Thursday, July 11, 2024

These Directions Aren't Hard Either

A week ago, on July 4th, I preached a little about mutual aid and assistance for all participants in this grand ole country of ours.

Now I've got a different set of instructions for ya.
This is from 1972, handed out by our wily American Lit teacher Ruth White.

Can you follow directions?  DID you?

See you Monday.

Monday, July 08, 2024

Some Super Reflections

These brief thoughts upon the Man of Steel were prompted by his 50th birthday.

These comments were published in Amazing Heroes #136, cover-dated February 29, 1988.

See you Thursday, fellow Super-fans!

Thursday, July 04, 2024

The Directions Aren't That Hard

Lift the cry of Freedom!
As citizens of the glorious but sometimes imperfect United States of America, let's resolve to keep the Union Forever!

Come on friends, treat other people and their choices and beliefs with respect.  Don't deliberately provoke others.  Be thankful that the nation which makes allowance for YOU likewise makes allowances for someone NOT LIKE YOU.

Our heritage is that mutual respect, a resolve to treat others fairly, aspirations to preserve choice and respect for ages to come.
Let's avoid the whole finger-pointing, name-calling thing.  And get along.  Don't be morons!  You're acting like that when you denigrate someone else's upbringing or ancestral source.  In humility, acknowledge that you yourself ain't a pinnacle of perfection.

We're just trying to make things better, TOGETHER.  Try it!

The Union Forever!  Or as someone said, "Out of many, one."

Monday, July 01, 2024

There's No Crisis Like an Old Crisis

You youngsters (50 or younger, maybe) have NO IDEA of the hearts a-flutter caused by DC's decision to *gasp* restart the whole dang universe!
This is one of the features in the March 1, 1985 Amazing Heroes, issue #66.

I heard the author of this piece later got a job in comics.

Where were you when the universe was rewritten?

See you Thursday!

Thursday, June 27, 2024

Don't Put Them in the Dishwasher

Here are four glasses dated 1976, which I bought at the time as released. I think from Dairy Queen, here in OKC???
Here is the promo poster in situ in the Comics Closet of the Fortress of Markitude.

A little more detail in CUs of top and bottom halves.
And a CU of the corner.
Finally, here are those glasses on one of the shelves in the Fortress.

You must admit, many might have the glasses, but who has the poster????  See you Monday, campers!

Monday, June 24, 2024

Blame the Initials

From my deep investigative work into JFK's assassination, lots o' folks and factions have been assigned blame.
Jim Garrison had a tunnel-vision laser sight pointed at the CIA.  You'll remember that his trial of Clay Shaw in New Orleans was dramatized in the pot-stirring Oliver Stone film JFK.  The above clipping is from the January 29, 1989 Tulsa World
The above article likewise slams the secret spies of the CIA.  It's from the Star tabloid, August 28, 1990.  The big picture of the guy aiming at the camera emulates the Badge Man, who of course would have been standing up (not sitting down) behind the Grassy Knoll's retaining wall.
In this article from the March 3, 1992 Oklahoman, we learn that the IRA did it.  Or might have.

Boy, weren't all of these sneaky guys tripping all over each other?  I imagine a few dozen guys standing behind the wooden fence atop the Grassy Knoll, rifles or fancy handguns raised, elbowing each other out of the way to get the best angle at the Lincoln carrying a Kennedy as it approached down Elm Street.

See you Thursday!

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

FINAL SALUTES! 2023-2034


            American songwriter Cynthia Weil (died June 1, 2023), with husband Barry Mann, wrote dozens of hits for scores of performers beginning in the 1960s. Notable songs include “Uptown,” “Blame It on the Bossa Nova,” “On Broadway,” “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’,” “We Gotta Get Outta This Place,” “Rock and Roll Lullaby,” and Hanson’s “I Will Come to You.”

Comic-book writer and artist Ian McGinty (June 8, 2023) worked on Invader Zim and Adventure Time, among others.

            Actor Treat Williams (June 12, 2023) began his career with roles in Hair and 1941, and appeared in dozens of film and TV roles, including recurring roles on White CollarBlue Bloods, and Chicago Fire, as well as starring in the WB’s Everwood 2002-2006.

Author Cormac McCarthy (June 13, 2023) wrote unflinching drama and violence into his Western and other novels (two are Blood Meridian and The Road), depicting gritty, realistic conflict and characters.

            John Romita Sr (June 12, 2023) began as a ghost artist for the pre-Marvel Timely Comics group, moved to DC 1958-65, and drew Daredevil before moving in as main artist for The Amazing Spider-Man. At Marvel he co-created Luke Cage, Mary Jane Watson, the Kingpin, and Wolverine.

            British actress-activist Glenda Jackson (June 15, 2023) won two Oscars, three Emmys, and a Tony. She starred as several English Queens as well as in lighter fare like A Touch of Class and House Calls.

            “Mr Ragtime,” Max Morath (June 19, 2023) was also a playwright, composer, and actor. He heralded the Ragtime Revival of the 1970s by emphasizing both its carefree sound and its deeper, serious history as a genre of truly American music.

            Actor Alan Arkin (June 29, 2023) began his career in the Second City troupe before debuting on Broadway in 1963, immediately garnering a Tony Award. He appeared on TV and in Such films as Catch-22The Seven-per-Cent SolutionThe Last Unicorn, and Edward Scissorhands.

            Writer-director-producer Manny Coto (July 9, 2023) wrote for Tales from the CryptThe Outer Limits, and ST:Enterprise, and Dexter.

            Hacker-turned-security consultant Kevin Mitnick (July 16, 2023) began his life of crime at age 16, accessing supposedly secure networks, using cloning cellphone data and other tricks to evade the FBI for several years. Upon his 2000 release he became a white hat.

            Singer Tony Bennett (July 21, 2023) crooned for decades, winning 20 Grammys and two Emmys, besides the swoons of millions of teenagers in the 1950s. Among his hits were “Stranger in Paradise,” “I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” and “Fly Me to the Moon.”

            Cofounding Eagles member, bassist, and vocalist Randy Meisner (July 26, 2023) also played in Poco and for Rick Nelson. Among several Eagles songs, he wrote and sang lead on “Try and Love Again.”

            Irish activist-singer-songwriter Sinéad O’Connor (July 26, 2023) won awards from the Grammys and MTV, and used her acclaim to direct attention to causes like women’s rights, child abuse, and others. On SNL she shocked folks by tearing up a picture of the Pope in protest  against abuse by the clergy. In 2018 she converted to Islam.

            Paul Reubens (July 30, 2023) failed at his SNL audition but succeeded as Pee Wee Herman, first in a 1981 stage show, then in two films and his 1986-90 TV show Pee Wee’s Playhouse. He guested on other shows and appeared in films like The Blues BrothersBatman Returns, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

            Actor Mark Margolis (August 3, 2023) appeared all over in shows including Law & OrderOzQuantum Leap, and STTNG, but is most noted as Hector Salamanca in Breaking Bad.

            Dutch software engineer Bram Moolenaar (August 3, 2023) developed A-A-P and the text-editing program Vim.

            William Friedkin (August 7, 2023), director-producer-writer on films like SorcererTo Live and Die in LA, and The French Connection, tormented the psyches of millions with his 1973 The Exorcist.

            Songwriter-guitarist Robbie Robertson (August 9, 2023) played for Bob Dylan and helped lead the Band for decades. He’s credited, with the Band, with creating the Americana Music style.

            Standup comic Johnny Hardwick (August 8, 2023) later was not only the voice of Dale Gribble on King of the Hill, but also was a writer and producer for the show.

            Jerry Moss (August 16, 2023) was a cofounder (with Herb Alpert) of A&M Records.

            Balltze (August 18, 2023), one of the Ironic Doges, was best known for wanting to has a “Cheemsburger.”

            Inventor of the PDF John Warnock (August 19, 2023) cofounded Adobe Systems in 1982 with Charles Gesche, producing PostScript and Illustrator, among others.

            Animal-rights activist Bob Barker August 26, 2023) gained fame hosting game shows like Truth or Consequences (1965-75) and The Price Is Right (1972-2007). He won 19 Emmys.

            Actress Gayle Hunnicutt (August 31, 2023) was notable in several genre roles, from The Beverly Hillbillies and 1980’s The Martian Chronicles to 1983’s Return of the Man from U.N.C.L.E.  In the first episode of Jeremy Brett’s The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, she played Irene Adler.

            Singer Gary Wright (September 4, 2023) appeared in Annie on Broadway as a child, then played in Spooky Tooth and on George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass.  His greatest pop impact came from his 1976 hits “Love Is Alive” and “Dream Weaver.”

            Stop-motion animator Pete Kozachik (September 12, 2023) brought magical life to non-life for film, including Howard the DuckStar Trek IVThe Corpse Bride, and The Nightmare Before Christmas.

            David McCallum (September 25, 2023), the other Man from U.N.C.L.E., broke teen hearts as Illya Kuryakin, and established the outsider-as-cool pattern which Spock’s character exploited.  Other roles included Julius Caesar and Judas Iscariot.  From 2003-2023 he won hearts anew as Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard on NCIS.

            Actor Sir Michael John Gambon (September 27, 2023) started his career at the Royal National Theatre with Laurence Olivier in 1963 and appeared in Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow and Sleepy Hollow, but is endeared to sf lovers everywhere for his stepping into the role of Albus Dumbledore for Harry Potter films, 2004-11.

            Actor Burt Young (October 8, 2023) reached wide audiences as Paulie, Rocky Balboa’s brother-in-law. He also appeared in Once Upon a Time in AmericaChinatown, and The Adventures of Pluto Nash.

            Comics writer-artist Keith Giffen (October 9, 2023) created Ambush Bug, co-created Lobo, and left his mark on Legion of Super-HeroesJustice League International, and many more. He also worked for Marvel and others, and for a time storyboarded for Ed, Edd ‘n’ Eddy and The Real Ghostbusters.

            Phyllis Coates (October 11, 2023) was the original TV Lois Lane and appeared in lots of other roles, often in Westerns and other adventure formats. Genre movies included The Incredible Petrified World and I Was a Teenage Frankenstein.

            Actress, infomercial maestro,  and writer Suzanne Somers (October 15, 2023) is well known for roles on Step by Step and Three’s Company. She tantalized a generation of 1970s teenagers as the mysterious “blonde in the T-Bird” of American Graffiti.

            Singer-songwriter and born Tulsan Dwight Twilley (October 18, 2023) recorded twenty-plus albums; his biggest his was 1975’s “I’m on Fire,” which reached #16.

            Rebecca Jackson (October 21, 2023) was a civilian engineer at Tinker AFB, beginning in the mid-1980s. She loved and rescued cats, serving on the board of Pets and People in Yukon. She was also a big-hearted fan of sf, particularly BritTV, and served many video and other roles for Soonercon and ThunderCon. She was a longtime member of Serendipity. 

            Arts advocate Betty Price (October23, 2023) was executive director of the Oklahoma Arts Council 1983-2007. She taught school and gave piano lessons before becoming secretary to an OK senator and providing advice on art-related matters. She also served with OKC’s First Americans Museum.

            Actor Richard Roundtree (October 24, 2023) was an American actor, noted as being “the first black action hero.” He had roles in Roots and Desperate Housewives, but will always demand respect and awe as private dick John Shaft in five films.

            Robert W. Irwin (October 25, 2023) was an American installation artist who explored perception and the conditional in art.

            Actor Richard Moll (October 26, 2023) was famous as Bull Shannon on Night Court 1984-92, as well as voicing Harvey Dent/Two-Face for Batman: The Animated Series and Batman: The New Adventures.

            Actor Matthew Perry (October 28, 2023) made many appearances in TV and film, but was well known as Chandler Bing on Friends, 1994-2004.

            Artist and educator Trey Aven (November 5, 2023) helped the Peace Corp in Ukraine and served in Europe and the Middle East in advisory and dean at several institutions. In the Seventies and Eighties he worked in the Paseo and helped found the district. His biggest pop-culture splash was as the designer for the logo of KATT-FM, “Rock One Hundred, the Katt.”

            Hasher, IT genius, ex-California girl, and Soonercon friend Cyndi Hagood (November 20, 2023) supported her family and communities with every breath, and we’ll miss her.

            Gamer and friend Tim Kellogg (November 22, 2023) loved books, sci-fi, and tabletop gaming action. IRL he worked dispatch for EMSA, impacting lives another way.

            The singing career of Jean Knight (November 22, 2023) spanned the Sixties to the Nineties, and she will always be associated with her biggest hit, the 1971 Number Two “Mr. Big Stuff.”

            Marty Krofft (November 25, 2023) began showbiz as a puppeteer with brother Sid. He produced variety shows featuring the Osmonds and Barbara Mandrell. The Kroffts made a niche in kids programming with TV shows Land of the LostElectra Woman and Dyna GirlThe Banana Splits Adventure Hour, and the ever-trippy H.R. Pufnstuf.

            Actress Frances Sternhagen (November 27, 2023)stepped out on Broadway and in film, but she’s most known for roles in Sex and the CityE.R., and as Esther Clavin in Cheers.

TV writer-producer Norman Lear (December 5, 2023) won six Emmys among other awards. Among his historic shows were Sanford and SonMaudeThe JeffersonsOne Day at a Time, and All in the Family. A big part of their TV success was their being videotaped live with an audience that was sometimes as shocked as the home viewer.

Actor Andre Braugher (December 11, 2023) was an Emmy winner best known for two cop roles: Ray Holt on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and Frank Pembleton on Homicide: Life on the Street.

English actor Richard Franklin (December 24, 2023) was primarily a stage presence, but he ticks the box for Whovians as Captain Mike Yates of Unit, the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce.

Yo-Yo Man, political activist, and guitarist Tom Smothers (December 26, 2023) plated a goofy schtick with his brother Dick. Their variety TV show was canceled by a nervous CBS for monologues and skits referencing hot-button issues of the day. That’s Tom playing with John Lennon in the 1969 “Give Peace a Chance.”

Actor, singer, and choreographer Maurice Hines (December 29, 2023) danced with brother Gregory before going solo. He appeared on Broadway and directed music videos. He had a lead role in the 1984 film The Cotton Club.

Shecky Greene (December 31, 2023) toured the showbiz standup circuit, opening the MGM Grand in 1975 with Dean Martin, and appearing on TV in shows like The Love BoatCombat, and The Fall Guy.

Tulsa TV second fiddle Jim Millaway (December 23, 2023) was a coconspirator on the 1970s cult show Doctor Mazeppa Pompazoidi’s Uncanny Film Festival and Camp Meeting. Besides costarring character Sherman Oakes, Millaway also ran for governor wearing a ski mask, as Mister Mystery. Campaign slogan? “White space increases readership!”

Actress Cindy Morgan (December 30, 2023) appeared in many TV shows and films beginning in the Eighties, when she appeared in 15 episodes of Falcon Crest and American GigoloCaddyshack, and Tron.

Swiss computer whiz Niklaus Wirth (January 1, 2024) among other things, was chief designer for several computer languages, including ALGOL W and PASCAL.

Actor-singer David Soul (January 4, 2024)  appeared in such TV shows as Here Come the Brides and Starsky and Hutch. He had a Number One hit with 1976’s “Don’t Give Up on Us,” and starred in the creepy 1979 TV miniseries Salem’s Lot, along with being one of the natives of Gamma Trianguli VI in TOS “The Apple.”

Writer-producer Tracy Tormé (January 4, 2024) worked on lots of projects including the UFO-abduction film Fire in the Sky, the first two seasons of STTNG, and co-creating the series Sliders.

Jennell Jaquays (January 10, 2024) began playing Dungeons and Dragons in 1975 and went on to design games and provide art. She worked on several DnD modules, created the early fanzine The Dungeoneer, and worked on several conversions from arcade to console, including Donkey Kong and Pac-Man.

Actress Joyce Randolph (January 13, 2024) is most famous as Trixie Morton in Jackie Gleason’s Honeymooners sketches, both on his show and the standalone series.

            Sf writer Howard Waldrop (January 14, 2024) gave back by teaching and working in writers workshops. His most famous story, “The Ugly Chickens” (1980), won World Fantasy and Nebula Awards. His “Thirty Minutes Over Broadway!” kicked off the first Wild Cards book.

Composer, musical parodist, and auditory genius Peter Schickele (January 16, 2024) arranged two Christmas albums for Joan Baez, composed the score for the 1972 Silent Running, and invented several musical instruments, viz: left-handed sewer flute, the tromboon, dill piccolo, and the lasso d’amore. He discovered and perpetrated the music of PDQ Bach, the last and least of Johann’s twenty-odd children (and also the oddest). For years his eclectic music show Schickele Mix aired on Edmond’s KUCO.

            NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter flew its final flight above the dusty surface of Mars January 18, 2024. It was expected to last for about five missions, about a month,  after its April 2021 deployment. But it soldiered through an amazing 72 missions over nearly three years. BTW, it bears a swatch of material from the wing of the original Wright Flyer.

Actor Gary Graham (January 22, 2024) appeared in lots of films, but his biggest genre impact was seen in his several roles in Trek series (like Soval on ST: Enterprise) and his portrayal of Dan Sikes in the Alien Nation series and follow-up TV movies.

            KC-area fan William “Bear” Reed (January 22, 2024) was found at many cons. His day jobs included security and software, but he shared much of his life with other fans in areas like costuming and gaming and fund-raising.

            Songwriter-singer Melanie Safka (January 23, 2024) had several hits in the Seventies, including “Brand New Key” and “What Have They Done to My Song Ma.” Her most impactful song was her 1970 “Lay Down (Candles in the Rain),” inspired by her experience performing at Woodstock.

            Born in Lawton, author N. Scott Momaday ( January 24, 2024) was a poet, novelist, and story writer, winning the Pulitzer for House Made of Dawn. In 2007 he was named the Oklahoma Centennial Poet Laureate.

            Singer-dancer-actress Chita Rivera  (January 30, 2024) appeared on Broadway in such shows as West Side StoryKiss of the Spider WomanChicago, and Bye Bye Birdie. Among other honors she won two Tonys.

            Director-actor and pro-football player Carl Weathers (February 1, 2024) won the role of Apollo Creed by criticizing Sylvester Stallone’s acting. He appeared in lots of dramatic and comedy roles. He starred in the syndicated series Street Justice and provided a voice for the game Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction.

            Modern country-music legend Toby Keith (February 5, 2024) was born in Clinton, OK and memorialized by a street in Moore. His first single “Should’ve Been a Cowboy” hit Number One and started an avalanche. His post-9/11 song “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)” stirred controversy. His foundation aims to help kids and their families as they confront cancer treatment.

            Little-known but of great impact was the life of Patrick Hanks (February 1, 2024). He edited the Collins English Dictionary and the 2017 Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland, which informs us that many names began as insults: “Shakespeare is probably an obscene name, originally for a masturbator.” Hanks also worked at the Linguistics Research Department of AT&T’s Bell Labs.

            Programmer John Walker (February 2, 2024) co-founded the company AutoDesk, helped create AutoCAD, and wrote ANIMAL, which self-replicated on UNIVACs and is considered one of the world’s first computer viruses.

            Japanese conductor Seiji Ozawa (February 6, 2024) directed several important orchestras, made many significant recordings, and premiered works by Ligeti and Messiaen.

            Sf writer Steve Miller (February 20, 2024) co-created the Liaden Universe with his wife Sharon Lee. He published dozens of short stories and novels.

            Comics artist Ramona Fradon (February 24, 2024) began work in the Silver Age and continued.  She drew the newspaper strip Brenda Starr, Girl Reporter for 15 years. She also co-created Aqualad and Metamorpho for DC.

            Actor Kenneth Mitchell (February 24, 2024) appeared in such genre titles as Jericho and ST: Discovery on TV, and as Joseph Danvers in Captain Marvel.

            Stand-up comedian and writer Richard Lewis (February 27, 2024) was known for dark, neurotic stylings. He semi-played himself on Curb Your Enthusiasm, starred in the sitcom Anything but Love, and played Prince John in Robin Hood: Men in Tights.

            Manga artist and character designer Akira Toriyama (March 1, 2024) is best known as the creator of Dragon Ball.

            Singer-schmoozer Steve Lawrence (March 7, 2024) often performed with wife Eydie Gormé. He guest-starred in dozens of TV shows, starred on Broadway, and played Agent Maury Sline in The Blues Brothers and Blues Brothers 2000.

            Okie flyboy Thomas Stafford (March 18, 2024) commanded Apollo 10 in 1969 and the first US-Soviet space mission in 1975. He flew over 100 types of fixed-wing aircraft. Weatherford’s Stafford Air & Space Museum was founded in his honor in 1983. He helped develop the B-2 stealth bomber.

            Actor M. Emmet Walsh (March 19, 2024) appeared in TV and film 200+ times. Some of his genre roles were in Blade RunnerCrittersThe Iron GiantEscape from the Planet of the Apes, and Harry and the Hendersons. He was Barry Allen’s cop father in the 1990 The Flash series.

            Hugo Award-winner and educator Vernor Vinge (March 20, 2024) was one of the first writers to propose cyberspace and popularize the idea of a technological singularity.

            French author-illustrator Laurent de Brunhoff (March 22, 2024) continued the Babar series begun by his father, publishing nearly 50 books in the series.

            Actor Louis Gossett Jr. (March 29, 2024) appeared on Broadway and in films, won an Emmy for his appearance in Roots and an Academy for An Officer and a Gentleman. Some genre work was in Jaws 3DBram Stoker’s Legend of the Mummy, in 22 episodes of The Powers of Matthew Star—and as the Drac “Jerry” in Enemy Mine.

            Actress Barbara Baldavin (March 31, 2024) later became a casting assistant and director for dynastyMatt Houston, and Trapper John, MD. She’s most familiar to genre fans for three appearances on TOS.

            Writer and comedian Joe Flaherty (April 1, 2024) was a man of many small roles in films like Innerspace1941, and Happy Gilmore, but his biggest squeeze on pop-culture hearts was his 1976-84 run on SCTV, where among other characterizations, he created the gloriously pathetic Count Floyd.

            Theoretical physicist Peter Higgs (April 8, 2024) won a Nobel Prize for positing lots of things like a field, mechanism, and boson, which were named in his honor. As an atheist he was amused by the popular conception of the Higgs boson as “the God particle.” In 2012, work at the Large Hadron Collider seemed to confirm its existence.

            Broadcaster Carole Arnold (April 12, 2024) was an OKC radio fixture on KTOK and KOMA. She was hosting a talk show on the morning of the 1995 bombing and fielded questions and comments heroically on that dreadful day.

            Musician Dickey Betts (April 18, 2024) co-founded and appeared in several iterations of the Allman Brothers Band, during which he composed the classic “Ramblin’ Man,” and pioneered with Duane the twin-guitar harmony which characterized the band.

            Oklahoman Charlie Dry (April 27, 2024) was a test astronaut for NASA, which means that he wore the gear and walked the walk before the flyboys.

            Master stunter Jeannie Epper (May 5, 2024) was called “the greatest stuntwoman who’s ever lived” by Entertainment Weekly. Some of her film projects included Romancing the Stone and Minority Report. On TV she doubled for Lindsay Wagner on The Bionic Woman, for Kate Jackson on Charlie’s Angels, and for Lynda Carter on Wonder Woman.

            British actor Bernard Hill (May 5, 2024) had decades of TV and film roles, most notably as Captain Smith in Titanic and as Théoden in the Lord of the Rings films.

            Director-producer Roger Corman (May 9, 2024) earned his crown as “the King of Cult” by smashing into the B-movie and drive-in circuit with dozens of titles of dubious merit but smashing impact, including X: The Man with X-Ray EyesIt Conquered the WorldThe TripLittle Shop of Horrors, and eight Poe-inspired horrors. He mentored many directors who rose to greater fame like Coppola, Howard, Bogdanovich, Dante, and Cameron, and co-founded New World Pictures.

            JediOKC founder Rick Young (May 11, 2024) was a stalwart of Oklahoma fandom, raising funds and sharing his enthusiasm. He was a longtime Soonercon pillar, supporting our community through his directness and all-inclusive joie de vivre.

            Actor Dabney Coleman (May 16, 2024) made a career of playing slick and creepy characters audiences loved to boo. Some big appearances were in The Towering Inferno9 to 5The Muppets Take ManhattanBuffalo Bill and Boardwalk Empire, and dozens more.

            Beginning his career as an electrician, Gordon Bell (May 17, 2024) began teaching computer-design classes in 1957 (yes, 1957), and later wrote the first speech-analysis software at MIT, and helped develop the first UARTs, the later-named modem. He helped reduce computer size to the personal level. The New York Times wrote, “A virtuoso at computer architecture, he built the first time-sharing computer.”

            Organist-vocalist Doug Ingle (May 24, 2024) was primary composer for his 1960s-70s band Iron Butterfly, including the legendary seventeen-minute “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida.”

            With his brother Robert, Disney songwriter Richard Sherman (May 25, 2024) was responsible for more motion picture musical song scores than any other songwriting team in film history. Some of those films include Mary PoppinsThe Jungle BookChitty Chitty Bang BangSnoopy Come HomeBedknobs and Broomsticks and Charlotte’s Web.

* * * *

These people and things impacted the pop-culture REALM, and thus the whole world.  Thanks for reflecting on some of the folks who went before.


Monday, June 17, 2024

A Version of the Truth

That's a part of a piece of some of the stuff we got here.  This article is from the Tulsa World's Sunday TV magazine for November 16, 1995.

Plenty of you little 'uns may not remember a world with THREE Beatles alive.  Believe it or not, once upon a time there were FOUR plus a few extras!  (Do an interwebs search on the album Best of the Beatles to see an example).

See you Thursday!  Soonercon awaits!

Thursday, June 13, 2024

That Professor's Poems Got Musicalized, and Other Scandals

This little squib from the February 1968 English Journal covers the release of The Road Goes Ever On, a song cycle of Tolkien's poems set to music by Donald Swann.  I've heard it aplenty. Some songs are jolly, some ruminative, all fairly direct as you assume Hobbit songs might be.

These two images are from the Letters page of the same issue, concerning an article called "Frodo Lives!" by William Taylor. You can read that article here.  Decide for yourself if Taylor was irreverent to the cult of Tolkien.

See you Monday!

Monday, June 10, 2024

I Miss Her, Too

This is from the July 1, 1985 Amazing Heroes.

Fun scholarship like this was pretty much ruined by the 1700 versions of DC continuity we've seen since 1985.

Do you miss Kara, too?

Thursday, June 06, 2024

Still Haven't Seen It

The film Deliverance came out in 1972, based on James Dickey's 1970 novel of the same name.  In junior high I bought a paperback copy and read it several times.
As you can see, it's a tie in to the film.

Well, I decided to make my own cover, using watercolors and art paper from my art class.
If you can't figure out this image, you need to read the book again.  See you Monday!

Monday, June 03, 2024



One compulsive reader’s observations ...

after gazing into Watchmen for the umpteenth time




All right, I’ve got photons in my teeth and my wrist brace on ...



            On page 3, we’re told that the US is at DEFCON 2.  According to Wikipedia, this is the “next step to nuclear war.”  The Armed Forces are supposed to be ready to deploy and engage in less than 6 hours.

            In our world, DEFCON 2 has been achieved:

·       by the Strategic Air Command during the Cuban Missile Crisis, October 24-November 15, 1962.  The rest of the armed services remained at DEFCON 3

·       by US forces on January 15, 1991, at the beginning of Desert Storm

            Dan knows where Rorschach’s neighborhood is because it was in the news reports.

            It makes fine background noise, but I cannot imagine a world in which somebody would take the time to walk down this blind alley to paste “SOLD OUT” notices over the posters for the Pale Horse concert.

            Here’s a glimpse of Walter Kovacs experiencing (and expressing) compassion.

            What is “the delivery”?  It must be the delivery to Karnak of the Space Squid, as mentioned in Chapter 8 by Max Shea.  Veidt’s servants supervised “the reception” unaided.

             Surely it is not an accident that the tape reels on the shelf of Veidt’s cart look like radiation symbols!

            Another step in the transformation of Rorschach back into Walter Kovacs:  an apology.

            It’s a cute touch by Moore, having Bernard say “Book of Revolutions” instead of “Revelations,” the last book of the New Testament.  A lot of people don’t know that the book is “The Revelation to John,” not plural “revelations.”  The title is from the first word of the book, apokalypsis, which means “the unveiling.”

            I absolutely love Dreiberg’s line about how the upward curve must be Veidt’s IQ or his income!

            Has there ever been any computer on Earth that PROMPTED you to hack it, as Veidt’s does here?

            The epigraph has quotation marks in original.

            The quotation marks aren’t there in the bound editions.

             Well, now we know why Veidts computer is so user-friendly.  No matter the nameplate on the computer, this dot-matrix font closely resembles Apples Chicago Font.  This had to have been on purpose!

            Well, we’ll see you soon for the final two chapters in Watchmen.


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© by Mark Alfred