"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, September 19, 2015

19 September 2015

Birthdays
Taylor Geare b. 2001 (Flashforward, Inception)
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, Zoon, Dawn of the Dead, Smallville, Twice in a Lifetime, It Came from the Sky, Nico the Unicorn, Specimen, The X Files)
Lydia Hearst b. 1984 (Cabin Fever: Patient Zero)
Columbus Short b. 1982 (Quarantine, War of the Worlds)
Tanja Reichert b. 1980 (Relic Hunter, Poltergeist: The Legacy)
Adam Dunnells b. 1980 (Mega Shark vs. Kolossus, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., No Ordinary Family)
Jeremy Jordan b. 1973 (Storm of the Century)
Sanaa Lathan b. 1971 (Alien vs. Predator, Blade)
Kim Richards b. 1964 (Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No, Race to Witch Mountain, Project U.F.O., Return from Witch Mountain, The Car, Escape to Witch Mountain, The Picture of Dorian Gray)
Paul McGuigan b. 1963 (director, Victor Frankenstein, Push)
Cheri Oteri b. 1962 (Southland Tales, Inspector Gadget)
Carolyn McCormick b. 1959 (Spectropia, The Warlord: Battle for the Galaxy, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Enemy Mine)
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)
Kevin Hooks b. 1958 (director, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Supernatural, Alphas, Lost, Alien Nation [TV], V; actor, Innerspace )
Rex Smith b. 1955 (The Trial of the Incredible Hulk, Transformations, Faeries Tale Theatre)
David Bamber b. 1954 (Doctor Who)
Allan Havey b. 1954 (The Man in the High Castle, Hancock)
Ernie Sabella b. 1949 (Quantum Leap, Fright Night Part 2)
Jeremy Irons b. 1948 (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, The Color of Magic, Eragon, The Time Machine)
Tanith Lee b. 1947 died 24 May 2015 (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)
Antonio Margheriti b. 1930 died 4 Novmeber 2002 (director, Alien from the Deep, Treasure Island in Outer Space, Yor, the Hunter from the Future, Flesh for Frankenstein, Mr. Superinvisible, War of the Planets, Wild, Wild Planet, Assignment: Outer Space)
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)
William Hickey b. 1927 died 29 June 1997 (Tales from the Darkside: The Movie, Tales from the Crypt, Between Time and Timbuktu)
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)

Notes from the birthday list.
1. The Picture Slot. Previous Picture Slotters were Adam West and Kathie Brown, and this year's winner is Carolyn McCormick as Minuet, a character that proved the old phrase "Riker will chase anything in a skirt with a pulse" gave him way too much credit, since she was just a holodeck character.

2. Spot the Canadian! Kevin Zegers has the kind of career the Canadian government hoped they would be able to produce when they required a quota of Canadian born on the shows produced in their country.

3. Nepotism FTW. Lydia Hearst is the daughter of Patty Hearst.

4. MST3K. Adam West was in Zombie Nightmare.

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

The Weekly Soapbox: The Swan Song

This will be the last post on this blog. I have enjoyed myself for the past thirty three months putting the lists and predictions together and making my little comments, but my interest has been waning for some time now. I had hoped to make it through the end of the year or at least to make a month long tribute to Back to the Future II, but I just can't find the time right now. I'm teaching more classes than I have for a while, which is very good for my bank account, but a little bit of a challenge in terms of time management. Not doing the blog will save me about an hour a day in research and writing.

I want to thank all the people who read the blog over the past few years and especially those who took the time to leave comments. We all know the standard Internet warning "Don't read the comments!", but in the successful blogs I've written, the main reason I continued them was because I wanted to read what my commenters would have to say. You guys (and gals) have been great.

I also enjoyed learning new things in my research, like today when I read that Patty Hearst's daughter is a supermodel (who knew?), but as much as I enjoy a good Fun Fact to Know and Tell, time constraints mean our little party is coming to an end.
  
Wishing all my readers safe and happy journeys... IN THE FUTURE!

Friday, September 18, 2015

18 September 2015

Birthdays
Chris Riggi b. 1985 (Vampires Suck)
Alison Lohman b. 1979 (Gamer, Drag Me to Hell, Beowulf, The Thirteenth Floor, Kraa! The Sea Monster)
Travis Schuldt b. 1974 (Fringe, Big Bang Theory)
James Marsden b. 1973 (Westworld, X-Men, Superman Returns, Enchanted)
Michael Landes b. 1972 (Lois & Clark)
Jada Pinkett Smith b. 1971 (Gotham, The Matrix Revolutions, The Matrix Reloaded)
Carrie Genzel b. 1971 (Flashforward, Wizards of Waverly Place, Jennifer’s Body, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Watchmen, Flash Gordon [TV], Beyond Loch Ness, The 4400, Painkiller Jane, Smallville, Kyle XY, The Dead Zone, Supernatural, Stargate SG-1)
Tara Fitzgerald b. 1967 (Game of Thrones)
Holly Robinson Peete b. 1964 (Howard the Duck)
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)
Ken Thomas b. 1961 (G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, Sin City)
Jasmin Geljo b. 1959 (Hemlock Grove, Skinwalkers, Land of the Dead)
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)
Alan Roberts b. 1948 died 21 March 2008 (Dinosaurus!, The Space Children)
Nicholas Clay b. 1946 died 25 May 2000 (Merlin [TV], Highlander [TV], The Odyssey, Excalibur, Terror of Frankenstein)
Gailard Sartain b. 1946 (Existo, RocketMan)
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)
Leon Askin b. 1907 died 3 June 2005 (Frightmare, Doctor Death: Seeker of Souls, Genesis II, My Favorite Martian, Mr. Terrific, The Outer Limits, Mistress of the World, Adventures of Superman, Son of Sinbad)

Notes from the birthday list.
1. The Picture Slot. In previous years, the Picture Slot was given to June Foray, who turns 98 today, and the late Nicholas Clay from Excalibur. Today, I go a little more new school with Jada Pinkett Smith from Gotham.

2. Spot the Canadians! Three actors on the list self-identify as Canadian and their resumes give it away, Carrie Ganzel, John Mann and Andrew Airlie. Airlie was actually born in Scotland.

3. MST3K. The late Alan Roberts was in The Space Children.

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 1901 book Anticipations

Prediction: Never before in the world's history was the command of the sea worth what it is now.

Reality: In 1901, this was certainly true, but command of the air would surpass it much sooner than Wells anticipated.
 
Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Tomorrow's Soapbox discusses the future - or lack of same - for the blog.
  
Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

17 September 2015

Birthdays
Daniel Huttlestone b. 1999 (Into the Woods)
Ella Purnell b. 1996 (Maleficent, Kick-Ass 2, Intruders)
Augustus Prew b. 1987 (Kick-Ass 2)
Neill Blomkamp b. 1979 (director, Chappie, Elysium, District 9)
Bobby Lee b. 1972 (Paul)
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, Early Edition)
James Urbaniak b. 1963 (Agent Carter, Teen Wolf [TV], Futuremanity, The Venture Brothers, Futurestates, Wizards of Waverly Place, The Sarah Connor Chronicles)
William Shockley b. 1963 (Reaper, 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, Americathon)
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)
Pat Crowley b. 1933 (Charmed, The Twilight Zone)
Anne Bancroft b. 1931 died 6 June 2005 (Dracula: Dead and Loving It)
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 TV], 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 died 14 March 2015 (writer, Death Race, Planet of the Vampires, The Outer Limits, The Time Travelers, Robinson Crusoe on Mars, Angry Red Planet, Men Into Space, Reptilitcus)

Notes from the birthday list.
1. The Picture Slot. In previous years, I went with James Urbaniak from The Venture Bros. and Bruce Spence from Dark City. This year it's Roddy McDowall from The Twilight Zone. On a personal note, when my mom was young she used to model in the Bay Area and sometimes when a Hollywood star was in town without a dinner date, models would be asked to "escort", a much less smutty job back in the day. Roddy McDowall was visiting San Francisco and my mom had dinner with him. She had no idea he was gay, but he was very charming and made her feel part of the conversation. To this day, I will never hear a word spoken against Roddy McDowall, a lovely gentleman with manners. From what I've heard, MGM did great work training their stars in public relations, and McDowall was also a natural at it.

2. Nepotism FTW. John Ritter is now more famous than his father Tex Ritter, but the elder was a big damn deal when Westerns were the most important genre in Hollywood.

3. Spot the Canadian! I would say Tim Burd is only semi-spottable.

4. MST3K. Roddy McDowall was in Laserblast.

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


Predictor: Morris Ernst in the 1955 book Utopia 1976

Prediction: By 1976, the weather control business will be controlled by the federal government. We will not only predict to tornado but prick it to death. We will place rain where it is needed and move it from acres and people where it is unwelcome.

Reality: This is of course wrong, but it lets me use my favorite twin labels "Humans to nature: Be our bitch" and "Nature to humans: BITCH PLEASE".
 
Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

H.G. Wells gets something right in 1901, but it's not as big a deal in the rest of the 20th Century.
  
Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

16 September 2015

Birthdays
Kyla Pratt b. 1986 (Dr. Doolittle, Lois and Clark)
Max Minghella b. 1985 (Horns)
Madeline Zima b. 1985 (The Vampire Diaries, Heroes)
Michelle Lombardo b. 1983 (Click)
Alexis Bledel b.1981 (Parts Per Billion, Sin City, Tuck Everlasting)
Bingbing Fan b. 1981 (X-Men: Days of Future Past, Iron Man 3 [Chinese version], The White Haired Witch of Lunar Kingdom, Future X-Cops, Investiture of the Gods)
Amy Price-Francis b. 1975 (The Purge: Anarchy, Stephen King’s Dead Zone, Earthstorm, Mutant X)
Ed Stoppard b. 1974 (Branded, Nanny McPhee Returns, Relic Hunter, The Little Vampire)
Amy Poehler b. 1971 (Southland Tales)
Doug Cockle b. 1970 (Captain America: The First Avenger, Reign of Fire)
Sean Frye b. 1966 (Real Genius, E.T.)
Kurt Busiek b. 1960 (writer, Conan, Avengers, Superman, Astro City)
Jayne Brook b. 1960 (The Robinsons: Lost in Space, Gattaca, Superman IV: The Quest for Peace)
Danny John-Jules b. 1960 (Red Dwarf, Starhyke, Blade II, The Tomorrow People, Little Shop of Horrors)
Mike Mignola b. 1960 (writer, Hellboy)
Jennifer Tilly b. 1958 (Bride of Chucky, The Haunted Mansion, Embrace of the Vampire)
Kurt Fuller b. 1953 (Supernatural, Superhero Movie, The 4400, Carnivale, Charmed, The Tick, Timecop, Moonbase, Virus, Quantum Leap, Ghostbusters II, Elvira: Mistress of the Dark, The Running Man, Knight Rider)
Christopher Rich b. 1953 (Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, Babylon 5, The Charmings)
Mickey Rourke b. 1952 (Immortals, Sin City, Iron Man II, They Crawl)
Ed Begley Jr. b. 1949 (Brave New World [TV], Kingdom Hospital, Bug, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, Meego, Star Trek: Voyager, Project: ALF, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Batman Forever, Faerie Tale Theatre, Transylvania 6-5000, Voyager from the Unknown, Voyagers!, Cat People, Battlestar Galactica [1978], Wonder Woman)
Linda Henning b. 1944 (Sliders, Mork & Mindy, My Living Doll)
Jules Bass b. 1935 (director, The Wind in the Willows, The Last Unicorn, The Flight of Dragons, Return of the King, Jack Frost, The Hobbit, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Frosty the Snowman, Mad Monster Party?, The New Adventures of Pinocchio)
George Chakiris b. 1934 (Pale Blood, Superboy, Wonder Woman, The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T.)
Anne Francis b. 1930 died 2 January 2011 (Conan [1997], Mazes and Monsters, Wonder Woman, The Invaders, The Satan Bug, Twilight Zone, Forbidden Planet, The Rocket Man)
Jack Kelly b. 1927 died 7 November 1992 (The Incredible Hulk, The Bionic Woman, Batman, Forbidden Planet)
Peter Falk b. 1927 died 23 June 2011(The Lost World [2001 TV movie], The Princess Bride, Wings of Desire, Twilight Zone)
Morgan Woodward b. 1925 (The X-Files, Knight Rider, Battle Beyond the Stars, The Incredible Hulk, Project U.F.O., Logan’s Run [TV], Planet of the Apes [TV], Star Trek)

Notes from the birthday list.
1. The Picture Slot. There are some great names and faces here, but I already used Danny John-Jules from Red Dwarf and Anne Francis from Forbidden Planet. I feel a little awkward when we have a Guy (or Gal) at the Door, but this is the first time in quite a while the oldest person on the list is still alive, so I send out special birthday wishes to Morgan Woodward, who turns 90 today, one of many actors who had two different roles on the original Star Trek. He had plenty of work outside of genre as well, including one of the great non-speaking roles in talkies history in Cool Hand Luke as The Walking Boss.

2. Nepotism FTW. Two sons who would count: Ed Begley Jr. and Max Minghella, son of director Anthony Minghella.

3. Living Canadian and MST3K free! Two of our regular labels get a break today.

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


Predictor: George Sutherland in the 1902 book Twentieth Century Inventions

Prediction: As the telegraphic and telephonic wires are extended so as to traverse practically all the streets of every city, the fire-insurance companies will find it to their advantage to promote a simple plan, depending on the use of a combustible thread passing round little pulleys in the corners of all the rooms and finally out to the front, where an electrical "contact-maker" is fixed, so that on the thread being burnt and broken at any point in its circuit, an electric message will be at once sent along the nearest wire to the fire-brigade station and a bell set ringing both inside and outside the premises.

Reality: I give Mr. Sutherland points for cleverness here, but smoke detectors do this job and probably somewhat more efficiently.
 
Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

We still have plenty of predictions from Morris Ernst's book Utopia 1976, and I hate to waste a testable prediction.
  
Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

15 September 2015

Birthdays
Matt Shively b. 1990 (Teen Wolf, Paranormal Activity 4)
Chloe Dykstra b. 1988 (The League of S.T.E.A.M., Chaotic Awesome, COPS: Skyrim, Drag Me to Hell, Wizards of Waverly Place, Spider-Man 2)
Chelsea Kane b. 1988 (Wizards of Waverly Pace)
Christian Cooke b. 1987 (Witches of East End, Dark Relics, Demons, Doctor Who)
Ben Woolf b. 1980 died 23 February 2015 (American Horror Story, Insidious)
Amy Davidson b. 1979 (NetherBeast Incorporated)
Dave Annable b. 1979 (666 Park Avenue, Spellbound)
Tom Hardy b. 1977 (Mad Max: Fury Road, The Dark Knight Rises, Inception, Sucker Punch, A for Andromeda, Minotaur)
Marisa Ramirez b. 1977 (Supernatural, Roswell)
Jonathan Liebesman b. 1976 (director, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles [2014], Wrath of the Titans, Battle Los Angeles, Darkness Falls)
Marcus Shirock b. 1975 (Hercules Reborn, Bermuda Tentacles, Android Cop, Angel, Charmed)
Josh Charles b. 1971 (Bird People, After.Life, Muppets from Space)
Danny Nucci b. 1968 (Arrow, Monster Heroes, Firestarter 2: Rekindled, Quantum Leap, The Twilight Zone [1986])
Kenneth Hite b. 1965 (writer, Lost in Lovecraft)
Steven R. Monroe b. 1964 (director, End of the World, Jabberwock, Mongolian Death Worm, Ice Twisters, Wyvern, Ogre, Sasquatch Mountain, It Waits)
Philip Paley b. 1963 (Land of the Lost)
Colin McFarlane b. 1961 (Olympus, Hounded, Torchwood, Hyperdrive, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight)
Oren Aviv b. 1961 (National Treasure, RocketMan)
Ed Solomon b. 1960 (writer, Venom, What Planet Are You From?, Men In Black, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure)
Wendie Jo Sperber b. 1958 died 29 November 2005 (Back to the Future)
Barry Shabaka Henley b. 1954 (Carrie [2013], Flash-Forward, Heroes, Fallen)
Brad Leland b. 1954 (The Leftovers, Hancock)
Sabina Franklin b. 1954 (The Worst Witch, Blakes 7)
Olver Stone b. 1946 (director, The Hand)
Tommy Lee Jones b. 1946 (Captain America, Men In Black, Small Soldiers, Batman Forever)
Shelby Leverington b. 1946 (The Island, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Twilight Zone [1985], Cloak & Dagger)
Roy Brocksmith b. 1945 died 16 December 2001 (Babylon 5, Kull the Conqueror, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Lois & Clark, Good & Evil, Eerie, Indiana, Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey, Arachnophobia, Total Recall, Martians Go Home, Star Trek: The Next Generation, The Wizard, Wolfen)
John Reynolds b. 1941 died 16 October 1966 (actor/director, Manos: The Hands of Fate)
Norman Spinrad b. 1940 (writer, Star Trek, Bug Jack Barron, The Iron Dream)
Henry Darrow b. 1933 (NightMan, Babylon 5, Star Trek: Voyager, Time Trax, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Knight Rider, Beyond the Universe, The Incredible Hulk, The Bionic Woman, Wonder Woman, Halloween with the New Addams Family, The Six Million Dollar Man, The Invisible Man [1975 TV], Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, The Outer Limits)
Andree Melly b. 1932 (The Brides of Dracula)
Henry Silva b. 1928 (Cyborg – Il Guerriero d'Acciaio, Escape from the Bronx, Alligator, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Quark, The Sixth Sense [1972 TV], Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, The Outer Limits)
Jackie Cooper b. 1922 died 3 May 2011 (Superman, The Invisible Man [1975], The Astronaut, Twilight Zone)
Joseph Pevney b. 1911 died 18 May 2008 (director, The Incredible Hulk, Star Trek, The Munsters, Bewitched, Destination Space)
Fay Wray b. 1907 died 8 August 2004 (King Kong, The Vampire Bat, Doctor X)
Tom Conway b. 1904 died 22 April 1967 (The Atomic Submarine, Voodoo Woman, The She-Creature, Bride of the Gorilla, Cat People)
James Fenimore Cooper b. 1789 died 14 September 1851 (The Monikins)

Notes from the birthday list.
1. The Picture Slot. In previous years, the Picture Slot skewed old school, in 2013 with writer Norman Spinrad and in 2014 with the fabulous Fay Wray. If I wanted to push the blog into the 21st Century, the best choice would be Tom Hardy in the most recent Mad Max, but instead I went with Roy Brocksmith in his role from Star Trek: The Next Generation, and I blush to mention that he's one of those "Wait... He's Dead?" folks for me.

2. An unspottable Canadian. Fay Wray is from the Great White North. I had no idea.

3. MST3K. This one's pretty easy, John Reynolds, who died only a little after filming was complete, directed Manos: The Hands of Fate and also played Torgo.

4. Nice same birthday pair. I always like it when two people who are both well known were born on the exact same day, and Oliver Stone and Tommy Lee Jones certainly qualify. 

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


Predictor: Robert A. Heinlein in his novel The Door Into Summer

Prediction: "IMPORTANT NOTICE! This service automaton DOES NOT understand human speech. It has no understanding at all, being a machine. But for your convenience it has been designed to respond to a list of spoken orders."

Reality: Our pal Bob takes a dim view of The Singularity here, and by 2000 he was still right, machines have no true understanding. It's quite popular in sci-fi now and there are those predicting the reality just around the corner, but as an old school programmer I remain very skeptical.
Never to be Forgotten: Steve Bickel 1951-2015

Film executive Steve Bickel was found dead this week after collapsing on a hiking trip in Portugal. He is mentioned here because he produced the 1980 time travel fantasy Somewhere in Time, starring Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour.

Best wishes to the family and friends of Steve Bickel, from a fan of the movie. He is never to be forgotten.
 
Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Another visit from our pal George Sutherland and his book Twentieth Century Inventions.
  
Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Monday, September 14, 2015

14 September 2015

Birthdays
Jessica Brown Findlay b. 1989 (Victor Frankenstein [2015], Winter’s Tale, Labyrinth [2012 TV])
Jesse James b. 1989 (Jumper, The Amityville Horror [2005], The Butterfly Effect, Angel, The X Files)
Andre de Vanny b. 1984 (Nightmares & Dreamscapes, Wicked Science, Hercules [2005 TV], Salem’s Lot)
Kristen Renton b. 1982 (Ghouls)
Mark Wells b. 1980 (Narnia, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow)
J.L. Reate b. 1979 (The Golden Child)
Brian Klugman b. 1975 (actor, Cloverfield, Good vs Evil, Wishmaster; writer, TRON: Legacy)
Christopher McCulloch [a.k.a. Jackson Publick] b. 1971 (Venture Brothers, The Tick)
Andrew Lincoln b. 1973 (The Walking Dead, Moonshot)
Kimberly Williams-Paisley b. 1971 (The Tenth Kingdom)
Pat Healy b. 1971 (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Night Stalker [2006], Star Trek: Enterprise, Charmed, Angel)
Robert Ben Garant b. 1970 (Night at the Museum)
Niall Greig Fulton b. 1970 (Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, Cloud Atlas, Doctor Who)
Joon-ho Bong b. 1969 (director, Snowpiercer, The Host)
Tyler Perry b. 1969 (Star Trek)
Dan Cortese b. 1967 (Locusts: The 8th Plague, Demolition Man)
K.C. Martel b. 1967 (E.T., The Munsters’ Revenge, The Amityville Horror, Wonder Woman)
Michelle Stafford b. 1965 (Charmed, Vampires Anonymous)
Stephen Dunham b. 1964 died 14 September 2012 (Paranormal Activity 4, The Chronicle, The Mummy)
Radames Pera b. 1960 (Starman [TV], Project U.F.O., The Six Million Dollar Man, Shazam!)
Melissa Leo b. 1960 (Oblivion)
Callum Keith Rennie b. 1960 (Alphas, FlashForward, Battlestar Galactica, The X Files: I Want to Believe, Tin Man, Bionic Woman, The Invisible, Smallville, Supernatural, Blade: Trinity, Kingdom Hospital, The Butterfly Effect, Paycheck, Stephen King’s Dead Zone, Mutant X, Dark Angel, Strange World, eXistenZ, Highlander [TV], Forever Knight, Timecop)
Haviland Morris b. 1959 (Aliens in the Family, Gremlins 2: The New Batch)
Mary Crosby b. 1959 (Deep Space Nine, Lois & Clark, Freddy’s Nightmares, The Ice Pirates, Automan)
Kirk Baltz b. 1959 (Birds of Prey, Level 9, Seven Days, NetForce)
Michael Bollner b. 1958 (Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory)
Robert Wisdom b. 1953 (12 Monkeys [TV], The Dark Knight Rises, Supernatural, Poltergeist: The Legacy, Mighty Joe Young, Invader)
Howard Deutch b. 1950 (director, The Strain, True Blood, American Horror Story, Warehouse 13)
Sam Neill b. 1947 (The Adventurer: The Curse of the Midas Box, Daybreakers, Merlin’s Apprentice, Sci Fi Inside: ‘The Triangle’, Bicentennial Man, Merlin [1998 TV], Event Horizon, Snow White: A Tale of Terror, Jurassic Park, Memoirs of an Invisible Man, Amerika, Omen III: The Final Conflict)
Rowena Morrill b. 1944 (graphic artist)
Nicol Williamson b. 1936 died 16 December 2011 (Spawn, The Exorcist III, Return to Oz, Venom, Excalibur)
Walter Koenig b. 1936 (Star Trek, InAlienable, Babylon 5, Moontrap, The Questor Tapes, The Starlost)
Harve Presnell b. 1933 died 30 June 2009 (Charmed, From the Earth to the Moon, Lois & Clark, Star Trek: Voyager)

Notes from the birthday list.
1. The Picture Slot. In previous years, I went with 21st Century works for the Picture Slot, Andrew Lincoln from The Walking Dead and Jackson Publick from The Venture Bros., with a picture of Hank Venture. But if I made this just about being iconic, Walter Koenig from Star Trek is hard to beat.

2. Spot the Canadians! K.C. Martel did a lot of work as a kid, not that much filmed in Canada. Callum Keith Rennie was born in the U.K., but moved to Canada when young. He has a very Canadian looking resume.

3. Nepotism FTW. Brian Klugman was the nephew of Jack Klugman, not sure how much that counts. Mary Crosby was Bing Crosby's kid from his second marriage. That certainly counts.

4. "and... he was an asshole." It's interesting to read biographies on imdb.com that cannot hide an actor's character flaws. With some folks like cowboy star Ken Maynard and singer Rudy Vallee, the assholishness is the main story. With Nicol Williamson, the writer wants to remind us first that he was really good and then, well yeah... he was an asshole.

5. Worse than The Guy at the Door. 1936 would be the cut-off point between the living and the dead on this list if it was not for Stephen Dunham, who died on his 48th birthday three years ago. Good looking guy, pretty wife... quite a shock.

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


Predictor: Power rankings for the 2015 National Football League season.

Prediction:

AFC East: New England
AFC North: Baltimore
AFC South: Indianapolis
AFC West: Denver
Wild cards: Pittsburgh, Miami*

NFC East: Dallas
NFC North: Green Bay
NFC South: New Orleans*
NFC West: Seattle
Wild cards: Detroit, Philadelphia*


Reality: Most power rankings online are really a lot like the rankings from the end of the last season. The only changes predicted in the playoff line up are the Dolphins replacing the Bengals in the AFC, New Orleans winning the sucky NFC South instead of Carolina and Philadelphia getting the wild card instead of the Cardinals.
 
Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Once again, a look at the inventions of the late 20th Century from Robert A. Heinlein in the mid 1950s.
  
Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

13 September 2015

Birthdays
Robbie Kay b. 1995 (Heroes Reborn, Once Upon a Time, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Pinocchio)
Erin Way b. 1987 (Warehouse 13, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Grimm, Alphas, I (Heart) Vampires)
Carol Anne Watts b. 1987 (Ant-Man, Frankenstein [2015])
Trevor Duke-Moretz b. 1986 (Big Bad Wolf)
Sean Brosnan b. 1983 (U.F.O.)
Robin Chalk b. 1981 (Moon)
Ben Savage b. 1980 (Aliens for Breakfast, Little Monsters)
Elizabeth Weinstein b. 1979 (Supernatural, Arrow, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Smallville, Goblin, Stargate SG-1)
Colin Trevorrow b. 1976 (director, Jurassic World, Safety Not Guaranteed)
Louise Lombard b. 1970 (Grimm, SGU Stargate Universe, Tale of the Mummy)
Jonathan Walker b. 1967 (Continuum, Supernatural, Fringe, The Thing [2011], V [2011], Smallville, Flash Gordon, Stargate SG-1, Land of the Dead, Tracker, The X Files, Cyberjack)
Louis Mandylor b. 1966 (616: Paranormal Incident, The Prometheus Project, Charmed)
Joel Beeson b. 1966 (Death Becomes Her)
Laura Stepp b. 1966 (Star Trek: Enterprise, Star Trek: Voyager, Spawn)
Alfonso Freeman b. 1959 (Bad Blood I and II)
Isiah Whitlock Jr. b. 1954 (Europa Report, Enchanted, Gremlins 2: The New Batch)
Ann Dusenberry b. 1953 (Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, The Six Million Dollar Man)
Taryn Power b. 1953 (The Sea Serpent, Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger)
Christine Estabrook b. 1952 (American Horror Story, Spider-Man 2, The X Files)
Raymond O’Connor b. 1952 (Buffy, Babylon 5, Breakfast of Champions, Hard Time on Planet Earth, Dr. Alien, Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers)
Jean Smart b. 1951 (Project X)
Bruce Phillips b. 1951 (Legend of the Seeker, Power Rangers R.P.M., Lord of the Rings, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys)
Clyde Kusatsu b. 1948 (Dollhouse, Charmed, Babylon 5: Thirdspace, Godzilla [1998], Star Trek: The Next Generation, Lois & Clark, ALF, The Powers of Matthew Star, Meteor, Dr. Strange)
Kathleen Lloyd b. 1948 (Babylon 5, Amazing Stories, Twilight Zone [1986], The Incredible Hulk, It Lives Again, The Car, The Sixth Sense)
Frank Marshall b, 1946 (producer, Jurassic World, Indiana Jones, Back to the Future, The Sixth Sense, The Indian in the Cupboard, Amazing Stories, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, The Land Before Time, Arachnophobia, Hook, *batteries not included, Innerspace, Gremlins, Twilight Zone: The Movie, Poltergeist)
Dolly Read b. 1944 (The Kiss of the Vampire)
Richard Kiel b. 1939 died 10 September 2014 (Inspector Gadget, The Princess and the Dwarf, Superboy, Out of this World, Phoenix, Hysterical, Moonraker, The Humanoid, The Incredible Hulk, Land of the Lost, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, My Mother the Car, I Dream of Jeannie, The Human Duplicators, The Twilight Zone, Eegah, The Phantom Planet)
Don Bluth b. 1937 (director, Titan A.E., The Land Before Time, The Secret of NIMH)
Joe E. Tata b. 1936 (Charmed, Wonder Woman, Batman, Batgirl, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Lost in Space, The Time Tunnel, The Outer Limits)
Barbara Bain b. 1931 (Millennium, The Visitor, Space: 1999, My Mother the Car)
Norman Alden b. 1924 died 27 July 2012 (K-PAX, They Live, Small Wonder, Back to the Future, The Greatest American Hero, Electra Woman and Dyna Girl, Planet of the Apes [TV], Batman, My Favorite Martian)
Scott Brady b. 1924 died 16 April 1985 (Gremlins, The Invisible Man [1975], The Mighty Gorga, Journey to the Center of Time, Destination Inner Space)
Maurice Jarre b. 1924 died 29 March 2009 (composer, Solar Crisis, Ghost, Solarbabies, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, Dreamscape, Firefox, The Island at the Top of the World)
Roald Dahl b. 1916 died 23 November 1990 (author, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Witches)
Roy Engel b. 1913 died 29 December 1980 (Kingdom of the Spiders, The Invaders, My Favorite Martian, The Colossus of New York, Not of This Earth, Indestructible Man, It Came From Beneath the Sea, The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, Zombies of the Stratosphere, The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Man from Planet X)
Reta Shaw b. 1912 died 8 January 1982 (Escape to Witch Mountain, Bewitched, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, I Dream of Jeannie, Lost in Space, Mary Poppins)
Mae Questel b. 1908 died 4 January 1998 (Who Framed Roger Rabbit)
Ruth McDevitt b. 1895 died 27 May 1976 (Kolchak: The Night Stalker, Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, The Birds)
Daniel Defoe b.1660 died24 April 1731 (Memoirs of Sundry Transactions from the World of the Moon)

Notes from the birthday list.
1. The Picture Slot. In previous years, the Picture Slot belonged to fabulous babe Barbara Bain and Oh That Guy Clyde Kusatsu. I think Richard Kiel may be more iconic than either, but he died just before his birthday last year, so  didn't want to use his picture twice in so short a span.

2. Spot the Canadian! Usually, the Supernatural/Smallville Daily Double is a good sign someone was born north of the border, but it doesn't work perfectly. Elizabeth Weinstein is Canadian, but Jonathan Walker is British.

3. Nepotism FTW. Taryn Power is the daughter of Tyrone. Alonzo Freeman is the son of Morgan. Sean Brosnan is the son of Pierce.

4. MST3K. Picture Slotter Richard Kiel is in two films, The Human Duplicators and Eegah. We also have Roy Engel in The Indestructible Man. There may be others, I'm not sure.

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

The Weekly Soapbox: Global Warming

Just to be clear, I "believe" in global warming and mankind's part in it, much in the same way I "believe" in gravity. The effect of greenhouse gases is settled science and humans burning fossil fuels creates more greenhouse gases.

We've only had a few predictions on the blog about climate change and many of them have been about rising ocean levels, including a crazy high number from Paul Ehrlich, one of the most inaccurate regular predictors this blog has ever published. (Don't worry, I haven't forgotten Ray Kurzweil and FM-2030. I did write "one of the most", after all.) I wish we could fix the problem, but I'm not optimistic, and here are the reasons why.

1. Rising ocean levels are the least of our worries. There are some places on earth that now have to deal with rising waters, but they are currently far away from where the majority of people live. I expect the first thing we will notice effecting the lives of millions will be ecosystem changes that have nothing to do with the sea levels. We don't live close enough to nature to feel it when it goes bad - it's going bad in California right now, and all we are asked to do is take shorter showers and not water our lawns - but longer droughts and bigger wildfires in some areas, contrasted with heavier rains in other and temperatures not getting cold enough to put pests into their natural hibernation stage, are likely going to change how we live long before low level islands with lots of people flood. More than that, when these things happen, there will be people around to say it has nothing to do with a changing climate.

2. An enormous industry to pay for bullshit, which has already bought an entire political party. Do I need to name names? Okay, the petroleum industry and the Republicans. We've had scientific evidence that forced the government to limit the use of profitable products like aerosols, DDT and  asbestos, but those industries decided to change the way they did business. Petroleum is acting more like the tobacco industry, probably because their best scientists are telling them in private that there is no clean way to stay in business at the current level. The people lying about global warming are not just using the same tactics as the folks who lied for decades about the health risks of tobacco, in some cases they are the exact same people.

3. Humankind. Even a guy like me with no car is still sucking up energy keeping my computer and refrigerator on, and while I am consciously trying to improve the way I live, I'm not interested in going off the grid and only using the electricity I can create with solar panels and a bicycle generator. I think we can scale back, but I don't know if it will be enough. I'm turning 60 this year, so I will likely miss the worst of it. The generation of my grand-nieces and grand-nephews are probably going to have it very bad indeed.

Cheerful bastid, ain't I?

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Taking a look at the predictions for the NFL playoffs from the website fivethirtyeight.com.
  
Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!
 

Saturday, September 12, 2015

12 September 2015

Birthdays
Colin Ford b. 1996 (Under the Dome, Revolution, Supernatural, Jack and the Beanstalk, Journeyman, Smallville)
Alexia Fast b. 1992 (Supernatural, Tin Man, The 4400)
Alfie Allen b. 1986 (Game of Thrones)
Emmy Rossum b. 1986 (Comet, Dragonball: Evolution, The Day After Tomorrow)
Marty Adams b. 1981 (Hemlock Grove, Orphan Black, Dead Before Dawn 3D, Lost Girl, Repo Men, Repo! The Genetic Opera, Saw IV)
Ben McKenzie b. 1978 (Gotham)
Grace McEhlhinney b. 1974 (The Babadook)
Paul Walker b. 1973 died 30 November 2013 (Pleasantville, Tammy and the T-Rex, Timeline, Programmed to Kill, Monster in the Closet)
Gideon Emery b. 1972 (Daredevil, Grimm, Teen Wolf, True Blood, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice)
James Frey b. 1969 (author, I Am Number Four)
Louis C.K. (The Invention of Lying)
Darren E. Burrows b. 1966 (The Lone Gunmen, The X Files, Class of 1999, Hard Time on Planet Earth)
Ramon Franco b. 1963 (Resident Evil: Extinction, The X Files, NightMan)
Amy Yasbeck b. 1962 (Dracula: Dead and Loving It, The Mask, Quantum Leap, Splash, Too, Werewolf, House: The Second Story)
Robert John Burke b. 1960 (Limitless, Witchblade, From the Earth to the Moon, Thinner, RoboCop 3)
Gregg Edelman b. 1958 (Spider-Man 2, The Manhattan Project)
Hans Zimmer b. 1957 (composer, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Amazing Spider-Man 2, Man of Steel, Rise of the Undead, Batman Begins, Pirates of the Caribbean, Inception, Rango, Inception, The Ring, Smilla’s Feeling for Snow, Space Rangers)
Peter Scolari b. 1955 (Gotham, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show, From the Earth to the Moon, Lois & Clark, Ticks, The Twilight Zone [1988])
Joe Pantoliano b. 1951 (Sense8, The Adventures of Pluto Nash, Roswell, The Matrix, Congo, Robot in the Family, Highlander [TV], Tales from the Crypt, Deadly Nightmares, Amazing Stories)
Christopher Neame b. 1947 (Star Trek: Enterprise, The Invisible Man [TV], Seven Days, The Apocalypse Watch, Sliders, Earth 2, Star Trek: Voyager, Babylon 5, The Flash, Superboy, Ghostbusters II, Beauty and the Beast, Bloodstone, Blakes 7, Dracula A.D. 1972, Lust for a Vampire, No Blade of Grass)
Milo Manara b. 1945 (artist)
Anne Helm b. 1938 (Amazing Stories, The Magic Sword)
Bill McKinney b. 1931 died 1 December 2011 (Hellborn, The Green Mile, It Came from Outer Space II, Back to the Future Part III, Galactica 1980, Strange New World, I Dream of Jeannie)
Ian Holm b. 1931 (The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, The Day After Tomorrow, Simon Magus, eXistenZ, Alice Through the Looking Glass [TV 1998], The Fifth Element, Loch Ness, Frankenstein [1994], The Borrowers, Dreamchild, Brazil, Time Bandits, Alien, The Lost Boys [TV 1978])
Freddie Jones b. 1927 (Neverwhere, Dune, Firestarter, Krull, Firefox, Space:1999, Son of Dracula, Alice Through the Looking Glass [TV 1973], Old Drac, Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed)
Stanislaw Lem b. 1921 died 27 March 2006 (author, Solaris, The Futurological Congress)
Edward Binns b.1916 died 4 December 1990 (Captain Nice, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Twilight Zone)
Mary Stewart b. 1916 died 9 May 2014 (author, The Merlin Trilogy)
Desmond Llewelyn b. 1914 died 19 December 1999 (Merlin [1993], Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde [1980 TV], Moonraker, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Curse of the Werewolf, H.G. Wells’ Invisible Man)
Walter B. Gibson a.k.a. Maxwell Grant a.k.a. Edward S. Sullivan b. 1897 (writer, The Shadow, The Twilight Zone)

Notes from the birthday list.
1. The Picture Slot. Excluding Alfie Allen from Game of Thrones and author Stanislaw Lem because they've already been in the Picture Slot, there are still plenty of good choices, including Joe Pantoliano from The Matrix and Ben McKenzie from Gotham, but I went with a somewhat gruesome photo of Ian Holm (is a ripped up android truly gruesome?) just as a reminder of how good the cast for the original Alien truly was.

2. Spot the Canadians and MST3K. Three of our youngest actors - Colin Ford, Alexia Fast and  Marty Adams - have Canadian looking resumes, but Colin Ford was born south of the border. Ann Helm does not have a Canadian looking resume, in large part because he career started before the Canadian genre boom, but she was in The Magic Sword, so we have an MST3K movie on today's list.

3. Wait... he's alive? They don't look that much alike when they are younger, but Freddie Jones and the late Aubrey Morris did look very similar (to me at least) when they got older, and I definitely have mixed them up more than once. Freddie Jones is also the father of actor Toby Jones, a fact I didn't know until this morning. Best birthday wishes, sir.

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

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Tomorrow I will get on The Weekly Soapbox.
  
Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Friday, September 11, 2015

11 September 2015

Birthdays
Jett Good b. 1999 (Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D)
Tyler Hoechlin b. 1987 (Teen Wolf)
Elizabeth Henstridge b. 1987 (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
Ariana Richards b. 1979 (Jurassic Park, Tremors, Grand Tour: Disaster in Time, Spaced Invaders)
Cameron Richardson b. 1979 (10.0 Earthquake, The Lottery, Rise: Blood Hunter)
Tiffany Shepis b. 1979 (She Wolf Rising, Attack of the Morningside Monster, The Prometheus Project, Night of the Demons, Bonnie & Clyde vs. Dracula, Zombthology, Nightmare Man, Abominable, Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger IV, Tromeo and Juliet)
Taraji P. Henson b. 1970 (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Satan’s School for Girls)
Harry Connick Jr. b. 1967 (Bug, Independence Day)
Kristy McNichol b. 1962 (The Bionic Woman)
Virginia Madsen b. 1961 (Dead Rising: Watchtower, Witches of East End, The Haunting in Connecticut, The Astronaut Farmer, The Haunting, Star Trek: Voyager, The Apocalypse Watch, The Prophecy, Earth 2, Candyman, Highlander II: The Quickening, Zombie High, Creator, Dune)
Susan Gibney b. 1961 (Lost, Knight Rider [2008], Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Alien Nation)
Anne Ramsay b. 1960 (Extant, Wizards of Waverly Place, Planet of the Apes [2001], Star Trek: The Next Generation)
John Hawkes b. 1959 (Lost, S. Darko, Strange Frequency, Taken, The X Files, The Crow: Stairway to Heaven, Buffy, Steel, From Dusk Till Dawn, Future-Kill)
Julia Nickson b. 1958 (Half-Life, Power Rangers Wild Force, SeaQuest 2032, Babylon 5, Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: The Next Generation)
Roxann Dawson b. 1958 (Star Trek: Voyager)
Scott Patterson b. 1958 (The Event, Saw, Them [1996], The Lost World [1998 TV movie])
Tony Gilroy b. 1956 (writer, Armageddon)
Reed Birney b. 1954 (In Your Eyes, From the Earth to the Moon)
Amy Madigan b. 1950 (Fringe, Doppelganger, Carnivale, The Dark Half, The Day After)
Kathrine Baumann b. 1949 (Knight Rider, The Thing with Two Heads)
Michael Sacks b. 1948 (Starflight: The Plane That Couldn’t Land, The Amityville Horror, Slaughterhouse-Five)
Felton Perry b. 1945 (Hollywood Vampyr, Dark Breed, RoboCop 1, 2 & 3, Automan)
Brian De Palma b. 1940 (director, Mission to Mars, Carrie, Phantom of the Paradise)
Charles Dierkop b. 1936 (Superguy: Behind the Cape, Merchants of Venus, Hard Time on Planet Earth, Star Trek, Land of the Giants, Batman, Lost in Space, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea)
Ian Abercrombie b. 1934 died 26 January 2012 (Wizards of Waverly Place, Charmed, Star Trek: Voyager, Good vs Evil, Buffy, Jurassic Park: The Lost World, Babylon 5, Test Tube Teens from the Year 2000, Addams Family Values, Army of Darkness, The Flash, Warlock, Frog, Otherworld, The Ice Pirates, Tucker’s Witch, Voyagers!, Blood Beach, Battlestar Galactica [1978], The Six Million Dollar Man, Young Frankenstein)
Eve Brent b. 1929 died 27 August 2011 (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Roswell, The Green Mile, Weird Science [TV], Date with an Angel, BrainWaves, Adventures of Superman)
Earl Holliman b. 1928 (NightMan, The Six Million Dollar Man: Wine, Women and War, Visit to a Small Planet, Twilight Zone, Forbidden Planet)
David Morris b. 1924 died 29 October 2007 (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory)
Herbert Lom b. 1917 died 27 September 2012 (Whoops Apocalypse, The Dead Zone, Dorian Gray [1970] Count Dracula [1970], Journey to the Far Side of the Sun, Mysterious Island, Project M7)

Notes from the birthday list.
1. The Picture Slot. The previous Picture Slotters were Roxann Dawson and Earl Holliman, and I think there are good choices up and down the list, including Herbert Lom, Charles Dierkop, Michael Sacks, Susan Gibney, Virginia Madsen, Ariana Richards and Tyler Hoechlin. I chose Elizabeth Henstridge because she wasn't even listed last year and of course, she is so damned adorable.

2. Living Canadian free! It happens.

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 1901 book Anticipations

Prediction: There will arise… a New Republic dominating the world. It will be none of our ostensible governments that will effect this great clearing up; it will be the mass of power and intelligence altogether outside the official state systems of to-day that will make this great clearance, a new social Hercules that will strangle the serpents of war and national animosity in his cradle.

Reality: Does this sound anything like the world at any time? The only mass of power outside government that looks even slightly capable of this would be a confederation of large corporations, and I have my strong doubts this would be an improvement over the messy system we have now.
 
Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

It's the weekend, so no predictions, but I will stand up on the Weekly Soapbox.
  
Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

10 September 2015

Birthdays
Elyse Levesque b. 1985 (The Originals, SGU Stargate Universe, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Smallville, Flash Gordon, 2030 CE, MythQuest)
Harry Treadaway b. 1984 (Penny Dreadful [2014], Cockneys vs Zombies)
Luke Treadaway b. 1984 (Clash of the Titans)
Lindsay Maxwell b. 1981 (Supernatural, Hair of the Sasquatch, The Butterfly Effect 2, Deep Evil, Stargate SG-1, Seven Days)
Kyle Bornheimer b. 1975 (Agent Carter, Jericho)
Sebastian Gutierrez b. 1974 (writer, The Eye, Rise: Blood Hunter, Gothika, Mermaid Chronicles Part 1: She Creature)
Sarah Danielle Goldberg Madison b. 1974 died 27 September 2014 (Savage Planet, Jurassic Park III)
Ryan Phillippe b. 1974 (Invader, Deadly Invasion: The Killer Bee Nightmare)
James Duval b. 1972 (Lazarus, Hercules Reborn, Evilution, Frog-g-g!, Donnie Darko, Independence Day)
Tim Plester b. 1970 (Game of Thrones, Doctor Who, Kick-Ass)
Johnathon Schaech b. 1969 (Sleepy Hollow [TV], Star-Crossed, The Legend of Hercules, Quarantine)
Jay Laga’aia b. 1963 (Daybreakers, Legend of the Seeker, Star Wars: Episodes II and II, Xena, Mysterious Island)
Colin Firth b. 1960 (Dorian Gray, A Christmas Carol [2009], Nanny McPhee)
Jim Meskimen b. 1959 (Big Bang Theory, Battlefield Earth, Seven Days, Team Knight Rider, The Journey of Allen Strange, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Apollo 13)
Stacey Nelkin b. 1959 (Fringe, Twilight Zone [1986], Halloween III: Season of the Witch)
Chris Columbus b. 1958 (director, Pixels, Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Bicentennial Man)
Jim Jackman b. 1957 (Zombthology, My Stepmother Is an Alien, Spaceballs)
Kate Burton b. 1957 (Extant, Revolution, Grimm, Big Trouble in Little China, Alice in Wonderland [1983])
Fred Olen Ray b. 1954 (director, 135 films, some under the pseudonym Nicholas Medina, most direct to video, either bad sci-fi or soft-core porn, none worth watching)
Clark Johnson b. 1954 (666 Park Avenue, Re-Generation, Forever Knight, Murder in Space, Mazes and Monsters)
Don ‘The Dragon’ Wilson b. 1954 (Sci-Fighter, Virtual Combat, Batman Forever, Cyber Tracker, Future Kick)
Stuart Milligan b. 1953 (Doctor Who, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, Whoops Apocalypse, Outland)
Amy Irving b. 1953 (Zero Hour, Tuck Everlasting, Twilight Zone: Rod Serling’s Lost Classics [1994], Rumplestiltskin, The Fury, Carrie)
Harry Groener b. 1951 (Once Upon a Time, Supernatural, Star Trek: Enterprise, Buffy, Roswell, The Day the World Ended, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Charmed, Sleepwalkers, Star Trek: Voyager, Quantum Leap, Star Trek: The Next Generation)
Judy Geeson b. 1948 (Charmed, Alien Fury: Countdown to Invasion, Star Trek: Voyager, Horror Planet, Star Maidens, Space: 1999)
Bo Goldman b. 1932 (screenwriter, Meet Joe Black)
Philip Baker Hall b. 1931 (The Amityville Horror [2005], 3rd Rock from the Sun, Roswell, M.A.N.T.I.S., Ghostbusters II, The Goddess of Love, Man from Atlantis)
Gwen Watford b. 1927 died 6 February 1994 (Doomwatch, Taste the Blood of Dracula)
Edmond O’Brien b. 1915 died 9 May 1985 (Fantastic Voyage, Moon Pilot, 1984 [1956])
Robert Wise b. 1914 died 14 September 2005 (director, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, The Andromeda Strain, The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Curse of the Cat People)
Bessie Love b. 1898 died 26 April 1986 (The Hunger, Vampyres, My Partner the Ghost, Battle Beneath the Earth, The Andromeda Breakthrough, The Lost World [1925])

Notes from the birthday list.
1. The Picture Slot. In previous years, the Picture Slot went to director Robert Wise and actor Harry Groener for his role on Buffy. While we have a few movie stars, I think the list is light on iconic stars in genre, so I went with Edmond O'Brien as Winston Smith in the American movie version of 1984.

WHICH IS NOT ICONIC BECAUSE THE MOVE SUCKED EGGS!

I do this today as a warning. The American versions of 1984, on TV with Eddie Albert and on the big screen with Edmond O'Brien, are just awful. The British versions, on TV in the 1950s with Peter Cushing and the movie from 1984 with John Hurt, actually understand Orwell's point. 

2. Spot the Canadians! We have two today. Elyse Levesque and Lindsay Maxwell.

3. Nepotism FTW.  Kate Burton is Richard Burton's daughter. It had to make a difference early in her career.

4. Awesome nickname, still not quite iconic in genre. Don "The Dragon" Wilson is iconic in martial arts, not so much on sci-fi and fantasy films.

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


Predictor: Morris L. Ernst in the 1955 book Utopia 1976

Prediction: The low estimate of the world’s population in 2000 is three billion.

Reality: This is a crazy number. The world population crossed three billion before 1960 and was over six billion in 2000. The only thing that would have done this is a truly horrific World War III and we have avoided that so far, though Glenn Beck tells me it's just around the corner.
 
Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

We are running low on predictions from H.G. Wells' Anticipations, which suits me just fine because I lost patience with his scumbaggery quite some time ago.
  
Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

9 September 2015

Birthdays
Mary-Jessica Pitts b. 1996 (Hancock)
Lauren Clinton b. 1993 (Bridge to Terabithia)
Kelsey Asbille Chow b. 1991 (The Amazing Spider-Man)
Jo Woodcock b. 1988 (Dorian Gray)
Josh Herdman b. 1987 (Wizards vs. Aliens, Harry Potter)
Amy Manson b. 1985 (Once Upon a Time, Atlantis, Being Human, Torchwood, Pumpkinhead: Blood Feud)
Julie Gonzalo b. 1981 (Vamp U)
Michelle Williams b. 1980 (Oz the Great and Powerful, Halloween H20: 20 Years Later, Timemaster, Species)
Maria Arce b. 1979 (Mortal Kombat: Conquest)
Goran Visnjic b. 1972 (Extant, The Deep, Elektra, Practical Magic)
Henry Thomas b.1971 (Nightmares & Dreamscapes, Cloak & Dagger, E.T.)
Eric Stonestreet b. 1971 (American Horror Story, The Island)
Rachel Hunter b. 1969 (Piranhaconda, MorphMan)
Julia Sawalha b. 1968 (Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, Comic Relief: Doctor Who – The Curse of Fatal Death)
Alexandra Powers b. 1967 (Brimstone, Cast a Deadly Spell)
Adam Sandler b. 1966 (Pixels, Bedtime Stories, Click, Little Nicky, Coneheads)
David Bennent b. 1966 (Legend)
Michelle Johnson b. 1965 (Specimen, Death Becomes Her, Beaks: The Movie, Werewolf)
Charles Esten b. 1965 (The Postman, Lois & Clark, Star Trek: Voyager, Star Trek: The Next Generation)
Constance Marie b. 1965 (Early Edition)
Brenda Epperson b. 1965 (Bug Buster)
Kevin Grevioux b. 1962 (I, Frankenstein, Underworld, Charmed, Angel, Men in Black II, Planet of the Apes, Alien Nation: The Udara Legacy, Sliders, Batman Forever, The Mask, Deep Space Nine)
Hugh Grant b. 1960 (Cloud Atlas, The Lair of the White Worm)
Brent Stait b. 1959 (Fringe, Supernatural, TRON: Legacy, Stonehenge Apocalypse, Smallville, Blade: The Series, Stargate: Atlantis, The 4400, Battlestar Galactica, Andromeda, Mysterious Ways, Seven Days, First Wave, Roswell: The Aliens Attack, Poltergeist: The Legacy, The X Files, Highlander [TV], Neon Rider, Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future)
Edward Hibbert b. 1955 (The Muppets’ Wizard of Oz, Loch Ness)
Jeffrey Alan Combs b. 1954 (Gotham, Elf-Man, Dorothy and the Witches of Oz, The Dunwich Horror, The 4400, Abominable, SharkMan, Star Trek: Enterprise, Star Trek: Voyager, House on Haunted Hill, Deep Space Nine, Time Tracers, Perversions of Science, The Frighteners, Babylon 5, Ultraman: The Ultimate Hero, Doctor Mordrid, Trancers II, The Flash, Guyver, Robot Jox, Re-Animator, Beauty and the Beast, From Beyond, Re-Animator, The Man with Two Brains)
Janet Fielding b. 1953 (Doctor Who)
Angela Cartwright b. 1952 (Lost in Space [1998 and 1960s], Logan’s Run [TV])
Tom Wopat b. 1951 (Jonah Hex, Smallville)
Art LaFleur b. 1943 (Speed Racer, Night Stalker, Angel, A.J.’s Time Travelers, Space Rangers, Tales from the Crypt, Trancers I & II, The Blob, WarGames, The Invisible Woman, Jekyll and Hyde… Together Again, The Incredible Hulk)
Topol b.1935 (SeaQuest 2032, Flash Gordon)
Margaret Tyzack b. 1931 died 25 June 2011 (Quatermass, 2001, A Clockwork Orange)
Cliff Robertson b.1923 died 10 September 2011(Amazing Spider –Man)
James Hilton b. 1900 died 20 December 1954 (author, Lost Horizon)
Neil Hamilton b. 1899 died 24 September 1984 (Batman, The Munsters, The Outer Limits)

Notes from the birthday list.
1. The Picture Slot. The list has a lot of famous names, but many of them aren't iconic in genre. Previous Picture Slotters were Henry Thomas from E.T. and Janet Fielding from Doctor Who. That still leaves a lot of good choices as far as I'm concerned, but I decided to go way old school with Neil Hamilton as Commissioner Gordon from the 1960s Batman.

2. Spot the Canadian! Today, it's just Brent Stait and he has a very Canadian looking resume.

3. The Guy at the Door. On yesterday's list the cut-off year between the living and the dead was 1945, which is cutting it too close for my tastes. Today, the year is 1935 with Israeli actor Topol turning 80, another good choice for the Picture Slot as Dr. Zoltan in Flash Gordon. As always, the blog extends special birthday best wishes to anyone who has this odd demographic trait.


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


Predictor: George Sutherland in his 1902 book Twentieth Century Inventions

Prediction: Not only will those subscribers who are connected by wire with central stations have the advantage of being called at any hour in the morning according to their intimated wishes, but such services as lighting the fires in winter mornings, so that rooms may be fairly warmed before they are entered, will be performed by electric messages sent from a central station.

Reality: Our sensible friend wants to use the power of radio - which he called wireless telephony - to do what alarm clocks and thermostats do for us at much less cost or trouble. No points for these.
 
Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Another prediction, likely overly-optimistic, from Utopia 1976.
  
Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

8 September 2015

Birthdays
Travis Nelson b. 1990 (Supernatural, Fringe, Meteor Storm, Tucker and Dale vs. Evil)
Justin Bradley b. 1985 (Being Human, Warm Bodies, Beastly)
Christine Weatherup b. 1983 (Star Kid)
Jonathan Taylor Thomas b. 1981 (Smallville)
Miles Jupp b. 1979 (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix)
Nate Corddry b. 1977 (Ghostbusters [2016], The Invention of Lying)
Larenz Tate b. 1975 (The Postman, The Twilight Zone [1985])
Martin Freeman b. 1971 (Captain America: Civil War, The Hobbit, The World’s End, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Shaun of the Dead)
Brooke Burke-Charvet b. 1971 (The Wraith)
David Arquette b. 1971 (The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl, Eight Legged Freaks, Muppets from Space, Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
Brian Huskey b. 1968 (This Is the End, Fright Night [2011], Meet Dave, Land of the Lost [2009])
Brad Silberling b. 1963 (director, Land of the Lost, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, Casper)
Larry Zerner b. 1963 (Knights of Badassdom, Friday the 13th Part III)
Thomas Kretschmann b. 1962 (Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Dracula [TV], Dracula 3D, FlashForward, Bionic Woman, King Kong, Frankenstein [2004 TV], Resident Evil: Apocalypse, Blade II, Relic Hunter, Total Recall 2070, Total Reality)
David Knell b. 1961 (Grimm, The Invisible Man, Total Recall, ALF, Splash, The Devil and Max Devlin)
Tom Tangen b. 1961 (Monkeybone, Donnie Darko, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge, Back to the Future)
Sonja Smits b. 1958 (Odyssey 5, TekWar, Videodrome)
Heather Thomas b. 1957 (Swamp Thing [TV], Cyclone, Zapped!)
Julian Richings b. 1955 (The Witch, Hellmouth, Orphan Black, Supernatural, Man of Steel, Todd and the Book of Pure Evil, Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, Survival of the Dead, Saw IV, X-Men: The Last Stand, Skinwalkers, Re-Generation, Prince Charming, My Best Friend is an Alien, Highlander: The Raven, Universal Soldier II: Brothers in Arms, Cube, Mimic, RoboCop [TV], War of the Worlds [TV])
Clayton Norcross b. 1954 (Weird Science [TV], Defending Your Life)
Mark Lindsay Chapman b. 1954 (Charmed, Poltergeist: The Legacy, NightMan, Legend of the Mummy, The Burning Zone, Lois & Clark, Weird Science [TV], The Langoliers, Swamp Thing [TV], Max Headroom)
Willard Huyck b. 1945 (writer/director, Howard the Duck; writer, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom)
Archie Goodwin b. 1937 died 1 March 1988 (writer, Marvel Comics and Warren Publications)
Michael A. Hoey b. 1934 died 17 August 2014 (director, The Navy vs. the Night Monsters)
Joe Kubert b. 1926 died 12 August 2012 (artist)
Peter Sellers b. 1925 died 24 July 1980 (Alice in Wonderland [1972 and 1966])
Harry Harris b. 1922 died 19 March 2009 (director, Alice in Wonderland [1985], Land of the Giants, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, The Time Tunnel, Lost in Space)
Harry Secombe b. 1921 died 11 April 2001 (Alice Through the Looking Box)
Frank Cady b. 1915 died 8 June 2012 (Monster Squad [TV], 7 Faces of Dr. Lao, The Next Voice You Hear…)
Alexander Mackendrick b. 1912 died 22 December 1993 (writer/director, The Man in the White Suit)
Brian Morrow b. 1911 died 11 May 2006 (Beauty and the Beast, Freddie’s Nightmares, Otherworld, The Greatest American Hero, The Bionic Woman, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, Colossus: The Forbin Project, Star Trek, Bewitched, Lost in Space, The Invaders, Captain Nice, I Dream of Jeannie, Cyborg 2087, Atlantis, the Lost Continent, Twilight Zone)
William Fawcett b. 1894 died 25 January 1974 (I Dream of Jeannie, Mr. Terrific, The Munsters, Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter, Twilight Zone, Commando Cody, Captain Video, Atom Man vs. Superman, Batman and Robin [1949])

Notes from the birthday list.
1. The Picture Slot. In previous years, I went Oh That Guy with Brian Morrow and noted the first episode aired of Star Trek. This year, I drag myself into the 21st Century with a picture of Martin Freeman from The Hobbit.

2. Spot the Canadians! Our two youngest on today's list, Travis Nelson and Justin Bradley, are both born north of the border, as is Sonja Smits. Julian Richings was born in Britain but moved to Canada in the 1980s.

3. Nepotism FTW. David Arquette is one of the multi-generational family of actors.

4. The Guy at the Door. On today's list, the cut-off year for the living and the dead is 1945, which is way too recent for my tastes. This means the blog gives special best wishes on his birthday to Willard Huyck, even though he is responsible for Howard the Duck.

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

TV show premieres 
Star Trek first aired, 1966


Predictor: Robert A. Heinlein in the 1957 book The Door Into Summer

Prediction: The Times came to me by tube each morning, now that I was a solid citizen.

Reality: This scene takes place in 2000 and Heinlein is discussing newspaper delivery by pneumatic tube.

He gets no marks for this, but I do not judge him, because this failed prediction makes me sad.
 
Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Another visit from out friend George Sutherland.
  
Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Monday, September 7, 2015

7 September 2015

Birthdays
Hugh Mitchell b. 1989 (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets)
Evan Rachel Wood b.1987 (Westworld, True Blood, S1m0ne, American Gothic)
Alyssa Diaz b. 1985 (Grimm, The Last Ship, The Vampire Diaries, Revolution, Ben 10: Alien Swarm)
Josh Hammond b. 1979 (Lazarus: Day of the Living Dead, Piranha Sharks, Jeepers Creepers II, Alien Arsenal)
Devon Sawa b. 1978 (Creature of Darkness, Final Destination, Idle Hands)

Oliver Hudson b. 1976 (The Breed, 10.5: Apocalypse)
Noah Huntley b. 1974 (Dracula Untold, Snow White and the Huntsman, Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, 28 Days Later…, The Omega Code 2, Event Horizon)
Alex Kurtzman b. 1973 (writer, Venom, Van Helsing, Sleepy Hollow, Transformers, Star Trek, Fringe, Cowboys & Aliens, The Island, Xena, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys)
Shannon Elizabeth b. 1973 (Night of the Demons, Cursed, Thir13en Ghosts, Good vs Evil)
Tom Everett Scott b. 1970 (Beauty and the Beast, Race to Witch Mountain, Dead Man on Campus, An American Werewolf in Paris)
Monique Gabriela Curnen b. 1970 (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., The Dark Knight, Journeyman, Anamorph, The Lady in the Water, Angel)
Diane Farr b. 1969 (Collision Earth, Roswell)
Angie Everhart b. 1969 (Bigfoot, Bugs, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Bordello of Blood, Last Action Hero)
Toby Jones b. 1967 (Agent Carter, The Hunger Games, Captain America, Snow White and the Huntsman, Harry Potter, Doctor Who, The Mist [2007])
W. Earl Brown b. 1963 (Knights of Baddassdom, American Horror Story, The X Files, Vanilla Sky, Charmed, Angel, Being John Malkovich, Deep Impact, Project: ALF, Vampire in Brooklyn)
Cliff Simon b. 1962 (Stargate)
Christopher Villiers b. 1960 (Triassic Attack, From Time to Time, Doctor Who, Ultraviolet)
Stewart Finlay-McLennan b. 1957 (Lost, National Treasure, E.A.R.T.H. Force)
Mira Furlan b. 1955 (Space Command Redemption, Lost, Babylon 5)
Doug Bradley b. 1954 (A Vampire’s Tale, Pumpkinhead: Ashes to Ashes, Hellraiser, Dominator, Proteus, Nightbreed)
Corbin Bernsen b. 1954 (Vipers, They Are Among Us, Beings, Atomic Twister, Dead Above Ground, Spacejacked, Menno’s Mind, Inhumanoid, Aurora: Operation Intercept, Star Trek: The Next Generation, King Kong [1976])
Michael Emerson b. 1954 (Lost, Saw, The X Files)
Julie Kavner b. 1950 (Click, Revenge of the Stepford Wives)
Susan Blakely b. 1948 (My Mom’s a Werewolf, Twilight Zone [1987], Deadly Nightmares)
Dario Argento b. 1940 (director, The Sandman, Dracula 3D, Phenomena)
John Phillip Law b. 1937 died 13 May 2008 (Alienator, Barbarella, Golden Voyage of Sinbad)
Bruce Gray b. 1936 (Stargate SG-1, Charmed, Star Trek: Enterprise, Cube²: Hypercube, Earth: Final Conflict, Starship Troopers, Babylon 5, RoboCop [TV], Star Trek: The Next Generation, Knight Rider)
Alan Steel b. 1935 died 5 September 2015 (3 Avengers, Hercules and the Treasure of the Incas, Hercules Against the Moon Men, Hercules Against Rome, Hercules and the Black Pirates, Hercules and the Masked Rider, Samson and the Slave Queen, Ursus, the Gladiator Rebel, The Fury of Hercules, The Giant of Marathon, Hercules Unchained)
Peter Lawford b. 1923 died 24 December 1984 (Bewitched, The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Canterville Ghost)
Anthony Quayle b. 1913 (Holocaust 2000)
Roy Barcroft b. 1902 died 28 November 1969 (Rosemary’s Baby, Destination Inner Space, Billy the Kid Versus Dracula, Commando Cody, The Adventures of Superman, Zombies of the Stratosphere, Radar Men from the Moon, The Vampire’s Ghost, Flash Gordon)
George Waggner b. 1894 died 11 December 1984 (director, Batman, The Green Hornet, The Wolf Man, Man Made Monster)
Dr. John William Polidori b. 1795 died 24 August 1821 (author, The Vampyre: A Tale)

Notes from the birthday list.
1. The Picture Slot. Quite a few well-known faces on today's list and in previous years I went with fabulous babes Evan Rachel Wood and Mira Furlan. Sad to say, we will have an obit for a fabulous babe down farther in the post, so instead I went with Doug Bradley as Pinhead from the Hellraiser series. 

2. Spot the Canadian! Only one I could find today, Devon Sawa, does not have a resume full of Canuck sci-fi, which makes him hard to spot.

3. Nepotism FTW. Oliver Hudson is the son of Goldie Hawn. 

4. MST3K. Birthday boy Alana Steel passed away two days ago, and some of his Hercules movies were given the treatment.

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


Predictor: The OMNI Future Almanac, published 1982

Prediction: Just as aircraft will be further enhanced by computer assistance, air traffic control will rely more heavily on computers to keep track of the aircraft in the area.

Reality: There are some things from the past that are more than a little terrifying when you sit down to think about them. The technology available for air traffic control even as recently as thirty years ago was archaic. Suffice it to say, this prediction gets full marks.
 

Never to be Forgotten: Judy Carne 1939-2015

A rough day for those of us who grew up on television in the 1960s. Judy Carne, best known for Love on a Rooftop and Laugh-In, died earlier this month in Northampton, where she was born. She was the first wife of Burt Reynolds. She is remembered here for a role on I Dream of Jeannie.

Best wishes to the family and friends of Judy Carne, from a fan. She is never to be forgotten.
Never to be Forgotten: Martin Milner 1931-2015

Adding to the sad nostalgia for folks of a certain age is the death of Martin Milner, best known for Adam-12, Route 66 and The Sweet Smell of Success. His connections to genre include the TV version of RoboCop, The 1960 movie 13 Ghosts, the 1950 TV series On the Threshold of Space and most memorably for me, an episode of the original Twilight Zone.

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

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Another prediction from Heinlein's The Door Into Summer.
  
Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

6 September 2015

Birthdays
Rhys Ward b. 1989 (The Strain, The 100, My Babysitter’s a Vampire)
Lauren Lapkus b. 1985 (Jurassic World)
Tehmina Sunny b. 1980 (Extant, Heroes, Children of Men)
Blaze Berdahl b. 1980 (Aliens in the Family, Pet Sematary)
Matthew Horne b. 1978 (Sinbad, Vampire Killers, Fairy Tales)
Naomie Harris b. 1976 (National Theatre Live: Frankenstien, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, Dinotopia, 28 Days Later…, The Tomorrow People)
Sarah Strange b. 1974 (ReGenesis, Stargate SG-1, Jeremiah, Dark Angel, First Wave, Poltergeist: The Legacy, Millennium, Sliders, The Adventures of Captain Zoom in Outer Space, The X Files, Neon Rider)
Idris Elba b. 1972 (Avengers: Age of Ultron, Prometheus, Thor, Pacific Rim, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, 28 Weeks Later, Ultraviolet, Space Precinct)
China MiƩville b. 1972 (won 2010 Hugo for The City & the City)
Justina Machado b. 1972 (The Purge: Anarchy, Dragonfly, A.I. Artificial Intelligence, Angel)
Dylan Bruno b. 1972 (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., The Dead Zone, The Rage: Carrie 2)
Betsy Russell b, 1963 (Saw III throught VI, Superboy, The Powers of Matthew Star)
Michael Winslow b. 1958 (Lavalantula, Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!, Robodoc, Lycanthrope, Harry and the Hendersons, Spaceballs, Gremlins)
Patti Yasutake b. 1953 (FlashForward, Star Trek: The Next Generation)
Katherine Cannon b. 1953 (Seven Days, Hard Time on Planet Earth, The Hidden, The Incredible Hulk, Battlestar Galactica, Future Cop)
Anne Lockhart b. 1953 (Surrogates, Bug Buster, Bionic Ever After, Quantum Leap, Freddy's Nightmares, Troll, AutoMan, Knight Rider, Voyagers!, E.T., The Incredible Hulk, Earthbound, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Battlestar Galactica, Project U.F.O., The Sixth Sense [1972])
Tommy Lee Wallace b. 1949 (director, Vampires: Los Muertos, It, Fright Night Part 2, Max Headroom, Twilight Zone [1985], Halloween III: Season of the Witch)
Keone Young b. 1947 (True Blood, Men in Black 3, Star Trek: Enterprise, The Invisible Man, Dude, Where’s My Car?, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids [TV], Deep Space Nine, Small Wonder )
Jane Curtin b. 1947 (The Librarians, Cyberchase, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Coneheads)
Swoosie Kurtz b. 1944 (Heroes, Category 7: The End of the World, Lost, Harvey [TV movie])
Carol Wayne b. 1942 died 13 January 1985 (The Girl with Something Extra, Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie)
Jo Anne Worley b. 1937 (Wizards of Waverly Place, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, The Six Million Dollar Man, Captain Nice)
Sergio Aragones b. 1937 (writer/artist, Groo the Wanderer)
Jody McCrea b. 1934 died 4 April 2009 (The Monster That Challenged the World)
Paul Naschy b. 1934 died 30 November 2009 (A Werewolf in the Amazon, Night of the Werewolf, Mystery on Monster Island, Night of the Howling Beast, The Mummy’s Revenge, Vengeance of the Zombies, Count Dracula’s Great Love, Curse of the Devil, La Furia del Hombre Lobo, The Werewolf Versus the Vampire Woman, Las Noches del Hombre Lobo, Frankenstein’s Bloody Terror)
Max Schreck b. 1879 died 20 February 1936 (Nosferatu)

Notes from the birthday list.
1. The Picture Slot. In previous years, I used pictures of Max Schreck and Idris Elba. This year, I had several options, including Sergio Aragones and Naomie Harris, but I decided to go all Star Trek nerd and use Patti Yasutake from her regular role as Nurse Ogawa.

2. Spot the Canadian! Sarah Strange was born north of the border.

3. Nepotism FTW. Anne Lockhart is the daughter of June Lockhart and grand-daughter of Gene Lockhart. Jody McCrea is Joel McCrea's son.

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

The Weekly Soapbox: Computers and Artificial Intelligence

Science fiction is often given credit for being prophetic, but the truth is not quite as flattering. Sci-fi is about telling stories, exciting adventures of imagination. Long before rockets were good enough to get us into orbit, science fiction stories had us traveling to other star systems, ignoring the problems of time and distance involved. On the other hand, the trajectory of computers and how quickly they would change, getting smaller, faster, cheaper and more practical, is a major technological advance of the past fifty years that sci-fi didn't quite get. An argument against my major theme might point to Asimov's robots or Frank Herbert's idea of mentats, people who can do what computers did after letting a computer think is made illegal, on the idea that we reached the Singularity and decided to walk away from it. But most of Asimov's robot stories as well as Herbert's Dune universe are set thousands or even tens of thousands of years in the future. Computers are a major part of our lives right now.

Here are my awards in different categories for the predictions about computer we have had on the blog.

Most paranoid
Arthur C. Clarke gets points for seeing how fast the computerized future would come, but nearly everything he wrote is a warning against it. Here I would single out the short story Dial F for Frankenstein and his screenplay for 2001: A Space Odyssey. Besides Clarke, the most paranoid depictions of computers come from movies like Colossus: The Forbin Project, the Terminator series and WarGames.

Most accurate or most prescient
Regular readers will know how I love to mock Robert A. Heinlein, but he got a few things right out of many, many speculations in his story The Door Into Summer, serialized in 1956 and turned into a novel in 1957. Most notable is Computer Aided Design or CAD, which he assumed would exist by the early 1970s.

Another very good prediction is from Lee De Forest in 1960, who forecast the development of computers used as medical diagnostic aides. OMNI Future Almanac will get a few mentions in overly-optimistic section, but one of their predictions published a few weeks ago about the computers of writer being connected by some wire over telephone lines to publishers was a very good guess in 1982.

But I give the last spot in this most complimentary category to T. Baron Russell in 1905, who predicted a combined typewriter/calculating machine that could create completely accurate ledgers. I'm sure Russell must have seen it a deluxe calculator, unable to envision computers or screens or spreadsheets or laser jet printers, but no one else from his era has an idea anything quite like this.

Most overly-optimistic
OMNI Future Almanac really went off the deep end sometimes with their computer predictions, falling in love with a fad like bio-rhythms to assume we might well have chips inside out heads by now. At a TED talk last decade, Bill Joy said high end computers would cost $10 in 2020, and while I can't say with complete confidence there won't be some crazy advances in the next five years, I don't hear anyone talking about what a wonderful prophet Bill Joy was these days.

As for the top spot in overly optimistic, Ray Kurzweil is the easy winner with his 1999 book The Age of Spiritual Machines, which made a number of very specific advances that would come to pass by 2009. Kurzweil is tech-savvy enough that almost nothing he predicted is actually impossible, though we are still very far away from reverse engineering the brain, his boldest prediction by far. His best calls are about "worn technology", self-driving cars and voice recognition technology, his worst are reverse engineering the brain and the popularity of 3-D chips, which are hard to build and have bad error rates.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Speaking of OMNI Future Almanac, Monday is their regular turn for predictions.

Join is then... IN THE FUTURE!