"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!

Monday, March 31, 2014

31 March 2014

 Birthdays
Judith Shekoni b. 1982 (Paranormal, Twilight: Breaking Dawn – Part 2, Jekyll and Hyde [2006])
Kate Micucci b. 1980 (The Big Bang Theory)
Daniel Mays b. 1978 (Doctor Who, Nanny McPhee Returns)
Adrian Holmes b. 1974 (Continuum, Arrow, Elysium, Primeval: New World, Battlestar Galactica, The Cabin in the Woods, V, Smallville, The Andromeda Strain, Supernatural, Kyle XY, Flash Gordon [TV], Stargate SG-1, The Collector, The 4400, Jeremiah, The Twilight Zone [2003], Highlander [TV])
Ewan McGregor b. 1971 (Jack the Giant Slayer, Nanny McPhee Returns, The Island, Star Wars)
Tony Cox b. 1958 (Oz the Great and Powerful, Almost Human, Blankman, Leprechaun 2, Ghoulies IV, Willow, Beetlejuice, Spaceballs, Invaders from Mars, Ewoks; The Battle for Endor, Return of the Jedi, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Dr. Heckyl and Mr. Hype)
Marc McClure b. 1957 (Smallville, Apollo 13, Back to the Future, Superman)
Ian McDonald b. 1946 (author, Desolation Road, The Chaga Saga, Brasyl)
Christopher Walken b. 1943 (Gods Behaving Badly, Click, The Stepford Wives [2004], Sleepy Hollow[1999], Batman Returns, Communion, The Dead Zone, Brainstorm, The Sentinel [1977])
William Daniels b. 1927 (Galactica 1980, Star Trek: Voyager, Knight Rider, The Incredible Hulk, Captain Nice)
John Jakes b. 1932 (author, Brak the Barbarian)
Richard Kiley b. 1922 died 5 March 1999 (Phenomenon, Jurassic Park, Twilight Zone [1986])
Patrick Magee b. 1922 died 14 August 1982 (A Clockwork Orange, Hawk the Slayer, The Last Days of Man on Earth, The Masque of the Red Death)
Ted Post b. 1918 died 20 August 2013 (director, Ark II, Beneath the Planet of the Apes, Twilight Zone)
Lucille Bliss b. 1916 died 8 November 2012 (Invader Zim, The Secret of NIMH)

Last year, I put up a picture of voice actress Lucille Bliss, but this year, feeling a little less quirky, there's a more iconic picture of Ewan MacGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi. If I feel quirky next year, I might put up a picture of William Daniels as Captain Nice, just to show how old I am and that I can still remember stuff from time to time.

Many happy returns to all the living on the list and to the dead, thanks for all the memories.


Movies released
Ice Age: The Meltdown released, 2006


Predictor: OMNI Future Almanac, publishe d1982

Prediction: Fashions for women

1990s
At home: old, loose clothes; jeans, housecoats
At the office: conservative skirts; jacket suits
On the town: tight-fitting sexy dresses

2000s
At home: body suits; sexy clothing
At the office: pant suits and unisex styles
On the town: wide variety of colors in very revealing body suits

2010s
At home: temperature controlled body suits
At the office: body suits and pant suits with job packs; few skirts or dresses
On the town:Color changing body suits; old-time dresses

Reality: Aw Jeez, it's Logan's Run already. Again with all the body suits!

I am reminded of a line from Cecil Vanderberg, father of my friend Mina. Back in the sixties, she asked him if he ever watched Star Trek and he replied. "What? That pajama show?" Among Mina's friends and mine, we started using the phrases Star Trek: The Original Pajamas and Star Trek: The Next Pajamas.

So far, wearing pajamas in public has not become a trend, regardless of how hard Hugh Hefner has tried to make it work. (Or, more likely, in direct proportion to how hard Hugh Hefner has tried to make it work.)

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

It's a new month, but it's the same old Ray Kurzweil. He only has a few more chances to oversell the technological advances of the decade of the Aughts and once again he comes through.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!
 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

30 March 2014

Birthdays
Jason Dohring b. 1982 (Supernatural, Deep Impact, Moonlight)
Marley McClean b. 1987 (Serenity, Star Trek: Voyager)
Helena Mattson b. 1984 (Iron Man 2, The Legend of the Seeker, 666 Park Avenue, Surrogates)
Rupert Evans b. 1977 (Hellboy, Lexx)
Matt Doran b. 1976 (Battle of the Damned, Star Wars II: The Attack of the Clones, Farscape, The Matrix)
Mili Avatal b. 1972 (Arabian Nights, Minotaur, Stargate)
Mark Consuelos b. 1971 (American Horror Story, My Super Ex-Girlfriend)
Juliet Landau b. 1965 (Angel, Buffy, Theodore Rex)
Maurice LaMarche b. 1958 (Futurama, Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law, Adventure Time, Dilbert, Pinky and the Brain, The Tick)
Paul Reiser b. 1957 (Aliens)
Robbie Coltrane b. 1950 (Harry Potter, From Hell, Alice in Wonderland, Krull, Flash Gordon)
Kenneth Welsh b. 1942 (Survival of the Dead, Bionic Woman, Stargate: Atlantis, The Covenant, Smallville, Category 7: The End of the World, The Fog, The Day After Tomorrow, Witchblade, The X-Files, The Twilight Zone)
Richard Dysart b. 1929 (Back to the Future III, The Thing, Gemini Man, The Terminal Man)
John Astin b. 1930 (Betaville, The Frighteners, Harrison Bergeron, Killer Tomatoes Strike Back, They Came From Outer Space, Gremlins 2: The New Batch, Teen Wolf Too, The Charmings, Otherworld, Batman, The Addams Family, Twilight Zone, Eerie, Indiana)
Turhan Bey b. 1922 died 30 September 2012 (Babylon 5, VR.5, SeaQuest 2032)

Who counts as iconic on this list? Certainly Robbie Coltrane does, and given my particular tastes, last year I had Juliet Landau who played the crazy vampire Drusilla on Buffy and Angel. Besides those two, other iconic choices would include John Astin as Gomez Addams and because I'm a Babylon 5 fan, Turhan Bey as the old Centauri emperor could get a look sometime in the future. 

A small secret about the birthday lists. I usually don't list voice work. A LOT of actors do voice work as well as in front of the camera and I'd be typing all morning if I listed every cartoon credit from every actor. There are a few voice actors who are exceptions to the rule and Maurice LaMarche certainly counts as one of those exceptions. In fact, I would consider The Brain from Pinky and the Brain to be another possibly Picture Slot choice on some future March 30th.

Many happy returns to the living on the list and to Turhan Bey, thanks for all the memories.

Movies released
Spy Kids released, 2001


Predictor: Edmund Cooper in the novel Seed of Light, published 1959

Prediction: This novel set after a nuclear war fought in the late seventies or early eighties falls into two distinct halves. In the first, a scientist who feels guilty for his part in designing a space platform with nuclear superweapons decides to destroy it, but is himself killed by a Russian agent, who precipitates a second war which ends almost all human life on Earth.

Reality: Once again, this description is lifted from the great website on nuclear war fiction written by professor Paul Brians.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Once more I dip into the nearly endless well that is the OMNI Future Almanac.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!
 

Saturday, March 29, 2014

29 March 2014

 Birthdays
Hayley McFarland b. 1991 (The Conjuring, Pushing Daisies)
Luke Eberl b. 1986 (Eyeborgs, Planet of the Apes, Phantoms)
Ed Vassallo b. 1972 died 25 February 2014 (Fringe, War of the Worlds)
Lucy Lawless b. 1968 (No Ordinary Family, Angel of Death, Battlestar Galactica, Bedtime Stories, Vampire Bats, Locusts, Boogeyman, Spider-Man, The X-Files, Xena, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Hercules and the Amazon Women [1994], The Ray Bradbury Theater)
Elle Macpherson b. 1964 (Batman & Robin)
Annabella Sciorra b. 1960 (What Dreams May Come, Asteroid)
Christopher Lambert b. 1957 (Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, Blood Shot, Metamorphosis, Southland Tales, Highlander, Beowulf, Mortal Kombat)
Marina Sirtis b. 1955 (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Castlevania: Hymn of Blood, The Grudge 3, InAlienable, Grendel, Terminal Error, Stargate SG-1, Earth: Final Conflict, The Outer Limits, Gargoyles, Waxwork II: Lost in Time)
Brendan Gleeson b. 1955 (Harry Potter, Beowulf, The Village, 28 Days Later…, A.I. Artificial Intelligence, Lake Placid)
Christopher Lawford b. 1955 (Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, The 6th Day, Blankman)
Bud Cort b. 1948 (Dogma, The Mask [TV], Theodore Rex, The Twilight Zone, Deadly Nightmares, Invaders From Mars, Tales from the Darkside, Faerie Tale Theatre, Brave New World, Brewster McCloud, Gas! –Or- It Became Necessary to Destroy the World in Order to Save It)
Eric Idle b. 1943 (Ella Enchanted, Casper, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, Faerie Tale Theatre)
Scott Wilson b. 1942 (The Walking Dead, Radio Free Ablemuth, The Host [2006], The X-Files, Judge Dredd, Tall Tale, The Exorcist III, The Twilight Zone)
Phil Foster b. 1914 died 8 July 1985 (Conquest of Space)
Arthur O’Connell b. 1908 died 18 May 1981 (Ben, The Reluctant Astronaut, Fantastic Voyage, 7 Faces of Dr. Lao)

Philip Ahn b. 1905 died 28 February 1978 (Wonder Woman, The Time Tunnel)

Last year in the Picture Slot was Lucy Lawless, this year it's Marina Sirtis. Both count as fabulous babes and both count as iconic characters. For my money, the other iconic genre roles would be Brendan Glesson as Mad Eye Moody and Christopher Lambert from Highlander, and as an entertainment icon I absolutely love Eric Idle, but don't be surprised if next year it's another picture of Lucy or Marina.

Many happy returns to the living on the list, and to the dead, thanks for all the memories.
 



Predictor: Van Buren Denslow, lawyer and author, predicting the world of 1993 from his vantage point in 1893, in honor of the Columbian Exhibition held in Chicago.

Predictions: The population of the United States will be at least 400,000,000.
So large a population will not be ruled by one government.
It will be possible to cool homes in the summer and warm them in the winter.
An acre of land will produce 125 bushels, up from the current 12 to 20.
All theology will be conceded to be mythology.
Education will reveal the high and fine art in broiling a chicken, but will dismiss the senseless and soulless clatter of the piano to the obsolete.
Our greatest city will be in the Rocky Mountains, possibly Denver or Salt Lake City.
The most honored American now living will be [the agnostic lecturer] Robert G. Ingersoll.

Reality: Let's point out what Denslow got right.
1. Air conditioning
2. Yield per acre of wheat, at least at the high end, though the main wheat producing states without irrigation are at 50 to 60 bushels per acre

The rest of it is overshooting by a bunch. I should also note I trimmed his predictions mercilessly. The man went on for five pages, while most predictors only wrote a page or two.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Sunday means nuclear war. So much fun to think of the stuff we avoided.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!
 

Friday, March 28, 2014

Never to be forgotten:
Lorenzo Semple Jr. 1923-2014
Lucius Shepard 1947-2014
David Trampier 1954-2014

 Three recent obituaries deserve a mention here on the blog.

The eldest of the recently dead, Lorenzo Semple Jr., created the TV show Batman, starring Adam West and Burt Ward. Some people may think his movies Three Days of the Condor and The Parallax View are more fitting ways to remember the man's talent, but he readily admitted that if people remembered him at all, it was for the silly TV show that introduced baby boomer kids to the plot hanger device their grand parents and parents knew all too well from the serials like The Perils of Pauline and Flash Gordon.
 
 Author Lucius Shepard died on March 18 at the age of 66. He won the Nebula for best novella for R&R and the Hugo for best novella for Barnacle Bill the Spacer.


The youngest of the dead is David Trampier, best known for his work in Dungeons & Dragons manuals, including this literally iconic cover of a thief stealing the eye of an icon of a god.

Best wishes to the family and friends of Lorenzo Semple Jr., Lucius Shepard and David Trampier, from a fan.

May they never be forgotten.

28 March 2014

 Birthdays
Gareth David-Lloyd b. 1981 (Warehouse 13, Red Faction: Origins, Torchwood, Doctor Who)
Richard Kelly b. 1975 (writer/director, The Box, Southland Tales, Donnie Darko)
Nick Frost b. 1972 (The World’s End, Snow White and the Huntsman, Paul, Hyperdrive, Shaun of the Dead)
Vince Vaughn b. 1970 (The Watch, Fred Claus, The Cell, The Lost World: Jurassic Park)
Brett Ratner b. 1969 (director, X-Men: The Last Stand)
Darcy Laurie b. 1966 (Arrow, Continuum, Supernatural, Fringe, V, Battlestar Galactica, Kyle XY, Stephen King’s Dead Zone, Stargate SG-1, The Chronicles of Riddick, Jeremiah, Twilight Zone, Dark Angel, The Chronicle, Atomic Train, Poltergeist: The Legacy, The X-Files, Highlander: The Final Dimension, The Crow: Stairway to Heaven)
Chris Barrie b. 1960 (Red Dwarf, Lara Croft)
Reba McEntire b. 1955 (Tremors)
Mike Newell b. 1942 (director, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire)

A short list today and everyone is alive. In my mind, the Picture Slot choices was a Battle of the Brits, either Rimmer from Red Dwarf or Nick Frost, probably a shot from Shaun of the Dead. The third possibility was Reba McIntire from her one genre role in Tremors, still one of my favorite monster movies.

Many happy returns to all the living on the list.

Movies released
G.I. Joe:Retaliation released, 2013


Predictor: Dr. Paul Ehrlich from the 1968 bestseller The Population Bomb

Prediction: A few degrees of heating causes the ocean levels to rise 250 feet.

Reality: I do not want to be accused of cherry-picking quotes to make Dr. Ehrlich look like an idiot. I went through the book looking for dates in the future from his 1968 vantage point and I put them on a list.

It's Dr. Ehrlich's sloppy work that makes him look like an idiot.

I am not so much a climate change skeptic as I am a prediction skeptic. I've seen so many examples of serious problems made to look unimportant and alarmist by bad numbers, sloppy research and overblown predictions.  For an example, an often quoted number on the Internet is that the average life expectancy of former NFL players is 55. That statistic seemed extremely unlikely to me, so I did some math to check it back in 2012 and found no evidence that former pro football players had a significant difference compared to other men their age of how long they could expect to live. The data says they live slightly longer, and baseball players slightly shorter. Again not significant in any direction with the data sets I compiled, all of which were about size 100.

A lot of literate people I've met remember the name Paul Ehrlich, but very few recall how bad his research was.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

We return to 1893 with more ideas about what the 20th Century would look like, this time sadly without any picture showing proud 19th Century facial hair.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

27 March 2014

 Birthdays
Jason Narvy b. 1974 (Power Rangers)Nathan Fillion b. 1971 (Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, The Guild, The Venture Bros., Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, Lost, Slither, Serenity, Firefly, Buffy, Dracula 2000)
Elizabeth Mitchell b. 1970 (Revolution, V, Lost)
Pauley Perrette b. 1969 (The Singularity Is Near, The Ring)
Kevin Corrigan b. 1969 (Fringe, Superboy)
Sandra Hess b. 1968 (Sliders, Highlander [TV], Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, Beastmaster: The Eye of Braxus, Lois & Clark, SeaQuest 2032)
Talisa Soto b. 1967 (Island of the Dead, Mortal Kombat, Vampirella)
Adrian Rawlins b. 1958 (Harry Potter, Doctor Who)
Michael York b. 1942 (Megiddo: The Omega Code, One Hell of a Guy, Dark Planet, Sliders, Babylon 5, SeaQuest 2032, Not of this Earth, TekWar: TekLab, Space, The Island of Dr. Moreau, Logan’s Run)
Julian Glover b. 1935 (Game of Thrones, Atlantis [TV], Alien Uprising, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, The Empire Strikes Back, Doctor Who, Blakes 7, Space: 1999, Five Million Miles to Earth)
Lorenzo Semple Jr. (writer, Flash Gordon, King Kong, Batman [TV], The Green Hornet)
Richard Denning b. 1914 died 11 October 1998 (Creature with the Atom Brain, Target Earth, Creature from the Black Lagoon)

A few unusual things about today's birthday list. Genre movies and TV are much more common today than ever before, so when I make my trek to imdb.com every morning, there tend to be a lot of younger actors. Today, the youngest is turning 40. And speaking of "my trek",  you will notice in the label Star Trek shows up a lot more often than Star Wars, but today we get a Star Wars actor in Julian Glover and no one from Star Trek. Last year the Picture Slot went to Nathan Fillion, an honest to Odin TV star and this year it goes to Michael York, an honest to Odin movie star in his most iconic genre role from Logan's Run.

Many happy returns of the day to the living and to the dead, thanks for all the memories.


Movies released
Monsters Vs. Aliens released, 2009  
In the year 2000!

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

Prediction: World-wide television, both color and black-and-white, will be common. Atmospheric disturbances never will disrupt it; relays will be possible through communications satellites or use of the atmospheric "scatter effect" which reflects some TV waves over phenomenal distances even now.

Reality: This was pretty bold talk in 1960 and I'll give him 9 of 10. He loses half a point for including black-and-white TV, which died out several decades ago and a half point lost for the word "never" when discussing atmospheric disturbances. Still, when he deals with radio and TV, his predictions are very good. In a few weeks, he'll have predictions of other matters and his batting average will start to slide a little.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Friday means Dr. Paul Ehrlich, one of the least expert "experts" I have ever read.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

26 March 2014

Birthdays
Haley Ramm b. 1992 (X-Men: The Last Stand, Ben 10: Race Against Time)
Keira Knightley b. 1985 (Never Let Me Go, Pirates of the Caribbean, Neverland, Star Wars: Episode I – The One we Don’t Talk About)
Luke Ford b. 1981 (The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, Hercules [2005])
Amy Smart b. 1976 (The Butterfly Effect, Starship Troopers)
Leslie Mann b. 1972 (Timecode)
Francis Lawrence b. 1971 (director, The Hunger Games:Catching Fire, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Constantine, I Am Legend)
Ed Wasser b. 1964 (Babylon 5, Sliders, Quantum Leap)
Johnny Crawford b, 1946 (Village of the Giants, The Space Children)
James Caan b. 1940 (The Lathe of Heaven, Alien Nation, Rollerball)
Alan Arkin b. 1934 (Gattaca, The Rocketeer, The Return of Captain Invincible)
Leonard Nimoy b. 1931 (Star Trek, The Big Bang Theory, Fringe, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Futurama, Brave New World, The Lost World, The Outer Limits, Invasion of the Body Snatchers [1978], Twilight Zone, Them!, Zombies of the Stratosphere)
Strother Martin b. 1919 died 1 August 1980 (Sssssss, The Invaders, Lost in Space, Twilight Zone, World Without End, The Magnetic Monster)
Ed Peck b. 1917 died 12 September 1992 (The Incredible Hulk, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, Land of the Giants, I Dream of Jeannie, Star Trek, The Invaders)
Sterling Hayden b. 1916 died 23 May 1986 (Venom, The Last Days of Man on Earth, The Starlost)
Edward Bellamy b. 1850 died 22 May 1898 (author, Looking Backward, 2000-1887)

Today's birthday list does not lack for star power, but putting anyone but Leonard Nimoy in the Picture Slot would be somewhere between quirky and obtuse. If the competition was for favorite actor, I'd be torn between Sterling Hayden and Strother Martin, but not for their roles in genre films. And the real movie stars here, Kiera Knightley, James Caan and Alan Arkin, should also get a mention, though again their most famous roles are not in science fiction and fantasy. And one more solo mention should go to Edward Bellamy for his Looking Backward: 2000-1887 book, a major hit in his day that spawned a flurry of speculative fiction at the end of the 19th Century.

Many happy returns of the day to all the living on the list, and to the dead, thanks for all the memories.

Movies released
How to Train Your Dragon, released 2010

 
Predictor: Nate Silver on his 538.com website

Prediction: The Republicans are poised to make gains in the United States Senate. The best case scenario would be a gain of eleven seats for the GOP the worst case would be losing two. The most likely scenarios are a loss of five or six seats. The Democrats would keep control with five losses, it would be a 50-50 Senate if the GOP picks up six.

Reality: It's very early. I do poll aggregation as a hobby and Nate Silver is a professional, but I did have a better track record than his in both 2008 and 2012. So here's my take.

1. Nothing sensible can be said until the candidates are decided. I won't start publishing numbers on my math blog until all the primaries are through. Silver's "professionalism" is a disadvantage for him, because his paymasters require a prediction long before there's enough data to do anything but be a pontification pundit.

2. Nate thinks he's better than the companies that do the polling. I don't think he's better than them and I don't think I'm better than them. There are clearly companies that did very badly in 2012, most notably the Republican pollsters, whose work was somewhere between wishful thinking and outright fraud. But as a teacher, I always hope students can learn, and the public humiliation taken by the pollsters in 2012 might teach some of them to do better.

3. It is a midterm. Low Democratic turnout in the midterm elections is a ridiculously consistent long-term trend. I won't say Republican gains are inevitable, but they are fairly likely.

4. Polls take the current temperature, they do not predict the future. I don't consider my numbers to be "forecasts" until about a week out from the election, and I don't set my numbers until I see the last available polls. Another difference between Silver and me is I wouldn't make a prediction right now, even one with a wide margin of error like Silver's. Still, he's called his shot, so let's put them in numbers and check back after November 4.

Best case for Democrats: 58-42 (+2 D)
Most likely cases: 51-49 Dems  (-5 D) or 50-50 Dems (-6 D)
Best case for the Republicans: 55-45 GOP (-11 D)

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

More from our Thursday regular Lee de Forest, predicting in his specialty, radio and television broadcast technology.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!
 


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

25 March 2014

Birthdays
Seychelle Gabriel b. 1991 (Falling Skies, The Last Airbender, The Spirit)
Kiowa Gordon b. 1990 (Twilight Saga)
Aly Michalka b. 1989 (Phil of the Future)
Sean Faris b. 1982 (Supernatural, Free Runner, The Vampire Diaries, Ghost Machine, Smallville)
Lee Pace b. 1979 (The Hobbit, Guardians of the Galaxy, Twilight: Breaking Dawn – Part 2, Wonderfalls, Pushing Daisies)
Lark Voorhies b. 1974 (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Small Wonder)
Laz Alonzo b. 1974 (Avatar)
Kari Matchett b. 1970 (Invasion, Plague City: SARS in Toronto, Wonderfalls, Cube, Cube2, Earth: Final Conflict, Poltergeist: The Legacy, PSI Factor: Chronicles of the Paranormal, Forever Knight)
Sarah Jessica Parker b. 1965 (Mars Attacks!, Hocus Pocus)
Brenda Strong b. 1960 (Starship Troopers, 3rd Rock from the Sun, The Craft, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Spaceballs)
Peter O’Brien b. 1960 (Doctor Who, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Nightmares & Dreamscapes, Fatal Contact: Bird Flu in America, Relic Hunter, The Lost World, Spellbinder: Land of the Dragon Lord, Time Trax)
Bonnie Bedelia b. 1948 (Flowers for Algernon [2000], Needful Things, The Boy Who Could Fly, Salem’s Lot)
Richard O'Brien b. 1942 (Elvira’s Haunted Hills, Dungeons & Dragons, Dark City, Flash Gordon, Shock Treatment, The Rocky Horror Picture Show)
D.C. Fontana b. 1939 (writer, Star Trek, Babylon 5, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Logan’s Run [TV], The Six Million Dollar Man)
Sylvia Anderson b. 1937 (writer, Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons from Mars, Space:1999, UFO, Joe 90, Stingray, Fireball XL5, Supercar)
James Lovell b. 1928 (astronaut, twice to the moon, never stood on it)
Roberts Blossom b. 1924 died 8 July 2011 (The Twilight Zone[1980s], Tales from the Darkside, Resurrection, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Slaughterhouse-Five)
Patrick Troughton b. 1920 died 28 March 1987 (The Omen, Space: 1999, Doctor Who, Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger, Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell, Scars of Dracula, The Gorgon, H.G. Wells’ Invisible Man)

This year, if I get a birthday of an astronaut, the Picture Slot decision is easy. Last year, I had a picture of D.C. Fontana, true to my Star Trek nerd roots. (If you want a quick explanation of the difference in quality between Star Trek and Space:1999, looking at the work of our two birthday girls D.C. Fontana and Sylvia Anderson gives you a good idea of the lay of the land.) If I ignore the Pretty Girl = Picture Slot criterion, my top two choices for next year will be Richard O'Brien as Riff-Raff and Patrick Troughton as the second Doctor.

Many happy returns to the living on our list, and to the dead, thanks for all the memories. 


Predictor: Ray Kurzweil in his 1999 book The Age of the Spiritual Machines

Prediction: Computers can recognize their owner's face from a picture or video.

Reality: This prediction takes a little parsing. He writes this in 1999 and facial recognition software had already had some breakthroughs in the late 1990s and improved significantly in the first ten years of this century.

To be precise, the prediction is about computers recognizing their owner's face. This might be a security procedure in some very high tech place where secrecy is at a premium, but it's certainly not an everyday feature of the computers sitting on multiple millions of desks in people's homes and offices. So it is fair to say some computers were able to do this in 2009, but this technology already existing in 1999 when he wrote this. I'm going to say this prediction is about facial recognition becoming an everyday thing a lot of people us, so I call this one a failure.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

T. Baron Russell gets pre-empted by Nate Silver, predicting the outcome of the election in November. People who know me well know how much I love Nate Silver. People who don't know me will find out my true feelings tomorrow.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Monday, March 24, 2014

24 March 2014

 Birthdays
Keisha Castle-Hughes b. 1990 (Vampire, Legend of the Seeker, Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith)
Philip Winchester b. 1981 (Camelot, Fringe, Warehouse 13, Solomon Kane, Thunderbirds [2004])
Alison MacInnis b. 1980 (Power Rangers, Bewitched [movie], Tremors [TV])
Lake Bell b. 1979 (Surface)
Jessica Chastain b. 1977 (Interstellar, Journeyman, Dark Shadows [2004])
Michelle Harrison b. 1975 (The Flash, Continuum, SGU Stargate Universe, Supernatural, Eureka, V, Fringe, The Invisible, Andromeda, Paycheck, Stephen King’s Dead Zone, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show, Poltergeist: The Legacy)
Alyson Hannigan b. 1974 (Buffy, Angel, Dead Man on Campus, My Stepmother is an Alien)
Jim Parsons b. 1973 (The Big Bang Theory, Eureka, iCarly)
Lara Flynn Boyle b. 1970 (Men in Black II, Amerika)
Kelly LeBrock b. 1960 (The Sorceror’s Apprentice [2002], Weird Science)
Robert Carradine b. 1954 (The Terror Experiment, Attack of the Sabertooth, Ghosts of Mars, Lycanthrope, Scorpio One, Humanoids from the Deep, Escape from L.A., Lois & Clark, The Tommyknockers, The Twilight Zone [1986])
Kim Johnston Ulrich b. 1955 (Supernatural, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Rumplestiltskin, Highlander [TV], Lois and Clark, Werewolf [TV], The Charmings)
Patrick Malahide b. 1945 (Game of Thrones)
R. Lee Ermey b. 1944 (The Watch, Megiddo: The Omega Code 2, Starship Troopers, The Frighteners, The X-Files, Body Snatchers [1993], Toy Soldiers, The Terror Within II, Deathstone, The Rift, Up from the Depths)
William Smith b. 1933 (The Ghost of Frankenstein, The Boy with Green Hair, Atlantis the Lost Continent, Batman, I Dream of Jeannie, Piranha, Invasion of the Bee Girls, The Six Million Dollar Man, Planet of the Apes [TV], Kolchak: The Night Stalker, Twilight’s Last Gleaming, Logan’s Run [TV], Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Conan the Barbarian, Hell Comes to Frogtown… and more third rate crap than you can shake a stick at)
Steve McQueen b. 1930 died 7 November 1980 (The Blob)
Murray Hamilton b. 1923 died 1 September 1986 (The Amityville Horror, The Invaders, Twilight Zone)
Gene Nelson b. 1920 died 16 September 1996 (director, Star Trek, I Dream of Jeannie)

Okay. There's one movie star on this list, Steve McQueen, and he made one genre movie, The Blob. Steve McQueen was so cool, people didn't give him crap about making The Blob.

Last year's Picture Slot was Alyson Hannigan because I'm a Buffy nerd. This year it's Jim Parsons. In terms of iconic, they are hard to beat. But I should say a word about William Smith. He did a few uncredited roles in movies as a kid, became a regular on a couple TV shows in the 1960s, and then he followed the John Carradine algorithm.

1. Take a role.
2. Pay the rent.
3. Dead yet? If not, back to step 1.

If I put in all his genre roles, I would have been typing for an hour. His list of movies has some stuff so bad, Invasion of the Bee Girls and Hell Comes to Frogtown look like Merchant-Ivory productions in comparison.

Many happy returns to all the living on the list and to the dead, thanks for the memories.


Predictor: The OMNI Future Almanac, published in 1982

Prediction: Fashions for men

1990s
At home: old, loose clothes; jeans, t-shirts
At the office: pin-stripe suits, ties, jackets
On the town: Tuxedos; suits in pastel colors

2000s
At home: one piece body suits
At the office: body suits with ties; sports jackets
On the town: Tight-fitting body suits revealing male body; make-up

2010s
At home: temperature controlled body suits
At the office: body suits with special packs for job (i.e. intercom, tools, pen)
On the town: Body paints; handbags; make-up

Reality: I admit I am not doing my part to consume conspicuously. Being a broke-ass mofo may have something to do with this. But reading this, I feel a little bad I have not been doing my part buying enough body suits.

This prediction gets partial credit for jeans and t-shirts at home. The suits in pastel colors did have their moment in the 1980s when Miami Vice came out, but we got over it before the 1990s. As for the body suits and make-up, hmm... not that common.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Can Ray Kurzweil get something right looking a mere ten years forward? Signs point to...

No spoiler alerts! Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!
 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Never to be forgotten: James Rebhorn 1948-2014

James Rebhorn, a lanky character actor often seen playing guys in suits, has died at the age of 65. The cause was melanoma.

His career on the screen began in the mid 1970s and his best known roles are not in genre, including his regular role on Homeland and a recurring role on Law & Order. But he did appearing in sci-fi and fantasy films including Independence Day (picture here between Brent Spiner and Bill Pullman), The Adventures of Pluto Nash, The Box, From the Earth to the Moon, Cat's Eye and Coma.

Best wishes to family and friends of James Rebhorn, from a fan. He is never to be forgotten.

And, by the way, have you seen a dermatologist recently?

23 March 2014

Birthdays
Vanessa Morgan b. 1992 (My Babysitter’s a Vampire)
Steven Strait b. 1986 (10,000 BC, Sky High, The Covenant)
Michelle Monaghan b. 1976 (Source Code)
Keri Russell b. 1976 (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Dark Skies, Honey I Blew Up the Kid)
Hope Davis b. 1964 (Real Steel, Flatliners)
Jenny Wright b. 1962 (Enchanted, The Lawnmower Man, Near Dark)
Catherine Keener b. 1959 (Being John Malkovich, S1m0ne)
Amanda Plummer b. 1957 (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Battlestar Galactica, The Vampyre Wars, Dark Skies, Freejack)
Teresa Ganzel b. 1957 (Hexed, They Came from Outer Space, The Charmings, The Twilight Zone [1986], Transylvania 6-5000)
Kim Stanley Robinson b. 1952
(won the 1993 Nebula for Red Mars)
(won the 1994 Hugo for Green Mars)
(won the 1997 Nebula for Blue Mars)
(won the 2012 Nebula for 2312)
Elizabeth Ann Scarborough b. 1947 (won the 1990 Nebula for The Healer’s War)
Tony Burton b. 1937 (Poltergeist: The Legacy, Hook, The Shining, The Incredible Hulk, Gemini Man, The Invisible Man)
Kenneth Tobey b. 1917 died 22 December 2002 (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Honey I Blew Up the Kind, Gremlins 2: The New Batch, Innerspace, The Twilight Zone [1986], Gremlins, Strange Invaders, The Howling, Galactica 1980, The Vampire, It Came from Beneath the Sea, The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, The Thing from Another World)
H. Beam Piper b. 1904 died 11 November 1964 (author, Little Fuzzy, Flight from Tomorrow)

Kenneth Tobey! You have no idea how happy I was to see his name when doing the research this morning. Tobey was a very prolific actor, a manly man who played manly roles, lots of cowboys and cops and military men. He was in a bunch of 1950s monster movies, but it looks like he told his agent "no mas!" But then in the 1980s, I'm guessing a lot of casting people remembered his earlier work and suddenly he was back doing genre movies and TV. While I am completely aware of how low the budgets were for most of the 1950s sci-fi, I am still very nostalgic about it, and I assume are a lot of baby boomers.

Many happy returns of the day to all the living, and to the dead, thanks for all the memories.


Movies released
The Hunger Games, released 2012
 
Predictor: Stephen Becker in The New Encyclopaedist

Prediction: A group of protesters called "the Irreconcilables" refused to enter fallout shelters during the First Great Alert of 1973, and enjoyed life above ground while the war scare passed. During the Second Great Alert of 1977, the rest of the population refused to go below, but the Irreconcilables did so and led a life of luxury underground while the world above was devastated.

Reality: Don't you love irony? Even if you answered yes, I'm guessing you didn't love it as much as Becker does.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

OMNI Future Almanac day. Yay!

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!
 

Saturday, March 22, 2014

22 March 2014

Birthdays
Tania Raymonde b. 1988 (Big Bang Theory, Texas Chainsaw 3D, Lost)
Katie Stuart b. 1985 (Supernatural, Dead Like Me, A Wrinkle in Time, X-Men 2, The Crow: Stairway to Heaven, Stargate SG-1, The Sentinel, Poltergeist: The Legacy)
Kandyse McClure b. 1980 (Haven, Hemlock Grove, Alphas, Children of the Corn, Battlestar Galactica, Smallville, Andromeda, Jake 2.0, Jeremiah, Dark Angel, Level 9)
Anne Dudek b. 1975 (Grimm, Invasion, Charmed)
Will Yun Lee b. 1971 (The Wolverine, Total Recall [2012], Bionic Woman [2007], Fallen, Elektra, Witchblade, Brimstone)
Matthew Modine b. 1959 (CAT. 8, The Dark Knight Rises, Jack and the Beanstalk: The Real Story)
Lena Olin b. 1955 (Queen of the Damned, The Ninth Gate, Mystery Men)
James Patterson b. 1947 (author, Daniel X, Witch & Wizard)
Carter Wong b. 1947 (Big Trouble in Little China)
M. Emmet Walsh b. 1935 (The X-Files, Wilder Napalm, The Flash, Harry and the Hendersons, Amazing Stories, The Twilight Zone, Blade Runner, Escape from the Planet of the Apes)
William Shatner b. 1931 (Star Trek, 3rd Rock from the Sun, TekWar, SeaQuest 2032, The Six Million Dollar Man, Twilight Zone, Incubus, The Outer Limits)
Stephen Sondheim b. 1930 (composer, Into the Woods)
Ross Martin b. 1920 died 3 July 1981 (Mork & Mindy, Quark, Wonder Woman, The Invisible Man, The Immortal, Twilight Zone, The Colossus of New York, Johnny Jupiter)

All right. Picture Slot decision first. There are other actors on this list that readers would recognize, but this is a sci-fi blog. If I didn't use a picture of Mr. Overacting Under a Toupee, it would look like I was holding some sort of grudge. I don't hold a grudge. He is one of my favorite overactors of all time and no, that isn't sarcasm.

Interesting tidbits I learned while researching this list.
1. James Patterson writes Young Adult novels.
2. Stephen Sondheim and Rev. Pat Robertson were born on the exact same day.
3. Ross Martin was born in Poland! Seemed as American as apple pie to me.

Movies released
The Croods, released 2013
 
 

Predictor: M. Quad (born Charles Bertrand Lewis), 1842-1924 humorist, replying to a request for a prediction in honor of the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago.

Prediction: I regard the present date as the climax of fashion of dress... Man wears too much cloth, and that cloth is cut up into too many shapes. We shall not only restore the dress of our great-grandfathers before we stop, but run the costumes of Adam and Eve a pretty close shave.

Reality: He was making a joke, but this prediction is actually fairly accurate. People did wear a lot less clothing in 1993 than they did in 1893, most notably the hat and vest nearly disappearing from most wardrobes and the tie becoming a sign of certain jobs instead of the standard for all men at all times. And for women, the undergarments of the late 20th Century were a positive boon compared to the instruments of torture they had to endure at the end of the 19th Century.

I'm not an expert in the history of fashion, but thinking about movies, I'd say the big push towards less clothing starts in earnest after World War II, though there were earlier fads like the Flapper Era.  Moreover, what has been considered acceptable swimwear and casual wear for my lifetime would have cause panic and arrests back in 1893.

So in conclusion: M. Quad writes a page and a half of quips and jests and actually correctly foresees a trend of the future. Compare this to Dr. Paul Ehrlich, who writes a serious book and gets nearly everything wrong.

And then there's the facial hair. Not extravagant by the standards of his day, but a moustache that hides the upper lip in pretty old school now.

Looking one day ahead...  INTO THE FUTURE!

Tomorrow's a Sunday, so sleep in late and when you get up, stop on by and enjoy a story of a nucelar war we didn't actually have.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!



Friday, March 21, 2014

21 March 2014

 Birthdays
Scott Eastwood b. 1986 (Texas Chainsaw 3D)
Joseph Mawle b. 1974 (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Game of Thrones, Merlin[2009])
Vanessa Branch b. 1973 (Pirates of the Caribbean, Lost, The Invisible Man [TV], Star Trek: Voyager, The Cell)
Jaye Davidson b. 1968 (Stargate)
Karyn Kusama b. 1968 (director, Jennifer’s Body, Aeon Flux)
Greg Ellis b. 1968 (The Hobbit, Pirates of the Caribbean, Star Trek [reboot], Beowulf, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, The X-Files)
Matthew Broderick b. 1962 (Inspector Gadget, Godzilla [1998], Project X, WarGames, Ladyhawke)
Kassie Wesley DePaiva b. 1961 (Time Trax, Evil Dead II)
Sabrina Le Beauf b. 1958 (Star Trek: The Next Generation)
Gary Oldman b. 1958 (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, RoboCop, The Dark Knight Rises, Harry Potter, The Dark Knight, Batman Begins, Lost in Space [movie], The Fifth Element, Dracula)
Timothy Dalton b. 1944 (Doctor Who, Hercules [TV], Flash Gordon)
Al Williamson b. 1931 died 12 June 2010 (illustrator, Flash Gordon)
Gustav Frohlich b. 1902 died 22 December 1987 (Metropolis)

Today's Picture Slot is about me jonesing for more Game of Thrones, so much so that I'll put in a picture of Benjen Stark, though Ned's brother who took the black but hasn't been seen much recently. Not a lucky family I can safely say.

Gary Oldman got the Picture last year. For me, the most unusual tidbit from this list is that Sabrina Le Beauf, the oldest Cosby kid and Oldman are exactly the same age. I would not have guessed that.

Many happy returns to the living on our list, and to the dead, thanks for all the memories.


Predictor: Dr. Paul R. Ehrlich in his 1968 book The Population Bomb

Prediction (reality in brackets): Ehrlich predicts how long it will take some third world nations to double in population.

The understated
Kenya: 24 (1968-1986 18 years)
Nigeria: 28 (1974-2000 26 years)

The slightly overstated
Indonesia: 31 (1972-2010 38 years)
Philippines: 20 (1973-2001 28 years)
Brazil: 22 (1964-1995 31 years)

The massively overstated
Turkey: 24 (1967-2004 37 years)
El Salvador: 19 (1962-2002 40 years)

More reality: Ehrlich is supposed to be an expert, a professor from Stanford who you would expect to dot all the j's and cross all the x's. But whenever actual numbers find their way into his book, he's quite often way off. His overall premise was that mass starvation was just around the corner, but we have had our great population increase, which is now slowing down, without a major die-off. If the greater numbers appear to have any major effect in the world today, it's much more about the consumption of fossil fuels than it is about the food supply, or at least that's how it looks today.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

A humorist whose name is obscured by the passing of time predicts the 20th Century from 1893.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!
 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

20 March 2014

 Birthdays
Bianca Lawson b. 1979 (Teen Wolf [TV], The Vampire Diaries, Big Monster on Campus, Buffy)
Jane March b. 1973 (Jack the Giant Killer, Clash of the Titans, Blood of Beasts, Dark Prince: The True Story of Dracula , Dark Realm, Relic Hunter)
Michael Rapaport b. 1970 (The 6th Day, Deep Blue Sea)
Lawrence Makoare b. 1968 (The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, Xena)
Marc Warren b. 1967 (Dreams1997, Dracula [2006], Hogfather, Doctor Who, Alice Through the Looking Glass [1998], Highlander [TV])
David Thewlis b. 1963 (Harry Potter, The Zero Theorem, The Omen [2006], Timeline, Dinotopia, The Island of Dr. Moreau [1996], DragonHeart)
Stephen Sommers b. 1963 (director, G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra, Van Helsing, The Mummy, The Mummy Returns, Deep Rising)
Kathy Ireland b. 1963 (Journey to the Center of the Earth [1988], Alien from L.A.)
Theresa Russell b. 1957 (The Legends of Nethiah, Fringe, Spider-Man 3, Earth vs. the Spider [2001], Good vs Evil, A Young Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court)
Chris Wedge b. 1957 (director, Ice Age, Robots, Epic)
Tom Towles b. 1950 (Halloween [2007], House of 1000 Corpses, Firefly, Star Trek: Voyager, 3rd Rock from the Sun, VR.5, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Night of the Living Dead [1990], The Pit and the Pendulum)
William Hurt b. 1950 (The Host, Hellgate, The Incredible Hulk, Nightmares & Dreamscapes, Neverwas, Frankenstein [TV], The Village, Tuck Everlasting, A.I. Artificial Intelligence, Dune [TV], Lost in Space [movie], Dark City, Michael, Until the End of the World, Altered States)
John De Lancie b. 1948 (Zombie Hamlet, Cloned: The Recreator Chronicles, Torchwood, Gamer, My Apocalypse, Invader ZIM, Charmed, Andromeda, Stargate SG-1, Star Trek, Multiplicity, Legend, Time Trax, The Twilight Zone, Battlestar Galactica [1979], The Six Million Dollar Man)
Chip Zien b. 1947 (Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Undead, Breakfast of Champions, Into the Woods, Howard the Duck)
Hal Linden b. 1931 (Supernatural, Light Years Away, Time Changer)
Karen Steele b. 1931 died 12 March 1988 (Star Trek, Cyborg 2087, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea)
Jack Kruschen b. 1922 died 2 April 2002 (Lois and Clark, The Time Machine [TV], The Incredible Hulk, Batman, The Angry Red Planet, The War of the Worlds)
Wendell Corey b. 1914 died 8 November 1968 (The Astro Zombies, Cyborg 2087, Women of the Prehistoric Planet)
B.F. Skinner b. 1904 died 18 August 1990 (author, Walden Two)
Fredric Wertham b. 1895 died 18 November 1981 (author, Seduction of the Innocent, The World of Fanzines)

The Picture Slot choice wasn't easy today, which is often the case. We have some star power with William Hurt, an iconic role with John De Lancie as Q (last years' Picture Slot) and plenty of fabulous babes. But the two names that got me thinking the most were the two dead guys from the very bottom of the list, Frederic Wertham and B.F. Skinner. Both did what they could to bring controversy to the psychological fields, Wertham with his sadly successful crusade to get rid of "disturbing" comic books with his book Seduction of the Innocent and Skinner with his weird behaviorist stuff. In Wertham's defense, his later book about fanzines was a very favorable treatment of the communities formed by fandom, which is a reasonable description of this blog.

Many happy returns to the living on the list and to the dead, thanks for all the memories.


In the year 2000!
 
Predictor: Lee de Forest, "The Father of Radio", predicting the world of 2000 in the 17 January 1960 edition of the Sunday supplement American Weekly.

Prediction:  When you phone a foreign country, electronic translating equipment, built on the principle of today's computers, will translate your conversation instantaneously. If, for example, you are calling Japan, answers will come back translated from Japanese.

Reality: For the first time, Dr. de Forest overshoots by quite a bit. He gets a tiny amount of partial credit for explaining to his readers that such technology would be "built on the principle of today's computers", but instantaneous translation is still future technology even today.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Dr. de Forest shouldn't feel too bad, because he gets a lot right. The guy who should consider changing his name and what he does for a living is tomorrow's predictor Dr. Paul Ehrlich, as we pull out some more numbers from his not at all prophetic 1968 book The Population Bomb.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!
 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

19 March 2014

Birthdays
Connor Trinneer b. 1969 (Star Runners, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Stargate: Atlantis, Star Trek: Enterprise, FreakyLinks, Sliders)
Woody Schultz b. 1968 (Avatar, Beowulf, Alien Hunter, Angel)
Jake Weber b. 1964 (Dawn of the Dead, Wendigo, Meet Joe Black, American Gothic)
Bruce Willis b. 1955 (Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Looper, Planet Terror, Sin City, Unbreakable, The Sixth Sense, Breakfast of Champions, The Fifth Element, Armageddon, Mercury Rising, Twelve Monkeys, Death Becomes Her, The Twilight Zone)
Harvey Weinstein b. 1952 (producer, Halloween, Knight Rider, The Crow Sin City, The Amityville Horror, Vampire Academy, Dark Skies, Escape for Planet Earth, Piranha 3D, Apollo 18, Spy Kids, The Mist, Planet Terror, The Prophecy, The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 3-D, Ella Enchanted, Lord of the Rings, Dracula 2000, The Prophecy, The Crow, The Faculty, Mimic)
Dermot Crowley b. 1947 (HG Wells: War with the World, Return of the Jedi)
Glenn Close b. 1947 (The Stepford Wives [2004], Mars Attacks, Hook)
Ursula Andress b. 1936 (Manimal, Clash of the Titans, She)
Philip Roth b. 1933 (author, The Plot Against America)
Patrick McGoohan b. 1928 died 13 January 2009 (Hysteria, The Phantom, Baby: The Secret of the Lost Legend, Scanners, Ice Station Zebra, The Prisoner)
Tige Andrews b. 1920 died 27 January 2007 (Mistfits of Science, Star Trek)
Fred Clark b. 1914 (I Dream of Jeannie, The Addams Family, Dr, Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine, The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb, Zotz!, Twilight Zone, Visit to a Small Planet)
Kent Smith b. 1907 died 23 April 1985 (The Cat Creature, The Invaders, The Outer Limits, Moon Pilot, The Curse of the Cat People)
Sir Richard F. Burton b. 1821 died 20 October 1890 (translator, The Book of the Thousand and One Arabian Knights, Tales of Hindu Devilry)

Here are the nominees for The Picture Slot.

Star power choice: Either Bruce Willis or Glenn Close
Fabulous babe choice: Ursula Andress
The Oh That Guy choice: Fred Clark
Iconic choice (and winner in 2014): Patrick McGoohan as Number Six.

The Prisoner was a summer replacement for The Jackie Gleason Show and my reaction, not at all uncommon among first time viewers was "What the hell is this?" It was very odd, but I was twelve and very odd was definitely a positive.

I like Ken Jennings' Three Categories of Entertainment.
1. This is good.
2. This is bad.
3. I liked this as a kid, so I have no idea if it's good or bad.

There was a remake of The Prisoner with Jim Caveziel and Sir Ian McKellan a few years back that was a tremendous disappointment. Personally, I have not re-watched the original in maybe 40 years because I don't want to break the spell of oddness and wonder that the show has in my admittedly nostalgia clouded memory.

Many happy returns to the living, and to the dead, thanks for all the memories.
 
 

Predictor: Paul E. Erdman in The Crash of '79, published 1976

Prediction: In this complex thriller of international finance, the shah of Iran builds atomic bombs with the aid of the Swiss and plans to use them to conquer most of the Middle East in the 4-Day War which begins March 19, 1979.

Reality: The goddamn Swiss! I knew we couldn't trust those chocolate making motherfuckers.

Okay, that doesn't actually count as reality. The reality is that there was a big fear in the 1970s that the oil producing nations would take over. In the 1980s, we feared the Japanese more and now it's the Chinese. Throughout those decades, there has also been a fear that corporations would become more important than governments. None of these has come to pass, but it sure does look like corporations don't have to account for their crimes to governments.

Of course, since I believe governments actually have a purpose, I'm a goddamn communist by modern standards.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Our new Thursday regular Lee de Forest is back, and the so far reliable futurist comes up with his first clunker.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!
   

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

18 March 2014

 Birthdays
Lily Collins b. 1989 (The Mortal Instruments, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Mirror Mirror)
Sophia Myles b. 1980 (Transformers: Age of Extinction, Moonlight, Outlander, Dracula [2006], Doctor Who, Underworld, From Hell)
Tamer Hassan b. 1968 (Robot Overlords, Dracula, Clash of the Titans, Kick-Ass, Batman Begins)
Thomas Ian Griffith b. 1962 (Timecop: The Berlin Decision, Vampires, Kull the Conqueror, The Guardian [1997])
Richard Biggs b. 1960 died 22 May 2004 (Babylon 5, The Alien Within, Twilight Zone [1986])
Steve Kloves b. 1960 (writer, Harry Potter, The Amazing Spider-Man)
Luc Besson b. 1959 (director, Lucy, The Fifth Element)
Jim Knobeloch b. 1950 (Iron Sky, King Kong)
Brad Dourif b. 1950 (End of the World, Child’s Play, Once Upon a Time, Fringe, Halloween II, The Lord of the Rings, Soulkeeper, Prophecy 3, The Hunger, Alien: Resurrection, Star Trek: Voyager, Babylon 5, Escape to Witch Mountain, The X Files, Graveyard Shift, The Exorcist III, Dune)
Drew Struzan b. 1947 (illustrator)
Carl Gottlieb b. 1938 (director, Caveman)
John Updike b. 1932 (author, The Witches of Eastwick)
Jack B. Sowards b. 1929 died 8 July 2007 (writer, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan)
Peter Graves b. 1926 died 14 March 2010 (Addams Family Values, The Invaders, Attack of the Eye Creatures, Beginning of the End, It Conquered the World, Red Planet Mars)
Alexander Leydenfrost b. 1888 died 16 June 1961 (illustrator)

Last year, being loyal to Babylon 5, an excellent 1990s sci-fi series on the brink of being forgotten, I put up a picture of the late Richard Biggs, who played Doc Franklin. This year, besides the several Pretty Girl options, I would say the best known name is Peter Graves, who like his brother James Arness made some 1950s monster movies before getting on the gravy train as a regular in a TV series.

But for me, some of the most interesting names on the list today and not the actors. The Picture Slot goes to a poster from the prolific and iconic illustrator Drew Struzan. Among his genre classics are Back to the Future, Star Wars, Star Trek, Harry Potter, Thor and the one I chose this morning, Blade Runner. The other illustrator listed Alexander Leydenfrost, has had his work reproduced on this blog as well, and will continue to have it on the anniversary of every You Have Official Permission to Freak the Fuck Out Day.

Many happy returns to the living on the list and to the dead, thanks for all the memories.

Predictor: Ray Kurzweil in the 1999 book The Age of Spiritual Machines

Prediction: By 2009, cables are disappearing. Computer peripheries use wireless communication.

Reality: This has to be considered partially correct, and I'd say even mostly correct. After 1999, tablet computers make a big splash, though it should be noted that the industry leading iPad wasn't released until 2010. Tablets are pretty much cable free when used, though they do have to recharge. On my laptop, I also have a wireless mouse, though it isn't perfect and goes through batteries more quickly than I would like. But for most desktop computers, the screen, printer and keyboard are still connected to the computer by cable. All things considered, I'd say "are disappearing" makes the prediction true, and "have disappeared" would have made it false.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Our regular schedule is interrupted by an exact date, predicting economic collapse and nuclear war.

Fun!

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Monday, March 17, 2014

17 March 2014

 Birthdays
Julia Winter b. 1993 (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory)
Eliza Bennett b. 1992 (Inkheart, Nanny McPhee)
Brittany Daniel b. 1976 (Skyline)
Gina Holden b. 1975 (Avalanche Sharks, Dracano, Fringe, Mysterious Island, Saw 3D, The Legend of the Seeker, Smallvile, Flash Gordon, Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem, The Butterfly Effect 2, Supernatural, Stephen King’s Dead Zone)
Rob Lowe b. 1964 (Salem’s Lot, The Stand)
Casey Siemaszko b. 1961 (Storm of the Century, Back to the Future, Amazing Stories)
Cameron Thor b. 1960 (SeaQuest 2032, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Jurassic Park, Hook, Freddy’s Nightmares)
Arye Gross b. 1960 (Dollhouse, Minority Report, The X-Files, Good vs Evil, Timelock)
Gary Sinise b. 1955 (Mission to Mars, Apolo 13, The Stand)
Mark Boone Junior b. 1955 (Batman Begins, Carnivale, Frankenfish, Armageddon, Vampires)
Kurt Russell b. 1951 (Sky High, Vanilla Sky, Escape from L.A., Stargate, Big Trouble in Little China, The Thing, Escape from New York, The Strongest Man in the World, The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes, Lost in Space)
Patrick Duffy b. 1949 (The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne, Man from Atlantis)
William Gibson b. 1948 (won 1985 Hugo and Nebula for Neuromancer)
Don Mitchell b. 1943 died 8 December 2013 (Wonder Woman, Scream Blacula Scream, Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie)
Patty Maloney b. 1936 (Star Trek: Voyager, A.J.’s Time Travelers, The Addams Family [movie], Legend [TV], Amazing Stories, The Ice Pirates, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, The Star Wars Holiday Special)
Ken Barr b. 1933 (illustrator)
Brigitte Helm b. 1906 died 11 June 1996 (Metropolis, Queen of Atlantis, The Lost Atlantis)

Now that's a birthday list. Last year before I had done as much research as I currently have, I had William Gibson in the Picture Slot, a choice I might still have made today. And I could easily have gone with one of our recognizable movie or TV stars, the most iconic from genre being Kurt Russell as Snake Plissken. But I was feeling old school today, so here we have Brigitte Helm being tended to by stage hands while wearing the robot suit from Metropolis.

Many happy returns of the day to all the living on the list, and to the dead, thanks for all the memories.



Predictor: OMNI Future Almanac, published 1982

Prediction: The scene: Low earth orbit in the late 1990s, eight Soviet ASATs, reported missing from their standard orbits, are picked up on the radar screen of the Untied States station Astrolab.

In response, the commander of Astrolab calls in eight U.S. starfighters and the U.S. manned military station Fort Apache. The battle is brief, lasting thirteen minutes and thirty two seconds. Particle beams and lasers flash wildly.

The damage: Eight Soviet and seven American ASATs destroyed, a sensor on Astrolab disabled. No humans are killed. While the humans plan the strategies, the actual weapons are fired by the computers, who are quicker and more accurate.

Reality: Hey, The OFA was written by people from science fiction after all. You gotta let them cut loose and have some fun every once in a while, am I right?

If there have been battles in space, they have been kept from the general public. I believe they probably haven't happened. If one did, John McCain would have had an aneurysm.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Our Tuesday regular Ray Kurzweil makes an accurate prediction about computer peripherals.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!
 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

16 March 2014

Birthdays
Alexandra Daddario b, 1986 (Percy Jackson, Texas Chainsaw 3D)
Sienna Guillory b. 1975 (Resident Evil, Inkheart, Eragon, The Time Machine)
Alan Tudyk b. 1971 (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Airship Dracula, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Dollhouse, V, Firefly/Serenity, I, Robot, Tucker and Dale vs. Evil)
Rupert Sanders b. 1971 (director, Snow White and the Huntsman)
Ted Ludzik b. 1966 (Warehouse 13, Lost Girl, Outlander, Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium, Resident Evil: Apocalypse, Witchblade, RoboCop: Prime Directives [TV])
Gore Verbinski b. 1964 (director, The Ring, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl/ Dead Man’s Chest/ At World’s End, Rango)
Jerome Flynn b. 1963 (Game of Thrones)
Kevin Smith b. 1963 died 15 February 2002 (Warriors of Virtue 2: Return to Tao, Riverworld, Xena: Warrior Princess, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys)
Todd McFarlane b. 1961 (writer, Spawn)
Steven Grives b. 1951 (Sinbad and the Minotaur, Scooby-Doo, BeastMaster [TV], 20,000 Leauges under the Sea, Time Trax, Highlander II; The Quickening, A Nightmare on Elm Street 5, Horror Planet)
Kate Nelligan b. 1950 (A Wrinkle in Time, Wolf, Dracula [1979])
Victor Garber b. 1949 (Sleepy Hollow, SGU Stargate Universe, ReGenesis, Twilight Zone [1986])
Margaret Weis b. 1948 (author, Dragonlance series)
Leo McKern b. 1920 died 23 July 2002 (Ladyhawke, The Omen, Space: 1999, The Prisoner, The Day the Earth Caught Fire, X: The Unknown)

If I gave the Picture Slot to my favorite actor in a genre role, I'd have a picture of Alan Tudyk from Firefly/Serenity once again as I did last year, but instead I have a picture of the New Zealand actor Kevin Smith, best known as Ares on Xena and Hercules. I did this because I was very surprised and sorry to read that he died from a fall back in 2002. Leo McKern in his role as Number Two (later Former Number Two) in The Prisoner I would also count as iconic and I always like a Game of Thrones picture, so Jerome Flynn as the sellsword Bronn might be in the spot next year as well.

Many happy returns to all the living on the list, and to the dead, thanks for all the memories.

 

Predictor: John W. Campbell in Cloak of Aesir, published March 1939

Prediction: The Sarn invade Earth and conquer humanity in 1977 with atomic blast weapons.

Reality: Of course it didn't happen, but any writer talking about "atomic blast weapons" before 1945 has to get at least some partial credit. This is also the first time John W. Campbell Jr. has been mentioned on the blog. As the editor of Astounding Science Fiction, he is considered a major force in the field from the 1930s up until his death in 1971. Isaac Asimov called Campbell "the most powerful force in science fiction ever, and for the first ten years of his editorship he dominated the field completely."

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Some may look forward to St. Patrick's Day, but I am more excited that we once again get to hear from the OMNI Future Almanac. So much fun!

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!


Saturday, March 15, 2014

15 March 2014

Birthdays
Anna Shaffer b. 1992 (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows)
Kellan Lutz b. 1985 (The Legend of Hercules, Twilight, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Heroes)
Sean Biggerstaff b. 1983 (Harry Potter)
Brian Tee b. 1977 (Grimm, Mortal Kombat: Legacy, The Wolverine, Red Shift, Jericho, Starship Troopers 2: Hero of the Federation, The Chronicle [TV], Buffy, The Invisible Man)
Will i Am b. 1975 (X-Men Origins: Wolverine)
Kim Raver b. 1969 (Revolution, Night at the Museum)
Robin Malcolm b. 1965 (The Lord of the Rings, Boogeyman)
Renny Harlin b. 1959 (director, The Legend of Hercules, The Covenants, The Exorcist: The Beginning,T.R.A.X., Deep Blue Sea, A Nightmare on Elm Street 4)
Joaquim de Almeida b. 1957 (Revolution, Once Upon a Time, Robosapien: Rebooted)
Craig Wasson b. 1954 (Sasquatch Mountain, The Tomorrow Man, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Trapped in Space, A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, Tales from the Darkside)
David Cronenberg b. 1943 (director, eXistenZ, Naked Lunch, The Fly, The Dead Zone, Videodrome, Scanners, The Brood, Rabid, They Came from Within)
Judd Hirsch b. 1935 (Sharknado 2, Warehouse 13, Independence Day)
Lawrence Tierney b. 1919 died 26 February 2002 (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, The Runestone, Wizards of the Demon Sword, Star Trek: The Next Generation)

I don't want to say today's birthday list is lacking in star power, but if I didn't want to repeat a picture from last year of a guy from Twilight I had to resort to showing a quiddich player.

I'm being cruel to actors here and that isn't fair. They have a very tough gig. Think of all the great work Judd Hirsch has done in his career and it still doesn't spare him from appearing in Sharknado 2. Money must be tight.

Many happy returns to all the living on today's list and to Lawrence Tierney, I'm just glad I never got on his bad side while he was alive.
 

Predictor: Thomas L. James, Postmaster General of the United States, 1881

Prediction:  There will a be a delivery of mails that will rival the speed of telegrams. Ocean postage is going to be reduced to a two cent stamp to any part of Europe, while the cost of domestic postage will be reduced to a penny.

Another thing which is sure to come in the next century are postal savings banks. There will be objection to this from some quarters, but my impression is that the people are bound to make such use of the post-office department.

Reality: During his brief tenure at Postmaster General, James reduced the price of postage from three cents to two cents. He hoped one of his successors would follow his lead. It went up to three cents during World War I, then fell back to two cents, but after that it only increased. A postcard could be sent for a penny until the early 1950s.

The postal savings bank idea did come to pass. It was instituted in 1911 and lasted until 1966. There are several progressive politicians, including Senator Elizabeth Warren, that want to see the idea brought back to lessen the burden on the poor of the predatory payday lending industry. Until the Republican Party stops being downright evil, I don't like the odds of this happening.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Sunday is nuclear war day! Make some nice coffee and start your day with a story of an apocalypse we successfully avoided.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!
 

Friday, March 14, 2014

14 March 2014

 Birthdays
Jamie Bell b. 1986 (The Fantastic Four [2015], Jumper, Snowpiercer, Jumper, King Kong [2005])
Mercedes McNab b. 1980 (Supernatural, Angel, Buffy, Escape from Atlantis, The Fantastic Four, The Addams Family, Harry and the Hendersons [TV])
Chris Klein b. 1979 (Rollerball [2002])
Daniel Gillies b. 1976 (The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, True Blood, Spider-Man 2, Jeremiah, Cleopatra 2525, Young Hercules)
Grace Park b. 1974 (Battlestar Galactica, Stephen King’s Dead Zone, Andromeda, Jake 2.0, Stargate SG-1, Dark Angel, The Immortal)
James Frain b. 1968 (Sleepy Hollow, Grimm, Tron Legacy, True Blood, FlashForward, Fringe, Invasion, Threshold, Loch Ness)
Kevin Williamson b. 1965 (writer, The Vampire Diaries, The Faculty)
Season Hubley b. 1951 (Humanoids From the Deep, The Twilight Zone [1985], Escape form New York)
Billy Crystal b. 1948 (The Princess Bride, Monsters, Inc. Monster’s U., Howl’s Moving Castle)
Wolfgang Petersen b. 1941 (director, The Neverending Story, Enemy Mine, Outbreak)
Eugene Cernan b. 1934 (astronaut)
Michael Caine b. 1933 (Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, Inception, Children of Men, The Prestige, Bewitched [2005], 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea [1997], Jekyll & Hyde [TV], The Swarm, The Magus)
Albert Einstein b. 1979 died 18 April 1955 (physicist)

My rule in 2014: Astronauts are trump when it comes to selection for the Picture Slot. Gene Cernan walked on the moon and left his daughter's initials there. The many pretty girls on the list and the one movie star - Michael Caine - will get a chance next year.

Another possible choice for next year is Einstein. To be clear, I don't consider his work or Cernan's to be "fiction" in any way, but astronauts get included because space travel is so essential to the genre and Einstein is on the list for his thought experiments that revealed the very strange nature of light. At least in the public's mind, he is also the father of The Atomic Age, another idea vital to the genre.

Here's wishing many happy returns to all the living on our list and to Albert Einstein, thank you for your contributions to the understanding of the universe and the place of the public intellectual and citizen/scientist.


Predictor: Dr. Paul R. Ehrlich, author of The Population Bomb, published 1968

Prediction: The population growth from 2 billion to 4 billion will take 37 years.

Reality: Multiple online sources agree these on the 2 billion threshold being met in 1927 and passing 4 billion took place in 1974. That is a span of 47 years, not 37.

Some might argue I'm just being a nitpicking math professor about this, but if we recall that 1927+37 = 1964, being off by ten years means 4 billion people would have happened four years before his book was published.

If Einstein is a positive role model for citizen/scientists, Ehrlich is about as bad as a citizen/scientist can do in the public sphere. He is pathetically sloppy when it comes to numbers and by overstating problems, he makes concern about those problems look like foolishness. While our new Thursday regular Lee de Forest made some very accurate forecasts in 1960, Ehrlich in 1968 will continue the horrible track record he has started with his first two clunkers.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Back to 1893, a time of optimism and facial hair.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!
 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

13 March 2014

Birthdays
Kaya Scodelario b. 1992 (Clash of the Titans, Moon)
Harry Melling b. 1989 (Harry Potter)
Emile Hirsch b. 1985 (Speed Racer, Gargantua)
Noel Fisher b. 1984 (Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2, Battle Los Angeles, Final Destination 2, Andromeda)
Danny Masterson b. 1976 (Haven, Stephen King’s Dead Zone, Dracula 2000, The Faculty, Star Kid, American Gothic, Sliders)
Chris Ashworth b. 1975 (Space Warriors, Terminator Salvation)
Common b. 1972 (Terminator Salvation, Wanted)
Annabeth Gish b. 1971 (FlashForward, Once Upon a Time, The X-Files)
Tim Story b. 1970 (director, Fantastic Four, Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer)
Steve Bacic b. 1965 (Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, Smallville, Supernatural, Stargate: Continuum, Battlestar Galactica: Razor, Flash Gordon [TV], Blade: The Series [TV], Andromeda, X-Men 2, Dark Angel, The 6th Day, BeastMaster [TV], Earth: Final Conflict, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids [TV], The X-Files, Highlander [TV], M.A.N.T.I.S.)
Arturo Gil b. 1960 (Saul of the Mole Men, Charmed, Monkeybone, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids [TV], Third Rock from the Sun, Leprechaun 2, Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey, Spaceballs)
Dana Delany b. 1956 (Battlestar Galactica)
William H. Macy b. 1950 (Jurassic Park III, Mystery Men, Pleasantville, Evolver)
Leslie Parrish b. 1935 (Logan’s Run [TV]. The Giant Spider Invasion, Star Trek, Batman)
Grant Woods b. 1932 died 31 October 1968 (Star Trek, The Green Hornet, Batman)
Peter Breck b. 1929 died 6 February 2012 (The Incredible Hulk, The Six Million Dollar Man, The Outer Limits, The Crawling Hand)
L. Ron Hubbard b. 1911 died 24 January 1986 (author, Battlefield Earth)
Paul Fix b. 1901 died 14 October 1983 (Battlestar Galactica [1979], The Six Million Dollar Man, Night of the Lepus, Land of the Giants, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, The Time Tunnel, Star Trek, Twilight Zone, Dr. Cyclops)

Let's cut right to the chase.

L. Ron Hubbard. No relation as far as I know.

For importance to science fiction, he outshines everybody else on the list, but I despise his legacy, so I'm reluctant to put him in the Picture Slot. The most iconic actor might well be Harry Melling, the kid who played Harry Potter's awful cousin Dudley Dursley, but dirty old man that I am, I decided to use the Pretty Girl = Picture Slot rule and put up a picture of Leslie Parrish from her Star Trek episode as the Enterprise crew member to whom Apollo takes a fancy. Ms. Parrish had a lot of roles in non-genre films as well. I particularly recall her as Daisy Mae in the film musical Li'l Abner.

A couple other Star Trek trivia points. Paul Fix played the doctor in the second pilot episode of Star Trek, but was replaced by DeForest Kelley in the rest of the series. (John Hoyt played the doctor in the first pilot with Jeffrey Hunter.) Grant Woods played Lt. Kelowitz in three episodes, but the poor guy died in 1968 at the age of 32.

Many happy returns to the living on the list, and to the dead, thanks for all the memories.
 
In the Year 2000!

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

Prediction:  A miniature TV screen will let you see the person you are phoning. (By accepting a less-detailed image than that of home TV, we already can send such pictures over telephone wires and narrow radio bands.) You can also see items you may be considering for purchase, from small products to pieces of real estate.

Reality: This is a continuation of de Forest's prediction about mobile phones from last week. The first cell phone with a camera was released in 2000, so I'm going to give him full points once again. He is going to strike out a few times over the next few months, but he has a lot of very good calls as well.


Never to be forgotten: Richard Coogan 1914-2014

Most of Richard Coogan's career was in Westerns, the most popular movie and TV genre back in his day, but he was first actor to assume the title character in the early sci-fi show Captain Video and his Video Rangers. (imdb.com says just one episode, Wikipedia says for 17 months.) You can find episodes on YouTube, though I don't know if they have Coogan's claim to sci-fi fame.


Best wishes to the family and friends of Richard Coogan, the original Captain Video. He is never to be forgotten.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Paul Erhlich has more dire warnings about population from the late 1960s. Spoiler alert: He's almost completely wrong.


Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

12 March 2014

Birthdays
Jaimie Alexander b. 1984 (Thor, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Ultradome, Kyle XY)
Aaron Eckhart b. 1968 (I, Frankenstein, Battle Los Angeles, The Dark Knight, Paycheck, The Core, Aliens in the Family)
Titus Welliver b. 1961 (Transformers: Age of Extinction, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Grimm, Lost, Jericho, Star Trek: Voyager, Total Recall 2070 [TV], The X-Files)
Jason Beghe b. 1960 (X-Men: First Class, The X-Files, Quantum Leap, Alien Nation [TV])
Chris Sanders b. 1960 (writer, The Croods, How to Train Your Dragon, Lilo & Stitch, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast)
Jim Sharman b. 1945 (director, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Shock Treatment)
Harry Harrison b. 1925 died 15 August 2012 (author, Bill the Galactic Hero, The Stainless Steel Rat, Make Room! Make Room!)
Frank Overton b. 1918 died 24 April 1967 (Star Trek, The Invaders, Twilight Zone)
Alfred Abel b. 1879 died 3 December 1937 (Metropolis)

Last year, the Picture Slot belonged to the very pretty Jaimie Alexander, best known as Sif in the Thor movies, but this year it's the Oh That Guy actor Frank Overton, who besides being on Star Trek and The Twilight Zone (twice) had important supporting roles in big movies like Fail-Safe and To Kill a Mockingbird. Overton died at the age of 49, only about a month after his Star Trek episode aired. (This is the one where Spock and other members of the away team go all hippie/pacifist and Kirk can only break the spell by getting Spock to fight him. The best known line from this episode is Kirk's taunt that Spock belongs in a freak show, "right next to the dog-faced boy".)

I almost went with Alfred Abel, the top-billed actor in Metropolis, but he isn't the most iconic image. He plays the industrialist who runs the show, but the most famous images are the robot Maria, played by Brigette Helm, and the mad scientist, played by Rudolf Klein-Rogge. Both of them are definitely in the running for the Picture Slot on their birthdays.  

Many happy returns to all the living on the list and to the dead, thanks for all the memories.

Movies released
The Andromeda Strain released, 1971
  

Predictor: T. Baron Russell from his 1905 book A Hundred Years Hence

Prediction: (People will see the) eating of dead bodies as very little better than cannibalism. Moreover, the constantly increasing demand of the new age upon bodily and nervous energies will call for nourishment suited to their supply. This, and the tastefulness of second-hand food, will banish all flesh from the bill of fare. Fish will be eaten longer than meat.

Reality: So, Russell not only wanted to get rid of alcohol and make coffee and tea difficult to buy, he was also some militant vegan.

I get the strong feeling if we were alive concurrently, we wouldn't be pals.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Our new Thursday regular Lee de Forest gets another prediction about the year 2000 right from his vantage point in 1960.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!