WELCOME EVERYONE! I have no idea who these people are or what they are doing, but I love it!
January 1, 2017 isn't just New Year's Day… it's also the Internet's 34rd birthday. On January 1, 1983, all the computer systems on the ARPANET, created by the Department of Defense in 1969, were required to switch over to the TCP/IP network protocol that it still uses today, giving birth to the Internet as we know it. But how well do we know it? Onetime computer programmer (and Jeopardy! computer victim) Ken Jennings is here to do a complete systems update on all the Digital Age spam in your mental inbox.
The Debunker: Was a Moth in a Navy Computer the First "Bug"?
Grace Hopper was one of the greatest computer pioneers of the 20th century. "Amazing Grace" was a math whiz with a Ph.D from Yale who joined the Naval Reserve during World War II and worked on the early computers that made the Manhattan Project possible. After the war, she helped create UNIVAC, America's first commercial computer; wrote the first compiler in history; and was instrumental in developing early programming languages like COBOL and FORTRAN. By the time she retired from the Navy in 1986, she had achieved the rank of Rear Admiral. Last November, President Obama posthumously awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Happy Music Monday! Today is the first Monday of the New Year. In celebration, Scott's done a post full of new-themed songs. Join in, have fun, celebrate the start of something new!
This is, of course, a Billy Bragg cover, but the jangly guitar and wistful lyrics of this version really captures what January always feels like to me. There's still the feelings of the old year mixed with the knowledge that something else is coming. Even if we disagree what that something is, we all want it to be good. That's gotta count for something, right?
Let's all face this New Year together! More songs to come.
HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!!!
This is me on New Year's 2017:
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 America Hate "New Coke"?
It's the go-to marketing textbook test case for "how to @#$% everything up at once." In April 1985, the Coca-Cola Company tweaked the flavor of its flagship soda for the first time since it got rid of cocaine in the 1920s. Everyone remembers this as a disastrously tone-deaf misstep by executives who apparently knew nothing about their own product or customers. By summer, Coke announced that its original formula would be coming back as "Classic Coke," and the much-touted "New Coke" was consigned to the dustbin of history. But maybe you can imagine a parallel universe where almost everyone preferred the taste of New Coke and sales actually rose in 1985? Well, my friends, that universe…is ours.
Welcome to the Music Monday recap of the best songs from this dumpster fire of a year! Scott’s still in a corner sobbing over the loss of David Bowie and Prince (among others), so he’s handed over the reins to me to take us out of 2016. Let’s dive right in!Panic! At the Disco - Impossible Year
Released in early 2016, Panic! At the Disco’s "Death of a Bachelor" was… surprisingly listenable! I’m not a huge fan, wasn’t actually very sure if they were still together, and yet, this song became my official outro song for each successive failure I faced in 2016. It’s got a lovely piano theme and a fabulous backing brass band that really works with the lead singer’s vocals, more so than I remember of them from their early 00’s emo days.
More music (and more uplifting!) under the fold…