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Happy Birthday, Thea Gilmore! November 25, 2017

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Happy Birthday to Thea Gilmore!! A wonderful musician with a style and feel to her music that is both interesting, fresh, and lyrically gorgeous.

And she’s also got a Christmas album, Strange Communion, which is now one of my favourite Christmas albums.

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Happy Birthday, You-Know-Who! November 23, 2017

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Today is one of those days when something remarkably good and life affirming comes along.

Today is a birthday, but not just of any one person, but of a special tv series.

On this date, November 23rd, 1963, the BBC debuted the first episode of a brand new science fiction television programme called… Doctor Who. Entitled “An Unearthly Child”, that first episode (which aired when I was 8 years old, and the memories I have of it still to this day…) starred William Hartnell as the Doctor (referred to always as Dr. Who or Doctor Who) and introduced the world to this mysterious traveller and his incredible time machine known as the TARDIS.

The episode also featured Carole Ann Ford as Susan (Foreman), Jacqueline Hill as Barbara Wright and William Russell as Ian Chesterton. The story began when two school teachers shared their concerns about one of their pupils – Susan. She’s brilliant in some subjects but bizarrely out of kilter in others. To assuage their curiosity, they follow her home, but discover ‘home’ is a blue police box in an old junk yard. Once they enter the box their lives, and television history, would never be the same.

I still have fond memories of the travels of William Hartnell’s Doctor and his companions – the planet Skaro, and those creatures called Daleks, and then having the Daleks show up on Earth!; visiting with Marco Polo; a terrifying trip in time to visit the Aztecs; the planet Marinus, and its denizens, the Voord; the Doctor and his companions being reduced to tiny versions of themselves and having to survive in a world of giants; a visit to the Crusades, and meeting Richard the Lionheart; the planet of the Menoptera and the Animus; and so many more – and grew up with the series in those early years. I remember being shocked and startled at the regeneration of William Hartnell’s Doctor into the younger Patrick Troughton, but still loved the Doctor, and revelled in the newness and different feel that Troughton brought to the role. So many good memories of the early Doctor Who series. And of the continuing history of the show with different actors taking on the persona of the Doctor over the years. This show pretty much sparked my interests in both history (some time periods more than others!) and time travel, and gave me a different view of how tv and movie science fiction could be (as did Star Trek later on).

What it comes down to is this: Doctor Who has been a part of my life for 54 years (!!), and that battered blue box is still transporting the Time Lord known as the Doctor (who’s been through a few bodies!) and his various companions to worlds of wonder and adventure. And whole new generations of children got to discover the Doctor with the Chris Eccleston, David Tennant, Matt Smith, and Peter Capaldi interpretations of the characters. And now, a whole new era for the series begins with the first woman, Jodie Whitaker, about to take on the role of the Doctor. I’m looking forward to it, believe me. But for me, William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton will always be *my* Doctors. So…

Happy Birthday, Doctor, and long may you continue your travels through time and space (regardless of what gender you are in any incarnation of the character)!

Happy Birthday, Ursula K. Le Guin! October 21, 2017

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Today is the birthday of one of my favourite writers of all-time, Ursula K. Le Guin.

Many of us who read science fiction and fantasy were likely influenced by her early writings, such as the Earthsea trilogy, and the Hainish series (including The Left Hand of Darkness), and I am staggered by the sheer amount of material that she has written over the years and which I have in my possession. And honoured to own.

While I began with Asimov, Tolkien, and some of the other great writers who dominated the late 1950s (as my dad felt that I should read the sf and f that was written during the decade of my birth and before), it was the words and prose of Le Guin’s writing that gave me my love of social science fiction, and introduced me to the social sciences in such a terrific fashion.

Happy Birthday, UKL!! May the Goddess bless you with health, happiness, prosperity, and the ability to keep us entertained with enjoyable, thought-provoking books and short stories for many years to come! 🙂

Current Mood: awake awake
Current Music:Santana – “Black Magic Woman”

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Happy Birthday, Ciarán McMenamin October 1, 2017

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There’s a birthday in the Primeval tv series family today.

Happy Birthday to Ciarán McMenamin today!

Ciarán is the talented actor who played Matt Anderson in Series 4 and 5 of the Primeval tv series. Ciarán, who turns 41 years of age today, has a pretty decent set of credits in both television and film (see the link above).

It took me a few episodes of watching Primeval UK Series 4 to come to like the character of Matt, who had all manner of secrets (but don’t most of the characters in the series?), and the last moment of Series 5 made me desperately want to see more of Matt (both of him). Sorry that the series is gone, to be honest, as I’d really come to like his character.

So here’s wishing Ciarán McMenamin a terrific birthday today!

Happy Birthday, Jason Flemyng! September 25, 2017

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There’s a birthday in the Primeval tv series family today.

Happy Birthday to Jason Flemyng today!

Jason is the talented actor who played Danny Quinn in Series 3 of the Primeval tv series, and who reprised the role in Series 4 a couple of times. Jason, who turns 50 years of age today, has a pretty impressive CV in movies and tv, appearing in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998), Snatch (2000), Rob Roy (1995), From Hell (2001), and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003). He’s done some prominent work in both theatre and television in the UK (check out the link above). He also speaks fluent French. A lot of tv and science fiction fans remember him for his work on Primeval UK, though he’s done a lot of other work, too. One of his more memorable turns of recent years was as the villainous Vadim in The Musketeers (2014).

I can’t say that Danny Quinn was one of my favourite characters in Primeval, but I certainly warmed to him by the end of Series 3, and was sorry to see him depart. His reappearance in Series 4 came as quite a surprise, a pleasant one.

So here’s wishing Jason Flemyng a terrific birthday today!

It’s H.G. Wells’s Birthday September 21, 2017

Posted by jkahane in birthday, book hut, history, reading hut, science hut.
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For those who are unaware of such things or just plain don’t necessarily care about them, today is H.G. Wells‘s birthday. Well, would have been, if he were still alive.

An outspoken socialist and pacifist, Wells is considered one of the two “Fathers of Science Fiction” (the other being Jules Verne). He led a remarkable life, wrote some fascinating books that were and still are considered science fiction romances, but had other claims to fame as well.

While I first read Asimov’s Foundation as my introduction to science fiction when I was 9 or so, it was Wells’s The Time Machine that may well have cemented my love of the genre, and taught me that “modern” sf in 1965 or thereabouts had predecessors that were just as important to read and know about.

Rest well, George Herbert Wells. You earned it.

Happy Birthday, Matt McFarland! August 15, 2017

Posted by jkahane in birthday, chill rpg, gaming hut, personal, roleplaying games, rpg hut.
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Happy Birthday, Matt! 🙂

Today is the birthday of Matthew McFarland, one of the nicest people in the gaming industry that you’re likely to meet.

Also known as “BlackHat Matt”, Matt works as a speech-language pathologist during the day, but has been writing and developing roleplaying games professionally since 1998. He’s got a lot of rpg writing and assorted work under his belt, but is currently a founder of the company Growling Door Games
and has just released the Monsters Sourcebook for the Chill 3rd Edition RPG.

May the Goddess bless you with happiness, health, prosperity, and good cheer for the coming year. May you always have a warm breeze at your back. And may the next year also be a Chilly one as well. 🙂

Here’s hoping you have a terrific birthday, Matt! 🙂

Happy Birthday, Ian Anderson August 10, 2017

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Happy Birthday, Ian Anderson! 🙂

Ian Anderson, the lead singer of the British progressive rock group Jethro Tull, celebrates his 69th birthday today. I have long been a fan of Jethro Tull and Ian Anderson’s solo work, and am delighted that Ian is celebrating another birthday.

::singing::
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday, dear Ian,
Happy Birthday to you!
::stop singing::

Best wishes, Ian. 🙂

Oh, and for those who want to learn more about Ian’s work and Jethro Tull, just follow the link. 🙂

Happy Birthday, Abigail Spencer! August 4, 2017

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Happy Birthday, Abigail Spencer!

It’s Abigail Spencer’s birthday today. The talented actress who was born in Florida turns 36 years old today.

I’m a huge fan of Abigail’s portrayal of Lucy Preston on the Timeless tv series (which will be back for a second, or is it a third season?, hooray!), but also know her from her work on Rectify (fabulous show, go watch it!), Suits and Mad Men. And she’ll be appearing in a multi-episode story arc this fall on Grey’s Anatomy, in addition to her continuing work on Timeless.

Here’s wishing Abigail Spencer a wonderful birthday. May the Goddess bless you with good health, happiness, prosperity, and a long run on Timeless! 🙂

In Honour of Kate’s Birthday July 30, 2017

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In honour of her birthday…

Happy Birthday, Kate! 🙂