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April & May 2006
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"John Carter of Mars" Delay Confirmed 
Dark Horizons News ~ May 5, 2006 
Director Jon Favreau confirmed to Sci-Fi Wire that Paramount has put the the long-gestating film adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs' John Carter of Mars on hold, pending the success of his next directing project, Iron Man, and the upcoming eleventh Star Trek film. . . . "It ain't happening now. Iron Man is my next film, and I hope that I get to do Carter as well. So that would, by definition, be not a priority for them" says Favreau who added that the issue isn't the quality of the work, but the timing of the project.  "The studio really liked it, but they've committed to doing the Star Trek franchise, to start that up again, with J.J. [Abrams], and they have other science-fiction properties, and they don't think the timing is right. And, hopefully, by continuing my relationship with them, by doing this Iron Man film, I'll leave the door wide open for Carter, which is a much more challenging property" he says.

From the Jon Favreau MySpace site ~ April 27, 2006
"Unfortunately, due to the 2008 Paramount production of Star Trek, it looks like Carter is not going to happen in the near future. I assure you that the script and artwork were very well received, but they've got a lot of "similar" stuff in the pipeline at the studio. I am trying to help position the film to get made and remain committed to seeing it through. That said, it's not going to happen this year. Sorry for the disappointment. Believe me, after spending six months trying to make this my next film, I too am disappointed."

"Iron Man will be my next movie. Marvel is distributing it through Paramount which is also the studio that is developing John Carter of Mars. That project is still a huge priority for me and I am still very much attached to it both as a director and producer."

Favreau is optimistic that he'll begin filming early next year now that his "John Carter of Mars" project at Paramount has apparently been put on hold due to the relaunch of that studios "Star Trek" franchise. . . . Favreau has been attached to direct John Carter of Mars but there's no word yet how his involvement with Iron Man affects that other long-in-development pic. Iron Man is now set-up at Paramount as part of the Marvel-Paramount deal.

Favreau to tackle Iron Man
Virgin.Net ~ April 28, 2006
Actor and director Jon Favreau has reportedly agreed to helm the long-awaited big-screen adaptation of the Marvel comic hero 'Iron Man'. The 'Zathura' filmmaker was supposed to be working on 'John Carter Of Mars', but this project fell through due to Paramount's commitment to the upcoming 'Star Trek' blockbuster. . . Favreau said: "I've always been very reticent to use CGI to the extent that it has been used by other filmmakers. I think that now, through motion-capture and the integration of miniatures with CGI, like in 'King Kong', I'm starting to be a lot more convinced by what the technology can do." More >>>
Clarence B. (Bob) Hyde
June 25, 1925 - April 7, 2006
President and Co-Founder of the Burroughs Bibliophiles
A more detailed obituary is posted at ERBzine 1663
Age 80, on Friday, April 7, 2006, of Baldwin Boro. Devoted husband of the late Alice A. Hyde; loving father of Wendy H. (Pastor John Benigas), John (Indy), and Susan J. (Rick Katz); grandfather of Jeanette, Johnny, Adam, Michael, Brittany, Alyssa and Luke; brother of the late Richard Hyde; special friend of Margaret Herzog. Mr Hyde served as an Officer in the US Navy during WWII, was a 1949 Yale graduate, Tarzan Enthusiast and Computer Programmer at US Steel for over 35 years.

Friends will be received at the John F Slater Funeral Home,  412-881-4100, 4201 Brownsville Road, Brentwood  PA  Monday from 2-4  and 7-9 pm.  Funeral services will be held on Tuesday in Baldwin Community United Methodist Church, chapel at 11 am, if desired, family suggests contributions to UPMC Montefiore Palliative Care Program, Suite 933 W 200 Lothrop Street, Pittsburgh  PA  15213-2582.

Extensive pictures of the collection, as it was displayed in the Baldwin home, can be viewed at www.erbzine.com/mag6/0686.html

Condolences may be sent to the family via the Pittsburgh Post Gazette from their website: www.post-gazette.com/gb

See the ERBzine, ERB, Inc. and Burroughs Bibliophiles Tribute at:
The Introduction to
Bob Hyde's Odyssey of a Tarzan FANatic
series of illustrated memoirs is featured at:
ERBzine 0686

The Burroughs Bibliophiles Website
A Princess of Mars Stage Production Heats Up
StarTribune.com - Minneapolis-St. Paul ~ April 28, 2006
Who'd have thought a pulpy page-turner from 1912 could generate so much heat? Hardcover Theatre, the Minneapolis troupe that adapts literature for the stage, will bring Edgar Rice Burroughs' "A Princess of Mars" to the Playwrights' Center, opening May 11. As with all Hardcover adaptations, artistic director Steve Schroer chose the sci-fi novel because it's in the public domain, hence free from copyright issues. Now, the multimillion-dollar Burroughs estate is claiming trademark rights to the story's hero, John Carter, and wants to shake down Hardcover for $1,000, Schroer said.

The Burroughs estate trademarked the Carter character for a series of comic books in the 1950s. Steve Helland, co-chair of the advertising and media group at Fredrikson & Byron in Minneapolis, said the trademark was specifically for that comic and that it has no relevance to Hardcover's adaptation. Meanwhile, Jon Favreau will direct the Paramount film "John Carter of Mars" based on the same book and due out this year.

Interesting China Travelogue, that for some reason uses the Tarzan name (unauthorized)

Probe Makes Encounter With Amtor
BBC News ~ April 11, 2006
Europe's Venus Express probe has gone into orbit around our nearest planetary neighbour after a five-month journey. Early on Tuesday, mission controllers fired its main engine to reduce its speed and allow it to be caught in the planet's gravitational pull. Venus Express will orbit our nearest planetary neighbour for about 500 Earth days to study its atmosphere, which has undergone runaway greenhouse warming. The mission should shed light on the mechanisms of climate change on Earth. More>>>

Beyond the Farthest Star and Back to the Beginning of Time
BBC News ~ March 10, 2006
The Swift telescope is about to break the boundaries of our cosmic vision, to see the most distant objects ever recorded, its chief scientist believes. The Nasa space observatory has already looked nearly 13 billion light-years across the Universe to record the light from a cataclysmic star explosion. But Dr Neil Gehrels expects Swift to see even more distant events. The investigator says the telescope has the ability to observe perhaps the very first stars to shine in the cosmos. More>>>

Tarzan's chimp Cheeta reaches 74 
BBC News ~ April 11, 2006
Cheeta the chimpanzee, who appeared in the Tarzan movies, has attended a party to celebrate his 74th birthday. Cheeta is kept by US primate sanctuary owner Dan Westfall, who was given him by an uncle who was a Hollywood animal trainer in the 1930s. The chimp, who appeared opposite Johnny Weissmuller in 12 films, is recognised by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's oldest chimp. Cheeta was given a sugar-free cake at the party as he is now diabetic. Chimpanzees rarely live past 40 in the wild but can reach 60 in captivity. Cheeta is very active and "still has every tooth in his head".  Representatives from a Spanish film festival attended the party to present Cheeta with the first award of his career - an International Comedy Film Festival of Peniscola prize. Westfall adopted Cheeta in 1992 from his uncle, who obtained the chimp from Africa in the 1930s. More>>>
The Video  ~  Happy NewsHerald NetUPI NewsEdmonton SunOttawa CitizenThe Twin CitiesHamilton SpectatorNBCThe Desert SunABC News

Cheeta's In Vine Fettle ~ Metro.co.uk
See the clipping

"C.H.E.E.T.A. stands for Creative Habitats and Enrichment for Endangered & Threatened Apes. Dan Westfall started the sanctuary when he received custody of Cheeta of Tarzan movies fame. He created a desert sanctuary to provide residence, care, and rehabilitation for homeless or unwanted ex-show business primates. There are chimpanzees, orangutans, and monkeys at our desert refuge." More>>>

Want a Painting by Cheetah?:

Cheetah's Birthday 
'Cheeta' The Showbiz Chimpanzee Turns 74

CBS Palm Springs News ~ April 9, 2006
(CBS) PALM SPRINGS Cheeta, the chimpanzee will be celebrating his 74th birthday, Hollywood-style, complete with the acceptance of an award before an entourage and paparazzi. Cheeta starred in a dozen “Tarzan” films in the 1930’s and 1940’s. He retired to the desert hamlet of Palm Springs and stands as the world’s oldest chimp, according to the Guiness Book of World Records. Chimpanzees rarely live past their 40’s, but can live until their 60’s in captivity.

"He loves going for rides, watching TV and, of course, monkeying around," said keeper and friend Dan Westfall. "He likes hanging out in the house with me. He's just my buddy." His 17-year-old grandson, Jeeter, also lives with him.

Cheeta retured in his 30’s after his last performance opposite Rex Harrison in 1967’s “Dr. Doolitle.” Since then, he’s enjoyed a quiet retirement. He’s taken some time to paint some “ape-stract” artwork, kept in the National Museum in London and homes of celebrities.

Money generated from Cheeta’s artwork is used to pay for his upkeep (he does not qualify for a Screen Actors Guild pension) and help out the nonprofit sanctuary he resides in. In his younger days, Cheeta was known for his penchant of beer and cigars, but his years in showbiz has taken a toll. Now a diabetic on a special diet of fresh fruit, vegetables and monkey chow, he takes insulin daily. His birthday cake will also be diabetic friendly. More>>>

© 2006 CBS Broadcasting Inc 

Tarzan icon still going strong six years short of a century.
Tarzan and the Tarzan Yell are registered trademarks licensed by 
Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. of Tarzana, California
Patrick Priestly as Tarzan
The Jackson-Hewitt TV Commercial
Tarzan, in his loincloth, and Cheetah are meeting with a Jackson Hewitt agent. After learning that Cheetah prepared last year's tax returns, the agent says that many deductions were missed. 

He can amend last year's returns and get money back, and advises Tarzan his refund will be bigger this year. Tarzan expresses his appreciation by letting loose one of his trademark yells. 

Cialis Medical Ad 
Disney's Tarzan®
Disney animated feature films, 
international Disneyland attractions, 
CDs, DVDs, merchandise, Tarzan ice show, etc.

Tarzan Broadway Musical
May 10

Coming Event: Wednesday, May 3, 2006 
Journeys to Mars: 
Exploring the Many Worlds of Ray Bradbury and Edgar Rice Burroughs
In Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury explores our society in the not-too-distant future where censorship is no longer debated-it is law. Bradbury's inventive genius ranged from such chilling views of our world to the clash of cultures depicted in The Martian Chronicles. In his creation of fantasy worlds, he has said he was inspired by the work of Edgar Rice Burroughs, creator of Tarzan and John Carter of Mars. "Mr. Burroughs convinced me that I could talk with the animals…. His greatest gift was teaching me to look at Mars and ask to be taken home," said Bradbury. 

Join The Historical Society of Oak Park and River Forest for this panel discussion exploring the literature and connections between Ray Bradbury and Edgar Rice Burroughs, two Chicago area natives, and arguably the 20th century's most influential American fantasy and science fiction writers. They shared a love of creating worlds where flawed, very real human beings intersect with imaginary worlds. 

Panelists will include George T. McWhorter, curator of the Edgar Rice Burroughs Collection at the University of Louisville; Jerry Spannraft, a leader of the Burroughs Bibliophiles literary group; and Frank Lipo, executive director of The Historical Society of Oak Park and River Forest. Following the panel discussion will be a tour of the Historical Society's ongoing exhibit Tarzan, Mars, and the Fertile Mind of Edgar Rice Burroughs. Call the Historical Society at 708-848-6755 for more information. 
7:30 p.m. Historic Pleasant Home at 217 Home Avenue in Oak Park

As a Young Tarzan, Fairfield Boy Swings Into Stage Role
Fairfield Citizen CT ~ March 30, 2006 
When Alex Rutherford was a baby, his father, Ivan, gave him the nickname "Tarzan" because he would loudly cry out for his dad's attention. Now 12 years old, Alex is being called "Tarzan" again, but this time it's due to him getting ready for the Great White Way. The Fairfield resident is one of two young male actors sharing the role of the legendary jungle character, in his childhood days, in the upcoming Broadway musical, Tarzan. . . .
When asked how he feels about playing a young Tarzan, Alex simply said, "It's really cool." . . .In rehearsals since last Christmas, Alex is spending most of his days with fellow cast and crew members. Singer-songwriter Phil Collins, who wrote the film score for Disney's film version of Tarzan, has written music and lyrics for eight new songs for the Broadway production. "He's very nice. He's funny," said Alex. "He's not what I pictured him to be."

In between the time when he is needed on stage, Alex is keeping busy with his schoolwork, going over lessons with a tutor. . . . Aside from singing, his role will involve physical challenges with aerobatics and ape-like movements. "We have warm-ups every morning, strength training," Alex said. His costume will include a loincloth and a wig. . . .  Alex said his performance will involve Tarzan trying to fit in with the apes around him and figure out why he looks different from them. This production marks the first time (sic) that Tarzan has been brought to Broadway (see Tarzan On Broadway 1921 in ERBzine 1568:  http://www.erbzine.com/mag15/1568.html ) . . . More>>>

For more information on Tarzan, the Broadway musical, see our Tarzan Preview Notes:
or visit www.TarzanOnBroadway.com

John Carter Project News From Jon Favreau
From the Personal Blog of Jon Favreau 
"Paramount is reading the new draft over Easter weekend."
"There is also a big meeting over at Paramount this week (March 26, 2006) regarding John Carter of Mars. We've got a first draft of the script in as well as a fat portfolio of artwork. Let's hope they're serious about making this movie. I've been in active development on it since the year began and I really want to know where the project stands. I'll let you know as things start to fall into place."
Commenting on the dimensions of the Barsoomian Tharks: "The artwork I've been supervising keeps them at the books dimensions of 15 ft male/8 ft female for the first time, as far as I can tell, in the film's development. They've attempted to make them more human in scale in the past."
"The script and artwork have both been well received.  We are awaiting a round of script notes and a budget.  When these are complete we will make our final submission to see if they have an interest in moving forward with the movie."

Would a Ventriloquist's Dummy Crack Wise on Mars? 
How to translate a century-old sci-fi novel to a 20-foot stage 
City Pages - Minneapolis/St. Paul ~ March 29, 2006
The voice on the other side of the wall delivers a stark warning: "The terrors of your death shall haunt the slumbers of the red men for eons to come! Children will shudder in the night when their parents tell them of the awful vengeance of the green men!" . . . Actors trickle in quietly for an audition, reading for the first time the characters they will have to portray on the fly: John Carter, a Civil War vet transported by mysterious means to the martial wilds of Mars; an old man, who has tended exotic alien machinery for 800 years; and Tal Hajus, a 15-foot-tall green Martian with extra arms and an insectoid face. . . . "Tomorrow the torture will commence," shouts a maniacal would-be cast member. "Tonight you are mine!" . . . Their latest literary adaptation is Princess of Mars, the 1912 proto-sci-fi novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs. . . . Titus will provide music for Princess of Mars, which will likely be the only outer-space saga to appear on a Twin Cities stage this year. With its many fantastical elements--the finale, for instance, involves crosscuts between an epic battle and palace intrigues--the show provides prohibitive challenges in staging. (A planned film version, titled John Carter of Mars, promises to throw a hundred million dollars at the problem. Hardcover's budget is less than $15,000.) Schroer initially intended to sidestep such complications by using hand puppets to portray the gargantuan aliens, with hero John Carter narrating the piece in the form of a ventriloquist's dummy. Problems arose pretty quickly. . . . "I had trouble finding a ventriloquist, for one thing," Schroer says. "Then I decided I had to make the show more human. Still, you've got all these monsters, 40-foot spears, John Carter with extra strength and leaping ability in the Martian gravity. There's just no realistic equivalent." Unable to place a ventriloquist's dummy in Mars's toxic atmosphere, Schroer seems to be piloting the production toward the outer limits of plausibility. Pre-production notes suggest that the Martian monsters will take the form of masks affixed to long poles, and the imagery will draw from African shamans and Egyptian symbolism. The show will also lean on a Hardcover trademark, direct narration to the audience, in order to bridge the gap between book and play. . . .  He surely hasn't made the actor's job any easier with the erratic collection of roles in his latest audition. Back in the church, a young and guileless man tackles a reading of Tal Hajus. And though it's hard to say what a sadistic outsized Martian would sound like, it probably isn't like this. If anything, this game attempt comes off like a parody of the tentacled aliens that turn up annually in Simpsons Halloween specials. "But I would rather watch your beautiful face writhe in the agony of torture," the actor says. "It shall be long, drawn out--that I promise you. Four, six, eight moons of pleasure would be too short to show the love I harbor for your race!" It only takes an eight-minute sight-read, however, to see that this space opera will be another of Hardcover's labors of love. . . .Hardcover Theatre ~ Dateline Jasoom Podcast InerviewMore>>>

Brits Over Broadway
Hotly awaited Phil 'Tarzan' Collins and Elton 'Lestat' John musicals kick off in New York 
The Independent UK ~ March 26, 2006
It is the battle of the musicals on Broadway this weekend as the curtains go up on previews of the two most anticipated new shows of the season, Tarzan and Lestat, each vying for box-office treasure. It also marks an unusual duel between two of Britain's best song-writing talents, Phil Collins and Sir Elton John. The early buzz belongs to Tarzan, the latest Disney stage production to reach the Great White Way, with audiences promised a dizzying spectacle of acrobatic feats set to the tunes of Collins. It went into previews on Friday . . . Tarzan is the fourth Disney musical to hit Broadway. Ironically, two of its predecessors, The Lion King and Aida, were set to music by Sir Elton. Both have been monumental financial successes. . . . The show follows the well-worn tale of an infant orphaned in a shipwreck and raised among gorillas in the African jungle before having his first encounter with humans. Tarzan, played by Josh Strickland, and apes alike wear visible harnesses on the stage, and are frequently hoisted aloft.

It's a Vine Start for "Tarzan"
The Ape man is a Ladies Man.
New York Daily News ~ March 26, 2006
Disney's hotly anticipated "Tarzan" swung into Broadway's Richard Rodgers Theatre, where audiences on Friday saw an onstage shipwreck sequence and other dazzling effects. But beyond a soaring score by Phil Collins and all the spectacle that the reported $15 million budget can buy, the Mouse House musical offered a particular human element that captured people's attention leading man Josh Strickland. Strickland, 22, is making his Broadway debut in the title role. And he's doing so wearing a rather skimpy loincloth, not a whole lot more than the Naked Cowboy in Times Square. . . After Friday's show, attended by Disney execs and composer Collins, Strickland - an "American Idol" also-ran - and his co-star Jenn Gambatese, who plays Jane, signed autographs and posed with fans. More>>>

If it's a jungle in a skating rink, it must be a Disney spectacular 
Grand Rapids Press ~ March 26, 2006 
GRAND RAPIDS -- Picture this: Tarzan is dangling 35 feet in the air, inviting his paramour, Jane, to climb the swinging vine with him and explore his world high above the African jungle. But in this retelling, Tarzan and Jane are wearing ice skates and performing an intricate Spanish web routine -- without a safety net. It's Disney On Ice's 3 Jungle Adventures, a foliage-covered, leafy green spectacle featuring characters from three Disney tales For Tarzan, played by Frenchman Stephane Morel, and his Jane, Canadian Robin Johnstone (from Winnipeg), the death-defying web act has become a craze both skaters share. "Nobody else does this act (on skates)," Johnstone said in a phone interview. "Nowhere else in the world. This is something very special. . . . Performing the web act is anything but simple. In 2000, Morel and Johnstone traveled to Vermont for two months of grueling training with aerialist Alla Youdina. She taught the pair to become a circus act on skates and instilled in them a deeper level of faith and reliance upon one another. She also pushed them to the brink of their physical capacity every day. " More>>>

This Week's Dateline Jasoom Podcast Has Been Launched
March 26, 2006
The fourth episode feautures Mike Conran, editor of the print fanzine "ERB News Dateline." (He agreed not to sue Dateline Jasoom for title infringement in exchange for the interview.) Also news of a Land That Time Time Forgot movie.  See more in ERBzine News Archive 9 & 10

KRAKOW, POLAND--Science fiction author Stanislaw Lem, whose works included the novel "Solaris," which was twice adapted into a feature film, died in a hospital here March 27 of heart failure. He was 84. He helped convert his 1951 novel "Astronauci" ("The Astronauts") into the 1960 East German film DER SCHWEIGENDE STERN, which, when redubbed in English, became the movie featured in episode 211- FIRST SPACESHIP ON VENUS. . . .In addition to 1961's "Solaris," his most notable works include "The Invincible," "The Cyberiad," "His Master's Voice," "The Star Diaries," "The Futurological Congress" and "Tales of Prix the Pilot." . . . Lem's novels were translated from Polish into more than 40 other languages, and sold 27 million copies.  . . .

Jetan Tournament News from Gregg Eshelman
The Jetan tournament is ON! But no players signed up yet, so I'm doing my best to get the word out.
That's a webified version of the info and rules flyer, which is downloadable in a PDF for printing on both sides of a US Legal size sheet of paper. Also there, is a how-to for modifying chess pieces for the extras needed to play Jetan. I've also found a person to paint the James Spratt Jetan set for the grand prize.
Play Chess? Ask me about JETAN at Fandemonium! www.fandemonium.org
August (Fri) 4th, (Sat) 5th & (Sun) 6th, 2006
Make your own Jetan set. http://members.ispwest.com/gregg1/jetan/jetanmod.html
250,000-year-old hominid skull found
Associated Press - Canada.com ~ March 26, 2006
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia -- Scientists in northeastern Ethiopia said Saturday they have discovered the skull of a small human ancestor that could be a missing link between the extinct Homo erectus and modern man. . . . The face and cranium of the fossil are recognizably different from that of modern humans but it bears unmistakable anatomical evidence that it belongs to the modern human's ancestry, Sileshi said. "The form of the face and the brain are among the best means for exploring the evolutionary path of humans and the Gawis cranium preserves both areas," the statement said. More>>>
Bradbury speaks on his novel's community read
Oak Park Oak Leaves ~ by Ken Manson ~ March 22, 2006
"Fahrenheit 451," arguably author Ray Bradbury's best-known work, and is being honored by the Oak Park and River Forest public libraries and community partners in the "One Book, Two Villages" program for 2006. . . . "Fahrenheit 451" is described in his Web site, www.raybradbury.com, as a "scathing indictment of censorship set in a future world where the written word is forbidden. To salvage their history and culture, a group of rebels memorize entire works of literature and philosophy as their books are burned by the totalitarian state." The title refers to the temperature a firefighter told Bradbury at which book paper burns. 
In 1954, the novel was printed in three installments in Playboy magazine's early issues. "I helped get the magazine started," he said of Hugh Hefner's creation. Bradbury noted he wrote the original short story prior to the start of Sen. Joseph McCarthy's anti-Communist hearings and blacklists. The story came from the burning of books at the Royal Library of Alexandria in Egypt close to 2,000 years ago and German students burning un-German books in Berlin in May 1933, according to the author. About any comparisons between the McCarthy era and concerns today about government intrusions on privacy, Bradbury said he saw "none, whatsoever." The Democrats are watching the Republicans and vice versa, the straights are watching the gays, and so forth, according to the author. "We have complete control. There is no danger whatsoever," he said. 

Bradbury was inspired by the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs, who lived in Oak Park from April 1910 to January 1919. As part of "One Book, Two Villages," Pleasant Home in Oak Park will host a program May 3 titled "Journey to Mars: Exploring the Many Worlds of Ray Bradbury and Edgar Rice Burroughs." "Burroughs was a writer of fantasy. I'm a writer of fantasy," Bradbury said. "He wrote about impossible worlds. I wrote about impossible worlds. I don't know of any (other) comparison." 
More >>>

New Bison Books Edition of Tarzan Alive 
A Definitive Biography of Lord Greystoke 
By Philip Jose Farmer ~ New Foreword by Win Scott Eckert 
 Introduction by Mike Resnick
See more at:
Earth rocks could have taken life to Titan
NewScientist.com ~ March 17, 2006
Boulders blasted away from the Earth's surface after a major impact could have travelled all the way to the outer solar system, new calculations reveal. The work suggests that terrestrial microbes on the rocks could in theory have landed on Saturn's giant moon, Titan. But whether they could have survived once there remains unclear.
The fact that meteorites from the Moon and Mars have landed on Earth confirms that impacts on solar system bodies can launch rocky debris to other planets. And previous studies have suggested that any life on the rocks could have survived the launch blast and the radiation and chill of the journey through space, assuming it lasted less than a few million years. Such hardiness raises the possibility that life on Earth itself was seeded from space. More >>>
Eclectic Bookshelf: Moonlit Metaphors
Bright Boulevards, Bold Dreams: The Story of Black Hollywood Donald Bogle
BlogCritics.com  ~ March 23, 2006
Years ago, I received a box of books: a virtually complete paperback set of the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs, along with a few other nuggets of early 20th-century science fiction (Buck Rogers in the 25th Century and the books of Otis Albert Kline, for example). The box also included a slew of military books, with subjects such as the battle of Stalingrad and the Flying Tigers. 
I loved those books. To be sure, Burroughs had a tendency to become repetitive, somewhat like the westerns of Louis L'Amour (and speaking as someone who will actually cop to having read every one of L'Amour's books except Bendigo Shafter, I believe I am a worthy witness to this truth). But Burroughs could also be quite entertaining; to this day I still remember Tarzan Triumphant, undoubtedly my favorite Tarzan novel, and The Mad King, which is one of those ubiquitous "I'm a king with a royal double I never knew about" stories that were probably less of a cliché a century ago than they are today. As for Kline - well, his take on the whole "let's have a guy go to another planet and become king of the aliens and beat up the evil overlords" genre was actually a load of fun, albeit somewhat derivative of Burroughs' more successful John Carter books (or Carson Napier of Venus, for that matter). More >>>

Splitsville for Pair at Alphaville 
Backstage.com ~ March 20, 2006
Alphaville partners Sean Daniel and James Jacks have ended their 12-year producing marriage and are forming separate companies. After the Alphaville deal expired Wednesday, Daniel immediately struck a two-year, first-look deal with Paramount and christened his new banner the Sean Daniel Co. . . . 
Meanwhile, Jacks has formed his own company, Frelaine, which is housed on the Paramount lot . . .
Both Daniel and Jacks described the split as amicable. . . . For more than a decade, the Daniel-Jacks partnership has spawned a string of hits, including "The Mummy," "The Mummy Returns," "The Scorpion King," "Tombstone," "Michael," and "Dazed and Confused."

With his new company, which will have a smaller staff than Alphaville, Daniel said he will pursue an eclectic slate of films and "continue my longtime affection for comedy." He added that he is particularly happy to stay put on the Melrose lot. "Paramount is fully engaged in embracing the most creative version of the movie business as it moves forward, and I'm very happy to be a part of what is going on here," he said.

Jacks, who has written three action scripts, including an adaptation of Sir Walter Scott's "Ivanhoe," wants to devote more of his time to writing and pursuing independent productions with filmmakers like Kerry Conran, who had been attached to "John Carter" under the previous Paramount administration. Meanwhile, Jacks has formed his own company, Frelaine, which is housed on the Paramount lot, where he will produce "Believe it or Not!" with Daniel and Richard Zanuck (who works with director Tim Burton), as well as "John Carter of Mars," which they will produce with the film's helmer, Jon Favreau.  More . . .

Tarzan to Offer $20 Lottery Tickets
The upcoming Disney musical Tarzan, which is set to begin performances March 24 at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, will offer a limited number of $20 lottery tickets to each performance. Those interested in trying to obtain these tickets will be asked to fill out a lottery form two-and-a-half hours prior to that particular Tarzan performance. Winners for the seats, which are located in the first row of the orchestra, will be chosen two hours before curtain time.

March 19 in History
1950: Death of Edgar Rice Burroughs, American novelist, famed for the Tarzan stories.
1813: Birth of David Livingstone, Scottish explorer and missionary in Africa who named Victoria Falls in 1855.
1821: Birth of Richard Burton, English explorer who penetrated the holy cities of Mecca and Medina disguised as a pilgrim. He also translated the Arabian Nights.
1920: The United States refuses to ratify the Versailles Treaty, and so join the League of Nations, for fear of being drawn into a war if another member country was invaded.
2003: The US launches an attack against Iraq after Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's deadline for exile expires
Big Apple Bits: Tarzan On Broadway
Times-Herald Record Online ~ March 19, 2006
On Broadway, Part 1: Previews for "Tarzan" start Friday at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, 226 W. 46th Street. Based on the Disney animated feature, the show features the songs of pop star Phil Collins as it tells the tale of a shipwrecked baby who is raised in the African jungle by apes. Years later, when he has his first contact with humans, Tarzan must choose where he belongs: in the "civilized" world or the "wild" one that nurtured him. 
Tarzan originally appeared in a story written in 1912 by Edgar Rice Burroughs. In this lavish Broadway production, Josh Strickland plays the "Ape Man" and Jenn Gambatese is the beautiful Jane. The show officially opens on May 10. Tickets are $38.75-$76.25 during previews and $51.25-$101.25 after the musical opens. For more "Tarzan" tips, call 212-307-4100. 
TV: Q & A
Boston Herald ~ March 19, 2006
Q: There’s a new actor playing the Gorton’s fisherman on TV commercials. What happened to the other Gorton’s fisherman? I think his last name was Miller. 
A: Denny Miller, a big, beefy guy who also played Tarzan in the 1959 remake of “Tarzan the Ape Man,” was the Gorton’s fisherman until last year, when he was replaced by Craig Littler. Miller is 71. 
Scientists make 'bionic' muscles 
BBC News ~ March 18, 2006
Scientists have developed artificial, super-strength muscles which are powered by alcohol and hydrogen. And they could eventually be used to make more advanced prosthetic limbs, say researchers at University of Texas. Writing in Science, they say these artificial muscles are 100 times more powerful than the body's own. They said they could even be used in "exoskeletons" to give superhuman strength to certain professions such as firefighters, soldiers and astronauts.  ?The approach could transform the way complex mechanical systems were built."  Dr John Madden, University of British Columbia. More . . .

Armchair Traveler: Explore imaginary places from your home 
"The Dictionary of Imaginary Places: The Newly Updated and Expanded Classic" by Alberto Manguel and Gianni Guadalupi. Harcourt, $40 hardcover; $25 paperback. 
The Courier-Journal - Louisville, Kentucky ~ March 19, 2006
. . . You won't find any of these or 1,200 other destinations in a conventional atlas. They are all the product of fiction writers' fancies (Edgar Rice Burroughs, Edith Nesbit and L. Frank Baum, respectively). But they can all be found in a volume that has been one of my most treasured reference books for a quarter of a century. 
"The Dictionary of Imaginary Places" was written by two literary scholars -- Argentinean Alberto Manguel and Italian Gianni Guadalupi, who encountered so much imaginary geography in their fiction reading and opera listening that they decided to collect them all between two covers. More . . .
Greetings, Earthlings! -- from Google Mars
Mapping tool gives users an interactive view of the red planet
CNN ~ March 15, 2006
LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- First there was Google Earth, then Google Moon.
On Monday, Google Inc. expanded its galactic reach by launching Google Mars, a Web browser-based mapping tool that gives users an up-close, interactive view of the red planet with the click of a mouse. The Martian maps were made from images taken by NASA's orbiting Mars Odyssey and Mars Global Surveyor.
. . . users can see the planet in three different formats: The Martian elevation map is color-coded by altitude; the visible-imagery map shows the surface in black-and-white pictures; the infrared map indicates temperature, with cooler areas dark and warmer areas bright.
Users can also zoom in on any of the three maps to view geographical features such as mountains, canyons, dunes and craters. . . . Google launched its Martian mapping service on what would have been the 151st birthday of astronomer Percival Lowell, who studied the red planet for more than two decades. More. . .

King Kong conquers Empire Awards 
BBC News ~ March 13, 2006
King Kong has been voted the best movie of 2005 by film fans, earning it the top prize at the Empire Awards. The gorilla remake won best movie, beating Oscar winner Crash as well as fellow nominees Sin City, Star Wars Episode III and War of the Worlds. The award for best British film went to Pride and Prejudice. The final Star Wars movie was voted best science-fiction/fantasy and the birth of Vader was named scene of the year. More . . .
Gorilla My Dreams: Tarzan of the Comics
ComicBookBin ~ by Philip Schweier ~ March 13, 2006
 Tarzan of the Apes, written by novice author Edgar Rice Burroughs, was published for $700 in the October 1912 issue of All Story magazine. Fortunately he had the foresight to retain the rights to character, leading to a multi-million dollar empire built on his literary properties. Burroughs, unlike most authors, saw himself as an entrepreneur, whose product happened to be fantasy fiction. . . . More . . .
Just Released from Google: Google Mars
Google Goes to Mars
PC Magazine ~  03.13.06
Google's Google Maps site has blasted off to Mars, providing the same "map" data for the Red Planet. 
The Google Mars default view uses a color-coded elevation map to give some sense of scale, although the view can be configured to show a photographic view (simply in black and white) . . . As one might expect, the map merely displays the swath of the planet that has been mapped by the Mars Odyssey Mission THEMIS (Thermal Emission Imaging System), which the Google Mars site jumps to to display highlighted images of note. . . . Users can ask the site to highlight mountains, canyons, dunes, and other geographical features, or explore the landers that have mapped the planet. For now, the site simply displays the Red Planet in 2D mode . . . More . . .
Jon Favreau Interview: The Latest On John Carter of Mars
The A.V. Club ~ March 7, 2006
An indie actor-writer who has successfully shifted to directing big studio films, Jon Favreau is simultaneously all Hollywood, and not Hollywood at all––a pretty amazing feat, all things considered. . . . which led to bigger directing opportunities like Elf, Zathura, and (possibly) the upcoming science-fiction adventure John Carter Of Mars.
AVC: Your next movie is John Carter Of Mars.
JF: Yeah, hopefully. I'm working on the script. We've been doing some artwork for it. It's been cursed over the years. They've been trying to make it since it was proposed to be an animated feature back even before Snow White. It's been around a long time, with at least a dozen directors attached at one time or another. It's quite an undertaking technically, and it takes a large commitment from a studio to make it. It could be a very successful franchise. But it's also a big risk. Hopefully in the next month or two, we'll know what's going on with it.
AVC: That has to be a nerve-wracking proposition, if only because the books have so many diehard fans.
JF: I think the nerve-wracking part is not knowing if the movie's going to happen. Thankfully, I have a background as an actor, and you learn how to live in that world of not knowing what's going to happen next. I have a family now, which makes it a lot easier. I have kids. I certainly have enough elements grounding my life. But to not know whether you are going to be directing this huge science-fiction movie, or doing a different type of job… I have no idea what's coming around the bend. More . . .
Spacecraft Captured Into Mars Orbit
NASA ~ March 10, 2006
After a seven-month journey, NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is going through maneuvers to place itself into orbit around Mars today. Coverage of the complex orbit insertion maneuver starts at 3:30 p.m. on NASA TV and the Web . Spacecraft milestones for the event can be followed below. The spacecraft is the most technologically advanced ever sent to Mars. . . . More . . .
Marlon Brando anecdote from
"Brando Unzipped" by Darwin Porter,  2006, Blood Moon Publishing.
"Marlon admitted to me (director Joseph Mankiewicz) that one weekend  (Greer) Garson managed to slip away from her house and go with him to the Riverside Inn in Riverside."  Mankiewicz said.  "That's where Ronald Reagan between marriages -- and sometimes during marriages -- used to take his bitches.  Marlon told me that he and Garson registered as Lord and Lady Greystoke.  You know, Tarzan's ancestral relatives." Submitted by R.E.P
I'm still searching for that perfect sci-fi question
Huntsville Times ~ March 10, 2006
I used to be a bookworm. When time allows, I hope to become one again.  The libraries of my youth were exciting mazes, and I prowled them often. I pulled books from many stacks - biographies, mysteries, classics, adventures. I read major masters, like Poe and Dumas and Steinbeck, and minor ones, like Jim Kjelgaard with his buckskin-clad heroes and Edgar Rice Burroughs with his never-ending series about the not-so-clad Tarzan. . . .
. . . And somewhere along the line I learned to appreciate the classic formula for creating a solid science fiction story: 
1. Think about reality. 
2. Change one key principle, law or fact. 
3. Ask what repercussions and consequences that change would bring. 
It is this formula that spells the difference between fantasy and science fiction. 
More. . .

Revolt of the Movie Footnotes 
The callous machine of Hollywood forgetfulness
Reason On Line ~ March 9, 2006
With Oscar night still fresh in mind, it's a good time to make an obvious, but rarely mentioned, point: Hollywood is built over a vast graveyard of anonymity, and not just that associated with the second-tier actors, B-film directors, technicians, extras, spongers, or ubiquitous nonentities who have made film their life. . . .
. . .  In London, my grandmother once found herself in a taxi with Johnny Weissmuller, who suddenly let off his trademark Tarzan bellow. "Johnny was never very bright," was her bemused comment decades later, as she summoned up memories of tennis matches with Weissmuller's wife, Lupe Velez, in Mexico.
Tarzan II Nominated for 11 DVDX Awards
Video Business ~ March 7, 2006
The winners in 26 categories voted on by the DVD Exclusive Academy will be feted at an invitation-only cocktail hosted by Video Business and the Digital Entertainment Group on April 5 at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in North Hollywood, Calif.
Buena Vista was the powerhouse this year, winning nine of its 44 nominations. DVD premieres Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch and Tarzan II, both developed under Morrill at DisneyToon Studios, were nominated for 12 and 11 awards respectively. Tarzan swung away with three wins, while Lilo grabbed one. More . . .
Tangor's Ghostly Hand
Author's invention reaches fans by remote control
CNN ~ March 6, 2006
LONDON, England (AP) -- Margaret Atwood has had enough of long journeys, late nights and writer's cramp. Tired of grueling book tours, the Booker Prize-winning Canadian author on Sunday unveiled her new invention: a remote-controlled pen that allows writers to sign books for fans from thousands of miles away. Atwood said the gadget had applications -- from education to law -- beyond the traditional book tour. More . . .

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