Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell illustration

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell illustration
Poster from Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, starring Bertie Carvel & Eddie Marsan

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

4 August 2015

Birthdays
Cole and Dylan Sprouse b. 1992 (Wizards of Waverly Place, The Nightmare Room, The Astronaut’s Wife)
Lucinda Dryzek b. 1991 (Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Doctor Who)
Chet Hanks b. 1990 (Fantastic Four, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull)
David Kaye b. 1988 (Paranormal Solutions Inc., Arrow, Edge of Tomorrow, Supernatural, Dark Angel, So Weird)
Alex Williamson b. 1988 (Me and My Mates vs. the Zombie Apocalypse, #7DaysLater)
Lily Costner b. 1986 (The Postman)
Meghan Markle b. 1981 (Fringe, Knight Rider [2009])
Abigail Spencer b. 1981 (Oz the Great and Powerful, Cowboys & Aliens)
David Lewis b. 1976 (Man of Steel, Supernatural, Fringe, Seeds of Destruction, Stonehenge Apocalypse, Zombie Punch, Wyvern, The Day the Earth Stood Still [2008], Smallville, Ba’al, Beyond Loch Ness, Eureka, The Butterfly Effect 2, Kyle XY, Alien Incursion, Stargate SG-1, Alienated, Stephen King’s Dead Zone, Dead Like Me, Halloween: Resurrection, Level 9, Lake Placid, Lexx, The New Addams Family, The X-Files)
Andy Hallett b. 1975 died 29 March 2009 (Angel, Buffy)
Ron Lester b. 1970 (Sabrina, the Teenage Witch)
John August b. 1970 (writer, Frankenweenie, Dark Shadows, Corpse Bride, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Titan a.e.)
Thomas J. Churchill b. 1970 (Lazarus: Day of the Living Dead)
Michael DeLuise b. 1969 (Bloodsuckers, Lost, Stargate SG-1, 3rd Rock from the Sun, SeaQuest 2032, Tales from the Crypt, Encino Man, Amazing Stories)
Daniel Dae Kim b. 1968 (Insurgent, Once Upon a Time, Lost, The Andromeda Strain, Spider-Man 2, Star Trek: Enterprise, Hulk, Momentum, Angel, Charmed, Crusade, Brave New World [TV movie], NightMan)
James Tupper b. 1965 (Resurrection, Toxic Skies)
Sebastian Roche b. 1964 (The Originals, Once Upon a Time, Pegasus vs. Chimera, Grimm, The Vampire Diaries, Supernatural, Fringe, Vamped Out, Beowulf, Charmed, Odyssey 5)
Lauren Tom b. 1961 (Supernatural, Threshold, Quantum Leap)
Bernard Rose b. 1960 (director, Frankenstein [2015], Candyman)
Billy Bob Thornton b. 1955 (The Big Bang Theory, The Astronaut Farmer, Armageddon, Chopper Chicks in Zombietown)
Lori Lethin b. 1955 (Werewolf, Starman [TV], The Day After)
Donald Gibb b. 1954 (Hancock, Black Scorpion, Homeboys in Outer Space, Breakfast of Aliens, The X-Files, Harry and the Hendersons [TV], Quantum Leap, They Came from Outer Space, Transylvania 6-5000, Otherworld, Knight Rider, Conan the Barbarian)
Kristoffer Tabori b. 1952 (Sliders, SeaQuest 2032, Quantum Leap, The Twilight Zone [1985], Small and Frye, Brave New World [TV movie])
Sara Botsford b. 1951 (Matty Hanson and the Invisibility Ray, Three Moons Over Milford, The Fog, Tremors 4: The Legend Begins, Total Recall 2070, Sliders )
William Frankfather b. 1944 died 28 December 1998 (Dark Skies, Deep Space Nine, Death Becomes Her, Cool World, Tales from the Crypt, Alien Nation, Freddy’s Nightmares, Harry and the Hendersons, Twilight Zone [1987], Invaders from Mars, Amazing Stories, The Greatest American Hero)
Richard Belzer b. 1944 (3rd Rock from the Sun, Species II, The X-Files, The Invaders, Not of This Earth, The Puppet Masters, Lois & Clark, The Flash)
Georgina Hale b. 1943 (Cockneys vs Zombies, Doctor Who, Hammer House of Horror, The Watcher in the Woods)
Don S. Davis b. 1942 died 29 June 2008 (Stargate, Flash Gordon, Supernatural, Beyond Loch Ness, Stephen King’s Dead Zone, Andromeda, Atomic Train, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show, Poltergeist: The Legacy, The X-Files, M.A.N.T.I.S., Highlander [TV], Needful Things, Hook, Omen IV: The Awakening)
Martin Jarvis b. 1941 (Neander-Jin: The Return of the Neanderthal Man, Stargate: Atlantis, Space Island One, Space: Above and Beyond, Doctor Who, Taste the Blood of Dracula)
Frank Vincent b. 1939 (Stargate: Atlantis)
Jeanne Carmen b. 1930 died 20 December 2007 (The Naked Monster, The Monster of Piedras Blancas)
Tom Hennesy b. 1923 died 23 May 2011 (Revenge of the Creature)
Wesley Addy b. 1913 died 31 December 1996 (The Invaders, The Outer Limits)

Notes from the birthday list.
1. The Picture Slot and MST3K. In previous years, the Picture Slot went to the late Andy Hallett from Angel and Daniel Dae Kim from Lost. The biggest movie star on the list is Billy Bob Thornton, but I don't think of him as iconic in genre. That leaves us with Oh That Guy actors for the most part, and I considered Sebastian Roche and Don S. Davis before deciding on Tom Hennesy, a cowboy actor who was in the monster suit for the non-underwater scenes of Revenge of the Creature, which also means we have an MST3K movie on the list.

2. Spot the Canadians. Today it's David Kaye, David Lewis and Sara Botsford.

3. Nepotism FTW. Some names here should give it away, like Michael DeLuise, Lily Costner and Chet Hanks. There are two other cases, one I count and one I don't. Georgina Hale married Ken Russell, but she had a career before meeting him and worked in plenty of projects he didn't direct. The other is Kristoffer Tabori, son of director Don Siegel and actress Viveca Lindfors. That I would count as nepotism.

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


Predictor: John Langdon-Davies in A Short History of the Future, published in 1936

Prediction: Human beings will become standardized for a time but eventually the state will encourage individuality again along certain carefully controlled lines.

Reality: Langdon-Davies had some very odd ideas, but state encouraged limited individuality is just plain goofy.
 

BONUS!

Predictor: Terminator 2, released 3 July 1991

Prediction: 8/4/1997 Skynet launched

Reality: Skynet turns 18 today! That means it can vote, but you can't take it our for a drink afterward, which is just cruel as far as I'm concerned.
 
Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

We hear again from our sensible pal George Sutherland about the inventions he predicts will exist by the year 2000.
  
Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Monday, August 3, 2015

3 August 2015

Birthdays
Georgina Haig b. 1985 (Once Upon a Time, Fringe)
Max Landis b. 1985 (writer, Victor Frankenstein, Chronicle)
Emily Baldoni b. 1984 (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Coherence, Legend of the Seeker)
Jon Foster b. 1984 (Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines)
Kyle Schmid b. 1984 (Being Human, Lost Girl, Arrow, Dead Before Dawn 3D, Smallville, The Covenant, Odyssey 5, My Best Friend is an Alien, Virus)
Evangeline Lilly b. 1979 (Ant-Man, The Hobbit, Real Steel, Lost, Smallville, Freddy vs. Jason)
Tomas Lemarquis b. 1977 (Snowpiercer, Errors of the Human Body)
Franco Castan b. 1977 (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Revolution, Coma [TV mini-series])
Michael Ealy b. 1973 (Almost Human, Underworld: Awakening, FlashForward)
Stephen Graham b. 1973 (Pirates of the Caribbean, Season of the Witch, Inkheart)
Melissa Ponzio b. 1972 (Teen Wolf, The Walking Dead, Touch, The Vampire Diaries)
Brigid Brannagh b. 1972 (Star Trek: Enterprise, Angel, Early Edition, Charmed, Kindred: The Embraced, American Gothic)
Elizabeth Berrington b. 1970 (Doctor Who, Psychoville, Nanny McPhee, The Little Vampire)
Anne Marie DeLuise b. 1969 (Smallville, Sanctuary, The Thaw, Painkiller Jane, Stargate SG-1, Supernatural, Dead Like Me, Stephen King’s Dead Zone, Mysterious Ways, Code Name: Eternity, First Wave, Total Recall 2070, Earth: Final Conflict, Highlander: The Raven, Eerie, Indiana: The Other Dimension, Side Effects, Darkman II: The Return of Durant)
Asante Jones b. 1968 (Zombie Strippers!, Journeyman)
Luke Massy b. 1966 (Thor, Charmed)
Isaiah Washington b. 1963 (The 100, Bionic Woman [2007], Ghost Ship)
Lisa Ann Walter b. 1963 (War of the Worlds, Bruce Almighty)
Molly Hagan b. 1961 (Navy Seals vs. Zombies, iZombie, Charmed, The Invisible Man, Early Edition, Deep Space Nine, ALF)
John C. McGinley b. 1959 (The Nightmare Room, Target Earth, Highlander II: The Quickening)

John Landis b. 1950 (director, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show, Innocent Blood, Twilight Zone: The Movie, American Werewolf in London)
Philip Casnoff b. 1949 (Dollhouse, Message from Space)
Phil Rubenstein b. 1940 died 26 June 1992 (RoboCop 2, My Mom’s a Werewolf, ALF, Mannequin, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Knight Rider)
Martin Sheen b. 1940 (The Amazing Spider-Man 1 and 2, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, The Time Shifters, Total Recall 2070, Babylon 5: River of Souls, Alchemy, Crystal Cave, Project: ALF, Captain Nuke and the Bomber Boys, Roswell [TV Movie], Beyond the Stars, Firestarter, The Dead Zone, The Outer Limits)
Stephen Berkoff b. 1937 (The Frankenstein Chronicles, Witches of East End, Doctor Who, Children of Dune, Deep Space Nine, Space Precinct, Metamorphosis [TV movie], Outland, A Clockwork Orange, UFO, Prehistoric Women)
Gordon Scott b. 1926 died 30 April 2007 (Hercules and the Princess of Troy, Goliath and the Vampires)
Rona Anderson b. 1926 died 23 July 2013 (A Christmas Carol)
James Komack b. 1924 died 24 December 1977 (writer, My Favorite Martian)
Jean Hagen b. 1923 died 29 August 1977 (Panic in Year Zero!)
P.D. James b. 1920 died 27 November 2014 (author, Children of Men)
Alex McCrindle b. 1911 died 20 April 1990 (Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope)
Clifford D. Simak b. 1904 died 25 April1988 (Won 1964 Hugo for Here Gather the Stars)

Notes from the birthday list.
1. The Picture Slot. In previous years, the Picture Slot went to Evangeline Lilly from Lost and Michael Ealy from Almost Human. Having used two 21st Century productions, I feel free to go a little more old school with Alex McCrindle as General Dodonna from Star Wars.

2. Spot the Canadians! There are three today: Kyle Schmid, Evangeline Lilly and Anne-Marie DeLuise.

3. Nepotism and not. Anne-Marie DeLuise is married to Peter DeLuise and I don't consider that nepotism except in extreme cases. Max Landis is the son of John Landis, that absolutely counts. Brigid Branagh is from San Francisco and is no blood relation to Kenneth Brannagh.


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

Movie released
Total Recall released, 2012

Predictor: The OMNI Future Almanac, published in 1982

Prediction: During the 21st Century, many of the responsibilities of traditional schooling will be transferred to parents. The mass availability of video and computer hardware will bring the classroom into the home. The chief purpose of schools and classrooms will be to socialize young people and to introduce them to one another. By necessity, and even without long classroom hours, the worldwide literacy rate will rise.

Reality: They get this right for the wrong reasons today. The increase in home schooling comes from parents who don't want their little angels to learn about evolution, not so much from the technological end. And then there's the rise in literacy, which is completely accurate by all estimates, rising from about 60% to 80% since the early 1980s. 
 
Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

We are running out of predictions from our regular Tuesday source, John Langdon-Davies. It's the commie's penultimate guess tomorrow.
  
Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

2 August 2015

Birthdays
Kara and Shelby Hoffman b. 2002(Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events)
Hallie Kate Eisenberg b. 1992 (Bicentennial Man)
Zuleyka Silver b. 1991 (In Time, Touch)
Kerry James b. 1986 (The Boy Who Cried Werewolf, SGU Stargate Universe)
Donna Air b. 1979 (The Mummy Returns)
Ty O’Neal b. 1978 (The Postman)
Sam Worthington b. 1976 (Avatar, Wrath of the Titans, Clash of the Titans, Terminator Salvation)
Edward Furlong b. 1977 (Star Trek: Renegades, The Zombie King, Arachnoquake, The Green Hornet, Night of the Demons, Dark Reel, Warriors of Terra, The Crow - Wicked Prayer, Brainscan, Pet Sematary II, Terminator 2: Judgment Day)
Jacinda Barrett b. 1972 (NightMan, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys)
James Preston Rogers b. 1972 (Pixels, Alphas, Lost Girl, Death Warrior, Outlander)
Matthew Del Negro b. 1972 (Teen Wolf, Witches of East End, Eastwick, Stargate: Atlantis)
Alice Evans b. 1971 (The Originals, Grimm, The Vampire Diaries, Lost, Highlander [TV])
Tristan Tait b. 1971 (The Dark Knight, 28 Weeks Later, Quantum Leap)
Kevin Smith b. 1970 (writer/director, Moose Jaws, Tusk, Reaper, Dogma)
Regina Russell b. 1965 (The Mummy’s Kiss, Hook)
Mary-Louise Parker b. 1964 (R.I.P.D., The Spiderwyck Chronicles)
Cynthia Stevenson b. 1962 (Sleepy Hollow, Dead Like Me, Neverwas, From the Earth to the Moon, Max Headroom)
Olivier Gruner b. 1960 (Sector 4: Extraction, Re-Generator, One Night, Interceptor Force 1 and 2, Velocity Trap, Mars, Automatic)
Apollonia Kotero b. 1959 (Black Magic Woman, Knight Rider)
Victoria Jackson b. 1959 (Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, The X Files)
Tim Dunigan b. 1955 (They Came from Outer Space, Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future, Hard Time on Planet Earth, Wizards and Warriors)
Ken McLeod b. 1954 (author, The Fall Revolution)
Butch Patrick b. 1953 (Zombie Dream, Young Blood: Evil Intentions, The Munsters, Shazam!, Lidsville, The Phantom Tollbooth, I Dream of Jeannie, My Favorite Martian)
Joanna Cassidy b. 1945 (Heroes, Ghosts of Mars, Vampire in Brooklyn, The Tommyknockers, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Blade Runner)
Susan Denberg b. 1944 (Frankenstein Created Woman, Star Trek)
Max Wright b. 1943 (Early Edition, The Stand, From the Earth to the Moon, Quantum Leap, ALF, Misfits of Science, Faerie Tale Theatre)
Isabel Allende b. 1942 (author, The City of the Beasts, The Infinite Plan)
Sandra Ellis Lafferty b. 1940 (Resurrection, The Hunger Games, The Vampire Diaries, The Prophecy 3, Conan [TV], Dark Skies, The Prophecy)
Wes Craven b.1939 (director, Vampire in Brooklyn, New Nightmare, The People Under the Stairs, Shocker, The Serpent and the Rainbow, The Twilight Zone [1985-6], Deadly Friend, Nightmare on Elm Street, The Hills Have Eyes I and II, Swamp Thing)
Peter O’Toole b. 1932 died 15 Dec 2013 (Phantoms, Supergirl, Stardust, Creator, High Spirits, Gulliver’s Travels, Ray Bradbury Theatre)
Bernard L. Kowalski b. 1929 died 26 October 2007 (director, Knight Rider, Sssssss, Attack of the Giant Leeches, Night of the Blood Beast)
Carroll O’Connor b. 1924 died 21 June 2001 (Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, The Outer Limits)
Theo Marcuse b. 1920 died 29 November 1967 (Star Trek, The Invaders, The Time Tunnel, Batman, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, The Outer Limits, Twilight Zone)
Nehemiah Persoff b. 1919 (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Battlestar Galactica, The Bionic Woman, Logan’s Run, Wonder Woman, The Six Million Dollar Man, The Invisible Man, Dracula, Land of the Giants, The Power, The Time Tunnel, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Twilight Zone)
Gary Merrill b. 1915 died 5 March 1990 (Earth II, The Time Tunnel, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, The Outer Limits, Twilight Zone, Mysterious Island [1961])
Beatrice Straight b. 1914 died 7 April 2001 (Faerie Tale Theatre, Poltergeist, Wonder Woman)

Notes from the birthday list.
1. The Picture Slot. In previous years, the Picture Slot went to Edward Furlong and Wes Craven. Several good candidates presented themselves today, including Bruce Patrick and Sam Worthington, but I decided to go fabulous and choose Joanna Cassidy from Blade Runner. This is as good a time as any to remind folks that we are only four years away from sex robots according to this film, and while two out of three sex robots want to kill you, early adopters of technology should expect some glitches along the way. As a friend of mine from the old days of programming said, the first Christians get the best lions.

2. Spot the Canadian! Just one today, James Preston Rogers.

3. Not really nepotism. Hallie Kate Eisenberg is the baby sister of Jesse Eisenberg. I only count siblings in very rare circumstances

4. MST3K. I know Attack of the Giant Leeches and Night of the Blood Beast got the Best Brains treatment, not sure about anything else.

5. Wait... he's alive? I didn't know Nehemiah Persoff was still with us. Special birthday best wishes to you, sir.


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


Movie released

Signs released, 2002
  
Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

OMNI Future Almanac starts off another week.
  
Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

1 August 2015

Birthdays
Alakina Mann b. 1990 (The Others)
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 (Aquaman, Game of Thrones, Conan the Barbarian [2011], Stargate: Atlantis)
Burton Perez b. 1977 (G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra)
Annett Culp b. 1975 (BloodRayne: The Third Reich, Blubberella, Babylon 5: In the Beginning)
Kris Holden-Ried b. 1973 (The Listener, Lost Girl, Underworld: Awakening, Habitat)
Charles Malik Whitfield b. 1972 (Sleepy Hollow, Warehouse 13, Supernatural, Seven Days)
Jennifer Gareis b. 1970 (The 6th Day)
Cameron Rhodes b. 1967 (Power Rangers, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Xena)
Sam Mendes b. 1965 (producer, Penny Dreadful)
Melanie Shatner b. 1964 (Perversions of Science, TekWar, La Mansion de los Cthulhu, The Alien Within, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Star Trek)
John Carroll Lynch b. 1963 (Ted 2, American Horror Story, Paul, Carnivale, Star Trek: Voyager, From the Earth to the Moon)
Thomas Jay Ryan b. 1962 (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Teknolust)
Mark McCracken b. 1960 (Where the Wild Things Are, Matinee, Swamp Thing)
Adrian Dunbar b. 1958 (The Quatermass Experiment [2005 TV])
Taylor Negron b. 1957 died 10 January 2015 (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)
Suze Lanier-Bramlett b. 1947 (The Hills Have Eyes, Electra Woman and Dyna Girl)
David Calder b. 1946 (Utopia, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, The Mists of Avalon, Jason and the Argonauts [2000 TV], Star Cops, Superman)
Andrew G. Vajna b. 1944 (producer, The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Judge Dredd, Jacob’s Ladder, Total Recall)
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)
Ian Hogg b. 1937 (Doctor Who)
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)
Geoffrey Holder b. 1930 died 5 October 2014 (Ghost of a Chance, John Grin’s Christmas, Alice in Wonderland [1983], Doctor Dolittle [1967])
Michael Sinelnikoff b. 1928 (The Lost World, TekWar)
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)

Notes from the birthday list.
1. The Picture Slot. In previous years, I went with my fabulous babe/Whedonverse nerd instincts with Miracle Laurie and showed my Oh That Guy street cred with Henry Jones, who has 206 credits on imdb.com, but it seems like so many more. This year, it's Jason Momoa as Khal Drogo, definitely iconic.

2. Spot the Canadians. Kris Holden-Ried had a featured role on Lost Girl and yes, he is also Canadian. Arthur Hill was born in 1922, so he worked most of his career before the Canadian production boom.

3. Nepotism, obvs. Melanie Shatner. I've already written too much.

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

Movies released
Guardians of the Galaxy released, 2014
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor released, 2008
The Omega Man released 1971

I'm not sure if Marvel knew it had a hit with Guardians of the Galaxy. Releasing a movie in the beginning of August is very late for a summer blockbuster, the biggest of which often open in the spring, from early May to mid-June.


The Weekly Soapbox: Jetpacks
I started this blog because I'm old enough to think of the 21st Century as the future. If you look back forty or fifty years, the changes are really quite stunning, but the cliche complaints are "Hey, where's my flying car?" or "Hey, where's my jetpack?"

In 2011, Neil Gaiman wrote a silly little short story titled And Weep, Like Alexander about a fellow who was an uninventor, looking at the world and realizing some technology didn't make our lives any better, so he would go backwards in time and make sure some gadgets were not invented. The personal jetpack certainly deserves to be uninvented.

Let us stipulate that jetpacks look cool as hell.  There was a guy with the jetpack at Disneyland, there's James Bond, for pity's sake. Both of those very enticing examples give away the problem.

Jetpacks are for show. They are a special effect, not an actual practical mode of transportation. They are loud, they are expensive to buy, to fuel and to maintain, they have numerous safety issues that range in significance from hazardous to fatal. Even more than a flying car, it looks like the ultimate expression of freedom - personal flight - but where you could go is actually very limited, mainly because how how much fuel it burns. More than that, even if it could get you from Point A to Point B and those two places were more than a few hundred yards apart. where it lands it has to be stored, fueled and maintained.

Flying cars have almost all the same problems, but personal jetpacks are in fact much, much worse.
  
This month's splash illustration: BBC produced a seven-part series of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, based on the 2004 novel by Susanna Clarke. I liked both the book and the TV show very much and was sorry to see it get so little attention in the nerd circles I am in. A generally positive review in The New York Times stated that seven hours is not quite enough for a 1,000 page novel, which is certainly true, and because they left so much out the show didn't quite hold together, which I disagree with completely.

If you like long novels, pick up the book. If you like British period pieces, give the TV show a chance. It deserves more recognition than it got.

Never to be Forgotten: Roddy Piper 1954-2015 Canadian born Roddy Piper was a remarkable set of contradictions. He was always the bad guy in his wrestling career - they are known as "heels" - but every story about him was that he was a nice guy and the outpouring of love for him upon his death from a heart attack at 61 is nothing short of remarkable. His time in wrestling is well-known as The Steroid Era, but Piper didn't look the part. Barely six foot and built like a normal, in shape person, he was the foil for a lot of huge over-inflated opponents, most notably Hulk Hogan. He is remembered on this blog for his starring role in John Carpenter's very strange They Live, a low-budget sci-fi film that is a scathing indictment of consumerist culture. Carpenter verifies that Piper's most famous line in the film is an ad-lib, his statement before a massive gunfight, "I came to chew bubblegum and kick ass... and I'm all out of bubblegum." He also starred in Hell Comes to Frogtown - thanks to Zombie Rotten McDonald for jogging my memory on this - and apeared in a few Canadian production genre shows, including Alien Opponent, RoboCop, Highlander and Superboy.

Best wishes to the family and friends of Roddy Piper, from a fan. He is never to be forgotten.
 
Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Another lazy Sunday with just a birthday list.
  
Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Friday, July 31, 2015

31 July 2015

Birthdays
Alexis Knapp b. 1989 (Vamp U, Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief)
Sofia Pernas b. 1989 (Age of the Dragons)
Jessica Williams b. 1989 (Hot Tub Time Machine 2)
Charlie Carver b. 1988 (The Leftovers, Teen Wolf [TV])
Raymond Pickard b. 1982 (The Borrowers, The Canterville Ghost)
Eric Lively b. 1981 (The Butterfly Effect 2)
Harry Potter b. 1980 (wizard)
B.J. Novak b. 1979 (Amazing Spider-Man 2)
Andrea Drepaul b. 1979 (Damien, Beauty and the Beast, Warehouse 13)
James Harvey Ward b. 1978 (The Dark Knight Rises, True Blood, The Vampire Diaries, No Ordinary Family)
Tressa Thomas b. 1978 (Flatliners)
Jayce Bartok b. 1975 (Spider-Man, Aliens in the Family)
Annie Parisse b. 1975 (Fringe, NYPD 2069, National Treasure)
Michael Klesic b. 1975 (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Children of Men, Space Cadets, Multiplicity, Weird Science)
Jodi Ann Paterson b. 1975 (Dude, Where’s My Car?)
Emilia Fox b. 1974 (Merlin, Dorian Gray)
Tami Stronach b. 1972 (The NeverEnding Story)
Allison Barron b. 1972 (Harry and the Hendersons, Quantum Leap, Out of This World, Night of the Demons, A Nightmare of Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge)
Christina Cox b. 1971 (Arrow, 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. 1970 (Cinderella, The Water Horse, Dorian Gray, The Return of the Borrowers [TV])
Dean Cain b. 1966 (Supergirl, The Black Hole [2015], 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)
Kym Malin b. 1962 (Weird Science)
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])
Al Sapienza b. 1956 (Gotham, The Flash [2014], Godzilla [2014 and 1998], The Tomorrow People, Arrow, Fringe, NightMan, Dark Skies, Judge Dredd)
James Read b. 1953 (Charmed, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, Star Trek: Voyager, Lois & Clark)
Barry Van Dyke b. 1951 (Light Years Away, She-Wolf of London, The Canterville Ghost, The Powers of Matthew Star, Galactica 1980, Mork & Mindy, Tabitha, Wonder Woman, Gemini Man)
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 (The Forbidden Room, 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 died 7 April 2015 (Odyssey 5, The X-Files, The Lawnmower Man, Annihilator, Amazing Stories, Night of the Comet, The Amazing Spider-Man [TV], Salem’s Lot, Mork & Mindy, Quark, The Six Million Dollar Man, Ark II)
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)

Notes from the birthday list.
1. The Picture Slot. In previous years, the Picture Slot belonged to J.K. Rowling and Ted Cassidy, both easily defended on iconic status. If I was going modern, both Dean Cain and Wesley Snipes are iconic, but both are also jerks in their own way, Cain one of those Fox News jackasses and Snipes a tax evader. So instead it's the lovely France Nuyen from the original Star Trek and I expect very few complaints from heterosexual males.

2. Spot the Canadians! Andrea Drepaul and Christina Cox are today's northern contingent.

3. Nepotism and Not. Folks who know 1960s America TV will know that Dirk Blocker and Barry Van Dyke count as nepotism, Van Dyke a little more than Blocker. Geraldine Chaplin also counts, but Ben Chaplin is not related to Charlie, just to be clear.

4. Harry Potter turns 35 today. I wonder what model of mini-van he drives.


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


Predictor: H.G. Wells in this 1901 book Anticipations

Prediction:But I believe that these prevailing men of the future, like many of the saner men of to-day, having so formulated their fundamental belief, will presume to no knowledge whatever, will presume to no possibility of knowledge of the real being of God. They will have no positive definition of God at all.

Reality: A lot of science fiction writers got it in their heads that the world would become more like the the folks they hang out with and religion would dwindle away.

Mmmm... not so much.
 
Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

A new splash illustration goes up tomorrow for the month of August and a few thoughts about those jetpacks and flying cars we were promised.
  
Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

30 July 2015

Birthdays
Joey King b. 1999 (Oz the Great and Powerful, The Dark Knight Rises, Battle Los Angeles, Jericho)Aml Ameen b. 1985 (Sense8, The Maze Runer)
Yvonne Strahovski b. 1982 (The Astronaut Wives Club, I, Frankenstein)
Martin Starr b. 1982 (Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead, This Is the End, Futurestates, The Last Lovecraft: Relic of Cthulhu, The Incredible Hulk, Roswell, Mysterious Ways, God vs Evil)
Lisa Wilhoit b. 1981 (The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Hook)
Jaime Pressly b. 1977 (Charmed, Mortal Kombat: Conquest, NightMan)
Christopher Ray b. 1977 (director, Blood Lake: Attack of the Killer Lampreys, Mega Shark, Asteroid vs Earth, Almighty Thor, Reptisaurus)
Nikolai Kinski b. 1976 (Aeon Flux)
John Reardon b. 1975 (Continuum, Supernatural, The Philadelphia Experiment [TV], TRON: Legacy, Super Hybrid, Eureka, Painkiller Jane, Merlin’s Apprentice, Andromeda)
Hilary Swank b. 1974 (The Core, Buffy)
Christine Taylor b. 1971 (The Craft, Here Come the Munsters)
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)
Kevin Blatch b. 1965 (Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, Flash Gordon [TV], Stargate SG-1, Dead Like Me, The Dead Zone, Seven Days, Millennium, Poltergeist: The Legacy, Strange Luck)
Vivica A. Fox b. 1964 (Sharknado 2: The Second One, Ella Enchanted, Tremors [TV], Batman & Robin, Independence Day)
Monique Gabrielle b. 1963 (Munchie, 976-Evil II, Transylvania Twist, The Return of Swamp Thing, Not of This Earth)
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)
Erwin Leder b. 1951 (Underworld)
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)
Peter Bogdanovich b. 1939 (Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women)
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 died 6 June 2015 (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)

Notes from the birthday list.
1. The Picture Slot. A fine list today, full of stars, fabulous babes, household names and folks with iconic roles. In previous years, the Picture Slot went to Arnold Schwarzenegger and Laurence Fishburne, both of them stars and both iconic. Taking them off the list, there are still plenty of choices, but I went with Carel Struycken as Lurch. It's a small coincidence that Ted Cassidy's birthday is tomorrow, but he won't be in The Picture Slot, as he has already had his turn.

2. Spot the Canadians! There are two, they are spottable, so I leave it as an exercise for the reader.

3. Nepotism FTW. Nikolai Kinski is Klaus's son.

4. The Guy at the Door. I did not know until this morning that Peter Bogdanovich had directed a cheap genre film early in his career under and assumed name. He is also the oldest living person on the list and everyone younger than him is still with us, so he is also The Guy at the Door at the tender age of 76. As always, the blog extends special best wishes for a long and happy life.
 
Many happy returns to all the living on the list, especially Peter Bogdanovich, and to the dead, thanks for all the memories.


Predictor: Life Magazine, 1914

Prediction: The fashion trends of 1950

Reality: First things first. This version of Life has nothing to do with the iconic photo journalism magazine that began publishing in the late 1920s. This was a humor magazine from an earlier era.

The time frame is all wrong and men's fashion prediction is pretty bad, but from the 1960s on, there have been women's fashions at least as revealing as what the woman is wearing. The hair is a little outlandish, but only a little. Women smoking pipes in public is the one completely false note on the distaff side.
 
Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

H.G. Wells is back for another chance to damage his reputation as a pleasant human being.
  
Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

29 July 2015

Birthdays
Munro Chambers b. 1990 (Turbo Kid, A Wrinkle in Time)
Penny Bae Bridges b. 1990 (Space Jam)
Genesis Rodriguez b. 1987 (Moose Jaws, Tusk)
Tania Gunadi b. 1983 (Pixel Perfect, Haunted)
Allison Mack b. 1982 (Lost in Oz, Smallville, The Nightmare Room)
Dominic Burgess b. 1982 (The Leftovers, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Doctor Who, Batman Begins)
Jeremy Beiler b. 1982 (Men in Black 3)
Megan Hayes b. 1980 (Sleepy Hollow, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, +1)
Rachel Miner b. 1980 (Supernatural, The Butterfly Effect 3: Revelations, The X Files)
Lana Kinnear b. 1976 (Iron Man, Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger IV)
Stephen Dorff b. 1973 (Immortals, Blade, Space Truckers)
Dileep Rao b. 1973 (Touch, Inception, Avatar, Drag Me to Hell)
Wil Wheaton b. 1972 (Titansgrave: The Ashes of Valkana, Sharknado 2: The Second One, 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])
Mans Marlind b. 1969 (director, Underworld: Awakening)
Timothy Omundson b. 1969 (Supernatural, Warehouse 13, Jericho, Xena, Starship Troopers, Dark Skies, SeaQuest 2032)
Daniel Raymont b. 1969 (Alien: Resurrection)
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, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show, Sliders)
Alexandra Paul b. 1963 (Firequake, A.I. Assault, Disaster Zone: Volcano in New York, Cyber Bandits, Deadly Nighmares, Christine)
Kevin Spirtas b. 1962 (Daredevil, Quantum Leap, Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood)
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)
Mike Starr b. 1950 (Deep Space Nine, Millennium, Early Edition, James and the Giant Peach, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Freejack, Cat’s Eye)
Leslie Easterbrook b. 1949 (Lavalantula, House of the Witchdoctor, House, Halloween, The Munsters Today, Misfits of Science)
Ryan Cutrona b. 1949 (The X Files, Dark Skies, Millennium, Babylon 5, Alien Nation)
Charles Hallahan b. 1943 died 25 November 1997 (Space Jam, Roswell, Warlock: The Armageddon, Twilight Zone: The Movie, The Thing [1982])
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, Cast 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)
Gordon Mitchell b. 1923 died 20 September 2003 (Evil Spawn, She [1982], Frankenstein ’80, The Giant of Metropolis, Atlas Against the Cyclops)
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)
Chris Marker b. 1921 died 29 July 2012 (writer, La Jetee)
Melvin Belli b. 1907 died 9 July 1996 (Star Trek)
William Powell b. 1892 died March 5 1984 (Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid)
Maria Ouspenskaya b. 1876 died 3 December 1949 (Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man, The Wolf Man)

Notes from the birthday list.
1. The Picture Slot. Okay, in previous years I had Wil Wheaton and Lloyd Bochner in the Picture Slot. Wheaton had an iconic role and has become a major figure in nerd culture, while Bochner had the lead role on one the the greatest Twilight Zone episodes, To Serve Man. But seriously, this means I didn't give the Slot to David Warner two years running and I admit that's just wrong. I mean, could Wheaton or Bochner look like a bad-ass holding a colorized frisbee?

No, they could not. They aren't David Warner.

2. Spot the Canadians! Munro Chambers and Dean Haglund.

3. Wait... she's dead? Wendy Hughes died in March of last year and I didn't give her a Never to be Forgotten. I noted this glaring oversight last year on her birthday. This year, my brain adamantly refused to accept it had seen the memo about this.

Best wishes to the family and friends of Wendy Hughes, from a big fan. She is never to be forgotten, especially by the knucklehead writing this blog.

4. That's a long retirement. William Powell stopped acting in his 60s - Mister Roberts in 1955 - and lived into his 90s, never being tempted to get back on screen.

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


Movie released
Cowboys & Aliens released, 2011


Predictor: George Sutherland in his 1902 book Twentieth Century Inventions

Prediction: In farming and horticulture the field of labour is not so narrowly localised as it is in mining. Work representing an expenditure of hundreds of thousands of pounds may be carried out in mines whose area does not exceed two or three acres; and it is therefore highly remunerative to concentrate mechanical power upon such enterprises in the most up-to-date machinery. But the farmer ranges from side to side of his wide fields, covering hundreds, or even thousands, of acres with his operations. He is better situated than the miner in respect of the economical and healthy application of horse-power, but far worse in regard to the immediate possibilities of steam-power and electrically-conducted energy. No one can feed draught stock more cheaply than he, and no one can secure able-bodied men to work from sunrise till evening at a lower wage. Yet the course of industrial evolution, which has made so much progress in the mine and the factory, must very soon powerfully affect agriculture… But the presence of a source of power which can easily be shifted about from place to place on the farm for the purpose of watering the ground must very soon suggest the applicability of the same mechanical energy to the digging or ploughing of the soil. It is from this direction, rather than from the wide introduction of steam-ploughs and diggers, that the first great impetus to the employment of mechanical power on the farm may be looked for. The steam-plough, no doubt, has before it a future full of usefulness; and yet the slow progress that has been made by it during a quarter of a century suggests that, in its present form--that is to say while built on lines imitating the locomotive and the traction-engine--it cannot very successfully challenge the plough drawn by horse-power.

Reality: Regular readers will know that Sutherland looked at the problems with internal combustion engines and pretty much discounted their further usefulness, and so predicted great futures for electric engines and steam engines. Even with this major stumbling block in his predictions, I still like the guy.
 
Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

A prediction from the Edwardian era about how folks will dress in 1950.
  
Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!