Thursday, January 16, 2014
16 January 2014
Aaliyah b. 1979 died 25 August 2001 (Queen of the Damned)
David Chokachi b. 1968 (Witchblade)
Caroline Munro b. 1949 (Space: 1999, At the Earth’s Core, The Golden Voyage of Sinbad, The Abominable Dr. Phibes, Captain Kronos – Vampire Hunter)
John Carpenter b. 1948 (director, Ghosts of Mars, Escape from L.A., Village of the Damned, Memoirs of an Invisible Man, They Live, Prince of Darkness, Big Trouble in Little China, Starman, Christine, The Thing, Escape from New York, The Fog, Halloween, Dark Star)
Kate McMullan b. 1947 (author, Dragon Slayer’s Academy)
Keith Wayne b. 1945 (Night of the Living Dead)
Karl Freund b. 1890 died 3 May 1969 (cinematographer, Metropolis, Dracula, The Golem)
The biggest name in genre on today's birthday list is director John Carpenter, but you will notice he's not in the Picture Slot. Caroline Munro is the all-time crush of my good friend Alan, so we are now looking at her. (As though I need an excuse to put up a picture of a fabulous babe.) I usually only mention writers, directors and producers when listing people behind the camera, but Karl Freund's work as a cinematographer is definitely worth a mention for his work in silent films and early talkies. He is also credited with developing the three camera studio set-up for sitcoms and his name in the credits of all episodes of I Love Lucy.
Many happy returns to all the living on the list, a tip of the hat to Karl Freund, and best wishes to the family and friends of Aaliyah, who died much too young.
Predictor: Isaac Asimov, predicting the world of 2014 in honor of the 1964 Worlds' Fair in New York.
Prediction:Although technology will still keep up with population through 2014, it will be only through a supreme effort and with but partial success. Not all the world's population will enjoy the gadgety world of the future to the full. A larger portion than today will be deprived and although they may be better off, materially, than today, they will be further behind when compared with the advanced portions of the world. They will have moved backward, relatively.
Reality: Let’s take this sentence by sentence.
1. Technological advances have grown like gangbusters since 1964, so full points there.
2. Not all the world has the coolest latest gadgets. Hell, I don’t have the coolest latest gadgets. Undeniably true.
3. A larger portion will be deprived. This one is a swing and a miss. It’s hard to measure gadget inequality since the gadgets have changed so much. In 1964, many of today's favorite gadgets didn't exist yet, like personal computers, video games and cell phones.
One technological marvel that does span the entire era is the television. According to the website nationmaster .com, ownership of a TV around the world has skyrocketed. In 1975, only the U.S. and the U.K. had over 90% ownership of televisions and major industrialized nations like Germany, France and Japan were still under 80%. The most recent numbers from the 21st Century show a completely different situation. There are now 76 countries around the world where television ownership is over 90%, including many countries in regions that are not considered fully industrialized like Latin America and the former Soviet bloc countries. Both India and Bangladesh were listed in 1975 as having less than 1% of the public with a TV, and they have risen now to 32% and 23% respectively.
As an almost middle class American over 50, I would say my dad's generation had it better than we did in a lot of ways, but the upside of globalization is that abject poverty worldwide has shrunk markedly. Take your good news where you can get it.
Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!
We get another prediction from the TED talks, with Gregory Stock in 2003 looking at the brave new world that awaits us by 2013.
Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!