Monday, March 27, 2017

History: The Year is 1970

I've uploaded year 1970 to the TSP Wiki...

As always, Alex Shrugged's opinions are his own. Other people's work are their own. I include them here for the sake of completeness and to provide a second method of access to the material for the TSP history segment.

* Pawn to King 4 and the Soul of a New Machine -- Contributed by Alex Shrugged

* We're from the government, and we've come to help -- Contributed by Southpaw Ben

* The Sky Marshals Are at Your Service -- Contributed by Alex Shrugged

* Notable Births -- See below.

* This Year in Film -- See below.

* This Year in Music -- See below.

* In Other News -- See below.


Pawn to King 4 and the Soul of a New Machine

This year the UNIX clock begins its count. There are no microprocessors. A personal computer must be custom built using Transistor-Transistor-Logic (TTL). Mainframes, such as the IBM 360, have a whopping 4 K of memory. NASA uses people (mostly women with slide rules) as human "computers". Computers are complex and ornery beasts that often break down. One time a computer programmer "debugged" a problem by pulling out a dead moth that had shorted out a logic circuit. Xerox has established a new research center that will develop Ethernet, laser printers, the Graphical User Interface (GUI) and the mouse. Carnegie-Mellon has poured its research dollars into a speech recognition machine. It is a military-sponsored project, so when the General asks for a demonstration, they set up a chessboard and a microphone to catch the General's voice. The machine will challenge the General to a game of chess, but as he clears his throat, the computer interprets the General gurgling as a chess move. The computer responds, "Pawn to King 4". This is going to take some time. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Building computers in the 1970s was not easy. Even the early microprocessors required a lot of support circuitry. Memory was bulky, slow and ran hot. People could imagine pocket computers. After all, they saw them on Star Trek... but those were blinking lights, sound effects, and the voice of Mrs. Roddenberry responding "Data not found. Cannot comply". Real computers didn't work that way, but those of us growing up with Star Trek WANTED them to work that way. We poured our souls into a new machine, and brought it to life. Designing and building computers is a special kind of crazy. My decent into insanity began after I read the book, "The Soul of a New Machine" by Tracy Kidder. I have not been the same since. [6] [7] [8]

We're from the government, and we've come to help

Contributed by Southpaw Ben
On December 2nd, the EPA was formed in response to the many ecologically damaging practices of many in the US, which had been publicized and criticized in the growing environmental movement of the 1960s. Many in industry thought the environmental protection movement was merely a fad, which caused William Ruckelshaus, the first administrator to the EPA, to establish the fact that the EPA had the power to effectively combat pollution and punish those found guilty of pollution. This year, the groundwork for the creation of OSHA is laid, with the signing of the Occupational Safety and Health Act by President Nixon on December 29th. The same environmental movement that created the EPA also pushed for OSHA, which would allow the Federal Government to impose and enforce regulations on workplace safety.[9][10][11]
My Take by Southpaw Ben
During the summer of 2015, my youth group was working with the Mennonite Disaster Service in Crisfield Maryland helping to rebuild some houses that had been damaged by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Being from a largely farming community, most of us were familiar with the proper use of power tools, and the first day had been making great progress, until and administrator realized that, since most of us were under 18, we weren't allowed to use power tools, because it would be an OSHA violation. Needless to say, it slowed down our work considerably, as according to OSHA, we couldn't safely use the power tools, because we were too young. As for the EPA, I read "Folks, this Ain't Normal" by Joel Salatin this weekend, and agree with him that we could simply use trespassing laws and sue and prosecute those actually responsible for pollution, rather than using the EPA, which doesn't end up punishing the large companies that are the cause of pollution, and instead uses it's overreaching powers to further the various political agendas of whichever moron is in power.

The Sky Marshals Are at Your Service

Contributed by Alex Shrugged
"All we can do is hang our heads and admit that what we did was wrong even though it felt right at the time. We were idealistic students who wanted to change the world and challenge a USA determined to wage war."
-- Emiko Kaneko, co-conspirator with the Yodo-go skyjackers, on trial 32 years later. [12]
These days communist sympathizers want to hijack a plane and fly to Cuba, but the Yogo-do hijackers cannot fly a 727 from Japan to Cuba without multiple fuel-stops, so they head for North Korea where they are granted asylum. (32 years later North Korea will return them to Japan in exchange for economic aid.) Usually, passengers are safe as long as they remain calm, but this is Black September. Passengers be damned. Palestinian PFLP terrorists have skyjacked 4 international flights. Three flights land in Jordon, and a 4th lands in Egypt. The terrorists take over the airfield in Jordon as a direct challenge to the King. Eventually, the passengers are released in exchange for Palestinian prisoners. The planes are blown up, and a civil war erupts between the Palestinians and the Jordanian kingdom. The "Black September" movement will lead to further violence throughout the Middle East. [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
FYI, an attempt to skyjack an El Al flight was foiled when Israeli sky marshals dutifully shot the terrorists. President Nixon stepped up the US Sky Marshal program in reaction. Now... I'm going to say something that will cause many people to roll their eyes... but have you ever noticed that whenever society is going to hell in a hand-basket that the communists are often supplying the hand-baskets? In this case, The KGB supplied weapons to the Palestinian (PFLP) skyjackers. The Soviet Union funded terrorist groups around the world in order to challenge the USA. Chairman Mao of communist China did the same. Communists are not under the bed, but these days they are often paying for the buses, the platform and the microphones so that protestors can disrupt the capitalist state. This makes communism look like a reasonable alternative. I could say something about lipstick on pigs, but I'll leave it there.[19] [20]

Notable Births

  • Melania Trump: First Lady of the United States, and 2nd foreign-born First Lady. The first was Louisa, wife of John Quincy Adams. [21] [22]
  • Paul Ryan: Speaker of the House (R) and VP candidate. [21]
  • Ted Cruz: US Senator (R) and Presidential hopeful. [21]
  • Gabrielle Giffords: Congresswoman (D) was shot by an assassin and lived. The assassin got life-plus-140 years. [21] [23]
  • Nicole de Boer: Ezri Dax on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. She played the "Trill" symbiont. [21]
  • -- In Comedy: Tina Fey and Sarah Silverman. [21]
  • -- In Movies: Matt Damon, Heather Graham, and Rachel Weisz (Evelyn in The Mummy). [21]

This Year in Film

  • Love Story: "Love means never having to say you're sorry." (I love my wife, so why am I saying "I'm sorry" every frickin' day?--alexshrugged) [24] [25]
  • Airport: A guy, down on his luck, blows up the plane, so his wife can collect the insurance money. (Very exciting.--alexshrugged) [24]
  • Patton Beginning with an amazing pep talk from General Patton. [24] [26]

This Year in TV

  • The Partridge Family: Shirley Jones launches her TV family on a musical career. David Cassidy is her real son. [29] [30]
  • NFL Monday Night Football: Howard Cosell pokes fun at Don Meredith while Keith Jackson does the play by play. [29]

This Year in Music

  • Bridge over Troubled Water: Simon & Garfunkel. [31]
  • Whole Lotta Love: Led Zeppelin. [31]
  • Let It Be: The Beatles. NOTE: Paul McCartney leaves the Beatles, and puts out his own album. [31]

In Other News

  • Apollo 13: "Houston, we have a problem.": An exploding oxygen tank strands moon-bound astronauts in space. Against all odds they return to Earth. [14] [32] [33]
  • Earth Day is celebrated... NOAA is created... PBS is here.: ... and on and on... [14] [34] [35] [36] [37]
  • Vietnam War protests turn violent: Kent State students are shot. And the Weather Underground bombs the University of Wisconsin at Madison, killing a physics researcher. [38] [39] [40] [41] [42]
  • Finally, the Ford Pinto and Chevy Vega are introduced: As if we didn't have enough problems. [14]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1970, Wikipedia.

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