Out Of This World: Vanishing Act

Out Of This WorldBritish broadcaster ABC airs the eighth episode of science fiction anthology series Out Of This World. Written by Richard Waring, this is one of only two of the series’ scripts not based upon a prior literary work, and is introduced by Boris Karloff (in much the same way that Rod Serling introduced episodes of The Twilight Zone). This episode no longer exists in the archives.

More about Out Of This World and Out Of The Unknown in the LogBook

Math Gran Prix

Math Gran PrixAtari releases its “edutainment” cartridge Math Gran Prix for the Atari VCS, a title designed to stave off critics of video games’ negative effects on kids’ schoolwork. Perhaps predictably, Math Gran Prix fails to cross the retail finish line – the same parents complaining that the Atari is keeping homework from getting done aren’t buying educational games for it.

More about Math Gran Prix in Phosphor Dot Fossils

Colecovision released

ColecovisionThe video game wars officially enter a new generation of hardware as Connecticut-based toymaker Coleco unveils the Colecovision home video game system. Packaged with an almost-but-not-quite-arcade-accurate port of the hit game Donkey Kong, and pushed by an advertising campaign focusing on the message of “bringing the arcade experience home,” Colecovision’s best opening gambit may be an “Expansion Module” allowing the use of Atari VCS games on the console, making it possible for Atari owners to step up without having to rebuild their game libraries from scratch.

More about Colecovision in Phosphor Dot Fossils

Elmer Bernstein, movie composer, dies

Airplane!Renowned composer Elmer Bernstein dies at the age of 82. Best known for his non-genre work on such classic films as The Ten Commandments, To Kill A Mockingbird, The Magnificent Seven (and its numerous sequels), Animal House, True Grit and Airplane!, he also racked up quite a few genre credits, ranging from Ghostbusters to Heavy Metal to Saturn 3 and beyond. He also scored numerous specials and documentaries for National Geographic, IBM, and even the United Nations. He was nominated for 11 Oscars with one win (for Thoroughly Modern Millie), and was instrumental in the formation of the Varese Sarabande label, which deals almost exclusively in soundtrack releases.

NASA, SpaceX sign cargo launch agreement

Dragon at the ISSImpressed with the progress shown by the commercial spaceflight industry, NASA signs agreements with SpaceX, a venture started by PayPal founder Elon Musk, and Oklahoma-based Rocketplane Kistler (RPK) to begin developing spacecraft that can deliver cargo and, later, astronauts to the International Space Station. RPK’s bid eventually collapses in financial scandal, though SpaceX goes on to create Dragon, the first privately-funded vehicle to visit the ISS in 2012.

Masters Of Science Fiction: Jerry Was A Man

Masters Of Science FictionThe third episode of ABC’s science fiction anthology series Masters Of Science Fiction, drawing on the genre’s literary greats and hosted by Professor Stephen Hawking, is broadcast. Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange, Star Trek: Generations) and Anne Heche (Wag The Dog) star in an adaptation of a Robert A. Heinlein short story.

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