Friday, April 21, 2017

History: The Year is 1989

I've uploaded year 1989 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.

* It's a Hit! The World Series Earthquake -- Contributed by Alex Shrugged

* 1989 Coronal Mass Ejection causes a blackout in Quebec -- Contributed by Southpaw Ben

* The Current State of Gun Control and Nerf Guns -- 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.


It's a Hit! The World Series Earthquake

Contributed by Alex Shrugged
This isn't "The Big One." Nor is it as big as the 'Frisco Quake of 1906, but it is big enough. A 6.9 magnitude earthquake hits south of Oakland, California as Game 3 of the World Series begins. It is broadcast live and in color nationwide. The fans in the stadium are safe enough but they are not going home any time soon. The double-decker Nimitz Freeway has collapsed, crushing cars like aluminum cans. (Yes, I know. People are inside. Some of them will live, but if the quake had hit on any other day, thousands would have died. Everyone is either at the game or watching it on TV. Not on the road.) The upper deck of the Oakland Bay Bridge collapses, but only one car is dumped onto the lower deck killing the driver. The rest of the damage is caused by the phenomenon of liquefaction. When the earth shakes, water from below is pumped up into the soil. Depending on the type of soil (AND CLAY IS THE WORST) it will turn to the consistency of play-dough. The entire first story of one building simply sinks beneath the earth. Other buildings sway and nearly collapse. (BUT THEY DON'T COLLAPSE.) Foundations pull out of the ground. (It is the leverage caused by the building moving back and forth like a rocking chair.) When it is all over, 63 have been killed, and 3,757 have been injured. The World Series has saved lives. [1] [2] [3] [4]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
After the 1906 earthquake and fire, all the rubble was pushed off into San Francisco Bay creating an artificial peninsula. Since that time the city expanded and built over the rubble. The earthworks on that peninsula were never engineered, so some of the most spectacular damage occurred there. I strongly suggest reviewing the pictures of the damage caused by this earthquake and then look at the number of people killed... 63. It is not a miracle. It is due to the local building codes, the preparedness of the population, and in this case a little luck. If my home in Austin, Texas were moved to California it would be destroyed in the first major earthquake because it was not built with earthquakes in mind. It would also cost a lot more to build if it was.

1989 Coronal Mass Ejection causes a blackout in Quebec

Contributed by Southpaw Ben
On March 13th, a severe solar wind struck Earth. This resulted in auroras being seen as far south as Florida and Texas, causing a rash of fears of a nuclear strike in progress, while others thought they were caused by a recent Space Shuttle mission. It also caused a disruption in short-wave radio, which was noticed by the interruption of Radio Free Europe into Russia, and as such was initially thought to be the result of jamming by the Soviet government. It also caused a 9 hour blackout in Quebec. This was a result of the transmission lines being longer than most systems, which was compounded by the fact that Quebec largely sits on a thin layer of soil, with a slab of rock under it, and as such, it didn't allow the excess current from flowing into the ground, unlike in most other power grids. As a result, many circuit breakers were tripped. As a result, many utility companies in North America and Northern Europe have implemented measures to reduce the the risks of future solar storms.[5]
My Take by Southpaw Ben
With how much hype there is in the prepper movement around CMEs, it's amazing how there have been 3 major solar storms since the March 1989 blackout, and the biggest amount of damage done was later in 1989, when the Toronto stock exchange as 3 computers broke as a result of affected microchips, and resulted in 3 hours of stopped trading.[6][7] Also, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has been working on standards to ensure most power grids would be well protected from solar storms.

The Current State of Gun Control and Nerf Guns

Contributed by Alex Shrugged
At this point the Undetectable Firearms Act is in effect. No one may manufacture, sell, possess or even contemplate possessing a firearm that cannot be detected by current metal detectors. Feel Better? I don't know why. All guns currently manufactured can be detected using a metal detector including the Glock 17 with the polymer grip. This hysteria over so-called plastic guns simply increases Glock sales by keeping the name foremost in people's minds. Smith & Wesson is trying to win the bid for the FBI's new service weapon, but the current 10mm round has too much kick. The current agents don't like it, and with more women entering FBI service, something has to give, so Smith & Wesson has come out with the .40 S&W ammo. It will be revealed at the Shot Show in January next year. Mr. Glock will saunter over to the booth and pocket a few cartridges. After carefully measuring them he realizes that the Glock 22 can accommodate the new ammo with a few modifications. Thus Glock will beat Smith & Wesson to market with a gun that uses S&W ammo. Back to this year, California passes an assault weapons ban. In summary, any weapon with an AK or AR in the name is banned. Also vague descriptions of what constitutes a scary looking weapon leaves a lot of people in doubt as to what an assault rifle really is. Frankly, a pink .45 with "Hello-Kitty" sights is scary enough for me. [8] [9] [10] [11]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
These airsoft rifles seem as scary as any so-called assault rifle. My son used to carry one around at the park. The county sheriff asked him nicely to please stop doing that. It was making mothers at the park nervous. OK, but at least no one called out the SWAT team. The authorities just went over and talked to him like a human being. They may not always be right. They might even hassle you, but they are willing to talk to you before they come out shooting. My son was also picked up by police for shooting a Nerf gun. A NERF GUN! Luckily, everything was straightened out before I went down there, and caused a major incident. If you ever wonder why public officials do such foolish things, please read George Orwell's excellent essay, "Shooting an Elephant". Orwell was a police officer, and he didn't want to shoot the elephant, but public pressure forced him to "do something". So he did. Bang! [12]

Notable Births

  • Anton Yelchin (died 2016, age 27, crushed by his car in his own driveway): He played Pavel Chekov in the Star Trek movie reboot. (His driveway is on an incline, and his car rolled, pinning him against a pillar. His car was under recall for a transmission problem that caused rolling.--alexshrugged) [13]
  • -- In TV... Ashley Benson (Pretty Little Liars), Brie Larson (Raising Dad), and Hayden Panettiere (Claire in Heroes) [17] [18] [19]
  • -- In Movies... Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter), Lily Collins (The Blind Side), Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland) and Brenton Thwaites (The Giver) [20] [21] [22] [23]

This Year in Film

  • Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: It is the search for the Holy Grail. [24]
  • Batman: It is the dark. [24]
  • Look Who's Talking: Bruce Willis is the voice of the baby. [24]
  • And...: The Little Mermaid, Driving Miss Daisy and Field of Dreams, "If you build it, he will come." [24]

This Year in TV

  • Baywatch: David Hasselhoff and Pamela Anderson. [25]
  • Doogie Howser, M.D.: Computer journals become popular. [25]
  • America's Funniest Home Videos: Embarrassing family moments. [25]

This Year in Music

  • Like a Prayer: Madonna. (Controversy erupts when her music video uses stigmata (bleeding hands and feet), Catholic iconography and dancing in church (shudder!). She also kisses a black priest.--alexshrugged) [30]

This Year in Video Games

  • Nintendo's Gameboy is released: Good battery life will make this handheld game system a winner. [31]
  • SimCity is released: A "game level editor" is turned into the game itself. [31] [32]
  • Populous becomes the 1st "god game": The player acts as a deity influencing actions within the game and eliminating the unbelievers. [31] [33]
  • Herzog Zwei is the 1st real-time strategy game: Released on Sega Genesis. [31] [34]

In Other News

  • The Exxon Valdez runs aground, spilling 240,000 barrels of oil into Prince William Sound: The captain had been drinking. [35]
  • Charles Keating and the Savings and Loan crisis will cost $200 billion in bailouts: (As I recall, Congress expanded the insurance on assets without raising premiums, thus encouraging risky investments.--alexshrugged) [36] [35]
  • A Chinese man faces down tanks during the Tiananmen Square Massacre. His image will become the icon for this democracy movement. [35]
  • Cold fusion is here!: No, it's not. Yes, it is. No, it's not. Nuclear fusion at room temperatures is considered BS (Bad Science). [35]

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