Saturday, November 30, 2013
30 November 2013
Kaley Cuoco b. 1985 (The Big Bang Theory)
Gael Garcia Bernal b. 1978 (Blindness)
Marc Forster b. 1969 (director, World War Z)
Ben Stiller b. 1965 (Mystery Men, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Night at the Museum)
David Yates b. 1963 (director, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Parts I & II, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix)
Nancy Everhard b. 1957 (DeepStar Six, The Trial of the Incredible Hulk, The Punisher)
Mandy Patinkin b. 1952 (The Princess Bride, Alien Nation, Dead Like Me)
Chris Claremont b. 1950 (writer, X-Men, Wild Cards)
Stuart Baird b. 1947 (director, Star Trek:Nemesis)
Ridley Scott b. 1937 (director, Blade Runner, Alien, Legend, Prometheus)
Rex Reason b. 1928 (This Island Earth, The Creature Walks Among Us)
Mark Twain b. 1835 died 21 April 1910 (author, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, The Mysterious Stranger)
Jonathan Swift b. 1667 died 19 October 1745 (author, Gulliver’s Travels)
Heck of a birthday list today. Kaley Cuoco gets the Picture Slot not only for being a Pretty Girl, but also because she is the most recognizable face in terms of nerd culture today on the list, though Ben Stiller and Mandy Patinkin could also be considered. In terms of influence in the genre, my vote would go to Ridley Scott and the overall most famous would have to be Mark Twain or Jonathan Swift.
Many happy returns to all the living on the list and may the names Mark Twain and Jonathan Swift never be forgotten. (If we think of this as a prayer, I like the odds of it being answered.)
Predictor: George Westinghouse (1846-1914), inventor of the air brake, proponent of alternating current, predicting the future in honor of the 1893 Columbian Exhibition.
Westinghouse was in charge of the electric lighting at the Fair, which would have been a wonder to behold in 1893. Also, as my loyal reader Zombie Rotten McDonald is likely to note, wonderful 19th Century facial hair, a style he did not change even when he was old and gray.
Predictions (and reality): I presume that a speed of 90 or 100 miles per hour could be secured with modern locomotives and the improvements to come. (The fastest U.S. train in 1992 went 125. Bullet trains in France and Japan go over 150 mph with a maximum of 185 mph, which in metric is 250 to 300 kmph.)
It is not a question of attaining speed, but a question of control of the train after great speed has been secured. (Spoken like the inventor of the air brake.)
For this reason, I am inclined to think that the development of railway travel in the next century along present lines will not be so much great speed but uniform speed... A steady 40 mph would enable a train to run from New York to Chicago in a little over 20 hours. (The Lake Shore Limited makes the trip in 19 hours, but it runs much faster than 40 mph. Driving takes about 12 hours.)
I am also satisfied the immense cost for furnishing power for electric railways... will make such a development commercially unprofitable. Although he is no doubt that electricity as a motive power for passenger traffic will be used extensively used in the next century. (I take the meaning of this sentence to be: Electric trains boo! Electric cars yay! This would be a full 180° off the reality of the 20th Century. The great success of electric transportation in the 20th Century are the electric subway train systems around the world. Can you imagine what a smoggy nightmare steam train subways would be? Yikes.)
Looking one day... INTO THE FUTURE!
An exact day prediction from Arthur C. Clarke.
Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!