People from Andy's formative youth who are now dead

Completely OT for SOTA but for some of us of a certain age, the arrival on TV of Star Trek and the Apollo project in our formative years propelled us into certain career choices. Actually I would have ended up doing what I do anyway but seeing men on the moon made engineering seem ever so glamorous.

So RIP Mr. Spock. I wonder if you would ever understand our strange human emotions at your passing?


RIP Mr. Spock, 1 to beam up.

In a parallel universe, he was a child psychologist.

Scotty has been waiting for him for nearly 10 years, and will be operating the controls personally.

I was never a whole-hearted fan, the series was badly visualised - I mean to say, star ships fighting and manoeuvring like galleons at visual ranges, flat discoidal shock waves instead of spherical, and in the early series plots worthy of the Twilight Zone with cardboard characterisation (though later they raided straight SF for plot material!) What was admirable in the lead characters, including Spock, was the professionalism of the actors making the best of “B”-grade material. Star Trek inspired its generation, an older one like me had the stories of Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov and Robert Heinlein to inspire them, these were the stories, by scientists and engineers, that inspired the engineers that took us into space. Remember that Clarke gave birth to the concept of geostationary satellites, and Heinlein envisaged breeder reactors before the Manhattan Project.

Great days, but what inspires us now, hokum like Star Wars?


1 Like

Dead No :cry:
He’s pining for the fjords,
Merely meditating,
Now going where no man has been before.

Dr who started my Sci Fi fetish, Star trek took it to a whole new level.
Still want those rocket boots he had in one of the films. Sota-ing be so much easier.

And the man on the moon, in black and white it was.

Live long and prosper


1 Like

Always funny to hear a reporter refer to Leonard Nimoy as “Dr” rather than “Mr” Spoke. :smile:

I was sad to hear of the death of Leonard Nimoy as well. As a young boy in Junior School ‘Star Trek’ was one of the favorite games in the playground. There was a clip of Leonard explaining where the Vulcan salute came from as well, a fact that I only found out yesterday.

Not only Leonard but now Sir Terry Pratchett.



Now that hits me where I live. No more Discworld, mirror of worlds.

Terry Pratchett was brilliant. I am just reading “Thud!” for the fourth time and STILL spotting puns and references that I missed amidst the shower of sparks. He was a creative talent of the highest order. If the guy had been a scientist he would have come up with something of the order of a Unified Field Theory.

Fare well across the dark plain, Sir Terry.


And from the dark a voiceless voice:

Bah, a rotten start to the new year.

Eugene Cernan, not an actor in an endearing SF show but the last astronaut to walk on the Moon has died aged 82.

To be a child with an interest how things worked at the end of the 60s was amazing. There were regular rockets being launched, satellites enabled the 68 Olympics to be watched live, men went to the Moon. All this exciting stuff seemed normal to me as it was on TV almost all the time, I didn’t realise it was the ultimate of the leading edge of science and engineering. Watching men with names like Buzz and Gene (Eugene was an extremely uncommon name in the UK then) doing amazing stuff on the Moon with hardly a murmur of excitement in their voices set me off a careeer in engineering. So I blame them that I earn buttons doing engineering rather than being paid a fortune as a doctor or barrister :grin:

I don’t believe anyone can see a picture like this and not want to be spaceman. Hell you get to play with that 2.3GHz dish and TWTA power amplifier never mind a real MASER in the receiver.

RIP Mr. Cernan, you were one of the Apollo men I really wanted to meet.

1 Like

To be an adult with a pure science fixation at that time was even more amazing! It is largely forgotten now that before the moon landings there was still a lot of support for the theory that the lunar craters were volcanic in origin, a major adherent of that theory was Pat Moore, a larger than life character who tended to sweep away doubts by sheer force of personality! (He was just as dominating in Council Meetings of the British Astronomical Association - I served three boring years on it - as he was on the TV!) Astronomy was fizzing with new insights, the Earth Sciences were in turmoil as the old static Earth was swept away by Continental Drift, the structure of atoms was becoming bewilderingly rich… A unique time in our history, a Golden Age of discovery…and we are losing the major players of that time in all fields.


Today, Rachel Heyhoe-Flint, former English ladies cricket captain.

Last week, Tommy Allsup, - the gentleman that lost the spin of the coin for the seat on the aircraft that took Buddie Holly on his last journey.

Recently I listened to a fascinating history article about HG Wells on the ABC’s science show. He was a visionary…

AC/DC’s Malcolm Young dead at 64. Will my childhood musician heroes please stop dying.

Off to wind up the gramaphone and let her rip.

My prediction is that no, they won’t.


Just having a bit of this: AC/DC - Walk All Over You (Official Video) - YouTube

AC/DC was standard “homework” music when I were a child. My mother particularly didn’t like them. Funny, she quite liked Lyrnyrd Skynyrd and The B52’s. I can remember catching her dancing at the ironing board to Planet Claire oh back in 1982. :wink:

Ah, Planet Claire - the longest intro in all music! (And probably the biggest hairstyle!)

Planet Claire has pink hair and all the trees are red :guitar::guitar::guitar::guitar:

1 Like

Malcolm’s older brother George died only a few weeks ago. George was best known as a member of the Easybeats which he formed with others, notably Harry Vanda. There is a claim that George and Harry were the inspiration for the lines mentioning those names in Sultans of Swing by Mark Knopfler. The beats were apparently playing in London at the right time. I don’t know how likely that is (to be right).