Wednesday, January 15, 2014
15 January 2014
Regina King b. 1971 (The Big Bang Theory)
James Nesbitt b. 1965 (The Hobbit, The Deep, Jekyll)
Kelly Asbury b. 1960 (director, Shrek 2)
Robert Silverberg b. 1935
(won 1972 Nebula for A Time of Changes)
Joanne Linville b. 1928 (Star Trek, The Invaders, Twilight Zone)
Phyllis Coates b. 1927 (Adventures of Superman, Lois & Clark, I Was a Teenage Frankenstein, Invasion U.S.A.)
Lloyd Bridges b. 1913 died 10 March 1998 (Rocketship X-M, Honey I Blew Up the Kid, Alice in Wonderland , Battlestar Galactica)
Torin Thatcher b. 1905 died 4 March 1981 (The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, Land of the Giants, Star Trek, Lost in Space, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Jack the Giant Killer)
Ernest Thesiger b. 1879 died 14 January 1961 (The Bride of Frankenstein)
Today's birthday list is much more about the past than it is about today, so it's only fair the Picture Slot goes to Torin Thatcher, an "oh, that guy" actor who was on all four Irwin Allen shows in the 1960s as well as a Star Trek and as the bad guy in one of the Ray Harryhausen movies. Phyllis Coates was one of the Lois Lanes in The Adventures of Superman and Lloyd Bridges is best known for non-genre work in Airplane! or Sea Hunt depending on your age. I almost went with Joanne Linville in the Picture Slot, since she was the first woman on Star Trek to break the glass ceiling and sit in the captain's chair when she played a Romulan commander. Another iconic choice would have been Ernest Thesiger as Doctor Pretorious from The Bride of Frankenstein, the mad scientist who had a menagerie of tiny people in jars.
Many happy returns to the living on the list and to the dead, thanks for all the memories.
The Book of Eli released, 2010
Prediction: In 1904, devastating fires break out all around the world, destroying most of the countryside and several cities, including New York, London and Paris. They are caused by the over-reliance of nitrogen as a fertilizer.
Predictor: Author Robert Barr in his short story Within an Ace of the End of the World, first published in April 1900, part of the collection Steampunk Prime, edited by Mike Ashley.
Reality: Science is cool and science is scary. We live in a world of wonders, but we rely on so much technology that no one person can possibly understand everything that is going on. Right now, most of our worries about the food supply are concerned with biological engineering. At the turn of the 20th Century, the big breakthroughs were new artificial fertilizers, which of course can be used as explosives as well, but only when mixed with other chemicals.
As always, the devil is in the details.
Reading as many doomsday scenarios as I do is equal parts reassuring and unsettling. Most of the worries of the past were completely unfounded and I get the feeling that most of the today's apocalyptic predictions are just as misguided. But then there's the sheer number of things that we get warned about. If one of the big ones is actually worse than we think, it could be hell in a handbasket time sooner than we realize.
Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!
Is tomorrow Thursday already? That means another visit from Isaac Asimov. Oh, goody!
Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!