Thursday, October 31, 2013

31 October 2013

Willow Smith b. 2000 (I am Legend)
Justin Chatwin b. 1982 (War of the Worlds)
Erica Cerra b. 1979 (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Eureka, Blade:Trinity, Smallville, Under the Dome, Battlestar Galactica, The 4400)
Peter Jackson b. 1961 (Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, King Kong)
Neal Stephenson b. 1959 (won the 1996 Hugo for The Diamond Age)
John Candy b.1950 died 31 October 1994 (Spaceballs)
Stephen Rea b. 1946 (V for Vendetta, Underworld: Awakening)
Brian Doyle-Murray b. 1945 (Groundhog Day)
Michael Landon b. 1936 died 1 July 1991 (I was a Teenage Werewolf)

I considered putting up several pictures this morning. Peter Jackson is the biggest name in genre on this list and I've liked the Neal Stephenson books I've read. I could put up a picture of John Candy or Michael Landon in the make-up they wore in their single important roles in genre, but instead I put up a picture of Erica Cerra,who has been in quite a few sci-fi and fantasy productions, mostly on TV, and who easily qualifies for the Pretty Girl = Picture Slot formula.

Many happy returns to all the living on the list.

Predictor: Vladimir Keilis-Borok, January 2004

Prediction: A quake of magnitude 6.4 or larger would rock a 12,000-square-mile region east of Los Angeles before Sept. 5, 2004

Reality: There was no such quake. Keilis-Borok, who died earlier this month, worked on earthquake prediction for much of his career, considering it the "holy grail" of his field of geophysics. In 2003, he had two successes, predicting a strong quake in Japan and another in central California, both in a similar time window of somewhat less than a year. As Meat Loaf might say, two out of three ain't bad, but such long lead times and large areas are better at producing anxiety than they are at saving lives or property. Maybe we'll know better some day, but that day appears to be far in the future.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Another scientific prediction from this year, and not very good news.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

30 November 2013

Clémence Poésy b. 1982 (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows)
Fiona Dourif b. 1981 (True Blood)
Sarah Carter b. 1980 (Falling Skies)
Mark Steven Johnson b. 1964 (director, Ghost Rider, Daredevil)
David Yates b. 1963 (director, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows)
Charles Martin Smith b. 1953 (The X-Files, Starman)
Harry Hamiln b. 1951 (Clash of the Titans)
Rusty Goffe b. 1948 (Harry Potter, Flash Gordon, Mirrormask, Star Wars)
Leon Rippy b. 1947 (Stargate, Under the Dome, Star Trek:The Next Generation, Universal Soldier)
Tim Kirk b. 1947 (artist)
Hamilton Camp b. 1934 died 2 October 2005 (Star Trek: Voyager, Twilight Zone, Attack of the 50 Foot Woman)
William Campbell b. 1923 died 28 April 2011 (Star Trek)
Ruth Gordon b. 1896 died 28 August 1985 (Rosemary’s Baby)

Lots of actors on the birthday list today. Any of the young actresses at the top of the list would qualify for the Pretty Girl=Picture Slot formula, but for iconic roles in genre, it was either William Campbell or Harry Hamlin and I picked Star Trek over Harryhausen. Perseus will get his turn next year. 

Predictor: T. Baron Russell, A Hundred Years Hence, published 1905

Prediction: Cities will be provided with moving street-ways, always in action at two or more speeds; and we shall have learned to hop on and off the lowest speed from the stationary pavement, and from the lower speeds to the higher, without danger.

Reality: Moving sidewalks yet again. The show up in sci-fi stories, I remember them from Harlan Ellison's "Repent, Harlequin!" said the Ticktock Man in particular, but they were really popular in the predictions from the early 1900s, including a Hildebrand's German Chocolate postcard and one from my man crush John Elfreth Watkins. I'm not against escalators and moving walkways in airports are really useful when you are carrying luggage, but outdoors and exposed to the elements is probably not a good idea, apart from the fact that it discourages walking, an excellent exercise.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

An earthquake prediction from a scientist in 2004 gets a big swing and a miss.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE! 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

29 October 2013

India Eisley b. 1993 (Underworld: Awakening)
Johnny Lewis b. 1983 died 26 Sept. 2012 (Alien vs. Predator: Requiem)
Ben Foster b. 1980 (X-men: The Last Stand, 30 Days of Night)
Gabrielle Union b. 1972 (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)
Winona Ryder b. 1971 (Edward Scissorhands, Dracula, Star Trek, S1m0ne, Alien:Resurrection, Beetlejuice)
Rufus Sewell b. 1967 (Dark City)
Tim Minear b. 1963 (writer/producer, American Horror Story, Dollhouse, Angel, Firely, Wonderfalls, The X-Files, Lois and Clark)
Finola Hughes b. 1959 (Charmed)
Dan Castellaneta b. 1957 (Futurama, Super 8, Stargate: SG-1)
Richard Dreyfuss b.1947 (Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Piranha 3D)
Ralph Bakshi b. 1938 (Lord of the Rings, Wizards, Fire and Ice)
Margaret Sheridan b. 1926 died 1 May 1982 (The Thing from Another World)
Robert Hardy b. 1925 (Harry Potter)

Quite a selection of birthdays today. The best known names are Winona Ryder and Richard Dreyfuss, while Ralph Bakshi is the best indicator of how far the genre has progressed when you consider his low budget animated Tolkien compared to this century's mega-blockbusters. My favorite movie on the list is Dark City, and so I considered choosing Rufus Sewell, but instead I chose the late Margaret Sheridan, famous for her scream on the poster for The Thing From Another World.

A note about the late Johnny Lewis. He is best known for Sons of Anarchy. The gory circumstances of his death can be found on his Wikipedia page.

Predictor: Isaac Asimov, who was asked by promoters of the 1964 World's Fair to predict the wonders of 2014

Prediction: The appliances of 2014 will have no electric cords, of course, for they will be powered by long- lived batteries running on radioisotopes. The isotopes will not be expensive for they will be by- products of the fission-power plants which, by 2014, will be supplying well over half the power needs of humanity. But once the isotype batteries are used up they will be disposed of only through authorized agents of the manufacturer.

Reality: Umm... no. Atomic energy might very well be the main reason the public doesn't trust pointy-headed scientists. (Well, that and their complete failure to give us flying cars.) I'm more in favor of use of atomic energy that most left-wing types - especially thorium based reactors - but the more news that comes about Fukushima, the less confident I become.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Back to the Wednesday schedule and that means T. Baron Russell and his collection of predictions from 1905.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE! 

Monday, October 28, 2013

28 October 2013

Devon Murray b.1988 (Seamus Finnigan in Harry Potter)
Matt Smith b. 1982 (Doctor Who)
Joaquin Phoenix b. 1974 (Signs)
Michael Dougherty b. 1974 (writer, Superman Returns, X2)
Stephen Hunter b. 1968 (Bombur in The Hobbit)
Chris Bauer b. 1966 (True Blood)
Lauren Holly b. 1963 (Alphas)
Daphne Zuniga b. 1962 (Spaceballs, The Fly II)
Jonathan Mostow b. 1961 (director, Terminator 3)
Joe R. Lansdale b. 1951 (writer, Bubba Ho-Tep, Batman, Jonah Hex)
Ian Marter b. 1944 died 28 October 1986 (Doctor Who)
Jane Alexander b. 1939 (Terminator Salvation)
Elsa Lanchester b. 1902 died 26 December 1986 (Bride of Frankenstein)

On this list, there are two obvious choices for the Picture Slot, Matt Smith and Elsa Lanchester. I decided the Doctor this year, the Bride next.

Many happy returns to all the living on the list.

Movies released
In Time released 2011

Prediction: October 28, 1988 is War Day. The nuclear conflict lasts thirty six minutes.

Predictor: Whitley Strieber and James Kunetka, published 1984

Reality: Let me borrow from the review by Paul Brians, taken from his wonderful compendium of nuclear predictions.

"Despite its unremarkable style, its rudimentary plot, its political improbabilities and its shallow characters, this is by far the most thoroughly researched of all the attempts to depict nuclear war realistically. It reads almost like a collection of notes on various studies and reports."

Such high praise! I'm surprised it isn't quoted on the cover.

All kidding aside, the 1980s are the end of the big fear of nuclear war. The fall of Eastern European communism made the very unlikely chance of toe to toe nuclear confrontation with the Russkis seem even more unlikely.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

We are back to the regular schedule, and Tuesday means Isaac Asimov, gazing into the future world of 2014 from his comfortable vantage point in 1964.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE! 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

27 October 2013

Hunter Ansley Wryn b. 1994 (Serenity)
Andrea Riseborough b. 1981 (Oblivion)
Jeff East b. 1957 (Superman, The Day After)
Robert Picardo b. 1953 (Star Trek: Voyager, Innerspace, Gremlins 2, Star Trek: First Contact, Stargate SG-1)
Peter Firth b. 1953 (Lifeforce, Mighty Joe Young)
Angus MacInness (Star Wars, Space:1999)
Ivan Reitman b. 1946 (director, Ghostbusters, My Super Ex-Girlfriend)
John Cleese b. 1939 (Shrek, Harry Potter, The Day the Earth Stood Still)

Interesting list today. Hunter Ansley Wryn played the younger version of River Tan in Serenity and Jeff East played the younger version of Clark Kent in Superman. John Cleese may be the best known face on the list and Angus MacInness was Gold Leader in the original Star Wars, but for roles in genre, Robert Picardo deserves the Picture Slot this first year.

Many happy returns to all our birthday boys and girls.

Five fun facts from 2015!

Prediction: Hand held alpha wave generator to induce sleep.

Predictor: Back to the Future: Part II, released 22 November 1989

Reality: Oh, great! A handheld roofie that has no pharmacological trace. I see no way this valuable device will ever be used for anything but honorable purposes, such as... eliminating a character the writer doesn't know how to use in the scene by putting her to sleep.

This is our last Back to the Future: Part II post this year. There will be 10 fun facts in 2014 and 15 fun facts in 2015.

Look one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Once again our regularly scheduled Monday prediction is preempted for an exact date, this time from Whitley Strieber.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

26 October 2013

Seth MacFarlane b. 1973 (Ted, Fututrama, Star Trek:Enterprise)
Rupert Wyatt b. 1973 (director, Rise of the Planet of the Apes)
David Eick b. 1968 (producer, Battlestar Galactica, The Bionic Woman, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys)
Cary Elwes b. 1962 (The X Files, From the Earth to the Moon, Ella Enchanted, Dracula [1992])
Patrick Breen b. 1960 (Galaxy Quest, Men in Black, Angel)
Julie Dawn Cole b. 1957 (Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory)
Roger Allan b. 1953 (V for Vendetta, Pirates of the Caribbean, Game of Thrones)
Bob Hoskins b. 1942 (Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Brazil)
Kenneth Johnson b. 1942 (writer, V, Alien Nation, The Incredible Hulk, The Bionic Woman, The Six Million Dollar Man)
Jackie Coogan b. 1914 died 1 March 1984 (The Addams Family)
Fred Graham b. 1908 died 10 October 1979 (The Giant Gila Monster)

Long list of birthdays today, folks on both sides of the camera. Though there are better known names, my feeling was that for genre work, it was either Uncle Fester or Veruca Salt. I flipped a coin.

I'd also like to give a shout out to Kenneth Johnson. If filmed sci-fi was just going to be space stories, it would eventually start feeling "all the same". He had big success with The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman, and in terms of influence on today's entertainment industry, The Incredible Hulk was the first successful transfer of a Marvel Comics character to the screen. These days, Marvel dominates DC, but back in the 1970s, Marvel had nothing that could compare to the successes of Batman or Wonder Woman on TV or the big screen success of Superman that would come out a year after The Incredible Hulk.

Many happy returns to the living on this list. 

Movies released
Cloud Atlas, released 2012

People mock M. Night Shyamalan for the big drop-off in quality and fan interest in his movies since The Sixth Sense and Signs, and rightly so. But when it comes to putting butts in seats, the Wachowskis post-Matrix career is actually worse.

Just sayin'.
Prediction: On 26 October 1985, Dr. Emmet Smith is attacked by terrorist and Marty McFly escapes by taking the time traveling DeLorean back to Nov. 5, 1955.

Predictor: Back to the Future, released 3 July 1985

Reality: This movie was technically predicting the future, but only three months ahead. As you probably know, mankind has not ironed out all the bugs in the flux capacitor. And regardless of the era, a DeLorean is going to stand out like a sore thumb.

Looking on day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

One last prediction from Back to the Future, Part II, then we return to our regular weekly schedule.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE! 

Friday, October 25, 2013

25 October 2013

Sarah Thompson b. 1979 (Angel)
Craig Robinson b. 1971 (This is the End, Hot Tub Time Machine)
Gale Anne Hurd b. 1955 (producer, The Walking Dead, The Incredible Hulk, Terminator, Tremors, Alien Nation, Aliens, The Abyss)
John Matuszak b, 1950 died 17 June 1989 (The Ice Pirates, Caveman)
Mark L. Taylor b. 1950 (Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, Innerspace, Star Trek:Voyager, Arachnophobia, Star Trek:The Next Generation)
Billy Barty b.1924 died 253 December 2000 (Willow, Legend)
Peter Dennis b. 1933 (Star Trek:Voyager)
Whit Bissell b. 1909 died 5 March 1996 (The Time Machine, Soylent Green, The Incredible Hulk [TV], The Time Tunnel, Star Trek, I Was a Teenage Frankenstein, I Was a Teenage Werewolf, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Atomic Kid, Target Earth, Creature From the Black Lagoon)
Leo G. Carroll b. 1886 died 16 October 1972 (Tarantula)

Today's birthday list is loaded down with "Hey, it's that guy!" actors, most notably Whit Bissell, a very good character actor with 304 film and TV credits to his name, including non-genre classics like The Caine Mutiny and The Magnificent Seven. The most influential person on the list is the producer Gale Anne Hurd, but because this week has only one Pretty Girl in the Picture Slot and because I'm a sucker for the Whedonverse, Sarah Thompson as Eve on Angel is looking out at you from inside your computer.

Many happy returns to the living on the list.
Five fun facts from 2015!

Prediction: Cold fusion reactors the size and shape of coffee machines

Predictor: Back to the Future: Part II, released 22 November 1989

Reality: Well, this would be a wonderful solution to nearly all our problems. A cheap, clean, effectively unlimited supply of energy that runs on garbage.It doesn't exist, of course, but if it did, who could possibly be against it?

I'd wage that if the Koch brothers didn't control over the half the market, they'd work like hell to make sure it didn't get off the ground.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Our list of Back to the Future: Part II predictions is interrupted by a prediction from the first Back to the Future.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

24 October 2013

Tim Pocock b. 1985 (X-Men Origins: Wolverine)
Raelee Hill b.1972 (Superman Returns, Farscape)
BD Wong b. 1960 (Jurassic Park)
Martin Campbell b. 1943 (director, Green Lantern)
F. Murray Abraham b. 1939 (BloodMonkey, Shark Swarm, Thir13en Ghosts, Star Trek: Insurrection, Mimic)
John Winston b. 1933 (Star Trek)
Bob Kane b. 1915 died 11/3/1998 (artist, Batman)
Merian C. Cooper b. 1893 died 21 April 1973 (writer, King Kong, Mighty Joe Young)

F. Murray Abraham is the biggest name on the list in front of the camera, and I was surprised going through his list of roles on that he didn't make as many low budget stinkers as I thought. The most influential people here are the two dead guys who created Batman and King Kong. But the Picture Slot goes to John Winston as Lt. Kyle on the original Star Trek, the guy who figured out the First Rule of Red Shirt Survival.

Be the red shirt who operates the transporter, not the red shirt who steps onto the transporter.

Many happy returns to all the living on the list.

Five fun facts from 2015!

Prediction: Self fitting jackets and shoes

Predictor: Back to the Future: Part II released 22 November 1989

Reality: Cute idea, but it's not in the cards. I wouldn't put it past Nike to make a prototype pair of self fitting shoes for about a jillion dollars just for the sake of advertising.

As a final note, I'm glad they didn't make self fitting jeans. Ain't no computer chips deciding the correct level of snugness in my own personal groinal area.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

If you're keeping track, you know this is only the third fun fact from 2015, so we still have two more to go.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

23 October 2013

Amandia Stenberg b. 1998 (The Hunger Games)
Ryan Reynolds b. 1976 (R.I.P.D., Green Lantern, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Blade: Trinity)
Eric Shanower b. 1963 (Artist and author, the Oz universe)
Sam Raimi b. 1959 (producer, Evil Dead, Spider-Man, Xena, Legend of the Seeker, Darkman)
Graeme Revell b. 1955 (composer, Sin City, Pitch Black, Grindhouse, Daredevil, Lara Croft, Red Planet, Dune)
Ang Lee b. 1954 (director, Hulk)
Ira Steven Behr b. 1953 (producer, Alphas, Twilight Zone, Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: The Next Genenration)
Michael Crichton b. 1942 died 4 November 2008 (Jurassic Park, The Andromeda Strain, Westworld)
Philip Kaufman (director, Invasion of the Body Snatchers[1978], writer, Raiders of the Lost Ark)
Larry Ward b. 1924 died 2/15/1985 (voice of Jabba the Hutt and Greedo, both uncredited)
James Daly b. 1918 died 3 July 1978 (Star Trek, Planet of the Apes)
Hayden Rorke b.1910 died 19 August 1987 (I Dream of Jeannie)

A lot of folks on the list today are famous behind the camera instead of in front of it and one writer/artist, Eric Shanower, whose claim to fame is writing stories in L. Frank Baum's Oz universe once the original copyright expired. The biggest movie star is Ryan Reynolds, though he is one of those "stars" who has never been in a hit movie where you would say he is the reason for the success. So instead the Picture Slot goes to unsung and departed Larry Ward, the voice behind Greedo and Jabba the Hutt in the original Star Wars movies. I'm a fan of the original movies, but there are two phenomena from that trilogy I have never understood. One is why fanboys went nuts over Boba Fett and the other is why George Lucas decided as an after thought that "Greedo shot first".

Greedo ran his mouth. Han shot first and only once. Greedo died. Han was sorry about the mess.

End of scene.

Many happy returns to all the living on our list.

Five fun facts from 2015!

Predictor: Back to the Future, Part II, released 22 November 1989

Prediction: Hover boards!

Reality: I assume hover boards work on something like the same principle that makes the flying cars possible. Can you imagine how much juice these things suck up re-charging? It's gotta be way worse than even cell phones.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Back to the Future week continues.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

22 October 2013

Saffron Burrows b. 1972 (Deep Blue Sea)
Spike Jonze b. 1969 (director, Being John Malkovich, Where the Wild Things Are)
Bill Condon b. 1955 (director, Twilight: Breaking Dawn)
Jeff Goldblum b. 1952 (Jurrassic Park, The Fly, Earth Girls are Easy, Buckaroo Banzai)
Jim Baen b. 1943 died 28 June 2006 (editor, publisher, founder of Baen Books)
Christopher Lloyd b. 1938 (Back to the Future, The Addams Family, Buckaroo Banzai, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Who Framed Roger Rabbit)
Derek Jacobi b. 1938 (Underworld, The Golden Compass, Doctor Who)
Doris Lessing b. 1919 (author, Children of Violence, Canopus in Argos)
William F. Claxton b. 1914 died 11 February 1996 (director, The Night of the Lepus, Twilight Zone)
John Zaremba b. 1908 died 15 December 1986 (Earth vs. Flying Saucers, 20 Million Miles to Earth, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, The Time Tunnel)

Okay! Nice selection of birthdays with writers, directors, publishers and as always, actors. More than that, we have an exact same day pair remarkably successful careers, Christopher Lloyd and Derek Jacobi. Since we are in Back to the Future week, Christopher Lloyd is the obvious choice for the Picture Slot, though the argument could also be made for Jeff Goldblum. Next year, if I'm in as quirky a mood as I am today, you might see John Zaremba smiling out at you. He played scientists or military men in so many sci-fi movies and TV shows, if you are anywhere near my age you will definitely have a "Oh, that guy!" moment.

Many happy returns to all the living or our list.

Prediction: 22 October, 2012: Stanton Parish plans a worldwide event that will enhance those with Alpha abilities but kill most of the rest of mankind.

Predictor: The TV show Alphas, aired 22 October, 2012

Reality: This picture is kind of a spoiler if you haven't seen the show and it is also a cliffhanger that will likely never be resolved, since the show was canceled after two seasons. We see "the event" take place and everybody hit the ground, with only Gary, the autistic Alpha who can read electronic signals out of the air, able to get up. We see all the regular cast members and a large number of extras lying still on a subway platform, while Simon and Garfunkel's The Only Living Boy in New York plays over a scene with no dialogue.

Sorry this show didn't get a chance to go another season.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

We go back to Back to the Future to look at the cool stuff that very likely is NOT awaiting us in 2015. (Sniff.)

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE! 

Monday, October 21, 2013

21 October 2013

Charlotte Sullivan b. 1983 (The Colony, Smallville)
Sasha Roiz b. 1973 (The Day After Tomorrow, Grimm, Warehouse 13, Caprica)
Ken Watanabe b. 1959 (Inception, Batman Begins)
Carrie Fisher b. 1956 (Star Wars)
Catherine Hardwicke b. 1955 (director, Twilight)
Everett McGill b. 1945 (Quest for Fire, Dune)
Paula Kelly b. 1943 (Soylent Green, The Andromeda Strain)
Ursula K. LeGuin b. 1929
(won 1970 Nebula and Hugo for The Left Hand of Darkness)
(won 1975 Nebula and Hugo for The Dispossessed)
(won 1991 Nebula for Tehanu: The Last Book of Earthsea)
(won 2009 Nebula for Powers)
Leonard Rossiter b. 1926 died 5 October 1984 (2001: A Space Odyssey)

For my money, there are two choices for the Picture Slot on this list in terms of importance in the genre, Carrie Fisher and Ursula K. LeGuin. Ms. LeGuin will get the slot next year, but for this first time the blog sees 21 October, it's Leia with the hair buns and a blaster.

Five fun facts from 2015!

Prediction: Flying cars!

Predictor: Back to the Future part II, released 22 November 1989

Reality: Oh, get serious, no one cares about reality if we get flying cars. Physics can be such a whiny little bitch sometimes.

For the rest of this week, with a few interruptions for other exact date predictions, we look at some predictions from Back to the Future Part II. There are several incorrect dates reported on the Internet, but the actual date Doc, Marty and Jennifer visit in the future is 21 October 2015. The idea is that the original movie took place in 1985 and Marty and Doc traveled back to 1955, so for symmetry's sake the second trip was thirty years into the future instead of the past.

The plan is to feature Back to the Future Part II this late October, and also next year and in 2015, five facts this year, ten facts next year and fifteen in 2015.  You will also notice the splash art at the top of the blog will be the correct date for the rest of the month.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

We interrupt this interruption for an exact date from last year, featuring Simon and Garfunkel.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE! 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

20 October 2013

Katie Featherston b. 1982 (Paranormal Activity)
Rose McIver b. 1987 (Hercules, Xena, Power Rangers, Once Upon a Time)
Sam Witwer b. 1977 (Being Human, Angel, The Walking Dead, Smallville, Battlestar Galatica, Star Trek:Enterprise)
Kenneth Choi b. 1971 (Captain America: The First Avenger)
Viggo Mortensen b. 1958 (Lord of the Rings, The Road)
Danny Boyle b.1956 (director, 28 Days Later)
Bill Nunn b. 1953 (Spider-Man)
George Harris b. 1949 (Harry Potter, Flash Gordon)
George Wyner b. 1945 (Spaceballs)
Anneke Wills b. 1941 (Doctor Who)
John Anderson b. 1922 Died 7 August 1992 (Star Trek:The Next Generation, Twilight Zone)
Rex Ingram b. 1895 died 19 September 1969 (The Thief of Bagdad)
Bela Lugosi b. 1882 died 16 August 1956 (Dracula)

Next year, it will be an interesting choice for the picture slot. This year it's Bela Lugosi, no question.

Many happy returns to the living on our list.

Prediction: February, 2002: Ninety thousand people now live on Mars.

Predictor: Ray Bradbury in The Martian Chronicles, published in 1950

Reality: This is one of the really short chapters, only two paragraphs long. As much grief as I give Bradbury, if you are of the opinion that writing is about sentences, you really should give The Martian Chronicles a read. He worked very hard at his craft and it shows.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

An exact date from 2015 is going to preempt our regular schedule of predictions for most of this next week.

And, yes, there are flying cars.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

19 October 2013

Jon Favreau b. 1966 (producer, Iron Man, Revolution)
Roger R. Cross b. 1966 (Continuum, Arrow, Eureka, The X Files)
Ken Stott b. 1954 (The Hobbit)
John Lithgow b. 1945 (Shrek, Third Rock from the Sun, Buckaroo Banzai, Twilight Zone: The Movie, The Day After)
Jim Starlin b. 1949
Michael Gambon b. 1940 (Harry Potter)
Tor Johnson b. 1903 died 12 May 1971 (Plan 9 From Outer Space, Bride of the Monster)

While Michael Gambon as Dumbledore would be the most recognizable face to put in the Picture Slot, I was very tempted to go with Tor Johnson. In the end, my comic book loving inner child got the final say and we have a picture of artist Jim Starlin's greatest contribution to the Marvel Universe, the cosmic villian Thanos.

Many happy returns of the day to all the living on the list.

Predictor: Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850-1919) poet and author, asked for her predictions of 1983 on the occasion of the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago.

Predictions in italics (realities in parentheses):
In 1993, the government will have grown more simple... railroads and telegraphs will belong to the state, thus lessening the dangerous power of large monopolies and vast corporations. Otherwise, in less than a century, our boasted American freedom would cease to exist.

(Tee hee. It's funny to read "freedom", the worship word of the Tea Party, used to promote the thing they hate the most.)

Instead of prohibition, the control of alcohol and crime will be achieved by forbidding the offenders to propagate.

(Oh, yeah, because that will be so much easier to enforce. Welcome to the 21st Century, Mrs. Wilcox. What I just used is sarcasm. It has gained great popularity in the modern age.)

The Western United States will be irrigated and fertilized, furnishing food for all our population... Airships will facilitate travel, and the pneumatic tube will be the means of transporting goods.

(Okay, Mrs. Wilcox gets a few hits at last. The West doesn't produce all the food for the whole country, but it certainly produces a lot. By airships, she meant blimps, but let's still give her a point there. And, of course, any mention of pneumatic tubes scores a point in my book, regardless of their rarity today.)

America shall produce the greatest authors who shall be living in 1993. In musical achievement it will still be behind older countries.

(This is a matter of opinion and hard to judge. No one can say what Mrs. Wilcox would think about jazz, Broadway musicals and rock 'n' roll, but all of them are distinctly American in origin and have enjoyed worldwide popularity.)

(Except for jazz. Nobody likes jazz.)

The occult sixth sense will be the predominant element in medicine and theology...

(Okay, stopping you right there. Let's just say NO and move along.)

Woman will be financially independent of man, and this will materially lessen crime.

(Compared to 1893, this is certainly true in 1993.)

Men will learn the importance of proper prenatal conditions, and children will be reared with the same care now given colts, calves and dogs.

(Girl! Oh no, you didn't. I thought I had to introduce you to sarcasm. My bad.)

Government will establish colleges for the training of servants...

(Hmmmmmm... no. Next.)

If our men keep with our women in athletic development and in clean morals,the race will be larger and handsomer. Otherwise we shall produce splendid Amazons and pygmy men.

(The book I am getting these predictions from, Today Then, compiled by Dave Walter in 1992, used the phrase "Splendid Amazons and Pygmy Men" as the title for Ms. Wilcox's predictions. Nice to know I'm not alone in thinking that is a striking image.)

Chicago will be our greatest city because she knows she is not, and desires to be, and has the energy and zeal to become so.

(I think the denizens New York City would respectfully disagree. I might be wrong about the "respectfully" part.)

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Sundays mean Ray Bradbury, giving us updates on the progress of the colonization of Mars.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Friday, October 18, 2013

18 October 2013

Zac Efron b.1987 (Firefly)
Frieda Pinto b. 1984 (Rise from the Planet of the Apes)
Xun Zhou b. 1974 (Cloud Atlas)
Owen Wilson b. 1968 (Night at the Museum)
Jean Claude Van Damme b. 1960 (Universal Soldier, Timecop)
Arliss Howard b. 1954 (The Time Traveler’s Wife, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Twilight Zone, The Day After)
Chuck Lorre b. 1952 (show runner, The Big Bang Theory)
Pam Dawber b.1951 (Mork and Mindy)
Joe Morton b. 1947 (Terminator 2, Eureka, Brother from Another Planet)
Howard Shore b.1946 (music, Lord of the Rings, The Hobbitt)
Peter Boyle b. 1935 died 12 December 2006 (Young Frankenstein, The X-Files)
George C. Scott b. 1927 died 22 September 1999 (Firestarter, Dr. Strangelove)
Klaus Kinski b. 1926 died 23 November 1991 (Nosferatu, Timestalkers)

A lot of well known names on the list today. Pam Dawber gets The Picture Slot not only for being a Pretty Girl, but given all these people, she is the one whose most famous role is in a show with a science fiction premise.

Many happy returns to all the living people listed here.   

Songs of the Future!

Predictor: War Movie, written by Paul Kantner, released on the 1971 album Bark by Jefferson Airplane

Thirteen battalion of mind raiders 
Three hundred master computer killers 
From great platforms in the mountains
Twenty mile lasers & great giant trackers... 
Twenty miles south now in 1975 
All my people rose from the countryside 
Until we meet again and touch our hands together in another land

Reality: This album was released on their own label in 1971, the first recorded after founding member Marty Balin left. This is the first of two songs by Kantner that predict important events happening in 1975. The second such song, Ride the Tiger, was recorded by Jefferson Starship and has been mentioned on the blog back in August. As for the prediction, no great revolutionary war took place in 1975. At least as far as I remember. That time is kind of a blur for me, if you know what I mean.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

What can we expect in 1993. Splendid Amazons and pygmy men.

Hmm. I'll have to mark my calendar.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

17 October 2013

Mark Gatiss b. 1966 (Game of Thrones, Doctor Who)
Mike Judge b. 1962 (Spy Kids, Idiocracy)
Rob Marshall b. 1960 (director, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides)
Guy Henry b. 1960 (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, V for Vendetta)
Margot Kidder b. 1948 (Superman, The Amityville Horror)
Julie Adams b. 1926 (Creature From the Black Lagoon)
Beverly Garland b. 1926 died 5 December 2008 (Twilight Zone, It Conquered the World)
Jerry Siegel b. 1914 died 28 January 1996 (writer, Superman)
John Marley b. 1907 died 22 May 1984 (Twilight Zone, Land of the Giants)

Interesting list of birthdays today. My first thought was to go with a picture of Margot Kidder as Lois Lane, both to honor her and as a nod to Superman's creator Jerry Siegel, but searching on I found Julie Adams' name and I had to have a picture of her with her best known leading man. More than that, Ms. Adams and Beverly Garland were born on the exact same day, and both of them had long careers after appearing in low budget 1950s monster movies.

Many happy returns of the day to living.

Predictor: Isaac Asimov, asked to predict life in 2014 on the occasion of the 1964 World's Fair

Prediction: Robots will neither be common nor very good in 2014, but they will be in existence. The I.B.M. exhibit at the present fair has no robots but it is dedicated to computers, which are shown in all their amazing complexity, notably in the task of translating Russian into English. If machines are that smart today, what may not be in the works 50 years hence? It will be such computers, much miniaturized, that will serve as the "brains" of robots. In fact, the I.B.M. building at the 2014 World's Fair may have, as one of its prime exhibits, a robot housemaid* large, clumsy, slow- moving but capable of general picking-up, arranging, cleaning and manipulation of various appliances. It will undoubtedly amuse the fairgoers to scatter debris over the floor in order to see the robot lumberingly remove it and classify it into "throw away" and "set aside." (Robots for gardening work will also have made their appearance.)

General Electric at the 2014 World's Fair will be showing 3-D movies of its "Robot of the Future," neat and streamlined, its cleaning appliances built in and performing all tasks briskly. (There will be a three-hour wait in line to see the film, for some things never change.)

Reality: This is Asimov's best prediction so far. Computers did get a lot smaller and they are the brains of all our modern gadgetry. We don't have robot housemaids, but there is the Roomba. For the father of the Three Laws, he was actually a little too pessimistic about what robots would look like in fifty years. They may not be making our coffee or fluffing the pillows, but on assembly lines they do some pretty remarkable stuff.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Another Song of the Future predicts a violent revolution in 1975.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE! 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

16 October 2013

Flea b. 1962 (Back to the Future: Part II)
Tim Robbins b. 1958 (War of the Worlds, Mission to Mars, Code 46)
David Greenwalt b. 1949 (writer, Buffy, Angel, Eureka, Grimm)
Barry Corbin b. 1940 (WarGames)

A short birthday list today, with the Picture Slot taken by Tim Robbins in a scene from Mission to Mars, yet another futuristic movie that gives us a date, which I will use in the future.

Best wishes to all our birthday boys.

Prediction: On 16 October 1997, the Robinsons are the first family sent off on the 96 year trip to Alpha Centauri at the “unimaginable” speed of light on Gemini 12

Predictor: Lost in Space, first aired 15 September 1965

Reality: Wow, that's a lot of odd goofs for a single sentence. Let's review, shall we?

1. The "unimaginable" speed of light cannot be reached by a space ship, but it can be imagined. Einstein imagined it, that's one of the reasons he's so famous.

2. 96 years to Alpha Centauri. If the ship could travel at the speed of light, it's less than five light years to Alpha Centauri, so the round trip should be in the 10 year range.

3. It's 1997 and we are only up to Gemini 12? By the time this show aired, Gemini 5 had already happened. There really was a Gemini 12 in 1966 - Lovell and Aldrin - and that was the last one before the Apollo series started. The reason that series of flights were called Gemini is because of two man crews. (The Apollo series would have three man crews.) A crew made up of six people, a robot and a stowaway needs a different name.

Update: Friend of the blog Leo Lincourt notes that a bunch of what is said in this sentence, taken from the pilot episode, is fixed in the second episode. The ship is called the Jupiter 2, its name for the rest of the series, and the trip is supposed to take five years to Alpha Centauri.

So now the only problems are that we didn't have anything like this technology in 1997 and even traveling at more than half of the speed of light presents a lot of nasty engineering problems we aren't even close to solving.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

H.G.Wells is our regular contributor on Thursdays, but since he got a shout out this week from First Men in the Moon, we will hear from one of our pre-empted regulars, Isaac Asimov, once again writing in 1964 about the wonders of 2014.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

15 October 2013

Dominic West b. 1969 (300, Punisher: War Zone)
Tanya Roberts b. 1955 (Beastmaster, Sheena)
Virginia Leith b. 1932 (The Brain That Wouldn’t Die)
Mark Lenard b. 1924 died 11/22/1996 (Star Trek)

I was very close to having Virginia Leith in her iconic starring role in The Brain That Wouldn't Die in the Picture Slot, but I had to go with Mark Lenard, at least for this first year. Besides playing Sarek multiple times, he also is one of the few actors to play three different alien species on Star Trek, a Vulcan, a Romulan and a Klingon.

Many happy returns to the living on this list.

In the Year 2000!

Prediction:  October 15: Muster Day. All able bodied 21 year olds are called into the workforce and all 45 year olds are allowed to retire

Predictor: Looking Backward:2000-1887, Edward Bellamy, published 1888

Reality: Ah yes, retirement at 45, a chance to enjoy a few good years in peace before you died from the influenza or tuberculosis. I'm actually only being a little bleak here, as a 45 year old in 1890 was expected to live average to about 70. Now, if a man makes it to 45, the average life expectancy is to make it to 80.

Bellamy wrote about a socialist utopia that took place without any violent struggle. It seems unbelievable to us, but we should recall Mr. Bellamy never had the chance to listen to AM talk radio or read Ayn Rand, so he was oblivious to how vehement the opposition to his ideas would remain.

Looking one day ahead...  INTO THE FUTURE!

Yet another exact date, this time for the start of a bold mission into interstellar space in 1997 that doesn't turn out so well. 

Join us then...  IN THE FUTURE!

Monday, October 14, 2013

14 October 2013

Roward Blanchard b. 2001(Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D)
Mia Wasikowska b.1989 (Alice In Wonderland)
Jon Seda b. 1970 (Twelve Monkeys)
Robert C. Cooper b. 1968 (show runner, Stargate SG-1)
Steve Coogan b. 1965 (Night at the Museum, Around the World in 80 Days, Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief)
Lori Petty b. 1963 (Tank Girl, Star Trek: Voyager)
Greg Evigan b. 1953 (DeepStar Six, William Shatner’s TekWar)
John Sumner b. 1951 (District 9, King Kong)
Udo Kier b. 1944 (Iron Sky, Blade, Shadow of the Vampire, Armageddon)
Jack Arnold b. 1916 died 17 March 1992 (director, Creature From the Black Lagoon, The Incredible Shrinking Man, Tarantula, It Came From Outer Space)
William Steig b. 1907 died 3 October 2003 (author, Shrek)

 A lot of choices for the Picture Slot today.I went with Ms. Petty as Tank Girl, but I could have gone with Ms. Wasikowska as Alice in the recent Tim Burton version or Udo Kier just because he is so odd looking. I was very tempted to go with Jack Arnold, a journeyman director who did a lot of work on TV after doing sci-fi movies in the 1950s. His list of credits is a good reminder of how far the genre has has come in my lifetime, from low budget movies of widely varying quality to movies with enormous budgets and widely varying quality.

Many happy returns of the day to the living on the list.

Prediction: 14 October 1899: Mr. Henry Cavor creates Cavorite, an anti-gravity material, allowing the first human expedition to the Moon.

Predictor: H. G. Wells, in First Men in the Moon, published 1901

Reality: I'm cheating with this one, since the book came out two years after the event is supposed to take place. Not really a prediction, is it?  In my defense, it's written by H.G. Wells and the event is travel to the moon, so it certainly qualifies as science fiction. I have at least one more "prediction" with an exact date that had already passed in my database that I haven't used yet, and my excuse next time will also be "well, the story obviously counts as sci-fi".

One of the things I like about Wells' book is how well drawn the character of Cavor is, a British eccentric that in many ways is the prototype for the nerdy scientist so common in the genre.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Yet another exact date quoted from another book over 100 years old, this time most definitely counting as a prediction, from a writer not as well known as Wells is now, but very influential in his day.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

13 October 2013

Katia Winter b. 1983 (Sleepy Hollow)
Ashanti b. 1980 (Resident Evil, Buffy)
Jennifer Sky b. 1976 (Buffy, Xena, Cleopatra 2525)
Sacha Baron Cohen b. 1971 (Hugo)
Christopher Judge b. 1964 (Stargate, The Dark Knight Rises)
Hiro Kanagawa b. 1962 (Arrow, Caprica, The Day the Earth Stood Still, Smallville, Millennium [TV Series] )
Wayne Pygram b. 1959 (Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, Farscape)
Chris Carter b. 1956 (writer, The X-Files)
John Lone b. 1952 (Iceman)
William Zappa b. 1948 (Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior)
Melinda Dillon b. 1939 (Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Harry and the Hendersons)

Long birthday list, everybody is still alive (yay!), and a tough decision for the Picture Slot. I would argue the biggest name in terms of genre is the writer Chris Carter and the biggest name in terms of show business in general is Sacha Baron Cohen. I could also go with Christopher Judge or Wayne Pygram because their characters are part of the iconic look of Stargate and Farscape respectively. I instead went with Jennifer Sky, not only because of the Pretty Girl = Picture Slot rule (d'uh!), but she also wrote an interesting op-ed in The New York Times last month about how much of an influence it was on her life to get a role on Xena: Warrior Princess.

Movies released
Strange Days released 1995

We will get some predictions from Strange Days later in the year, since the movie gives not only a year when it takes place, but also exact days, the end of 1999 and the beginning of 2000.

Prediction: December, 2001: Benjamin Driscoll, something like the Johnny Appleseed of Mars, plants trees with the intention of making the atmosphere more oxygen rich. The trees sprout to full height by the time he wakes up the next morning.

Predictor: Ray Bradbury in The Martian Chronicles, published in 1950

Reality: I remember way back on The Simpsons when Bart ran for class president against the chubby nerd Martin Prince. Martin's campaign promise was that the library would be stocked with the ABCs of science fiction, Asimov, Bester and Clarke.

His sickly little pal pipes up. "What about Ray Bradbury?"

Martin looks at his friend dismissively. "I'm familiar with his work."

Martin is representing the people who call the genre "SF" instead of "sci-fi", the people who like more science with their fiction. (Neil DeGrasse Tyson put out a tornado of tweets last week blasting the science of Gravity, but ended saying he still enjoyed it.) Bradbury was a storyteller, not a scientist, and in many chapters of The Martian Chronicles, it shows. A lot.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

An exact date from H.G. Wells, not from The Shape of Things to Come and technically not from the future even from his point of view, but I'm letting that slide this time.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

12 October 2013

Josh Hutcherson b. 1992 (The Hunger Games)
Hugh Jackman b. 1968 (X-Men, Van Helsing, Real Steel)
Dave Legeno b. 1963 (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Snow White and the Huntsman)
Hiroyki Sanada b. 1960 (The Wolverine)
Julie Bell b. 1958 (illustrator)
Michael Bofshever b. 1953 (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, True Blood)
Randy Stuart b.1924 died 20 July 1996 (The Incredible Shrinking Man)
Aleister Crowley b. 1875 died 1 December 1947 (Atlantis, the Lost Continent)

Nice mix today on the birthday list, mostly actors but also an illustrator and a writer. Jackman gets The Picture Slot as the biggest star on the list, but I'd like to note that when people whine about casting, I don't remember a huge fuss over casting the 6'2" (1m 88) Jackman as the Wolverine, who is supposed to be 5'6" (1m 68). That sort of casting switch is rarely noted. For example, the main character in Philip K. Dick's We Can Remember It For You Wholesale is described as short and ordinary, but in the two versions of Total Recall is played by Arnold Schwarzenegger and Colin Farrell.

In any case, many happy returns of the day to the living on our list.

Predictor: Albert Marshman Palmer, theatrical manager, asked for his view of the 20th Century on the occasion of the 1893 Columbian Exhibition held in Chicago.

Prediction: Hitherto we have had almost no distinctively American drama... [our] plays have been written and constructed in imitation of the best European examples... in the Twentieth Century, the American drama ought to rank with those of the golden days of drama of the Old World.

Reality: As someone born after World War II, it can be hard to imagine a time when the United States was viewed as a cultural backwater, but in the 19th Century it certainly was. Palmer died in 1905, so he didn't get to see the era when Broadway becomes just as important as the West End in London, possibly even bigger. For example, Jerome Kern gets his start in theater writing American versions of British music hall hits. Other great giants of American musical theater like Cole Porter, George Gershwin and Irving Berlin are slightly younger and they avoid having to be derivative of European work. Again, because he died in 1905 he didn't get to see movies become a serious rival to the stage, but without question the American movie industry is seen as the Big Leagues from 1920 on, and Europeans like Charlie Chaplin, Cary Grant, Vivien Leigh, Alfred Hitchcock, Billy Wilder and many more come to the United States to become stars around the world.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Ray Bradbury rejoins us as our regular Sunday feature, giving another month and year where stuff is going to happen on Mars.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE! 

Friday, October 11, 2013

11 October 2013

Michelle Trachtenberg b. 1985 (Buffy)
Matt Bomer b. 1977 (In Time)
Claudia Black b. 1972 (Farscape, Pitch Black)
Stephen Moyer b. 1969 (True Blood)
Michael J. Nelson (Mystery Science Theater 3000)
Tim Choate (Babylon 5) b. 1954 died 24 September 2004
David Morse b. 1953 (Contact, World War Z)

An all actor list of birthdays, and most of these actors are best known for TV work. Once again, we have a Babylon 5 actor who died before the age of 60. Tim Choate played Zathras and his character was not mentioned in the main credits. The other four late actors, Andreas Katsulas, Jeff Conaway, Michael O'Hare and Richard Biggs, were main credit actors.

And so I repeat, a very unlucky show. More than that, it's hard to find it in re-runs or streaming online, so for a younger generation it's considered obscure. That's a shame. It was one of the first sci-fi shows with a long story arc, and it made the Star Trek franchise step up it's game.

Well, that's enough ruing the fate of a 1990s TV show. Many happy returns of the day to the living actors on the list.

Songs of the Future!

The machine that we built
Would never save us that's what they say
That's why they ain't comin' with us today
And they also said it's impossible
For a man to live and breathe underwater…

Predictor: Jimi Hendrix, from the song 1983... (A Merman I Should Turn To Be), recorded in 1968

Reality: Wait. Jimi Hendrix is going to become Ethel Merman? That's... disturbing.

Wait. Scratch that. Misunderstanding. My bad.

They said it was impossible for a man to live and breathe underwater in 1968 and 45 years later... well, they are still saying it.

Nice guitar solo, though.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Tomorrow, we will hear another voice from 1893 predict the 20th Century, this time looking at the possibility for a truly American theater experience.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

10 October 2013

Bai Ling b. 1966 (Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, Angel)
Charles Dance b. 1946 (Game of Thrones, The Last Action Hero, Alien 3)
Peter Coyote b. 1941 (E.T., Sphere, The 4400)
Ed Wood, Jr. b. 1924 died 10 December 1978 (Plan 9 From Outer Space, Bride of the Monster)
Janos Prohaska b. 1919 died 13 March 1974 (Star Trek, Land of the Giants, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, The Outer Limits)

Lots of choices for the Picture Slot today. Bai Ling certainly qualifies using the Pretty Girl = Picture Slot rule, Charles Dance as Tywin is likely the best known role now, E.T is the most iconic movie, though it would get a run for its money from the awful Plan 9 From Outer Space for iconic. But just to be different, I went with the late Janos Prohaska, who spent nearly his entire career inside costumes that looked like primates, here as the Mugato on Star Trek. He was also the rock creature known as the Horta on The Original Series.

Many happy returns to the living.

Predictor: H.G. Wells from the 1933 book The Shape of Things to Come

Prediction: The main causes of the fall of the population from about two billion in 1930 to little under half that total in 1960 were diseases and simple starvation, arising from the complete economic collapse. 

Reality: The story gets better in the 22nd Century in Wells' book, but his view of the 20th Century and most of the 21st was nearly complete despair. Old Herbert comes up craps on this prediction, as the population rose steadily to about three billion in 1960 and is still rising, now slightly over seven billion.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

A song from 1968 predicts an optimistic and strange future in 1983, though the writer does not live to see it.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

9 October 2013

Brandon Routh b. 1979 (Superman Returns)
Pete Docter b. 1968 (writer, Up, Monsters Inc., Wall-E)
Guillermo Del Toro b. 1964 (Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy, Pacific Rim)
Scott Bakula b. 1954 (Enterprise, Quantum Leap)
Tony Shaloub b. 1953 (Men in Black, Galaxy Quest)
Robert Wuhl b. 1951 (Batman)
Brian Blessed b. 1936 (Flash Gordon)

Nice to have a birthday list where everyone is still alive. All male today, so no chance for the Pretty Girl = Picture Slot rule to take effect. I went with Brian Blessed, the Loudest Man in Britain, who on his Twitter feed is interested in the protection of badgers and when particularly pleased with someone's efforts, gives out the shout "GORDON'S ALIVE?!?" I should also note the first time I noticed his work was in the cast of I, Claudius,  still one of my favorite TV shows ever.

Many happy returns of the day, lads!

Prediction: 1996: Convicted criminals are put in suspended animation and subjected to rehabilitation techniques

Predictor: Demolition Man, released 8 October 1993

Reality: Interesting that the movie would predict suspended animation so soon in the future from their perspective and that it would be used on criminals. On the original Star Trek series, Khan and the genetically enhanced supermen who had started wars in Asia were put in suspended animation and shot into space in 1996.

Further note: Demolition Man is now 20 years old. While I didn't enjoy The Expendables, I do respect Stallone for coming up with a way to create a Senior Tour for action movie heroes. Snipes' career has been on the downturn since his tax evasion troubles, but he will be in The Expendables 3. I wonder if they will actually expend someone this time around.

But the most notable thing about Demolition Man twenty years later is that from the cast, the only real A-list star is Sandra Bullock, who stars in another genre film that is currently the number one hit in the country, Gravity, in the kind of role that has to get an Oscar nomination. Demolition Man was released one year before Speed, the film that made Bullock the kind of movie star whose picture is on the poster. (She was third bill in Demolition Man.)

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

H.G. Wells gets his weekly prediction from 1933's The Shape of Things to Come, and most of his predictions for the rest of the 20th Century are pretty darned grim.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

8 October 2013

Kristanna Loken b. 1979 (Terminator 3: The Rise of the Machines)
Matt Damon b. 1970 (The Adjustment Bureau, Elysium)
Ian Hart b. 1964 (Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone)
Sigourney Weaver b. 1949 (Alien, Avatar, Ghostbusters)
William Broyles b. 1944 (Writer, Planet of the Apes(reboot))
R.L. Stine b. 1943 (Goosebumps)
Frank Herbert b. 1920 died 2/11/1986 (won 1966 Nebula for Dune)
Kirk Alyn b. 1910 died 14 March 1999 (Superman serial)

Nice birthday group today. Either of our birthday ladies qualifies for the Cute Girl = Picture Slot criterion and Matt Damon is likely the biggest A-List star of the group. Kirk Alyn could get the nod for playing Superman back in the day of ridiculously low budgets and R.L. Stine gets some credit for creating a cottage industry, but I put a picture of a cover of Dune because I loved the first novel so much as a young man. When I heard they were making a movie of it, I thought "That's not going to work. Too much of the book takes place inside people's thoughts." There's been both a major motion picture and a big budget mini-series and... I still think I'm right.

Many happy returns ot the living on the list.

Prediction: 2010: A massive earthquake destroys most of Los Angeles. What remains of the city merges with San Diego to become San Angeles.

Predictor: Demolition Man, released 8 October 1993

Reality: That would be one hell of an earthquake. Right now they are 120 miles apart and if the earthquake reduced that dramatically, there wouldn't be enough of San Diego remaining to merge with.

Look one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Yet another exact year prediction from Demolition Man.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Monday, October 7, 2013

7 Oct 2013

Shawn Ashmore b. 1979 (X-Men)
Aaron Ashmore b. 1979 (Smallville, Warehouse 13, Lost Girl)
Dylan Baker b. 1959 (Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man 3, The Cell)
Howard Chaykin b. 1950 (American Flagg!)

A short list of birthdays today. The Ashmore twins have done very little work together, but both were on Smallville, Aaron several times as Jimmy Olsen and Shawn twice as Eric Summers. Shawn played Iceman in several of the X-Men series. I put Dylan Baker in the Picture Slot because I know more of his work, though very little of it is in genre films.

Many happy returns of the day to our birthday boys.

Prediction: Gadgetry will continue to relieve mankind of tedious jobs. Kitchen units will be devised that will prepare "automeals," heating water and converting it to coffee; toasting bread; frying, poaching or scrambling eggs, grilling bacon, and so on. Breakfasts will be "ordered" the night before to be ready by a specified hour the next morning. Complete lunches and dinners, with the food semiprepared, will be stored in the freezer until ready for processing.

I suspect, though, that even in 2014 it will still be advisable to have a small corner in the kitchen unit where the more individual meals can be prepared by hand, especially when company is coming.

Predictor: Isaac Asimov in 1964, making predictions about 2014 for publication coinciding with the 1964 World's Fair in New York.

Reality: If he had just stopped with that first sentence, Asimov would have been credited with a hit. If he had included the second sentence, modern coffee machines could have given him some semblance of correctness. But the automatic kitchen making meals is not a reality fifty years after he predicted it. (It should be noted that similar predictions were made in the L.A. 2013 article published in 1988.)

I'd like to write, "wait until next week, Isaac gets better", but I'm taking his predictions in order and it's a while before he really nails one directly on the head.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

The first of two exact date predictions from Demolition Man, celebrating its twentieth anniversary tomorrow.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!