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!


  1. If you like getting deep into the weeds on details and trivia (which I do), there are a trio of books called These Are The Voyages by Mark Cushman, detailing, blow-by-blow and episode by episode, the making of every inch of TOS.

    Be looking forward to the chapter dealing with the Garth episode. Rock on, Garth!

    1. I saw when the first volume came out, but the book was very pricey. I'll have to check if they ever made it to paperback.


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