"John Scully's" comic strip that has a farewell every day (drawn and written by Ruben Bolling)

"John Scully's" comic strip that has a farewell every day (drawn and written by Ruben Bolling)
"John Scully's" comic strip that has a farewell every day (drawn and written by Ruben Bolling)
September 19 is the last post for this blog. Thanks to all my readers!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

27 February 2014

Kate Mara b. 1983 (The Fantastic Four [pre-production], American Horror Story, Iron Man 2)
Bingbing Li b. 1973 (Transformers: Age of Extinction, Resident Evil: Retribution)
Donal Logue b. 1966 (Shark Night 3D, Blade, The X-Files, Ghost Rider)
Noah Emmerich b. 1965 (Super 8, The Truman Show, Last Action Hero)
Adam Baldwin b. 1962 (Day Break, Serenity, Firefly, Angel, Stargate SG-1, The X-Files, Independence Day, VR.5, Predator 2)
Timothy Spall b. 1957 (Harry Potter, Enchanted, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortuante Events, Vanilla Sky, Red Dwarf, Gothic)
Stephen Leigh b. 1951 (author, Dinosaur World, The Omega Egg, Wild Cards)
Mark Harrison b. 1951 (illustrator)
Hajime Sorayama b. 1947 (illustrator)
Barbara Babcock b. 1937 (Salem’s Lot, Star Trek)
Van Williams b. 1937 (The Green Hornet)

Last year's Picture Slot was Timothy Spall, my favorite actor on the list and this year it goes to Adam Baldwin, who has my favorite role on the list as Jayne in Firefly and Serenity. For the record, Adam Baldwin is not one of the Baldwin brothers, though he does run his mouth every bit as much liberal hothead Alec or christian hothead Stephen. The others I considered for The Picture Slot were Barbara Babcock, who did a lot of voice work on Star Trek as well as her on screen appearances, and Van Williams. The thing about Van Williams is that he clearly wasn't the star of The Green Hornet. While there are shows where actors in allegedly minor roles became the focus like the Fonz on Happy Days or Urkel on Family Matters, Bruce Lee was never really promoted that way, but he is the only reason to ever watch an episode. Well, him and the cool car.  

In the year 2000!

Predictor: Lee de Forest, "the Father of Radio", in the 17 January 1960 Sunday newspaper supplement American Weekly, predicting the world in 2000

Prediction: Men will have orbited around the earth and moon many times over. Space platforms outside the earth's atmosphere will be in use as relay stations. We will have landed on the moon and established a base there. Instrument-equipped missiles will be fired millions of miles into space, and will return to earth with data on the planets and other bodies of our solar system.

Reality: Meet our new Thursday regular, Lee de Forest. He did a lot of important work in the early years of AM radio and after FM overtook the earlier method for its much improved sound quality, de Forest became a tireless (and tiresome) self-promoter. Regardless of how he became well-known, back in the middle of last century he was one of the many people who decided to write down what he thought the 21st Century would look like, so here he is.

When he publishes this, Sputnik had already been launched but manned space travel is about a year away. This is a very strong prediction, except for the moon base and platforms as relay stations, which were very common assumptions back in the day. The other flaw in his vision of the future is that interplanetary craft would return with data. What they do, of course, is never return physically to earth, but instead send data back using radio transmissions. Kind of a big blind spot for the guy who calls himself "the father of radio".

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

The last of the Wired Long Bets is reported and (spoiler alert) it's another bust.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!


  1. Wasn't Donal Logue also in Ghost Rider? Or are we trying to forget about that one?

    He got himself crumbled, as I recall. Which was probably a good move, because he didn't have to appear in the sequel.

    1. Just an oversight, now corrected. Thanks.

  2. You're certainly correct that de Forest seems to have a blind spot. Maybe he kept thinking of vacuum tubes and piloted platforms instead of geosynchronous orbits and transistors. Of course any rocket that could return to earth from planetary exploration must have been able to send and receive signals.

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks, ZRMcD! Definitely of interest, though little of predictive use.

      The first comment about Gerry and Sylvia Anderson was particularly apt, because Neil Gaiman singing the theme of "Fireball XL-5" with Amanda Palmer's back-up band was soon playing in my head.

    2. Yeah. Also, I had just discovered that Hulu has Space:1999, and was wading through the cheese. Did it really only go 2 seasons?

    3. Two seasons that seemed to go on and on and on and God please make it stop.

      For all the justifiable complaints one can have about the original Star Trek, compared to its space opera contemporaries it was way, way better.

  4. Someone had linked to an online cache of all the old Starlog issues, and the first one had an article on how the second season of Space:1999 was going to correct all the problems and REALLY make the show take off.

    1. https://archive.org/details/starlogmagazine

    2. This explains SO MUCH about sci-fi fandom.

    3. Heh. I recall that I had a subscription for a short time, in the late 70s.


Traveler! Have you news... FROM THE FUTURE?