Sunday, July 7, 2013
7 July 2013
Robia LaMorte b. 1970 (Buffy)
Akiva Goldsman b. 1962 (writer I, Robot, I Am Legend, several Batman movies)
Jon Pertwee (3rd Doctor) b. 1919 died 20 May 1996
Robert A. Heinlein b 1907 died 5/8/1988
(won 1956 Hugo for Double Star)
(won 1960 Hugo for Starship Troopers)
(won 1962 Hugo for Stranger In A Strange Land)
(won 1967 Hugo for The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress)
Regular readers will know that I beat up the corpse of Heinlein on a regular basis, but even I know that he is incredibly important in the genre. He's one of the big guns from the era when most sci-fi was on the page instead of on the screen and many of his books have made the transition from book to movie. Still, Picture Slot = Pretty Girl is a solid system, and it's not like I never post a picture of old Bob, whether Sensible or Ridiculous.
Besides her role as Jenny Calendar on Buffy, Ms. LaMorte's next best known gig was as the dancer named Pearl from Prince's videos and tour for Diamonds and Pearls.
Fun facts to know and tell. I'm chock full of them.
Prediction: In the 2010 United States census, there will be five million more women than men.
Predictor: James Blish from the novel They Shall Have Stars, published 1956
Reality: He's absolutely money, as the phrase from Swingers goes. It was between 5.1 and 5.2 million in the 2010 census, so rounded to the nearest million, he's perfect.
He gets the number right, but his reason for bringing it up is wrong. One of the heroes of the book works on Jupiter. Spending time back on Earth in 2013 and in the U.S., he meets a woman who he doesn't think is quite pretty or clever or special enough to interest an important manly man such as himself, and he considers her "one of the five million surplus women of the 2010 census".
Leaving the chauvinism aside for the moment, today there aren't any "surplus women" in the pool of bachelors and bachelorettes. Between 20 and 30, men outnumber women. This is even the case is we look at the numbers between 20 to 40 and if we extend the eligible pool from 20 to 50, then the gender mix is almost exactly even.
The "surplus woman" situation of today is almost entirely about the numbers for the population 50 and older. Women live longer, or to put it more harshly, men die younger.
It's possible to have a "surplus woman" situation in the younger demographic, but it was actually worse when Blish was a young man than it is today. Big wars are the main cause for situations like this, and World War II is as big a war as humans have seen so far. The United States didn't lose anywhere near the percentage of men that the other major combatants did, but it was still over 400,000, almost all men between the ages of 20 to 40. Blish worked as a technician during WW II and married in 1947, so he was an eligible bachelor during one of America's largest "surplus women" situations. (The era after the Civil War was much more pronounced. More people died and the total population was much smaller.)
Jeez, that was long winded. Must be the last day of a four day weekend or something.
Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!
OMNI Future Almanac gets another shot. They aren't perfect, but they are specific, I'll give them that.
Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!