Check your tickets. The winning numbers today are 4 and 770.
(1) Our Fantastic Four correspondent James H. Burns has discovered a website for an imaginary 1963-1964 FF television series with many clever faux production photos.
Elizabeth Montgomery and Russell Johnson were producer William Frye’s first choices to play Sue Storm and Reed Richards. Although neither Johnson or Montgomery were yet huge stars, Frye had worked with both on separate episodes of Thriller. He had also enjoyed Johnson’s work in This Island Earth, and Montgomery had initially attracted his attention with her Emmy-nominated performance as doomed nightclub performer Rusty Heller in The Untouchables.
Episode #5 was written by Harlan Ellison, and others were scripted by sf stalwarts Jerome Bixby, Theodore Sturgeon and Charles Beaumont.
Why is it impossible to watch this classic today?
The tapes of the actual episodes and most of the production notes were destroyed in a warehouse fire in southern California in 1974.
Because — “Flame on!”
(2) MiceAge has the scoop on plans to add “Star Wars Land” and “Marvel Land” to Disneyland and Disney California Adventure respectively:
The majority of Star Wars Land in the northernmost park acreage will be inside a massive series of show buildings, meaning the land won’t have to close for fireworks fallout. The rides and shows in the land itself are being developed in a top secret Imagineering lab in Glendale with Imagineers signing extra confidentiality agreements because the plotlines and characters are pulled from the next three episodes in the Star Wars saga and the Lucasfilm folks understandably guard that information with their lives. But what we can tell you is that Star Wars Land will include multiple attractions, anchored by a mega E Ticket using a trackless vehicle that will break the mold when it comes to how theme park visitors interact with a ride environment.
The plans to expand DCA again with a Marvel Land behind Tower of Terror continue to move ahead, and the E Ticket thrill ride that is planned to anchor that expansion is going to be very unique. The ride will feature a newly Imagineered hybrid ride system that might be best described as a combination of Rock N’ Roller Coaster and Universal’s Transformers ride using every trick and gimmick WDI can throw at it, including on-board audio and effects and elaborate sets and animatronics.
(3) The Star Wars franchise is expanding in every direction. Even cosmetics. Nerdist has loads of pictures of the CoverGirl Star Wars: The Force Awakens makeup collection.
The line includes six new lipstick colors, three shades of nail polish, and ten tubes of mascara featuring quotes from the Star Wars films–including the first six films and The Force Awakens. CoverGirl Global Creative Design Director Pat McGrath has come up with six different and dramatic looks using products from the collection, and those are being unveiled at CoverGirl’s Star Wars Tumblr.
There isn’t much at the Tumblr today, maybe later on. Plenty to look at in the Nerdist post, though.
(5) The New York Times reports on a variety of computers with personality – “Siri, Tell Me a Joke. No, a Funny One”
Fred Brown, founder and chief executive of Next IT, which creates virtual chatbots, said his company learned firsthand the importance of creating a computer with a sense of humor when he asked his 13-year-old daughter, Molly, to test Sgt. Star, the Army’s official chatbot, which allows potential recruits to ask questions about the Army, just as you would in a recruiting station. Molly was chatting with Sgt. Star when she looked up and said, “Dad, Sergeant Star is dumb.” When he asked why, she said, “He has to have a favorite color, and it can’t be Army green.” Turns out, more than a quarter of the questions people ask Sgt. Star have nothing to do with the Army after Next IT programmed it with more human answers.
So, the field is essentially returning to its Marxist roots. But the starry-eyedness is mostly gone. Now we’re down to the raw hate of the thing: the vengeance-minded outliers and weirdos, determined to punish wrongdoing and wrongthinking and wrongfeeling. Which means, of course, smoking out all the wrongfans having all the wrongfun with their wrongstuff.
If they could clap us in shackles, put us into the boxcars, and send us to the icy wastes to die, they would do it in a heartbeat.
Because — by golly! — somebody has to make things be safe!
(7) Some writers can’t fathom how File 770 gets credit for being a radical hangout.
@PrinceJvstin kind of hilarious since File 770 isn't nearly so vociferously opinionated as most other blogs.
— Rachael Acks (@katsudonburi) August 13, 2015
(8) Today’s birthday boy: Alfred Hitchcock, born in 1899.
[Thanks to James H. Burns, Petréa Mitchell, Mark, Gregory Benford, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Cubist .]