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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.

Single European Act is passed

Contributed by Southpaw Ben

In 1957, Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, and West Germany signed the Treaty of Rome establishing the creation of the European Economic Community on January 1st 1958. The Single European Act was the first major revision to this treaty, and it's purpose was to set the objective of establishing a single market throughout the European Union by December 31st, 1992. This agreement also was used as a way to create a more collaborative legislative process within the various countries within the EU, which would give the European Parliament actual grounds for legislating within the individual countries of the EU for the first time. 9 of the 12 EU countries, consisting of Belgium, West Germany, France, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and the UK, signed the SEA, with Denmark, Ireland, and Italy not signing until later. Denmark didn't sign over concerns that the EU was infringing on it's national sovereignty too mush, but signed the treaty after a referendum was held, which had 56% in favor of the treaty. Italy didn't sign at first, as it's government thought it didn't give the European Parliament enough power, and Ireland's supreme court had ruled that an amendment to it's constitution was needed before it could ratify the treaty. This amendment passed with a 70% majority among Irish voters, allowing Ireland to formally ratify the SEA in June 1987, and the treaty went into effect on July 1st. [4][5] [6]

My Take by Southpaw Ben
As Jack said back during the Brexit situation, many of the millennials had grown up under the European Union having control over British trade and other policies, and had never lived or retained conscious memories of a time when Britain wasn't under the thumb of the EU. While technically it was a part of it since the 1957 Treaty of Rome, it wasn't until the SEA passed in 1987 that the EU was truly able to infringe majorly over the sovereignty of it's various member states. It's also remarkable how many people feel they don't have enough government intervention in their lives, as just as many choose to live in HOA's and add another layer of government to their lives, many in the various EU countries felt they needed another government which would add more laws and regulations on top of those already passed by their national governments. And if many of my generation, the millennials, would have their way, the US too would have another level of "oversight", especially since they didn't get their way in the recent election, which would simply be one more layer of bureaucracy and regulations.

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... well...it'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. [7] [8]

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

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) [10]
  • 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 [10]
  • And... : The Secret of My Success, Lethal Weapon, and Fatal Attraction (The movie that scares husbands faithful for the next ten years.--alexshrugged). [10]

This Year in TV

  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: Starring Patrick Stewart, an English actor playing a Frenchman on a space ship. [11]
  • 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. [11] [12]
  • 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). [11]
  • And... Max Headroom, Married... with Children, and The Tracey Ullman Show which includes the comedy short The Simpsons. [11]

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) [13]
  • Never Gonna Give You Up: Rick Astley. [13]
  • Who's That Girl?: Madonna. [13]
  • (I'm) Bad: Michael Jackson. ("Weird Al" Yankovic will record his parody entitled "(I'm) Fat") [13]
  • Aretha Franklin is the 1st woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.: . [13]

This Year in Video Games

  • Street Fighter is released by Capcom: This is the first in the series. [14]
  • 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. [14]
  • The IBM PS/2 is launched with VGA graphics: VGA will be the standard for many years to come. [14]
  • AdLib sound cards become the audio standard: It uses the Yamaha YM3812 chip set. SoundBlaster will use the same. [14]

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. [15]
  • 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). [16]

More events under consideration.

  • Reagan nominates Robert Bork to the Supreme Court: He is rejected by the Senate.
  • "Creation science" is banned in public schools by Supreme Court: The case is Edwards v. Aguillard. [17]
  • Curing the world: Dr. Paul Farmer co-founds "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.--alexshrugged) [18] [19]
  • Reagan orders a study on EMP: The Soviets are apparently working on such a bomb. [20]
  • The PLO begins the First Intifada: It is a Palestinian uprising against Israel. [21]
  • "Soccer mom" enters the American lexicon: .
  • "I admit that I have always harbored an exaggerated view of self-importance--to put it bluntly, I fancied myself as some kind of god...": -- George Soros, from his book The Alchemy of Finance.
  • The Philippines becomes a representative democracy: They model themselves on the U.S. system. [22]
  • Korean Air Lines Flight 858 is blown to bits: North Korean agents did it. No survivors. [23][24]
  • The Perl programming language is created by Larry Wall: A lot of the Internet today is run by Perl and Python. [15]
  • The first version of Photoshop is released: [15]
  • Prozac, is approved as an antidepressant: . [15]
  • West German pilot Mathias Rust lands a plan in Red Square: His little plane evades Soviet air defenses. It's embarrassing. [15]
  • The USS Stark is hit by two Iraqi-owned Exocet: 47 sailors are killed. [15]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1987, Wikipedia.

See Also


  1. Jessica McClure (Morales) - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  2. Water jet cutter - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  3. Photo of Jessica McClure and her mother Cissy, Paul Chinn (photographer), April 11, 1989. From the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner Collection at the Los Angeles Public Library. (PHOTO) Summary: Jessica is sitting in her mother's lap. She looks to be 3 years old and is trailing a microphone wire, presumably for an interview.
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single_European_Act
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Rome
  6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Economic_Community
  7. Paul Farmer - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 10 April 2017. “In 1987, Farmer, along with Ophelia Dahl, Jim Yong Kim, Thomas J. White and Todd McCormack, co-founded Partners In Health. PIH began in Cange in the Central Plateau of Haiti. It has developed into a worldwide health organization with a model for providing health care. The PIH hospital in Haiti provides free treatment to patients. PIH helps patients living in poverty to obtain effective drugs to treat tuberculosis and AIDS.”
  8. Kidder, Tracy. Mountains Beyond Mountains. Random House Trade Paperbacks. ISBN 9780812973013. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 1987 Births - Wikipedia (1987).
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 1987 in film - Wikipedia (1987). Retrieved on 27 January 2017.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 1987 in television - Wikipedia (1987).
  12. R. Budd Dwyer - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 19 April 2017. “Throughout Dwyer's trial and after his conviction, he maintained that he was innocent of the charges levied against him, and that he had been framed. Decades later, it was reported that the prosecution's primary witness, William T. Smith, whose testimony was largely used to obtain Dwyer's conviction, admitted in a documentary about Dwyer that he had lied under oath about Dwyer taking a bribe in order to receive a reduced sentence.”
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 1987 in music - Wikipedia (1987). Retrieved on 30 January 2017.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 1987 in music - Wikipedia (1987).
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 15.5 1987 - Wikipedia.
  16. Ayub, Massad. The Semiautomatic Pistol in Police Service and Self-defense. Concord, N.H. 1987. ISBN 0936279079 (BOOK)
  17. Edwards v. Aguillard
  18. Paul Farmer - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 10 April 2017. “In 1987, Farmer, along with Ophelia Dahl, Jim Yong Kim, Thomas J. White and Todd McCormack, co-founded Partners In Health. PIH began in Cange in the Central Plateau of Haiti. It has developed into a worldwide health organization with a model for providing health care. The PIH hospital in Haiti provides free treatment to patients. PIH helps patients living in poverty to obtain effective drugs to treat tuberculosis and AIDS.”
  19. Kidder, Tracy. Mountains Beyond Mountains. Random House Trade Paperbacks. ISBN 9780812973013. 
  20. Electromagnetic Pulse
  21. First Intifada - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  22. Philippines
  23. North Korea
  24. Korean Air Flight 858 - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]

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