but an exceedingly abominable proceeding. Procreation is an avoidable thing for sane persons of even the most furious passions, and the men of the New Republic will hold that the procreation of children who, by the circumstances of their parentage, _must_ be diseased bodily or mentally--I do not think it will be difficult for the medical science of the coming time to define such circumstances--is absolutely the most loathsome of all conceivable sins. They will hold, I anticipate, that a certain portion of the population--the small minority, for example, afflicted with indisputably transmissible diseases, with transmissible mental disorders, with such hideous incurable habits of mind as the craving for intoxication--exists only on sufferance, out of pity and patience, and on the understanding that they do not propagate; and I do not foresee any reason to suppose that they will hesitate to kill when that sufferance is abused.

Reality: Meet H.G. Wells, vicious racist scumbag with a hankering for human blood. Looking back from the future, his writing career continues for decades but all his big hits have already been written by 1902. Two later books, Food of the Gods and Shape of Things to Come, will be turned into several films each, but they aren't as famous or interesting as his earlier works War of the Worlds, The Invisible Man, The Time Machine or The Island of Dr. Moreau. If we can trust Wikipedia, Anticipations made a big splash in Edwardian England, and the last chapter - from which this quote is taken -  is a big reason why. His bright vision of the future is that the English and a few other white nations are the top of the genetic heap and anyone who can't keep up shouldn't be allowed to breed, much less survive.

Within a few years, he would walk away from his most grotesque ideas of the ideal future society but with this book, He became an important voice to the people who wanted to cling to the British Empire, a position of influence that wore away at his soul and imagination. He would still write over a hundred books after Anticipations, but only a handful are actually worth reading.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

A bit of local boosterism from a small town passes as a prediction of the future from 1893.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!
 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

22 January 2015

Birthdays
Sami Gayle b. 1996 (Vampire Academy)
Beverly Mitchell b. 1981 (Toxin, The Crow: City of Angels, White Dwarf, Quantum Leap)
Willa Ford b. 1981 (Friday the 13th [2009])
Christopher Masterson b. 1980 (Haven, Stephen King’s Dead Zone, Strange Frequency, Millennium)
Matthew Newton b. 1977 (Queen of the Damned, Farscape, The Lost World [TV])
Jennifer Spence b. 1977 (Continuum, Supernatural, SGU Stargate Universe, Eureka, The 4400, The Core)
Balthazar Getty b. 1975 (Feast, Charmed, The Hunger [TV], Habitat, Judge Dredd)
Rebekah Elmalogou b. 1974 (Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome)
Gabriel Macht b. 1972 (The Spirit)
Karen Finneran b. 1971 (Bewitched [2005], Wonderfalls, Night of the Living Dead [1990])
Olivia d’Abo b. 1969 (Sleeping Beauty [2014], Nuclear Family, Eureka, Invader ZIM, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Conan the Destroyer)
Qing Xu b. 1969 (Looper)
Diane Lane b. 1965 (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Man of Steel, Jumper, Judge Dredd)
Linda Blair b. 1959 (The Green Fairy, Supernatural, Monster Makers, PSI Factor: Chronicles of the Paranormal, Sorceress, Repossessed, The Exorcist)
Tyrone Power Jr. 1959 (Mansion of Blood, Lorelei: Witch of the Pacific Ocean, Cocoon)
Michael Kospa b. 1956 (Arrow, Supernatural, Fringe, Apollo 18, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Earth’s Final Hours, Stonehenge Apocalypse, Impact, Watchmen, Flash Gordon [2007 TV], Eureka, The 4400, Stephen King’s Dead Zone, Final Days of Planet Earth, Fantastic Four [2005], Dead Like Me, Carrie [2002 TV], Smallville, Jeremiah, The Immortal [2001], Seven Days, Dark Angel, Stargate SG-1, Poltergeist: The Legacy, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show, The X-Files, Highlander [TV], Sliders)
John Wesley Shipp b. 1955 (The Flash [2015 and 1991], Teen Wolf [2012], The Neverending Story II)
Jim Jarmusch b. 1953 (director, Only Lovers Left Alive)
John Hurt b. 1940 (Hercules [2014], Doctor Who, Snowpiercer, Only Lovers Left Alive, Labyrinth [2012], Harry Potter, Melancholia, Outlander, Hellboy, Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull, V for Vendetta, Roger Corman’s Frankenstein Unbound, The Story Teller, Spaceballs, Nineteen Eighty-Four, Alien, The Ghoul)
Seymour Cassel b. 1935 (Wicked Stepmother, Star Trek The Next Generation, Tales from the Darkside [TV], Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, The Invaders, Batman, Twilight Zone)
Bill Bixby b. 1934 died 21 November 1993 (The Incredible Hulk, My Favorite Martian, Twilight Zone)
Piper Laurie b. 1932 (Bad Blood, Dead Like Me, The Faculty, Beauty and the Beast, The Twilight Zone [1985], Return to Oz, Carrie)
Jon Cedar b. 1931 died 14 April 2001 (Asteroid, Tales from the Darkside, The Greatest American Hero, The Incredible Hulk, Capricorn One, The Manitou, Day of the Animals, Time Travelers, The Invisible Man [1975])
Robert Halmi Sr. b. 1922 died 30 July 2014 (producer, Riverworld, Flash Gordon [TV], Hogfather, Dinotopia, Jason and the Argonauts [TV], Alice in Wonderland [TV], Gulliver’s Travels [TV])
Ann Sothern b. 1909 died 15 March 2001 (The Manitou, My Mother the Car)
Robert E. Howard b. 1906 died 11 June 1936 (author, Conan, Kull, Bran Mak Morn, Solomon Kane)
Conrad Veidt b. 1893 died 3 April 1943 (The Thief of Bagdad [1940], The Man who Laughs, The Hands of Orlac, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari)

Notes on the birthday list.
1. The Picture Slot. Previously, I had Robert E. Howard in the Picture Slot, the pulp writer from Texas who died very young but more or less started the sword and sorcery genre which would become popular in the 1960s when Frank Frazetta's paintings were used as the paperback covers. There are plenty of iconic choices here, with Bill Bixby, John Hurt and Linda Blair best-known to American audiences, but instead we have Conrad Veidt from the 1928 silent film The Man Who Laughs, taken from a story by Victor Hugo. Very few people today have seen this film, but writer Bill Finger did and it was his suggestion that this should be the look for The Joker, and that makes it iconic in genre. If Americans know Veidt at all, it's from Casablanca or The Thief of Bagdad or possibly the other silent horror films he made. For my money, no actor playing The Joker looks half as scary as Veidt does here.

2. Spot the Canadians, I dare you! There are three credit lists that have That Canadian Feeling, but only two are from the Great White North. Instead of giving the answer later, I will grade the work of anyone who puts up a guess. I'm back teaching classes and I have to get back into the swing of grading.

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

 
Predictor: Fulgencio Batistia, former dictator of Cuba, speaking from exile in Spain, 1960, quoted in The Experts Speak by Christopher Cerf and Victor Navasky

Prediction:“I give Castro a year. No longer.”

Reality: Well, here we are 55 years later, Castro is still alive and in power and more than that, the United States is finally getting around to re-establishing diplomatic ties with Cuba. I was thinking of saving this prediction until after Fidel died, but I'm not sure I'll be writing the blog that long.

Looking one day ahead...  INTO THE FUTURE!

It's time to get to the creepy stuff from Anticipations that made H.G. Wells an "important voice" in the politics of Edwardian England.


Join us then...  IN THE FUTURE!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

21 January 2015

Birthdays
Owen Best b. 1997 (TRON: Legacy, Smallville, Impact)
Jennifer Rae Daykin b. 1995 (Nanny McPhee)
Booboo Stewart b. 1994 (Dominion, Twilight Saga, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Space Warriors, Hansel & Gretel: Warriors of Witchcraft, 666: The Child)
Chanelle Peloso b. 1994 (Zapped [2014])
Keely Purvis b. 1992 (The Time Tunnel [2006], X-Men 2, Taken)
Craig Roberts b. 1991 (Being Human, Becoming Human, Young Dracula)
Jacob Smith b. 1990 (Hansel & Gretel [2002], Evolution’s Child, Small Soldiers, Meego)
Jeff Ballard b. 1987 (Grave Halloween, Forever 16, Supernatural, Snowmageddon, Painkiller Jane, Kyle XY, Smallville, Zolar, A Wrinkle in Time, Dark Angel, Mission to Mars)
Luke Grimes b. 1984 (True Blood)
Izabella Miko b. 1981 (Supernatural, Clash of the Titans)
Svetlana Khodchenkova b. 1983 (The Wolverine)
Jerry Trainor b. 1977 (Angel, Evolution, Donnie Darko)
Paul Anthony b. 1975 (Tomorrowland, The Flash, The Returned, Suck, Painkiller Jane, Stargate: Atlantis, Stephen King’s Dead Zone, Blade: Trinity, Dead Like Me, Jake 2.0, Stargate SG-1, Strange Frequency, Dark Angel)
Luigia Zucaro b. 1971 (Dawn of the Dead)
Ken Leung b. 1970 (Lost, X_Men: The Last Stand, A.I.: Artificial Intelligence)
Karina Lombard b. 1969 (The 4400, Kull the Conqueror)
Matthew Willig b. 1969 (Grimm, Abelar: Tales of an Ancient Empire)
Todd Caldecott b. 1969 (Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan)
John Ducey b. 1969 (Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, Deep Impact, Rumplestiltskin [1995])
Charlotte Ross b. 1968 (Arrow)
Patrick Weil b. 1963 (Touch, Fred 2: Night of the Living Fred, Eastwick)
Michael Wincott b. 1958 (Alien: Resurrection, Strange Days, The Crow, An American Christmas Carol)
Geena Davis b. 1956 (Coma [2012], Transylvania 6-5000, The Fly, Beetlejuice, Earth Girls Are Easy, Knight Rider)
Robby Benson b. 1956 (Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, Deadly Nightmares)
Trey Wilson b. 1948 died 16 January 1989 (Vampire Hookers)
Ann Wedgeworth b. 1934 (The Twilight Zone [1986], My Science Project)
Clive Donner b. 1926 died 7 September 2010 (director, A Christmas Carol [1984], The Thief of Baghdad [1978])
Steve Reeves b. 1926 died 1 May 2000 (Hercules, Hercules Unchained, The Thief of Baghdad, Goliath and the Barbarians, Topper [1953 TV])
Dean Fredericks b. 1924 died 30 June 1999 (The Phantom Planet, The Disembodied, Them!)
Telly Savalas b. 1922 died 22 January 1994 (Alice in Wonderland [1985], Capricorn One, The Twilight Zone)
John Doucette b. 1921 died 16 August 1994 (The Time Machine [1978 TV], Kolchak: The Night Stalker, The Time Tunnel, 7 Faces of Dr. Lao, Sabu and the Magic Ring, Adventures of Superman, Batman and Robin [1949])
J. Carrol Naish b. 1896 died 24 January 1973 (Dracula vs. Frankenstein, I Dream of Jeannie, House of Frankenstein, The Monster Maker, Batman [1943])

Notes on the birthday list.
1. The Picture Slot. Last year, Geena Davis was in the Picture Slot with a still from The Fly, though Beetlejuice was probably more iconic. This year, it's Steve Reeves from Hercules. While I admit to geezerhood, I challenge anyone to find an actor younger than Ms. Davis who had an iconic genre role.

2. Oh Those Guys. We have some great character actors on the list. I don't count Telly Savalas because Kojak turned him into a household name. J. Carrol Naish has 222 credits on imdb.com, and while I remember his role as the hunchback Daniel in House of Frankenstein very well even though it's been more than fifty years since I saw it, I think that's more about my memory than his being truly iconic. John Doucette was a stocky bald guy who usually played a villain. If you are old enough, his face should be familiar, he has 284 credits on imdb.com/

3. Wait... he's dead?  Another familiar face whose name might escape you is Trey Wilson, who died 26 years ago at the age of 40. His best known role is Nathan Arizona in Raising Arizona. I was completely unaware he was gone and it makes me sad.

4. Canadians, the bold and the furtive. There are a lot of Canadians today, some with very few credits of any kind, some born too early to be able to exploit the modern sci-fi gold rush in Vancouver and Toronto. Jeff Ballard and Paul Anthony have credit lists that are typically Canadian, but Chanelle Peloso, Keely Purvis, Luigia Zucaro, Todd Caldecott and Michael Wincott are less obviously from The Great White North.

5. Hey, no Star Trek! I started this label because Star Trek is far and away the most popular label. I figured days without folks from Star Trek would be few and far between, but it's been pretty common in January.

Many happy returns to all the living on the list and to the dead, thanks for all the memories.
 
Predictor: George Sutherland in his 1901 book Twentieth Century Inventions: A Forecast

Prediction:The solar engine, if generally introduced, would be found more intermittent in its action than the windmill--excepting perhaps in a very few localities where there is a cloudless sky throughout the year. The windmill gathers up the power generated by the expansion of the air in passing over long stretches of heated ground, while a solar engine cannot command more of the sun's heat than that which falls upon the reflector or condenser of the engine itself. The latter machine may possibly have a place assigned to it in the industrial economy of the future, but the sum total of the power which it will furnish must always be an insignificant fraction.

Reality: According to Wikipedia, solar power accounts for about 0.85% of the world's energy as of 2015. This number is growing, but I would argue Sutherland is not incorrect so far with his "insignificant fraction" prediction.

Welcome our new pal George Sutherland to the fold. I found out about his book by reading H.G. Wells' Anticipations. I've just started reading his book and so far he seems very sensible, which likely means he will miss a lot of what gets invented in the 20th Century. The electron was discovered in 1897 and it took a while before it was completely accepted by the scientific community. When the Royal Society got around to celebrating J.J. Thomson's work, he gave the toast "Gentlemen, I give you the electron. May it be of no earthly use to anyone!"While this means Sutherland will have to make a huge leap to predict anything electronic, You can expect to read his predictions for the next couple months at least.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Yet another incorrect prediction from The Experts Speak.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

20 January 2015

Birthdays
Ciara Hanna b. 1991 (Power Rangers MegaForce, Blood Lake: The Attack of the Killer Lampreys)
Evan Peters b. 1987 (X-Men: Apocalypse, X-Men: Days of Future Past, American Horror Story, Kick-Ass, Invasion [TV], Phil of the Future)
Pete Ploszek b. 1987 (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles [2014])
Olivia Hallinan b. 1985 (Torchwood, Julia Jekyll and Harriet Hyde)
Rukiya Bernard b. 1983 (Witches of East End, Primeval: New World, The Cabin in the Woods, Supernatural, SGU Stargate Universe, The Day the Earth Stood Still, Eureka, Supervolcano, Relic Hunter)
Daniel Cudmore b. 1981 (Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn, Fringe, Twilight, X-Men, Revolution [2009 TV movie], Merlin and the Book of Beasts, Stargate SG-1)
Crystal Lowe b. 1981 (Primeval: New World, Almost Human, A Little Bit Zombie, Smallville, Hot Tub Time Machine, Supernatural, Yeti: Curse of the Snow Demon, Stargate: Atlantis, Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Stargate: Sg-1)
Ray Panthaki b. 1979 (World War Dead: Rise of the Fallen, It’s a Wonderful Afterlife, 28 Days Later…)
Omar Sy b. 1978 (Jurassic World, X-Men: Days of Future Past)
Skeet Ulrich b. 1970 (Jericho, The Craft, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles [1990])
Reno Wilson b. 1969 (The Chronicle, FreakyLinks, Good vs Evil, Sliders, Mighty Joe Young, Fallen)
Rainn Wilson b. 1966 (Robodog, Transformer: Revenge of the Fallen, The Last Mimzy, My Super Ex-Girlfriend, Dominion, Dark Angel, Charmed, Galaxy Quest)
Francesca Buller b. 1964 (Farscape)
James Denton b. 1963 (The Good Witch, Undead or Alive: A Zombedy, Dark Skies, Sliders)
R. A. Salvatore b. 1959 (author, Forgotten Realms series)
Lorenzo Lamas b. 1958 ( Atomic Eden, Ghost Ghirls, Raptor Ranch, Sci-Fighter, Raptor Island, Deep Evil, The Immortal [2001 TV])
Ken Page b. 1954 (Charmed, Adventures in Wonderland)
Paul Stanley b. 1952 (Millennium, KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park)
Daniel Benzali b. 1950 (Jericho, The X-Files, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Beauty and the Beast [1989], Whoops Apocalypse, Star Cops)
David Lynch b. 1946 (director, Dune, Eraserhead)
Dorothy Provine b. 1935 died 25 April 2010 (The 30 Foot Bride of Candy Rock)
Tom Baker b. 1934 (Doctor Who, The Wind in the Willows [2006 TV], Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased), Dungeons and Dragons, The Mutations, The Golden Voyage of Sinbad, Frankenstein: The True Story)
Buzz Aldrin b. 1930 (astronaut)
Peter Donat b. 1928 (The X-Files, Time Trax, Earth Star Voyager, Voyagers, Salvage 1, Future Cop, The Invisible Man [1975 TV)
Patricia Neal b. 1926 died 8 August 2010 (Ghost Story, The Day the Earth Stood Still)
DeForest Kelley b. 1920, died 11 June 1999 (Star Trek, Night of the Lepus)
Federico Fellini b. 1920 died 31 October 1993 (director, The Temptation of Dr. Antonio)
Michael Higgins b. 1920 died 5 November 2008 (Death Becomes Her, Angel Heart, The Stepford Wives, The Outer Limits)
Leon Ames b, 1902 died 12 October 1993 (Testament, Bewitched, The Misadventures of Merlin Jones, Son of Flubber, The Absent-Minded Professor)
Colin Clive b. 1900 died 25 June 1937 (Mad Love, Bride of Frankenstein, Frankenstein)
A. Merritt b. 1884 died 21 August 1943 (author, The Moon Pool, Burn Witch Burn!)

Notes from the birthday list.
1. The Picture Slot. I may be chided for being a geezer, but I am of the opinion that this list is chock full of truly iconic folk and all of them were born more than eighty years ago. In 2013, I used DeForest Kelley, in 2014 it was Buzz Aldrin. If they are out of contention, I'm happy to go to the other side of The Pond with Tom Baker, who wins the Favorite Doctor polls consistently if the competition is restricted to the 20th Century incarnations. If I were picking fourth place, I would go super geezer with Colin Clive, Dr. Frankenstein in the most famous 1930s versions of the story. If I was in a fabulous babe mood, Patricia Neal or (ahem) Dorothy Provine would get the Picture Slot, but even someone with my peculiar interests can't argue they are as iconic as the four guys mentioned first.

2. Spot the Canadians! Let's go opposite of geezer with our young Canuck friends. There are three of them, all born after 1980. Good luck! There is an older one, Peter Donat, who I thought of as American because he worked at ACT in San Francisco many decades ago. Thanks to James Marshall VI for pointing out Donat.

3. I love a good exact same day pair. Ignoring identical twins, I love to find out that two very famous people share a birthday on the exact same day and year. My personal favorite is 12 February 1809, when Lincoln and Darwin were both born. Our best pair today is DeForest Kelley and Federico Fellini, both born in 1920. A character actor named Michael Higgins was also born 95 years ago, but he's not quite an Oh That Guy for me. The role I know him in is as Doc Wilson in State and Main.

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

Movie released
Underworld Awakening released, 2012
 
Predictor: W. Warren Wagar in the 1991 edition of his book A Short History of the Future.

Prediction: By the turn of the millennium, everyone used the phrase “the world revolution of 1989”. Comparisons to the French Revolution of 1789 were commonplace.

Reality: Wagar's day job was as a history professor and the changes of 1989 really threw him for a loop. He published his first version just as communism fell and figured that he had to re-write the whole thing, so the predictions here are from his 1991 version, which has as its over-riding theme the complete victory of capitalism until a catastrophe in the 2040s. (The catastrophe itself is too far in the future to be a topic on this blog.) While it certainly made a difference in global politics, Americans don't generally lump together the Berlin Wall falling and the Tienanmen Square protests. I went online to find comparisons of 1989 to 1789 and found one paper by a Northeastern history professor named Patrick Manning. I would not call the comparisons "commonplace".

Looking one day ahead...  INTO THE FUTURE!

A new source of predictions joins the line-up tomorrow.


Join us then...  IN THE FUTURE!

Monday, January 19, 2015

19 January 2015

Birthdays
Logan Lerman b. 1992 (Percy Jackson, The Butterfly Effect)
Erin Sanders b. 1991 (Carnivale)
Damien Chazelle b. 1985 (The Last Exorcism Part II)
Bitsie Tulloch b. 1981 (Grimm)
Benjamin Ayres b. 1977 (Bitten, Lost Girl, Dead Before Dawn 3D, The Vampire Diaries, Fantastic 4; Rise of the Silver Surfer, Smallville, Supernatural, Battlestar Galactica, Stargate SG-1, Jeremiah)
Candice Hillebrand b. 1977 (Tekken)
Marsha Thomason b. 1976 (Lost, The Haunted Mansion, Black Knight)
Natassia Malthe b. 1974 (BloodRayne, Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, Fringe, Fallen, Skinwalkers, Bloodsuckers, Andromeda, Stephen King’s Dead Zone, Halloween: Resurrection, Seven Days, Dark Angel, Lake Placid, First Wave, Millennium)
Rachel Luttrell b. 1971 (Stargate: Atlantis, Charmed, Maniac Mansion, Forever Knight)
Wendy Moniz b. 1969 (666 Park Avenue, The Others)
Matt Hill b. 1968 (Dead Like Me, Taken, Sleepwalkers, Bordello of Blood, The X Files)
Paul McCrane b. 1961 (From the Earth to the Moon, The X Files, Superboy, The Blob [1988], RoboCop)
William Ragsdale b. 1961 (Left Behind, Touch, Frankenstein: The College Years, Mannequin: On the Move, Fright Night 1 & 2 [1985 and 1988])
Allen Steele b. 1958 (author, Orbital Decay, The Death of Captain Future)
Roger Ashton-Griffiths b. 1957 (Game of Thrones, Doctor Who, Mutant Chronicles, Torchwood, The Brothers Grimm, Merlin [1998], Tales from the Crypt, Haunted Honeymoon, Brazil)
Tracy Stratford b. 1955 (Twilight Zone, The Evil of Frankenstein)
Katey Sagal b. 1954 (Futurama, Lost, Jack and the Beanstalk [2010], Smart House, Tales from the Crypt)
Linda Hayden b. 1953 (The Boys from Brazil, Queen Kong, Old Drac, The Blood on Satan’s Claw, Taste the Blood of Dracula)
Desi Arnaz Jr, b 1953 (Automan)
Nadiuska b. 1952 (Conan the Barbarian)
Shelley Fabares b. 1944 (The Canterville Ghost [1985], Mork & Mindy, The Incredible Hulk, Twilight Zone, Captain Midnight)
Michael Crawford b. 1942 (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland [1972])
Larry Clark b. 1943 (director, Teenage Caveman [2002])
Reiner Schone b. 1942 (Ice Planet, Sliders, Babylon 5, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, Star Trek: The Next Generation, The Handmaid’s Tale, Amerika)
Tony Anholt b. 1941 died 26 July 2002 (Lexx, Relic Hunter, Space: 1999)
Bryan Pringle b. 1935 died 15 May 2002 (Haunted Honeymoon, Brazil, Jabberwocky)
John Richardson b. 1934 (Battle of the Stars, War of the Planets, Frankenstein ’80, One Million Years B.C., She)
Richard Lester b. 1932 (director, Superman II and III, The Mouse on the Moon)
Patsy Rowlands b. 1931 died 22 January 2005 (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland)
Tippi Hedren b. 1930 (The 4400, The Nightmare Room, Tales from the Darkside, The Bionic Woman, The Birds)
Lisa Lu b. 1927 (2012, The Tick, Demon Seed)
Fritz Weaver b. 1926 (The X Files, Deep Space Nine, Tales from the Darkside, The Twilight Zone [1985 & 1961], Creepshow, The Martian Chronicles, Wonder Woman, Demon Seed, The Invaders, ‘Way Out)
Nicholas Colasanto b. 1924 died 12 February 1985 (My Favorite Martian, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea)
Jean Stapleton b. 1923 died 31 May 2013 (The Ray Bradbury Theatre, Beakman’s World, Faerie Tale Theatre, Damn Yankees)
Guy Madison b. 1922 died 6 February 1996 (Superargo and the Faceless Giants, The Beast of Hollow Mountain, On the Threshold of Space)
Ken Hughes b. 1922 died 28 April 2001 (screenwriter, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang)
Edgar Allan Poe b. 1809 died 7 October 1849 (author, The Masque of the Red Death, The Fall of the House of Usher)

Notes from the birthday list.
1. The Picture Slot. Previously, before I had done as much research, I had Edgar Allen Poe in the Picture Slot. In his book The Dreams Our Stuff Is Made Of, Thomas M. Disch argues that Poe is the true father of sci-fi, not Verne or Wells. Whether we accept that or not, he is certainly iconic. This year, not wanting to repeat myself, my choices were Leela from Futurama, Fritz Weaver from The Obsolete Man episode of Twilight Zone or Tippi Hedren from The Birds.

Did the fabulous babe win? Why, gosh, I guess she did. To be fair, Leela is fabulous as well, if you like animated and one eyed.

If I weren't such a geezer, I might include Logan Lerman in the choices, since he plays Percy Jackson in those series of movies. While I am not the target for the YA novels or the movies made from them, I have read some of the books and seen some of the movies. As a consumer of pop culture, I would say young Mr. Lerman has not reached the level of fame experienced by Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Jennifer Lawrence, Kristen Stewart or Robert Pattinson.

2. Spot the Canadians! There are four, though some were born elsewhere and emigrated. All were born after 1960.

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

Predictors: The ESPN panel of pro football experts

Predictions: 
Seahawks over Packers by a 13-1 consensus
Patriots over Colts by a 13-1 consensus

Reality: Back when I used to gamble, I had a friend, who when paying off after he deemed that I was ridiculously lucky would say "Tell them where you got it, but don't tell them how." The favored Seahawks did win yesterday, though they did it with five turnovers, a desperate trick play that worked and some very lucky bounces. That said, they won and all the people who said they would get the points.

This gives the experts a combined record of 92 correct and 48 incorrect, which rounds to 65.7% right. If this were a true-false test, that grade would probably count as a D by most standards, but if we assume even odds on all the games before they start, this result would be just a hair away from the 99.99th percentile when graded on the normal curve, and even if the Seahawks had lost, the experts would be in the 95th percentile. Of course, what this really says is that most of the favorites won and there were only a few games considered to be difficult to predict. In the baseball playoffs this year, two wild card teams played for the championship and the experts stunk the place out.


Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

 The Birthday List has a Star Trek regular and a guy who walked on the moon and neither of them will be in the Picture Slot. Take turns, guys, fair is fair.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!