Pixel Scroll 6/20/24 Brush Up Your ScrollSpeare, Start Pixeling Now

(1) THIS WAY TO THE EGRESS. “Fairy Doors are Popping Up all Around Brooklyn Heights. Why?” asks La Voce di New York.

Brooklyn Heights is beginning to look like something out of a storybook, as there have been numerous sightings of fairy doors throughout the neighborhood.

More than a dozen of these tiny doors, made in different sizes, decorations, and colors, have been found on trees on Pineapple, Willow, Cranberry, and Middagh streets, in addition to others.

According to experts, fairy doors are actually portals to the fairy dimension, and some friendly artistic humans have been known to construct these gateways.

In a survey conducted by the Brooklyn Eagle’s Magic and Enhancements Bureau, 100% of the neighborhood respondents said they welcomed the fairies.

“We are thrilled, but not surprised, that the fairy folk have decided that Brooklyn Heights is a great place to make home,” Lara Birnback, executive director of the Brooklyn Heights Association, told the Eagle. “Please let them know that if they have any questions about landmarking permits or where to find the best Negroni in the neighborhood, they should give the BHA a call.”

Some long-time residents of Brooklyn Heights said they’ve never seen so many fairies in the neighborhood.

“I’m extremely happy they’ve arrived- and in force,” Dr. Jon Berall, a physician and inventor, told the Eagle. “These are tricky times and we need all the help we can get.”

While numerous people have said they have spotted the doors, only a few have been lucky enough to spot the fairies themselves….

(2) TEDDY HARVIA CARTOON. Teddy is keeping the aarrgh in Argus.

(3) OCTOTHORPE. In Episode 112 of the Octothorpe podcast, “Ceilidhs I Have Been to Are Not, Generally Speaking, Competitive”, hosts John Coxon, Alison Scott, and Liz Batty beam down for a look at the financial report from Levitation (Eastercon 2024) before talking about FunCon, the UK Games Expo, and the upcoming Glasgow Worldcon. An uncorrected transcript is available here.

Octothorpe 112 is beaming down to a planet near you! In this episode we look at the financial report from Levitation (Eastercon 2024) before talking about FunCon, the UK Games Expo, and the upcoming Glasgow Worldcon.

Artwork is by Hugo Award Finalist, España Sheriff.

John, Alison and Liz stand in the transporter on a Constitution-class Federation starship. They are mid-transportation, made of sparkles instead of fully fleshed out. The words “Octothorpe 112” appear beneath them.

(4) FATAL TITANTIC DIVE. WIRED has obtained copies of internal documentation to use as the basis of its story: “The Titan Submersible Disaster Shocked the World. The Exclusive Inside Story Is More Disturbing Than Anyone Imagined”

…The model had imploded thousands of meters short of the safety margin OceanGate had designed for.

In the high-stakes, high-cost world of crewed submersibles, most engineering teams would have gone back to the drawing board, or at least ordered more models to test. Rush’s company didn’t do either of those things. Instead, within months, OceanGate began building a full-scale Cyclops 2 based on the imploded model. This submersible design, later renamed Titan, eventually made it down to the Titanic in 2021. It even returned to the site for expeditions the next two years. But nearly one year ago, on June 18, 2023, Titan dove to the infamous wreck and imploded, instantly killing all five people onboard, including Rush himself.

The disaster captivated and horrified the world. Deep-sea experts criticized OceanGate’s choices, from Titan’s carbon-fiber construction to Rush’s public disdain for industry regulations, which he believed stifled innovation. Organizations that had worked with OceanGate, including the University of Washington as well as the Boeing Company, released statements denying that they contributed to Titan.

A trove of tens of thousands of internal OceanGate emails, documents, and photographs provided exclusively to WIRED by anonymous sources sheds new light on Titan’s development, from its initial design and manufacture through its first deep-sea operations. The documents, validated by interviews with two third-party suppliers and several former OceanGate employees with intimate knowledge of Titan, reveal never-before-reported details about the design and testing of the submersible. They show that Boeing and the University of Washington were both involved in the early stages of OceanGate’s carbon-fiber sub project, although their work did not make it into the final Titan design. The trove also reveals a company culture in which employees who questioned their bosses’ high-speed approach and decisions were dismissed as overly cautious or even fired. (The former employees who spoke to WIRED have asked not to be named for fear of being sued by the families of those who died aboard the vessel.) Most of all, the documents show how Rush, blinkered by his own ambition to be the Elon Musk of the deep seas, repeatedly overstated OceanGate’s progress and, on at least one occasion, outright lied about significant problems with Titan’s hull, which has not been previously reported.

A representative for OceanGate, which ceased all operations last summer, declined to comment on WIRED’s findings….

(5) DONALD SUTHERLAND (1935-2024). [Item by Mike Kennedy.] Actor Donald Sutherland died June 20. His son, Kiefer Sutherland, made the announcement on X.com:

“With a heavy heart, I tell you that my father, Donald Sutherland, has passed away. I personally think one of the most important actors in the history of film. Never daunted by a role, good, bad or ugly. He loved what he did and did what he loved, and one can never ask for more.”

Though not known primarily for his sfnal work, with about 200 credits to his name Sutherland did have quite a few notable genre appearances. He would probably be best known in that respect for his role as President Snow in the Hunger Games movies, playing Merrick in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie, and being the lead in the 1978 remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. He also had a lead role in 1994‘s adaptation of Heinlein’s The Puppet Masters.

… “It’s characters who make pictures,” he told The Times in 1995. “Essentially my job is to provide information about them.” 

Deep in his career, as he shifted between leading and character parts, Sutherland thrived in smaller roles that ordinarily called for an older actor who’d long ago been typecast as a villain or a kooky sidekick. But Sutherland had the winning ability to transform those small roles into complex characters who often helped elevate the film….

(6) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

June 20, 1928 Martin Landau. (Died 2017.) Martin Landau’s first genre adjacent role I discovered was a quite minor one as a character named Leonard in Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest.  

His first actual genre role was on The Twilight Zone as the character Dan Hotaling. “Mr. Denton on Doomsday”. The town drunk Al Denton (played by Dan Duryea whose final role was the Cold War propaganda SF film The Bamboo Saucer — please don’t ask), once a feared gunslinger but now an object of pity and scorn, is forced to draw against a sadistic bully (the Martin Landau character). This being The Twilight Zone I think you can guess what deservedly happens. 

He’d have one more appearance in The Twilight Zone as Major Ivan Kuchenko in “The Jeopardy Room” where as an escaped political prisoner who is attempting to defect, he is trapped inside a hotel room in an unnamed, neutral country. He is told the room is, in various ways deadly to him and he cannot leave. His captors have him as their victim, or so it seems? Remember this is The Twilight Zone

Martin Landau in 1968.

From there he moves on to The Outer Limits, where he was the featured performer in two episodes. The first was “The Man Who Was Never Born” (originally titled “Cry of the Unborn”) in which he was Andro, one of the few survivors of a biological disaster brought on by an ambitious scientist who isolated and developed a viral symbiont from an interstellar microbe. The story from there is about love and time travel and, well, that’s enough in case that some here decades on hasn’t seen it.

The second story has him playing Richard Bellero in “The Bellero Shield”, which takes its plot possibly from MacBeth notes more than one reviewer largely because of Richard’s conniving wife, Judith.  The story, however, has to do with technology gone awry, an alien who offers redemption and, well I’m stopping there.

He is as brilliant in both roles that he did for The Outer Limits as he was in his two Twilight Zone roles. For the moment setting aside his Mission: Impossible role, any other genre performances?

He was much in demanding in the Sixties, so he made one-off appearances on I-Spy as Danny Preston in “Danny Was a Million Laughs”;  as George Grimm in The Wild Wild West in “The Night of the Red Eyed Madman”, a juicy role for him as our agents find a militant group planning to overthrow the federal government, led by the insane General Grimm played by, oh guess; again in The Man from U.N.C.L.E., he was the lead villain role of Count Zark in “The Bat Cave Affair” a Thrush agent, operating out of Transylvania who has developed a worldwide menace involving bats. His role on Get Smart is as Max’s new face in “Pheasant Under Glass”. Max needs a new face to be part of the secret rescue plan after letting his photograph be published. Landau provides that face but was uncredited in the episode. 

Now let’s talk about hisother two major roles. He played Rollin Hand, which the Mission: Impossible fandom wiki describes as “an actor, a magician, and a master of disguises and voices who billed himself as ‘The Man Of A Million Faces’ and ‘The World’s Greatest Impersonator’. It goes on to call him a grifter, a term I don’t remember from that series but which was used to describe Sophie Devereux on Leverage.  He had a wonderful intensity to him in that role. 

To achieve many of Rollin’s acts of impersonation, some of the characters he imitated were played by him in a double role under extensive make-up. This technique is used prominently in the first episode of the series, where Landau plays dictator similar to Castro whom Rollin must impersonate during a national broadcast. When Landau and his wife at that time, Barbara Bain, left the show after the third season, and Leonard Nimoy joined the series as The Great Paris which was essentially the same role as Rollin.

His other major series role was John Koenig, the ninth and, as far as is known, last Commander of Moonbase Alpha. I’d like to say I’ve a clear picture of him in that role but I don’t think that I’ve seen more than a handful of episodes of the Moonbase Alpha series.

I’m stopping now before this Birthday gets any longer. Really I am. 

(7) COMICS SECTION.

(8) N3F LAUREATE AWARDS. The National Fantasy Fan Federation decided to squander a 2024 Laureate Award on an exhibition of schadenfreude at the expense of the Hugos.

 The 2024 Laureate Awards

  • Best Fan Writer: Heath Row
  • Best Fan Editor: Janice L. Newman
  • Best Non-N3F Fan Publication: Spartacus
  • Best N3F Fanzine: Tightbeam
  • Best Fan Web Site: galacticjourney.org/
  • Best Novel: To Spy a Star by Jonathan Nevair
  • Best Shorter Work or Anthology: Simultaneous Times, Vol. 3, ed. Jean-Paul L. Garnier
  • Best Editor: (a tie) Lida Quillen (Twilight Times Books) / Jean-Paul L. Garnier (Space Cowboy Books)
  • Best History of SF Work: 2023 First Fandom Annual “First Fandom Conversations”
  • Best None of the Above: Best example of how not to run fan awards: The 2023 Hugo Awards

 (9) BRIDGERTON INTEREST SAGS. JustWatch analyzed the split-season model and found that interest in Bridgerton Season 3 Part 2 dropped by 48.9%.

They created this report by pulling data from the week following the release of Bridgerton, and compared it to the previous two seasons. JustWatch Streaming Charts are calculated by user activity, including: clicking on a streaming offer, adding a title to a watchlist, and marking a title as ‘seen’. This data is collected from >40 million movie & TV show fans per month. It is updated daily for 140 countries and 4,500 streaming services.

(10) VIDEO OF THE DAY. From Gizmodo we learn that “The Penguin’s New Trailer Teases the Crimes That Come After The Batman”.

Max has released a second trailer for The Penguin, its upcoming spinoff of Matt Reeves’ The Batman starring Colin Farrell as crime lord Oswald Cobblepott….

[Thanks to, Mike Kennedy, Andrew Porter, John King Tarpinian, Jean-Paul L. Garnier, Chris Barkley, Cat Eldridge, SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie, Steven French, Teddy Harvia, and Kathy Sullivan for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Andrew (not Werdna).]


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14 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 6/20/24 Brush Up Your ScrollSpeare, Start Pixeling Now

  1. I hear that there’s a multitverse of Mikes putting out an infinity of Scrolls. Shall we go read them? All we need to do is follow Pixel through the nearest wall.

  2. (1) Egress is right. They’re obviously being set up by people who want out of this reality (if that’s actually a valid word for right now).
    (4) The model failed, and he went ahead? And from what’s here, it looks like Boeing and UWash realized what was going on, and got the hell out.
    (5) Wait, Hawkeye a “villain or kooky sidekick”? I think not.

  3. Martin Landau had a wonderful late career role as an elderly Bela Lugosi in the movie “Ed Wood”

    “Ed Wood” also featured his daughter Juliet Landau

  4. @Thomas the Red wrote:

    “Ed Wood” also featured his daughter Juliet Landau

    TIL that Drusilla from Buffy the Vampire Slayer tv show was also in Ed Wood (and that Juliet Landau, who I remembered from BtVS, oh her father was Martin Landau).

  5. (1) A little voice (sounding like Seanan McGuire) is telling me to “Be Sure” before going through one of those doors, waywardly.

    (5) I haven’t heard much good about the Puppet Masters movie, but Donald Sutherland seems like perfect casting for “The Old Man.”

    (6) I think Landau was on Roddenberry’s list of potential Vulcans if Nimoy had demanded too much money.

    Thanks for the Title Credit (still haven’t resolved my notification problem, but I’m not giving up).

  6. 5) One of my two favorite movies is a genre movie starring Donald Sutherland — Don’t Look Now, directed by Nicolas Roeg, based on a Daphne du Maurier story. (The other is Casablanca. I can never figure out which is number 1 and which is number 2.)

  7. 1)

    100% of the neighborhood respondents said they welcomed the fairies.

    Well, of course they did. When the Fair Folk show up, you’d better say you’re pleased to see them.

    4) You know what else stifles innovation? 4,285 psi of water pressure. Does a very thorough job of it.

    6) Martin Landau’s character in North by North-West is maybe a little more significant than you suggest. Leonard is the faithful companion and hatchet-man for the main villain, Philip Vandamm (played by James Mason). The very, very faithful, very close companion – look, it was 1959 and they weren’t allowed to say gay, all right? But the coding is pretty clear.

    He was in the X-Files Fight the Future movie as Dr. Alvin Kurtzweil, one of those ambiguous people on the fringes of The Conspiracy, whatever it was.

    And of course there was Space:1999… I have a great and abiding love for the first season of Space:1999, when the stories were weird and extravagant and hugely ambitious. They weren’t always successful, but that’s a risk you run when your storytelling is ambitious; sometimes, you’ll fall flat on your face. Of the second (and final) season, under the auspices of producer Fred Freiberger, all I can say is that Landau did the best he could with the material.

    Fred Freiberger also produced the third (and final) season of the original Star Trek, and, I find today, the few existing episodes of the first (and truncated, and final) season of Beyond Westworld. What’s that quote from Ian Fleming’s Goldfinger? Oh, yes…. “Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, three times is enemy action.”

  8. @steveWright some years ago, some pointed out that coding and now I can unsee it. Landau even says he has a “Women’s intuition” at one point. So, yeah

  9. 6) Was Moonbase Alpha the US title for what in Britain was screened as Space 1999 (or, as Bob Shaw had it, Space $19.99? Watched very few episodes of that, since it didn’t seem to deserve any more.

    But Landau was excellent in a late (live-action, Italian set – as in the original book – rather than Tyrolean as Disney would have it) version of Pinocchio. And yes, he was excellent as Lugosi, too.

  10. 6) Was Moonbase Alpha the US title for what in Britain was screened as Space 1999 (or, as Bob Shaw had it, Space $19.99? Watched very few episodes of that, since it didn’t seem to deserve any more.

    No, it was “Space 1999” here in the states, also (at least durin the first run).

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