Monday, August 31, 2015

31 August 2015

Holly Earl b. 1992 (Dracula: The Dark Prince, Doctor Who, My Hero, Red Dwarf)
Ryan Kelley b. 1986 (Teen Wolf, Ben 10:Alien Swarm, The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Smallville)
Leo Bill b. 1980 (Doctor Who, Alice in Wonderland, Jekyll, 28 Days Later…)
Shannon Richardson b. 1979 (The Walking Dead, The Vampire Diaries)
Mike Erwin b. 1978 (The Vampire Diaries, Hulk)
Sara Ramirez b. 1975 (Spider-Man, Star Patrol)
Marc Webb b. 1974 (director, The Amazing Spider-Man 1 and 2)
Chris Tucker b. 1972 (The Fifth Element, The Meteor Man)
Jason Presson b. 1971 (Gremlins 2: The New Batch, Twilight Zone [1985], Explorers)
Zack Ward b. 1970 (Fallen Cards, Blood Lake: Attack of the Killer Lampreys, Save the Supers, Warehouse 13, Dollhouse, The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Transformers, Lost, Charmed, Resident Evil: Apocalypse, Freddy vs. Jason, Sliders, Forever Knight, Maniac Mansion)
Jonathan LaPaglia b. 1969 (Seven Days)
Phina Oruche b. 1969 (Charmed, The Forsaken, FreakyLinks, Restless, Homeboys in Outer Space)
Daniel Bernhardt b. 1965 (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Creature, The Matrix Reloaded, Mortal Kombat: Conquest)
Todd Carty b. 1963 (Krull)
Julie Brown b. 1954 (Wizards of Waverly Place, Alien Avengers II, The Addams Family [1993], Quantum Leap, Earth Girls Are Easy, The Incredible Shrinking Woman)
Dawn Roddenberry b. 1953 (Star Trek)
Lowell Ganz b. 1948 (screenwriter, Robots, Splash)
Roger Dean b. 1944 (artist)
Larry Hankin b. 1940 (Weird Science, Star Trek: Voyager, Lois & Clark, Star Trek: The Next Generation, ALF, Amazing Stories, Faerie Tale Theatre, Doctor Dracula)
Jack Thompson b. 1940 (Man-Thing, Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones)
Noble Willingham b. 1931 died 17 January 2004 (Quantum Leap, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Tucker’s Witch, The Howling, Man from Atlantis)
James Coburn b.1928 died 18 November 2002 (Faerie Tale Theatre, Looker, Twilight Zone)
Anthony Bate b. 1927 (Ghost Story, The Guardians, The Champions)
Buddy Hackett b. 1924 died 30 June 2003 (Space Patrol, Scrooged, The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm)
Herbert Wise b. 1924 died 5 August 2015 (director, The 10th Kingdom, The Woman in Black)
Ed Grady b. 1923 died 10 December 2012 (Surface, Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest, Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice, The Handmaid’s Tale, D.A.R.Y.L., Wolfman)
G.D. Spradlin b. 1920 died 24 July 2011 (Dark Skies, Space, The Greatest American Hero)
Richard Basehart b. 1914 died 17 September 1984 (Mr. Merlin, The Island of Dr, Moreau, Time Travelers, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, The Satan Bug, Twilight Zone)
Frederic March b. 1897 died 14 April 1975(I Married a Witch, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde)

Notes from the birthday list.
1. The Picture Slot. In previous years, it was Richard Basehart - partly because I'm an MST3K freak and Gypsy loved him so - and the artist Roger Dean. The three finalists today were Frederic March from Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Julie Brown from Earth Girls Are Easy and the winner, Chris Tucker from The Fifth Element, the only actor in the film who was as loud as the special effects.

2. Spot the Canadian! If I went to four finalists, I would go Whedonverse nerd and chose Zach Ward from the last episodes of Dollhouse. He is Canadian and likely best known from his role as a bully in A Christmas Story.

3. Nepotism FTW. Dawn Roddenberry. No more need be said.

4. The Guys at the Door. Director Herbert Wise died early this month, and if not for that, he would have been the oldest living person on the list but not the Guy at the Door. With him gone, suddenly 1940 is the cut-off year on this list between the living and the dead, and our two Guys at the Door are Australian actor Jack Thompson, whom I first noticed or his role in Breaker Morant, and Larry Hankin, the guy who played Kramer in the show-within-a-show version of Seinfeld. When this demographic oddity occurs, we wish the Guys at the Door a little extra.

5. The crazy extra. Shannon Richardson is a domestic terrorist who was caught by the FBI for sending letters laced with ricin to President Obama and New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg. She also had minor roles in a few TV shows, but gives her name and her picture but does not list her credits. This is odd.

Many happy returns to all the living on the list, especially Jack Thompson and Larry Hankin, and to the dead, thanks for all the memories.

Predictor: OMNI Future Almanac, published 1982

Prediction: In the early part of the 21st Century, am ultralight airplane will be developed to explore the surface of Mars. Based partly on the U2 spyplanes, it will be capable of flight in Mars' thin atmosphere and will film vast amounts of the red planet's surface.

Reality: Umm... no. No matter how ultralight this thing is, its useful lifetime would be measured in hours, maybe days at the most. If you are going to send something to Mars, more bang for the buck is required.
Never to be Forgotten: Wes Craven 1939-2015

Horror director Wes Craven died yesterday at the age of 76. He came up making horror films when Hollywood's worst kept secret was that low budget horror films were enormously profitable. Several horror directors from his era, including John Carpenter, David Lynch, Tobe Hooper and of course Craven himself, were given "auteur" status. The film distributors made sure fans knew the name of the director, hoping that they could build a brand with loyal viewers who knew what they wanted, even if reviewers considered the films beneath contempt. It turns out the distributors were right. (Note: Having a successful film with many sequels is not enough to get this treatment. Sean S. Cunningham wrote and directed the first Friday the 13th, but isn't involved in the later big screen versions. His name is not nearly as well known as those of his contemporaries.)

Craven has three great successes attached to his name: The Hills Have Eyes, A Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream. Other directorial credits include Vampire in Brooklyn, New Nightmare, The People Under the Stairs, Shocker, The Serpent and the Rainbow, The Twilight Zone [1985-6], Deadly Friend and Swamp Thing.

The outpouring of affection for Craven on Twitter was not unlike the love shown for Roddy Piper. My favorite tweet was from John Hodgman, who wrote:

I met Wes Craven in Chicago in 2012 and he could not have been less terrifying. I miss him.

As Vincent Price said, the goal is not to be remembered, but instead to be missed. For Mr. Craven... achievement unlocked.

Best wishes to the family and friends of Wes Craven from a fan. He is never to be forgotten.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

A new month, a new splash illustration, birthdays and predictions galore.
Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

30 August 2015

Jessica Henwick b. 1992 (Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, Game of Thrones)
Gaia Weiss b. 1991 (The Legend of Hercules)
Johanna Braddy b. 1987 (Video Game High School, Paranormal Activity 3, The Grudge 3)
Emily Montague b. 1984 (Fright Night)
Max Hoffman b. 1984 (Hook)
Angel Coulby b. 1980 (Merlin, Doctor Who)
Milan Kurspahic b. 1979 (Blubberella, BloodRayne: The Third Reich)
Elden Hanson b. 1977 (Daredevil [TV], The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Rise: Blood Hunter, The Butterfly Effect, Evil Alien Conquerors, Idle Hands, Amazing Stories)
Cameron Diaz b. 1972 (Shrek, The Green Hornet, Minority Report, Vanilla Sky, Being John Malkovich, The Mask)
Michael Chiklis b. 1963 (Gotham, American Horror Story, Fantastic Four, No Ordinary Family, Rise: Blood Hunter, Soldier)
Nelson Ascencio b. 1964 (The Hunger Games, Paul, Birds of Prey)
Ely Puget b. 1961 (Charmed, Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace, Dark Shadows [1991])
Frank Conniff b. 1958 (Space Hospital, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, Mystery Science Theater 3000, Invader ZIM)
David Paymer b. 1954 (Drag Me to Hell, Mighty Joe Young, Night of the Creeps, Howard the Duck, The Powers of Matthew Star, The Greatest American Hero)
Timothy Bottoms b. 1951 (Realm of the Mole Men, Vampire Bats, The Boy with the X-Ray Eyes, Land of the Lost [1991-2], Freddy’s Nightmares, The Twilight Zone [1988], Mio in the Land of the Faraway, Deadly Nightmares, Invaders From Mars [1986])
Lewis Black b. 1948 (The Big Bang Theory, Jacob’s Ladder)
Peggy Lipton b. 1946 (The Postman, Deadly Nightmares, Purple People Eater, The Invaders, Bewitched)
Elizabeth Ashley b. 1939 (Vampire’s Kiss, Deadly Nightmares, A Fire in the Sky, Coma, The Six Million Dollar Man: Solid Gold Kidnapping)
Don Pedro Colley b. 1938 (Piranha, Space Academy, The Bionic Woman, THX 1138, Beneath the Planet of the Apes)
Peter Cartwright b. 1935 died 18 November 2013 (Doctor Who, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Hammer House of Horror)
Bill Daily b. 1927 (Horrorween, Alligator II: The Mutation, The Munsters Today, ALF, Small & Frye, The Powers of Matthew Star, I Dream of Jeannie, My Mother the Car, Bewitched)
Jacqueline Wells b. 1914 died 30 August 2001 (The Black Cat)
Fred MacMurray b. 1908 died 5 November 1991 (The Swarm, Beyond the Bermuda Triangle, Son of Flubber, The Absent-Minded Professor, The Shaggy Dog)
Joan Blondell b. 1906 died 25 December 1979 (The Twilight Zone)
Mary Shelley b. 1797 died 1 February 1851 (author, Frankenstein)

Notes from the birthday list.
1. The Picture Slot. The previous Picture Slotters were TV's Frank Conniff and Mary Shelley. Going old school the two most iconic are likely Bill Daily from I Dream of Jeannie and Fred MacMurray from the Flubber movies, but instead I went to the young end of the list with Jessica Henwick as Nymeria Sand from Game of Thrones.

'Cos she's purdy.

From the middle of the list, I could have taken Michael Chiklis from Fantastic Four, though that would have been cruel or Cameron Diaz from The Mask. I like Game of Thrones better.

2. Nepotism FTW. Max Hoffman is Dustin's kid, played a role as a child in Hook. This is nepotism plain and simple.

3. What we are missing. No Canadians, no Star Trek.

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

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

OMNI Future Almanac, the Old Faithful of all my prediction sources, starts off another week.
Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

29 August 2015

Nicole Gale Anderson b. 1990 (Beauty and the Beast)
Laura Ashley Samuels b. 1990 (April Apocalypse, In Time, Monster Heroes, Wizards of Waverly Place)
Jay Ryan b. 1981 (Beauty and the Beast, Terra Nova, Legend of the Seeker, Xena, Young Hercules)
Emily Hampshire b. 1981 (12 Monkeys [TV], The Returned, Earthsea, Mutant X, MythQuest, PSI Factor: Chronicles of the Paranormal, Earth: Final Conflict)
Jovanna Huguet b. 1980 (Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, Alice, Fringe, Smallville, Blade: The Series, Supernatural)
Dan Harris b. 1979 (writer, Superman Returns, X-Men 2)
John Hensley b. 1977 (Teeth, Witchblade)
Dante Basco b. 1975 (The Chronicle, Sinbad: The Battle of the Dark Knights, Alien Nation: Body and Soul, Hook)
Carla Gugino b. 1971 (San Andreas, Sucker Punch, Race to Witch Mountain, Watchmen, Night at the Museum, Threshold, Sin City, Spy Kids, The One, Mermaid Chronicles Part 1: She Creature, Quantum Leap, ALF)
Rebecca De Mornay b. 1959 (The Shining [1997 TV], Beauty and the Beast [1987], Testament)
Michael Jackson b. 1958 died 25 June 2009 (Men in Black II, The Wiz)
Lenny Henry b. 1958 (MirrorMask, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Bernard and the Genie)
Deborah Van Valkenburgh b. 1952 (The Messengers, Touch, The Event, Firestarter 2: Rekindled, Sorcerers, Deep Space Nine, Quantum Leap)
Gottfried John b. 1942 died 1 September 2014 (Millennium, Space Rangers)
Ellen Geer b. 1941 (Supernatural, Charmed, Carnivale, Practical Magic, Phenomenon, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Beauty and the Beast, Creator, Something Wicked This Way Comes, The Bionic Woman)
Joel Schumacher b. 1939 (director, Batman & Robin, Batman Forever, Flatliners, The Lost Boys, The Incredible Shrinking Woman)
Elliot Gould b. 1938 (Contagion, The Shining [1997 TV], Lois & Clark, Frogs!, Frog, The Twilight Zone [1986], Faerie Tale Theatre, The Devil and Max Devlin)
William Friedkin b. 1935 (director, Bug, Twilight Zone [1985], The Exorcist)
Susan Shaw b. 1929 died 27 November 1978 (Fire Maidens from Outer Space)
Charles Gray b. 1928 died 7 March 2000 (Firestar: First Contact, Tall Tales & Legends, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Beast Must Die, H.G. Wells’ Invisible Man)
Dick O’Neill b. 1928 died 17 November 1998 (Timecop, The Incredible Hulk, Wolfen, Wonder Woman, The UFO Incident, Gammera the Invincible)
Richard Attenborough b. 1923 died 24 August 2014 (Jack and the Beanstalk: The Real Story, Jurassic Park, Doctor Doolittle)
Lane Bradford b. 1922 died 7 June 1973 (Land of the Giants, Batman, Lost in Space, My Favorite Martian, The Adventures of Superman, Commando Cody: Sky Marshal of the Universe, Rocky Jones, Space Ranger, Zombies of the Stratosphere)
Isobel Sanford b. 1917 died 9 July 2004 (Lois & Clark, Love at First Bite, Bewitched)
Ingrid Bergman b. 1915 died 29 August 1982 (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde)
Barry Sullivan b. 1912 died 6 June 1994 (The Bionic Woman, The Invisible Man [1975], The Sixth Sense, The Immortal, Planet of the Vampires, Pyro… The Thing Without a Face)Lurene Tuttle b. 1907 died 28 May 1986 (Amazing Stories, Testament, The Clonus Horror, I Dream of Jeannie, My Favorite Martian, My Living Doll, The Munsters, Twilight Zone)
George Macready b. 1899 died 2 July 1973 (The Return of Count Yorga, The Outer Limits, Twilight Zone, The Alligator People, The Monster and the Ape)

Notes from the birthday list.
1. The Picture Slot. The previous Picture Slot actors were Carla Gugino from Watchmen and Charles Gray from The Rocky Horror Picture Show. This year it's Richard Attenborough from Jurassic Park. On a personal note, when Attenborough was this age and wore the beard, he looked incredibly like both my father and my father's brother.

2. Spot the Canadians. Only two today, Emily Hampshire and Jovanna Huguet.

3. Nepotism, not so much. Rebecca De Mornay is the biological daughter of talk radio host Wally George, but her parents divorced and she took the name of her step-father. I doubt the relationship opened any doors for her when she was young.

4. Stuff I didn't know. When I go on, I'll sometimes click on the page of a very familiar name without knowing if they had any credits I would count. That's how I found that both Isobel Sanford and Ingrid Bergman had genre credits.

5. MST3K. There are a lot today. The ones I know for sure are The Clonus Horror, Rocky Jones, Gammera the Invincible and Fire Maidens from Outer Space.

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

The Weekly Soapbox: Brave New World vs Nineteen Eighty-Four

Over the past few years, I've been reading fiction for pleasure more than I had through most of my adult life. Occasionally, I will pick up a book that is recognized as a classic that I haven't read. Some have been very pleasant discoveries - The Man in the High Castle is probably the best in a while - but more than a few have been bitter disappointments. I can't say I liked either A Wrinkle in Time or Frankenstein, and the most recent classic that does not live up to its reputation for me is Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. I bought a trade paperback that had extra features at the end, including the reviews at the time - most of them pretty bad - and a letter from Huxley to Orwell congratulating the latter on publishing Nineteen Eighty-Four in a somewhat condescending way, finishing the letter with Huxley's opinion that his book's future was much more likely than Orwell's.

Here's a little spoiler for the rest of this essay: Aldous Huxley was not fit to change George Orwell's typewriter ribbon.

Contest #1: Which book is the better prediction? This is not a fair battle, because Orwell set his future in the 20th Century, while Huxley's is hundreds of years away. More than that, sci-fi sometimes predicts some particular invention or trend, but more often should be viewed as from a more general level, ignoring exact specifics.

Huxley's future: Sex is for recreation and not procreation, all civilized people are grown in jars, given nutrients that either help them grow or stunt their growth and development, producing different classes of workers. There is one part of this future that has come to pass a little bit and that is in vitro fertilization. After the egg is fertilized, it is implanted in a woman's uterus. There is no one grown from fertilized egg to newborn in a bottle and no one is working on the technology. If anything, motherhood is every bit as revered in today's culture as it has ever been and there is no movement to replace it with some other method.

Huxley seems to hate children, which is not uncommon among British writers. Children in Orwell's world are nasty snitches and John Wyndam's The Midwich Cuckoos also present children as a horrifying threat. Outside of genre, there is P.G. Wodehouse, from whom children only exist to be the bane of his protagonists' existence, most especially Bertie Wooster's.

There are sub-themes where Huxley did better: drugs to tranquilize, the glorification of youth culture, the complete triumph of consumerism, but the major underlying theme will only come true in a future I cannot foresee in any way.

Orwell's future: The government is spying on its own citizens incessantly, using technology that everyone is forced to use. Huxley got one tiny part of his prediction right, where Orwell got one detail wrong. We aren't forced to have computers and cell phones, we use them voluntarily.

Let's say that the contest is over here and Orwell has won in a rout. That said, we don't really have Newspeak, though it is a powerful metaphor, and Newspeak is as central to Orwell's story as the method of producing children is to Brave New World. Our governmental agencies aren't as horribly named as the Ministry of Love or the Ministry of Truth, though there are examples that make the Department of Justice, the Department of Education and the National Security Agency look sinister indeed.

Contest #2: Which book is better written? Of course, this is subjective, but I can't be swayed from my opinion that Huxley is a clumsy writer, both terrible as a story teller and pedantic as a user of the language. Brave New World is a slim volume and it should be much slimmer. The first fifth of the book is all exposition about the process from fertilization to "decanting", better known as birth. It's another fifth of the way through before we meet the actual protagonist, known as John or The Savage. There is a character who is supposed to be a talented writer, but when we see his work, it is presented as tired and completely inferior to Shakespeare. Huxley is one of those people that thinks using obscure words will make him look clever. For me, it was just another way I found him annoying.

Yet again, Orwell runs circles around Huxley as a writer. Nineteen Eighty-Four from the beginning is about Winston Smith and his struggle against his society, finding a little corner of his apartment where he can hide from the telescreen. Smith is said to be competent as a writer, and we see the fictional story of a war hero he concocts that is presented in the newspaper as fact.

Without question Nineteen Eighty-Four is grim, but I still found some humor in it. The idea that pop songs and pornography are produced entirely by machines is a clever little turn. As for exposition, Orwell does have his Newspeak expert Syme go on for pages and pages about the structure and future of Newspeak, but even here the long explanation becomes a plot point, as Winston sees Syme's name erased from the Chess Club list after he disappears, becoming an unperson, not for being unorthodox, but for being too intelligent and seeing through the methods used.

Contest #3: Which writer is given more honor in current culture? Is there another 20th Century writer whose name has become an adjective? It is possible I have just forgotten it, but Orwellian is as much a part of the language as Dickensian or Shakespearean. (EDIT: I did forget it. Kafkaesque.) In most ways, Huxley has faded from view, and I think he's earned the obscurity. Brave New World is still a phrase people use, but Huxley lifted that from Shakespeare. I would say the pop culture reference that is still Huxley's claim is that the rock group The Doors took the name from Huxley's drug book The Door of Perception.

In conclusion, if you find yourself hankering to read Brave New World, you are a free agent and have every right to do so. Bit don't say I didn't warn you.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

In previous years, the Picture Slot went to Mary Shelley and Frank Conniff. Who will be iconic enough to join them tomorrow?
Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Friday, August 28, 2015

28 August 2015

Quvenzhane Wallis b. 2003 (Beasts of the Southern Wild)
Kyle Massey b. 1991 (Gotham)
Katie Findlay b. 1990 (After the Dark, Continuum, Crash Site, SGU Stargate Universe, Fringe)
Armie Hammer b. 1986 (Stan Lee’s Mighty 7, Mirror Mirror, 2081, Reaper)
Sarah Roemer b. 1984 (The Event, The Grudge 2)
Carly Pope b. 1980 (The Tomorrow People, Elysium, Yeti: Curse of the Snow Demon, The 4400, 10.5: Apocalypse, Jake 2.0, NightMan)
Kelly Overton b. 1978 (True Blood, Beauty and the Beast [2012], Tekken, The Ring Two)
Amber Sainsbury b. 1978 (Fairy Tales, 30 Days of Night, Hex, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys)
Nick E. Tarabay b. 1975 (Arrow, Believe, Star Trek Into Darkness)
Eugene Byrd b. 1975 (True Blood, American Horror Story, Eureka, Night Stalker [2006])
Kristin Booth b. 1974 (Orphan Black, Supernatural, ReGenesis, Total Recall 2070)
J. August Richards b. 1973 (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Arrow, Warehouse 13, The 4400, Angel, Sliders, Space: Above and Beyond)
Stephanie Belding b. 1971 (Lost Girl, Eureka, Watchmen, Reaper, Earth: Final Conflict, eXistenZ)
Daniel Goddard b. 1971 (Immortally Yours, Dream Warrior, BeastMaster)
Jack Black b. 1969 (Ghost Ghirls, Gulliver’s Travels, King Kong, The X-Files, Waterworld, The Neverending Story III, Demolition Man)
Jason Priestley b. 1969 (Haven, Day of the Triffids [2009], Termination Point, Jeremiah, Quantum Leap)
Billy Boyd b. 1968 (Space Milkshake, The Witches of Oz, Glenn, the Flying Robot, Lord of the Rings, Seed of Chucky, Urban Ghost Story)
Amanda Tapping b. 1965 (Supernatural, Stargate, Space Milkshake, Sanctuary, Earthsea, The X Files, Flash Forward, Forever Knight)
Dermot Keaney b. 1964 (Atlantis [TV], Game of Thrones, Pirates of the Caribbean, Strange)
Melissa Rosenberg b. 1962 (writer, Twilight)
David Fincher b. 1962 (director, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Alien³)
Jennifer Coolidge b. 1961 (Click, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, Not of this Earth)
Emma Samms b. 1960 (The Little Unicorn, Humanoids from the Deep, Tales from the Crypt, Lois & Clark, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, Arabian Adventure)
Brian Thompson b. 1959 (Flight of the Living Dead, Star Trek: Enterprise, Epoch: Evolution, Charmed, Birds of Prey, The X Files, Jason and the Argonauts [TV], Buffy, Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, DragonHeart, Deep Space Nine, Weird Science, Kindred: The Embraced, Hercules, Star Trek: Generations, Doctor Mordred, Superboy, Alien Nation [TV], Star Trek: The Next Generation, Alien Nation, Fright Night Part 2, Werewolf, Knight Rider, Otherworld, The Terminator)
John Allen Nelson b. 1959 (Knight Rider, Seven Days, Quantum Leap, Killer Klowns from Outer Space)
Daniel Stern b. 1957 (SeaQuest 2032, Little Monsters, Leviathan, C.H.U.D.)
Rick Rossovich b. 1957 (Legend of the Lost Tomb, Black Scorpion, Future Shock, Tales from the Crypt, The Terminator)
Luis Guzman b. 1956 (Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, Rise of the Damned, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, The Adventures of Pluto Nash, SeaQuest 2032, Innocent Blood, *batteries not included)
Vonda N. McIntyre b. 1948 (won 1979 Hugo and Nebula for Dreamsnake, won 1998 Nebula for The Moon and the Sun)
Alice Playten b. 1947 died 25 June 2011 (Pioneer 12, Legend, Disco Beaver from Outer Space, The Lost Saucer)
David Soul b. 1943 (Doctor Who: Death Comes to Time, Deadly Nightmares, World War III, Salem’s Lot, Star Trek, I Dream of Jeannie)
Ken Jenkins b. 1940 (The X Files, Sliders, Babylon 5, Star Trek: The Next Generation, The Abyss, Hard Time on Planet Earth)
Donald O’Connor b. 1925 died 27 September 2003 (Alice in Wonderland [1985 and 1983], The Bionic Woman, The Wonders of Aladdin)
Nancy Kulp b. 1921 died 3 February 1991 (Quantum Leap, Twilight Zone, Moon Pilot)
Jack Kirby b. 1917 died 6 February 1994 (artist, Marvel and DC comics)
Jack Vance b. 1916 died 23 May 2013 (author, The Dying Earth, Big Planet)
Simon Oakland b. 1915 died 29 August 1983 (Tucker’s Witch, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, The Starlost, Captain Nice, The Satan Bug, The Outer Limits, My Favorite Martian, Twilight Zone)
Morris Ankrum b. 1897 died 2 September 1964 (X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes, From the Earth to the Moon, Giant from the Unknown, Beginning of the End, The Giant Claw, Kronos, Zombies of Mora Tau, Earth vs. the Flying Saucers, Invaders from Mars, Red Planet Mars, Rocketship X-M)

Notes from the birthday list.
1. The Picture Slot. In previous years, I used Jack Kirby and J. August Richards. There were several options for today - David Soul from Star Trek, Brian Thompson from any of a number of roles, Billy Boyd from Lord of the Rings, Jack Black from King Kong - but I decided to go with Quvenzhane Wallis facing off with the Auroch from the end of Beasts of the Southern Wild.

2. Spot the Canadians! There are six today: Katie Findlay, Carly Pope, Kristin Booth, Stephanie Belding, Jason Priestley and Amanda Tapping.

3. Wait... she's dead? Alice Playten was a comic actress who did a lot of voice work. I remember her from Martin Mull's first album and from National Lampoon's Lemmings. I still haven't quite processed that she is dead.

4. MST3K. Morris Ankrum spent most of his career in Westerns, but he also made a lot of 1950s sci-fi, so many of them I saw when I was a kid watching TV in the 1960. Two of his movies got the Best Brains treatment, Beginning of the End and Rocketship X-M.

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:  How will the New Republic treat the inferior races? How will it deal with the black? how will it deal with the yellow man? how will it tackle that alleged termite in the civilized woodwork, the Jew? Certainly not as races at all. It will aim to establish, and it will at last, though probably only after a second century has passed, establish a world-state with a common language and a common rule. All over the world its roads, its standards, its laws, and its apparatus of control will run. It will, I have said, make the multiplication of those who fall behind a certain standard of social efficiency unpleasant and difficult, and it will have cast aside any coddling laws to save adult men from themselves. It will tolerate no dark corners where the people of the Abyss may fester, no vast diffused slums of peasant proprietors, no stagnant plague-preserves. Whatever men may come into its efficient citizenship it will let come--white, black, red, or brown; the efficiency will be the test. And the Jew also it will treat as any other man. It is said that the Jew is incurably a parasite on the apparatus of credit. If there are parasites on the apparatus of credit, that is a reason for the legislative cleaning of the apparatus of credit, but it is no reason for the special treatment of the Jew. If the Jew has a certain incurable tendency to social parasitism, and we make social parasitism impossible, we shall abolish the Jew, and if he has not, there is no need to abolish the Jew. We are much more likely to find we have abolished the Caucasian solicitor.

Reality: Wells is listed as a socialist, but this version of race relations sounds a lot like the conservative argument for "color-blindness", which means other races, if lucky, can eventually become honorary white people.

So yet again, we find H.G. Wells is a scumbag.
Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

This month, I read Brave New World for the first time and I will give a book report. The ghost of Aldous Huxley will not be pleased.
Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

27 August 2015

Cainan Wiebe b. 1995 (Once Upon a Time, Falling Skies, Sucker Punch, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, Supernatural, Tin Man, Sanctuary, The 4400, Dead Like Me)
Alexa Vega b. 1988 (The Remaining, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, The Tomorrow People, The Devil’s Carnival, Spy Kids, Repo! The Genetic Opera, NetForce)
Michelle Pierce b. 1987 (Battle Los Angeles, Transformers)
Kayla Ewell b. 1985 (Lucifer, The Vampire Diaries)
Jennifer Armour b. 1985 (Ghoul)
Patrick J. Adams b. 1981 (Orphan Black, Rosemary’s Baby [2014], FlashForward, Lost)
Trenton Rostedt b. 1980 (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., The Walking Deceased, Revolution, The Starving Games, Grimm)
Aaron Paul b. 1979 (Birds of Prey, The X Files, K-PAX, 3rd Rock from the Sun)
Bodie Olmos b. 1975 (Battlestar Galactica)
Darren Goldstein b. 1974 (Limitless)
Rhett Giles b. 1973 (Quantum Apocalypse, Beauty and the Beast [2009], Wovesbayne, Lost, Dracula’s Curse, King of the Lost World, Frankenstein Reborn, Way of the Vampire)
Joy and Leanna Creel b. 1970 (The Cell)
Monica Lacy b. 1970 (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., The Cell)
Cheryl Fergison b. 1964 (Doctor Who)
Reece Shearsmith b. 1969 (An Adventure in Space and Time, The First Men in the Moon [2010 TV], Shaun of the Dead)
Clare Stansfield b. 1964 (Xena, Steel, The X Files, The Flash)
Dean Devlin b. 1962 (producer, The Librarian, Eight Legged Freaks, Godzilla [1998], Independence Day, Stargate)
Siobhan Redmond b. 1959 (Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein)
Diana Scarwid b. 1955 (Heroes, Lost, Wonderfalls, From the Earth to the Moon, The X Files, Strange Invaders)
Peter Stormare b. 1953 (Arrow, The Zero Theorem, Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, The Brothers Grimm, The Tuxedo, Armageddon, Minority Report, The Lost World: Jurassic Park)
Paul Rubens b. 1952 (Area 57, Mystery Men, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Batman Returns, Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, Faerie Tale Theatre)
Gary Imhoff b. 1952 (Carnivale, The Green Mile, Buffy, The Powers of Matthew Star)
Charles Fleischer b. 1950 (Black Scorpion, Lois & Clark, Back to the Future Part II, Hard Time on Planet Earth, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Knight Rider, A Nightmare on Elm Street)
Captain Kidd Brewer Jr. b. 1948 died 22 May 1990 (The Abyss, Piranha Part Two: The Spawning)
Barbara Bach b. 1947 (Caveman, The Great Alligator, The Humanoid, Screamers)
G. W. Bailey b. 1944 (Mannequin, Short Circuit, Runaway)
Tommy Sands b. 1937 (Babes in Toyland)
Janet MacLachlan b. 1933 died 11 October 2010 (The Thirteenth Floor, Pinocchio’s Revenge, Free Spirit, Beauty and the Beast, The Boy Who Could Fly, Wonder Woman, The Six Million Dollar Man, The Invaders, Star Trek)
Ira Levin b. 1929 died 12 November 2007 (writer, Rosemary’s Baby, The Stepford Wives, The Boys from Brazil)
Hoke Howell b. 1929 died 9 May 1997 (Alien Species, Wizards of the Demon Sword, Alienator, The Greatest American Hero, Humanoids from the Deep, Project U.F.O., Kingdom of the Spiders, Bewitched, Lost in Space, The Munsters, My Living Doll)

Notes from the birthday list.
1. The Picture Slot. Previous Picture Slot residents were Barbara Bach from Caveman and Alexa Vega from Spy Kids. While there are a few well-known names here, I decided to go with Paul Rubens from Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, which I count as genre because of the ghost story aspects. For those who might think I am making a mockery of a sci-fi/fantasy blog, I can only say:

I know you are, but what am I?

2. Spot the Canadians! Two Canadians today, Cainan Wiebe and Patrick J. Adams.

3. Nepotism FTW. Bodie Olmos. No more need be said.

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

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

Prediction: The cost of irrigation and industrial water will be cut in half – a saving sufficient to let every person have a sailboat, allow out scientists to research to death the common cold or permit all our cities to build libraries and put on the shelves thousands of books.

Reality: I have not been able to find figures on the history of the cost of irrigation, but I am struck by Ernst's idea that somehow cost savings to the agriculture industry will somehow magically be re-distributed to people who want sailboats, scientific research or the public library system.
Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Will H.G. Wells be a jerk in tomorrow's prediction? Only one way to find out.
Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

26 August 2015

Dylan O’Brien b. 1991 (The Maze Runner, Teen Wolf)
Evan Ross b. 1988 (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay)
Jennifer Higham b. 1984 (Metamorphosis, Ella Enchanted)
Nanzeen Contractor b. 1982 (Star Trek Into Darkness, Pegasus vs. Chimera, Relic Hunter, Starhunter)
Christina Cindrich b. 1981 (Immortally Yours, Spider-Man 3, 2095)
Chris Pine b. 1980 (Wonder Woman, Z for Zachariah, Into the Woods, Star Trek, Carriers)
Macaulay Culkin b. 1980 (Jacob’s Ladder)
Amanda Schull b. 1978 (12 Monkeys [2014 TV], Grimm)
Mike Colter b. 1976 (Luke Cage, Halo: Nightfall, American Horror Story, Men in Black 3)
Meredith Eaton b. 1974 (Paranormal Activity)
Melissa McCarthy b. 1970 (Ghostbusters)
Jorge Sanz b. 1969 (The Witch Affair, Conan the Barbarian)
Oleg Taktarov b. 1967 (Predators, National Treasure, Rollerball [2002])
Taras Kostyuk b. 1966 (Alien Journey, Arrow, Supernatural, Alien Agenda: Project Grey, Andromeda, Jake 2.0, The Dead Zone, A Wrinkle in Time, Jeremiah, Dark Angel)
Shirley Manson b. 1966 (The Sarah Connor Chronicles)
Ola Ray b. 1960 (Automan)
Brett Cullen b. 1956 (Under the Dome, The Dark Knight Rises, Lost, Pixel Perfect, From the Earth to the Moon, The Omen [1995 TV], Apollo 13, Deep Space Nine, Prehysteria!, V [1985], The Incredible Hulk)
Michael Jeter b. 1952 died 30 March 2003 (Taken, Jurassic Park III, The Green Mile, Waterworld, Zelig)
Jane Merrow b. 1941 (The Greatest American Hero, The Incredible Hulk, The Six Million Dollar Man, UFO, The Prisoner)
Yvette Vickers b. 1928 died 2010 (Attack of the Giant Leeches, Attack of the 50 Foot Woman)
Ronny Graham b. 1919 died 4 July 1999 (Frogs!, Spaceballs, The Ghost Busters [1975])
Eugene Dow b. 1916 died 11 October 2004 (Night of the Demon)
Jim Davis b. 1909 died 26 April 1981 (The Day Time Ended, Project U.F.O., Satan’s Triangle, The Sixth Sense [1972], Dracula vs. Frankenstein [1971], The Time Tunnel, Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter, Monster from Green Hell)

Notes from the birthday list.
1. The Picture Slot. In previous years, the Picture Slot went to Yvette Vickers from the 1950s B-movie and Chris Pine from the new Star Trek. To be honest, there aren't that many iconic roles among the rest of the actors, so I instead decided to go with plugging a future project, Melissa McCarthy in the female version of Ghostbusters. The other choice was Mike Colter, who will be playing Luke Cage in several upcoming projects from Marvel.

2. Spot the Canadian! (Sort of.) Taras Kostyuk was born in the Soviet Union. I'm assuming he emigrated to Canada by his credit list, but I don't have proof online.

3. Nepotism FTW. Both of Chris Pine's parents are actors, Robert Pine and Gwynne Gilford. While the nepotism isn't as glaring as Rumer Willis, for example, I'm sure it helped him get the idea in his head that people made a living pretending to be other folks. 

4. Wait... he's dead? I wrote it last year on his birthday and it hasn't quite sunk in. I still haven't filed comic actor Michael Jeter in the dead category.

5. MST3K. The one I know for sure is The Attack of the Giant Leeches.

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

Predictor: George Sutherland in his 1902 book Twentieth Century Inventions

Prediction: Anything which tends to discount the value of personal bravery and to elevate the tactics of the ambuscade and the sharp-shooting expedition gives, _pro tanto_, an advantage to the meaner-spirited races of mankind, and places them more or less in a position of mastery over those who hold higher racial traditions. The man who will face the risk of being shot in the open generally belongs to a higher type of humanity than he who only shoots from behind cover. Moreover, the nations which have the skill and ingenuity to manufacture new weapons of self-defence belong to a higher class than those which only acquire advanced warlike munitions by purchase. One of the early international movements of the twentieth century will be directed towards the prohibition of the sale of such weapons as magazine-rifles, quick-firing field guns, and torpedoes to any savage or barbarous race.

Reality: Oh dear, and just when I was getting to like Mr. Sutherland so much.

I realize "privilege" is an early 21st Century concept and it's a little historically unfair to apply it to people from the early 20th Century, but the British - especially the English - completely bought into the idea that they looted half the planet fair and square and any dirty natives who fought back were simply bad sports. I single out the English because sometimes the dirty natives were the Scots and the Irish. When he's not talking about war, I really do like Sutherland, but I decided to print this one to give him the "warts and all" treatment. He's not as bad as H.G. Wells, but as they would say on Fox News, he was no angel.
Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

More excessively optimistic thoughts from Utopia 1976.
Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

25 August 2015

Holly Gibbs b. 1997 (Nanny McPhee)
Angelica Mandy b. 1992 (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire)
Kaitlyn Hooper b. 1992 (Addams Family Values)
Keegan Joyce b. 1989 (Superman Returns)
Blake Lively b. 1987 (The Age of Adaline, Green Lantern, Sandman)
Rachel Bilson b. 1981 (Jumper, Buffy)
Alexis Raben b. 1980 (The Invasion)
Toni Wynne b. 1980 (Oz the Great and Powerful, American Horror Story, Zombie Roadkill, Spider-Man 3, 2095, The Spirithunter, Blood Feast 2: All U Can Eat)
Kel Mitchell b. 1978 (The Thundermans, Mystery Men, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch)
Alexander Skarsgård b. 1976 (Hidden [2014], True Blood, Battleship, Melancholia)
Donavon Stinson b. 1976 (Mighty Mighty Monsters, Snowmageddon, Eureka, Reaper, The X Files: I Want to Believe, Fantastic Four, Dark Angel)
Michelle Beaudoin b. 1975 (Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, Poltergeist: The Legacy, Neon Rider)
David Alan Basche b. 1968 (Real Steel, The Adjustment Bureau, War of the Worlds [2005])
Tom Hollander b. 1967 (About Time, Pirates of the Caribbean)
Brad Dryborough b. 1967 (Falling Skies, The Cabin in the Woods, Fringe, Supernatural, Battlestar Galactica, Alien Trespass, The Day the Earth Stood Still, Stargate: Atlantis, Smallville, Alien Incursion)
Marti Noxon b. 1964 (writer/actor, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, Fright Night, I Am Number Four, Angel, Buffy)
Blair Underwood b. 1964 (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., The Event, Deep Impact, Gattaca, Knight Rider)
David Packer b. 1962 (Early Edition, Strange Days, RoboCop, V)
Joanne Whalley b. 1961 (Willow)
Billy Ray Cyrus b. 1961 (Sharknado 2)
Ally Walker b. 1961 (Kazaam, Witches of Eastwick [TV], Universal Soldier)
Ashley Crow b. 1960 (Supernatural, Heroes, Minority Report, Probe)
Tim Burton b. 1958 (director, Frankenweenie, Dark Shadows [2012], Alice in Wonderland, Corpse Bride, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Big Fish, Planet of the Apes, Sleepy Hollow [1999], Mars Attacks, Batman Returns, Edward Scissorhands, Batman, Beetlejuice, Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure)
Simon McBurney b. 1957 (Utopia, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, The Golden Compass)
Gene Simmons b. 1949 (Runaway, KISS Meets the Phantom in the Park)
John Savage b. 1949 (Sensory Perception, Demon Legacy, Bermuda Tentacles, Alien Rising, Dreamkiller, Fringe, Carnivale, Alien Lockdown, Dark Angel, They Nest, Star Trek: Voyager, Lost Souls, Firestorm, The X-Files, Carnosaur 2, Red Scorpion 2, Beauty and the Beast [1987 musical])
Michael Kaluta b. 1947 (artist, Bill the Galactic Hero)
Anthony Heald b. 1944 (X-Men: The Last Stand, The X Files, DeepRising, Tales from the Darkside)
John Badham b. 1939 (director, Supernatural, Heroes, Short Circuit, WarGames, Dracula [1979], The Sixth Sense)
Tom Skerritt b. 1933 (Ted, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde [TV 2008], Stephen King’s Dead Zone, Fallen 2006 TV], Category 7: The End of the World, Aftershock: Earthquake in New York, Contact, Poltergeist III, The Twilight Zone [1986], SpaceCamp, The Dead Zone, Alien, The Devil’s Rain, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, The Time Tunnel, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, My Favorite Martian)
Peter Gilmore b. 1931 died 3 February 2013 (Doctor Who, Warlords of the Deep, The Abominable Dr. Phibes)
Sean Connery b. 1930 (The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, DragonHeart, Highlander I & II, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Sword of the Valiant: The Legend of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Time Bandits, Outland, Meteor, Zardoz, Darby O’Gill and the Little People)
Graham Jarvis b. 1930 died 16 April 2003 (Strange World, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids [TV], The X Files, Star Trek: The Next Generation, The Munsters Today)
Bruce Allpress b. 1930 (Power Rangers Jungle Fury, The Water Horse, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys)
Mel Ferrer b. 1917 died 2 June 2008 (Nightmare City, Eaten Alive, The Great Alligator, The Visitor, Screamers, The Amazing Captain Nemo, Logan’s Run, Wonder Woman, The World, The Flesh and the Devil)
Van Johnson b. 1916 died 12 December 2008 (Killer Crocodile, The Purple Rose of Cairo, Batman, The Pied Piper of Hamelin, Brigadoon)
Michael Rennie b. 1909 died 10 June 1971 (The Invaders, Batman, Cyborg 2087, The Time Tunnel, Lost in Space, The Lost World, The Day the Earth Stood Still)

Notes from the birthday list.
1. The Picture Slot. In previous years, the Picture Slot was occupied by Michael Rennie, certainly iconic in The Day the Earth Stood Still, and Blake Lively, back in 2013 when I wasn't quite so fussy about iconic and was more interested that day in fabulousness, which she certainly has. Today, being more strict about iconic roles, it's Alexander Skarsgård from True Blood. The other top choices would be Tom Skerritt from Alien and Sean Connery from several roles, but I likely would have chosen Zardoz 

2. Spot the Canadians! Graham Jarvis was born north of the border, but he was old enough that he had to venture south to find work early in his career. Of the three younger Canadians, Brad Dryborough's and Donavon Stinson's credit lists make it obvious, but Michelle Beaudoin's is not as clear.

3. Nepotism FTW. Alexander Skarsgård is Skellan's son, which could not have hurt in his early career in his native Sweden. Rachel Bilson is Danny Bilson's daughter, also likely an advantage early on.

4. Something new for this blog. Someone on a birthday list stopped by and left a comment! Canadian Ted Ludzik wasn't aware a resume could look Canadian. I expect he found this blog by Googling himself.  Don't laugh, I'm sure you've self-Googled on a lonely evening as well.

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 1957 book The Door Into Summer

Prediction: What do you ask after thirty years? I had plenty of questions, but the first I asked was “Doc, do they still have popcorn machines in the lobbies of movie theaters?”

“They did the last time I looked. I don’t get much time for such things. By the way, the word is “grabbie” now, not “movie”.

Reality: This is supposed to be a technological advance between 1970 and 2000 in Heinlein's fictional future. I thought he might be referencing William Castle and his practice of putting shocks in some seats for the movie The Tingler, but that is several years after Heinlein wrote this. More likely, he is referencing the phrase "feely" from Aldous Huxley's Brave New World.
Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Could our sensible friend George Sutherland be as much of a chauvinist and bigot as his contemporary H.G. Wells? I'm sorry, dear readers, but tomorrow we will find out the signs point to yes.
Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Monday, August 24, 2015

24 August 2015

Rupert Grint b. 1988 (Harry Potter)
Chad Michael Murray b. 1981 (Agent Carter, Left Behind, The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghost of Georgia, House of Wax, Megiddo: The Omega Code 2)
Beth Riesgraf b. 1978 (Caper)
Alex O’Loughlin b. 1976 (Moonlight, The Invisible, Man-Thing)
James D’Arcy b. 1975 (Agent Carter, Jupiter Ascending, Cloud Atlas, Them [2007])
Kwesi Ameyaw b. 1975 (Continuum, Supernatural, Man of Steel, Once Upon a Time, Riverworld, Fringe, Stargate, Kyle XY, Fallen, Eureka, Blade: Trinity, Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, Jake 2.0, Battlestar Galactica, Smallville, Dead Like Me, Stephen King’s Dead Zone, Jeremiah, Dark Angel, Strange Frequency, The Lone Gunmen, The 6th Day)
Jennifer Lien b. 1974 (Star Trek: Voyager)
Barret Oliver b.1973 (Twilight Zone [1986], Tall Tales & Legends, Cocoon, D.A.R.Y.L., The NeverEnding Story, Jekyll and Hyde… Together Again, Knight Rider, The Incredible Hulk)
Eric Edwards b. 1966 (Blade, Candyman)
Dana Gould b. 1964 (Mystery Men, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch)
Jared Harris b. 1961 (Poltergeist [2015], The Quiet Ones, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, Fringe, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Resident Evil: Apocalypse, Lost in Space [1998], Tall Tale)
Mark Protosevich b. 1961 (writer, Thor, I Am Legend, The Cell)
Steve Guttenberg b. 1958 (Lavalantula, Short Circuit, Cocoon 1 and 2, High Spirits, The Day After, The Boys from Brazil)
Stephen Fry b. 1957 (The Hobbit, The Borrowers, Alice in Wonderland [2010], V for Vendetta, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, MirrorMask, Doctor Who: Death Comes to Time, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride)
Kevin Dunn b. 1956 (Transformers, Lost, NYPD 2069, Small Soldiers, Godzilla [1998], Ghostbusters II)
Orson Scott Card b. 1951 (won 1986 Hugo and Nebula for Ender’s Game, won 1987 Hugo and Nebula for Speaker for the Dead)
Charles Rocket b. 1949 died 7 October 2005 (3rd Rock from the Sun, Star Patrol, The X-Files, Star Trek: Voyager, Lois & Clark, Hocus Pocus, Quantum Leap, Earth Girls Are Easy, Max Headroom)
Joe Regalbuto b. 1949 (Amazing Stories, Mork & Mindy)
Anne Archer b. 1947 (Nico the Unicorn, The Sixth Sense [1972])
Ronnie Blakley b. 1945 (A Return to Salem’s Lot, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Beyond Westworld)
Castulo Guerra b. 1945 (The Purge: Anarchy, Touch, Invasion, Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace, Lois & Clark, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Beauty and the Beast [1987], Starman [TV])
Kenny Baker b. 1934 (Star Wars, U.F.O. [1993], Prince Caspian and the Voyage of the Dawn Treader [1989], Willow, Labyrinth, Time Bandits, Flash Gordon)
William Morgan Sheppard b. 1932 (April Apocalypse, Mysterious Island, Doctor Who, Legend of the Seeker, Star Trek [2009], Transformers, The Prestige, Charmed, Star Trek: Voyager, Timecop, American Gothic, Poltergeist: The Legacy, Babylon 5, SeaQuest 2032, Needful Things, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Max Headroom, Werewolf, The Day of the Triffids [1981], Hawk the Slayer)
Jimmy Gardner b. 1924 died 3 May 2010 (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, My Hero, The Company of Wolves, Doctor Who, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe [1967], The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb)
Helena Carter b. 1920 died 11 January 2000 (Invaders from Mars)
James Tiptree, Jr. b 1915 died 19 May 1987 (author, Tales of the Quintana Roo, Up the Walls of the World)
Jorge Luis Borges b. 1899 died 14 June 1986 (author, The Book of Imaginary Beings, Labyrinths)

Notes from the birthday list.
1. The Picture Slot. In previous years, I used pictures of Rupert Grint and Barret Oliver. The people I considered today were the authors Orson Scott Card and Jorge Luis Borges, the actress Jennifer Lein and the winner, Kenny Baker, the guy inside R2-D2.

2. Spot the Canadian! I'll give one hint. Today's lone Canadian is less than 50 years old.

3. Nepotism FTW. Jared Harris is the son of Richard Harris.

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

Predictor: OMNI Future Almanac, published 1982

Prediction: Skies crowded by personal planes, along with increased need for corporate material delivery and energy control, will make civilian aircraft carriers a necessity.

Reality: Yikes! This one is awful. But as I have written before, I kind of love the OMNI Future Almanac because they were not afraid to be bold. After last week's really good prediction about the Internet, we get a complete strikeout like this.

Not that it matters. I still love them.
Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Tuesdays belong to Heinlein and his novel The Door Into Summer.
Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

23 August 2015


Alana Mansour b. 2003 (Terra Nova)
Stephen Joffe b. 1991 (Time Blazers, Terminal Invasion, Frequency, Storm of the Century)
Annie Ilonzeh b. 1983 (Beauty and the Beast, Arrow, Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief)
Ruta Gedmintas b. 1983 (The Strain, Prowl)
Clare Grant b. 1979 (Mega Shark vs. Kolossus, Team Unicorn, The Guild, Iron Man 2)
Ray Park b. 1974 (Jinn, G.I. Joe, Heroes, Slayer, X-Men, Star Wars; Episode I – He’s Like the Only Cool Thing in It, Mortal Kombat)
Aaron Douglas b. 1971 (iZombie, The Returned, The Strain, Falling Skies, Hemlock Grove, Eureka, Battlestar Galactica, Smallville, Reaper, Bionic Woman [2007], Catwoman, I, Robot, Stephen King’s Dead Zone, The Chronicles of Riddick, Andromeda, 10.5, Paycheck, Jeremiah, X-Men 2, Taken, Stargate SG-1, Dark Angel)
River Phoenix b. 1970 died 31 October 1993 (Dark Blood, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Explorers)
Jay Mohr b. 1970 (S1mOne, The Adventures of Pluto Nash, Small Soldiers, From the Earth to the Moon)
Charley Boorman b. 1966 (Excalibur)
Roger Avary b. 1965 (writer, Beowulf)
Chan-wook Park b. 1963 (director, Thirst, I’m a Cyborg, but That’s OK)
Ed Gale b. 1963 (The Polar Express, Fairie, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Weird Science, The Munster’s Scary Little Christmas, Lifepod, Land of the Lost, Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey, Child’s Play, Phantasm II, Spaceballs, Howard the Duck)
Deron McBee b. 1961 (The Invisible Man, Roswell, Conan [TV], Sliders, Batman Forever, M.A.N.T.I.S., Immortal Combat, Time Barbarians)
Chris Potter b. 1960 (The Good Witch, A Wrinkle in Time, Andromeda, Astronauts, Arachnid, The Hidden Room, War of the Worlds)
Jennifer Holmes b. 1955 (Misfits of Science, Knight Rider, Voyagers!, The Incredible Hulk)
Charles Busch b. 1954 (writer, Psycho Beach Party)
Mark Vann b. 1954 (Torchwood, Lost, Spider-Man 3, Angel, Early Edition)
Bolaji Badejo b. 1953 died 22 December 1992 (Alien)
Rick Springfield b. 1949 (Nick Knight, The Incredible Hulk, Wonder Woman, Battlestar Galactica, The Six Million Dollar Man)
Shelley Long b. 1949 (Zombie Hamlet, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, Lois & Clark, Freaky Friday [TV], Hello Again, Caveman)
Bob Peck b. 1944 died 4 April 1999 (Smilla’s Feeling for Snow, Jurassic Park, Slipstream)
Bobby Diamond b. 1943 (Twilight Zone)
Richard Sanders b. 1940 (ALF, The Invisible Woman)
Peter Wyngarde b. 1933 (Doctor Who, Flash Gordon, The Champions, The Prisoner, Burn, Witch, Burn, The Innocents, The Dybbuk)
Barbara Eden b. 1931 (Sabrina, The Teenage Witch, The Stepford Children, I Dream of Jeannie, 7 Faces of Dr. Lao, The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea)
Vera Miles b. 1929 (BrainWaves, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, The Outer Limits, Twilight Zone, The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms)
James Millhollin b. 1915 died 23 May 1993 (Lost in Space, Bewitched, Batman, My Favorite Martian, My Living Doll, Twilight Zone, Zotz!)
Morris L. Ernst b. 1888 died 21 May 1976 (author, Utopia 1976)

Notes from the birthday list.
1. The Picture Slot. In previous years, the Picture Slot went to Barbara Eden, owner of easily the most iconic role in genre of all of today's birthday boys and girls, and James Millholin because I was in an Oh That Guy mood. This year I go more new school with Canadian actor Aaron Douglas from the re-boot of Battlestar Galactica.

2. Spot the Canadians. Besides Douglas, Stephen Joffe and Chris Potter are Canadian.

3. Nepotism FTW. Charley Boorman is John Boorman's son who cast him in Excalibur. If that isn't nepotism, nothing is.

4. Inside the suit. Besides Douglas, the other person I considered for the Picture Slot was the late Bolaji Badejo, the very tall and thin Nigerian who was inside the suit of the full grown alien in Alien, his only film role ever. Another actor who has spent some time inside costumes is little person Ed Gale, whose first role on film was inside Howard the Duck. His career survived that ignominious start and is likely best known as Homer Stokes' "little man" in O Brother Where Art Thou?

5. Wait... he's dead? We have several actors who died young on today's list. I didn't know about Bolaji Badejo until today, so I didn't know he was dead until today. I have already processed the fact River Phoenix isn't with us any more, but I wasn't so clear about Bob Peck. He plays the big game hunter in Jurassic Park who gets one of the greatest last lines for a character in film history...

"Clever girl."

6. Fun fact I didn't know until today. I've been using Utopia 1976 as a source for quite a while now and did not know that Morris Ernst died in 1976. By the Alanis Morissette definition this counts as ironic, but by the dictionary, not so much. I would say it's more along the lines of "what a co-inky-dink."

7. Hey... no Star Trek! Yesterday, I brought up how rare it is not to have a Star Trek actor or writer on the list, and now it's happened two days in a row. I guarantee it won't happen three days in a row.

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

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

OMNI Future Almanac to start the week off right.
Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

22 August 2015

Dakota Goyo b. 1999 (Dark Skies, Real Steel, Thor, Ultra)
Dannielle Lozeau b. 1987 (Werewolf Rising, The Bell Witch Haunting, The Devil Girl of Devonshire, Legion, The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Pretty Dead Things)
Jorge Diaz b. 1983 (Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, True Blood)
Jennifer Finnigan b. 1979 (Stephen King’s Dead Zone, Big Wolf on Campus)
Brandon Quintin Adams b. 1979 (The Burning Zone, Ghost in the Machine, Quantum Leap)
James Corden b. 1978 (Into the Woods, Doctor Who, Gulliver’s Travels, Vampire Killers, Jack and the Beanstalk: The Real Story)
Rodrigo Santoro b. 1975 (Westworld, Lost)
Cindy Valentine Leone b. 1975 (Teen Witch)
Kristen Wiig b. 1973 (Ghostbusters, The Martian, Paul)
Heidi Lenhart b. 1973 (Crocodile 2: Death Swamp, The Burning Zone)
Richard Armitage b. 1971 (The Hobbit, Captain America: The First Avenger, Star Wars: Episode I – Yes, Yes That One Again)
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje b. 1967 (Game of Thrones, Thor: The Dark World, The Thing [2011], G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, Lost, The Mummy Returns, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea [2001])
Ty Burrell b. 1967 (The Incredible Hulk [2008], National Treasure: Book of Secrets, Dawn of the Dead, Evolution)
Pamella D’Pella b. 1967 (Alien Nation: Millennium, Beauty and the Beast, ALF)
Alfred Gough b. 1967 (writer, Smallville, I Am Number Four, Spider-Man 2, Timecop)
Courtney Gains b. 1965 (Mimesis, Alien Encounter, Halloween [2007], Charmed, Superboy, Starman [TV], Misfits of Science, Back to the Future, Children of the Corn)
Andrew Wilson b. 1964 (Idiocracy, Merlin: The Return)
Lara Harris b. 1962 (American Horror Story, Demolition Man, Monsters)
Mark Williams b. 1959 (Doctor Who, Being Human, Harry Potter, Frankenstein’s Wedding… Live in Leeds, Stardust, The Borrowers, Red Dwarf)
Holly Hawkins b. 1959 (True Blood, Alice in Wonderland)
Colm Feore b. 1958 (Gotham, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Beauty and the Beast [2014 TV], Revolution, Thor, Battlestar Galactica, The Chronicles of Riddick, Storm of the Century, Creature [1998 TV], Forever Knight, Beyond Reality, War of the Worlds [TV])
Cindy Williams b. 1947 (Lois & Clark, UFOria, The Creature Wasn’t Nice, Beware! The Blob)
Valerie Harper b. 1939 (My Future Boyfriend)
Sylva Koscina b. 1933 died 26 December 1994 (The House of Exorcism, Uncle Was a Vampire, Hercules Unchained, Hercules)
John Lupton b. 1928 died 3 November 1993 (Shazam!, The Invaders, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, The Time Tunnel, Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter)
Honor Blackman b. 1925 (Cockneys vs Zombies, Dr. Terrible’s House of Horrible, Jack and the Beanstalk: The Real Story, Tale of the Mummy, Doctor Who, Jason and the Argonauts, H. G. Wells’ Invisible Man)
Ray Bradbury b. 1920 died 5 June 2012 (author, Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles)
Alma Beltran b. 1919 died 9 June 2007 (Ghost, Knight Rider, Kolchak: The Night Stalker)
Cecil Kellaway b. 1893 died 28 February 1973 (Bewitched, My Favorite Martian, Twilight Zone, Zotz!, The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, Harvey, The Luck of the Irish, I Married a Witch, The Invisible Man Returns)

Notes from the birthday list.
1. The Picture Slot. Honor Blackman and Ray Bradbury, the previous two Picture Slotters, certainly count as iconic, but I could be accused of going old school, since they are both older than I am and their fame is from the 20th Century. This year, I go with Mark Williams, who is younger than I am and his fame is mostly from Harry Potter, a 21st Century product. Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje and Richard Armitrage were other considered options.

2. Spot the Canadians! Dakota Goyo, Jennifer Finnigan and Cindy Valentine Leone.

3. I'm bad at guessing women's ages. As I wrote in my Yvonne Craig tribute, I thought she was a few years older than my older brother when she was just five years younger than my mom. Going the other direction, Melody Patterson, who also died this week but had no genre roles, was on F Troop and she was still in high school; I would have thought she was five to ten years older. And then we have Honor Blackman, still alive thank goodness, who was just shy of 40 when she had her two most famous roles here in the states in Jason and the Argonauts and Goldfinger. I would have guessed all those incorrectly.

4. MST3K. The lovely Sylva Koscina played Iole opposite the hunky Steve Reeves in both Hercules and Hercules Unchained.

5. Hey... no Star Trek! This was a long streak between Star Trek free days, the last one being on July 24.

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

Movie released
1990: The Bronx Warriors released, 1982
The Weekly Soapbox: Nuclear war

It's a very good time to note that the last time a nuclear bomb was used against an enemy was 70 years ago as of this month. Back then, the United States was involved in a costly and deadly war and we were the only ones with the bomb. We dropped two and the Japanese surrendered.

A few years later, we weren't the only ones with the bomb and the great fear of the second half of the Twentieth Century was born. If you read Command and Control, you'll see there were several accidents that might have resulted in nuclear explosions, but I must admit as I read it I thought it showed the multiple safeguards actually worked pretty well. There was also the Cuban missile crisis and several false alarms on both sides, but the scorecard is still clear: since nuclear weapons have been the property of more than one nation, they haven't been used.

Predictions of nuclear war are extremely common in movies and literature and even today, the spectre of nuclear terrorism is used to keep us afraid enough to keep up our truly insane defense spending. I for one, don't think the world is quite that dangerous, but I fully admit I could be suffering from confirmation bias. If something awful happens and I'm still alive, I will admit my error, but it would likely mean that I am wrong and Glenn Beck is right, and I really do seriously think that is awfully damned unlikely.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Another lazy Sunday with just a birthday list. Could we have a Canadian (gasp!) in the Picture Slot? Signs point to yes.
Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Friday, August 21, 2015

21 August 2015

Maxim Knight b. 1999 (Falling Skies)
Hayden Panettiere b. 1989 (Heroes, Aliens in the Family)
Robert Knox b. 1989 died 24 May 2008 (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince)
Elarica Gallacher b. 1989 (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince)
Kiami Davael b. 1986 (Conan [1998])
Laura Haddock b. 1985 (SuperBob, Guardians of the Galaxy, Rage of the Yeti, Captain America: The First Avenger)
Alicia Witt b. 1975 (The Librarians, Curse of the Ring, Vanilla Sky, Dune)
Nathan Jones b. 1969 (Mad Max: Fury Road, Conan the Barbarian [2011], Doom Runners)
Carrie-Anne Moss b. 1967 (Jessica Jones, Frankenstein [2015], The Matrix, Red Planet, Matrix [1993], Forever Knight, Deadly Nightmares)
Kim Catrall b. 1956 (Creature, Modern Vampires, Invasion, Split Second, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, Big Trouble in Little China, City Limits, Mannequin, Tucker’s Witch, The Incredible Hulk, Logan’s Run [TV])
Loretta Devine b. 1949 (Supernatural, Anna to the Infinite Power)
Walter Williamson b. 1946 (The Omega Code, Babylon 5)
Basil Poledouris b. 1945 died 8 November 2006 (composer, Starship Troopers, RoboCop 3, RoboCop, Cherry 2000, Amerika, Twilight Zone [1985], Conan the Barbarian, Tintorera: Killer Shark)
Peter Weir b. 1944 (director, The Truman Show, The Cars That Eat People)
Clarence Williams III b. 1939 (Millennium, Deep Space Nine, Tales from the Crypt)
Wilt Chamberlain b. 1936 died 12 October 1999 (Conan the Destroyer)
Tony Steedman b. 1927 died 4 February 2001 (Babylon 5, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Beauty and the Beast, The Charmings)
Jack Weston b. 1924 died 3 May 1996 (Short Circuit 2, The Incredible Mr. Limpet, Twilight Zone, Rod Brown of the Rocket Rangers)
Anthony Boucher b. 1911 died 29 April 1968 (editor, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction)

Notes from the birthday list.
1. The Picture Slot. Not all that long a list today, but certainly not short on the iconic. Previous Picture Slotters were Carrie-Anne Moss for The Matrix and Kim Catrall from Star Trek, and continuing with the fabulous babe theme, today it's Hayden Panettiere from Heroes.

2. One hard to spot Canadian and an explanation. Carrie-Anne Moss is Canadian. You will see she is in The Matrix and Matrix. The one without the definite article is a 1993 TV show about a hitman that comes back from the dead.

3. MST3K. Usually I look through the credits of the older actors when trying to find movies that got the Best Brains treatment, but of course today the actress that appeared in a movie on that show is Kim Catrall.

Are you singing along with Crow T. Robot in your head right now? Because I am.

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: Every man will be soberly and intelligently setting about the particular thing he has to do [in time of war], even the rich shareholding sort of person, the hereditary mortgager of society, will be given something to do, and if he has learnt nothing else he will serve to tie up parcels of ammunition or pack army sausage. Very probably the best of such people and of the speculative class will have qualified as cyclist marksmen for the front, some of them may even have devoted the leisure of peace to military studies and may be prepared with novel weapons.

Reality: If we have learned anything from reading these gleanings from Anticipations, we have learned that Wells hates a lot of types of people. Here, he is hating on the idle rich and because I share his distaste, I don't mind so much. Still, turning these people into "cyclist marksmen" seems overly cruel, since it seems like a class of soldier who would get slaughtered rather easily on the 20th Century battlefield.
Never to be Forgotten: Ellen Albertini Dow 1914-2015 Ellen Albertini Dow died at the age of 101. I am embarrassed to say she died in May and I just noticed, but better late than never. She taught acting and dancing for decades before she went in front of a camera for the first time in the 1980s. Best known as the rapping granny in The Wedding Singer, she is remembered here for The Invited, Good vs Evil, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, Carnival of Souls, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Quantum Leap, Space Case, Memoirs of an Invisible Man, Freddy’s Nightmares, Beauty and the Beast [1987 TV], Munchies and Twilight Zone [1986].

Best wishes to the family and friends of Ellen Albertini Dow, from a fan. She is never to be forgotten.   

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Saturday is the Weekly Soapbox and this week I have a few cheery thoughts about nuclear war.
Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

20 August 2015

Demi Lovato b. 1992 (From Dusk Till Dawn [TV])
Thomas Tulak b. 1984 (Hook)
Andrew Garfield b. 1983 (Amazing Spider-Man, Never Let Me Go, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Doctor Who)
Meghan Ory b. 1982 (Dead Rising: Watchtower, Once Upon a Time, Supernatural, Knight Rider [2008], Flash Gordon [2008], Painkiller Jane, Merlin’s Apprentice, Smallville, Vampire High, Dark Angel, The Crow: Stairway to Heaven)
Ben Barnes b. 1981 (Westworld, The Chronicles of Narnia, Dorian Gray, Stardust)
Ali Liebert b. 1981 (Paranormal Solutions Inc., Strange Empire, Lost Girl, Apollo 18, Fringe, Kyle XY, Fallen [TV mini-series], The 4400, Dead Like Me)
Corey Carrier b. 1980 (The Adventures of Pinocchio,The Witches of Eastwick)
Amy Adams b. 1974 (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Man of Steel, Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, Enchanted, Smallville, Buffy, Charmed, Psycho Beach Party)
Misha Collins b. 1974 (Supernatural, Stonehenge Apocalypse, Charmed)
Chaney Kley b. 1972 died 24 July 2007 (Darkness Falls, Buffy)
Jonathan Ke Quan b. 1971 (Encino Man, Tales from the Crypt, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom)
David Walliams b. 1971 (Doctor Who, Stardust)
Colin Cunningham b. 1966 (Falling Skies, Impact, Stargate, The 4400, Stephen King’s Dead Zone, Elektra, Andromeda, Smallville, Dark Angel, Strange Frequency, The 6th Day, The X-Files)
Duncan Bravo b. 1964 (Extant, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra)
James Marsters b. 1962 (Witches of East End, Metal Hurlant Chronicles, Warehouse 13, Three Inches, Supernatural, Smallville, Caprica, Moonshot, Torchwood, Angel, Buffy, Strange Frequency)
Sophie Aldred b. 1962 (Doctor Who)
Ravil Isyanov b. 1962 (The Last Ship, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Fringe, Space Race, Arachnid, Buffy, Seven Days)
Geoffrey Blake b. 1962 (The Man in the High Castle, Beauty and the Beast [2014], The Event, Charmed, Mighty Joe Young, Contact, Apollo 13, Deep Space Nine, Critters 3, Alien Nation [TV], ALF, The Last Starfighter)
Ukee Washington b. 1958 (The Happening, Signs, Unbreakable)
Joan Allen b. 1956 (Death Race, Pleasantville, Twilight Zone [1986])
Jay Acavone b. 1955 (InAlienable, The Hills Have Eyes II, Stargate SG-1, Terminated 3, Charmed, The X Files, The Invisible Man, Sliders, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show, Dark Skies, Independence Day, Beauty and the Beast [1990], Werewolf [TV])
Peter Horton b. 1953 (Thoughtcrimes, Brimstone, From the Earth to the Moon, T-Rex: Back to the Cretaceous, Children of the Corn)
Greg Bear b. 1951 (won 1995 Nebula for Moving Mars and 2001 Nebula for Darwin’s Radio)
Patrick Kilpatrick b. 1949 (The Zombinator, The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Minority Report, Roswell, Dark Angel, The X Files, Angel, Star Trek: Voyager, Charmed, Deep Space Nine, Timecop [TV mini-series], Beastmaster III, Babylon 5, The Stand, Lois & Clark, Time Trax, Class of 1999, The Toxic Avenger)
John Noble b. 1948 (Forever, Sleepy Hollow, Fringe, Stargate SG-1, Lord of the Rings, The Lost World, Time Trax)
Ray Wise b. 1947 (Night of the Living Deb, The Lazarus Effect, Agent Carter, Jurassic City, Big Ass Spider!, Nuclear Family, X-Men: First Class, Dollhouse, Pandemic, Reaper, Cyxork 7, Jeepers Creepers II, Charmed, Star Trek: Voyager, Star Trek: The Next Generation, RoboCop, Cat People, Swamp Thing)
Sylvester McCoy b. 1943 (The Hobbit, Doctor Who, Leapin’ Leprechauns!, Starstrider, Dracula [1979], Roberts Robots)
Anthony Ainley b. 1932 died 3 May 2004 (Doctor Who, The Land Time Forgot, The Blood on Satan’s Claw, The Champions)
Bernard Archard b. 1916 died 1 May 2008 (Krull, Doctor Who, The Horror of Frankenstein, Village of the Damned)
Alan Reed b. 1907 died 14 June 1977 (Batman, The Addams Family, My Favorite Martian, The Flintstones)
H.P. Lovecraft b. 1890 died 15 March 1937 (author, The Call of Cthulhu, The Dunwich Horror)

Notes from the birthday list.
1. The Picture Slot. Previously, I used pictures of H.P. Lovecraft and Sylvester McCoy as the Doctor. Removing them from the competition still leaves a lot of actors with iconic roles, the top four in my book being Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man, John Noble from Fringe, Jonathan Ke Quan as Short Round and the winner, James Marsters as Spike from Buffy.

2. Spot the Canadians! Meghan Ory and Alie Liebert were born north of the border, Colin Cunningham is one of those shiftless southerners who crossed the border to take work from honest Canadians.

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

Predictor: Morris Enrst in the 1955 book Utopia 1976

Prediction: One great authority estimates that by 1976, 6% of our energy will be produced by the sun.

Reality: One great authority should sit down and shut up. Solar has grown dramatically this decade, but that still means it’s gone from 0.2% to 1.1% in about five years.
Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Friday means another chance for all of us to think a little less of Herbert George Wells.
Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

19 August 2015

Tristan Lake Leabu b. 1999 (Superman Returns)
Joseph Castanon b. 1997 (Jericho, Click)
Veronica Roth b. 1988 (writer, Divergent, Insurgent, Allegiant)
Tammin Sursok b. 1983 (Airship Dracula, Aquamarine)
Tania Nolan b. 1983 (Grayson: Earth One, Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, Legend of the Seeker)
Mike Moh b. 1983 (True Blood, Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist, Kamen Rider: Dragon Knight)
Erika Christensen b. 1982 (FreakyLinks, 3rd Rock from the Sun)
Michelle Borth b. 1978 (TiMER, Supernatural, Komodo vs. Cobra)
Callum Blue b. 1977 (Smallville, The Sarah Jane Adventures, Dead Like Me)
Tracie Thoms b. 1975 (Looper, Wonder Woman [2011], Grindhouse, Wonderfalls)
Ahmed Best b. 1973 (The Star Wars prequels)
Matthew Perry b. 1969 (L.A.X. 2194)
Kyra Sedgwick b. 1965 (Gamer, Phenomenon, Amazing Stories)
Kevin Dillon b. 1965 (Tales from the Crypt, The Blob [1988])
John Stamos b. 1963 (Tales from the Crypt, Alice in Wonderland [1985])
Stu “Large” Riley b. 1963 (Kick-Ass, The Adventures of Pluto Nash)
Tony Longo b. 1961 died 21 June 2015 (Hercules in Hollywood, Fangs, The X Files, They Came from Outer Space, Beauty and the Beast [1987], Hell Town, Splash, Small & Frye)
Martin Donovan b. 1957 (Ant-Man, The Lottery, The Haunting in Connecticut, Stephen King’s Dead Zone, Dark Shadows [2005])
Adam Arkin b. 1956 (Lake Placid, Halloween H20: 20 Years Later, Perversions of Science, The Hidden Room, Hard Time on Planet Earth, The Twilight Zone)
Peter Gallagher b. 1955 (The Gathering, House on Haunted Hill, High Spirits)
Jonathan Frakes b. 1952 (Star Trek, Roswell, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Lois & Clark, Twilight Zone [1985])
Randi Oakes b. 1951 (Battlestar Galactica)
Jim Carter b. 1948 (The Golden Compass, The Wind in the Willows [TV], Ella Enchanted, Dinotopia, Jack and the Beanstalk: The Real Story, The Little Vampire, The Witches, The Company of Wolves, Flash Gordon)
Gerald McRaney b. 1947 (Jericho, Stephen King’s Dead Zone, Hansel & Gretel, The NeverEnding Story, The Incredible Hulk, The Aliens Are Coming, Logan’s Run [TV], The Brain Machine, The Fantastic Journey, The Six Million Dollar Man)
Christopher Malcolm b. 1946 died 15 February 2014 (Whoops Apocalypse, Labyrinth, Highlander, Superman III, The Empire Strikes Back)
Jill St. John b. 1940 (Batman, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, The Lost World)
Diana Muldaur b. 1938 (Star Trek: The Next Generation, The Incredible Hulk, Planet Earth, Star Trek, The Invaders)
L. Q. Jones b. 1927 (Timerider: The Adventures of Lyle Swann, The Incredible Hulk, A Boy and His Dog, My Favorite Martian)
Angus Scrimm b. 1926 (Phantasm, John Dies at the End, The Nightmare Room, FreakyLinks, Munchie, Mindwarp, Subspecies, Transylvania Twist, Chopping Mall, Salvage 1, Project U.F.O.)
William Marshall b. 1924 died 11 June 2003 (Dinosaur Valley Girls, Sorceress, Amazon Women on the Moon, Twilight’s Last Gleaming, Scream Blacula Scream, Blacula, Star Trek)
Gene Roddenberry b. 1921 died 24 October 1991 (creator, Star Trek, Andromeda, Planet Earth, The Questor Tapes, Genesis II)

Notes from the birthday list.
1. The Picture Slot. It's a very Star Trek day. Previous Picture Slotters were Gene Roddenberry and Jonathan Frakes, and Diana Muldaur could be used either from The Original Series or from Next Gen. Angus Scrimm as The Tall Man from Phantasm also counts as iconic, but I instead went with the late William Marshall, not his Star Trek role, but instead as Blacula. I liked this picture because of how much it looks like a frame from a comic book, much in the style of artist Gene Colan.

2. Wait... he's dead? He died in 2014, so I should have given Christopher Malcolm a Never to Be Forgotten post, but his passing escaped my notice. His role best known for is as Eddie's ex-husband Justin, the father of Saffron, on Absolutely Fabulous.

3. Nepotism FTW. Kevin Dillon is the brother of Matt Dillon, a relationship I usually don't count. Adam Arkin is the son of Alan, a relationship I usually do count.  

4. Living Canadian free!  I didn't find anyone from north of the border today. That will happen from time to time.

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

Movies released
Spy Kids: All The Time In The World In 4D released 2011

Predictor: George Sutherland in his 1902 book Twentieth Century Inventions

Prediction: A great advance in economy of fuel will take place when the household coal intended for cooking purposes is ground up together with the proper proportions of certain waste products of chemistry, so as to make a "smouldering mixture" which can be kept regularly supplied to a shallow or thin fire box by pressure applied from beneath or at the parts farthest away from the objects to be heated. An oven, for instance, may be surrounded by a "jacket" filled with ground smouldering mixture having a non-conducting insulator outside and a connection with a chimney. The heat from the fuel is thus kept in close proximity to the objects requiring to be cooked, and comparatively small waste results.

Reality: Sorry, Mr. Sutherland, the winners for cooking fuel are natural gas and electricity. I am not an engineer, but what you are describing sounds way messier than natural gas and a pilot light, though of course, there are risks to have so many pipelines around as well. 

 Never to be Forgotten: Bud Yorkin 1926-2015 Bud Yorkin, a producer and director best known for making TV comedies such as All in the Family, Sanford and Son, What's Happening! and Maude, has died at the age of 89. He is mentioned here because he was an uncredited executive producer of Blade Runner. On, his name was also attached to a new Blade Runner project, though it had no date released.

I'll admit I had to think if these two credits were enough to get a mention on a sci-fi blog, but in the end I decided it was worth it, largely on the basis of the importance of Blade Runner. If his one uncredited executive producer credit was for Krull or The Ice Pirates... meh.

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

Never to be Forgotten: Yvonne Craig 1937-2015 While I had to debate the inclusion of Bud Yorkin with myself, when I heard that Yvonne Craig died, there was no debate at all. A classically trained dancer, most of her early career in the 1950s and 1960s was in guest roles on TV shows. (She had six different roles in four years on Dobie Gillis, for example.) She got more exposure in supporting roles in two Elvis Presley movies, It Happened at the World's Fair and Kissin' Cousins.

Her two best known roles are as Marta on Star Trek (pictured here) and Barbara Gordon on Batman. (Genre fans might well count her third most famous role as her part in the awful Mars Needs Women opposite Tommy Kirk.) In interviews, she says she took the role in Batman to avoid being an Oh That Gal; reading the obituaries that have been published, it looks like it worked, as all of them mention that role first.

Miss Craig also tells the story that she is a large part of the reason Eartha Kitt was hired to be Catwoman in the third season. While it can be seen as a blow for racial equality, a major reason from a production standpoint was that if Julie Newmar continued in the role, it would stretch credulity seeing the 5'3" Batgirl kick the ass of 5'11" Catwoman, especially since Miss Newmar also had extensive dance training. It looked like more of a fair fight against the 5'4" Miss Kitt.

I have to admit reading of her death was like being on Count Rugen's torture device from The Princess Bride. It felt like months were taken off my life in the wink of an eye. Part of the horrible surprise was that I assumed she closer to Burt Ward's age, but in fact she was eight years older than him and eight years younger than Adam West. Whatever her age, I naturally had a crush on her when I was a lad and part of my childhood is gone.

Best wishes to the family and friends of Yvonne Craig, from a heartsick fan. She is never to be forgotten.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Tomorrow, we get more sunny predictions from Morris Ernst in his book Utopia 1976.
Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!