You're not just imagining it: the 1980s are back! It's not just Netflix drowning us in nostalgia with Stranger Things and Fuller House. Women are wearing scrunchies, Ghostbusters and Blade Runner are returning to the multiplex, Hulk Hogan is back showing off his moves on videotape, and Teddy Ruxpin is returning to toy stores. Just for fun, we even elected a 1980s curio as President of the United States! But is everything we remember about the eighties the totally tubular truth? "Just say no," says Jeopardy!'s Ken Jennings, so we've asked him to take us on a DeLorean ride back in time, separating the "Straight Up" facts from the "sweet little lies" of our foggily remembered Bartles & Jaymes youth. As they say, knowing is half the battle.
The Debunker: Did "Patient Zero" Spread AIDS to North America?
One of the most memorable elements of And the Band Played On, Randy Shilts's best-seller about the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s, is the case of Gaëtan Dugas, a flight attendant from Quebec whose coast-to-coast travels—and recklessly prolific sexual habits—spread AIDS across the continent. Shilts called him "Patient Zero," and the media ran with the story, calling Dugas "the Columbus of AIDS" and taking it as fact that he was the index case, the disease's vector from Europe to America.