Saturday, September 19, 2015

19 September 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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 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.


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

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
Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!