"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!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

28 February 2015

Birthdays (28 February)
Quinn Shephard b. 1995 (Believe, From Other Worlds)
Sarah Bolger b. 1991 (Once Upon a Time, The Lazarus Effect, The Spiderwick Chronicles)
Georgina Leonidas b. 1990 (Harry Potter, Wizards vs. Aliens)
Alex Arsenault b. 1985 (Caprica, Supernatural, Tucker & Dale vs. Evil)
Karolina Kurkova b. 1984 (G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra)
Natalia Vodianova b. 1982 (Clash of the Titans)
Lena Carwell b. 1982 (Jeepers Creepers II, The Nightmare Room, Power Rangers Wild Force)
Ali Larter b. 1976 (Heroes, Resident Evil, Final Destination I and II, House on Haunted Hill [1999])
Amanda Abbington b. 1974 (Being Human)
Rory Cochrane b. 1972 (Oculus, A Scanner Darkly)
Lemony Snicket b. 1970 (author, Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events)
Robert Sean Leonard b. 1969 (Falling Skies, My Friend Is a Vampire, The Manhattan Project)
Cecelia Specht b. 1967 (No Ordinary Family, Star Trek: Enterprise)
Rae Dawn Chong b. 1961 (Pegasus vs. Chimera, Deadly Skies, Poltergeist: The Legacy, Highland [TV], Time Runner, Deadly Nightmares, Tales from the Darkside: The Movie, Quest for Fire)
Mark Ferguson b. 1961 (Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings, Xena, Hercules, Cleopatra 2525)
Dorothy Stratten b. 1960 died 14 August 1980 (Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Galaxina, Americathon)
John Turturro b. 1957 (Transformers)
Gilbert Gottfried b. 1955 (Jack and the Beanstalk [2010], Funky Monkey, Superboy)
Bernadette Peters b. 1948 (Cinderella [1997 TV], The Odyssey, Into the Woods [1991 TV], Faerie Tale Theatre, Heartbeeps, The Martian Chronicles)
Mercedes Ruehl b. 1948 (Last Action Hero, Big)
Bubba Smith b. 1945 died 3 August 2011 (Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, Escape from DS-3, Wonder Woman)
Gil Peterson b. 1936 (The Brain Machine)
Don Francks b. 1932 (Hemlock Grove, Puppets Who Kill, Zixx Level One, Earth: Final Conflict, Relic Hunter, Johnny Mnemonic, Eerie, Indiana: The Other Dimension, The Hidden Room, 984: Prisoner of the Future, Rock and Rule, The Star Wars Holiday Special. Mr. Scrooge)
Gavin MacLeod b. 1931 (Time Changer, Wonder Woman, My Favorite Martian, The Munsters, Men Into Space, World of Giants)
Walter Tevis b. 1928 died 8 August 1984 (author, The Man Who Fell to Earth)
Tom Aldredge b. 1928 died 22 July 2011 (The American Astronaut, *batteries not included, Into the Woods [1991 TV], The Mouse on the Moon)
John Carson b. 1927 (Doomsday, Doctor Who, 1990, Captain Kronos – Vampire Hunter, Taste the Blood of Dracula, The Plague of the Zombies, Blood Beast from Outer Space)
Harry H. Corbett b. 1925 died 21 March 1982 (Jabberwocky)
Jean Carson b. 1923 died 2 November 2005 (Twilight Zone, I Married a Monster from Outer Space)
Charles Durning b. 1922 died 24 December 2012 (Fatal Sky, Solarbabies, Amazing Stories, The Fury, Twilight’s Last Gleaming)
Alfred Burke b. 1918 died 16 February 2011 (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Blood Beast from Outer Space, Children of the Damned)
Billie Bird b. 1908 died 27 November 2002 (Werewolf, The Charmings, Max Headroom, Starman [TV])
Sir John Tenniel b. 1820 died 1914 (illustrator, Alice in Wonderland)

Birthdays (29 February)
Peter Scanavino b. 1980 (The Leftovers)
Antonio Sabato Jr. b. 1972 (Charmed, Lois & Clark, Earth 2)
Eamonn Roche b. 1968 (The Event, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, Babylon 5, The Mask)
Dallas Barnett b. 1964 (The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug)
Ken Foree b. 1948 (Zone of the Dead, Halloween [2007], Dawn of the Dead [2004 and 1978], The Nightmare Room, The X-Files, Babylon 5, M.A.N.T.I.S., The Flash, Quantum leap, Beauty and the Beast [1989], From Beyond, Knight Rider)
Harvey Jason b. 1940 (The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Alien Nation [TV], Star Trek: The Next Generation, The Wizard, Knight Rider, Wonder Woman, Man From Atlantis, Genesis II, Necromancy)
Alex Rocco b. 1936 (Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, Small & Frye, The Entity, Slither, Batman)
Joss Ackland b. 1928 (Pinocchio [2010 TV], A Kid in King Arthur’s Court, Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey, One of Our Dinosaurs is Missing, The Little Prince)

Notes from the birthday list.
1. The Picture Slot. In previous years, I used an illustration by Sir John Tenniel in the Picture Slot - certainly iconic, and a still from Transformers with John Turturro, not so iconic. This year I go with Ali Larter from Heroes, arguably the most iconic person on the list other than Tenniel, and unarguably a fabulous babe. Funny how often that works out.

2. Leap day babies. Let me address the elephant in the room. Hello. Mr. Elephant, how are you? For me, the short resource in keeping this blog alive is predictions with dates assigned to them. I'm going to do everything I can to keep going until at least the end of 2015, but I can't be sure about stretching it into 2016, which is a leap year. Given that situation, I decided to list the folks born on leap day since I might not get the chance 366 days from now.

3. The Canadians and Nepotism. Looking at resumes, you might be able to suss out that Alex Arsenault and Don Franks were born in Canada. Poor Dorothy Stratten was killed before the Canadian sci-fi boom began. For me, the surprise was Rae Dawn Chong is Canadian, as well as being the daughter of Tommy Chong, who was also born in Canada.  I did not know their places of birth until this morning.

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


 
Predictor: William Jennings Bryan (1860-1925), Democratic politician and Secretary of State under Woodrow Wilson, predicting the future of the United States in honor of the 1893 Columbian Exhibition in Chicago.

Prediction: The government may grow larger in scope, but it will grow more simple in purpose. Changed conditions will compel the government to guard the weak from the aggressions of the strong.

Much of the increasing inequality in wealth is due to laws absolutely unjust and to the absence of necessary restraining laws. We may not be able to destroy the natural disparity between men, but we must avoid exaggerating it by legislation.

General education among the masses and improved facilities for spreading information have prepared the people for more complete participation in the work of self-government. We have outgrown the present method of electing senators by legislatures.

Reality: Okay. Wow.

The Bryan we know today is best characterized by his Cross of Gold speech when he ran for president in 1896. (He was 36! The Constitution says he has to be at least 35, so he was definitely in a big damned hurry.) We also have his late in life defense of the state in the Scopes Monkey Trial, not his finest hour. But the "simpler government" line is often the preamble to libertarian principles that translate to Fuck the Poor, and he's 180 degrees away from that. For a while, the government did what it could to stem the tide of inequality with progressive taxation, but that's been taking a beating for a couple generations now. And he's completely on the money about direct election of senators. Good on ya, Mr. Bryan.


Never to be Forgotten: Maurice Hurley 1939-2015 The big news in Star Trek obits is of course Leonard Nimoy, but earlier this week writer and producer Maurice Hurley of the Next Generation era passed away. He is given credit for several story lines, including re-introducing the Romulans and having the general idea of an unbeatable foe which became the Borg. Moreover, he added the personal touches of Riker playing the trombone, Picard's favorite holodeck program being the private detective Dixon Hill and the introduction of Data's "brother" Lore. He is also given the blame for Gates McFadden leaving the show and her return when he left the show himself in season three.

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


Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

More guesses from Heinlein about what gadgets will be made in the future, which for him is 1970 or 2000.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Never to be Forgotten:
Leonard Nimoy 1931-2015

My Twitter and Facebook feeds have been full of this all day, so I'm going to assume that my readers are already aware that Leonard Nimoy, the celebrated actor, director, author and photographer, died today at the age of 83 from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, which was the result of his decades of heavy smoking. On his Twitter feed, he often reminded his followers not to smoke. Good on ya, Mr. Nimoy.

Name a show like Star Trek, I dare you. Other TV shows made the jump to the big screen like Batman, but for a TV show to become a franchise that lasts through six decades with hits on regular TV, syndicated TV, Saturday morning TV, the big screen and the web, that list begins and ends with Star Trek. I was a young man when Nimoy wrote I Am Not Spock, and from that I surmised that being typecast really stunk. But Nimoy and Shatner broke that cast, Nimoy most successfully as the director of a Night Gallery episode, one good Star Trek movie (number IV) and one bad one (Number III) and a big box office hit completely outside of genre, Three Men and a Baby. He also wrote a book entitled I Am Spock. I will admit to being confused.

Many fans of Star Trek also love Galaxy Quest and consider Alan Rickman's portrayal of Alexander Dane was supposed to be somewhere between Sir Patrick Stewart and Leonard Nimoy. But if these actors had qualms about their never dying connection to their particular roles on Star Trek, in the long run their defenses were broken down because WE FUCKING LOVE THEM! We are nerds and dweebs and geeks and poindexters, but we loved them then, we love them now and we will continue to love them as long as we draw breath. As time went on, they accepted our love and that made us even more grateful. We may be odd people, but the vast majority of us are not bad people, and we returned their acceptance many million fold over.

Ever wonder how many Mission: Impossible conventions Nimoy attended or I, Claudius fanfests Stewart was asked to do? Yeah, me neither.

I could mention his roles on dozens of other genre productions, including The Big Bang Theory, The Outer Limits, The Twilight Zone, Them!, Zombies of the Stratosphere and the remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

Okay I mentioned some, but we know the score. Spock is dead and if he could be excited when he found out Kirk was still alive, we can grieve knowing he is gone.


Best wishes to the family and friends of Leonard Nimoy, from a currently crying fan. He is never to be forgotten.

27 February 2015

 Birthdays
Kate Mara b. 1983 (The Fantastic Four [2015], The Martian, Transcendence, American Horror Story, Iron Man 2, Zoom)
Juan Riedinger b. 1981 (Continuum, Sanctuary, Collision Earth, Fringe, Supernatural, Jennifer’s Body, Smallville, The Day the Earth Stood Still, Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem, Bionic Woman [2007], Fallen)
Nikki Amuka-Bird b. 1976 (Jupiter Ascending, Sinbad [2012], Torchwood, The Omen [2006])
Bingbing Li b. 1973 (Snow Girl and the Dark Crystal, Transformers: Age of Extinction, Resident Evil: Retribution)
Richard Coyle b. 1972 (Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Ultra)
Julia Parker b. 1970 (A Girl, a Guy, a Space Helmet, Alien Armageddon)
Donal Logue b. 1966 (Gotham, Shark Night 3D, Blade, The X-Files, Night Rider, Robotrix)
Gregg Rainwater b. 1966 (Street Fighter)
Noah Emmerich b. 1965 (Super 8, The Walking Dead, The Truman Show, Last Action Hero)
Adam Baldwin b. 1962 (Day Break, The Thirst, Serenity, Firefly, Angel, Stargate SG-1, The X-Files, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Gargantua, From the Earth to the Moon, Independence Day, VR.5, Predator 2)
Grant Shaud b. 1961 (From the Earth to the Moon, Lois & Clark)
Timothy Spall b. 1957 (The Enfield Haunting, Upside Down, Harry Potter, Enchanted, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, Vanilla Sky, The Hunger [TV], Red Dwarf, Gothic)
Angela Aames b. 1956 died 27 November 1988 (Automan, Likely Stories Vol. 4, Mork & Mindy)
Stephen Leigh b. 1951 (author, Dinosaur World, The Omega Egg, Wild Cards)
Mark Harrison b. 1951 (illustrator)
Debra Monk b. 1949 (The Brass Teapot, Devil’s Advocate)
Hajime Sorayama b. 1947 (illustrator)
Alan Fudge b. 1944 died 10 October 2011 (Dark Skies, Galaxis, M.A.N.T.I.S., Quantum Leap, Alien Nation, My Demon Lover, Twilight Zone [1986], Space, Knight Rider, Man from Atlantis, Capricorn One, Wonder Woman, Bug [1975])
Mary Frann b. 1943 died 23 September 1998 (Lois & Clark, Deadly Nightmares, The Incredible Hulk)
Charlotte Stewart b. 1941 (Tremors, Journey to the Center of the Earth [1990], UFOria, Eraserhead)
Howard Hesseman b. 1940 (Halloween II [2009], Level 9, The Ray Bradbury Theatre, Faerie Tale Theatre, Likely Stories Vol. 4, Americathon)
Bill Hunter b. 1940 died 21 May 2011 (On the Beach, Space: Above and Beyond, The Return of Captain Invincible, Doctor Who)
Barbara Babcock b. 1937 (Space Cowboys, Salem’s Lot, Logan’s Run [TV], The Sixth Sense [1972], Star Trek, The Green Hornet, The Munsters)
Van Williams b. 1937 (The Green Hornet, Batman)
Lynn Cartwright b. 1927 died 2 January 2004 (Far Out Space Nuts, The Wasp Woman, Queen of Outer Space)
William Demarest b. 1892 died 28 December 1983 (Twilight Zone, Son of Flubber)

Notes from the birthday list.
1. The Picture Slot. In previous years the Picture Slot used Adam Baldwin from Firefly and Timothy Spall from Harry Potter. There were several choices this year, including Donal Logue from Gotham or a Sorayama robot, but instead I went with Barbara Babcock from the Plato's Stepchildren episode of the original Star Trek. The general public might remember her better from her recurring role on Hill Street Blues. Kate Mara might become iconic as Sue Storm, but that has yet to be proven.

2. Spot the Canadians! If it was just Juan Reidinger, I would have made it a competition and put the answer in the comments later. He's easy to spot. But we also have Donal Logue, who has only a smattering of Canadian productions on his impressive resume.

3. Wait... they're dead? My first shock this morning on imdb.com was that Mary Frann, known best as Bob Newhart's wife on the show that took place in Vermont, died last century. I certainly paid attention to obits back then, but this had slipped my mind completely.We also have two other actors born in the 1940s who are already dead, the Australian Bill Hunter and the American TV character actor Alan Fudge. Youngest of all is Angela Aames, a busty starlet who died at the age of 32 over a quarter of a century ago. I know her best from the Cinemax show Likely Stories Vol. 4, which is of interest to My People and Our Agenda. I definitely didn't know she was gone.

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


 Predictor: H.G. Wells from his 1902 book Anticipations

Prediction: War is being drawn into the field of the exact sciences. Every additional weapon, every new complication of the art of war, intensifies the need of deliberate preparation, and darkens the outlook of a nation of amateurs. Warfare in the future, on sea or land alike, will be much more one-sided than it has ever been in the past, much more of a foregone conclusion. Save for national lunacy, it will be brought about by the side that will win, and because that side knows that it will win.

Reality: Umm, Herb... not so much. We have so many examples of wars in the 20th Century where the side that started it looked like they would win but failed to achieve their political ends, either because of underestimation of the other side's tenacity or overextending itself to fight several fronts at once.

Looking ahead one day... INTO THE FUTURE!

A prediction from 1893 from a name still known today.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!
 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

26 February 2015

Birthdays
Taylor Dooley b. 1993 (Monster Night, The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 3-D)
Max Lloyd-Jones b. 1991 (iZombie, Teen Wolf [2014], Supernatural)
Teresa Palmer b. 1986 (Parts Per Billion, Warm Bodies, I Am Number Four, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, The Grudge 2)
Shiloh Fernandez b. 1985 (Evil Dead, Red Riding Hood, Deadgirl, Jericho)
James Wan b. 1977 (director, Insidious, The Conjuring, Dead Silence, Saw)
Drew Goddard b. 1975 (writer, Daredevil [2015 TV], World War Z, The Cabin in the Woods, Cloverfield, Lost, Angel, Buffy)
Meeno Peluce b. 1970 (Manimal, Voyagers!, World War III, The Amityville Horror, The Incredible Hulk)
Ed Quinn b. 1968 (Eureka, Behemoth, True Blood, House of the Dead 2)
Ross Partridge b. 1968 (The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Quantum Leap, The Flash [1991 TV])
Jennifer Grant b. 1966 (Time Trax)
Marc Dacascos b. 1964 (Mortal Kombat: Legacy [TV], Kamen Rider: Dragon Knight, Wolvesbayne, Stargate: Atlantis, Solar Attack, The Crow: Stairway to Heaven [TV], The Island of Dr, Moreau, Tales from the Crypt, The Flash [1990 TV])
Chase Masterson b. 1963 (The Flash [2015], Manticore, Creature Unknown, Terminal Invasion, Deep Space Nine, Digital Man, Sliders)
Greg Germann b. 1958 (Eureka, Child’s Play 2)
Jonathan Schmock b. 1956 (Big Bang Theory, Star Trek: Enterprise. They Came from Outer Space [TV], ALF)
Barbara Niven b. 1953 (Charmed, I Married a Monster, Humanoids from the Deep)
Marta Kristen b. 1945 (Lost in Space [1998 and 1965], Battle Beyond the Stars, Project U.F.O.)
Bill Duke b. 1943 (director, Twilight Zone [1987], Starman [TV]; actor, Battledogs, X-Men: The Last Stand, Battlestar Galactica, Predator)
Tony Selby b. 1938 (Cockneys vs Zombies, Doctor Who, Superman, Witchfinder General)
Cliff Osmond b. 1937 died 22 December 2012 (Knight Rider, The Invisible Man [1975], The Six Million Dollar Man, Invasion of the Bee Girls, Land of the Giants, Batman, My Living Doll, Twilight Zone)
Jane Wagner b. 1935 (writer, The Incredible Shrinking Woman)
Godfrey Cambridge b. 1933 died 29 November 1976 (Beware! The Blob)
Lawrence Montaigne b. 1931 (Escape to Witch Mountain, Star Trek, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Batman, The Time Tunnel)
Tony Randall b. 1920 died 17 May 2004 (The Seven Faces of Dr, Lao, The Brass Bottle)
Mason Adams b. 1919 died 26 April 2005 (From the Earth to the Moon, Not of this Earth, Toy Soldiers, Omen III: The Final Conflict, Revenge of the Stepford Wives)
Theodore Sturgeon b 1918 died 8 may 1985 (writer, More Than Human, Amok Time)
Robert Alda b. 1914 died 3 May 1986 (Beyond Westworld, The Incredible Hulk, Wonder Woman, The Amazing Spider-Man [1978], The Invisible Man [1975])
Dane Clark b. 1912 died 11 February 1998 (The Twilight Zone)
Dub Taylor b. 1907 died 3 October 1994 (Back to the Future III, Starman [1987 TV], Creature from Black Lake, Mr. Terrific, My Favorite Martian, Twilight Zone, Them!)
William Frawley b. 1887 died 3 March 1966 (My Living Doll, Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man)

Notes from the birthday list.
1. The Picture Slot. A lot of well known names on today's list, especially in the crowd born before World War II, but for iconic in genre, my top three would be Marta Kristen from Lost in Space, who had the Picture Slot last year, Lawrence Montaigne as Stonn from Amok Time and Chase Masterson as the Bajoran dabo girl Leeta. And somehow I chose the fabulous babe. What an odd coincidence.

2. Nepotism, definitely and maybe. The nepotism today is definitely old school, though one case is stronger than the others. Jennifer Grant is the daughter of Dyan Cannon and Cary Grant. Barbara Niven had a career as an actress when she married David Niven, Jr., so I don't know how much the name helped. Robert Alda is the dad of Alan Alda, but he had a career long before Alan did. The only dad I can think of who I would definitely count as a beneficiary of nepotism is Rance Howard.

3. Stuff you learn when you do research. On imdb.com, every blurb gives one production the actor/writer/director/whatever was associated with. Sometimes those productions are genre and I obviously put them on the list, unless it turns out to be direct to video. Other actors are familiar names to me and I check them just to make sure. For example, today I clicked on Jackie Gleason and he had no genre work I could find. On the other hand, I added William Frawley, Dub Taylor, Robert Alda, Mason Adams and Godfrey Cambridge without knowing for sure they did any genre when I clicked on their names.

4. Spot the British Canadian! Max Lloyd-Jones was born in England, but moved to Vancouver to find work. If I was a young actor today, I'd certainly consider that possibility.

Many happy returns to all the living on the list and to the dead, thanks for all the memories.
 
Predictor: Richard Nixon on 15 October 1965

Prediction: If the United States gives up in Vietnam, the Pacific Ocean will become a Red Sea.

Reality: There was a lot of doom and gloom predicted about what failure in Vietnam would mean, but much of it, like this Nixon quote, was remarkably overblown. We lost and the world didn't collapse. Maybe it wasn't as strategically important as we were lead to believe.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

We hear again from H.G. Wells, though we'll leave the racist crap alone for a week.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

25 February 2015

Birthdays
Laura Ann Kesling b. 2000 (Bedtime Stories)
Tony Oller b. 1991 (The Purge)
Gerran Howell b. 1991 (Young Dracula)
Isabelle Fuhrman b. 1997 (The Hunger Games)
Natalie Dreyfuss b. 1987 (The Originals, True Blood, National Treasure: Book of Secrets)
James and Oliver Phelps b. 1986 (Harry Potter)
Justin Berfield b. 1986 (The Nightmare Room)
Tara Wilson b. 1982 (Almost Human, Lost Girl, Smallville, V, Stan Helsing, Tin Man, Supernatural, The Butterfly Effect, Eastwick)
Anson Mount b. 1973 (Dollhouse, Lost, Smallville)
Daniel Boileau b. 1973 (The Tomorrow People, Eve of Destruction, Supernatural, Fringe, Smallville, Eureka, Stargate: Atlantis, Stephen King’s Dead Zone, Dead Like Me, Dark Angel)
Sean Astin b. 1971 (The Strain, Cabin Fever: Patient Zero, Alphas, Dorothy and the Witches of Oz, Lord of the Rings, Hercules [2005 TV], Click, Jeremiah, Perversions of Science, Harrison Bergeron, Encino Man)
Christien Anholt b. 1971 (Ben 10: Race Against Time, Relic Hunter, Doctor Who)
Tea Leoni b. 1966 (Jurassic Park III, The X-Files, Deep Impact)
Alexis Denisof b. 1966 (Grimm, Guardians of the Galaxy, H+, The Avengers, Dollhouse, Angel, Buffy, Highlander [TV])
Samantha Phillips b. 1966 (Andromina: The Pleasure Planet, Phantasm II)
Lee Evans b. 1964 (Doctor Who, The Fifth Element)
James C. Burns b. 1959 (Dinocroc vs. Supergator, Transformers)
Barclay Hope b. 1958 (Supernatural, Once Upon a Time, Witches of East End, Final Destination 5, Eureka, Tooth Fairy, Fringe, Smallville, Stargate SG-1, Paycheck, Battlestar Galactica, Goosebumps, Forever Knight, War of the Worlds [TV], The Twilight Zone [1989])
John Doe b. 1954 (Zombex, The Wizards of Waverly Place, Carnivale, Roswell, The Rage: Carrie 2, Liquid Dreams)
Neil Jordan b. 1950 (director, Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles, High Spirits, The Company of Wolves)
Diane Baker b. 1938 (Mann & Machine, The Invaders, Journey to the Center of the Earth)
Tom Courtenay b. 1937 (The Golden Compass, Leonard Part 6, The Day the Fish Came Out)
Bernard Bresslaw b. 1934 died 11 June 1993 (Krull, Hawk the Slayer, Jabberwocky, Doctor Who, Blood of the Vampire)
Michael Fairman b. 1934 (Firefly, The X-Files, Quantum Leap, The Powers of Matthew Star, World War III)
Christopher George b. 1931 died 28 November 1983 (City of the Living Dead, Day of the Animals, Wonder Woman, Bewitched)
Larry Gelbart b. 1928 died 11 September 2009 (writer, Bedazzled [2000])
Bert Remsen b. 1925 died 22 April 1999 (Humanoids from the Deep, Deep Space Nine, Evil Spirits, Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat, TerrorVision, Space, Tucker’s Witch, Wonder Woman, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, The Outer Limits, Moon Pilot)
Anthony Burgess b. 1917 died 22 November 1993 (Author, A Clockwork Orange)
Gert Frobe b. 1913 died 5 September 1988 (The Little Vampire, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang)
Jim Backus b. 1913 died 3 July 1989 (Slapstick (Of Another Kind), C.H.O.M.P.S., Pete’s Dragon, The Ghost Busters [1975 TV], Kolchak the Night Stalker, I Dream of Jeannie, Damn Yankees! [1967 TV])

Notes from the birthday list.
1. The Picture Slot. Previous Picture Slotters are Alexis Denisov from Angel and James and Oliver Phelps from Harry Potter. To be honest, Sean Astin is closer to the top of the bill in the The Lord of the Rings movies than the others were in their best known roles, so I don't have any qualms about whether he's iconic on not. There are some other well known names here, but for iconic in genre, I think the other solid choice would be Anthony Burgess for A Clockwork Orange.

2. Spot the Canadians! When you see the Supernatural/Smallville combo, your first guess is Canadian, and all three of today's birthday Canucks have that on their credit lists. Barclay Hope is a little older than the average Canadian in genre productions, but Daniel Boileau and Tara Wilson are of the usual demographic. Anson Mount was on Smallville, but he's not Canadian.

3. Nepotism or not? Sean Astin is now 44 and he has had a successful career on his own merits, but that doesn't change the fact his dad is John Astin and his mom is Patty Duke. His family connections may have helped open the door, but like Josh Brolin, Sean Astin has proven himself on his own and good on him.

4. The Guy at the Door or The Man Who Walked Away. Michael Fairman turns 71 today, not that old by today's standards, but he is the oldest alive on the list and everyone older is dead. More than that, he shares a birthday with the British actor Bernard Bresslaw. More interestingly and more to his credit in my book, Fairman used to be in Scientology and he quit. I remember when he was the actor in TV ads for the Dianetics book. I have a lot of respect for the people who can walk away from that organization.

5. Fun facts to know and tell. Punk rock fans will remember John Doe as the founder of the L.A. band X. What I didn't know is that he has become a working actor with over 70 credits on imdb.com. My other favorite tidbit from today's research is that Gert Frobe and Jim Backus were born on the exact same day. "No, Mister Howell, I expect you to die!" Okay, that's mixing genres too much I think.



Many happy returns to all the living on the list, especially Michael Fairman, and to the dead, thanks for all the memories.
 
Predictor: George Sutherland in the 1901 book Twentieth Century Inventions

Prediction: Hundreds of millions of the human race pass lives of a kind of dull monotonous toil which develops only the muscular, at the expense of the higher, faculties of the body; they are almost entirely cut off from social intercourse with their fellow-men, and they sink prematurely into decrepitude simply by reason of the lack of a cheap and abundant supply of mechanical power, ready at hand wherever it is wanted. Scores of "enterprises of great pith and moment" in the industrial advancement of the world have to be abandoned by reason of the same lack. In mining, in agriculture, in transport and in manufacture the thing that is needful to convert the "human machine" into a more or less intelligent brainworker is cheaper power. All the technical education in the world will not avail to raise the labourer in the intellectual scale if his daily work be only such as a horse or an engine might perform.

Reality: Sutherland hits the nail on the head here. A lot of manual labor, though certainly not all, has been made obsolete by 20th Century inventions, and generally other work can be found. Sometimes, work for good pay is replaced by work for less good pay, but that is not completely the blame of technology. Looking at the big picture, the population of the world has more than quadrupled since Sutherland wrote his book and standard of living has increased dramatically in nearly every corner of the world. It's easy to be worried about the future, but we have done amazing things in the past 100 years and if we grow wiser instead of just cleverer, we might be able to do even more.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Thursday belongs to the bold and incorrect, chronicled faithfully in the book The Experts Speak.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

24 February 2014

Birthdays
Winston Bethel b. 1984 (Astronaut Wives Club)
Bonnie Somerville b. 1974 (Spider-Man 2, Bedazzled [2000])
James Bachman b. 1972 (Transformers: Age of Extinction, Hyperdrive)
Ungela Brockman b. 1970 (Mystery Men, Starship Troopers, Babylon 5, From Dusk Till Dawn)
Will McLaughlin b. 1969 (Men in Black 3)
Billy Zane b. 1966 (Winter Dragon, Zombie Killers: Elephant’s Graveyard, Ghosts of Goodnight Lane, The Ganzfield Haunting, Leprechaun’s Revenge, Journey to Promethea, Evil in the Time of Heroes, BloodRayne, Charmed, Vlad, The Phantom, Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight, Back to the Future I and II, Critters)
Emilio Rivera b. 1961 (The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Spider-Man 3, The X Files)
Beth Broderick b. 1959 (Under the Dome, Lost, Bionic Woman [2007], Supernatural, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Psycho Beach Party, Tales from the Darkside)
Mark Moses b. 1958 (Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, Race to Space, Star Trek: Enterprise, Star Trek: Voyager, Deep Impact)
Helen Shaver b. 1951 (The 4400, Poltergeist: The Legacy, The Craft, The Ray Bradbury Theatre, Amazing Stories, The Amityville Horror, Starship Invasions)
Debra Jo Rupp b. 1951 (From the Earth to the Moon, The Invaders [1995], Death Becomes Her, Big)
Dennis Waterman b. 1948 (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland [1972], Scars of Dracula)
Edward James Olmos b. 1947 (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Eureka, The Green Hornet [2011], Battlestar Galactica, Faerie Tale Theatre, Wolfen, Blade Runner)
Barry Bostwick b. 1945 (Supernatural, Lexx, Project: Metalbeast, Aladdin, Deadly Nightmares, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Slither)
Robert A. Silverman b. 1943 (eXistenZ, Waterworld, 984: Prisoner of the Future, Scanners, The Brood)
James Sloyan b. 1940 (Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager, The X-Files, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Quantum Leap, Misfits of Science, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Wonder Woman)
James Farentino b. 1938 died 24 January 2012 (Dead and Buried, The Final Countdown)
Jess Conrad b. 1936 (Space: 1999, Konga)
Leslie Carlson b. 1933 died 3 May 2014 (Lost Girl, Plague City: SARS in Toronto, Anonymous Rex, Tribulation Force, Odyssey 5, The X-Files, Highlander, The Girl from Mars, Twilight Zone [1988], War of the Words [TV series], The Fly [1986], The Dead Zone, Videodrome, The Neptune Factor)
John Vernon b. 1932 died 1 February 2005 (Tales from the Crypt, The Ray Bradbury Theatre, War of the Worlds [1988 TV], Killer Klowns from Outer Space, Knight Rider, Automan, Faerie Tale Theatre, The Powers of Matthew Star, The Greatest American Hero, The Invisible Man [1975 TV], The Questor Tapes, The Six Million Dollar Man: Solid Gold Kidnapping, 1984 [1956])
Richard B. Shull b. 1929 died 14 October 1999 (Tales from the Darkside, Splash, Heartbeeps, Holmes and Yo-Yo, Ssssssss, Slither)
Richard Powers b. 1921 died 9 March 1996 (illustrator)
Abe Vigoda b. 1921 (Weird Science [TV], Superboy, Tales from the Darkside, The Stuff, The Bionic Woman, Dark Shadows)
August Derleth b. 1909 died 4 July 1971 (author, The Trail of Cthulhu, the Solar Pons series)
Milton Frome b. 1909 died 21 March 1989 (Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, Batman, My Mother the Car, The Addams Family, My Favorite Martian, Visit to a Small Planet, Twilight Zone, Adventures of Superman, The Atomic Kid)

Notes from the birthday list.
The Picture Slot. No disrespect to today's birthday boys and girls, but we have a lot more character actors than A-List movie stars here. Previous Picture Slotters were Edward James Olmos from Battlestar Galactica and an illustration from Richard Powers. I almost went with James Sloyan, an Oh That Guy who has played several different aliens on modern Star Trek series, but instead I went with heroic Barry Bostwick from Rocky Horror Picture Show because damn it, Janet, I still love that movie.  

Wait... he's dead AND Canadian? John Vernon is probably still best known as Dean Wormer from Animal House and he died about ten years ago. He was also born in Canada, though his credit list doesn't make that obvious. A more obvious credit list is that of the late Leslie Carlson. Our one living Canadian is Robert A. Silverman and his credit list has several films directed by David Cronenberg, which isn't quite as much of a giveaway as seeing a TV movie called SARS in Toronto.

Wait... Abe Vigoda's alive? And he was in genre productions? 25 years ago when I came back online to stay, I was part of a newsgroup called alt.obituaries. Early on, we would get about one visitor a week asking if Tom Lehrer was still alive. (Answer: Yes then, still yes now.) In more recent years, the most common person to be incorrectly assumed dead is Abe Vigoda, who turns 94 today and good on him. The big surprise for me was how many genre productions he was in.

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

 
Predictor: W. Warren Wagar in his 1991 book A Short History of the Future

Prediction: In the year 1995, two thirds of all the manufacturing assets in the United States were owned by just 140 companies. By 2015, after more corporate bloodletting, the number had dropped to 36 companies.

Reality: These numbers are hard to find, but according to the National Association of Manufacturers, the U.S. manufacturing base adds up to about two trillion dollars and looking at the latest Industry Week list of revenues, the top 36 companies' total revenue is about half that number. Moreover, several of those companies like Apple may be listed as American companies, but much of their manufacturing is actually done in China. Wagar predicted Russia would be allowed in as a full partner into the Club of Capitalist Countries, but missed that it would be China and not Russia to gain the most from the New World Order after the fall of communism.
 


Never to be Forgotten: Ben Woolf 1980(?)-2015

Ben Woolf, a little person actor who was a regular on American Horror Story, died of injuries sustained from being hit in the head by a passenger side mirror on a passing car. (I am by no means a little person, but as a bicyclist, I have had several scrapes with passenger side mirrors, so this story certainly spooks me.) His age at death is given as 34, but I couldn't find a date of birth online, so I am guessing he was born in 1980. His other credits in genre that weren't direct to video include Dead Kansas and Unlucky Charms.

Best wishes to the family and friends of Ben Woolf, who died much too young in a senseless accident. He is never to be forgotten.
 
Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Another visit from my favorite of the regular predictors in the current line-up, the sensible George Sutherland and his usually too modest predictions about 20th Century Inventions.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Monday, February 23, 2015

23 February 2014

Birthdays
Dakota Fanning b. 1994 (Twilight, Push, Charlotte’s Web, War of the Worlds, Taken, Hansel & Gretel )
Emily Blunt b. 1983 (Into the Woods, Edge of Tomorrow, Looper, The Adjustment Bureau, Gulliver’s Travels, The Wolfman)
Adam Hann-Byrd b. 1982 (Halloween H20: 20 Years Later, Jumanji)
Raushan Hammond b. 1982 (Tales from the Crypt, Hook)
Inna Korobkina b. 1981 (Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Dawn of the Dead)
Erika Ervin a.k.a. Amazon Eve b. 1979 (American Horror Story, Hemlock Grove)
Kelly Macdonald b. 1976 (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, Nanny McPhee, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy)
Callan Mulvey b. 1975 (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, BeastMaster [2001 TV])
Marie-Josee Croze b. 1970 (Battlefield Earth)
Craig Hurley b. 1968 (Warlock: The Armageddon, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Freddy’s Nightmares)
Tamsin Greig b. 1967 (Doctor Who, Shaun of the Dead, Neverwhere)
Michael Arata b. 1966 (Night of the Demons)
Kristin Davis b. 1965 (Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 3-D, Alien Nation: Body and Soul, Mann & Machine)
David Warshofsky b. 1961 (The Future)
Patricia Richardson b. 1951 (Quantum Leap, C.H.U.D.)
Peter Fonda b. 1940 (Revolution [TV movie 2009], Journey to the Center of the Earth [TV], Ghost Rider, Supernova, Escape from L.A., Futureworld)
Paul Morrissey b. 1938 (director, Blood for Dracula, Flesh for Frankenstein)
Linda Cristal b. 1934 (Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea)
Majel Barrett-Roddenberry b. 1932 died 18 December 18, 2008 (Star Trek, Babylon 5, Earth: Final Conflict, Planet Earth, Genesis II)
Bernard Kay b. 1928 died 25 December 2014 (Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger, Space: 1999, Doctor Who, Trog, The Champions, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe [TV], They Came from Beyond Space)
Jon Hall b. 1915 died 13 December 1979 (The Beach Girls and the Monster, The invisible Man’s Revenge, Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, The Invisible Agent)
Lin McCarthy b. 1918 died 23 November 2002 (The Day After, Knight Rider, Project U.F.O., The Invaders)
Terence Fisher b. 1904 died 18 June 1980 (director, Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell, Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed, Frankenstein Created Woman, Dracula: Prince of Darkness, The Earth Dies Screaming, The Gorgon, The Phantom of the Opera, The Curse of the Werewolf, The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll, The Brides of Dracula, The Mummy, The Revenge of Frankenstein, Horror of Dracula, The Curse of Frankenstein)
Norman Taurog b. 1899 died 7 April 1981 (director, Visit to a Small Planet, The Wizard of Oz [uncredited])
Kathleen Harrison b. 1892 died 7 December 1995 (A Christmas Carol [1951])
Victor Fleming b. 1889 died 6 January 1949 (director, The Wizard of Oz)

Notes on the birthday list.
1. The Picture Slot. Previous Picture Slotters have been Majel Barrett, easily the most iconic on this list and Victor Fleming, the credited director of one of the most important fantasy films of all time. (Note we have one of the uncredited directors of The Wizard of Oz here as well, Norman Taurog.) This year, I decided to go with Emily Blunt from Edge of Tomorrow because... she's purdy.

2. Detecter la Canadienne. There is a separate French language film industry in Canada, but it is by no means equal, since the Anglophone industry is very busy filming shows to be aired in the U.S. Marie-Josee Croze was born in Quebec, but has never had a role on a Canadian genre show. It's rare when French-Canadians make it onto the top 100 birthday list on imdb.com.

3. Nepotism FTW. Two famous examples today, Peter Fonda and Majel Barrett. I was surprised to see how many roles she had before Star Trek, but after that show it's hard to deny how much of her career she owes to her husband.

4. The Gal at the Door. Argentinian born Linda Cristal is best known for the TV show The High Chaparral is our oldest living girl today and everyone born before her is gone. As always, special best wishes to the Gal (or Guy) at the door.

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

Predictor: Walt Hickey from fivethirtyeight.com, predicting the six major Academy Awards based on winners of earlier awards from this year.

Correct predictions:
Best actor: Eddie Redmayne
Best actress: Julianne Moore
Best supporting actress: Patricia Arquette
Best supporting actor: J.K. Simmons
Best Picture: Birdman


Incorrect predictions:
Best director: predicted Richard Linklater, won by Alejandro González Iñárritu

Commentary: Their model did very well on these six categories. I consider the screenplay awards to be "major", though not all agree, and there, Hickey's model got one of two, correctly predicting a win for The Theory of Everything in adapted, but getting it wrong on original screenplay when Birdman beat out the favorite The Grand Budapest Hotel.

In any case, 5 of 6 or 6 of 8 are very creditable showings.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Once again, we look at the future predicted by W. Warren Wagar in 1991.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

22 February 2015

Birthdays
Bryce Hodgson b. 1989 (Falling Skies, The Tomorrow People, Supernatural, Battlestar Galactica, Smallville, X-Men 2, Stephen King’s Dead Zone, Jeremiah, Stargate SG-1)
Colton James b. 1988 (Supernatural, The X-Files, The Cell, Sliders, House of Frankenstein [1997 TV], The Lost World: Jurassic Park)
Miko Hughes b. 1986 (The New Adventures of Pinkgirl and The Scone, Clockstoppers, Roswell, Spawn, Apollo 13, Natural Selection, Out of This World, Pet Sematary)
Josh Helman b. 1986 (Mad Max: Fury Road, X-Men: Days of Future Past)
Zach Roerig b. 1985 (The Vampire Diaries)
Jodie-Amy Rivera b. 1984 (Hocus Pocus)
Dichen Lachman b. 1982 (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., The 100, Being Human, Torchwood, The Guild, Dollhouse, Tyrannosaurus Azteca, Aquamarine)
Elodie Yung b. 1981 (G.I, Joe: Retaliation)
Adrienne Pickering b. 1981 (Knowing)
Daniel Cudmore b. 1981 (X-Men: Days of Future Past, Twilight Saga, Fringe, Revolution, Stargate: SG-1, Merlin and the Book of Beasts)
Drew Barrymore b. 1975 (Donnie Darko, Batman Forever, Waxwork II: Lost in Time, Babes in Toyland, The Ray Bradbury Theatre, Cat’s Eye, Firestarter, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Altered States)
Craig Warnock b. 1970 (Time Bandits)
Joe Holt b. 1970 (Supernatural, Lake Placid 2, K-PAX)
Thomas Jane b. 1969 (The Punisher, Mutant Chronicles, Dreamcatcher, Deep Blue Sea, The Crow: City of Angels, Buffy the Vampire Slayer [movie], She-Wolf of London)
Jeri Ryan b. 1968 (Helix, Warehouse 13, Mortal Kombat: Legacy, Star Trek: Voyager, Dracula 2000, Dark Skies, Time Trax, The Flash)
Rachel Dratch b. 1966 (Click)
Steve Spiers b. 1965 (Krod Mandoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire, Inkheart, Eragon, Doctor Who, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, Doctor Who, Star Wars: Episode I - Not Typing the Title)
Brian Anthony Wilson b. 1960 (Zombie Killers: Elephant’s Graveyard, Apocalypse Kiss, Limitless, The Happening, Shadow: Dead Riot, The Postman)
Kyle MacLachlan b, 1959 (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Believe, Mysterious Island, The Librarian: Quest for the Spear, The Invisible Man [TV movie], Roswell, Tales from the Crypt, The Hidden, Dune)
Gillian Barber b. 1958 (Witches of East End, 2012, Reaper, Supernatural, Stephen King’s Dead Zone, The 4400, Smallville, Stargate SG-1, Mysterious Ways, The Immortal, The 6th Day, The New Addams Family, First Wave, Millennium, Alien Abduction: Incident in Lake County, Poltergeist: The Legacy, The X Files, Sliders, Jumanji, Needful Things )
Robert Bathurst b. 1957 (Dracula [2013 TV], Whoops Apocalypse, Red Dwarf)
Nigel Planer b. 1953 (The Color of Magic, Hogfather, Brazil)
Ellen Greene b. 1951 (The Walking Dead, Heroes, The X-Files, Little Shop of Horrors)
Julie Walters b. 1950 (Harry Potter, Jack and the Beanstalk, Little Red Riding Hood)
John Ashton b. 1948 (King Kong Lives, The Twilight Zone [1985], The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension, Wonder Woman)
Bridget Turner b. 1939 died 27 December 2014 (The Color of Magic, Doctor Who, Hogfather)
Barry Dennen b. 1938 (Weird Science, They Came from Outer Space, The Munsters Today, Hard Time on Planet Earth, Tales from the Darkside, Amazing Stories, Superman III, Shock Treatment, The Shining, Wonder Woman, Monster Squad, Batman)
Joanna Russ b. 1937 died 29 April 2011 (author, Alyx series, The Female Man)
Elizabeth MacRae b. 1936 (Alien Zone, I Dream of Jeannie, The Incredible Mr. Limpet)
James Hong b. 1929 (R.I.P.D., The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Big Bang Theory, Charmed, Blade Runner, The X-Files, Tank Girl, Lois & Clark, The Shadow, Merlin, War of the Worlds [TV], Big Trouble in Little China, Manimal, Wonder Woman, The Bionic Woman, Colossus: The Forbin Project, The Outer Limits, Godzilla [1956])
Paul Dooley b. 1928 (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)
Edward Gorey b. 1925 died 15 April 2000 (illustrator)
Reed Crandall b. 1917 died 13 September 1982 (illustrator, John Carter of Mars)
Dan Seymour b. 1915 died 25 May 1993 (Escape to With Mountain, Batman, My Mother the Car, My Favorite Martian, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Return of the Fly, Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy, Adventures of Superman)
Vaughn Taylor b. 1911 died 26 April 1983 (Bewitched, The Invaders, My Favorite Martian, The Outer Limits, The Twilight Zone, The Wizard of Baghdad)
Sir John Mills b. 1908 died 23 April 2005 (Frankenstein [1992 TV], Quatermass, Dr. Strange)
Dwight Frye b. 1899 died 7 November 1943 (Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man, The Ghost of Frankenstein, The Bride of Frankenstein, The Vampire Bat, Frankenstein, Dracula)

Notes on the birthday list.
1. The Picture Slot. Previous Picture Slotters have been the fabulous Jeri Ryan and the great character actor James Hong. There are a lot of good choices, but if I restrict our candidates to folks near the top of the bill, the contenders are Ellen Greene from Little Shop of Horrors, Drew Barrymore from E.T., Thomas Jane from The Punisher and the winner, Kyle MacLachlan from Dune. If I didn't go with that restriction, I would also consider character actor from the Universal horror movies Dwight Frye, illustrator Edward Gorey, Julie Walters from Harry Potter, Steve Spiers, a great British menacing thug and fabulous babe Dichen Lachmann from several Whedonverse series.

2. Spot the Canadians! Bryce Hodgson was born in Canada, but Colton James was not. James worked on casting Supernatural, but I find no info about him getting Canadian citizenship. Gillian Barber was born in the U.K., but moved to Vancouver.


3. When you are the first in a dynasty, it's not really nepotism, is it? Sir John Mills is the father of Juliet Mills and Hayley Mills

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

 
Predictor: Robert A. Heinlein from the 1956 book The Door Into Summer.

Prediction: I had an idea for a gadget, a drafting machine, to be operated by an electric typewriter… This gizmo would let [engineers] sit down in a big easy chair and tap keys and have the picture unfold on an easel above the keyboard.

Reality: Heinlein is predicting what we know call Computer Aided Design or CAD for short and he thinks it will exist by 1970. Wikipedia gives the start of the technology as the mid-1970s, so I'm going give this full marks and it gets put in the Sensible Bob category. As much fun as it can be to mock Heinlein, fair is fair.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

FiveThirtyEight.com has their predictions for the acting Oscars, Best Picture and Best Director. Let's come back tomorrow and see how they did.
 

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

21 February 2015

Birthdays
Sophie Turner b. 1996 (X-Men: Apocalypse, Mary Shelley’s Monster, Game of Thrones)
Corbin Bleu b. 1989 (Galaxy Quest, Mystery Men)
Scout Taylor-Compton b. 1989 (Halloween I & II [2007 & 2009], Charmed)
Ashley Greene b. 1987 (Twilight Saga, Radio Free Albemuth)
Ellen Page b. 1987 (X-Men: Days of Future Past, Inception, X-Men: The Last Stand, ReGenesis)
Burgess Abernethy b. 1987 (H2O: Just Add Water, BeastMaster)
Tuppence Middleton b. 198 7 (Jupiter Ascending, Sense8, Sinbad [TV])
Jennifer Love Hewitt b. 1979 (A Christmas Carol: A Musical, Munchie)
Travis Schiffner b. 1976 (Jeepers Creepers II)
Christopher Yost b. 1973 (writer, Thor: The Dark World, Max Steel)
William Baldwin b. 1963 (Virus, Flatliners)
Christopher Atkins b. 1961 (Dark Realm, Dracula Rising)
Kim Coates b. 1958 (Mutant World, Robosapien: Rebooted, Resident Evil: Afterlife, Smallville, The Dresden Files, Skinwalkers, Thoughtcrimes, Earth: Final Conflict, Battlefield Earth, NightMan, Total Recall 2070, Poltergeist: The Legacy, Waterworld, RoboCop [TV], Innocent Blood, Dracula: the Series, Red Blooded American Girl, War of the Worlds [TV])
Kelsey Grammer b. 1955 (Transformers: Age of Extinction, X-Men, A Christmas Carol: The Musical, Star Trek: The Next Generation)
William Petersen b. 1953 (Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, Twilight Zone [1986])
Christine Ebersole b. 1953 (American Horror Story, My Favorite Martian [1999], Ghost Dad, Mac and Me)
Mimi Kuzyk b. 1952 (The Day After Tomorrow, The Time Shifters, Total Recall 2070, Poltergeist: The Legacy, Seaquest 2032, The Ray Bradbury Theatre, Quantum Leap)
Larry Drake b. 1950 (Gryphon, Firefly, Stargate SG-1, Timequest, Star Trek: Voyager, Prey, Darkman I and II)
Frank Brunner b. 1949 (illustrator)
Anthony Daniels b. 1946 (Star Wars, I Bought a Vampire Motorcycle)
Alan Rickman b. 1946 (Harry Potter, Galaxy Quest, Alice in Wonderland [2010], The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Dogma, Truly Madly Deeply)
Kitty Winn b. 1944 (The Exorcist I and II)
Richard Beymer b. 1939 (The X-Files, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)
Gary Lockwood b. 1937 (2001: A Space Odyssey, Star Trek, Dark Skies, Superboy, The Bionic Woman, The Six Million Dollar Man, Earth II, The Magic Sword)
Rue McClanahan b. 1934 died 3 June 2010 (Wonderfalls, Starship Troopers, The Wickedest Witch, Small & Frye, Topper [TV movie])
George Mitchell b. 1905 died 18 January 1972 (The Andromeda Strain, Land of the Giants, The Time Tunnel, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Twilight Zone, Invasion of the Animal People)
Celia Lovsky b. 1897 died 12 October 1979 (Soylent Green, Star Trek, Twilight Zone)

Notes from the birthday list.
1. The Picture Slot. This is a very good birthday list. I didn't know about that careers of everyone listed here before I did my morning research, but I did know a heck of a lot of them. Previous Picture Slotters are Celia Lovsky as T'Pau and Alan Rickman as Snape, though I might have used Rickman as Alexander Dane instead and it would still be iconic. That still leaves a bunch of great choices, including Gary Lockwood from 2001: A Space Odyssey, Ellen Page from X-Men and of course Anthony Daniels as C-3P0. I'm somewhat embarrassed for not choosing Mr. Daniels, but instead we have a picture of Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark because I am jonesing for new Game of Thrones this time of year and I am a huge sucker for tall redheads with high cheekbones.

Sue me. (Seriously, if Mr. Daniels wants to sue, I'm willing to come to a settlement.)

2. The Canadians amongst us. You might have been able to guess Kim Coates, a scary looking Oh That Guy, was Canadian, but there's a lot of work in movies and not all of them produced in Canada. The other two Canucks are much harder to spot. Mimi Kuzyk is mainly a TV actress and got her first big break on Hill Street Blues, though some might say her first big break was getting out of the frozen hellhole known as Winnipeg. Ellen Page is a movie star and good on her, so she's not waiting around for a guest shot on Supernatural.

3. Nepotism... not so much. Tuppence Middleton. Strange first name, oddly familiar last name. She is British, but not related to Kate Middleton. Corbin Bleu is a working actor, as is his dad David Reivers. I would venture to say he is not trading off his father's fame because his father isn't a household name.

4. The Guy at the Door and MST3K. Regular readers will know I feel a little awkward pointing it out when a list has an age cut-off between the living and the dead, but it just means that no one died particularly young or no one alive is remarkably old. Today, it means Gary Lockwood is The Guy at the Door, the oldest living person on this somewhat random list of artists and everyone younger than him is still with us. I feel bad when the person who has this designation is iconic and I don't use them, but yet again, let me point out a tall redhead with high cheekbones as my defense. Mr. Lockwood was also in The Magic Sword, which means we get to use the MST3K label today.

Many happy returns to all the living, most notably Gary Lockwood, on the list and to the dead, thanks for all the memories.
 
Predictor: Ignatius Donnelly (1831-1901), politician and author, making predictions about 1993 in honor of the 1893 Columbian Exhibition in Chicago.

Prediction: It is very evident that the time is not far distant when the people will repossess themselves of the iron highways... If the state is justified in taking charge of the mails, it is equally justified in taking change of the this aerial communication carried on the wings of the lightning... Gold and silver will be overthrown by an international paper money which all the wealth of the world would back up and sustain legal tender among all nations. This paper money would be increased in precise ratio to the increase in population or wealth of the world. 

Reality: We have already been introduced to Mr. Donnelly through his novel Caesar's Column, a racist rip-off of Edward Bellamy's big speculative hit Looking Backward: 2000-1888. In that, Donnelly advances the picture of a future ruined by rich Jews and a revolution just as bad because Jews run that, too.

I just gleaned the predictions from Donnelly's very long four pages of puffery. Honestly, this guy takes five minutes to clear his throat. He is wrong about the government takeover of the railroads and telegraphs. They were allowed to grow, but they have been overtaken and their monopolies brought down to earth by other technologies that would have been very hard to guess in 1893. As for going off the gold and silver standards, he gets that right, but we don't truly have a single international money system just yet. As for his "increase by precise ratio", is it tied to wealth or population? This reminds me John Von Neumann's great quote "There is no point in being precise when you don't know what you are talking about."

Looking one day ahead...  INTO THE FUTURE!

Another futuristic guess from our pal Robert A. Heinlein.


Join us then...  IN THE FUTURE!

Friday, February 20, 2015

20 February 2015

Birthdays
Rihanna b. 1988 (This Is The End, Battleship)
Miles Teller b. 1987 (Insurgent, Divergent, Fantastic Four [2014])
Cortney Palm b. 1987 (The Purge: Anarchy, Demon Legacy, Zombeavers, Alien Rising, Alice in Wonderland [2010])
Danielle Benton b. 1985 (The Eschatrilogy: Book of the Dead, Sucker Punch, Supernatural)
Bronson Webb b. 1983 (Pirates of the Caribbean, Game of Thrones, The Dark Knight, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban)
Majandra Delfino b. 1981 (Ultra, Roswell)
Lauren Ambrose b. 1978 (Torchwood, Psycho Beach Party)
Ophelie Winter b. 1974 (2001: A Space Travesty)
Kimberly Davies b. 1973 (The Invisible Man [2001], Psycho Beach Party)
Peter James Smith b. 1971 (Serenity, Dead Man on Campus)
Angelica Lisk-Hahn b. 1969 (Lost Girl, Warehouse 13, Jumper, Odyssey 5, Earth: Final Conflict)
Lily Taylor b. 1967 (Gotham, Almost Human, The Conjuring, Hemlock Grove, The Haunting, The X-Files)
David Herman b. 1967 (Futurama, Dude, Where’s My Car, Idiocracy, Angel)
Cindy Crawford b. 1966 (Wizards of Waverly Place, 3rd Rock from the Sun)
Ron Eldard b. 1965 (Super 8, Deep Impact, Drop Dead Fred)
Kimiko Gelman b. 1966 (The Hunger Games, Minority Report, Freddy’s Nightmares)
Willie Garson b. 1964 (Wizards of Waverly Place, Zoom, Taken [TV], Stargate SG-1, What Planet Are You From?, The X-Files, Being John Malkovich, Star Trek: Voyager, Buffy, VR.5, Mars Attacks!, Quantum Leap, Repossessed, Groundhog Day, Brain Dead)
Rodney Rowland b. 1964 (American Horror Story, FlashForward, Charmed, Angel, The Sixth Day, Seven Days, Dark Angel, Welcome to Paradox, The X-Files, Space: Above and Beyond)
French Stewart b. 1964 (Rise of the Zombies, Stargate, Clockstoppers, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Charmed, Space: Above and Beyond)
Dwayne McDuffie b. 1962 died 21 February 2011 (producer, Justice League, Ben 10)
Imogen Stubbs b. 1961 (Erik the Viking)
Joel Hodgson b. 1960 (Mystery Science Theater 3000, Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves)
Anthony Stewart Head b. 1954 (Dominion, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, Warehouse 13, Merlin, Repo! The Genetic Opera, Doctor Who, Buffy, VR.5, Highlander [TV])
Edward Albert b. 1951 died 22 September 2006 (Power Rangers Time Force, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, Conan, Demon Keeper, Space Marines, Sorceress, Time Trax, Deep Space Nine, The Girl from Mars, Beauty and the Beast [1990], Deadly Nightmares, Galaxy of Terror)
Jennifer O’Neill b. 1948 (Time Changers, Poltergeist: The Legacy [TV], Scanners)
Peter Strauss b. 1947 (Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone)
Sandy Duncan b. 1946 (The Bionic Woman, The Six Million Dollar Man)
Brion James b. 1945 died 7 August 1999 (Pterodactyl Woman from Beverly Hills, The Fifth Element, Cyberjack, Highlander [TV], M.A.N.T.I.S., Knight Rider 2010, Future Shock, Time Runner, Nemesis, Mutator, Cherry 2000, Annihilator, Blade Runner, Galactica 1980, The Incredible Hulk [TV])
Marj Dusay b. 1936 (Galactica 1980, The Bionic Woman, The Immortal, Star Trek)
Larry Hovis b. 1936 died 9 September 2003 (Holmes & Yo-Yo, My Living Doll)
Richard Matheson b. 1926 died 23 June 2013 (author, I Am Legend, The Shrinking Man, What Dreams May Come)
Robert Altman b. 1925 died 20 November 2006 (director, Quintet)
Pierre Boulle b. 1912 died 30 January 1994 (author, Planet of the Apes)
Malcolm Atterbury b. 1907 died 16 August 1992 (Twilight Zone, The Birds, The Invaders, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea)
Gale Gordon b. 1906 died 30 June 1995 (The Thirty Foot Bride of Candy Rock)

Notes from the birthday list.
1. The Picture Slot. We have a lot of famous names here today and plenty of choices for iconic work. Previous Picture Slotters were Pierre Boulle for Planet of the Apes and Brion James for Blade Runner. Other people I consider iconic in genre here are Richard Matheson, Anthony Stewart Head from Buffy and French Stewart from 3rd Rock from the Sun, but the Picture Slot goes to Joel Hodgson, originator of one of the greatest ideas in comedy history, making fun of cheesy movies, TV and short films. Happy 55th birthday, Mr. Hodgson. I'm a big fan.

2. Spot the Canadians! Danielle Benton's country of birth isn't super obvious from her credit list, but actress/stunt person Angelica Lisk-Hahn is a little easier to spot.

3. Nepotism FT... Wait, he'd dead? Edward Albert is the son of Eddie Albert. He's not the only person on the list to die young, but I had been able to file the rest of them in the deceased category. I had no knowledge of his death until I clicked on his imdb.com page this morning. As commenter Zombie Rotten McDonald noted, that's one of the things that kinda sucks about reading this blog, and it also kinda sucks when writing it, too.


Many Happy returns to all the living on the list and to the dead, thanks for all the memories.
 
 Predictor: H.G. Wells in his 1902 book Anticipations

Prediction: It has become apparent that whole masses of human population are, as a whole, inferior in their claim upon the future, to other masses, that they cannot be given opportunities or trusted with power as the superior peoples are trusted, that their characteristic weaknesses are contagious and detrimental in the civilizing fabric, and that their range of incapacity tempts and demoralizes the strong. To give them equality is to sink to their level, to protect and cherish them is to be swamped in their fecundity.

Reality: As I promised in yesterday's teaser, we get another visit from H.G. Wells, scumbag bigot raised in the midst of the greatest empire the world has ever known, which is a nice way of saying the society of the worst fucking thieves in history. This is more "white man's burden" nonsense and it was extremely common in his day. As regular readers already know, I don't consider that a very good excuse. In his defense, he only gets to the really creepy stuff in Chapter Nine and a lot of the book is about more about technology.

Still... scumbag.

Never to be Forgotten: Alan Howard 1937-2015. Reading Sir Patrick Stewart on Twitter, I found out yesterday that British actor Alan Howard died earlier this month. Howard was one of the top Shakespearean actors of his generation, though not quite as well known to American audiences as fellow contemporaries of the Royal Shakespeare Company like Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellan and Derek Jacobi. In his time at RSC, he played all the Shakespearean kings. On film and TV, he was in Foyle's War, The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover, Oxford Blues, The Heroes of Telemark and The Americanization of Emily. Posessor of a lovely voice, he also was much in demand as a reader in the audiobook industry and is remembered here as The Voice of the Ring in The Lord of the Rings movies.

Best wishes to the family and friends of Alan Howard. He is never to be forgotten.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

1893 calls once again and we will hear from a predictor (and scumbag) who has showed up in the prediction section before.

Also, no exciting facial hair.


Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

19 February 2015

Birthdays
Victoria Justice b. 1993 (The Boy Who Cried Werewolf, The Troop)
Kalli Thorne b. 1992 (Chillerama)
Aree Davis b. 1991 (The Haunted Mansion, Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue)
Luke Pasqualino b. 1989 (Snowpiercer, Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome)
Sam Reid b. 1987 (Astronaut Wives Club)
Ophelia Lovibond b. 1986 (Guardians of the Galaxy, Thor: The Dark World)
Haylie Duff b. 1985 (Addams Family Reunion)
Arielle Kebbel b. 1985 (The After, The Vampire Diaries, True Blood, Vampires, Suck, The Grudge 2, Aquamarine)
Josh Trank b. 1985 (director, Chronicle, Fantastic Four [2015])
Brian Kubach b. 1983 (Piranha 3D, Wizards of Waverly Place)
Mika Nakashima b. 1983 (Resident Evil)
Daniel Spink b. 1979 (The Butterfly Effect 1 & 3)
Caroline Chikezie b. 1974 (Supernatural, Torchwood, Eragon, AEon Flux)
Bellamy Young b. 1970 (Last Day on Earth, Supernatural, Knight Rider [2009], The X Files)
Benicio Del Toro b. 1967 (Guardians of the Galaxy, Thor: The Dark World, The Wolfman, Sin City, Tales from the Crypt)
Justine Bateman b. 1966 (Lois & Clark, Tales from the Darkside)
Kathleen Beller b. 1965 (Time Trackers, The Sword and the Sorcerer, The Six Million Dollar Man)
Jessica Tuck b. 1963 (Grimm, True Blood, Super 8, FlashForward, Surface, Batman Forever, Lois & Clark, The Visitor [1997 TV])
Ray Winstone b. 1957 (Snow White and the Huntsman, Elfie Hopkins: Cannibal Hunter, Hugo, Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, The Devil’s Tomb, Beowulf, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Ghostbusters of East Finchley, Space Precinct)
Jeff Daniels b. 1955 (Looper, My Favorite Martian [1999], Pleasantville, Grand Tour: Disaster in Time, The Butcher’s Wife, Arachnophobia, Purple Rose of Cairo)
Stephen Nichols b. 1951 (Witchboard, House [1986], Wizards and Warriors)
Big John Studd b. 1948 died 20 March 1995 (Hyperspace, Beauty and the Beast)
John Bloom b. 1944 died 15 January 1999 (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, Harry and the Hendersons, The Hills Have Eyes II, Dracula vs. Frankenstein, The Incredible 2-Headed Transplant)
Gwen Taylor b. 1939 (Space: 1999)
David Margulies b. 1937 (Ghostbusters I and II, Tales from the Darkside)
John Frankenheimer b. 1930 died 6 July 2002 (director, The Island of Dr. Moreau [1996], Prophecy, Seconds)
Lee Marvin b. 1924 died 29 August 1987 (Twilight Zone)

Notes from the birthday list.
1. The Picture Slot. In previous years, the Picture Slot had Lee Marvin from The Twilight Zone and Jessica Tuck from True Blood. Possible choices for today include Jeff Daniels from Pleasantville or The Purple Rose of Cairo or Ray Winstone from Beowulf, but instead I chose Benicio Del Toro from Guardians of the Galaxy. Before Guardians, I don't consider any of his roles iconic, but this movie is not just a hit, I think it will continue to be remembered fondly, unlike some movies about transforming robots I could mention.

2. Nepotism FTW, sorta. Haylie Duff is the older sister of Hilary Duff. Hilary Duff's career was at its high point with Lizzie McGuire over a decade ago.

3. No Canadians and just barely Star Trek. No actors on our list were born in Canada today and there is just one Star Trek credit, the late John Bloom in Star Trek VI. Bloom was a very tall guy, well over seven foot, and worked as an accountant until low budget filmmaker Al Adamson talked him into playing Frankenstein's Monster in Dracula vs. Frankenstein. He died at the age of 54; dying at relatively young ages is not uncommon for the very tall. 

4. Speaking of dying young... Big John Studd might sound like a porn star, but it was the stage name of wrestler John William Minton. A few years back, I looked into the sometimes repeated statistic that the average life expectancy of pro football players was 55 years old. This claim is nonsense. On the other hand, pro wrestlers from the Steroid Era, which is the heyday of Hulk Hogan until today, have shown a tendency to die young. People who say wrestling is fake are right if their point is the winners of matches are known in advance, but the guys in the ring are doing live action stunts that can cause real injuries. The combination of performance enhancing drugs and painkillers can cause both physical problems and lead to severe depression. Other contact sports like boxing and mixed martial arts don't show problems quite as severe.

Many happy returns to all the living on the list and to the dead, thanks for all the memories.
 
Predictor: Grover Cleveland, former President of the United States, speaking in 1905.

Prediction: Sensible and responsible women do not want the vote. The relative positions to be assumed by man and woman in the working out of your civilization were assigned long ago by a higher intelligence than our own.

Reality: When I went to school, we barely learned anything about the presidents who aren't on Mt. Rushmore. Cleveland was a Democrat and he had two non-consecutive terms. In his era, the Democrats were a conservative party and the Republicans had the radicals in terms of equal rights for all. He was against the temperance movement as well as the suffragettes, which isn't surprising since those two reforms went hand in hand. As a history teacher one told me, the 18th and 19th Amendments taken together were an attempt to outlaw bad husbands.

Cleveland believed in responsibility, but only up to a point. He fathered an illegitimate child. He didn't marry the woman, but he did pay child support. Like the conservatives of today, he was against the government protecting people's rights to vote, especially black people. In 1894, he signed the repeal of the Enforcement Act of 1871, which protected the voting rights of former slaves. Blacks would not have federal support of their franchise again until 1964, and it would not have happened except for Republican votes thwarting the actions of conservative Democrats of the time. Democrats as conservative as the Dixiecrat wing of my childhood are rare, and honorable Republicans are effectively extinct. In honor of Cleveland, I am using the "scumbag" label today.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

We will hear from another turn of the century scumbucket, H.G. Wells.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

18 February 2015

Birthdays
Malese Jow b. 1991 (The Flash, The Vampire Diaries, Wizards of Waverly Place)
Maiara Walsh b. 1988 (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Zombieland [TV], The Vampire Diaries, Revolution [2009 TV movie])
Chelsea Hobbs b. 1984 (Supernatural, Snow Queen, Seven Days, Mysterious Ways)
Genelle Williams b. 1984 (Bitten, Warehouse 13, Lost Girl, The Incredible Hulk)
Neil Fingleton b. 1981 (Jupiter Ascending, Game of Thrones, 47 Ronin, X-Men: First Class)
Kristoffer Polaha b. 1977 (Dollhouse, Bird of Prey, Roswell, Angel)
Leigh Scott b. 1972 (director, Piranha Sharks, Dorothy and the Witches of Oz, The Dunwich Horror [TV], Dracula’s Curse, Frankenstein Reborn)
Tammy Macintosh b. 1970 (Farscape)
Susan Egan b. 1970 (Haunted, Earth Angel)
Laure Marsac b. 1970 (Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles)
Molly Ringwald b. 1968 (Twice Upon a Time, The Stand, Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone)
Julie Strain b. 1962 (Space Girls in Beverly Hills, Thirteen Erotic Ghosts, How to Make a Monster, Battle Queen 2020, Vampire Child, Captain Jackson, Sorceress I & II, Future Shock)
Greta Scacchi b. 1960 (Dreamscapes & Nightmares, The Odyssey [TV])
Vanna White b. 1957 (Goddess of Love, Looker)
John Travolta b. 1954 (The Punisher, Battlefield Earth, Phenomenon, Carrie, The Devil’s Rain)
John Hughes b. 1950 died 6 August 2009 (writer, Flubber [1997], Weird Science)
Cybill Shepherd b. 1950 (No Ordinary Family, Eastwick)
Sinead Cusack b. 1948 (Wrath of the Titans, Camelot [2011 TV], The Deep [TV], V for Vendetta, Supernatural [1977 TV])
Andrea Dromm b. 1941 (Star Trek)
Jean M. Auel b. 1936 (author, Clan of the Cave Bear)
Gahan Wilson b. 1930 (illustrator, Graveside Manner, I Paint What I See)
George Kennedy b. 1925 (Brain Dead, Demonwarp, Creepshow 2, Radioactive Dreams)
Allan Melvin b. 1923 died 17 January 2008 (My Favorite Martian, Lost in Space)
Jack Palance b. 1919 died 10 November 2006 (Living with the Dead, Ebenezer, Twilight Zone: Rod Serling’s Lost Classics, Solar Crisis, Batman [1989], Cyborg 2, Gor I & II, Hawk the Slayer, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, The Shape of Things to Come, Bram Stoker’s Dracula [TV], The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Alice Through the Looking Glass)
Angelo Rossitto b. 1908 died 21 September 1991 (Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, Galaxina, Jason of Star Command, Invasion of the Saucer Men)
Queenie Leonard b.1905 died 17 January 2002 (I Dream of Jeannie, Bewitched, Mary Poppins)

Notes on the birthday list.
1. The Picture Slot. As regular readers know, being the biggest movie star on the list is no guarantee you will be in the Picture Slot. Previously, Angelo Rossitto got the Picture Slot for his role as Master in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. While there are plenty of fabulous babes on the list, for my money this morning the competition was between John Travolta and Jack Palance, and I went with the biggest movie star of the list because Battlefield Earth cemented L. Ron Hubbard's reputation as a hack. In the interest of full disclosure, I am not a relative of L. Ron Hubbard to the best of my knowledge and certainly I'm not close enough to be any part of Scientology, which is one of the most horrible scams on the planet in my never humble opinion. According to searches of the blog, I've only mention Scientology one time directly before today and that was in context of the character actor Michael Fairman, who has left the fold.

2. Spot the Canadians! Two today, somewhat spottable. Both the actresses born in 1984 - Chelsea Hobbs and Genelle Williams - also have their country of origin in common and they do show up on Canadian produced genre shows.

Many happy returns to all the living on the list and to the dead, thanks for all the memories.
  
Predictor: George Sutherland in his 1901 book Twentieth Century Inventions.

Prediction: The wave-power machine, when allied to electric transmission, will, without doubt, supply in a cheap and convenient form a material proportion of the energy required during the twentieth century for industrial purposes. Easy and effective transmission is a _sine quâ non_ in this case, just as it is in the utilization of waterfalls situated far from the busy mart and factory. Hardly any natural source of power presents so near an approach to constancy as the ocean billows.

Reality: Our sensible friend Mr. Sutherland sometimes gets stuff wrong, but most of his errors are on the conservative side or due to what the state of the art looks like in 1901. Here he argues that if we can harness waterfalls, we can certainly harness ocean waves, but the reality is that even 114 years later, power generated from wave energy is still barely past the prototype level. This 2014 article from Yale Environment 360 gives a clear view of the state of the art. Maybe it will take off in my lifetime, but it's still a long ways off.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Tomorrow, we get another prediction from The Experts Speak.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!
 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

17 February 2015

Birthdays
Sasha Pieterse b. 1996 (X-Men: First Class, Heroes, The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl, Stargate SG-1)
Bonnie Wright b. 1991 (Harry Potter)
Chord Overstreet b. 1989 (The Hole)
Ahna O’Reilly b. 1986 (The Vampire Diaries, DinoCroc)
Brooke D’Orsay b. 1982 (The Boy Who Cried Werewolf, Big Bang Theory)
Joseph Gordon-Levitt b. 1981 (Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, Looper, The Dark Knight Rises, Inception, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, Third Rock from the Sun, Halloween H20: 20 Years Later, Quantum Leap, Dark Shadows [1991])
Jason Ritter b. 1980 (The Event, Freddy vs. Jason)
Zachary Bennett b. 1980 (Orphan Black, Lost Girl, Cube Zero, The Hidden Room, Maniac Mansion, The Ray Bradbury Theatre, The Twilight Zone [1988])
Jackson Hurst b. 1979 (The Mist)
Rory Kinnear b. 1978 (Penny Dreadful, First Men in the Moon)
Kelly Carlson b. 1976 (Supernatural)
Jerry O'Connell b. 1974 (The Librarians, Space Station 76, Mockingbird Lane, Piranha 3D, Eastwick, Mission to Mars, Sliders, My Secret Identity)
Denise Richards b. 1971 (Starship Troopers, Tammy and the T-Rex, Lois & Clark, Eerie Indiana)
Dominic Purcell b. 1970 (The Flash, Ice Soliders, Primeval, Blade: Trinity, Equilibrium, BeastMaster [TV], The Lost World)
Jonathan Breck b. 1965 (Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D, Evilution, Jeepers Creepers, Spiders, Star Trek: Voyager)
Michael Bay b. 1965 (director, Transformers, Armageddon)
Angelica Page b. 1964 (Fairie, The Sixth Sense)
Michael Jordan b. 1963 (Space Jam)
Samuel Bayer b. 1962 (director, A Nightmare on Elm Street [2010])
Lou Diamond Phillips b. 1962 (Metal Tornado, Stargate Universe, Alien Express, Route 666, Supernova, Bats, Tales from the Crypt, Interface)
Carole Davis b. 1958 (Angel, Star Trek: Voyager, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Mannequin, Piranha Part Two: The Spawning)
Rene Russo b. 1954 (Thor, Outbreak, Freejack)
Don Coscarelli b. 1954 (director, Phantasm , The Beastmaster, Bubba Ho-Tep, John Dies at the End)
Garry Chalk b. 1952 (Tomorrowland, Monster Beach, Leprechaun: Origins, Godzilla [2014], Behemoth, Watchmen, The 4400, Supernatural, Flash Gordon, Painkiller Jane, Stargate SG-1, Eureka, Stephen King's the Dead Zone, Freddy vs. Jason, Seven Days, Millennium, Poletergeist: The Legacy, Sliders, M.A.N.T.I.S., The Omen [TV], Highlander [TV], I Still Dream of Jeannie, It, The Fly II, Deadly Nightmares)
Diane Chambers b. 1951 (The Coed and the Zombie Stoner, Sharknado, Zombie Night)
Mary Ann Mobley b. 1937 died 9 December 2014 (The Fantastic Journey, The Sixth Sense [1972])
Jim Brown b. 1936 (The Running Man, Mars Attacks!, Night Rider)
Alan Bates b. 1934 died 27 December 2003 (The Mothman Prophecies, The Ray Bradbury Theater)
Barry Humphries b. 1934 (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Pterodactyl Woman from Beverly Hills, The Marsupials: The Howling III, Shock Treatment)
Hal Holbrook b. 1925 (The Event, Creepshow, The Fog, Capricorn One)
Kathleen Freeman b. 1919 died 23 August 2001 (Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show, NightMan, Tales from the Crypt, The Munsters Today, Gremlins 2: The New Batch, ALF, The Canterville Ghost, Innerspace, Teen Wolf Too, Heartbeeps, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, I Dream of Jeannie, Batman, The Fly, Topper, The Magnetic Monster)
Andre Norton b. 1912 died 17 March 2005 (author, Witch World, Wizard's World, Star Man's Son 2250 A.D.)
Marc Lawrence b. 1910 died 27 November 2005 (End of Days, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: The Next Generation, King of Kong Island, From Dusk Till Dawn, Wonder Woman, Doctor Who)

Notes on the birthday list.
1. The Picture Slot. Previous Picture Slotters were Bonnie Wright and Ginny Weasley from the Harry Potter series and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who has a lot of iconic work in his still young career. The two top choices from the rest of list in my view were Jerry O'Connell from Sliders and Denise Richards from Starship Troopers. Is the winner a fabulous babe? Hmm, funny how often that works out. 

2. Spot the Canadians. While Gary Chalk is older than the typical Canadian, his credit list has plenty of hints. Zachary Bennett is both the typical age and the typical credit list. Brooke D'Orsay, on the other hand, has most of her credits in movies and TV shot in California, though she was born north of the border.

3. Nepotism FTW. Rory Kinnear is Roy Kinnear's son. He has 49 credits in a lot of big budget stuff, but he is not yet the well known face his father became. In a similar situation, Jason Ritter is John Ritter's son, as commenter James Marshall IV was kind enough to point out.

4. Not actually MST3K. There are a couple troupes of former Mystery Science Theater cast members still out there riffing on movies. RiffTrax, which has Michael Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett, did Starship Troopers live last year and I saw it it in a Hayward, CA theatre through the Fathom network. It was a lot of fun.

Many happy returns to all the living on the list and to the dead, thanks for all the memories.
 
 Predictor: W. Warren Wagar in his 1991 book A Short History of the Future

Prediction: Governments, including Japan, Italy and Russia did not at first take kindly to the “meddling” ways of the Global Trade Consortium. When the Tokyo branch office of the GTC was raided in 2013, the cartel acted quickly to cut the flow of essential imports to Japan by 50 percent and threatened to take even more drastic measures if the office was not allowed to reopen in two weeks.

Reality: The theme of capitalism's complete victory in Wagar's book predicts a world where corporate aggression is much more blatant than what we actually see. In the world of today, governments are punished by other governments the way the European Union has forced Greece into austerity, not by global monopolies targeting specific governments.


Never to be Forgotten: Lesley Gore 1946-2015

The great singer/songwriter Lesley Gore has died of complications from cancer at 68. She is best known for the hits she recorded with Quincy Jones, It's My Party, Judy's Turn to Cry and You Don't Own Me. She and her Michael wrote music for the 1980 film Fame and their song Out Here on My Own was nominated for an Academy Award. She didn't write any of her biggest 1960s hits. She was also active in the LGBT community and came out as a lesbian in 2005. She is survived by her partner of 33 years, Lois Sasson.

She is remembered on this blog for her role on the Batman TV series as Catwoman's minion Pussycat, seen here with Burt Ward as Robin.

Best wishes to the family and friends of Lesley Gore, from a longtime fan. She is never to be forgotten.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Back to our sensible pal George Sutherland and his 20th Century Inventions.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!