"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!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

30 September 2014

Birthdays
Raphael Coleman b. 1994 (The Fourth Kind, It’s Alive, Nanny McPhee)
Greyston Holt b. 1985 (Supernatural, Bitten, Once Upon a Time, Sanctuary, SGU Stargate Universe, Fringe, Flash Gordon [2007 TV], The 4400, Smallville)
Lacey Chabert b. 1982 (Scarecrow, Lost in Space)
Kieran Culkin b. 1982 (The Magical Legend of the Leprechauns)
Pihla Viitala b. 1982 (Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters)
Teal Redmann b. 1982 (Chameleon 3: Dark Angel)
Ashleigh Ashton Moore b. 1981 died 11 December 2007 (The Odyssey [1994 TV])
Fernanda Dorogi b. 1981 (Season of the Witch, Krod Mandoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire)
Toni Trucks b. 1980 (Twilight: Breaking Dawn – Part 2, Star Runners)
Mate Haumann b. 1980 (Hercules [2014], Dracula [2013 TV], Krod Mandoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire, Eragon)
Stark Sands b. 1978 (Day of the Dead)
Maia Brewton b. 1977 (Back to the Future)
Sean Rogerson b. 1977 (Continuum, Arrow, Extraterrestrial, Grave Encounters, Supernatural, Sanctuary, Smallville, Fringe, Stargate: Atlantis, Underworld: Evolution, Stephen King’s Dead Zone)
Marion Cotillard b. 1975 (The Dark Knight Rises, Contagion, Inception)
Ashley Hamilton b. 1974 (Iron Man 3)
Daniel Wu b. 1974 (Europa Report)
Tony Hale b. 1970 (Ctrl)
Mark Rhino Smith b. 1969 (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Batman Begins)
Andrea Roth b. 1967 (Lost, The Time Tunnel [2006 TV], Earth: Final Conflict, Robocop [TV], Forever Knight, Highlander [TV], Deadly Nightmares)
Omid Djalili b. 1965 (Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, Alien Autopsy, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, Jason and the Argonauts [2000 TV], The Mummy)
Monica Bellucci b. 1964 (The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, The Brothers Grimm, Matrix Reloaded, Matrix Revolutions, Dracula [1992])
Eric Stoltz b. 1961 (Caprica, The Triangle, The Butterfly Effect, Anaconda, The Prophecy, The Fly II)
Nicola Griffith b. 1960 (won 1997 Nebula for Slow River)
Debrah Farentino b. 1959 (Eureka, Storm of the Century, Earth 2)
Fran Drescher b. 1957 (ALF)
Barry Williams b. 1954 (Mega Piranha, Perversions of Science, The Invaders)
Al Leong b. 1952 (The Scorpion King, The Others [2000 TV], Godzilla [1998], Escape from L.A., The Shadow, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, They Live, Big Trouble in Little China, The Twilight Zone [1986], My Science Project, Knight Rider, Twilight Zone: The Movie)
John Finn b. 1952 (Believe, The X Files, Strange World, Invasion, SeaQuest 2032, Quantum Leap, The Incredible Hulk)
Jack Wild b. 1952 died 1 March 2006 (Alicja, Sigmund and the Sea Monsters, H.R. Pufnstuf, Danny the Dragon)
Victoria Tennant b. 1950 (The Legend of the Mummy, The Handmaid’s Tale, Twilight Zone [1986], Horror Planet)
Rula Lenska b. 1947 (Kappatoo, Doctor Who, Queen Kong, Space:1999)
Dan O’Bannon b. 1946 died 17 December 2009 (writer, Alien, Aliens, Total Recall, Hemoglobin, The Return of the Living Dead, Dark Star)
Ian Ogilvy b. 1943 (Babylon 5, Witchfinder General, The Day the Fish Came Out, The Sorcerers, She Beast)
Len Cariou b. 1939 (Star Trek: Voyager)
Antoinette Bower b. 1932 (Time Walker, The Six Million Dollar Man, The Starlost, Superbeast, Star Trek, The Invaders, Twilight Zone)

The Picture Slot is Antoinette Bower from the Star Trek episode Catspaw, which was more or less a Halloween episode, written by Robert Bloch, best known for Psycho. Last year it was another fabulous babe, Monica Bellucci from one of the bad Matrix movies and next year it's anyone's guess, though I have a soft spot for Oh That Martial Arts Guy Al Leong.

And now, predictably, the dead. I was completely unaware of the career of young Ashleigh Ashton Moore until I saw her name on imdb.com this morning, but I did know both Jack Wild and Dan O'Bannon by name. I really liked O'Bannon's work and I had forgotten he was dead, so we get the Wait... He's Dead? label once again.

Many happy returns to all the living on the list and to the dead, thanks for all the memories.
 
Predictors: ESPN's panel of experts predicting the playoff teams for the 2014 Major League Baseball Season

Predictions (and realities):
American League:
East: Red Sox (Orioles)
Central: Tigers (Tigers)
West: A's (Angels)
Wild cards: Rays vs. Rangers (Royals vs. A's)

The experts stunk the place out with their American League forecasts this season. My counting method is two points for a completely correct pick like the Tigers and one point for a team getting into the playoffs but not the way predicted, like the A's in the wild card instead of the division championship. This prediction is 3 of 10, a failing grade on any scale. Even worse, the three teams that didn't make the playoffs finished well below .500, the Rangers having the worst record in the American League.

National League
East: Nationals (Nationals)
Central: Cardinals (Cardinals)
West: Dodgers (Dodgers)
Wild cards: Pirates vs. Braves (Pirates vs. Giants)

On the other hand, the experts got four of five right in the National League, 8 of 10 points and a good solid B if we aren't grading on the curve. Like the mistakes in the American, the Braves finished below .500, but only barely below.

There's no two ways around it. Sports prediction is hard.

Looking one day ahead...  INTO THE FUTURE!

A new month, a new splash illustration and the return of our bold but anonymous predictor from 1911.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Monday, September 29, 2014

29 September 2014

Birthdays
Shay Astar b. 1981 (3rd Rock from the Sun, Quantum Leap, Star Trek: The Next Generation)
Zachary Levi b. 1980 (Thor: The Dark World, Video Game High School, The Guild, Team Unicorn)
Alexis Cruz b. 1974 (Stargate)
Mackenzie Crook b. 1971 (Pirates of the Caribbean, Almost Human, Game of Thrones, Solomon Kane, Demons, The Brothers Grimm)
Natasha Gregson Wagner b. 1970 (The 4400, Vampires: Los Muertos, Buffy)
Russell Peters b. 1970 (Source Code)
Emily Lloyd b. 1970 (Riverworld)
Erika Eleniak b. 1969 (Absolute Zero, Dracula 3000, Bordello of Blood, The Blob [1988], E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial)
Luke Goss b. 1968 (Lost Time, Witchville, The Dead Undead, Tekken, Annihilation Earth, Fringe, Hellboy II, Frankenstein [TV 2004], Blade II)
Roger Bart b. 1962 (Grimm, The Event, The Stepford Wives)
Nicholas Briggs b. 1961 (Doctor Who, The Sarah Jane Adventures, Torchwood)
Ken Weatherwax b. 1955 (The Addams Family)
Cindy Morgan b. 1954 (Amanda and the Alien, Galaxis, Harry and the Hendersons [TV], Amazing Stories, Tron)
Martin Ferrero b. 1947 (The X Files, Jurassic Park, High Spirits, Mork & Mindy, The Incredible Shrinking Woman)
Donovan Scott b. 1946 (Babylon 5, Homeboys in Outer Space, Back to the Future Part III, Freddy’s Nightmares, Meet the Hollowheads, The Wizard of Speed and Time, Splash, Too, Faerie Tale Theatre, The Lost Satellite, The Incredible Shrinking Woman)
Patricia Hodge b. 1946 (The Cloning of Joanna May, Jacob Two Two Meets the Hooded Fang)
Roger Bannister b. 1945 (Phantasm, Zombie Family, Wishmaster)
Isla Blair b. 1944 (The Quatermass Experiment, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Doctor Who, Blakes 7, Alien Attack, Space: 1999, Taste the Blood of Dracula, Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors)
Ian McShane b. 1942 (Hercules, Jack the Giant Slayer, American Horror Story, Snow White and the Huntsman, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Seeker: The Dark is Rising, Babylon 5: The River of Souls, The Fantastic Journey [1977 TV], Space: 1999)
Madeline Kahn b. 1942 died 3 December 1999 (Slapstick [of Another Kind}, Simon, Young Frankenstein)
Larry Linville b. 1939 died 19 April 2000 (Lois & Clark, C.H.U.D.II- Bud the Chud, Earth Girls Are Easy, Misfits of Science, The Girl, The Gold Watch & Dynamite, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, The Sixth Sense)
Anita Ekberg b. 1931 (The Temptation of Doctor Antonio, Abbott and Costello Go to Mars)

Notes on the birthday list.
1. The Picture Slot. Last year, it was Cindy Morgan from TRON, iconic and pretty. This year it's Mackenzie Crook as the wildling warg, iconic and not so pretty. Next year, I'd the say the competitors are Ken Weatherwax from The Addams Family, the late Madeline Kahn from Young Frankenstein and Anita Ekberg from The Temptation of Doctor Antonio, the third possibility because... reasons.

2. The dead yet again. I remember that Madeline Kahn died and it was a sad day. On the other hand, I completely blanked about Larry Linville, who died from complications after surgery. Most people will remember him from M*A*S*H, but he did a lot work before and after, including being a regular on Mannix, a show I never watched.

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

Predictor: OMNI Future Almanac, published 1982

Prediction: Biofeedback-controlled games will become the most popular electronic games of the 21st Century. While player success with pinball machines was related to manual dexterity, this biofeedback machine will require the player to generate alpha and delta brainwaves on demand. As you hold this electronic pocket game in your hand, its sensors will constantly monitor your galvanic skin response and pulse rate. As the new games become more exciting, the machines will play harder. Great self-control will be demanded.


Reality: Biofeedback! Alpha and delta brainwaves! Galvanic skin response! I'm getting such a 1980s nostalgia rush, I might have to find my Walkman and Rubik's Cube.

No, wait.  Deep breaths... okay, it's passed.

While it can't claim to be one of "the most popular electronic games of the 21st Century", the horror/adventure game Nevermind was released a few years back with a device that was strapped to your chest to check heart rate. If your heart rate went up, the game became more difficult. One problem designers saw during testing was that many players' heart rates increased as they reached the end of a level, not out of fear but out of happiness at completing a task. You can read more through this link.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

The regular baseball season is over, so let's see how well the "experts" did at prediction the post season teams.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE! 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

28 September 2014

Birthdays
Skye McCole Bartusiak b. 1992 died 19 July 2014 (Lost, Firestarter 2: Rekindled, The Darkling, Storm of the Century)
Keir Gilchrist b. 1992 (Delete, Matty Hanson and the Invisibility Ray, ReGenesis)
Kirsten Prout b. 1990 (Twilight, Kyle XY, Meteor Storm, Elektra, Stargate SG-1, Stephen King’s Dead Zone, Jeremiah, Mindstorm, First Wave)
Matt Cohen b. 1982 (Supernatural)
Lucas Bryant b. 1978 (Haven, Beauty and the Beast [2013], Odyssey 5)
Karan Ashley b. 1975 (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers)
J. Trevor Edmund b. 1969 (Return of the Living Dead III, Frogs!, Alien Nation [TV])
Naomi Watts b. 1968 (Allegiant, Insurgent, King Kong, The Ring, Sleepwalkers, Tank Girl)
Mira Sorvino b. 1967 (Intruders, Falling Skies, Space Warriors, Mimic, The Stuff)
Maria Canals-Barrera b. 1966 (Wizards of Waverly Place)
Arie Verveen b. 1966 (Sin City)
Bellina Logan b. 1966 (Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles, Jacob’s Ladder)
Christopher Evan Welch b. 1965 died 2 December 2013 (War of the Worlds, The Stepford Wives [2004])
Janeane Garafalo b. 1964 (Werewolf Bitches from Outer Space, Southland Tales, What Planet Are You From?, Mystery Men)
Susan Walters b. 1963 (Teen Wolf [2014 TV], Star-Crossed, The Vampire Diaries, Carnivale, I Married a Monster)
Sylvia Kristel b. 1952 died 18 October 2012 (Dracula’s Widow)
John Sayles b. 1950 (writer, The Spiderwick Chronicles, Piranha, Brother From Another Planet, The Secret of Roan Inish, Clan of the Cave Bear, The Howling, Battle Beyond the Stars, Alligator)
Michael Flynn b. 1947 (Lightspeed, Halloweentown High, The Darkling, Asteroid, Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, Werewolf)
Jeffrey Jones b. 1946 (10.0 Earthquake, Dr. Dolittle 2, Sleepy Hollow [1999 movie], Invader ZIM, Tales from the Crypt, Amazing Stories, Howard the Duck, The Twilight Zone, Beetlejuice, Transylvania 6-5000)
Herbert Jefferson Jr. b 1946 (Star Trek: Renegades, Apollo 13, Outbreak, Starflight: The Plane That Couldn’t Land, Knight Rider, World War III, Battlestar Galactica [1979], The Bionic Woman, The Immortal)
Fiona Lewis b. 1946 (Innerspace, Strange Invaders, The Fury, Tintorera: Killer Shark, Bram Stoker’s Dracula [TV 1974], Dr. Phibes Rises Again, The Fearless Vampire Killers)
J.T. Walsh b. 1943 died 27 Feb. 1998 (Pleasantville, Dark Skies, The X Files, Lois & Clark, Needful Things)
Marshall Bell b. 1942 (Stargate: Atlantis, The Astronaut Farmer, God vs Evil, Sliders, Virus, W.E.I.R.D. World, The Puppet Masters, The X Files, Tales from the Crypt, Total Recall, Starship Troopers, Hard Time on Planet Earth, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge)
Ronald Lacey b. 1935 died 15 May 1991 (Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Raider of the Lost Ark, Red Sonja, Buckaroo Banzai, Blakes 7, The Last Days of Man on Earth, The Fearless Vampire Killers)
Janet Munro b. 1934 Died 6 December 1972 (Darby O’Gill and the Little People, The Day the Earth Caught Fire, The Crawling Eye)
Ralph Ahn b. 1926 (Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace)
William Windom b.1923 died 16 August 2012 (The Attack of the Fifty Foot Woman [1993 TV], Space Rage, Automan, The Greatest American Hero, The Bionic Woman, The Girl with Something Extra, Escape from the Planet of the Apes, The Invaders, Star Trek, Twilight Zone)
Peter Finch b. 1916 died 14 January 1977 (First Men in the Moon)
Prosper Mérimée b. 1803 died 23 September 1870 (Le Venus d’Ille, Lokis, La Chambre bleue)

Notes on the birthday list.
1. The Picture Slot. Last year, before I had done as much research as I do now, I went with Ronald Lacey, the Nazi agent whose face melts off in Raiders of the Lost Ark. This year, I went with fabulous babe Naomi Watts in a tender scene from Peter Jackson's King Kong. With this birthday list, we need something nice start things off, because this one is rough. 

2. What's that smell? Yeah, that's the smell of death around you. William Windom lived well into his 80s, Prosper Mérimée died at 66, not a bad run back in the 19th Century, but all the rest of the deceased died young, and that's Peter Finch (60), Janet Munro (38), Ronald Lacey (55), J.T. Walsh (54), Sylvia Kristel (60), Christopher Evan Welch (48) and Skye McCole Bartusiak (21). I can't think of any single day list this bad before and I hope I don't have to type another before next September 28th.

3. So much respect. John Sayles, one of the few truly independent filmmakers in the world. He goes off and writes scripts like The Spiderwick Chronicles, Piranha, Clan of the Cave Bear, The Howling, Battle Beyond the Stars and Alligator so he can fund his writer/director stuff himself, free from studio control. He's made several of my favorite movies of the past thirty years, including Brother from Another Planet, Matewan , Eight Men Out, Passion Fish, Lone Star, Men with Guns, Limbo, Sunshine State, Casa de los babys and Honeydripper. There's no one quite like him.

4. The Oh That Guys. I guess William Windom might have been an Oh That Guy, but I would put him at the "Hey, it's Abe Vigoda!" level of fame, since he had a couple sitcoms in the 1960s and a regular recurring role on Murder She Wrote. Of the rest, I would say Jeffrey Jones might be close to that level as well, but I might only think that way because I loved Deadwood so much. I would put Ronald Lacey, Marshall Bell and J.T. Walsh at the Oh That Guy level of recognition for sure.

Many happy returns to all the living on the list and to the dead, thanks for all the memories and I hope I don't see so many of you on any list soon.

Movies released
Looper released, 2012  
 
Predictor: Attitude by A. Neale McDougall, published 1970 by Vantage in New York.

Prediction: This preachy novel alternates between lectures to young students about the past and the love stories of the same students. A war which began in the year 2000 killed half of Earth's population and began a century-long dark age which had some salutary effects: the "holocaust . . . burned away all of the economic rot, cancelled all the bad debts!" Modern America is a debilitated remnant of the old American civilization, and is contrasted with the idyllic Federation of thirteen Asian states where much of the novel is set. A subplot deals with the struggles of a young male to overcome his tendency toward violence and learn how to love. America is diagnosed as having destroyed itself through its bad attitude--hence the title.

Reality: Regular readers will recognize a summary of a plot like this is lifted from Paul Brians' excellent catalog of nuclear holocaust fiction, and once again I thank him for compiling it. The only positive thing to say here is that in reality, we have avoided a big nuclear war - and so far even a small one since Nagasaki - and that great shared dread of the 20th Century is no longer in the back of everyone's mind.

In this post, you have to cherish the tiny bits of good news where you can find them, I guess.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Yet another dip into the nearly inexhaustible pool of predictions that is known as The OMNI Future Almanac.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!
 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

27 September 2014

Birthdays
Lina Leandersson b. 1995 (Let the Right One In)
Thomas Mann b. 1991 (Amityville: The Awakening, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters)
Anna Camp b.1982 (True Blood)
Kristopher Turner b. 1980 (Beauty and the Beast [2013 TV], A Little Bit Zombie, Lost Girl, 2030 CE)
Zita Görög b. 1979 (Underworld)
Travis Aaron Wade b. 1975 (Touch, Torchwood: Web of Lies, Jekyll, War of the Worlds)
Gwyneth Paltrow b. 1972 (Iron Man, The Avengers, Contagion, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, Hook)
John Patrick White b. 1972 (Galaxy Quest, Buffy, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, 3rd Rock from the Sun)
Amanda Detmer b. 1971 (Vampire Diaries)
Tamara Taylor b.1970 (Lost, Serenity)
Patrick Muldoon b. 1968 (Spiders, Ice Spiders, Arrival II, Starship Troopers)
Christopher Cousins b. 1960 (Revolution, Awake, Supernatural, The Grudge 2 Earth vs. the Spider [2001], The Invisible Man [2001], Stargate SG-1, NightMan)
Scott Lawrence b. 1963 (Star Trek Into Darkness, The Host [U.S. 2013], American Horror Story, Avatar, Them [2007], Star Trek: Voyager, Brimstone, Timecop, Quantum Leap)
Shaun Cassidy b. 1958 (producer, Invasion, American Gothic)
Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa b. 1950 (The Man in the High Castle, Teen Wolf [2014], Mortal Kombat, Tekken, Heroes, Elektra, Planet of the Apes, Poltergeist: The Legacy, Vampires, Stargate SG-1, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, The Phantom, Babylon 5, Space Rangers, Alien Nation, Superboy, Star Trek: The Next Generation)
Tom Braidwood b. 1948 (Alien Trespass, The X-Files, The Lone Gunmen)
David Kagen b. 1948 (Star Trek: Enterprise, Angle, Freddy’s Nightmares, Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI)
A Martinez b. 1948 (Curse of Chucky, Mega Python vs. Gatoroid, Welcome to Paradox, Not of This World [1991 TV], The Incredible Hulk, Exo-Man, The Sixth Sense [1972 TV])
Meat Loaf b. 1947 (BloodRayne, Wishcraft, Tales from the Crypt, Americathon, Rocky Horror Picture Show)
Liz Torres b. 1947 (Futurestates, Quantum Leap, Alien Nation [TV])
Denis Lawson b. 1947 (Jekyll, Star Wars: Episodes IV, V and VI, Dinosaur)
Wilford Brimley b. 1934 (Progeny, Mutant Species, Cocoon I and II, Ewoks: The Battle for Endor, The Thing [1982])
Greg Morris b. 1933 died 27 August 1996 (Superboy, War of the Worlds [TV series], Wonder Woman, The Six Million Dollar Man, Twilight Zone)
Will Sampson b. 1933 died 3 June 1987 (Poltergeist II: The Other Side)
Roger C. Carmel b. 1932 died 11 November 1986 (Star Trek, My Living Doll, The Munsters)

Notes on the birthday list.
1. The Picture Slot. Last year it was Gwyneth, the only A list movie star here. If I was going for iconic, Meat Loaf in Rocky Horror, Denis Lawson from Star Wars (Wedge makes it through all three films, rare among the minor characters) or Roger C. Carmel in Star Trek would be my first three choices, but instead of going with movies and TV from my youth, the picture is of Lina Leandersson from the 2008 Swedish vampire movie Let the Right One In. It's not the first Vampire As Good Guy film by a long shot, but it does have a very different look and feel compared to American movies. If you haven't seen it and don't mind some gory scenes, I can recommend it.

2. A Martinez? Shouldn't he be The Martinez by now? A Martinez, no period after the initial was born Adolph Martinez in 1948. He used that name in his first film credit and never again.

Hey, Mr. and Mrs. Martinez in 1948? Too soon.

3. Teen scream Shaun Cassidy? Really? I was not aware Shaun Cassidy made the transition to producer. Good on him.

4. Another Philip K. Dick project? imdb.com lists The Man in the High Castle as pre-production and it should be released in 2015. It's an interesting story and I hope it gets made.

5. Die young much? Wait... he's dead?And a bonus: The Guy at the Door. We have three deceased actors on the list and none of them lived long enough to collect Social Security. It had registered in my mind that Will Sampson and Roger C. Carmel were dead, but somehow I forgot about Greg Morris. Also, while it's not true on every birthday list, all the dead today were born before everybody living. I call the oldest living person on a list like this The Guy (or Gal) at the Door, who in this case is Wilford Brimley, overweight, diabetic and celebrating his 79th birthday today. C'est la vie, said the old folks, it goes to show you never can tell.

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

Movies released
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 released, 2013  
 
Predictor: John J. Ingalls (1833-1900), predicting the world of 1993 in honor of the 1893 Columbian Exhibition in Chicago

Predictions: Man will conquer the atmosphere. Traveling from New York to San Francisco or New York to London will take less take less than twelve hours, making the railway and steamship obsolete. Personal dirigibles will be commonplace. Electricity will be the motive power for these aerial cars and they will be made of aluminum or some other light metal.

The telephone will supplant the telegraph and calling from Boston to Moscow will be done as readily as we now call between neighboring cities. The dwindling power of the telegraph and railroad barons will obviate the need to nationalize these businesses.

Domestic life will become easier with ready access to electricity and women will elevate her political and social status from subordinate to men to equality.

Wealth will accumulate, business will combine and the gulf between rich and poor will be more profound. The attempts to correct this by statue are doomed to fail.

Our greatest city in 1993 will be Chicago, not only the greatest in the nation but the world.

Reality: Okay, the facial hair and clothes, pure 19th Century. If his wire-rims were pince-nez, he would have had the trifecta.

As for the predictions, it was bold in 1893 to say air travel would be so dominant and the telephone was going to be useful worldwide. Of course, we don't have personal dirigibles and electricity is not the motive power of flying machines. But he writes "aerial cars"! Longtime readers will know I give points for that, even though they don't actually... well, you know... exist.

Equality of the sexes is not complete, but women do have the vote and electrically powered modern conveniences do make life much easier than it was in 1893.

As for wealth accumulating, it can be curbed by a progressive tax code and income inequality was much lower for most of the 20th Century than it was in The Gilded Age. But of course, Republicans and their wise stewardship of the economy have made us realize that a prosperous middle class is one of those luxuries we just couldn't afford.

And he ends by sucking up to Chicago. Meh.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Nuclear war! Hunh! Good God, y'all! What is it good for?

Well, it does give me something to write about on Sunday mornings. And we actually haven't had one since WW II ended, so that's another positive point.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Never to be Forgotten:
Don Keefer 1916-2014

Don Keefer, whose best known role may be as the man Billy Mumy turned into a jack-in-the-box in the truly creepy Twilight Zone episode entitled It's a Good Life (written by Rod Serling from a Jerome Bixby short story), died ealier this month at the age of 98.

I am ashamed to say on his birthday of August 18th this year, I didn't recognize his picture as his most famous credit was given as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, in which he had a role as Fireman. He had 170 credits in 50 years, from 1947 to 1997 and the genre roles include Lois & Clark, Creepshow, Time Express, The Incredible Hulk, Sleeper, Star Trek, Bewitched, The Munsters, My Favorite Martian, 'Way Out and roles on three Twilight Zone episodes, the other two being much smaller. He lived the Oh That Guy lifestyle the hard way, almost everything as a guest role on TV, though he was a regular on a 1961 comedy entitled Angel, a show which rings absolutely no bells for me and ran a total of 16 episodes. On the other hand, there are a bunch of shows that brought him back to play different characters multiple times, including ten different roles on Gunsmoke. This is an excellent sign of a guy who learned his lines, hit his marks and treated the cast and crew with respect. I always have to smile when I see a credit list like this on imdb.com. His last role was in Liar Liar as Beggar at Courthouse, which is a scene I remember. (Liar Liar is one of those films with a fantasy element that I don't quite count as genre. Sue me.)

Best wishes to the family and friends of Don Keefer, from a fan. He is never to be forgotten.

26 September 2014

 Birthdays
Emma Rigby b. 1989 (Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, Becoming Human)
Ashley Leggat b. 1986 (The Good Witch’s Charm/Destiny/Wonder, My Best Friend Is an Alien)
Talulah Riley b. 1985 (Thor: The Dark World, Inception, Doctor Who)
Christina Milian b. 1981 (Smallville, Charmed)
Mark Famiglietti b. 1979 (FlashForward, Premonition, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines)
Daniel Buran b. 1974 (True Blood)
Sheri Moon Zombie b. 1970 (Halloween I & II [2007 and 2009])
David Slade b. 1969 (director, Powers, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse)
Jim Caviezel b. 1968 (The Prisoner [2006], Outlander, Frequency)
Marc Gilpin b. 1966 (Earthbound, Jaws 2)
Lysette Anthony b. 1963 (Dark Realm, Highlander: The Return, Tale of the Mummy, NightMan, Dracula: Dead and Loving It, Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde, Dark Shadows [1991], Krull, Beauty and the Beast [1982 TV movie])
Melissa Sue Anderson b. 1962 (10.5:Apocalypse, Bewitched)
Patrick Bristow b. 1962 (Transformers: Age of Extinction, Elvira’s Movie Macabre, Charmed, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, Black Scorpion)
Linda Hamilton b. 1956 (Defiance, Lost Girl, Bermuda Tentacles, Beauty and the Beast [1989], King Kong Lives, Black Moon Rising, Terminator, Children of the Corn, Wishman)
Olivia Newton John b. 1948 (Xanadu)
Mary Beth Hurt b. 1948 (Lady in the Water, D.A.R.Y.L.)
Togo Igawa b. 1946 (Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist, Speed Racer, Primeval, Torchwood, Code 46, Lexx)
Victoria Vetri b. 1944 (Invasion of the Bee Girls, When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth, Land of the Giants, Rosemary’s Baby, Star Trek, Batman)
Helmut Bakaitis b. 1944 (The Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix Revolutions, Shirley Thompson vs. the Aliens)
Kent McCord b. 1942 (Farscape, Megiddo: The Omega Code 2, Dark Skies, SeaQuest 2032, Return of the Living Dead III, Predator 2, Galactica 1980)
Martine Beswick b. 1941 (Trancers II, The Powers of Matthew Star, The Six Million Dollar Man, Strange New World, Dr Jekyll & Sister Hyde, Prehistoric Women, One Million Years B.C.)
Jonathan Goldsmith b. 1938 (Knight Rider, Space, Manimal, Shadow on the Land, The Invaders)
Donna Douglas b. 1933 (Project U.F.O., The Twilight Zone)
Richard Herd b. 1932 (Star Trek: Renegades, InAlienable, Star Trek: Voyager, I Married a Monster, Buffy, SeaQuest 2032, Quantum Leap, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Beauty and the Beast [1987], Knight Rider, Trancers, V, The Powers of Matthew Star, The Greatest American Hero)
Patrick O’Neal b. 1927 died 9 September 1994 (The Stuff, The Stepford Wives, The Outer Limits, Twilight Zone)
Charles Macaulay b. 1927 died 13 August 1999 (V, Splash, The Munster’s Revenge, Blacula, The Twilight People, Star Trek)
Joyce Jameson b. 1927 died 16 January 1987 (Project U.F.O., Death Race 2000, Mr. Terrific, The Munsters, My Favorite Martian, Twilight Zone, The Son of Dr. Jekyll)
Shug Fisher b. 1907 died 16 March 1984 (Kolchak: The Night Stalker, The Giant Gila Monster)
Edmund Gwenn b. 1877 died 6 September 1959 (Them!, The Walking Dead [1936])
Winsor McCay b. 1867 died 26 July 1934 (writer/illustrator, Little Nemo in Slumberland)

Notes on the birthday list.
1. The Picture Slot. Last year it was Linda Hamilton, both a fabulous babe and several iconic roles in genre. Not wanting to repeat myself, we get this climatic shot from Eye of the Beholder, a very famous Twilight Zone episode. (Do I have to warn SPOILER ALERT for a show over fifty years old? I hope not.) She only had a little screen time, but that is in fact Donna Douglas, who would soon be famous as Ellie Mae on The Beverly Hillbillies. Next year, I can't be sure, but Charles Macaulay was Landru on an original Star Trek episode and Richard Herd has played a heck of a lot of admirals. If I want to throw the change-up, I might go with an illustration by Winsor McCay.

2. You might remember me from... We have some people with iconic work that isn't genre. From oldest to youngest, Edmund Gwenn was Santa in Miracle on 34th Street, Jonathan Goldsmith is The Most Interesting Man in the World, Martine Beswick was a Bond girl, Kent McCord was on Adam-12 and Jim Caviezel played Jesus in the torture porn classic Passion of the Christ.

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

Predictor: Economic statistician Roger Babson, September 1928, quoted gleaned from The Experts Speak, compiled by Christopher Cerf and Victor Navasky

Prediction: The election of Hoover in 1928 should result in continued prosperity in 1929.

Reality: We've heard from Babson before. He thought half the country would be living in trailers by 1955 and we would subsist on food in pill form by the late 1970s. It should be noted that a year later in September 1929, he was confident the market would crash. You could call it hedging his bets, but I'm going to be generous and say he correctly changed his mind when confronted with convincing data.

So that would make him 1 out of 4 correct, better than a lot of our predictors. But he failed to rock that beard type like John Elfreth Watkins did and food in pill form is my least favorite of all the cliche future predictions.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

A forward looking fellow from 1893 with much better facial hair than Babson's.


Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!


Thursday, September 25, 2014

25 September 2014

Birthdays
Nicole Fugere b. 1986 (The New Addams Family)
Jordan Gavaris b. 1985 (Orphan Black, Curse of Chucky)
Rossif Sutherland b. 1978 (Reign, Dead Before Dawn 3D, Timeline)
Joel David Moore b. 1977 (Forever, Shark Night 3D, Chillerama, Avatar, Angel, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch)
Clea DuVall b. 1977 (American Horror Story, The Event, Virtuality, Heroes, Carnivale, Ghosts of Mars, How to Make a Monster, The Astronaut’s Wife, The Faculty, Buffy, Little Witches)
Charlotte Ayanna b. 1976 (The Insatiable, The Thirst, The Rage: Carrie 2, Weird Science [TV])
Bridgette Wilson-Sampras b. 1973 (House on Haunted Hill, Mortal Kombat, Last Action Hero)
Catherine Zeta-Jones b. 1969 (The Phantom)
Hal Sparks b. 1969 (Lab Rats, Spider-Man 2, Dude, Where’s My Car?, Lois & Clark, Chopper Chicks in Zombietown, Frog)
Will Smith b. 1968 (After Earth, Hancock, Men in Black, I,Robot, I am Legend, Independence Day)
Simon Barry b. 1966 (writer, Continuum)
Jason Flemyng b. 1966 (X-Men: First Class, Primeval, Clash of the Titans, Kick-Ass, Solomon Kane, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Quatermass Experiment [2005], Seed of Chucky, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Alice in Wonderland [1999 TV], Deep Rising)
Gordon Currie b. 1965 (Left Behind, Earth: Final Conflict, Mutant X, Code Name: Eternity, First Wave, Highlander: The Raven, Poltergeist: The Legacy, Blood & Donuts, Forever Knight, Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan)
Maria Doyle Kennedy b. 1964 (Orphan Black)
Mikael Persbrandt b. 1963 (The Hobbit)
Tate Donovan b. 1963 (No Ordinary Family, SpaceCamp)
Aida Turturro b. 1962 (Deep Blue Sea)
Beth Toussaint b. 1962 (Fortress 2, legend [1995 TV], Babylon 5, Project Shadowchaser II, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Monsters)
Heather Locklear b. 1961 (Firestarter)
Ian Reddington b. 1957 (Doctor Who, Highlander)
Michael Madsen b. 1957 (2047 – Sights of Death, Infected, BloodRayne, Sin City, Frankenstein [2004 TV], Vampires Anonymous, Species I & II, Quantum Leap, Deadly Nightmares)
Christopher Reeve b, 1952 died 10 October 2004 (Smallville, Village of the Damned, Faerie Tale Theatre, Somewhere in Time, Superman)
Colin Friels b. 1952 (Dark City, Space: Above and Beyond, Darkman)
Mark Hamill b. 1951 (Star Wars, Virtually Heroes, 3rd Rock from the Sun, SeaQuest 2032, Village of the Damned, Time Runner, The Flash, Guyver, Amazing Stories)
Jack Bender b. 1949 (director, Under the Dome, Alphas, Lost, Carnivale, Child’s Play 3)
Mimi Kennedy b. 1948 (No Ordinary Family, Twilight Zone [1986])
Felicity Kendal b. 1946 (Doctor Who)
Louisa Moritz b. 1946 (Galaxis, The Incredible Hulk, Death Race 2000)
Robert Walden b. 1943 (Mattie Fresno and the Holoflux Universe, Capricorn One)
Michael Douglas b. 1944 (Ant-Man, Coma [1978])
Steve Forrest b. 1925 died 18 May 2013 (Team Knight Rider, Amazon Women on the Moon, Captain America, The Six Million Dollar Man, The Sixth Sense [TV], Twilight Zone)
Betty Ballantine b. 1919 (editor and publisher)

Notes on the birthday list.
1. The Big Three. Last year it was Christopher Reeve, this year it's Will Smith. If it's iconic roles in genre as the criterion, Mark Hamill should get the shot next year.

2. The wild card next year. Because I'm a big fan of Orphan Black, if I can get a good still picture of Jordan Gavaris and Maria Doyle Kennedy (Felix and Mrs. S.), that would be two for the price of one.

3. Well known but not for genre. Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones are A-list movie stars, but they have avoided sci-fi and fantasy for the most part. Other faces that Americans will know from TV are Robert Walden from Lou Grant, Heather Locklear from more shows than I can list, Aida Turturro from The Sopranos. None of these people are going to be in the Picture Slot, even though Zeta-Jones and Locklear are clearly fabulous babes.

4. Wait... how many credits? Michael Madsen has 241 credits. Mark Hamill has 262. The thing is, the vast majority for Hamill are voice work. It's really for actors to have over 200 unless they are primarily voice actors. I had no idea Madsen had been that busy. If he can keep this pace up, he'll end up with as many as John Carradine. Very impressive work ethic.

5. Wait... she's still alive? A very happy birthday to Betty Ballantine. The sci-fi and fantasy market owes a great debt to the paperbacks published by Ballantine Books.

6. Wait... he's dead?  I wasn't aware Steve Forrest had died. He was 87 when he died last year, but I don't know how I missed the obit. On the other hand, Christopher Reeve died very young but I remember that very well.

Many happy returns to all the living on the list and to Mr. Forrest and Mr. Reeve, 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: New discoveries will make the waters of wretchedness recede from every corner of civilization. Our limitless oceans will be "farmed" for nutritive products. Refining of salt water into fresh will be widespread and inexpensive.

Reality: The "limitless oceans" was an idea that cropped up a lot back in the day, but they aren't limitless and it's hard to farm a place you are using as a dump. With islands of floating plastic in the Atlantic and Pacific and large increases in ocean temperature due to global warming, the ocean as a source of food for all mankind hasn't panned out that well. As for desalination, it's still expensive and rare.

Not your best work, Lee.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Fridays belong to The Experts Speak, so you can expect something completely wrong to start your weekend.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

24 September 2014

Birthdays
Nicole Leduc b. 1999 (Jennifer’s Body, Supernatural, Kyle XY)
Spencer Treat Clark b. 1987 (The Last Exorcism Part II, Superheroes, Unbreakable)
Grey Damon b. 1987 (Star-Crossed, American Horror Story, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, True Blood)
Brit Morgan b. 1987 (True Blood, The Middleman)
Jessica Lucas b.1985 (Evil Dead [2013], Cloverfield, 2030 CE, Halloweentown II: Kalabar’s Revenge, Seven Days)
Lara Jean Chorostecki b. 1984 (Lost Girl, Beauty and the Beast [2012], Antiviral)
Justin Bruening b. 1979 (Wonder Woman [2011], Knight Rider [2009])
Ian Bohen b. 1976 (Teen Wolf, Beauty and the Beast [2014], The Dark Knight Rises, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Weird Science [TV])
Marc Guggenheim b. 1970 (writer, The Flash, Green Lantern, Arrow, Percy Jackson, FlashForward)
Megan Ward b. 1969 (Dark Skies, Joe’s Apartment, Encino Man, Trancers II)
Kelly Jo Minter b. 1966 (A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child, The Lost Boys)
Kieran Mulroney b. 1965 (Star Trek: Enterprise, Seven Days, From the Earth to the Moon, Star Trek: The Next Generation)
John Logan b. 1961 (writer, Hugo, Star Trek: Nemesis)
Kevin Sorbo b. 1958 (Piranha Sharks, The Guild, Paradox, Andromeda, Xena, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Kull)
Brad Bird b. 1957(director, Tomorrowland, The Incredibles, The Iron Giant)
Rick Zumwalt b. 1951 died 19 March 2003 (Timecop, Batman Returns, Rockula, Freddy’s Nightmares, Tales from the Crypt, Werewolf)
Harriet Walter b. 1950 (Fairy Tales, The Magical Legend of the Leprechauns)
Phil Hartman b. 1948 died 28 May 1998 (3rd Rock from the Sun, Small Soldiers, Coneheads)
Ian Stewart b. 1945 (writer, The Science of Discworld)
Kenneth Tigar b. 1942 (The Avengers, Fringe, The X Files, Star Trek: Voyager, Lois & Clark, Quantum Leap, The Flash, ALF, Phantasm II, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Knight Rider, Project U.F.O., Wonder Woman, Man from Atlantis)
Sven-Ole Thorsen b. 1944 (Kull the Conqueror, Last Action Hero, Nemesis, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Abraxas, Guardian of the Universe, Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future, The Running Man, Predator, Red Sonya, Conan the Destroyer, Conan the Barbarian)
Jim Henson b. 1936 died 16 May 1990 (writer, Dinosaurs, The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth)
John Brunner b. 1934 (won 1969 Hugo for Stand on Zanzibar)
Arthur Malet b. 1927 died 18 May 2013 (Hook, Beastmaster 2: Through the Portal of Time, Wonder Woman, Halloween, Heaven Can Wait, Young Frankenstein, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, I Dream of Jeannie, Bewitched, My Favorite Martian, Munster, Go Home!, Mary Poppins)
Bert I. Gordon b. 1922 (director, Empire of the Ants, The Food of the Gods, Necromancy, Village of the Giants, The Magic Sword, Earth vs. the Spider, War of the Colossal Beast, Attack of the Puppet People, The Amazing Colossal Man, The Cyclops, Beginning of the End, King Dinosaur)
F. Scott Fitzgerald b. 1896 died 21 December 1940 (writer, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button)
Horace Walpole b. 24 September 1717 died 2 March 1797 (author, The Castle of Otranto)

Notes on the birthday list
1. The Picture Slot. I used Jim Henson last year, and deciding not to repeat myself, I have to admit that the most iconic actor in genre born this day is Kevin Sorbo, though I find his politics appalling. He makes the professional atheists look good, and that takes some work. But at near the end of the top 100 birthday list on imdb.com was Bert I. Gordon, a.k.a. Mr. B.I.G., maker of many cheesy films and often interested in making things big, like insects, rats, spiders and people. I was honestly surprised he was still alive at 92, so I chose a poster from one of his films. Those in the know can be certain I did not choose this film at random.

2. The dead. Both Jim Henson and Phil Hartman died way too early, but they don't qualify for "Wait... He's Dead?" status with me because I can't forget they are gone. Rick Zumwalt died young, a big bald wrestler/biker type who I never quite remember from role to role. Arthur Malet, on the other hand, died at 85 last year and he had a lot of great roles over the years. As for the people born before the 20th Century began, I include Fitzgerald because Benjamin Button was made into a film and The Castle of Otranto is considered the first gothic novel.

3. Oh That Guys. Besides the late Arthur Malet, Kenneth Tigar is a quintessential Oh That Guy. Take a look at his pictures and you'll see what I mean. I've seen his work in possibly dozens of movies and TV shows and I never quite put a name with his very recognizable face. (Heck, he played six different roles on Barney Miller and I watched that show all the way to the end.) Sven-Ole Thorsen also has a lot of roles, many of them in Schwarzenegger films. I would guess he's a fellow gym rat.

4. The writers.  If I decided not to go with some movie or TV show, I might use Brunner's Stand on Zanzibar in the Picture Slot next year.

Many happy returns to all the living on the list (even Kevin Sorbo), and to the dead, thanks for all the memories.

Movies released
Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga-Hoole released, 2010  
 
Predictor: Anonymous writer in the New York World, writing in March 1911 about the first of February, 2011

Prediction: What vehicle shall Mr. Smith take to his business? The railway then runs under every street? The moving sidewalk that passes before all the shop fronts? Shall he go on foot over the innumerable bridges which unite at all the building at all heights? He decides upon an aerotaxi, which he can procure from the roof of his apartment building.

The sky resembles the harbor of a great port in which multitudes of vessels are moving in every direction. Aerocabs with polished hoods buzz about like big beetles. The ventripotent Tottenville-Poughkeepsie aerobus passes like a flash in a whirlwind. As it is scarcely 8 o’clock few private airships, with solemn footmen in livery and gauntlets, are seen. But many clerks mounted on old-model, second hand Bierots hasten to their morning work.

Upon a biplane of archaic model, which looks like a flying bureau, they mount a cripple sandwich man, who scatters handbills as he dodges about in the crowd with all the skill of the New York street arab.

The use of balloons has not been abandoned: those cumbrous bladders inflated with flammable gas, those dangerous toys with which our ancestors used to allow themselves to float, not yet knowing how to fly. They are to be seen everywhere but without aeronauts. Reduced in size and always captive, they serve as buoys and marks, bearing the names of the several streets below or of the landing stations. Like baskets, great incandescent electric lights are hung from them to illuminate the air routes at night. And then there are the advertising balloons, launched from the roofs of the great stores like soap bubbles, which float in all directions to announce the great white sale here or the bargains in furniture there.

Mr. Smith mounts a cab which has come to a stop besides the terrace. Off he goes over New York. Some of the small antiquated buildings of the early 20th Century still exist – the Metropolitan Tower, the Public Library and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. But these once magnificent structures are insignificant now in this forest of fifty-story buildings, with their spacious roof terraces, built to last out of steel and cement, proof against fire and earthquakes. These gigantic structures are studios, factories, shops, hotels. Manhattan Island is the heart of the city, It is covered from one end to the other with these buildings in which nothing but business is done, for no one lives on Manhattan any more.

These buildings are tied to each other at almost every story by suspension bridges, which give the city the aspect of fifty cities superimposed, each filled with moving multitudes.

Reality: Boy, this guy sure loves the flowery language. Ventripotent means big bellied. Street arab is archaic for homeless person. Cumbrous is awkward because of size.

Let's start with what he gets right. The skyline of Manhattan now is nothing like the skyline in 1911. Fifty story skyscrapers are not at all uncommon.

And then there's the rest. Air traffic the way he describes it would be an invitation to extinction. Except for stunt pilots like the Blue Angels, most aircraft keep a wide berth of open space around them. He does mention flying cars, and it is the blog's policy not to mention reality and flying cars together, but the space wouldn't be filled up like some great harbor.

People still live in Manhattan. The buildings aren't connected by walkways at every floor. We don't have moving sidewalks everywhere.

It's remarkable how much his picture of the future is like The Jetsons, which was made fifty years after this.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

It's Thursday already and another prediction from Dr. Lee de Forest.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

23 September 2014

Birthdays
Anneliese van der Pol b. 1984 (Vampires Suck)
Keri Lynn Pratt b. 1978 (Smallville, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch)
Anthony Mackie b 1978 (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Real Steel, The Adjustment Bureau, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter)
Warren Kole b. 1977 (Game of Assassins, The Avengers)
Faune A. Chambers b. 1976 (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button)
Jaime Bergman b. 1975 (Angel, Soulkeeper)
Christopher Miller b. 1975 (writer, The Lego Movie, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Clone High)
Mateo Gil b. 1972 (writer, Vanilla Sky)
Crispin Bonham-Carter b. 1969 (Relic Hunter, Highlander [TV])
Christopher Peters b. 1968 (Zombie High, The Lost Boys)
Beatrice Ring b. 1965 (Zombie Flesh Eaters 2, Interzone)
Erik Dellums b. 1964 (Doctor Doolittle)
Alex Proyas b. 1963 (director, Knowing, I, Robot, Dark City, The Crow)
Janelle Brady b. 1962 (Teen Wolf Too, Class of Nuke ‘Em High)
Elizabeth Pena b. 1961 (Strangeland, It Came from Outer Space II, The Invaders, Jacob’s Ladder, *batteries not included)
Chi McBride b. 1961 (I, Robot, The Frighteners)
Jason Carter b. 1960 (Starship II: Rendezvous with Ramses, Vampire, Angel, Charmed, Good vs Evil, Babylon 5, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Lois & Clark, She-Wolf of London)
Jason Alexander b. 1959 (The Voyages of Young Doctor Doolittle, Meteor, Star Trek: Voyager, Coneheads, Jacob’s Ladder)
Rosalind Chao b. 1957 (Forever, The Event, Freaky Friday, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Brimstone, What Dreams May Come, Memoirs of an Invisible Man, Beauty and the Beast, Max Headroom, The Amazing Spider-Man [1979], The Incredible Hulk)
Maren Jensen b. 1956 (Deadly Blessing, Battlestar Galactica [1979])
Peter David b. 1956 (writer, Star Trek, Babylon 5, Marvel Comics)
David Jensen b. 1952 (Salem, This is the End, The Last Exorcism Part II, Looper, Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning, Battleship, Creature, Battle Los Angeles, Jonah Hex, Journey to Promethea, Wolvesbayne, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Mist, Frankenstein [2004 TV])
Mary Kay Place b. 1947 (Being John Malkovich)
John Woo b. 1946 (director, Paycheck, The Robinsons: Lost in Space)
Paul Petersen b. 1945 (In the Year 2889, The Monolith Monsters)
Louise Latham b. 1922 (The X-Files, Earth 2, The Philadelphia Experiment, The Six Million Dollar Man, The Sixth Sense [1972 TV], The Invaders)
Mickey Rooney b. 1920 died 6 April 2014 (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde [2015], Night at the Museum, Sinbad: The Battle of the Dark Knights, Conan [TV], Eric the Viking, Twilight Zone, The Atomic Kid)
Walter Pidgeon b. 1897 died 25 September 1984 (The Neptune Factor, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Forbidden Planet)

Jason Carter as the Ranger Marcus from Babylon 5 is in the Picture Slot this year and the late Walter Pidgeon from Forbidden Planet was last year's choice. While there are some well-known actors like Jason Alexander and Mickey Rooney, for iconic roles in sci-fi, I'll probably go with Maren Jensen from Battlestar Galactica, Rosalind Chao from Star Trek or Anthony Mackie from The Winter Soldier. Thankfully, there are no "Wait... (s)he's Dead?" candidates While Mickey Rooney's death was just this year, it was a big news story and he lived to teh ripe old age of 93, so it's not a surprise typing it up. Everyone younger Rooney is still with us, including Louise Latham, who turns 92. Good on ya, Ms. Latham.

Many happy returns to all the living on the list and to the dead, thanks for the memories. 
 
Predictor: FM-2030 in Upwing Priorities, published 1981

Prediction: Universal Life: We need to hasten the transition to universal telegenesis universal parenting universal life. Mating is no longer necessary to perpetuate the species. We can now reproduce through insemination - inovulation - telegenesis - in vitro births - in vitro cloning. As mating loses biological function family - marriage - coupling phase out. Humanity is decoupling. In our rapidly converging worlds we need to grow fluid and universal - able to connect with more and more people without getting blackholed in exclusive commitments.

Accelerators: Fertilize only those screened sex cells most likely to spawn healthy wholesome new lives. (Later we will mix most desirable elements of many people's cells.) Identities of those whose sex cells are selected for reproduction are never disclosed. Therefore the newborn belong to no specific parents. They lift off in mobilias - with many trans parents. Shared parenthood eases burdens on parents and reduces the child's early programming to lifelong painful traumas of imprinting and possessiveness.

As coupling phases out people flow within a global network of linkups. By 2010 exclusivity will have phased out. Whose child are you? Whose parents? Whose sister or brother? Who are you involved with? All these will be flashbacks from our tribal past. People will connect openly freely universally.


Reality: As I said before, I hate this guy's punctuation almost as much as I hate his arrogant ideas and neologisms. For some reason, he hated commas and decided the dash was a superior symbol.

As to his ideas on childbirth and child raising, I'm sure there are a few communes somewhere that practice his recommendations, but the vast majority of the planet still does that whole "kids raised by the biological parents whenever possible" thing. Then there's his eugenics creepiness and his "I want lots of commitment free sex" creepiness.

There's pretty much nothing I like about this guy.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

It's Wednesday and we get another installment of the optimistic view of 2011 from an anonymous writer in 1911 working for The New York World.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Monday, September 22, 2014

22 September 2014

Birthdays
Chase Ellison b. 1993 (The Boy Who Cried Werewolf, The Tooth Fairy)
Tom Felton b. 1987 (Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Night Wolf, Harry Potter, Bugs, The Borrowers)
Tatiana Maslany b. 1985 (Orphan Black, Alphas, 2030 CE)
Erin Marie Hogan b. 1985 (Hold Your Breath, The Battle of Hogwarts, FemVamp.Com, Spacebong Beach Babes)
Godfrey Gao b. 1984 (The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones)
Laura Vandervoort b. 1984 (Bitten, Haven, Riverworld, Mutant X, Mom’s Got a Date with a Vampire, The Dresden Files, Smallville, V, Ted)
Billie Piper b. 1982 (Penny Dreadful, Doctor Who)
MyAnna Buring b. 1979 (Twilight: Breaking Dawn, Witchville, Vampire Killers, The Omen [2006], Doctor Who)
Emilie Autumn b. 1979 (The Devil’s Carnival)
Chad Michael Collins b. 1979 (Once Upon a Time, Lake Placid 2)
Michael Graziadei b. 1979 (The Lottery, Grimm, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., American Horror Story, Boogeyman 2)
Daniella Alonso b. 1978 (Revolution, Knight Rider [2009], Stargate: Atlantis, The Hills Have Eyes II)
Chad Todhunter b. 1976 (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, True Blood, Good vs Evil, Buffy, Poltergiest: The Legacy, Sliders, The Odyssey)
Mireille Enos b. 1975 (World War Z)
Bob Sapp b. 1973 (JourneyQuest, Conan the Barbarian [2011], Frankenhood, Elektra, Devilman)
Lawrence Gilliard Jr b. 1971 (The Walking Dead)
Elizabeth Bear b. 1971 (author, The Promethean Age, New Amsterdam)
Ira Heiden b. 1966 (Timelock, Lois & Clark, Elvira: Mistress of the Dark, A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors)
Stuart Fratkin b. 1963 (Tremors [TV], Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show, Godzilla [1998], Sliders, Prehysteria!, They Came from Outer Space, Quantum Leap, Alien Nation [TV], Freddy’s Nightmares, Dr. Alien, Werewolf, Teen Wolf Too)
Bonnie Hunt b. 1961 (The Green Mile)
Catherine Oxenberg b. 1961 (Sharktopus vs. Mermantula, Sleeping Beauty, The Time Shifters, The Omega Code, K-9000, The Lair of the White Worm)
Scott Baio b. 1960 (Out of this World, Alice in Wonderland [1985], Zapped!)
Shari Belafonte b. 1954 (Babylon 5: Thirdspace, Mars, Beyond Reality, Time Walker)
Larry Anderson b. 1952 (Star Trek: Insurrection, Martians Go Home, Freddy’s Nightmares, Night Rider, Dr. Strange, The Amazing Spider-Man, The Six Million Dollar Man)
Jim Byrnes b. 1948 (V [2010], Highlander, Supernatural, Jake 2.0, Stephen King’s Dead Zone, Starlight, Omen IV: The Awakening)
Paul Le Mat b. 1945 (Chrome Angels, Conan [1997 TV], Twilight Zone [1988], Deadly Nightmares, Strange Invaders)
Frazer Hines b. 1944 (Outlander, Doctor Who, X: The Unknown)
Toni Basil b. 1943 (Rockula, Village of the Giants)
Asa Maynor b. 1936 (Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, Twilight Zone, Man Beast)
Fay Weldon b. 1931 (author, The Cloning of Joanna May, Wolf: The Mechanical Dog)
Eugene Roche b. 1928 died 28 July 2004 (The Chronicle, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show, Star Trek: Voyager, Roswell, Mr. Merlin, Slaughterhouse-Five)
Samuel A. Peeples b. 1917 died 26 August 1997 (writer, Star Trek)
Martha Scott b. 1912 died 28 May 2003 (Doin’ Time on Planet Earth, The Six Million Dollar Man, The Bionic Woman)
John Houseman b. 1902 died 31 October 1988 (The Fog, The Bionic Woman, The Six Million Dollar Man, Rollerball)

Notes on the birthday list.
1. The Picture Slot. Last year it was Tatiana Maslany from Orphan Black, probably the most virtuoso acting work on TV today. Not wanting to repeat myself, this year we get Billie Piper from Doctor Who. Longtime readers know how the complaint department works.

2. Typecasting. I used to feel bad for actors who were typecast, but the sad truth is that casting directors like making easy decisions. I've seen interviews with Tom Felton, who will likely have the words Draco Malfoy in the first sentence of his obituary in the last half of this century. Felton has that lovable cheeky British lad vibe about him, but he's probably a villain for the rest of his days. I saw him recently in Belle. He played the bad guy. As I said to my sister, "He has an easy sneer."

3. Wait... he's dead? I have to admit I had forgotten Eugene Roche died ten years ago. While Tom Felton has the most iconic genre role I haven't used yet, Eugene Roche was a great Oh That Guy.

4. Wait... he's 43? Lawrence Gilliard Jr played D'Angelo Barksdale on The Wire. If you told me he was ten years younger than he actually is, I would have believed you.

Tempus has that nasty habit of fugiting on us, don't it?

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

Movies released
Children of Men released 2006
 
Predictor: Children of Men, released 22 September 2006

Prediction: In 2027, the youngest person on earth, 18 year old Diego Ricardo, is killed.

Reality: Usually I don't use dates beyond 2020, or sometimes 2025 in a pinch, but this prediction really says the human race goes infertile in 2009. Of course, that didn't happen, and mass infertility is one of the least likely ways humans are going to go extinct, but still, I enjoyed this movie.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

FM-2030 is back. Did you miss him?

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!
 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

21 September 2014

Birthdays
Christian Serratos b. 1990 (The Walking Dead, 7500, Twilight, American Horror Story)
Joseph Mazzello b. 1983 (G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Coma [TV 2012], Star Kid, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Jurassic Park)
Maggie Grace b. 1981 (Twilight 1 and 2, Lost, Creature Unknown)
Autumn Reeser b. 1980 (No Ordinary Family, Birds of Prey, Star Trek: Voyager)
Aleksa Palladino b. 1980 (Spectropia, The Picture of Dorian Gray [2007])
Luke Wilson b. 1971 (Idiocracy, My Super Ex-Girlfriend, The X Files, Scream 2)
Rob Benedict b. 1970 (Touch, Supernatural, Threshold, Birds of Prey, Buffy)
James Lesure b. 1970 (Lost, The Ring Two, The Burning Zone, Space: Above & Beyond)
David Wenham b. 1965 (Van Helsing, Lord of the Rings)
Angus Macfayden b. 1963 (Saw III, Equilibrium, Jason and the Argonauts [2000 TV], Warriors of Virtue)
Nancy Travis b. 1961 (Rose Red, Tales from the Darkside, Worlds Beyond)
Bill Murray b. 1950 (Osmosis Jones, Space Jam, Ghostbusters, Groundhog Day, Zombieland, Scrooged, Little Shop of Horrors)
Stephen King b. 1947 (Carrie, The Stand, The Shining, Under the Dome, also so many more)
Jerry Bruckheimer b. 1943 (producer, National Treasure, Armageddon, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Sorcerer’ Apprentice, Cat People)
Tracy Reed b. 1942 died 2 May 2012 (Dr. Strangelove, UFO, Out of the Unknown, Journey to the Unknown)
Henry Gibson b. 1935 died 14 September 2009 (Charmed, Stargate SG-1, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, Total Recall 2070, Deep Space Nine, Cyber Bandits, Tales from the Crypt, Eerie, Indiana, Gremlins 2: The New Batch, Twilight Zone [1986], Small & Frye, The Incredible Shrinking Woman, Wonder Woman, My Favorite Martian)
Larry Hagman b.1931 died 23 November 2012 (Superman, I Dream of Jeannie)
Chuck Jones b. 1912 died 22 February 2002 (animator, way too many credits)
H. G. Wells b. 1866 died 13 August 1946 (author, War of the Worlds, The Time Machine, so many more)

Morbid bastid that I am, let me mention the dead.

Tracy Reed was the British version of Mary Tyler Moore, though not nearly as successful. She is best known to Americans as George C. Scott's "personal secretary" in Dr. Strangelove. She was 70 when she died, but it still feels like a surprise to me.

Likewise Henry Gibson. I was surprised by how many genre roles he had and that he is now dead.

I am not surprised Larry Hagman is dead. He made ads asking people not to smoke and he didn't look well for many years before he he died. Still, Mark Evanier's memoir of him made me like Hagman a lot.

No surprise at all that Chuck Jones or H.G. Wells are dead already, but they are definitely iconic. Last year, I used Stephen King in the Picture Slot. Of the living, only Bill Murray has a chance at the 2015 Picture Slot if I don't repeat myself.

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

 
Prediction: On August 17, 1966, atomic bombs hit London, triggering a volcanic eruption

Predictor: the movie The Time Machine, (1960)

Reality: I used this prediction in August of 2013 and bring it back today because H.G. Wells is in the Picture Slot and it feels lie forever since we pulled his corpse out of the ground and slapped him around for a while.

 How were we supposed to know we were in London of the future in a scene that lasts just a few minutes? There was an overground monorail and Alan Young as a fallout shelter official wore a metallic suit. Also, geologists are pretty clear on the idea that there aren't any dormant volcanoes near London.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Like today, the regular schedule is interrupted by a prediction from a movie, this time from this century.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

20 September 2014

Birthdays
Sammi Hanratty b. 1995 (Salem, Jack and the Beanstalk, A Christmas Carol, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, Charmed)
Spencer Locke b. 1991 (Resident Evil, The Vampire Diaries, Phil of the Future)
Aldis Hodge b. 1986 (The Walking Dead, Supernatural)
Olivia Grant b. 1983 (Fishtales, Stardust)
Daniella Evangelista b. 1982 (Pacific Rim, Alien Trespass, Supernatural, Stargate SG-1, The 4400)
Charlie Weber b. 1978 (Warehouse 13, Reaper, Charmed, Buffy)
Jon Bernthal b. 1977 (The Walking Dead, Eastwick, Day Zero)
Enuka Okuma b. 1976 (Odyssey 5, Dark Angel, MythQuest, Andromeda, The Dinosaur Hunter, NightMan, The Crow: Stairway to Heaven)
Moon Bloodgood b. 1975 (Falling Skies, Terminator Salvation, Journeyman, Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li)
Asia Argento b. 1975 (Dracula 3D, Transylvania, Land of the Dead, Demons 2)
N’Bushe Wright b. 1970 (Blade)
Ben Edlund b. 1968 (writer, Gotham, Revolution, Supernatural, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, The Venture Bros., Angel, Firefly, Titan A.E., The Tick)
Kristen Johnson b. 1967 (Vamps, Third Rock from the Sun)
Robert Rusler b. 1965 (Star Trek: Enterprise, Babylon 5, Sometimes They Come Back, Vamp, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge, Weird Science)
Robert LaSardo b. 1963 (Waterworld, The X Files)
James Colby b. 1961 (The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Sliders)
Ghassan Massoud b. 1958 (Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End)
Michael Hurst b. 1957 (Legend of the Seeker, Treasure Island Kids: The Monster of Treasure Island, Power Rangers, Andromeda, Hercules, Xena, Death Warmed Over)
Gary Cole b. 1956 (Vamp U, True Blood, Supernatural, The Ring Two, Crusade, From the Earth to the Moon, American Gothic, Twilight Zone)
Betsy Brantley b. 1955 (Deep Impact, From the Earth to the Moon, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, The Princess Bride, Beauty and the Beast, Shock Treatment)
Brinke Stevens b. 1954 (a jillion credits, most direct to video, including Bad Girls From Mars, Slave Girls from Beyond Infinity, Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama)
Steve Gerber b. 1947 died 10 February 2008 (writer, Man-Thing, Howard the Duck)
George R.R. Martin b. 1946 (writer, Game of Thrones, The Outer Limits, Beauty and the Beast, The Twilight Zone)
Jonathan Hardy b. 1940 died 30 July 2012 (Farscape, Death Warmed Over, Mad Max)

Last year, the Picture Slot belonged to George R.R. Martin and I couldn't be faulted for using his picture again. Few writers are known by sight and fewer still if you only count genre. I'd say only J.K. Rowling and Stephen King are better known to the general public than Martin and possibly Neil Gaiman is about equally famous. But I like to mix it up, so Kristen Johnston is here in a publicity still from her most famous role on Third Rock From the Sun. The next most iconic role in my opinion would be Rigel XI from Farscape, which was voiced by Jonathan Hardy. I also admit that I got the "Wait... he's dead?" feeling from both Hardy and Gerber. Usually our lists include artists born in the 1930s or 1920s or earlier still, and to have two dead on this young a list is disconcerting.

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



Predictor: Alfred Van Santvood (1819-1901), predicting the changes seen in the 20th Century on the occasion of the 1893 Columbian Exhibition in Chicago.

Prediction: I do not believe Robert Fulton's invention of the paddle wheel will ever be improved upon for inland navigation. While there may be minor changes, the principle of the paddle wheel will remain supreme.

The development of the inland marine will be prodigious in the next century, enough to rival the railways as a means of transportation.

Reality: All right, first things first. No facial hair and a grumpy looking bastid, not even wearing a high and uncomfortable collar. His appearance is more 20th Century than 19th.

That said, he didn't do a good job of predicting what the 20th Century would look like in his field of expertise. The paddle wheel is an antique method of engine for boats, tossed aside once the propeller technology was perfected and there was no big revival of canals after the 1840s when the railroads began to surpass them. In 1893, it was hard to see that the railroads' main competitors would be interstate highways and air freight.

So, at the risk of making the 1893 version of Grumpy Cat even grumpier, I can't award any points for this prediction. You get a big fat goose egg, Alfred, and it will be sent to you by railroad, so there!

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

It's another lazy Sunday, sleeping late and maybe a brunch, waking to a story of yet another nuclear holocaust.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Friday, September 19, 2014

19 September 2014

 Birthdays
Katrina Bowden b. 1988 (Piranha 3DD, Tucker & Dale vs. Evil)
Danielle Panabaker b. 1987 (The Flash, Time Lapse, Arrow, Piranha 3DD, Grimm, The Crazies, Sky High)
Kevin Zegers b. 1985 (The Colony, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, Vampire, Zoom, Dawn of the Dead, Smallville, Twice in a Lifetime, It Came from the Sky, Nico the Unicorn, Specimen, The X Files)
Columbus Short b. 1982 (Quarantine, War of the Worlds)
Tanja Reichert b. 1980 (Relic Hunter, Poltergeist: The Legacy)
Jeremy Jordan b. 1973 (Storm of the Century)
Sanaa Lathan b. 1971 (Alien vs. Predator, Blade)
Kim Richards b. 1964 (Race to Witch Mountain, Project U.F.O., Return from Witch Mountain, The Car, Escape to Witch Mountain, The Picture of Dorian Gray)
Cheri Oteri b. 1962 (Southland Tales, Inspector Gadget)
Richard Ridings b. 1958 (Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Merlin, Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life, Relic Hunter, Highlander [TV], Red Dwarf, Erik the Viking, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Billy the Kid and the Green Baize Vampire)
Rex Smith b. 1955 (The Trial of the Incredible Hulk, Transformations, Faerie Tale Theatre)
Ernie Sabella b. 1949 (Quantum Leap, Fright Night Part 2)
Jeremy Irons b. 1948 (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Eragon, The Time Machine)
Tanith Lee b. 1947 (writer, Tales of the Flat Earth, Animal Castle)
Randolph Mantooth b. 1945 (Battlestar Galactica, Project U.F.O.)
Mariangela Melato b. 1941 died 11 January 2013 (Flash Gordon)
Lloyd Haynes b. 1934 died 31 December 1986 (The Green Hornet, Batman, Star Trek)
David McCallum b. 1933 (Jeremiah, Team Knight Rider, VR.5, Babylon 5, SeaQuest 2032, The Watcher in the Woods, The Invisible Man, Frankenstein: The True Story, The Six Million Dollar Man: Wine, Women and War, The Outer Limits)
Kathie Browne b. 1930 died 8 April 2003 (Star Trek, Mr. Terrific, The Brass Bottle, My Favorite Martian)
Mel Stewart b. 1929 died 24 February 2002 (Bride of Re-Animator, Martians Go Home, Dead Heat, The Invisible Woman, Mr. Merlin, The Greatest American Hero, Tabitha)
Adam West b. 1928 (Monster Island, Black Scorpion, An American Vampire Story, Weird Science [TV], The Flash, Doin’ Time on Planet Earth, Zombie Nightmare, Time Warp, Warp Speed, Batman, Bewitched, The Outer Limits, Robinson Crusoe on Mars)
Rosemary Harris b. 1927 (Radio Free Albemuth, Spider-Man, The Boys from Brazil)
Damon Knight b. 1922 died 15 April 2002 (writer, To Serve Man)

I'm starting to worry that now I've created the label "Wait... he's dead?" (and today adding "Wait... she's dead?"), I'm going to see candidates for these labels every damn day. Kathie Browne, today's Picture Slot representative in her role from Star Trek, was 72 when she died earlier this century, as was Mel Stewart, best known for non-genre roles on All in the Family and Scarecrow & Mrs. King. The real stunner for me is Lloyd Haynes, star of Room 222, died at the age of 52 almost thirty years ago. I'd forgotten that completely.

Last year, the Picture Slot was given to Adam West and I would argue he that if the criteria is iconic genre role, he's the hands down winner. I don't know who will be in the Picture Slot next year.

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

Predictor: William Borah (1865-1940), Republican senator from Idaho

Prediction: "I will never see the day when the Eighteenth Amendment is out of the Constitution of the U.S."

Reality: Technically, you could say Senator Borah was correct, since the Eighteenth is still there between the Seventeenth and Nineteenth. It's just that the Twenty First Amendment was ratified in 1933 and suddenly it was no longer illegal to get a drink in the U.S. once again.

I have to say the more I read about Borah, who was considered a "liberal" Republican, the less I like him. He fought hard against federal anti-lynching legislation, claiming "state's rights". He also fathered an illegitimate child born in 1925 with Alice Roosevelt Longworth when both of them were married to other people. Borah was 60 and Longworth was 41.

This prediction is from The Experts Speak by Christopher Cerf and Victor Navasky. It had been sharing the Sunday duties with the nuclear holocaust fiction, but I have enough predictions from both to let them both have a day of their own for the time being.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Back to 1893 for another best guess at the Twentieth Century, though sadly, no interesting facial hair.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

18 September 2014

 Birthdays
Chris Riggi b. 1985 (Vampires Suck)
Alison Lohman b. 1979 (Drag Me to Hell, Beowulf, The Thirteenth Floor Kraa! The Sea Monster)
Travis Schuldt b. 1974 (Fringe, Big Bang Theory)
James Marsden b. 1973 (X-Men, Superman Returns, Enchanted)
Michael Landes b. 1972 (Lois & Clark)
Jada Pinkett Smith b. 1971 (Gotham, The Matrix Revolutions, The Matrix Reloaded)
Tara Fitzgerald b. 1967 (Game of Thrones)
John Mann b. 1962 (Supernatural, Bionic Woman [2007], The Butterfly Effect 2, Battlestar Galactica, Underworld: Evolution, Catwoman, The Chronicles of Riddick, Smallville, Stephen King’s Dead Zone, Stargate SG-1, Dark Angel, Strange Frequency, The Girl from Tomorrow Part Two: Tomorrow’s End)
James Gandolfini b. 1961 died 19 June 2013 (Fallen)
Andrew Airlie b. 1961 (Intruders [2014 TV], Once Upon a Time, Collision Earth, Caprica, Fringe, Reaper, The Butterfly Effect 2, Eureka, Supernatural, Neverwas, The 4400, Stephen Kings’ Dead Zone, Fantastic Four, Stargate SG-1, Smallville, Earth: Final Conflict, Mysterious Ways, Total Recall 2070, Poltergeist: The Legacy, The X Files, M.A.N.T.I.S, The Odyssey, Nightmare Cafe)
Tim McInnerny b. 1956 (Outlander [2014 TV], Doctor Who, Erik the Viking)
Anna Levine a.k.a. Anna Thompson b. 1953 (The Crow, Leonard Part 6)
Beth Grant b. 1949 (Mockingbird Lane, Futurestates, Jericho, Southland Tales, Wonderfalls, Evil Alien Conquerors, Donnie Darko, The X Files, Angel, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, Doctor Doolittle, The Wizard)
Nicholas Clay b. 1946 died 25 May 2000 (Merlin [TV], Highlander [TV], The Odyssey, Excalibur, Terror of Frankenstein)
Veronica Carlson b. 1944 (Freakshow, Old Drac, The Horror of Frankenstein, Frankenstein Must be Destroyed, Dracula Has Risen from the Grave)
Fred Willard b. 1939 (My Future Boyfriend, Wizards of Waverly Place, Stargate SG-1, Good vs Evil, Sabrina, The Teenage Witch, Lois & Clark, Superman 50th Anniversary, Out of This World, Salem’s Lot, Americathon, Space Force, Tabitha)
Frankie Avalon b. 1939 (Panic in Year Zero!, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea)
William O’Malley b. 1931 (The Exorcist)
Phyllis Kirk b. 1927 died 19 October 2006 (Twilight Zone, House of Wax)
Grayson Hall b. 1922 died 7 August 1985 (Dark Shadows)
Jack Warden b. 1920 died 19 July 2006 (Alice in Wonderland [1985 TV], The Invaders, Bewitched, Twilight Zone)
June Foray b. 1917 (hundreds of voice acting credits, including Who Framed Roger Rabbit and The Twilight Zone)
Harry Townes b. 1914 died 23 May 2001 (The Warrior and the Sorceress, Voyagers!, The Incredible Hulk, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Ark II, Planet of the Apes [TV], The Sixth Sense, The Immortal, The Invaders, Star Trek, The Outer Limits, Twilight Zone, Men Into Space)


Notes on the birthday list.
1. The Picture Slot and a new label.  Regular reader Zombie Rotten McDonald brought up that he is sometimes startled to see that someone is dead when he reads the birthday list. I get the same feeling on a regular basis, though possibly not for the same deceased actors. Today's Picture Slot goes to the late Nicholas Clay, the ridiculously good looking actor who played Lancelot in Excalibur and was the young cad in the non-genre Evil Under the Sun. I had no idea he had died. He was 53 and it was liver cancer fourteen years ago. The new label is "Wait... he's dead?"

2. Rectifying an error. I didn't give James Gandolfini a Never to Be Forgotten post when he died because I forgot he was in Fallen, the only credit I've found of his that counts as genre. I am a big fan and I apologize for the error. Clearly, he is never to be forgotten.

3. Wait, he's 75? I am somewhat clear on the concept that everyone is getting older, but for me Fred Willard is perpetually this cheerful, clueless guy who is about 40 or so, no older than 50. He's 75 today and so is Frankie Avalon. For some reason, I have no problem with the idea that Frankie is in his seventies. Go figure.

4. Next year's Picture Slot? I used June Foray last year, a voice actor I make an exception for because I love her so much, and next year if I don't repeat myself, the Oh That Guy Harry Townes is a front runner, probably with a still from Twilight Zone or Star Trek. Because that's how I roll.  

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


Predictor: Firebird 2015 A.D., released 18 Sept. 1981

Prediction: In one of many unpopular and unsupported policy decisions, the US government of the near future outlaws vehicle petrol in an effort to curb the overuse of limited natural resources - except, of course, for official purposes. There are many renegades who oppose the authorities, and will stop at nothing to allow themselves the freedom of burning around the countryside.

Reality: Yeah... no. Not a chance. The writers of this film have the tail wagging the dog. The government might regulate the fossil fuel industry, but outlawing sales isn't going to happen. It's too big a creator of tax revenues and it's too big a contributor to political campaigns.

On the plus side, the movie does star Darren McGavin and Doug McClure, so you know it must have been good.

(Once again, I have put a sarcastic sentence in the Reality section, hoping the keen eyed will spot it.)

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

A brand new Friday regular predictor is introduced.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!
 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

17 September 2014

Birthdays
Ella Purnell b. 1996 (Maleficent, Kick-Ass 2, Intruders)
Augustus Prew b. 1987 (Kick-Ass 2)
Neill Blomkamp b. 1979 (director, Elysium, District 9)
Ian Whyte b. 1971 (Hercules, Game of Thrones, Clash of the Titans, Prometheus, Solomon Kane, Dragonball: Evolution, Aliens vs. Predator 1 & 2, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire)
Malik Yoba b. 1967 (Alphas)
Tracy Dali b. 1966 (Paranormal Movie, Space Girls in Beverly Hills, The Scorpion King, Encino Man, Back to the Future Part II)
Bryan Singer b. 1965 (director, X-Men, Jack the Giant Slayer, Mockingbird Lane, Superman Returns)
Kyle Chandler b. 1965 (Super 8, The Day the Earth Stood Still [2008], King Kong [2005], Freddy’s Nightmares)
James Urbaniak b. 1963 (Teen Wolf [TV], Futuremanity, The Venture Brothers, Futurestates, Wizards of Waverly Place, The Sarah Connor Chronicles)
William Shockley b. 1963 (Quantum Leap, Alien Nation [TV], Freddy’s Nightmares, RoboCop)
Dustin Nguyen b. 1962 (VR.5, SeaQuest 2032, Highlander [TV], Earth Angel)
Paul Feig b. 1962 (Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, Zombie High)
Keith Cooke b. 1959 (Mortal Combat: Annihilation)
Aaron Lustig b. 1956 (Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, The Day After Tomorrow, Charmed, Star Trek: Enterprise, Bedazzled, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Brimstone, The Relic, Pinocchio’s Revenge, Star Trek: Voyager, The Shadow, Memoirs of an Invisible Man, Quantum Leap, Edward Scissorhands, Darkman, ALF, Alien Nation [TV], Ghostbusters II)
Tim Burd b. 1955 (Saw II through IV, Repo! The Genetic Opera, Resident Evil: Apocalypse, Mutant X, Odyssey 5, TekWar, Deadly Nightmares)
Cassandra Peterson b. 1951 (Elvira)
John Ritter b. 1948 died 11 September 2003 (Terror Tract, It Came From the Sky, Buffy, It)
Bruce Spence b. 1945 (I, Frankenstein, The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Legend of the Seeker, Nightmares & Dreamscapes, Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, Peter Pan [2003], The Matrix Revolutions, Farscape, Queen of the Damned, BeastMaster [TV], Dark City, The Munsters’ Scary Little Christmas, Halfway across the Galaxy and Turn Left, Hercules Returns, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior, The Cars That Eat People)
Paul Benedict b. 1938 died 1 December 2008 (Attack of the 50 Ft. Woman[1993], the Twilight Zone [1987], The Addams Family, The Man With Two Brains)
David Huddleston b. 1930 (Jericho, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Capricorn One, The Sixth Sense [TV], Bewitched)
Roddy McDowall b. 1928 died 3 October 1998 (The Second Jungle Book: Mowgli & Baloo, The Alien Within, Quantum Leap, Earth Angel, Doin’ Time on Planet Earth, Fright Night 1 and 2, The Wizard, Alice in Wonderland [1985 TV], Small& Frye, The Martian Chronicles, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, The Thief of Baghdad [1978 TY], Wonder Woman, The Cat from Outer Space, Laserblast, The Fantastic Journey, Embryo, Planet of the Apes [4 movies and the TV show], Journey to the Unknown, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Topper Returns [TV movie], It!, The Invaders, Batman, Twilight Zone)
Ib Melchoir b. 1917 (writer, Death Race, Planet of the Vampires, The Outer Limits, The Time Travelers, Robinson Crusoe on Mars, Angry Red Planet, Men Into Space, Reptilitcus)

Last year I used James Urbaniak as Doc Venture and this year it came down to three choices: Roddy McDwall, Elvira and Bruce Spence. I chose Bruce Spence because I love Dark City so much.

Many happy returns to all the living on the list and to the dead, thanks for all the memories.
 
 Predictor: Uncredited writer in The New York World, March 1911 in a piece called One Hundred Years Hence

Prediction:Feb. 1, 2011. Seven o’clock in the morning. The closed shutter prolongs the night. John Smith sleeps peacefully. Suddenly at his bedside the clapper of the phonograph-alarm trembles and produces sweetly harmonious sounds.

John opens his eyes. Reaching out his hand, he presses an electric button. Automatically the shutters open. The Window closes and the sunlight pours into the room.

John Smith’s chamber is furnished with taste and even with a certain amount of luxury, not because he is rich, but that in the 21st Century luxury costs little and no one is poor. The brass bed is no longer that heap of blankets, feathers, wool and hair against which hygienists used to rail. A metal mattress supports pneumatic cushions inflated with air, the temperature of which is regulated at pleasure. All is ready for his toilet and bath.

Through the room the air circulates freely, ceaselessly renewed by ingenious mechanism. Within the walls conduits of water, warmed by a central furnace, distribute everywhere equal heat in the cold season. In summer the same conduits serve to cool the air.

Mr. Smith, who lives on the forty-fifth floor of One Hundred Eighteenth Avenue, New York, has not yet risen. He is talking to the table beside his bed.

“I want a cup of synthetic cocoa, very hot.” he says.

In a few minutes the table opens and the aromatic breakfast appears before the eyes of the hungry man. This is no magic table; no spirit concealed in it. It is simply provided with a microphone by means of which Mr. Smith expresses his wants to the officials of the public alimentation service, which has its branches on the ground floor of every house of any importance.

Why drinking his chemically produced cocoa Mr. Smith listens to the morning papers. Every house with ‘modern conveniences’ communicates with a central information bureau which gives it at all hours the news. Slip a small coin into a slot and a speaking trumpet is uncovered, which at once begins in a sonorous voice to recite the telegrams of the night, the news items, the political news, the stock quotations, literary and dramatic criticisms. When Mr. Smith has heard enough of one article he presses an electric button and the voice tells him something else. This continues until his toilet is through.

Something of a dandy, Mr. Smith is dressed in a full tunic in the Grecian style, which sets off his powerful and youthful figure and allows perfect ease of movement. His shoes are polished by electric buttons.

Reality: Here's our new Wednesday regular and I would say he's pretty darned good. Let's go from beginning to end.

1. Alarm clock radios, not alarm clock phonographs. In 1911, radio is still pretty much wireless telegraphy instead of sound broadcasting.

2. Pneumatic cushion beds. They exist but they aren't the standard.

3. Central air and central heating. Not with water in the walls, but these do exist now.

4. Calling for food from a central kitchen in your apartment building, sent automatically. This is not the case. We don't have a "public alimentation service", though Starbucks seems like it in some cities.

5. Synthetic cocoa. There are a LOT more chemicals in food now than there were in 2011. In later predictions, our new guy will go off the deep end, but there is synthetic cocoa, though many of us wish there wasn't.

6. "Listening" to the morning paper. This is kind of like news radio, right? Notice this is the only section where our newspaper guy thinks about how Mr. Smith will pay for something. We don't get to fast forward through radio, but we can do it online. Once again, he couldn't know the technology, but he's not far off.

7. Guys don't wear tunics. Your legs should be really good to think about wearing a tunic. 


Never to be Forgotten:
Darrell Zwerling 1929-2014

Today we have two obits. Darrell Zwerling is best known as the water commissioner Mulray in Chinatown, but he is remembered here for roles in Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Capricorn One and Doc Savage: Man of Bronze, where he is the not dead guy on the right. He kind of looks like Allan Arbus, the guy who played the psychiatrist on M*A*S*H, but obviously those are two different  guys.

Best wishes to the family and friends of Darrell Zwerling, from a fan. He is never to be forgotten.  
 
Never to be Forgotten:
John Bardon 1939-2014

The other obit is for the British actor John Bardon, best known for East Enders. His genre credits include Polterguests, Gulliver’s Travels [TV] and One of our Dinosaurs is Missing.

Best wishes to the family and friends of John Bardon, from a fan. He is never to be forgotten.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

We interrupt the regular schedule for a prediction from a movie... starring Doug McClure!

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!