Monday, November 12, 2007

This (past) Week in Geek History: Nov 4th-10th

Hey Kids, I apologize for the lateness of this post but this (past) week was so full of geek history that it deserved to be mentioned. But then again, what week isn't?

Anyhow, it was a big (past) week for you gamer-type geeks. Our first bit-o-knowledge takes us waaay back to 1996; a time when the phrase "you've got mail" actually meant something. On Nov 8th, Eidos Interactive released the first Tomb Raider... giving gamers the best excuse to use the pause button since Chun Li. (I was considering making a Captain N joke, but went with Chun Li)

Also on the video game front this (past) week: on Nov 6th in 2001, Bungie Studios released the first Halo; arguably reinventing the first person shooter while simultaneously inviting the Frat Boy crowd into our world. Thanks guys.

This (past) Wednesday the 7th was a big day in Geek history. Philip Francis Nowlan's character, Buck Rogers, makes his debut on the airwaves on this day in 1932. The radio show inspired the then-just-budding nerd culture which had sprung up in the previous few years around the science fiction pulps (or Scienti-fiction as it was called then by editor and nerd-enabler Hugo Gernsback). The pulps' readership and the show's listeners were the first real organized group of nerds in history; communicating by letters, debating the finer points of Buck's little hood thing and whether or not Buck Rogers could beat Flash Gordon (come on, they were the primordial nerds-of course the question came up). Back then, scienti-fiction was called "the one true fandom." Included among these pioneer nerds were Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, the creators of Superman.

More (past) history after the jump!

Also on this (past) Nov 7th, for all you engineering nerds: in 1940, the famed Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapsed. I suppose its not too geeky, but any film geek would probably list this as one of their absolute favorite pieces of archival film.

And for fans of boring news and educational tv: on Nov 7th, 1967, LBJ (along with viewers/listeners like you) created the Corporation for Public Broadcasting with the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967. Huzzah for NPR and PBS!

Then, two years later, on Nov 10th, 1969, the very first episode of Sesame Street aired. So in 1969, the collective childhood of America was born. Now can someone tell me when Snuffleupagus stopped being imaginary?!?

And lastly, on (past) Nov 9th, 1940, the Tyrone Power movie The Mark of Zorro was released in the US. This may not strike you as being a terribly geeky event, but the truebloods will know that this is the movie a young Bruce Wayne went to see with his exorbitantly rich parents (who, for some reason, couldn't afford a theatre in the nice part of town). I think we all know what happened after that... something about pearls, right? So anyhow, seeing as the Waynes were wealthy, let's assume they went to the premiere, right? Ok... so that puts the official birth of the Batman to Nov 9th, 1940. Meaning he's roughly 70 years old? Hmm... I blame the infinity crisis.

Anyhow, that's more than enough history for this (past) week. Let's see if I can get you some current history this (coming) week.

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