Wednesday, April 19, 2017

History: The Year in 1987

I've uploaded year 1987 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.

* Saving Baby Jessica -- Contributed by Alex Shrugged

* xxx -- Contributed by Southpaw Ben

* Saving Haiti and then the World -- 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.


Saving Baby Jessica

Contributed by Alex Shrugged
At 18 months old, Jessica McClure toddles out of her Midland, Texas home. Somehow she comes across an abandoned well: an 8 inch wide pipe. She falls 22 feet until her body is wedged in solid. CNN goes wall-to-wall in its coverage. The country is gripped by the drama. The natural solution is to drill a hole parallel to the pipe, but it would take days to dig that deep, and the friction-heat from the drilling would cook Baby Jessica. Instead, they use water-jet drilling. It is fast and keeps the temperature low. When the drillers get deep enough, they dig a hole perpendicular to the well casing and break it open. Her foot is visible. The rescuer reaches in and pulls her through. Baby Jessica is saved! She will lose a toe due to gangrene. Years later, after she is full grown and married, she will be asked if the incident traumatized her, but apparently not. She will have no recollection of it happening at all, but America still remembers. [1] [2] [3]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Just so you know, you should never abandon a well without having a plan to plug it. Just dumping dirt into it isn't going to cut it. Ask for advice from a local soils engineer. Every situation is different. I once had a job representing a soils engineer in the field. One day, to our surprise, we uncovered a cistern 20 feet deep. Earth was piled up everywhere and I thought, "This would be a great place for dirt bike riding. Kids playing on the site might be killed." (Kids are not supposed to play at construction sites, but we were not fools.) It was late in the day, so we parked a loader next to the hole and lowered the bucket over it. It wasn't perfect, but I felt I could look a parent in the eye and say that we did our part to keep their kid safe. Nowadays, if I see kids playing at a construction site, I run them off. It's not my job, but it really is. I'm not trying to kill their fun. I want them to live long enough for them to have even more fun. Extra: At ten years old I almost drowned while farming. I was helping my cousins plant water cress (as "helpful" as a ten-year old can be). I was wearing wading boots, and I fell into an unseen hole. My boots filled with water and trapped me. I let out a yelp. Luckily, I was tall enough that my nose cleared the surface of the water, and my cousins pulled me out. Farming can be dangerous too.


Contributed by Southpaw Ben
My Take by Southpaw Ben

Saving Haiti and then the World

Contributed by Alex Shrugged
Tuberculosis has always been a problem, but the drug treatment program to cure it in poor countries has actually made it worse. The problem is a lack of basic training in medical care, a lack of resources and a one-size-fits-all medical system that refuses to believe that when one treatment stops working, another treatment is called for. Dr. Paul Farmer has co-founded "Partners in Health" to cure tuberculosis and AIDS in poor countries like Haiti. He is that rare white liberal who puts his money and his full effort where his mouth is and when he is told that he spends too much time per patient he says...'s unprintable, but essentially, he doesn't like the idea of medicine for the most people in the most efficient manner possible because that policy invariably kills poor people such as in the rural areas of Haiti, in the slums of Peru, or in the prisons of the Soviet Union. These people tend to be ignored, but they breed disease and then distribute it to the masses. Dr. Farmer believes that this is what happened with AIDS. Sex tourism brought AIDS to Haiti, but then it bred in Haiti and distributed it throughout the United States as sex tourists went home with little surprises. [4] [5]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
I recommend reading the book "Mountains Beyond Mountains" by Tracy Kidder which is a biography of Dr. Farmer and his medical efforts. I cannot say I like Dr. Farmer. He is one of those tedious liberals who harangues people to be better people... like the clergy tend to do. On the other hand, I respect Dr. Farmer because he is practicing what he preaches. I was once told that charity is not simply writing a check. My personal participation is required. I can't do everything, but I know that I can do things that others cannot. I fill that slot. Others can fill other slots, and then most of the work can get done personally. I knew someone who would go down to the welfare office and help the poor fill out forms. He complained that the government should assign someone to help these people, but he was helping each one personally, making sure they knew that someone cared. He was a saint, and he didn't know it, so I told him. Yet he wanted the government to take his place, as if the government was in the business of providing saints. It is a strange view of government that some people have. It's almost as if they think of government as a substitute church.

Notable Births

  • Elizabeth Smart: At age 14, she was kidnapped from her Utah home. Rescued 9 months later. [6]
  • Bruce Irvin: The only player ever ejected from a Superbowl game (That is, Superbowl 49, February 1, 2015) [6]
  • Tim Tebow: A quarterback famous for kneeling in prayer during a game. He is now a minor league outfielder for the Mets organization. [6]
  • -- In Comedy... Aidy Bryant (Saturday Night Live) and Hillary Duff (Lizzie McGuire and Cheaper by the Dozen). [6]
  • -- In Movies... Ashley Greene (Alice in Twilight), and Ellen Page (Juno and Inception). [6]

This Year in Film

  • Three Men and a Baby: Three bachelors raise a love child fathered one of them while the mother is away. (It's actually funny and rather cute despite the odd premise.--alexshrugged) [7]
  • Good Morning, Vietnam: Robin William plays a radio disk jockey in Vietnam. The disk jockey was real. Everything else was fiction. (Good film though.--alexshrugged [7]
  • And... : The Secret of My Success, Lethal Weapon, and Fatal Attraction (The movie that scares husbands faithful for the next ten years.--alexshrugged). [7]

This Year in TV

  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: Starring Patrick Stewart, an English actor playing a Frenchman on a space ship. [8]
  • The Treasurer of Pennsylvania blows his brains out on TV: R. Budd Dwer is convicted of accepting a bribe. In fact, he was framed, but its too late now. [8] [9]
  • TV Evangelist Jim Bakker resigns from the PTL Club after sex and financial scandals: (He did not deserve a 45 year sentence when violent, mutilating rapists were getting 11. He eventually served 5 years.--alexshrugged). [8]
  • And... Max Headroom, Married... with Children, and The Tracey Ullman Show which includes the comedy short The Simpsons. [8]

This Year in Music

  • I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me): Whitney Houston. (She has a voice like a bell, but her drug problem will kill her.--alexshrugged) [10]
  • Never Gonna Give You Up: Rick Astley. [10]
  • Who's That Girl?: Madonna. [10]
  • (I'm) Bad: Michael Jackson. ("Weird Al" Yankovic will record his parody entitled "(I'm) Fat") [10]
  • Aretha Franklin is the 1st woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.: . [10]

This Year in Video Games

  • Street Fighter is released by Capcom: This is the first in the series. [11]
  • Alex Shrugged programs Side Arms for the IBM PC: It features full screen scrolling, a first for the PC. I'm also working on Tiger Road. [11]
  • The IBM PS/2 is launched with VGA graphics: VGA will be the standard for many years to come. [11]
  • AdLib sound cards become the audio standard: It uses the Yamaha YM3812 chip set. SoundBlaster will use the same. [11]

In Other News

  • It's Black Monday: The stock market loses 22% of its value. President Reagan will do nothing and the market will recover.
  • The FCC revokes the "equal time" Fairness Doctrine: Rush Limbaugh will save AM radio the next year because stations won't be forced to balance his opinion with an opposing view.
  • "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.": --Ronald Reagan, from his speech at the Berlin Wall, June 12, 1987.
  • Maglite introduces the 2AAA Mini flashlight: They are targeting medical and industrial applications. [12]
  • Massad Ayub publishes his book The Semi-Automatic Pistol in Police Service and Self Defense: (I've heard him interviewed many times and seen his videos. He is masterful. Very informative.--alexshrugged). [13]

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