Stephen Furst in 2014

The news came that actor Stephen Furst died on June 16 following complications related to the diabetes he had long been suffering from.

After starting his acting career with some small roles, Stephen Furst was cast to play Kent “Flounder” Dorfman in the movie “National Lampoon’s Animal House”, a role he remained famous for also because he reprised it in the tV show “Delta House”.

During the 1980s, Stephen Furst had many roles in both cinema and television productions and lent his moice to animated shows’ characters. In 1994 he started playing another of the roles he remained famous for, Vir Cotto in the TV show “Babylon 5”.

Stephen Furst was active as a spokeswoman for the American Diabetes Association and spreading useful tips and recipes to keep diabetes under control. For years he used his fame to help other people suffering from same disease, unfortunately for him his problems turned out to be too serious. He’s survived by his wife Lorraine, their sons Nathan and Griff and a lot of fans who appreciated him as an actor.

The new possible elephant family tree (Image courtesy Asier Larramendi Eskorza / Julie McMahon)

An article published in the journal “eLife” describes a genetic analysis on elephants based on genetic analysis of the three existing species and the straight-tusked elephant (Palaeoloxodon antiquus), which is extinct but sampling of DNA from its bones was accomplished. A team of researchers led by Matthias Meyer of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, proposes a new family tree for elephants different from the one currently used.

Something in the Water by Trevor Baxendale

The novel “Something in the Water” by Trevor Baxendale was published for the first time in 2008.

Captain Jack Harkness’s team is looking for who or what has been able to brutally kill a Weevil but an old friend of Jack’s warns him through Gwen Cooper and Toshiko Sato that something big is happening. The investigation leads to what seem to folklore stories but those who work for Torchwood know that the strangest stories can hide obscure truths.

Dr. Bob Strong is treating a growing number of patients with flu-like symptoms but their origin isn’t clear. Meanwhile, his concerns go to Saskia Harden, a patient with a past of suicide attempts who troubles him and hides something strange.

On June 5 the second season of the show “Outcast” ended.

The first season of “Outcast” was a success and the show was already renewed on trust before it was even broadcast. The second season started a little earlier and was broadcast in spring as the first one began at the end of spring so most of its episodes were broadcast in summer 2016. The number of episodes was kept at 10.

At the end of the first season, Kyle Barnes attempted to flee from Rome, the West Virginia town where he lives with his daughter Amber, but soon finds groups of possessed people who are essentially guarding the town’s borders. Eventually, he decides to return to the town, where the situation becomes more complicated.

The beginning of the second season immediately marks the change in the show: the protagonists have to face the consequences of the first season’s events but it’s the style that’s different. Simplifying, the first season is in the style of “The Exorcist” while the second one looks more like “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”.

The Jagged Orbit by John Brunner (Italian edition)

The novel “The Jagged Orbit” by John Brunner was published for the first time in 1969. It won the BSFA prize as best novel of the year.

At the beginning of the 21st century, racial segregation in the USA became a total separation but it only exacerbated the tension between black and white with increasingly violent clashes. The Gottschalks, a mix between a lobby and a racket, take advantage of that selling weapons to anyone but leveraging the their clients’s fears they make the situation even worse.

The predictions of the future can be entrusted to sophisticated computers or to people such as Lyla Clay, a pythoness who during a drug-induced trance has visions of the future. For journalist Matthew Flamen, investigating the relationship between the Gottschalks and political power seems a good idea to keep his job.