Thursday, September 19, 2013
19 September 2013
Kevin Zegers b. 1985 (The Colony, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones)
Sanaa Lathan b. 1971 (Alien vs, Predator, Blade)
Tanith Lee b. 1947
Adam West b. 1928 (Batman, Robinson Crusoe on Mars)
Rosemary Harris b. 1927 (Spider-Man)
Damon Knight b. 1922 died 15 April 2002
I started the list of birthdays last year before the blog debuted, but I also go each day to imdb.com for actors and directors I might have missed and the Internet Speculative Fiction Database for names of authors. Keven Zegers is the most popular actor on imdb with this birthday, and it's a sign of how old I am that I had never heard of him. Again, it may likely be my age that makes me think this, but I put Adam West in the Picture Slot today because I consider him the most recognizable name on the list.
Many happy returns of the day to the living.
Prediction: Kovoet’s invention of the permanent Death Gas in 1934. Use of it cuts off East Prussia in the 1940s and it is uninhabitable until the 1960s.
Predictor: H. G. Wells in The Shape of Things to Come, published 1933
Reality: Is World War I in living memory anymore? It started 99 years ago and ended 95 years ago, so anyone who lived through it wouldn't have been an adult at the time. But in 1933, when Wells was in his sixties, the horrors of the war were still clearly set in people's minds. Countries across Europe sent huge numbers of young men, rich and poor, educated and illiterate, into the service and their collective experience formed the ideas of what should not be allowed even in warfare, humanity's most vicious pastime. It was from the experience in the trenches that poison gas was decided to be an unacceptable method and in World War II, even the German troops didn't use it against the enemy. While Hitler was not often constrained by any international law, this particular law his country obeyed. His own personal experience in the trenches may well have been the reason.
The topic of poison gas is germane today as people make the argument whether Syria broke this law and should be punished. If punishment comes, it will likely be in the form of drone strikes, a new barbarity that no one is discussing making illegal. Unlike one hundred years ago, rich countries don't send the majority of their young into a war and generations don't have that widely shared experience. As war on a world scale fades into the past, one wonders if modern leaders will remember the lessons or slip back into the idea that the largest industrial nations can afford to go into battle with a nation of equal capability.
Looking one day... INTO THE FUTURE!
After this depressing prediction and before we get our Sunday dose of misery from Ray Bradbury, at least Friday will have a French postcard.
Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!