Sunday, February 8, 2015
8 February 2015
Anna Hutchinson b. 1986 (The Cabin in the Woods, Legend of the Seeker, Power Rangers Jungle Fury)
Ashley Mulheron b. 1983 (The Task, Vampire Killers, Primeval)
Liam McIntyre b. 1982 (The Flash, The Legend of Hercules)
Dawn Olivieri b. 1981 (The Last Witch Hunter, The Vampire Diaries, True Blood, Heroes, Knight Rider , Stargate: Atlantis)
Jim Parrack b. 1981 (Resurrection, True Blood, Battle Los Angeles, Supernatural)
Marc Wooton b. 1975 (Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel)
Seth Green b. 1974 (Buffy, The Venture Brothers, Greg the Bunny, Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, Delete, Iron Man 2, Heroes, Angel, Idle Hands, Weird Science [TV], Seaquest 2032, The X Files, Free Spirit, My Stepmother Is an Alien, Amazing Stories, Tales from the Darkside)
Brendan Wayne b. 1972 (Cowboys and Aliens, Angel)
Susan Misner b. 1971 (Gotham, Fringe, Night Stalker)
Stephanie Courtney b. 1970 (Angel)
Mary McCormack b. 1969 (K-PAX, Deep Impact)
Gary Coleman b. 1968 died 28 May 2010 (Homeboys in Outer Space, Amazing Stories, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century)
Ladislav Beran b. 1967 (Hellboy, Blade II)
Larry Clarke b. 1964 (Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Lost, Buffy)
Ethan Phillips b. 1955 (True Blood, The Island, Star Trek: Enterprise, Star Trek: Voyager, Star Trek: First Contact, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Werewolf [TV], The Twilight Zone , Critters)
Mary Steenburgen b. 1953 (Elf, Gulliver’s Travels, Back to the Future Part III, Time After Time)
Carolyn Pickles b. 1952 (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, Through the Dragon’s Eye)
Brooke Adams b. 1949 (The Dead Zone, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Song of the Succubus)
Alex Diakun b. 1946 (Intruders, Supernatural, The Boy Who Cried Werewolf, Reaper, The X Files, Eureka, Andromeda, EarthSea, Stargate SG-1, Stephen King’s Dead Zone, MythQuest, NightMan, Millennium, Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, Deadly Nightmares, Firebird 2015 AD)
Roger Lloyd Pack b. 1944 died 15 January 2014 (Doctor Who, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Interview with the Vampire, U.F.O., The Magus)
Nick Nolte b. 1941 (The Spiderwick Chronicles, Neverwas, Hulk, Breakfast of Champions)
John Williams b. 1932 (composer, Star Wars, Minority Report, Harry Potter, A.I. Artificial Intelligence, Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones, E.T., Dracula , Superman, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Land of the Giants, The Time Tunnel, Lost in Space)
Jack Larson b. 1928 (Superman Returns, Lois & Clark, Superboy, Adventures of Superman)
Jack Lemmon b. 1925 died 27 June 2001 (Bell Book and Candle)
Lana Turner b. 1921 died 29 June 1995 (Witches Brew, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde , Topper )
Bengt Ekerot b. 1920 died 26 November 1971 (The Seventh Seal)
Bill Finger b. 1914 died 18 January 1974 (writer, Batman, Green Lantern)
Myron McCormick b. 1908 died 30 July 1962 (Way Out)
Ray Middleton b. 1907 died 10 April 1984 (Damn Yankees [1967 TV], A Christmas Carol [1954 TV])
Lyle Talbot b. 1902 died 2 March 1996 (Plan 9 From Outer Space, Commando Cody: Sky Marshal of the Universe, Tobor the Great)
King Vidor b. 1894 died 1 November 1982 (director, The Wizard of Oz [Kansas scenes, uncredited])
Jules Verne b. 1828 died 24 March 1905 (author, From the Earth to the Moon, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Journey to the Center of the Earth, In the Year 2889)
Notes on the birthday list
1. The Picture Slot. Previous awards of the Picture Slot have gone to Jules Verne and Seth Green. Today's list has some major movie stars and iconic actors, mainly from American TV, I decided to go with Bengt Ekerot in his most famous role in international cinema as Death in The Seventh Seal. If there actually is a personification of death, he (or she) does not seem to have been pleased with Mr. Ekerot's portrayal, since he died at the age of 51. That's not the youngest person to die on today's birthday list, since Gary Coleman was only 42.
2. Things I learned this morning. When I go to imdb.com, I don't click on every actor in the top 100. I do click on all the names in the top 10, though some of them come up empty. Today I found out that Gary Coleman and Lana Turner both had roles in genre, though I knew nothing of those parts until I saw them this morning.
I also didn't know King Vidor directed the Kansas scenes in The Wizard of Oz. I knew George Cukor had been given the director's gig, but was replaced. The movie has five directors listed on imdb.com, the guy who gets full credit Victor Fleming and also Cukor, Vidor, Norman Taurog and Mervyn LeRoy. Usually a movie with that many directors signals a production in serious trouble, not one of the greatest films ever made.
I also didn't know the name of Stephanie Courtney, the actress who plays Flo on those annoying insurance ads. I'm sure the job pays well, but that sort of type casting has to be the worst of all.
3. Spot the Canadian! Our lone Canuck is older than our usual suspects, but his credit list makes him an obvious candidate. Those are all the clues I will give.
4. MST3K. The movie is not one of his genre credits, but John Williams did the score for Daddy-O. One of the bots commented when his name was in the credits, "Johnny Williams! That's John Williams before he heard Stravinsky."
Many happy returns to all the living on the list and to the dead, thanks for all the memories.
Gertie the Dinosaur released, 1914
Prediction: Here is where the Thorsen memory tubes came in… No need to go into theory of an electronic tube that even Bell Labs doesn’t understand too well, the point is that you can hook a Thorsen tube into a control circuit, direct the machine through an operation by manual control, and the tube will “remember” what was done and can direct the operation without a human supervisor a second time, or any number of times. For an automated machine tool this is enough. For a guided missile or Flexible Frank you add side circuits that give the machine “judgment”. Actually it isn’t judgment (in my opinion a machine can never have judgment); the side circuit is a hunting circuit, the programming of which says “look for so-and-so within such-and-such limits; when you find it, carry out your basic instruction.”
Reality: Heinlein predicts a type of programming that would be relatively simple compared to the real ones and zeros method used by the people in charge of making modern robotics work. I'd also like to comment on his parenthetical aside about machines and "judgment". The most famous definition of "Is a machine thinking?" is the Turing Test, where a machine that can fool a human into thinking it's human must be counted as intelligent. I prefer the less subjective definition of Frank Harary, a mathematician who worked at Los Alamos after the Manhattan Project. His definition of when a machine can be said to be thinking is when it solves a problem without checking a list of every possible answer.
Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!
Is tomorrow Monday again already? Time for more fun with the OMNI Future Almanac! Yay!
Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!