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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]

  • These are events under consideration.

Natural Disasters

  • The world's deadliest tornado kills 1,300 in Bangladesh: See the Daulatpur–Saturia tornado. [35]
  • Hurricane Hugo causes 71 deaths and $8 billion in damages in the US: The Caribbean is devastated. [35]
  • A solar flare brings down the Hydro-Québec power grid: Six million are without power. Auroras can be seen as far south as Texas. See March 1989 geomagnetic storm. [35]

Unnatural Disasters

  • The Central Park Jogger is raped and sodomized: Her identity will remains secret for years, but the incident causes a media frenzy. [35]
  • United Airlines Flight 811 suffers violent decompression, 9 passengers are lost to the void: . [35]
  • The Menendez Brothers brutally murder their rich parents and then expect to inherit: See Lyle and Erik Menendez. [35]


  • The first dial-up Internet connection is offered by The World STD: What did they do before? Do you know what UUCP is? Well, you don't want to know. (It's Unix-to-Unix Copy. It's difficult to manage and it required beer deals to get hooked up.--alexshrugged) [35]
  • South Africa dismantles its nuclear weapons: . [35]
  • The first GPS satellite is now in orbit: You need 24 for this to work, but it's a start. [35]

Communism is Going down...

  • The death of Hu Yaobang sparks the Tiananmen Square protests: 1 million Chinese demand democracy. See Goddess of Democracy. [35]
  • 300,000 Soviet coal miners go on strike: (Wait. The Soviet Union is a national labor union, so the coal miners are striking against their own union? OK. Just checking.--alexshrugged) [35]
  • The Singing Revolution against Soviet domination begins: Two million Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians join hands at the Tallin Song Festival to demand freedom and independence from Soviet occupation. [35]
  • The Polish Solidarity movement wins in the first of many anti-communist elections . [35]
  • New rules allowing travel between East and West Berlin results in tearing down the Berlin wall: . [35]
  • The Velvet Revolution: The Communist Party of Czechoslovakia announces elections in December: A non-communist government is voted in, the first in 40 years. [35]

  • Patrick Purdy shoots 5 children, wounds 30 in a Stockton schoolyard: Purdy then kills himself. See Stockton schoolyard shooting. [35]

The End of Racism?

  • Ron Brown becomes chairman of the DNC: He becomes the 1st black man to lead a major US political party. [35]
  • Douglas Wilder becomes the 1st elected black governor in the US: . [35]
  • General Colin Powell becomes the 1st black chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff: . [35]
  • David Dinkins becomes the 1st black mayor of New York City: . [35]
  • South Africa ends segregation: See Separate Amenities Act. [35]

Gun Control

  • The "assault weapons" ban is in effect: (What is an "assault weapon?" My kitchen knives are assault weapons.--alexshrugged. [35]
  • A gun turret on the USS Iowa blows up, killing 47 crew members: Conspiracies abounded including a rumor that two of the sailors were homosexual lovers. (As I recall, the gunpowder bags they used exploded.--alexshurgged) [35]
  • Los Angeles bans the sale or possession of semiautomatic firearms: . [35]


  • The Dow Jones Average drops 190 points. See the Friday the 13th mini-crash. [35]
  • Food riots in Argentina begins: Inflation is out of control. [35]
  • The Berne Convention on international copyrights is ratified: (The length of time for copyright protection is entirely too long for the vast majority of works.--alexshrugged) [35]

  • Flags are burned by protesters in defiance to the new Flag Protection Act: See United States v. Eichman. [37] [35]
  • The US invades Panama: See Operation Just Cause and Manuel Noriega. [35]
  • Oliver North is convicted of his part in Iran–Contra affair: He conviction will be overturned on appeal because his earlier testimony had been immunized. [35]
  • The University of Michigan's "hate speech" law is overturned' See Doe v. University of Michigan. [38] [35]
  • Iceland ends its prohibition on beer: It has been a 74 year dry spell. [35]
  • The Catholic Church announces the moving of the Carmelite convent near the Auschwitz concentration camp: It seems to stem from a misunderstanding, but the Catholics eventually agree to move. [35] [39]
  • Civil unions in Denmark becomes Same-sex marriage: This is the world's first such legislation. [40][41] [35]

  • Ayatollah Khomeini calls for the death of Salman Rushdie for his novel "The Satanic Verses": The author is placed under police protection. [35]
  • Hezbollah hangs U.S. Marine Lt. Col. William R. Higgins: This is in retaliation for Israel's kidnapping of Hezbollah leader Abdel Karim Obeid. (I'm not sure how the capturing of a terrorist group leader is called a "kidnapping" unless arresting bank robbers is kidnapping, or capturing enemy forces is kidnapping.--alexshrugged) United Nations Security Council Resolution 638, condemning the taking of hostages by both sides in the conflict. [35]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1989, Wikipedia.

See Also


  1. 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  2. 1906 San Francisco earthquake - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  3. Alex Shrugged Notes: My comments on the peninsula come from my personal observations while watching the TV coverage of the 1989 quake.
  4. 1989 World Series - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 20 April 2017. “This Series was also known as the 'Bay Bridge Series,' 'BART Series,' 'Battle of the Bay,' and 'Earthquake Series' as the two participant cities lie on opposite sides of San Francisco Bay, connected by the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge and the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system, and the earthquake that occurred before the start of Game 3.”
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/March_1989_geomagnetic_storm
  6. http://www.edn.com/electronics-blogs/edn-moments/4394205/Solar-flare-impacts-microchips--August-16--1989
  7. https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg12316812.400-solar-storms-halt-stock-market-as-computers-crash/
  8. Obama Signs Bill to Extend Ban on Plastic Guns - News & Opinion - PCMag.com. pcmag.com (December 10, 2013). Retrieved on 21 April 2017. “The bill outlaws the manufacture, import, selling, shipment, delivery, possession, transfer, or reception of any firearm that is not detectable by walk-through metal detectors, or has major components that do not generate an accurate image by airport X-ray machines.”
  9. Undetectable Firearms Act of 1988 (1988; 100th Congress H.R. 4445) - GovTrack.us. Retrieved on 21 April 2017.
  10. Qaddafi Buying Austrian Plastic Pistols (56k) - AR15.COM. ar15.com (January 15, 1986). Retrieved on 21 April 2017.
  11. Barrett, Paul. Glock: The Rise of the American Gun. Crown Publishers. ISBN 9780307719942. 
  12. Shooting An Elephant by George Orwell. online-literature.com (1936). Retrieved on 21 April 2017. “As a police officer I was an obvious target and was baited whenever it seemed safe to do so. When a nimble Burman tripped me up on the football field and the referee (another Burman) looked the other way, the crowd yelled with hideous laughter. This happened more than once. In the end the sneering yellow faces of young men that met me everywhere, the insults hooted after me when I was at a safe distance, got badly on my nerves. The young Buddhist priests were the worst of all.”
  13. Anton Yelchin - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 13 April 2017. “Anton Viktorovich Yelchin (March 11, 1989 – June 19, 2016) was an American film and television actor, known for portraying Pavel Chekov in the Star Trek reboot series, Jacob Helm in Like Crazy, Jim Lake Jr. in Trollhunters, and several other prominent roles. Born to a Russian Jewish family in Leningrad, Yelchin relocated to the United States as an infant. He began performing in the late 1990s, appearing in several television roles and the Hollywood films Along Came a Spider and Hearts in Atlantis (both 2001). His role as Jacob Clarke in the Steven Spielberg miniseries Taken was significant in furthering his career as a child actor. He later appeared on the television series Huff and appeared in the films Alpha Dog (2007), Terminator Salvation (2009), Charlie Bartlett (2007), Fright Night (2011), The Smurfs (2011), Only Lovers Left Alive (2013), Green Room (2015), and Thoroughbred (2017). He appeared in Star Trek (2009), Star Trek Into Darkness (2013), and the posthumously released Star Trek Beyond (2016). Early in the morning of June 19, 2016, Yelchin was found by friends pinned between his Jeep Grand Cherokee and a brick pillar outside his home in Studio City, California, in what was described as a 'freak accident'. He was pronounced dead later that day at the age of 27.”
  14. Taylor Swift - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 13 April 2017. “Taylor Alison Swift (born December 13, 1989) is an American singer-songwriter. One of the most popular contemporary female recording artists, she is known for narrative songs about her personal life, which has received much media attention.”
  15. 1989 Births - Wikipedia.
  16. Taylor Swift - Wikipedia.
  17. Ashley Benson - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 13 April 2017. “Ashley Victoria Benson (born December 18, 1989) is an American actress and model, known for her role as Hanna Marin on the mystery television series Pretty Little Liars.”
  18. Brie Larson - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 13 April 2017. “Brianne Sidonie Desaulniers (born October 1, 1989), known professionally as Brie Larson, is an American actress, director, and singer. Born in Sacramento, California, Larson was home-schooled before she studied acting at the American Conservatory Theater. She began her acting career in television, appearing as a regular on the 2001 sitcom Raising Dad, for which she was nominated for a Young Artist Award.”
  19. Hayden Panettiere - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 20 April 2017. “Hayden Leslie Panettiere (born August 21, 1989) is an American actress, model, singer, and activist. She is known for her roles as cheerleader Claire Bennet on the NBC sci-fi series Heroes (2006–10), Juliette Barnes in the ABC/CMT musical-drama series Nashville (2012–present) and Kairi in the video game series Kingdom Hearts.”
  20. Daniel Radcliffe - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 13 April 2017. “Daniel Jacob Radcliffe (born 23 July 1989) is an English actor best known for his role as Harry Potter in the film series of the same name. He made his acting debut at 10 years of age in BBC One's 1999 television film David Copperfield, followed by his cinematic debut in 2001's The Tailor of Panama. At age 11, he was cast as Harry Potter in the first Harry Potter film, and starred in the series for 10 years until the release of the eighth and final film in 2011.”
  21. Mia Wasikowska - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 13 April 2017. “She gained worldwide prominence in 2010 after starring as Alice in Tim Burton's $1 billion-grossing Alice in Wonderland and appearing in the comedy-drama film The Kids Are All Right, a role for which she received the Hollywood Awards Breakthrough Actress Award.”
  22. Brenton Thwaites - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 13 April 2017. “Brenton Thwaites (born 10 August 1989) is an Australian actor who first came to prominence with his portrayal of Luke Gallagher in the Fox8 teen drama series SLiDE (2011), and later Stu Henderson in the soap opera Home and Away (2011–12). Since moving to the United States, Thwaites has headlined films such as Blue Lagoon: The Awakening (2012), Oculus (2013), and The Giver (2014), the last, opposite Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep.”
  23. Lily Collins - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 13 April 2017. “Collins appeared as a guest star on the teen drama television series 90210 in 2009, followed by her feature film debut in the semi-biographical sports film The Blind Side. She had leading roles in the sci-fi action-horror film Priest (2011) and the psychological action-thriller film Abduction, and was nominated for the Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Actress – Sci-Fi/Fantasy for her role as Snow White in the fantasy film Mirror Mirror.”
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 24.3 1989 in film - Wikipedia (1989). Retrieved on 27 January 2017.
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 25.3 25.4 1989 in television - Wikipedia (1989).
  26. Inner Circle- Bad Boys - YouTube. Retrieved on 20 April 2017.
  27. Banned Pepsi commercial with Madonna (1989) - YouTube. Retrieved on 20 April 2017.
  28. Madonna talks about Pepsi Like A Prayer Ad RARE - YouTube. Retrieved on 20 April 2017.
  29. BANNED KENDALL JENNER PEPSI COMMERCIAL - YouTube. Retrieved on 20 April 2017.
  30. 30.0 30.1 30.2 30.3 1989 in music - Wikipedia (1989). Retrieved on 30 January 2017.
  31. 31.0 31.1 31.2 31.3 1989 in music - Wikipedia (1989).
  32. SimCity (1989 video game) - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 20 April 2017. “SimCity was developed by game designer Will Wright. While working on the game Raid on Bungeling Bay, in which the player flies a helicopter dropping bombs on islands, Wright found he enjoyed designing the islands in the level editor more than playing the actual game. This led him to develop increasingly sophisticated level editors. At the same time, Wright was cultivating a love of the intricacies and theories of urban planning and acknowledges the influence of System Dynamics which was developed by Jay Wright Forrester and whose book on the subject laid the foundations for what would become SimCity.”
  33. Populous (video game) - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 20 April 2017. “In the game, the player assumes the role of a deity, who must lead followers through direction, manipulation, and divine intervention, with the goal of eliminating the followers led by the opposite deity.”
  34. Herzog Zwei - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 20 April 2017. “Herzog Zwei combines the arcade-style play of Technosoft's own Thunder Force series with a simple, easy-to-grasp level of strategy. It was also a precursor to the MOBA genre.”
  35. 35.00 35.01 35.02 35.03 35.04 35.05 35.06 35.07 35.08 35.09 35.10 35.11 35.12 35.13 35.14 35.15 35.16 35.17 35.18 35.19 35.20 35.21 35.22 35.23 35.24 35.25 35.26 35.27 35.28 35.29 35.30 35.31 35.32 35.33 35.34 35.35 35.36 35.37 35.38 35.39 1989 - Wikipedia.
  36. "Judge Rejects Keating Suit – Sees 'Looting' of Lincoln – NYTimes.com", 24 August 1990. 
  37. The Flag Burning Page. Retrieved on 2016-11-30.
  38. Doe v. Michigan (E.D. Mich. 1989). Bc.edu. Retrieved on 2013-08-08.
  39. Auschwitz Convent. jewishvirtuallibrary.org. Retrieved on 20 April 2017. “The presence of the convent would contribute to the minimization of the Jewish aspect, already scarcely mentioned in the official communist era descriptions on the site as prepared by the Polish government. One reaction in Polish circles was to emphasize the theme of the fate of Poles for whom Auschwitz was also 'a synonym for martyrdom and extermination.' The issue energized the Jewish world and became the major subject in Jewish-Catholic discussions, overshadowing all other aspects of the ongoing dialogue.”
  40. The Danish Registered Partnership Act (1989-06-07). Retrieved on 2013-10-01.
  41. Rule, Sheila. "Rights for Gay Couples in Denmark", 1989-10-02. Retrieved on 2012-06-07. 

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