Go Back to Back to the Future II With This Working Hoverboard Engineers Invented

Hoverboard
(YouTube/Hacksmith Industries)

Sure, it took longer than we thought after watching Back to the Future II, but science has finally given us an honest-to-god hoverboard. Does it come with conditions? Of course. But it’s still a very cool (albeit completely pointless) invention, as it is an actual, working HOVERBOARD.

When it comes to science, we have all sorts of cool things these days we would’ve loved years ago, but we still lack some of the big inventions that feel imminent (self-driving cars everywhere) and some that we won’t probably see (flying cars). But a hoverboard once was thought to be only the province of Michael J. Fox in his prime.

And now the people behind the popular YouTube HackSmith Industries have created an actual working hoverboard. Does it catch on fire? Yes, quite frequently during testing. But they fine-tuned it, and actually made a hoverboard that works.

The tech behind it is very limiting, of course, as it’s powered by a bunch of super-powerful magnets, and it only works over a sheet of metal, so it’s not exactly road-ready. It was a mechanical engineering student who came up with the right specs to make it work, and the prototype is still very cool if you’re into engineering, sciency stuff, or just fun things in general.

So you might not be able to see one at Target, but it’s fun to see a group of people trying to make working prototypes of stuff we only see in movies (like lightsabers!).

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by the Hacksmith (@thehacksmith)

Michael J. Fox’s Son Taught Him How To Perfectly Deal With Trolls on Twitter

Michael J. Fox's son teaches him to handle trolls
(YouTube/ The Graham Norton Show)

Anyone who’s spent more than 5 minutes on the internet knows that it isn’t always the nicest place. Sure, the internet allows you to connect with fans of your favorite obscure band or learn about literally anything at 3 AM – but the ability to be anonymous on social media emboldens people, sometimes leading them to say things they typically wouldn’t. In other words, social media is often home base for trolls with nothing better to do than mess with people for their own sick enjoyment.

If you’re new-ish to the internet you may be thinking, “sure, people troll online – but they only troll people who deserve it.” False. There is no target too pure for a troll on the prowl. During a recent appearance on The Graham Norton Show, even beloved actor and Parkinson’s advocate Michael J. Fox admitted to being on the receiving end of some thorough trolling.

Though Michael J. Fox’s son and daughter frequently help him manage his various social media accounts, Fox himself takes time to read comments and respond to his followers. Like any public figure with a social media presence, Fox encounters his share of trolls. Generally, though, he tries to ignore them.

Feeding the trolls only makes them stronger, so the best strategy is to ignore them altogether. However, there is one topic that Fox doesn’t let slide. We shouldn’t be surprised at this point, given the cesspool that is the internet – but recently, someone made a shitty comment about Parkinson’s on Twitter.

In the interview, Fox explains that he “wanted to answer this guy in some way.”

But how do you respond to a troll without giving them more fuel? Fortunately for Fox, his son Sam is well-versed in troll control. When dealing with a jerk on the internet, less is more. Fox’s son suggested that Fox simply respond “SMH,” though at the time he didn’t know what it meant.

SMH, or shaking my head, is the universal sign of disappointment. It’s an acknowledgment, but one that says, “buddy, that was so painfully stupid that I don’t even have the words to point out just how stupid it was.” It’s an invitation to evaluate your life choices, which incredibly, is exactly what this troll did.

Rather than double down, the troll dropped the act and stepped up. According to Fox, the reformed troll responded, “this is the funniest thing I’ve ever read in my life, you’re the king of the internet, I apologize for anything I said to you, blah, blah, blah.”

Let this be a lesson to anyone who encounters a troll in the wild. Don’t stoop to their level, but if you must respond, hit ‘em with the old “SMH.”

Michael J. Fox Foundation Receives Award for Advocacy in Parkinson’s Research

Michael J. Fox Foundation receives award for advocacy and policy
(Michael J. Fox Foundation)

When life hands us seemingly insurmountable challenges, some use those obstacles as motivation for action. At just 29 years old, actor Michael J. Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, a central nervous system disorder. In 2000, nine years after his diagnosis, Fox founded the Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) which has provided extensive support to those suffering from Parkinson’s.

Michael J. Fox turned his attention to helping fund Parkinson’s research but has also played an enormous role in advocating and lobbying for those affected by the disease. As of 2016, the MJFF began officially working on public health policy, organizing over 20,000 advocates to lobby for issues that are central to the Parkinson’s community.

According to the MJFF website, public policy advocacy is focused on three central areas. Furthering Parkinson’s research for drug development, therapy development, and FDA approval, and access to support services and health care.

On December 9, the MJFF received the Advocacy/Policy Award from the Reagan-Udall Foundation for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, making it the second organization to ever receive the award. The award recognized the foundation for its extensive efforts in multiple areas including advocating for those with Parkinson’s, funding research, and increasing the availability of resources.

“This recognition means the world to us,” said Michael J. Fox in a press release. “Twenty years ago, laying out the blueprint for the Foundation, we had no idea it would grow to this extent. With the help of countless individuals, we set out to do whatever it takes to speed tangible results for people and families with PD. If it matters to people with Parkinson’s, we’re on it.”

Michael J. Fox demonstrates firsthand the power of action. Even while coping with the illness in his own life, which has forced him to retire from acting, he dedicates his energy to helping others in the same position. Because of the MJFF and its commitment to fight for those with Parkinson’s, people affected by the disease will never have to take on the fight alone.

‘Family Ties’ Cast Reunites To Reminisce and Speculate if Show Could Work Today

Family Ties Cast Reunion
(YouTube/Stars In The House)

This may sound shocking to many of you, but years ago, way back in the 1980s, people with different political opinions could actually get along. Even people in the same family!

This was so common that there was even a TV show about it. Several, in fact! First, we had All in the Family, in which an incorrigible racist slowly broadens his worldview when he learns to empathize with other people, and in the 80s we had the delightful comedy Family Ties, in which a couple of hippies find themselves raising a charismatic young Reaganite.

That Reaganite (he was a big Nixon fan too) was Michael J. Fox, and his role as Alex P. Keaton on the popular sitcom launched a stardom that lasted decades and even persisted through his fight with Parkinson’s Disease. Fox is making the media rounds to promote his latest book, and he recently reunited with the cast of Family Ties.

Fox and fellow cast members Meredith Baxter, Michael Gross, Tina Yothers, Brian Bonsall, Marc Price, and Scott Valentine gathered on the YouTube show Stars in the House to raise money for the Actor’s Fund. While there, they discussed memories from their days on the show, and whether or not it could work in a world of MAGA hats and BLM supporters.

“I just want to say one thing and that is, I loved the time that we were together,” said Gross, 73, who played patriarch Steven Keaton. “That was, I think as you’ll all agree, a kinder, gentler politics, when Tip O’Neill and Ronald Reagan could sit down over a glass of Irish whiskey and these two guys could hammer out compromises. And it was a great time. In the same way, we hammered out our compromises in the family and I think that’s one of the things that people loved about us.”

Watch the video:

Michael J. Fox Thinks His Acting Career Might Be Over

Michael J Fox Second Retirement
(Getty/Roy Rochlin/Stringer)

For years, people have been clamoring for and wondering about a potential fourth Back to the Future movie, whether it’s a sequel or a reboot of some kind. These desires have repeatedly been shot down by the people behind the original trilogy, despite the fact that they themselves aren’t entirely disinterested in the idea – so long as it isn’t a remake. You can’t remake a perfect movie.

The main issue with a potential continuation of the series, aside from not wanting to mess with a good thing, is the health of original star Michael J. Fox. The beloved actor has been waging a public battle with Parkinson’s for two decades now, and as his symptoms have increased, his appearances on television shows and in movies have grown more and more sporadic. After a tremendously successful career in TV (Family Ties, Spin City) and film (Back to the Future), Fox has largely disappeared from our screens – which is one of the reasons it was so delightful to see him and Doc Brown at a charity poker tournament earlier this year and recently he appeared in Lil Nas X’s new video.

Unfortunately, that cameo may be the last time we see Fox on screen.

In his latest book, “No Time Like the Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality,” Fox admits that his career is probably over. Diagnosed at the age of 29 and told he would be lucky to work for another 10 years, Fox carried on for three more decades, continuing to pile up plenty of success and accolades. But now, as his health continues to decline, he is entering “a second retirement.”

He writes: “There is a time for everything, and my time of putting in a twelve-hour workday, and memorizing seven pages of dialogue, is best behind me. At least for now … I enter a second retirement. That could change, because everything changes. But if this is the end of my acting career, so be it.”

That’s sad news for Fox’s legions of fans, who’ve followed him from his breakout role as teenage Republican Alex P. Keaton, through the classic Back to the Future trilogy, and into his adulthood, as he starred on Spin City and made a variety of guest appearances on shows like Spin City, the West Wing, and more.

It’s a shame that his disease may cut his career short, but his resume is the envy of many an actor, and he’s left us with plenty of material to revisit.

Lil Nas X Teases New “Holiday” Single With Help from Michael J. Fox

Lil Nas X and Michael J Fox
(Twitter/realmikefox)

Remember Lil Nas X?

It wasn’t all that long ago, calendar wise if not mentally, that the rapper was ubiquitous. His “Old Town Road” single – and the countless remixes and covers and collaborations it spawned – dominated social media, and the radio, for months.

In the wake of his success, Lil Nas X was revealed to be a really good guy, visiting children’s hospitals, traveling to elementary schools to perform his hit, donating to charities, and just generally being a positive presence in the world.

And then 2020 hit and positive presences were few and far between. But the cloud may be lifting. A coronavirus vaccine seems to be approaching, the election is all over but the (literal) shouting and the holidays are almost here. As an added bonus, this year’s Christmas season will feature a new single from Lil Nas X, and he’s bringing some friends along for the ride. Including Santa Claus and Michael J Fox!

The teaser trailer for the rapper’s forthcoming single “Holiday” features Lil Nas X traveling back to the old west where he stumbles into a Santa Clause-type scenario in which he takes up the jolly man’s suit, sleigh, and beard before traveling into the future.

Fox makes a quick, complete with his old his Back to the Future III outfit and some solid advice.

Check it out:

Father and Son Create Back to the Future Guitar for Michael J. Fox Charity

Back to the Future Bass Guitar
(Doner Designs)

There’s a reason people keep wondering if Back to the Future is ever going to be rebooted (it’s not): it’s a classic. People love it, and they’re scared Hollywood is going to mess with it. There are so many indelible parts of the movie, including catchphrases, outfits, props, and soundtrack.

Michael J. Fox, the one and only McFly, knows how important the movie’s legacy is, and he’s leveraging it for a good cause.

Doner Designs has created a bass guitar inspired by the Back to the Future DeLorean, and, built to look like the dashboard, complete with a flux capacitor, this thing is a sight for sore eyes.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Doner Designs (@donerdesigns) on

Here’s the official description of the guitar, which was auctioned off, with all proceeds going to the Michael J. Fox Foundation:

This one-of-a-kind custom creation results from a ~300-hour labor of love by Steve and Richard Doner …Direct reference to the Back to the Future movie series was avoided, out of respect for intellectual property, but the bass features a selectable destination year display, a device resembling a flux capacitor and other electronic gadgetry sure to please fans of the time travel entertainment genre, 80’s pop culture and musicians alike.

Look at the detail!

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Doner Designs (@donerdesigns) on

That’s not all, the flux capacitor – baked right into the body of the guitar – actually lights up. You can see it in the video below. Now if you’ll excuse me, I gotta go back in time to be the one who buys this thing!

Josh Gad is Hosting a Back to the Future Reunion on YouTube This Monday

Reunited Apart BTTF Reunion
(Instagram/joshgad)

During the COVID-19 quarantine, Josh Gad – Broadway star, Olaf, future co-star of Rick Moranis in the Honey I Shrunk reboot, and major 80s fanboy – has been hosting a YouTube show called “Reunited Apart” in which he brings actors together to revisit one of their projects. Last week, Gad surprised the internet with a reunion of the cast of one of the most beloved films of the 80s: The Goonies.

He announced the reunion on social media during a video call with Sean Astin – in which Mikey himself delivered his iconic speech.

But Gad wasn’t done. A few days ago he announced another reunion of another cast from another one of the most beloved films of the 80s: Back to the Future!

This time, to help him spread the word, Gad enlisted original cast member Christopher Lloyd, the one and only Doc Brown:

Then Gad and Lea Thompson, aka Lorraine, recreated the infamous scene in which Marty wakes up in his mother’s bedroom and she ogles his underwear – with a 2020 twist.

Thompson will join Gad this Monday, along with Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd. Gad also teased 8 “mystery guests” who will be joining the virtual reunion, via a marked-up image.

One assumes this will include Thomas F. Wilson, aka Biff Tannen, and, hopefully, Crispin Glover. Speculate away as to the identities of the rest of the mystery guests: maybe Mary Steenburgen, maybe Flea?

Regardless of who else shows up, the reunion of the core cast is great news for fans of the BTTF franchise, especially after the repeated reminders that we won’t be getting a sequel or a reboot anytime soon. It will be nice to see them together.

Tune in to Josh Gad’s YouTube channel on Monday at 12ET/9PT to find out who else will be there!

Doc and Marty Reunite for Charity Poker Tournament

Doc and Marty at Charity Poker Tournament
(Instagram/mrchristopherlloyd)

Like it or not, we’re not getting a Back to the Future sequel or reboot.

It goes against everything modern Hollywood is doing, but the original trilogy’s director and producer are staunchly against it. No one wants to see a Back to the Future film without Michael J. Fox, and while he is open and continues to work even as his Parkinson’s disease progresses, it doesn’t seem like he’s interested in getting back into the Delorean. Christopher Lloyd wouldn’t mind some kind of new version, even an animated Rick and Morty crossover, but nothing looks likely.

So we have to take what we can get. Like that weird DeepFake video with Tom Holland and Robert Downey Jr. Or a real-life reunion at a poker tournament.

That’s what happened the other day, when Doc and Marty met up once again, this time in the present, at the annual charity poker night for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.

Lloyd showed up to support his friend and co-star and shared images of their reunion on Instagram. The caption even referenced their classic movies, “Going 88mph for the @michaeljfoxorg Poker Night ♠️ ♦️”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Going 88mph for the @michaeljfoxorg Poker Night ♠️ ♦️

A post shared by Christopher Lloyd (@mrchristopherlloyd) on

Michael J. Fox also shared a photo on his Instagram.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

All in with @mrchristopherlloyd at @michaeljfoxorg Poker Night!

A post shared by Michael J Fox (@realmikejfox) on

Relish in these photos, folks, because this is as good as it’s going to get in terms of a Back to the Future reboot. But while we may not see this duo together on screen again, it’s wonderful to see them together in real life, and for such a good cause.

Aside from Biff and Lorraine, about the only thing missing from these heartwarming photos of two old friends and costars from some of the most beloved movies in Hollywood history, is Michael wearing one of those futuristic double-ties from Back to the Future II.

Michael J. Fox’s Foundation Donates $24 Million to Parkinson’s Researchers

Michael J. Fox
(michaeljfox.org)

Beloved Canadian actor, Michael J. Fox recently announced that his foundation is giving away more than $24 million in grants for the research and treatment of Parkinson’s disease.

The actor, who is best known for his starring roles in movie classics like Back to the Future and Teen Wolf, as well as Spin City and a more recently, a recurring role on the TV show, The Good Wife,  was diagnosed with young-onset Parkinson’s disease in 2000.

That same year, he launched the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, which has since become the world’s largest nonprofit for Parkinson’s research. Since 2000, The Michael J. Fox Foundation has funded more than $800 million in Parkinson’s research.

The new donation is being distributed in the form of 127 grants for projects seeking to understand, diagnose, treat, and study the progression of the disease. “All of our funding is focused on our mission to find a cure for Parkinson’s and to improve quality of life for those living with the disease today.” reads the official statement from the foundation’s announcement.

Parkinson’s Disease is a progressive disease of the nervous system and its symptoms include tremors, muscular rigidity, and slow, imprecise movement, and mostly affects middle-aged and elderly people. Early warning signs include tremors while resting, a loss of smell, or dizziness. For a full list, check out Parkinson.org

Associate professor of molecular science Justin O’Sullivan, at the University of Auckland and his team are one of the grant recipients. He said, “For us, this grant is an amazing opportunity to investigate a disorder that has a huge impact on people. We hope to make insights that ultimately make a real difference to patients.”