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The Century That Was

Contributed by Alex Shrugged

100 years seems more distant than it ever has before. Radio and TV were still in the experimental stage. Vacuum cleaners were a new toy. The Wright Brothers barely got off the ground, but it all changes and fast.

  • Albert Einstein changes our view of the universe and everything.
  • The Progressive educational system is set in place. The American Dream is here. (Someone please wake me up.)
  • The Titanic sinks. The Federal Reserve does not.
  • World War 1: "In Flanders fields the poppies blow..." But in the end, we are bitter and lost.
  • Forced sterilization. Penicillin.
  • Bambi, Mickey Mouse and daily TV programming. (Every single day!)
  • The stock market collapses. The Great Depression is here.
  • Scotch tape, frozen food, and TWINKIES!
  • Here comes the Dust Bowl
  • We need a "New Deal".
  • The Rape of Nanking, The Night of Broken Glass, The Hindenburg disaster.
  • "Peace for our time." -- Neville Chamberlain.
  • British troops are trapped at Dunkirk. (I can't wait for the movie.)
  • Japanese-Americans are held in concentration camps.
  • Hitler's "Final Solution" for the Jews begins.
  • Japan hits Pearl Harbor.
  • (Meanwhile... Cheerios, Bambi, and LSD.)
  • Operation Overlord: It's D-Day.
  • Hiroshima, and Nagasaki are hit by the atomic bomb.
  • The Korean War is on.
  • The polio vaccine saves millions of lives.
  • Sputnik orbits the Earth. It's a space race to the Moon!
  • Nylons, Barbies, and birth control pills.
  • Fidel Castro's Cuban Revolution and the Cuban Missile Crisis.
  • JFK is assassinated.
  • Rev. Martin Luther King delivers his "I Have a Dream" speech.
  • The Vietnam war spins up. Burn your draft card, go to jail.
  • Have you read your Miranda Rights lately?
  • MLK is assassinated. The My Lai Massacre. Charles Manson.
  • We have landed on the moon.
  • The Sylmar Earthquake.
  • Forced school busing for desegregation.
  • Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve.
  • George Carlin is arrested for obscenity. (OH, SH--!)
  • Federal Express. The first cell phone. LITE Beer.
  • It's Watergate! "I am not a crook." President Nixon resigns (Well, pardon me!)
  • Congress visits the gold in Fort Knox for the last time. (to date)
  • The first "hobby computer," and the birth of Microsoft.
  • Food stamps.
  • California's Proposition 13 lowers property taxes by 60%.
  • Space Invaders hits Japan. (The video game, that is.)
  • American are taken hostage in Iran... Day 1.
  • McDonald's introduces the Happy Meal. (I feel better already.)
  • The Reagan Revolution has begun.
  • The AIDS Virus hits critical mass.
  • The IBM PC, Commodore 64, Ethernet and Compact discs.
  • The Internet is born.
  • McDonald's introduces the McNugget. (McSuperfood.)
  • The Beirut Bombings.
  • The Chernobyl Meltdown.
  • Black Monday: The stock market loses 22% of its value.
  • The Fairness Doctrine is repealed: Here comes Rush Limbaugh.
  • "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall."--President Reagan.
  • Global Warming, the World Series quake, and the Exxon Valdez oil spill.
  • Iraq invades Kuwait. The Gulf War.
  • The Soviet Union collapses while we aren't looking.
  • Mount Pinatubo erupts.
  • The Rodney King Riots.
  • Randy Weaver surrenders to federal authorities at Ruby Ridge.
  • David Koresh fights off a federal assault... for a little while.
  • The World Trade Center is hit by a truck bomb.
  • The Gingrich Revolution and the Contract with America.
  • Osama bin Laden calls for jihad.
  • Mars Pathfinder lands.
  • Bill Clinton is impeached, so he attacks Iraq, naturally.
  • Pokémon causes 600 children to collapse. (The cartoon. Not the video game.)
  • Google, Viagra , Microsoft Windows 98.
  • Columbine High School is shot to pieces.
  • Finally, Roman Catholic and Lutheran leaders end the centuries-old dispute over the nature of faith and salvation. Thank God!

It has been a wild ride, and there is more to come. The whole world is changing... again.

Expedition 1 begins the first long term stay on the ISS

Contributed by Southpaw Ben

On November 2, the crew of Expedition 1 dock to the ISS, where they would stay for the next 136 days, after spending 2 days abourd the Russian Soyuz TM-31. The crew of this mission consisted of 2 Russian cosmonauts, and an American astronaut, all of whom had spent time in space previously. During this stay, 3 manned shuttles visited bringing equipment and a pair of photovotaic arrays which greatly increased the station's power capabilities. Due to the proximity to the US presidential election of 2000, the launch received little press in the US. During the first month of the mission, the ISS had it's life support and computer control systems activated, and other systems activated, with many taking much longer than anticipated, resulting in a heavy workload. During the trip, one of the movies shown was "2010", the sequel to "2001: A Space Odyssey", with the American astronaut commenting "[There is] something strange about watching a movie about a space expedition when you're actually on a space expedition." An important part of the crew's day was excercise, as time in space tends to cause bone density to decrease, and muscles to weaken. On March 18, the crew left the ISS, and landed back on Earth on March 21, 2001. [1]

My Take by Southpaw Ben
While this wasn't the first long term space mission, and one of the Russian cosmonauts had previously spent a full year on board the Mir. It was still important, as the ISS has had the longest continuous human presence in low Earth orbit (as of 5/9/2017), and is a feat of international cooperation for a scientific acheivement and engineering marvel. It has hosted crews from 17 nations, helping show how peaceful cooperation can produce amazing results. There are many interesting Youtube videos of astronauts on the ISS doing a wide variety of things, from serious experiments to just goofing around, using the microgravity enviroment to create and play games the would be impossible to play on Earth.

And What I Think of the Century That Was

Contributed by Alex Shrugged

The people who lived at the beginning of the 20th century thought they knew it all. They had conquered the mysteries of the Universe. All that was left were adding a few decimal places to some calculations. Nothing new to learn. That is how they got gob-smacked by World War 1. Those who survived were now in competition with a new generation. It was the Roaring 20s where nothing mattered. Then they hit the brick wall of the Great Depression. A new generation arose that was more thoughtful, more dutiful. They took on Hitler and the Axis Powers and won. But war means fewer men coming home. That 50's mentality that so many women disdain was a natural consequence of too few men to marry, and thus bring material prosperity to them. But with employment opportunities opening up for women, and birth control pills quietly vetoing any unplanned pregnancies, women became more self-sufficient.

On the educational front, the agenda has been to teach job skills, and to fill the student with facts, rather than teaching them how to think about those facts. Thinking students are more difficult to control. They usually have good ideas and ask embarrassing questions. When they grow up they usually continue this trend... especially with politicians.

From a technology viewpoint, the most interesting change has been a switch from dependence on God to a dependence on technology. In many ways it is understandable. Science produces a vaccine filled with unseen particles that save the lives of millions. It is magic. And with camera technology and quad-copters looking in on our every move, who needs a god to watch? To this latest generation it is a comfort. I saw the film, "The Circle". It is about a social engineering company.... like Google. I thought I understood how the story was going, but as the film came to its conclusion it was not a happy ending from my perspective. Yet the characters seemed happy. It was a Millennial ending where if things are going wrong, we shouldn't stop doing them. We should do more of the same thing only better. I see a brick wall in their future. I hope they don't hit it too hard.

Notable Births

(None that I could find.--alexshrugged)

Notable Deaths

  • Alec Guinness (age 86, liver cancer): Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars. [2]
  • Walter Matthau (age 79, heart attack): Hello, Dolly!, and The Odd Couple. [3]
  • Jim Varney (age 50, lung cancer): The voice of Slinky Dog in Toy Story and Ernest in Ernest Goes to Camp. [4]
  • Hedy Lamarr (age 85, heart failure): A classic film star BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY, she was an inventor. No BS. She invented frequency-hopping which is used today in Wifi. Her name was used as a running joke in Blazing Saddles where Hedy and Hedley Lamarr were mixed up. [5]

This Year in Film

  • Gladiator: A Roman general, reduced to slavery, becomes a gladiator and takes revenge. [6]
  • Cast Away: A FedEx employee is stranded on an uninhabited island. [6]
  • And...: X-Men, Miss Congeniality, and The Patriot. [6]

This Year in TV

  • Survivor: Contestants survive for 39 days on an island while trying not to get voted off. [7]
  • Dora the Explorer: A step up from Survivor. [7]
  • Big Brother: Contestants live together under constant surveillance. [7]
  • Malcolm in the Middle: Sit-com about a middle-child. [7]

This Year in Music

  • Livin' La Vida Loca: Ricky Martin. "She'll take away your pain / Like a bullet to the brain." (And we worry about video games?--alexshrugged) [8]

This Year in Video Games

  • Sony's PlayStation 2 (PS2) launches: The Japanese version requires a special export license. (They don't want one of these babies to fall into the hands of Saddam Hussein.--alexshrugged) [9] [10]
  • Deus Ex launches on Microsoft Windows: It is a combination role-playing, adventure, first person shooter and really popular. (FYI, deus ex machina means "god from the machine", and implies a happy ending imposed by a god-like figure.--alexshrugged) [9]
  • The Sims: A life simulation game in a suburban household. [9]

In Other News

  • The Fort Worth F3 Tornado kills 2, and destroys 28 homes: . [11] [12]
  • George W. Bush wins!: No, he didn't. Yes, he did. Recount! Hanging chads! Supreme Court. George W. Bush wins! [11] [13] [14] [15]
  • Elián González is forced at gunpoint to return to Cuba: He is 7 years old, but his mother died, and his father lives in Cuba, so naturally federal agents break down the door of Elián's relatives in the USA. President Clinton shows them who is the boss.... Fidel Castro. [11] [16]
  • Microsoft is found guilty of violating anti-trust laws: It is partly a fight over Internet Explorer and partly over their anti-competitive practices. (Yes. Their practices were overbearing and still are to some extent.--alexshrugged) [11]
  • The Human Genome Project completes it's first "rough draft": (In other words, President Bill Clinton wanted to take credit for it while he was still in office.--alexshrugged) [11] [17]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 2000, Wikipedia.

See Also


  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Expedition_1
  2. 2000 in film - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 8 May 2017.
  3. 2000 in film - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 8 May 2017.
  4. 2000 in film - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 8 May 2017.
  5. 2000 in film - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 8 May 2017.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 2000 in film - Wikipedia (2000). Retrieved on 27 January 2017.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 2000 in television - Wikipedia (2000).
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 2000 in music - Wikipedia (2000). Retrieved on 30 January 2017.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 2000 in music - Wikipedia (2000).
  10. New Straits Times - Google News Archive Search. Retrieved on 9 May 2017.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 2000 - Wikipedia (2000). Retrieved on 30 January 2017.
  12. 2000 Fort Worth tornado - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 9 May 2017. “The twister damaged 266 homes across its 4 mi (6.4 km) long and 250 yd (230 m) path, out of which 28 were destroyed. Damage surveys indicated that much of the tornado's destruction was due to structural deficiencies in many of the older subdivisions impacted by the tornado.”
  13. United States presidential election in Florida, 2000 - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 9 May 2017.
  14. Bush v. Gore - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 9 May 2017.
  15. 2000 United States presidential election recount in Florida - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 9 May 2017.
  16. Elián González - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 9 May 2017.
  17. Human Genome Project - Wikipedia (2017). Retrieved on 9 May 2017. “Due to widespread international cooperation and advances in the field of genomics (especially in sequence analysis), as well as major advances in computing technology, a 'rough draft' of the genome was finished in 2000 (announced jointly by U.S. President Bill Clinton and the British Prime Minister Tony Blair on June 26, 2000). This first available rough draft assembly of the genome was completed by the Genome Bioinformatics Group at the University of California, Santa Cruz, primarily led by then graduate student Jim Kent.”

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