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Logo from Amazing Stories magazine

Sunday, April 26, 2015

26 April 2015

Birthdays
Channing Tatum b. 1980 (X-Men: Apocalypse, Jupiter Ascending, This is the End, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, War of the Worlds)
Jordana Brewster b. 1980 (The Texas Chain Saw Massacre: The Beginning, The Faculty)
Marnette Patterson b. 1980 (Starship Troopers 3: Marauder, Charmed, Supernatural, 3rd Rock from the Sun, A Nightmare on Elm Street 5)
Klara Issova b. 1979 (The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, Children of Dune, Dune)
Stana Katic b. 1978 (The Spirit, Heroes, The Librarian: The Curse of the Jade Chalice)
Tom Welling b. 1977 (Smallville, The Fog)
Brandon Slagle b. 1977 (Dead Sea, Entity, Biohazard: Patient Zero, Area 51 Confidential)
Jason Earles b. 1977 (Phil of the Future, National Treasure)
McKenzie Westmore b. 1977 (Star Trek: Voyager, Star Trek: Insurrection, Weird Science [TV], Star Trek: The Next Generation)
Emily Booth b. 1976 (Grindhouse, Evil Aliens, Event Horizon)
Ivana Milicevic b. 1974 (Eastwick, Fallen, Dark Shadows [2005 TV movie], Frankenstein [2004 TV movie], Paycheck, Charmed, Buffy, Vanilla Sky, Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest)
Marianne Jean-Baptiste b. 1967 (Edge of Tomorrow, RoboCop [2014], The Cell)
Jet Li b. 1963 (The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, The Forbidden Kingdom, The One)
Debra Wilson b. 1962 (Avatar, The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)
Joan Chen b. 1961 (Fringe, Cyber Wars, The Outer Limits [1998], Judge Dredd)
Giancarlo Esposito b. 1958 (Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, Revolution, Once Upon a Time, Xenophobia, NYPD 2069, Monkeybone, Stardust [1998], Creature, The Hunger, The Tomorrow Man, The Brother from Another Planet)
Ron Donachie b. 1956 (Atlantis, Game of Thrones, The Deep [TV], Doctor Who, Starhunter [TV])
Andy Secombe b. 1953 (Star Wars: Episodes I and II, Star Cops, Aladdin and the Forty Thieves)
Erwin Stoff b. 1951 (producer, The Day the Earth Stood Still [2008], A Scanner Darkly, Constantine, The Matrix, Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey)
Warren Clarke b. 1947 died 12 November 2014 (Firefox, Hawk the Slayer, A Clockwork Orange)
Carol Burnett b. 1933 (Twilight Zone)
Stafford Repp b. 1918 died 5 November 1974 (Batman [TV], I Dream of Jeannie, My Favorite Martian, Twilight Zone)
Vic Perrin b. 1916 died 4 July 1989 (Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Project U.F.O., Wonder Woman, Land of the Giants, The Invaders, Star Trek, Outer Limits, Twilight Zone, Adventures of Superman, The Twonky)
H.L. Gold b. 1914 died 21 February 1996 (editor, Galaxy Science Fiction 1950-1961)
A.E. van Vogt b. 1912 died 26 January 2000 (author, The World of Null-A, The Book of Ptath, The Voyage of the Space Beagle)
Ethel Griffies b. 1878 died 9 September 1975 (The Birds, It Happened Tomorrow)

Notes from the birthday list.
1. The Picture Slot. In 2012, I had a picture of Watto from the Star Wars movie that must not be named, a CGI character voiced by Andy Secombe. In 2014, It was Ron Donachie from Game of Thrones. I had every intention of putting up a picture of Tom Welling from Smallville, but the career of Vic Perrin captured my interest. The picture is from Star Trek; he's the leader of the planet that won't let either the Enterprise of the "normal" universe or the Spock-with-a-beard universe mine their dilithium crystals. While I consider any major guest star role on the original Star Trek iconic, Perrin also did a lot of voiceover, most notably the narration on the original Outer Limits. While I am of the opinion that The Outer Limits was a pale imitation of The Twilight Zone, that line "We control the horizontal, we control the vertical" is every bit as good as "You're traveling through another dimension." Vic Perrin had an interesting career and deserves to be remembered.

2. Nepotism of an unusual kind. McKenzie Westmore is the daughter of a make-up artist. Robert De Niro came to the home of the of the artist to work on make-up for Raging Bull and got along famously with McKenzie, then three years old. De Niro decided she should play his daughter in the film. An unusual first break in the business.

3. Spot the Canadian and Not a Canadian. Stana Katic is Canadian. Tom Welling is not. Some of the Canadian genre show do have native born stars, but not all of them.

4. Carol Burnett? My current method for searching imdb.com is to click on the first ten names of the top 100 no matter what, then only grab people from positions 11 to 100 if I know they did something or if I think they might have. Carol Burnett was in the top 10, and with her career she certainly deserves it. She was in three different versions of Once Upon a Mattress twice as the princess and a more recent turn as the queen, but the fairy tale The Princess and the Pea has very little fantasy element to it. On the other hand, I forgot she was on an episode of the original Twilight Zone. That always merits inclusion on the list.

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

Prediction: In 2000, there were seven million people in Great Los Angeles.

Reality: In the city proper, there were about 3.7 million in 2000. In the region, there were about 16.4 million, so Heinlein's off by about a factor of two whichever geographical area he meant, probably the second one.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Those three little words... OMNI Future Almanac. 

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

25 April 2015

Birthdays
Allisyn Ashley Arm b. 1996 (Meet Dave)
Katherine Wallace b. 1990 (X-Men Origins: Wolverine)
Sara Paxton b. 1988 (The Innkeepers, Shark Night 3D, Wizards of Waverly Place, Return to Halloweetown, The Ruby Princess Runs Away, Soldier)
Jonathan Bailey b. 1988 (Doctor Who, Five Children and It, Alice Through the Looking Glass [1998 TV])
Heather Sossaman b. 1987 (Fairy Tales, 10.0 The Big One, Buffy)
Daniel Sharman b. 1986 (The Originals, Teen Wolf, Immortals)
Rik Young b. 1978 (Beowulf, Charmed, Children of Dune)
Ben Uttley b. 1978 (Captain America: The First Avenger, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy)
Marguerite Moreau b. 1977 (Lost, Smallville, Firestarter 2: Rekindled, Queen of the Damned, Mighty Joe Young [1998], 3rd Rock from the Sun)
Emily Bergl b. 1975 (Warehouse 13, Star Trek: Enterprise, Taken, The Rage: Carrie 2)
Jason Lee b. 1970 (Dreamcatcher, Vanilla Sky, Dogma, Perversions of Science)
Gina Torres b. 1969 (The Vampire Diaries, FlashForward, Serenity, Firefly, The Matrix Revolutions, The Matrix Reloaded, Angel, Cleopatra 2525, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Xena, M.A.N.T.I.S.)
Hank Azaria b. 1964 (Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, Mystery Men, Godzilla [1998], Tales from the Crypt)
Daniel Kash b. 1959 (Manhattan Undying, Bitten, The Strain, Orphan Black, RoboCop [2014], Alphas, Lost Girl, Repo Men, The Dresden Files, Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer, Diary of the Dead, Mutant X, Veritas: The Quest, Total Recall 2070, Virus, RoboCop [TV], Forever Knight, Nightbreed, War of the Worlds [TV], Aliens)
Clarissa Burt b. 1959 (The Neverending Story II: The Next Chapter)
George Spartels b. 1954 (Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome)
Ron Clements b. 1953 (director, The Princess and the Frog, Treasure Planet, Hercules, Aladdin, The Little Mermaid)
Peter Jurasik b. 1950 (Quantum Apocalypse, Sliders, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Babylon 5, TRON[1982])
Jeffrey DeMunn b. 1947 (The Walking Dead, The Mist, The X-Files, RocketMan, Phenomenon, The Blob [1988], Twilight Zone [1985], Resurrection)
Talia Shire b. 1946 (Faerie Tale Theatre, Hyper Sapien: People from Another Star, Prophecy, The Dunwich Horror)
Al Pacino b. 1940 (Angels in America, S1m0ne, The Devil’s Advocate)
Denny Miller b. 1934 died 9 September 2014 (Werewolf, Knight Rider, V, Voyagers!, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, The Incredible Hulk, Beyond Westworld, Battlestar Galactica. Dr, Scorpion, The Six Million Dollar Man, The Island at the Top of the World, I Dream of Jeannie)
Paul Mazursky b. 1930 died 30 June 2014 (actor, Twilight Zone)
Kay E. Kuter b. 1925 died 12 November 2003 (Charmed, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, The X-Files, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Beauty and the Beast, V, The Twilight Zone [1986], The Last Starfighter, Far Out Space Nuts, I Dream of Jeannie, The Outer Limits, The Mole People)
Davy Kaye b. 1916 died 3 February 1998 (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland [1972], Chitty Chitty Bang Bang)
Russ Conway b. 1913 died 12 January 2009 (The Space-Watch Murders, The Invaders, The Green Hornet, The Time Tunnel, The Munsters, The War of the Worlds, Abbott and Costello Go to Mars, Flight to Mars, Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man)
Paul Curran b. 1913 died 1 December 1986 (Jabberwocky)

Notes from the birthday list.
1. The Picture Slot. In previous years, the Picture Slot was handed to Gina Torres from Firefly and Peter Jurasik from Babylon 5. Not wanting to repeat myself and looking for iconic roles, the guy from the most popular show should be Jeffrey DeMunn from The Walking Dead, but invoking The First Law of Blogging ("You're Not the Boss of me!"), I went with Hank Azaria as The Blue Raja from Mystery Men.

2. Nepotism FTW. Talia Shire is the sister of Francis Ford Copolla. When one sibling is notably more famous than the other and also gave the less famous sibling a big break, I definitely count it as nepotism.

3. Two Canadians, one dead, one spottable. Russ Conway's career took place long before producing shows in Canada was a big industry. The other Canadian has a credit list that makes him easy to spot.

4. The Guy at the Door.  Every day I make these lists and I check for the oldest living person. If no one younger than him (or her) is dead, that person in The Guy (or Gal) at the Door. Today it's Al Pacino, who is only 75. As always when there is someone At the Door, I send special best wishes for a long and healthy life to that person.


Many happy returns to all the living on the list, especially Al Pacino, and to the dead, thanks for all the memories.
 
Predictor: Morris L. Ernst in his 1955 book Utopia 1976

Prediction: The atom will not be employed to murder civilizations.

Reality: Most of the predictions in Ernst's book are extensions of his main thesis that Americans will have a 30 hour work week by 1976 and all the wonderful and morally uplifting things people will do with the extra time. Given his flawed thesis, many of the predictions also go awry, but this one stands on its own and (knock wood) we've gone sixty years and it's still the case.

Yay, correct optimism!

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Another trip into the late 20th Century courtesy of Robert A. Heinlein's 1956 book The Door Into Summer. 


Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Friday, April 24, 2015

24 April 2015

Birthdays
Angelica Jopling b. 1997 (Kick-Ass 2)
Larramie Doc Shaw b. 1992 (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes)
Jack Quaid b. 1992 (The Hunger Games)
Tahyna Tozzi b. 1986 (X-Men Origins: Wolverine)
Courtney Draper b. 1985 (Buffy, Stepsister from Planet Weird)
Austin Nichols b. 1980 (The Walking Dead, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Surface, The Day After Tomorrow, Sliders)
Matthew Steer b. 1978 (Cinderella, SuperBob, Outlander)
Rebecca Mader b. 1977 (Once Upon a Time, Warehouse 13, Iron Man 3, Fringe, Alphas, No Ordinary Family, Lost)
Eric Balfour b. 1977 (Haven, No Ordinary Family, Skyline, Dinoshark, Rise of the Gargoyles, The Chronicle, Buffy)
Noah Danby b. 1974 (Bitten, Hemlock Grove, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and the Death Lamp, Riddick, Lost Girl, Warehouse 13, Eureka, Painkiller Jane, Stargate SG-1, Alien Incursion, Smallville, The 4400, Andromeda, Mutant X, Witchblade, Relic Hunter, Lexx)
Eric Kripke b. 1974 (writer, Supernatural, Revolution, Boogeyman)
Derek Luke b. 1974 (Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, Captain America: The First Avenger)
Damon Lindelof b. 1973 (writer, Tomorrowland, The Leftovers, World War Z, Prometheus, Star Trek Into Darkness, Lost)
Dean Armstrong b. 1973 (Alphas, Saw 3D: The Final Chapter, Haven, Repo! The Genetic Opera, Earth: Final Conflict)
Melinda Clarke b. 1969 (The Vampire Diaries, Reaper, Firefly, Tremors [TV], Charmed, Star Trek: Enterprise, Spawn, Sliders, Xena, Return of the Living Dead III)
Rory McCann b. 1969 (Game of Thrones, Season of the Witch, Clash of the Titians, Beowulf & Grendel, Solomon Kane)
Aiden Gillen b. 1968 (Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, Game of Thrones, The Dark Knight Rises)
Stacy Haiduk b. 1968 (True Blood, Heroes, The Attack of the Sabertooth, The X-Files, Charmed, Kindred: The Embraced, SeaQuest 2032, Superboy)
Djimon Hounsou b. 1964 (Guardians of the Galaxy, Push, Eragon, The Island, Constantine, Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life, Stargate)
Jason Salkey b. 1962 (The Fifth Element)
Glenn Morshower b. 1959 (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Revolution, After Earth, Transformers, X-Men: First Class, Dollhouse, Charmed, The Island, Category 6: Day of Destruction, Star Trek: Enterprise, Buffy, Strange World, The Crow: Stairway to Heaven, Godzilla [1998], Millennium, The X-Files, Dark Skies, Star Trek: Voyager, Babylon 5, Star Trek: Generations, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Quantum Leap)
Eric Bogosian b. 1953 (Blade: Trinity, Twilight Zone [1985], Tales from the Darkside)
Steven Lisberger b. 1951 (writer, TRON)
Michael Parks b. 1940 (Tusk, Grindhouse, From Dusk Till Dawn, Sorceress, SeaQuest 2032, War of the Worlds [1989 TV])
Jill Ireland b. 1936 died 18 May 1990 (Star Trek, My Favorite Martian, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea)
Shirley MacLaine b. 1934 (Bewitched [2005])
Richard Donner b. 1930 (director, Timeline, Scrooged, Superman, The Omen, Ladyhawke, The Sixth Sense [TV], It’s About Time, Twilight Zone)
Bruce Kirby b. 1928 (Tucker’s Witch, The Greatest American Hero, Holmes and Yo-Yo, I Dream of Jeannie)
J.D. Cannon b. 1922 died 20 May 2005 (Beyond Witch Mountain, The Invaders, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea)
William Castle b. 1914 died 31 May 1977 (director, Zotz!, 13 Ghosts, The Tingler, House on Haunted Hill)

Notes on the birthday list.
1. The Picture Slot. We are in Game of Thronesseason now, so it's not surprising that the first two Picture Slotters on this list were Rory McCann and Aiden Gillen. There were several candidates I considered. Stacy Haiduk was Lana Lang on the Superboy show way back when and Glenn Morshower it a very recognizable Oh That Guy, often an Oh That Military Guy. But instead I went with Djimon Hounsou as Korath from Guardians of the Galaxy. Hounsou tells a story of his son, who is obsessed with comic books, telling his dad he wished he were lighter skinned because he wanted to be Spider-Man. Here's hoping the younger Hounsou grows up in a world where comic books are more diverse.

2. Nepotism FTW. Jack Quaid is Dennis Quaid's son and that counts for sure. Bruce Kirby is Bruno Kirby's dad, which doesn't count as much.

3. Spot the Canadians! There are two, both born in the 1970s. See if you can spot them.

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: Military recruiting among the working classes--or, more properly speaking, among the People of the Abyss--will have dwindled to the vanishing point; people who are no good for peace purposes are not likely to be any good in such a grave and complicated business as modern war.

Reality: Welcome back to H.G. Wells, snob, bigot and scumbag! Some of his predictions are merely right or wrong, but then we get these reminders of his vicious nature. Not only is this horribly bigoted, it was also incorrect. Armies are still filled with folks who have no better economic option.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

It's our second Saturday in the company of Morris L. Ernst and his cheerful view of the future in Utopia 1976. 

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

23 April 2015

Birthdays
Alex Ferris b. 1997 (Eureka, Battlestar Galactica: The Plan, The Time Traveler’s Wife, Smallville, X-Men: The Last Stand, Supernatural, Stargate SG-1)
Dev Patel b. 1990 (The Last Airbender)
Aanastasia Baranova b. 1989 (Z Nation, Apocalypse CA, Rise: Blood Hunter)
Rachel Skarsten b. 1985 (Lost Girl, Beauty and the Beast, Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer, Birds of Prey)
Jesse Lee Sofer b. 1984 (In Time)
Aaron Hill b. 1983 (Creature, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen)
Isaiah Robinson b. 1983 (Hook)
Jamie King b. 1979 (Sin City, The Spirit)
Joanna Krupa b. 1979 (Planet of the Apes)
Kal Penn b. 1977 (Superman Returns, Son of the Mask, Angel, Sabina, The Teenage Witch, Buffy)
Gabriel Damon b. 1976 (Eerie, Indiana, RoboCop II, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Amazing Stories)
Barry Watson b. 1974 (My Future Boyfriend, Boogeyman, Attack of the 50 Ft. Woman [1993])
Sonya Smith b. 1972 (Cyxork 7)
Andrew Kreisberg b. 1971 (writer, The Flash, Arrow, Supergirl, Warehouse 13, Fringe, The Vampire Diaries)
Scott Bairstow b. 1970 (Android Apocalypse, Tuck Everlasting, Harsh Realm, The Postman. The X Files)
Byron Thames b. 1969 (Chronicle, Star Trek: Enterprise, Monsters, Freddy’s Nightmares, The Powers of Matthew Star)
John Hannah b. 1962 (Atlantis [2013], The Mummy, Carnivale, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde [2003], The Mummy and spin-offs)
Valerie Bertinelli b. 1960 (Faerie Tale Theatre, C.H.O.M.P.S.)
Mark Caven b. 1960 (Maleficent, I Love Mummy, Red Dwarf, Superman IV: The Quest for Peace)
Tim Blaney b. 1959 (Angel, Men in Black, Short Circuit)
Jan Hooks b. 1957 died 9 October 2014 (3rd Rock from the Sun, Coneheads, Batman Returns, Superman 50th Anniversary, Pee Wee’s Big Adventure)
Caroline Thompson b. 1956 (writer, Corpse Bride, The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Addams Family, Edward Scissorhands)
Blair Brown b. 1946 (Forever, Fringe, Falling Skies, Dark Shadows [TV movie 2005], Smallville, The Astronaut’s Wife, Space, Altered States, Dracula [TV movie 1973])
Herve Villechaize b. 1943 died 4 September 1993 (Faerie Tale Theatre, Forbidden Zone, Malatesta’s Carnival of Blood)
Sheila Gish b. 1942 died 9 March 2005 (Highlander, The Ghostbusters of East Finchley, Worlds Beyond)
Sandra Dee b. 1942 died 20 February 2005 (The Sixth Sense [1972], The Dunwich Horror)
Lee Majors b. 1939 (Lightspeed, Jake 2.0, The Six Million Dollar Man & spin-offs, Starflight: The Plane That Couldn’t Land)
Alan Oppenheimer b. 1930 (Star Trek: Voyager, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Invisible: The Chronicles of Benjamin Knight, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Quantum Leap, Knight Rider, The Six Million Dollar Man, Westworld, Bewitched, Gamera the Invincible, I Dream of Jeannie)
Janet Blair b. 1921 died 18 February 2007 (The Outer Limits, Burn, Witch, Burn, One Touch of Venus [TV], A Connecticut Yankee, Once Upon a Time)
Simone Simon b. 1910 died 22 February 2005 (Cat People, Curse of the Cat People)

Notes on the birthday list.
1. The Picture Slot. This is one of those days when not wanting to repeat a previous Picture Slot and only wanting iconic characters becomes difficult. In 2013, when my research methods were very weak, the only name I had on the list was Kal Penn, so he got the slot. In 2014, I found a picture of both Lee Majors and Alan Oppenheimer from The Six Million Dollar Man. While there are some well-known names on the list, for my money the most iconic role other than Lee Majors is the robot Johnny Five from Short Circuit, voiced by Tim Blaney. I usually leave voice actors out, though I do make exceptions on occasion. Blaney happens to be a relative of a former roommate, so that factored into my decision as well.

2. Wait... she's dead? We have a trio of folks born during World War II who are already dead. I remembered that Herve Villechaize was dead. (You will note I don't count Fantasy Island as genre. I was definitely a fan of genre when it came out and I knew it was more like Love Boat than Star Trek.) I really didn't follow Sheila Gish's career very closely. (By the was, she's British and not related to Lillian and Dorothy Gish.) But I certainly know the name Sandra Dee and was completely unaware she died ten years ago.

3. The Canadians, pre-spotted for your convenience. As often happens, though not always, young Canadians are on the shows that have been produced in Canada over the past few decades while older Canadians came to the States and worked here. Alex Ferris and Rachel Skarsten have credit lists that make their nationality clear, Scott Bairstow and Mark Caven, not so much.

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


Predictor: Lewis Mumford (1895-1990), cultural critic, quoted in 1932

Prediction: “[By 1982] Australia will be abandoned to the Japanese by its white inhabitants, who will return to an England capable of supporting by agriculture almost double its present population.”

Reality: Mumford was a cranky bastard who particularly hated cars and what they did to cities. While I guess he should get some small credit for that now, he was absolutely wrong about Australians giving up and equally wrong about the population of England, which grew by 25% from 1932 to 1982, not 100%.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

The regular schedule gives us H.G. Wells on Fridays.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

22 April 2015

Birthdays
Amber Heard b. 1986 (Zombieland)
Michelle Ryan b. 1984 (Metal Hurlant Chronicles, Cockneys vs Zombies, Doctor Who, Merlin, Bionic Woman, Jekyll, The Worst Witch)
Cassidy Freeman b. 1982 (The Vampire Diaries, Smallville)
Sarah French b. 1982 (Zombie Dolls, Insectula!, Lazarus: Day of the Living Dead, Shriek of the Sasquatch!, Tales of the Dead)
Gemma Whelan b. 1981 (Game of Thrones, The Day They Came to Suck Out Our Brains!, Gulliver’s Travels, The Wolfman)
Michael William Freeman b. 1981 (In Time)
Anna Falchi b. 1972 (Cemetery Man)
Sarah Patterson b. 1972 (Snow White, The Company of Wolves)
Eric Mabius b. 1971 (Outcasts, Resident Evil, The Crow: Salvation, Millennium)
Alix Koromzay b. 1969 (The Haunting, Mimic, Ghost in the Machine)
Sheryl Lee b. 1967 (Vampires)
Dana Barron b. 1966 (Babylon 5)
Jeffrey Dean Morgan b. 1966 (Extant, Watchmen, Jonah Hex, Supernatural, Star Trek: Enterprise, Angel, The Burning Zone, Sliders)
Chris Makepeace b. 1964 (Deadly Nightmares, Vamp, Mazes and Monsters)
Brooke McCarter b. 1963 (The Lost Boys, The Twilight Zone [1987])
Catherine Mary Stewart b. 1959 (Ghoul, Reaper, Nightflyers, The Witches of Eastwick [TV], Knight Rider, Night of the Comet, The Last Starfighter, Mr. Merlin)
Ryan Stiles b. 1959 (Weird Science [TV], L.A.X. 2194, Deadly Nightmares)
Ken Olandt b. 1958 (Total Reality, Digital Man, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Leprechaun, Super Force, V)
Bruce A. Young b. 1956 (Star Trek: Renegades, Jurassic Park III, Highlander [TV], The X Files, Quantum Leap)
Joseph Bottoms b. 1954 (Wishman, The Black Hole)
Carol Drinkwater b. 1948 (Queen Kong, A Clockwork Orange)
Madison Mason b. 1943 (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Transformers, 3rd Rock from the Sun, The X Files, Dark Skies, Omen IV: The Awakening, Dreamscape, Knight Rider, The Day After)
Denis Lill b. 1942 (Highlander [TV], Red Dwarf, Bernard and the Genie, Batman, Blackadder’s Christmas Carol, Doctor Who)
Jason Miller b. 1939 died 13 May 2001 (The Henderson Monster, Vampire [1979], The Exorcist)
Richard Marquand b. 1938 died 4 September 1987 (director, Return of the Jedi)
Jack Nicholson b. 1937 (Mars Attacks!, Wolf, Batman, The Witches of Eastwick, The Shining, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, The Terror, The Raven, Little Shop of Horrors)
Mario Machado b. 1935 died 4 May 2013 (RoboCop 1, 2, & 3, Wonder Woman)
Peter Ronson b. 1934 died 16 January 2007 (Journey to the Center of the Earth)
Charlotte Rae b. 1926 (The Worst Witch, ‘Way Out)
Eddie Albert b. 1906 died 26 May 2005 (Time Trax, The Girl from Mars, The Twilight Zone [1986], Dreamscape, Beyond Witch Mountain, The Devil’s Rain, Escape to Witch Mountain, The Borrowers, The Outer Limits [1964], Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea)
Byron Haskin b. 1899 died 16 April 1984 (director, The Outer Limits[1964], Robinson Crusoe on Mars, From the Earth to the Moon, Conquest of Space, The War of the Worlds [1953])
Rondo Hatton b. 1894 died 2 February 1946 (The Brute Man, House of Horrors, The Spider Woman Strikes Back)

Notes from the birthday list.
1. The Picture Slot. In 2013, the birthday list had only two names, Richard Marquand and Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and I chose Morgan in Watchmen. Last year, I made a long argument why I should include a picture of Michelle Ryan instead of Jack Nicholson. This year, it has to be Jack's turn. While there are a lot of well-known faces on today's list, mainly from TV, Jack Nicholson is the only A-List movie star here and he has iconic genre roles, most notably Batman and The Shining.

2. Not much nepotism. Joseph Bottoms is the brother of Timothy Bottoms. Neither one is vastly more famous than the other, so I'm not going to give this the Nepotism FTW label.

3. The Canadians. Just two today, Catherine Mary Stewart and Chris Makepeace, neither of them making that many appearances in the Canadian genre TV shows.

4. Wait... he's dead? I met Mario Machado when I was a kid. He was a newscaster and the voice of soccer for CBS when the American soccer leagues first started. In movies, he almost always played a TV reporter, as he did in all three RoboCop films. I was not aware he was dead.

5. Wait... she's alive? I didn't know Charlotte Rae was still around and more than that, she's still working, not crazy amounts like Betty White but still about a credit a year.  Good for her!

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

Prediction: Almost every seaport town within the tropics--where residents in their houses swelter nightly in the greatest discomfort from the heat--is in close proximity to deep ocean water, in which, at all seasons of the year, the regular temperature is only about thirty-four degrees Fahrenheit. The cost of steel piping strong enough to withstand the pressure of the water in places which possess absolutely the coolest temperature of the ocean would be very heavy; but, on the other hand, the actual reduction of heat demanded for the satisfactory cooling of the air in a dwelling-room is not by any means great, and at quite shallow depths the heat of the air can be satisfactorily abstracted by the sea water surrounding coils of pipes.

Reality: This is a clever idea, but no one ever did it as far as I know. As a prediction I'd say it's a failure, but Sutherland has many ideas no one ever tried that are actually very practical.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

We dip once more into that fountain of bad predictions, the Experts Speak. 

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

21 April 2015

 Birthdays
Frank Dillane b. 1991 (Fear the Walking Dead, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince)
Robbie Amell b. 1988 (The Flash, The Tomorrow People, Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins [TV])
Dylan Bruce b. 1980 (Orphan Black, Arrow)
James McAvoy b. 1979 (Victor Frankenstein, X-Men: Days of Future Past, X-Men: First Class, Wanted, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Children of Dune)
Dominic Zamprogna b. 1979 (2012, Smallville, Flash Gordon, Bionic Woman, Battlestar Galactica, Blade: The Series, Supernatural, Stargate: Atlantis, Odyssey 5, MythQuest, Tales from the Cryptkeeper)
Brian White b. 1975 (Beauty and the Beast [2013], Cabin in the Woods, Moonlight)
Charlie O’Connell b. 1975 (Zombie Family, DateaHuman.com, Kraken: Tentacles of the Deep, Dude, Where’s My Car, Sliders, The Magicians)
Jennifer Blanc b. 1974 (Malignant, Zombie Family, My Apocalypse, Dark Angel, Early Edition)
Sandy Jobin-Bevans b. 1972 (Run Robot Run, ReGenesis, Dawn of the Dead, PSI Factor: Tales of the Paranormal)
Rob Riggle b. 1970 (Dead Rising: Watchtower)
Toby Stephens b. 1969 (The Machine, Space Cowboys)
Joel de la Fuente b. 1969 (The Man in the High Castle, Hemlock Grove, The Adjustment Bureau, From Other Worlds, Brave New World, Space: Above and Beyond)
Christian Hoff b. 1968 (Millennium, Space: Above and Beyond, Encino Man, Quantum Leap)
Michelle Gomez b. 1966 (Doctor Who, Highlander: The Raven)
John Cameron Mitchell b. 1963 (Freddy’s Nightmares, The Stepford Children, The Twilight Zone [1986])
Roy Dupuis b. 1963 (Hemoglobin, Screamers)
Kate Vernon b. 1961 (Heroes, Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek: Voyager, Kindred: The Embraced)
Andie MacDowell b. 1958 (Muppets from Space, Multiplicity, Groundhog Day)
James Morrison b. 1954 (The X-Files, Seven Days, Prey, Millennium, Space: Above and Beyond, White Dwarf, Quantum Leap, Monsters, Werewolf, Automan)
Patti LuPone b. 1949 (Penny Dreadful, American Horror Story)
Rod Loomis b. 1942 (Stargate SG-1, Quantum Leap, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Star Trek: The Next Generation, The Beastmaster, Jason of Star Command)
Souleymane Cisse b. 1940 (director, Brightness)
George DiCenzo b. 1940 died 9 August 2010 (M.A.N.T.I.S., The Exorcist III, Back to the Future, Starflight: The Plane That Couldn’t Land, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Space Academy, Dark Shadows [1970])
Reni Santoni b. 1939 (Quantum Leap, Manimal)
Charles Grodin b. 1935 (The Incredible Shrinking Woman, King Kong [1976], Rosemary’s Baby, Captain Nice, My Mother the Car)
Ray Stewart b. 1932 (Space Raiders, Dark Shadows)
Silvana Mangano b. 1930 died 16 December 1989 (Dune, The Flying Saucer)
Dee Hartford b. 1928 (Land of the Giants, Lost in Space, Batman, The Time Tunnel, Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits)
Anthony Quinn b. 1915 died 3 June 2001 (Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Last Action Hero, Treasure Island in Outer Space, The Magus, Sinbad, the Sailor)
Gilbert Taylor b. 1914 died 23 August 2013 (cinematographer, Flash Gordon, Dracula, Star Wars, The Omen)

Notes for the birthday list
1. The Picture Slot. In 2013, the birthday list had just two names and I chose Kate Vernon for Battlestar Galactica. Last year, the list was longer and the Picture Slot went to James McAvoy, iconic in both the X-Men and Narnia film franchises. This year, I decided to go with Michelle Gomez in her recurring role as Missy from Doctor Who. There are some other well known names - Anthony Quinn, Patti LuPone, Andie MacDowell - but none are particularly iconic in genre. For fabulous babe-ness, Howard Hawks' former wife Dee Hartford would be a great choice and I snuck in a picture of her with Otto Preminger last December.  As pretty as she was, she wasn't truly iconic. Another fair choice would have been Dylan Bruce in his recurring role from Orphan Black.

2. Nepotism or not. Charlie O'Connell is the brother of Jerry O'Connell. The main nepotistic event in their careers is Charlie being cast as Jerry's brother on Sliders.

3. Canadians to spot. There are five Canadians today. The two older ones, Roy Dupuis and Sandy Jovan-Bevins, are hard to spot. The three younger ones are a little easier and I leave it as an exercise to the reader.

4. Wait... he's dead? George DiCenzo is an Oh That Guy actor, possibly best known as Vincent Bugliosi in the TV movie version of Helter Skelter. He died five years ago of sepsis at the age of 70. I was not consciously aware of it.

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


Predictor: The Long Game, an episode from the first 21st Century season of Doctor Who, aired 21 April 2005

Prediction:In 2019, the microprocessor is replaced by SMT Single Molecular Transfer technology.

Reality: Well, tempus certainly has a way of fugit-ing, doesn't it? We are now ten years into the 21st Century re-boot of Doctor Who. As for the prediction, it's a small throwaway bit of exposition in a story that takes place much farther in the future. I can't be sure of what computer technology will look like in four years, but Moore's Law shouldn't take us down to the size of single molecules just yet.

 Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Back to 1901 with our sensible pal George Sutherland.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!
 

Monday, April 20, 2015

20 April 2015

Birthdays
Alex Black b. 1989 (Spider-Man, Charmed)
John Patrick Amedori b. 1987 (TiMER, The Butterfly Effect)
Billy Magnussen b. 1985 (Into the Woods, The Leftovers)
Matt Sadowski-Austin b. 1978 (Dawn of the Dead, Power Rangers)
Daniel Stamm b. 1976 (director, Intruders, The Last Exorcism)
Viv Leacock b. 1974 (Almost Human, Continuum, Eureka, Smallville, Fringe, Hot Tub Time Machine, 2012, Supernatural)
Carmen Electra b. 1972 (The Mating Habits of the Earthbound Human, An American Vampire Story)
Shemar Moore b. 1970 (Birds of Prey)
William deVry b. 1968 (Hemlock Grove, Beauty and the Beast [2013], Stargate SG-1, Earth: Final Conflict, The Lost World [TV], Poltergeist: The Legacy, SeaQuest 2032)
Andy Serkis b. 1964 (Avengers: Age of Ultron, Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Godzilla [2014], The Hobbit, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Inkheart, Lord of the Rings, The Prestige, King Kong [2005])
Crispin Glover b. 1964 (Hot Tub Time Machine, Alice in Wonderland, Freezer Burn: The Invasion of Laxdale, Beowulf, The Wizard of Gore, Back to the Future, Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter)
Tim Maculan b. 1963 (Spider-Man 3, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, NightMan)
Paris Vaughan b. 1961 (Buffy the Vampire Slayer [movie])
Mike Pniewski b, 1961 (Resurrection, Coma, From the Earth to the Moon, Superboy, Beauty and the Beast [1989], Spaceballs, The Twilight Zone [1986])
Nicholas Lyndhurst b. 1961 (Gulliver’s Travels [1996 TV], The Tomorrow People [1978], Peter Pan [1976 TV])
Clint Howard b. 1959 (Life with Zombies, The Lords of Salem, Blood Reign: The Third Reich, Night at the Museum: Battle for the Smithsonian, Halloween, Star Trek: Enterprise, Total Recall 2070, From the Earth to the Moon, Apollo 13, Deep Space Nine, Leprechaun 2, Space Rangers, Carnosaur, The Rocketeer, Cocoon, Splash, Star Trek)
Yuji Okumoto b. 1959 (Z Nation, Grimm, Inception, The Crow: Wicked Prayer, The Sorcerers, Lois & Clark, Robot Wars)
Geraint Wyn Davies b. 1957 (ReGenesis, Cube2: Hypercube, RoboCop: Prime Directives, Forever, Knight, Highlander, Dracula: The Series, Bionic Showdown)
Louise Jameson b. 1951 (Doctor Who, Space: 1999)
Jessica Lange b. 1949 (American Horror Story, Neverwas, King Kong [1976])
Veronica Cartwright b. 1949 (Resurrection, Eastwick, The Invasion, Invasion [TV], The X-Files, Sliders, Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh, The Witches of Eastwick, Alien, Invasion of the Body Snatchers [1978], Twilight Zone)
Gregory Itzin b. 1948 (Once Upon a Time, Star Trek: Enterprise, Firefly, Evolution, Star Trek: Voyager, Deep Space Nine, Millennium, Quantum Leap, Eerie, Indiana, Hi, Honey, I’m Dead, Max Headroom, Teen Wolf, Voyagers!, Mork & Mindy)
Michael Brandon b. 1945 (Captain America: The First Avenger, Doctor Who, Dinotopia)
Judith O’Dea b. 1945 (Night of the Living Dead)
Ian Watson b. 1943 (writer and editor)
James Gammon b. 1940 died 16 July 2010 (Altered, The Cell, Monster Squad, Batman, The Invaders, Captain Nice)
George Takei b. 1937 (Star Trek, Lost Girl, The Big Bang Theory, Heroes, The Chronicle, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Oblivion 1 and 2, Beyond Westworld, The Six Million Dollar Man, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Twilight Zone, Rodan, Godzilla Raids Again)
Gary Raymond b. 1935 (UFO, Jason and the Argonauts, H.G. Wells’ Invisible Man)
Robert DoQui b. 1934 died 9 February 2008 (Deep Space Nine, RoboCop 1, 2, and 3, Starman [TV], My Science Project, The Six Million Dollar Man, Kolchack: The Night Stalker, I Dream of Jeannie, The Outer Limits)
George R. Robertson b. 1933 (Haven, War of the Worlds [TV], The Twilight Zone [1989], Marooned, Rosemary’s Baby)
Nina Foch b. 1924 died 5 December 2008 (Alien Nation: Dark Horizon, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, The Outer Limits)
Leslie Phillips b. 1924 (Harry Potter, Aladdin [2000 YV], Cinderella [2000 TV], Tales from the Crypt, The Canterville Ghost, H.G. Wells’ Invisible Man [TV], The Gamma People)
Terry Maloney b. 1917 died 16 March 2008 (artist, New Worlds)
Bruce Cabot b. 1904 died 3 May 1972 (King Kong [1933])

Notes from the birthday list.
1. The Picture Slot and musings on nepotism. Previous Picture Slotters are George Takei and Jessica Lange. Avoiding repetition, other iconic choices would be Judith O'Dea from Night of the Living Dead, Crispin Glover from Back to the Future and possibly Andy Serkis, though Serkis' most famous roles are as basis for CGI in Peter Jackson films. The winner this year is Clint Howard as the creepy drunk alien that almost destroys the Enterprise just because he's bored. Both he and Veronica Cartwright are siblings of child stars whose careers took off before theirs did. Clint is the younger brother of Ron, Veronica is the older sister of Angela, best known now for Lost in Space. The thing is, all four of these folks are still working steadily well into their fifties and sixties, which is definitely not the average career arc for child actors. For all his good work, I still think of Clint as Ron's weird looking kid brother and I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in this.

2. Spot the Canadians! Quite often, our Canadian actors are in their twenties or thirties, but today we have quite a spread in ages, with George R. Robertson, Geraint Wyn Davies (born in Wales, family moved to Canada when he was a kid), William deVry, Viv Leacock and Matt Sadowski-Astin.

3. Wait... they're dead? There are two Oh That Guy actors on the list I didn't know were gone. James Gammon might be best known as the manager in Major League and Robert DoQui is the African American actor who played Sgt. Reed in the RoboCop movies.

4. MST3K. George R. Robertson was in Marooned, one of the biggest budget films ever to get the MST3K treatment.

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

Prediction: Five species likely to go extinct in the next fifty years are the African Elephant, the Grizzly Bear, the Sperm Whale, the Mountain Gorilla and the Whooping Crane.

Reality: Technically, we are only 33 years into these predictions, so it's a little early to say how good they are. The Whooping Crane has been endangered since I was a kid and still is, with less than 500 creatures currently alive. On the brighter side, the number of gorillas in the wild is considered to be about 100,000 and African Elephants number near 700,000. All of these creatures are still listed on endangered species lists though the Grizzly Bear is now in the category called Least Concern, which is as good as the news gets for these species. I couldn't find approximate numbers for the current Sperm Whale population, but they are listed as Vulnerable, the least severe sub-category of Threatened.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

The regular schedule is interrupted by a prediction of future tech from Doctor Who.

Join us then... INTO THE FUTURE!