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!