The Fujita Scale

Dr. FujitaDr. Tetsuya Theodore Fujita, a pioneering researcher in the formation and development of severe weather, proposes a scale for judging the intensity of tornadoes by the damage left behind. His five-point scale covers minimal tornadoes (F1) through storms capable of inflicting incredible damage (F5), with damage surveyed after a storm to determine the physical effects and the estimated wind speed needed to cause those effects. The Fujita Scale is adopted almost worldwide, remaining in widespread use by severe weather researchers and government agencies until it is supplanted by the more refined Enhanced Fujita Scale in the 1990s.

Manimal: Night Of The Beast

ManimalThe eighth episode of Glen A. Larson’s superhero series Manimal airs on NBC, starring Simon MacCorkindale, Melody Anderson, and Michael D. Roberts. Jeff Corey (The Outer Limits, Babylon 5) and Robert Englund (V, A Nightmare On Elm Street) guest star in the final episode; due to declining ratings, NBC has cancelled the series. MacCorkindale will reprise the role of Jonathan Chase in an episode of Larson’s 1990s superhero series, NightMan, appropriately titled Manimal.

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The X-Files: Fire

The X-FilesThe 12th episode of Chris Carter’s modern-day science fiction series The X-Files airs on Fox, starring Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny, and guest starring Amanda Pays (Max Headroom, The Flash). This episode features one of the earliest TV appearances of actor Mark Sheppard (Firefly, Supernatural).

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The X-Files: Via Negativa

The X-FilesThe 168th episode of Chris Carter’s modern-day science fiction series The X-Files airs on Fox, starring Gillian Anderson and Robert Patrick. Keith Szarabajka and Wayne Alexander (Babylon 5) guest star.

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Galileo lives!

GalileoNASA and JPL ground controllers coax the radiation-damaged tape recorder built into the Galileo probe into working again, finally allowing several weeks worth of scientific data to be replayed to Earth. The damage was suffered during Galileo’s closest pass by Jupiter to study the tiny moon Amalthea the previous month. With layoffs looming for many of Galileo’s ground control staff in early 2003, this is Galileo’s last chance to relay its scientific findings back to Earth. It is on a trajectory that will end its mission by plunging into Jupiter in 2003.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Star WarsThe first Star Wars movie to be produced since Lucasfilm’s 2012 sale to Disney, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, premieres. Co-written and directed by J.J. Abrams, The Force Awakens stars Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver and Oscar Isaac, alongside original trilogy stars Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill, all reprising their roles. Seemingly universal anticipation for the continuation of the saga propels the movie’s box office take past a half-billion dollars within half a month of release.

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Mars: The Shakeup

MarsThe 12th episode of Mars airs on the National Geographic Channel, concluding the series’ second season. The series is a hybrid drama/documentary about a fictional human colony on Mars in 2042, contrasted against efforts to prepare for such a mission in the present day. The series is produced by Ron Howard (Apollo 13). Esai Morales guest stars.

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Jeremy Bulloch, actor, dies

Jeremy BullochBritish actor Jeremy Bulloch, best known internationally for playing the role of Boba Fett in The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return Of The Jedi (1983), dies at the age of 75. A child actor who went professional at a young age, Bulloch made two Doctor Who appearances (The Space Museum, 1965 and The Time Warrior, 1973), and made guest appearances in Strange Report, Chocky, and Robin of Sherwood. His initial appearance as Boba Fett was considered a very minor role for him as he was, at the time, starring in the popular UK sitcom Agony, broadcast on London Weekend Television, and his combined appearances in both Star Wars films added up to less than two minutes of screen time. After making a fleeting appearance as an unrelated character in 2005‘s Star Wars Episode III, Bulloch became a regular in the 2009 sci-fi comedy Starhyke, co-starring as the ship’s doctor. Like many of his other masked Star Wars castmates, his helmet afforded him little anonymity and he was a favorite on the sci-fi convention circuit.