Wednesday, January 1, 2014
1 January 2014
Verne Troyer b. 1969 (The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Mighty Joe Young, Men in Black)
Stanley Kamel b. 1943 died 8 April 2008 (Dark Skies , Star Trek: The Next Generation)
Frank Langella b. 1938 (Superman Returns, The Ninth Gate, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Masters of the Universe, Dracula )
Dana Andrews b. 1909 died 17 December 1992 (Twilight Zone, Curse of the Demon)
E.M. Forster b. 1879 died 7 June 1970 (author, The Machine Stops)
Welcome to the future, friends! 2014, oh what wonders await us!
The birthday list is short today and The Picture Slot is given to Frank Langella, who gets my vote as the prettiest Dracula of all time. Dana Andrews had a good career in the movies, but did show up in one low budget 1950s monster movie and also had a role on the original Twilight Zone, which is almost always worth a mention on this blog. E.M. Forster is best known for the book that were turned into movies, including A Passage to India, A Room with a View and Howard's End, but he did write some speculative fiction as well, most notably The Machine Stops in 1909, which is a strong metaphor for what the Internet has become in modern life.
Many happy returns to all the living on our list, and to the dead, thanks for the memories.
Prediction: Account books, invoices, and all similar documents will doubtless be written by a convenient and compendious form of combined calculating machine and typewriter, which we may suppose to be called the numeroscriptor. It will, of course, be capable of writing anywhere on a book or on a loose sheet, on a flat surface or on an irregular one. It will make any kind of calculation required. Even such operations as the weighing and measurement of goods will all be done by automatic machinery, capable of recording without any possibility of error the quantity and values of goods submitted to its operation.
Predictor: T. Baron Russell in A Hundred Years Hence, published in 1905
Reality: Before the Internet showed up, a "combined calculating machine and typewriter" was a very good description of a personal computer, and he's right about the automation of weighing and measuring goods. I'll give him 9.5 of 10 on this one, docking a half point for the awful coined word "numeroscriptor".
This month's splash illustration: Bruno Delussu designs concept cars that definitely have the retrofuture feeling to them. This one is the Bugatti Stratos, a completely impractical contraption that looks so damn cool, I don't even care that you could probably do about $20,000 body damage hitting a pothole. It's just so pretty, isn't it?
Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!
A double dose of our favorite 20th Century muttonchops.
Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!