Ad for ring from Kix cereal

Ad for ring from Kix cereal
Ad for Atomic "Bomb" Ring from Kix cereal

Friday, August 1, 2014

1 August 2014

 Birthdays
Sasha Jackson b. 1988 (Dominion, Attack of the 50ft Cheerleader, The Witches of Oz)
Max Carver b. 1988 (The Leftovers, Teen Wolf, Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn)
Monserrat Lombard b. 1982 (The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, Hyperdrive)
Miracle Laurie b. 1981 (100,000 Zombie Heads, Dollhouse)
Jason Momoa b. 1979 (Game of Thrones, Conan the Barbarian [2011], Stargate: Atlantis)
Kris Holden-Ried b. 1973 (The Listener, Lost Girl, Underworld: Awakening, Habitat)
Charles Malik Whitfield b. 1972 (Sleepy Hollow, Warehouse 13, Supernatural, Seven Days)
John Carroll Lynch b. 1963 (Paul, Carnivale, Star Trek: Voyager, From the Earth to the Moon)
Adrian Dunbar b. 1958 (The Quatermass Experiment [2005 TV])
Taylor Negron b. 1957 (Vamps, Wizards of Waverly Place, Good vs Evil, Faerie Tale Theatre)
Lewis Smith b. 1956 (Avalon: Beyond the Abyss, Beauty and the Beast, Badlands 2005, The Man Who Fell to Earth [TV], Buckaroo Banzai)
Annabel Jankel b. 1955 (director, Super Mario Bros., Max Headroom)
David Calder b. 1946 (The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, The Mists of Avalon, Jason and the Argonauts [2000 TV], Star Cops, Superman)
Giancarlo Giannini b. 1942 (Dracula [2002], Dune [2000 TV], Mimic)
Terry Kiser b. 1939 (The Huntress, Lois & Clark, Tammi and the T-Rex, Incredi-Girl, Mannequin: On the Move, Hard Time on Planet Earth, Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood, The Return of the Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman, Knight Rider, Automan, Manimal, Starflight: The Plane That Couldn’t Land, Looker, Gemini Man, The Invisible Man)
Dom DeLuise b. 1933 died 4 May 2009 (Stargate SG-1, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, 3rd Rock from the Sun, SeaQuest 2032, Spaceballs, Haunted Honeymoon, Amazing Stories, The Munsters)
Paul Lambert b. 1922 died 27 April 1997 (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Automan, Planet of the Apes, The Outer Limits, Twilight Zone, Men Into Space)
Arthur Hill b. 1922 died 22 October 2006 (Tales of the Unexpected, Prototype, Tomorrow’s Child, Revenge of the Stepford Wives [TV], Futureworld, The Andromeda Strain, The Invaders, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea)
J. Lee Thompson b. 1914 died 30 August 2002 (director, Battle for the Planet of the Apes, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes)
Henry Jones b. 1912 died 17 May 1999 (Arachnophobia, Project U.F.O., The Six Million Dollar Man, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, The Girl with Something Extra, Project X, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Lost in Space, Bewitched, Twilight Zone)

Welcome to a new month. Last year, I showed my Whedonverse nerd tendencies and out a picture of Miracle Laurie in the Picture Slot, and this year I was leaning towards Jason Momoa, Khal Drogo on Game of Thrones. But with further research, there are a lot of great Oh That Guy actors on the list today and Henry Jones is one of my favorites. He's the guy on the right talking to Orson Bean in the Twilight Zone episode Mr. Bevis.

I should say as a movie fan that John Carroll Lynch may be my favorite of all the people on this list, most notably for work in Fargo, Zodiac and Gran Torino. But none of those movies is genre, so his chance to be in the Picture Slot next year is slim.

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

Movies released
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor released, 2008
The Omega Man released, 1971


Predictors: ESPN's panel of baseball experts

Prediction: The teams that will make the playoffs in 2014

Reality: This is the last report until season's end when we will really know the situation. The underlined teams are exactly as predicted.


American League
Division winners
Red Sox (currently in fiffh)
Tigers (currently leading)
Athletics
(currently leading)
Wild Card teams
Rays (currently in fourth, nowhere near playoffs)
Rangers (currently in fifth, nowhere near playoffs)

National League
Division winners
Nationals (currently in first)
Cardinals (currently in second, but just barely not in playoffs)
Dodgers (currently in first)
Wild Card teams
Braves (currently in second and in playoffs)
Pirates (currently in third)


The prediction got better since June, most notably in the National League. In the American, all they got right is the Tigers and A's and the odds of the Red Sox, Ray or Rangers pulling out of their nosedives looks unlikely. The improvements are in the National League, where the Dodgers caught the first hot, now cold Giants and the Cardinals are catching up with Brewers. The prediction in the National League still has a chance to be 100% correct. The American League prediction is very unlikely to get better than the current 40% right.




Final update at season's end.

This month's splash illustration
I woke up this morning trying to think about what should be the new illustration at the top of the page and I decided to Google 'atomic age', assuming that would give me a lot of mid 20th Century stuff. I found this ad that ran in teh Sunday color comics in newspapers for an atomic "bomb" ring you could get for just 15 cents and a boxtop from Kix cereal. Wow, for the price of a comic book you could see genuine atoms split to smithereens!


Here's a page where all the text is large enough to read, so you can learn "How Tommy Thwarted the Enemy Agents".

This splash page illustration will give me a smile over the next 31 days and I hope you like it too.


Regular commenter Zombie Rotten McDonald wonder if there were pictures of the product lying around on the Internets and sure as shootin', there were. When you took off the red "bomb casing", you could look through a small plastic lens at scintillations caused by polonium alpha particles striking a zinc sulfide screen.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Dale Brown predicts danger ahead in 1994.


Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

31 July 2014

Birthdays
Alexis Knapp b. 1989 (Vamp U, Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief)
Sofia Pernas b. 1989 (Age of the Dragons)
Charlie Carver b. 1988 (The Leftovers, Teen Wolf [TV])
Eric Lively b. 1981 (The Butterfly Effect 2)
Harry Potter b. 1980 (fictional wizard)
B.J. Novak b. 1979 (Amazing Spider-Man 2)
James Harvey Ward b. 1978 (The Dark Knight Rises, True Blood, The Vampire Diaries, No Ordinary Family)
Annie Parisse b. 1975 (Fringe, NYPD 2069, National Treasure)
Jodi Ann Paterson b. 1975 (Dude, Where’s My Car?)
Emilia Fox b. 1974 (Merlin, Dorian Gray)
Tami Stronach b. 1972 (The NeverEnding Story)
Christina Cox b. 1971 (Elysium, Stargate: Atlantis, The Chronicles of Riddick, Andromeda, Mutant X, Code Name: Eternity, Earth: Final Conflict, The Crow: Stairway to Heaven, First Wave, Forever Knight)
Ben Chaplin b. 1974 (The Water Horse, Dorian Gray, The Return of the Borrowers [TV])
Dean Cain b. 1966 (Smallville, 10.5: Apocalypse, Lost, Futuresport, Lois & Clark)
Jim True-Frost b. 1966 (666 Park Avenue, Fringe, W.E.I.R.D. World)
Pat Finn b. 1965 (Wizards of Waverly Place, Dude, Where’s My Car?, 3rd Rock from the Sun)
J. K. Rowling b. 1965 (won the 2001 Hugo for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire)
Ian Roberts b. 1965 (Infected, Puppet Master X; Axis Rising, Superman Returns)
Wesley Snipes b. 1962 (Blade, Futuresport, Demolition Man)
Greg Travis b. 1958 (Halloween II [2009], Night of the Living Dead 3D, Starship Troopers, Humanoids from the Deep, American Gothic, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventures [TV])
Dirk Blocker b. 1957 (The X Files, Quantum Leap, Starman, Poltergeist, Beyond Westworld)
Michael Biehn b. 1956 (Metal Hurlant Chronicles, Planet Terror, The Insatiable, Clockstoppers, Megiddo: The Omega Code 2, Asteroid, The Abyss, The Seventh Sign, Aliens, The Terminator, Logan’s Run [TV])
James Read b. 1953 (Charmed, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, Star Trek: Voyager, Lois & Clark)
Lane Davies b. 1950 (3rd Rock from the Sun, Babylon 5: In the Beginning, Lois & Clark)
Richard Griffiths b. 1947 died 28 March 2013 (Harry Potter, Hugo, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Whoops Apocalypse, Superman II)
Geraldine Chaplin b. 1944 (Gulliver’s Travels [TV], Z.P.G.)
Sab Shimono b. 1943 (Ben 10: Race Against Time, Southland Tales, Waterworld, The X-Files, The Shadow, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III, Max Headroom, Knight Rider)
France Nuyen b. 1939 (Automan, The Six Million Dollar Man, Battle for the Planet of the Apes, Star Trek, Dimension 5)
Geoffrey Lewis b. 1935 (Odyssey 5, The X-Files, The Lawnmower Man, Annihilator, Amazing Stories, Night of the Comet, The Amazing Spider-Man [TV], Mork & Mindy, Quark, The Six Million Dollar Man)
Ted Cassidy b. 1932 died 16 January 1979 (Man From Atlantis, The Six Million Dollar Man, The Bionic Woman, Planet Earth, Genesis II, I Dream of Jeannie, Mr. Terrific, The Addams Family, Jack and the Beanstalk [TV], Star Trek, Batman, Lost in Space)
Don Murray b. 1929 (The Stepford Children, Radioactive Dreams, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes)
Primo Levi b. 1919 died 11 April 1987 (author, The Periodic Table)
Mario Bava b. 1914 died 27 April 1980 (director, Baron Blood, A Bay of Blood, Blood Brides, Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs, Planet of the Vampires, Caltiki, the Immortal Monster, Lust of the Vampire)

Multiple random thoughts:

Ted Cassidy is the reason I became interested in obits: I had an idea for a genre detective show back in the 1980s and our heroes had colleagues/competitors named The Feather Brothers. In my head, I cast Richard Kiel and Ted Cassidy as The Feather Brothers, guys who mainly do bodyguard work, Keil as the friendly one and Cassidy as the not friendly one. It was my brother who told me Ted Cassidy was dead. After that, I checked the obits in the papers every day.

And, oh yeah, iconic. I could have used Cassidy as Lurch or his one shot role on Star Trek, though there are plenty of other great choices on the list.

Acting is a hard way to make a living: A lot of the laments about the acting profession deal with beautiful women who are forgotten once they reach a certain age and France Nuyen is an example of that. But I'd like to point out a few actors who had their moment in the spotlight and faded as well.

Don Murray starred opposite Marilyn Monroe in Bus Stop. IMDB.com doesn't even have a picture of him.

Dean Cain's post-Lois & Clark career is pretty spotty.

Michael Biehn had good roles in the first Terminator and Aliens, but since then it's a lot more low budget.

Or maybe acting is easy as pie: Geoffrey Lewis, an Oh That Guy of the first order, makes it look easy. Looking at his 218 credits on imdb.com, he might be best known as Clint Eastwood's pal in Every Which Way but Loose, though I'm not sure the general public remembers anyone besides Clint and the orangutan Clyde.

Harry Potter's birthday: On Twitter, I advertise the blog by saying "Birthdays for Captain Picard and Han Solo" when I actually mean Patrick Steward and Harrison Ford, but according to J.K. Rowling's book, she gave Harry Potter her birthday, just fifteen years later.

Who did I forget? Lots of other interesting names on the list, but the unmentioned people who have serious shots at the Picture Slot in 2015 are Wesley Snipes as Blade and Richard Griffiths as Uncle Vernon.

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


In the Year 2000!
 
Predictor: Lee de Forest, "The Father of Radio", predicting the world of 2000 in the 17 January 1960 edition of the Sunday supplement American Weekly.

Prediction: You'll be able to dictate memos and personal letters directly into an electronic typewriter. Already, a rudimentary phonetic typewriter can type a few simple words and phrases as they are spoken into a microphone.

Reality: This technology was certainly not ready for prime time in 2000, though as de Forest points out, prototypes have been kinda working for over 50 years. He's not completely wrong, but he overshot the prediction.


Never to be Forgotten: Robert Halmi, Sr. 1924-2014

Robert Halmi, Sr. died yesterday at the age of 90. His production company, which he ran with his son Robert Jr., is responsible for 137 credits, mostly TV movies and mini-series, going back to 1974. The first genre production was 1997's Gulliver's Travels starring Ted Danson and continued with Riverworld, Flash Gordon, Hogfather, Jason and the Argonauts, Alice in Wonderland and Dinotopia, from which the picture on the left is taken.

Best wishes to the family and friends of Robert Halmi, Sr., from a fan. He is never to be forgotten.


Never to be Forgotten: Dick Smith 1922-2014

Dick Smith started working in film in the 1940s, but his best known work was in masks that either aged actors, notably Dustin Hoffman in Little Big Man and Marlon Brando in The Godfather, or masks that turned characters into monsters, like Jack Palance in The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Linda Blair in The Exorcist, pictured here. His other work in genre includes House on Haunted Hill [1999], Death Becomes Her, Monsters [TV], Poltergeist III, Starman, The Hunger, Ghost Story, Scanners, Altered States, The Stepford Wives, Dark Shadows, ‘Way Out, The Alligator People and the 1955 TV version of Alice in Wonderland. It should be noted that another great prosthetic designer Rick Baker revered Dick Smith not unlike the way Ray Harryhausen looked up to Willis O'Brien.

Best wishes to the family and friends of Dick Smith., from a fan. He is never to be forgotten.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

It's the beginning of August and time to look in on the prediction for the playoffs in Major League Baseball.


Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

30 July 2014

Birthdays
Joey King b. 1999 (Oz the Great and Powerful, The Dark Knight Rises, Battle Los Angeles, Jericho)
Yvonne Strahovski b. 1982 (I, Frankenstein)
Hilary Swank b. 1974 (The Core, Buffy)
Christopher Nolan b. 1970 (director, Interstellar, The Dark Knight Rises, Inception, The Dark Knight, The Prestige, Batman Begins)
Simon Baker b. 1969 (Land of the Dead, The Ring Two, Red Planet)
Terry Crews b. 1968 (Gamer, Terminator Salvation, Idiocracy, Click, The 6th Day)
Jason Watkins b. 1966 (Atlantis, Doctor Who, Psychoville, Being Human, The Golden Compass)
Vivica A. Fox b. 1964 (Sharknado 2: The Second One, Ella Enchanted, Tremors [TV], Batman & Robin, Independence Day)
Laurence Fishburne b. 1961 (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Man of Steel, The Signal, The Colony, Predators, The Matrix, Cherry 2000, A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors)
Richard Linklater b. 1960 (director, A Scanner Darkly)
Richard Burgi b. 1958 (The Green Inferno, Reaper, Firefly, Mann & Machine, The Flash)
Philip Davis b. 1953 (Being Human, Merlin [2011 TV], Doctor Who, Alien³, Howling V: The Rebirth)
Jean Reno b. 1948 (Rollerball [2002], Godzilla [1998], Le Dernier Combat)
Carel Struycken b. 1948 (Charmed, The Addams Family, Men in Black, Star Trek: Voyager, Babylon 5, Journey to the Center of the Earth [TV], Star Trek: The Next Generation, The Witches of Eastwick, Ewoks: The Battle of Endor, The Prey, Bigfoot and Wildboy)
Arnold Schwarzenegger b. 1947 (Terminator, The 6th Day, End of Days, Batman & Robin, Last Action Hero, Total Recall, The Running Man, Red Sonja, Conan, Hercules in New York)
William Atherton b. 1947 (Defiance, Lost, Stargate SG-1, Headspace, Race to Space, The Crow: Salvation, Twilight Zone [1985], Ghostbusters)
Frances de la Tour b. 1944 (Into the Woods, Hugo, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, Alice in Wonderland [2010], The Book of Eli, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire)
John P. Ryan b. 1936 died 20 March 2007 (Class of 1999, Faerie Tale Theatre, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, It Lives Again, Futureworld, It’s Alive)
Richard Johnson b. 1927 (Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Zombie, Space: 1999, The Haunting)
Victor Wong b. 1927 died 12 September 2001 (Poltergeist: The Legacy, Tremors, Beauty and the Beast, The Golden Child, Big Trouble in Little China)


Last year's Picture Slot was Ahhhnold, and this year I went with an actor I actually like. There are some fabulous babes and Oh That Guys who might get the nod next year, notably Carel Struycken, Lurch in the re-boot of The Addams Family and Victor Wong, either from Tremors or Big Trouble in Little China, two of my favorite non-blockbuster genre films of all time.

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: It will increasingly difficult for the West to maintain East Germany is merely a puppet of the Soviet Union.

Reality: Umm... no, not that difficult at all. East Germany was a puppet state until it collapsed.

Kahn was a conservative and a hard line Cold Warrior and he didn't see what was going to happen in our relations with Soviets and very nearly ignored the People's Republic of China. Other than predicting big growth in Japan, he is usually wrong or very vague, not unlike our Friday regular Edgar Cayce.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

We get another prediction from Lee de Forest, predicting the year 2000 from 1960. Except for seeing the communications world pretty well, de Forest isn't that much better than Kahn or Cayce, but at least he isn't wishy-washy.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

29 July 2014

Birthdays
Allison Mack b. 1982 (Smallville)
Dominic Burgess b. 1982 (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Doctor Who, Batman Begins)
Megan Hayes b. 1980 (Sleepy Hollow, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, +1)
Rachel Miner b. 1980 (Supernatural)
Stephen Dorff b. 1973 (Immortals, Blade, Space Truckers)
Dileep Rao b. 1973 (Touch, Inception, Avatar)
Wil Wheaton b. 1972 (Big Bang Theory, Eureka, The Guild, Neverland, Star Trek: Nemesis, The Invisible Man, Python, Deep Core, Flubber, Perversions of Science, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Monsters, The Curse, The Last Starfighter)
Graham McGrath b. 1971 (Krull, Frankenstein [1984 TV])
Timothy Omundson b. 1969 (Supernatural, Warehouse 13, Jericho, Xena, Starship Troopers, Dark Skies, SeaQuest 2032)
Richard Steven Horvitz b. 1966 (Invader ZIM, Babylon 5, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, The Munsters Today)
Dean Haglund b. 1965 (The Icarus II Project, Atlantis Down, The X Files, The Lone Gunmen)
Alexandra Paul b. 1963 (A.I. Assault, Disaster Zone: Volcano in New York, Cyber Bandits, Christine)
Brian Peck b. 1960 (Jack and the Beanstalk [2010], X-Men 2, X-Men, The Tick, Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest, Return of the Living Dead I, II and III)
Marcus Gilbert b. 1958 (Army of Darkness, Doctor Who)
Wendy Hughes b. 1952 died 8 March 2014 (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Amerika)
Charles Hallahan b. 1953 died 25 November 1997 (Roswell, Warlock: The Armageddon, Cast a Deadly Spell, Twilight Zone: The Movie, The Thing)
David Warner b. 1941 (Penny Dreadful, Doctor Who, Hogfather, The League of Gentlemen’s Apocalypse, Cyber Wars, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde [2003 TV], Planet of the Apes [2001], The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne, Total Recall 2070, Wing Commander, The Last Leprechaun, Perversions of Science, Beastmaster III, Babylon 5, Lois & Clark, Necronomicon: Book of Dead, The Lost World, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, My Best Friend is a Vampire, Frankenstein [1984 TV], Faerie Tale Theatre, The Company of Wolves, Cat a Deadly Spell, TRON, Time Bandits, Time After Time, The Omen)
Robert Fuller b. 1933 (The Brain from Planet Arous)
Lloyd Bochner b. 1925 died 29 October 2005 (Legend of the Mummy, Superboy, Millennium [1989], Manimal, Battlestar Galactica, The Amazing Spider-Man, The Six Million Dollar Man, The Bionic Woman, The Starlost, The Dunwich Horror, Bewitched, The Green Hornet, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Twilight Zone)
Frank Marth b. 1922 died 12 January 2014 (The Incredible Hulk, Battlestar Galactica [1979], Captain America, The Bionic Woman, The Six Million Dollar Man, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, Marooned, The Invaders, The Green Hornet, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, My Favorite Martian)
Melvin Belli b. 1907 died 9 July 1996 (Star Trek)
Maria Ouspenskaya b. 1876 died 3 December 1949 (Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man, The Wolf Man)

A lot of good choices today. Last year, having done less research, I only listed Wil Wheaton and David Warner, and the younger actor got the Picture Slot. When I woke up this morning, my first thought was to give David Warner his moment in the spotlight, but another iconic image came to mind when I saw Lloyd Bochner's name. So many Twilight Zone stories depend on the twist ending, and To Serve Man is certainly one of them. Bochner's does not say the line, he gets to react to it, standing in for all of us at home who were thinking "Holy crap!" This still captures the moment.
A quick note: two actors died this year on today's birthday list and I didn't hear about their deaths. Both Wendy Hughes and Frank Marth deserve to never be forgotten.

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

Movies released
Cowboys & Aliens, released 2011
 
Predictor: Geoffrey Hoyle in his 1972 children's book, 2010: Living in the Future

Prediction: A large restaurant on the roof of the Sports and Social Center covers the roof and looks more like a garden than a restaurant.

It is sometimes hard to find people in this big area. So, to help you, there is a map at the entrance with all the sitting places marked on it. Look carefully and you can see where your family have marked their place.

At the table it is easy to order. You type what you want on the control panel fixed to the table. A few minutes later the tray comes along the conveyor belt close to the table. You can see that it is your tray because there is a flag stuck to it with your table number on it.

It is interesting to see how the food arrives in the giant kitchen. The kitchen is at the far end of the roof. Like the kitchen at home, it works by computer.

The restaurant kitchen serves thousands of people every day. It would take hundreds of deliveries by electric trucks to keep the refrigerators and deep freezers of the kitchen full. So the supplies are piped to it each day.

Whatever is needed in the restaurant is packed in special wrappers at a depot in the town. Everything is then placed in the pipe, which is filled with a special liquid, and pumped to the restaurant on the roof. The liquid allows packages of different weights to float. Otherwise small packages would float while large packages would sink and bang against the bottom of the pipe. When the packages reach the restaurant they are taken from the pipe, unwrapped, and put into the right containers.

The food is cooked the same way it is at home and sent along the conveyor belts to the customers.

Reality: Jeez, what a commie. Everybody eating at the the same restaurant. What does he think this place is, McDonalds?

Of course, there are restaurants that serve thousands of people a day and deliveries are all by truck. It's kind of too bad, because the pipes are almost like pneumatic tubes, a favorite futuristic gimzo from the predictors of the early to mid 20th Century. More than that, automation in fast food kitchens is possible, but it's certainly not the standard yet.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Herman Kahn takes another crack at predicting the late 1970s and early 1980s from his vantage point in 1972. Not quite as bold as our usual predictors and not that much more accurate.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!


Monday, July 28, 2014

Never to be Forgotten:
James Shigeta 1933-2014

James Shigeta, the Hawaiian born actor best known for his work in Flower Drum Song and Die Hard, died today at the age of 81. He got his break first as a singer, winning on Ted Mack's Original Amateur Hour. Some obits compare the show to American Idol, though it didn't become the cultural touchstone that the current show is. In its defense, Pat Boone and Ann-Margret were also winners. In some ways, it was more like Star Search.

Shigeta is mentioned here for his roles in genre productions including Space Marines, Babylon 5, SeaQuest 2032, The Greatest American Hero, The Questor Tapes and The Outer Limits, shown here in a publicity still from the episode Nightmare. In the first season, a new scary monster (known on the set as "the bear") was a requirement of the production. The scary monster here was played by John Anderson, who made four appearances on the original Twilight Zone without wearing prosthetics.

In the musical commentary to Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, Maurissa Tancharoen has a lament entitled Nobody's Asian in the Movies. One could argue James Shigeta's 88 roles in a 51 year career puts the lie to that sentiment, but if you look at similar careers for other Oh That Guy actors with similar longevity, they can easily have hundreds of roles in a half century.

Whatever position you hold on the industry treatment of Asian actors in Hollywood, James Shigeta had a long successful career with several roles in sci-fi and fantasy, the reason he is mentioned here.

Best wishes to the family and friends of James Shigeta. His is never to be forgotten.

28 July 2014

 Birthdays
Hannah Lochner b. 1993 (Dawn of the Dead, Terminal Invasion)
Gabriel Pimentel b. 1979 (InAlienable, Beer Money)
Elizabeth Berkley b. 1972 (S. Darko, Threshold, Control Factor, Perversions of Science, Frog)
Alexis Arquette b. 1969 (Xena: Warrior Princess, Buffy, Alien Nation [TV])
Rachel Blakely b. 1968 (The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Lost World, Xena)
Carlos Jacott b. 1967 (The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Firefly, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Angel, Buffy)
Michael Hitchcock b. 1958 (Super 8, Serenity, Bug)
Nina Axelrod b. 1955 (Critters 3, Brainstorm, Time Walker)
Bruce Abbott b. 1954 (The Prophecy II, Black Scorpion, Bride of Re-Animator, Beauty and the Beast [TV], Re-Animator, Interzone, The Last Starfighter)
Tony Carroll b. 1950 died March 2007 (Masters of the Universe, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Hercules in New York)
Frances Lee McCain b. 1944 (Back to the Future, Gremlins)
Phil Proctor b. 1940 (Lobster Man from Mars, The Twilight Zone [1985])
Charles Cyphers b. 1939 (Buffy, Sliders, SeaQuest 2032, Lois & Clark, Halloween I and II, Escape from New York, The Fog, Wonder Woman, The Bionic Woman, The Six Million Dollar Man, Isis)
Darryl Hickman b. 1931 (Beauty and the Beast [TV], Looker, The Tingler)
Ann Doran b. 1911 died 19 September 2000 (Twilight Zone [1987], Project U.F.O., Bewitched, The Brass Bottle, It! The Terror from Beyond Space, Adventures of Superman)

To be blunt, no A-List movie stars on today's list, but there are two actors whose best known roles are in genre. Rachel Blakely was the brunette on the syndicated TV show of The Lost World and Bruce Abbott was the star of Re-Animator. I went with Ms. Blakely this year because... she's purdy. Other options I considered were the Whedonverse folks, most notably Carlos Jacott and Michael Hitchcock, and Phil Proctor, just because I still love the Firesign Theatre.

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

Prediction: Fossil fuel will dwindle steadily over the next thirty years as new energy sources become operative and the supply of crude oil diminishes. By 2010, high prices and decreasing supply will limit the use of fossil fuels to old buildings, cars, airplanes and specialized lubrication functions.

Reality: I first heard of Peak Oil back in the 1970s, and if the science of petroleum creation is correct, eventually we run out. As we know now in hindsight, 2010 was not "eventually". The price fluctuations in crude have made other energy sources more attractive, but I seriously doubt the End of Crude will come in my lifetime. In the lifetimes of my grand nieces and nephews... that's a different story.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

2010 is such a popular year, we will hear what Geoffrey Hoyle thought it would look like tomorrow.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

27 July 2014

Birthdays
Ashlyn Sanchez b. 1996 (The Happening, Charmed)
Indiana Evans b. 1990 (Arctic Blast, H2O: Just Add Water)
Lou Taylor Pucci b. 1985 (Evil Dead [2013], Carriers, Southland Tales)
Blair Redford b. 1983 (Beauty and the Beast [TV], FlashForward, The Day the Earth Stood Still [2008], Dance of the Dead, Voodoo Moon)
Jonathan Rhys Meyers b. 1977 (The Mortal Instruments, Dracula [TV])
Maya Rudolph b. 1972 (Idiocracy, Gattaca)
Takako Fuji b. 1972 (The Grudge)
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau b. 1970 (Game of Thrones, Oblivion)
Paul Levesque a.k.a. Triple H b. 1969 (Blade: Trinity)
Bryan Fuller b. 1969 (writer, Mockingbird Lane, Heroes, Pushing Daisies, Dead Like Me, Wonderfalls, Carrie [TV movie 2002], Star Trek: Voyager, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)
Julian McMahon b. 1968 (Fantastic Four, Premonition, Charmed)
Cliff Curtis b. 1968 (The Last Airbender, 10,000 BC, Virus, Mysterious Island [TV], Hercules: The Legendary Journeys)
Roxanne Hart b. 1952 (Meteorites!, Highlander)
Simon Jones b. 1950 (Spectropia, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy [2005 and 1981], Twelve Monkeys, Brazil)
Maury Chaykin b. 1949 died 27 July 2010 (Blindness, Eureka, Stargate SG-1, Andromeda, Lexx, Mister Destiny, Twilight Zone [1989], Def-Con 4, WarGames)
Rade Serbedzija b. 1946 (The Legend of Hercules, X-Men: First Class, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, Fallen [TV mini-series], Surface, The Fog, Batman Begins, Space Cowboys, Mighty Joe Young [1998])
John Pleshette b. 1942 (American Horror Story, Good vs Evil, Lois & Clark, Beauty and the Beast [1990])
Lanny Flaherty b. 1942 (Men in Black 3, Signs, Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2, Waterworld)
Robert Gunner b. 1931 (Planet of the Apes, The Green Hornet)
Keenan Wynn b. 1916 died 14 October 1986 (Hyper Sapien: People from Another Star, Black Moon Rising, Manimal, The Greatest American Hero, The Clonus Horror, The Lucifer Complex, Piranha, The Bionic Woman, Laserblast, The Devil’s Rain, The Girl with Something Extra, Son of Flubber, The Absent-Minded Professor, Twilight Zone)

Last year, the Picture Slot belonged to Jaime Lannister, this year it's Arthur Dent. There were other possible choices, like Keenan Wynn from the original Twilight Zone. Mr. Wynn's name on the list brings up the question to which I do not have a complete answer, which is "Exactly WHY isn't Dr. Strangelove counted as genre?"

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

Movies released
Planet of the Apes [reboot] released 27 July 2001
 
Predictor: Carl L. Biemiller's Escape From The Crater, published 1974

Prediction: A "Crio" (a person cryogenically preserved by freezing at death) from 1999 is revived and provides them with essential knowledge to bring about a reconciliation between the otter people and normal humanity. He also tells them of a savage war of consumers against conservationists which caused such devastation to civilization that humanity was forced to adopt ecologically sound measures involuntarily.

Reality: Ecologically sound measures adopted involuntarily? How could that ever happen? Humans are always careful about the world they will leave behind for future generations. I do like the split between "the otter people" and "normal humanity".

As always, a thanks to professor Paul Brians and his nuclear holocaust fiction database.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

That happy break in the day every Monday, The OMNI Future Almanac.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!