Lunchtime Diversions for Tuesday, June 26
- Blog Post by: James Lileks
- June 26, 2012 - 12:10 PM
The things you learn when you go a-googin’. It started with this site, which posts correspondence between interesting people. Yesterday they had a letter from Gene Roddenberry to Isaac Asimov, pushing back on the latter’s nitpickery about Star Trek. This part stuck out:
In the specific comment you made about Star Trek, the mysterious cloud being "one-half light-year outside the Galaxy," I agree certainly that this was stated badly, but on the other hand, it got past a Rand Corporation physicist who is hired by us to review all of our stories and scripts, and further, got past Kellum deForest Research who is also hired to do the same job.
Anything stick out there? Yes: Kellum de Forest Research was hired to review a show that starred DeForest Kelly.
But there’s more. From the Star Trek wiki:
Kellam de Forest (born 11 November 1926; age 85) is a researcher who worked on Star Trek: The Original Series. His one-man operation, The Kellam de Forest Research Company was hired by Gene Roddenberry to verify facts and correct errors in stories, starting with the first pilot, "The Cage". He never received any screen credit for his work.
So it was one guy. And Roddenberry misspelled the name. As for his work:
Among the facts de Forest corrected was the Native American tribes whose mixture the inhabitants were in "The Paradise Syndrome".
Perhaps he’d like to correct that sentence structure as well.
Some googling turned up a blog, written by his daughter. She notes:
Phone books hold special nostalgia for me and my family as they were the major resource in my father’s business as a Hollywood researcher. The bulk of work done at de Forest Research was name-checking, and his immense library held every major city phone book, past and present. When a Jonah Cross showed up in a 1930s LA directory, my father recommended “Chinatown’s” producers change their villain’s first name to “Noah,”to avoid any potential lawsuits. My father always jokes that was his one contribution to cinematic art.
Her father pops up in the comments, and adds another contribution:
Your account of telephone books at de Forest Research brought back fond memories, Another name invented by de Forest Research is Archie Bunker of All in the Family. The name in the pilot script was Eddie Bunker. There was only one Edward Bunker listed in the Queens telephone book. We suggested Archibald (Archie). The rest as they say is history.
Oh, but there’s more. DeForest’s father was Lockwood De Forest, a designer / painter / interior designer / landscape architect who brought the East Indian style to America towards the end of the 19th century. Kellam De Forest spends a lot of time maintaining one of his father’s finest works.
As for DeForrest Kelly, let’s bring it back to Star Trek. The last line in his imdb list of quotes has this:
”Let's make just one more "Star Trek" movie! I sure miss making those movies!”
It’s preceded by a notation: "To William Shatner, on his deathbed."
MISC: Tags to take seriously: “FILE UNDER: ‘lpq-79, man painted green, LQP-79 cases, green man paint permanent, permanent green man, green man hulk, green paint man, green man paint, man permanent green, hulk green paint, man paints self green” Go on, take a look.
What is a LQP-79? The Zombie virus, of course. I am so sick of zombies. Also vampires. All that’s left is a brief Mummy craze.
OLD THING This is the worst boom-shadow ever.
CELEBRITY NEWS! OMG! Just got this press release:
While being shown around her beau George Clooney's favorite spot in Italy, Stacy Keibler was spotted wearing Raven Denim's Kora Jacket in Heritage. Paired with a fluorescent maxi skirt, black tank, flat sandals and a panama hat, the model proved that the this wardrobe staple should be included in every lady's summer getaway bag.
It’s been PROVEN.
TECH NEWS: This is interesting. Hold on, did I just write “this is interesting”? I did. That’s the way people start conversations, not blog entries. Well, just practicing for the Dictation feature in the next Mac OS, which will let me dictate long, blobby, unedited entries. Via MacRumors, a Wall Street Journal story:
Travel shopping site Orbitz is offering more expensive hotels to Mac users because the company found Mac users prefer more luxurious rooms, reports the Wall Street Journal. Orbitz noted that it was is not showing different prices for the same room to different users, but was presenting pricier hotels more prominently to Mac users than those using Windows. Users can rank hotel options by price and get the same listings no matter what platform they are using.
But of course that’s the only company that’s serving up the pricier offerings based on your OS.
LOCAL LORE: Finally, another detail from the photo archives of the StarTribune's bounteous photo files. This is a detail of a shot of City Hall; no explanation given. It's a picture of the hall.
Off to the side, Mr. Suspicious Smoke-Stand Clerk:
El Productos and White Owl cigars! I've no idea what's in the middle of the shot on the counter, the 5-cent stuff. Tezew?
That's it for now; see you around on twitter. (@Lileks, as you might suspect.)
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