Chuck Lorre (born Charles Michael Levine) is a writer, director, producer and composer who has created many American sitcoms, including Grace Under Fire, Cybill, Dharma & Greg, Two and a Half Men and The Big Bang Theory. Lorre also served as an executive producer of the sitcom Roseanne, and currently serves as an executive producer for CBS’s Mike & Molly. On the vanity card for Chuck Lorre Productions at the end of every episode of Dharma & Greg, Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory and Mike & Molly, Lorre includes a message that usually reads like an editorial, essay, or observation on life. A typical card (#108, in this case) might include a range of topics as diverse as what the Bee Gees never learned, the cancellation of Dharma & Greg, the competence of AOL Time Warner management, and the genesis of Two and a Half Men. The card is shown for only a few seconds at most, so longer messages cannot be read unless recorded and paused, although Lorre now posts the cards on his website, ChuckLorre.com. CBS has censored Lorre’s vanity cards on several occasions; Lorre posts both the censored and uncensored versions of the cards. Several of the cards became prominent elements of the Charlie Sheen incident. The vanity card used on Grace under Fire and Cybill featured a wooden desk with an Apple Macintosh SE.
Randall Patrick Munroe is an American webcomic author and former NASA roboticist as well as a programmer, best known as the creator of the webcomic xkcd. He and the webcomic have developed a cult following, and he is one of a small but growing group of professional webcomic artists. Munroe was a fan of the funny pages from an early age, starting off with Calvin and Hobbes. After graduating from the Chesterfield County Mathematics and Science High School at Clover Hill: A Renaissance Program, he graduated from Christopher Newport University in 2006 with a degree in physics. Munroe worked as an independent contractor for NASA at the Langley Research Center before and after his graduation. In October 2006 NASA did not renew his contract and he began to write xkcd full-time. He now supports himself by the sale of xkcd related merchandise. The webcomic quickly became very popular, garnering up to 70 million hits a month by October 2007.
Brea Colleen Grant is an American actress and writer who is best known for playing Daphne Millbrook in the NBC television series Heroes. She was born in Marshall, Texas, and holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. Her acting career includes credits in an episode of Cold Case, three episodes of Friday Night Lights, as “Junkie Girl” (uncredited) in Max Payne, and as “Rasha” in SciFi’s Battle Planet. Brea has also seen success in the world of comics. She created a comic book miniseries called We Will Bury You with her brother Zane Grant and artist Kyle Strahm. She continued her comic writing with the SuicideGirls comic miniseries, based on the pin-up Web site of the same name.
Walter Jon Williams is an American writer, primarily of science fiction. As Jon Williams, he designed the game Heart of Oak (1982) and Privateers and Gentlemen (1983) for Fantasy Games Unlimited. A Cyberpunk RPG sourcebook called Hardwired (1989) was licensed by R. Talsorian Games, based on the 1986 novel of the same name by Williams. Several of Williams’ novels have a distinct cyberpunk feel to them, notably Hardwired (also an homage to Roger Zelazny’s novel Damnation Alley), Voice of the Whirlwind and Angel Station. However, he has explored a number of different styles and genres, including farce (e.g., the Majistral series), postcyberpunk space opera (Aristoi), military science fiction (Dread Empire’s Fall series), alternative history (Wall, Stone, Craft), science fantasy (Metropolitan and City on Fire), disaster thriller (The Rift), a Star Wars novel (The New Jedi Order: Destiny’s Way) and historical adventure (Privateers and Gentlemen series), and police procedural (Days of Atonement), usually in a science fiction context. He has also contributed to some of the Wild Cards cooperative novels.
Thomas Dolby is an English musician and producer. Best known for his 1982 hit “She Blinded Me with Science”, and 1984 single “Hyperactive!”, he has also worked extensively in production and as a session musician. Thomas Dolby has also worked as a producer and a soundtrack composer for both films and video games, most notably “The Gate To The Mind’s Eye”, the third installment of the CGI collection, the Mind’s Eye (series). Dolby also wrote the songs for the 1986 George Lucas film Howard the Duck and chose the members of the film’s fictional band, Cherry Bomb. Dolby wrote and produced three tracks for the 1992 soundtrack of the animated movie FernGully: The Last Rainforest. He also created the score for the 1993 Sega CD interactive movie “Double Switch”. Additionally, the song “Hyperactive!” is featured in the 2002 PlayStation 2 videogame Grand Theft Auto: Vice City as part of the New Wave radio station Wave 103. In 1990 Dolby played the role of the villain Stanley in the movie Rockula as well as contributing the songs “Stanely’s Death Park” and “Budapest by Blimp”. Since 2001 Dolby has acted as Musical Director of The TED Conference, an annual event in Long Beach, California that attracts some of the world’s foremost thinkers, inventors, and speakers. In this capacity he provides live musical introductions to sessions, sometimes with an eclectic TED House Band, as well as helping secure guest musicians and entertainers for the event.
Chris Carter is an American television and film producer, director and writer. Born in Bellflower, California, Carter graduated with a degree in journalism from California State University, Long Beach before spending thirteen years working for Surfing Magazine. After beginning his television career working on television films for Walt Disney Studios, Carter rose to fame in the early 1990s after creating the science fiction television series The X-Files for the Fox network. The X-Files earned high viewership ratings, and led to Carter being able to negotiate the creation of future series. Carter went on to create three more series for the network—Millennium, a doomsday-themed series which met with critical approval and low viewer numbers; Harsh Realm, which was canceled after three episodes had aired; and The Lone Gunmen, a spin-off of The X-Files which lasted for a single season. Carter’s film roles include writing both of The X-Files’ cinematic spin-offs—1998’s successful The X-Files and the poorly received 2008 follow-up The X-Files: I Want to Believe, the latter of which he also directed—while his television credits have earned him several accolades including eight Primetime Emmy Award nominations.
Sarah Christina Lane is an American television and Internet personality. She is most notably known for her appearances on TechTV’s The Screen Savers, G4’s Attack of the Show!, and Revision3’s popSiren. In 2009 she was the co-host of the This WEEK in FUN podcast, currently on hiatus, with Martin Sargent, part of the TWiT.tv network. She currently appears on a number of podcasts on the TWiT.tv network. Lane co-hosts the daily technology podcast Tech News Today with Tom Merritt, Iyaz Akhtar, and Jason Howell which airs live Monday through Friday. She also co-hosts the weekly Apple iPad podcast iPad Today with Leo Laporte and the weekly social media podcast The Social Hour with Amber MacArthur.