Monday 11 December 2023

a harry alan towers production (11. 179)

Premiering on this day on Comedy Central in 1993, the 1988 sequel, The Outlaw of Gor, is given the MST3K treatment (previously) and showcases the return of the hero Tarl Cabot to the far-off science-fiction, fantasy realm to suppress the designs of the ambitious and wicked queen and her priest-sorcerer in a role reprised by Jack Palance in a series of ridiculous headgear. Loosely based on the series by writer John Norman, the professor and his colleague are transported back to the realm by the Elders using the Home Stone, this episode was screened at several college campuses before its air-date and featured the last invention exchange with Deep-13, ostensibly to recognise the new host’s technical short-comings. 

synchronoptica
 
one year ago: the Kyoto Protocol plus a plan to drain the Mediterranean to flood the desert
 
two years ago: Apollo 17 (1972), assorted links to revisit, a modern gargoyle plus Lily the Pink (1968)

three years ago: we’ve been zucked, science explainers in crochet form plus more links to enjoy

four years ago: 52 more lessons gleaned plus articles of impeachment drawn up for Trump

five years ago: a decisive Brexit vote, subterranean ecosystems, the art of Geoffroy de Crecy, COP 24 plus the inventor of the View-Master

Wednesday 2 November 2022

buffer overflow (10. 263)

Released on this day in 1988 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology network (to avoid suspicion at his own university), the eponymous Morris worm (short for tapeworm due to its parasitic lifestyle) was one of the first to be distributed on the internet, written by a graduate student from Cornell named Robert Tappan Morris—the son of a US National Security Agency cryptographer, and exploited a range of vulnerabilities to propagate, and like a fork bomb was able to crash systems by overburndening them. Intended as a white-hat hacking exercise to explore vulnerabilities, Morris had originally programmed the worm to check if a system was already infected but instead instructed it to replicate itself a given percentage of times—leading to a destructive, exponential avalanche of malicious code, leading to his conviction under the 1986 Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Paying a hefty fine and suspended from school, Morris nonetheless would go on to become a professor of computer science at MIT and co-found Viaweb, one of the first web apps and the venture capital funding firm Y Combinator, backing the launch of over three thousand internet ventures, including DoorDash, Reddit, Twitch and Airbnb.

Saturday 15 October 2022

monkey pack him rizla pon the sweet dep line (10. 226)

After topping the charts in the UK, UB40’s cover version of the 1967 Neil Diamond song reached number one in the US on this day in 1988, employing a lighter reggae-style in contrast to the somber ballad of Diamond—whom the group’s lead vocalist, Astro, only familiar with another version by Tony Tribe assumed the song credit went to a Jamaican performer called Negus Diamond. The latter very much enjoys this tribute variant and performs in the style of UB40 rather than his own.

Monday 27 June 2022

do a lot of coke and vote for ronald reagan


Subjected to the MST3K treatment and airing for the first time on this day in 1998, the low-budget Rick Sloan vehicle from a decade earlier, capitalising on the popularity of Gremlins, Hobgoblins, tells the story of malevolent creatures held in the vault of an abandoned production studio and the security detail meant to keep trespassers away, as the hobgoblins will use their hypnotic powers on anyone in the vicinity to help them escape by making the wildest fantasies of their hapless liberators seemingly come true only to use that a ruse to free them and kill their victim in the process.

Tuesday 24 May 2022

section 28

With echoes of Florida’s current controversial Don’t Say Gay Bill and in effect until 2003 (Scotland dropped the series of laws in 2000 as one of Holyrood’s first items of business as a newly devolved parliament), the government of Margaret Thatcher introduced and enacted legislative measures that prohibited the “promotion of homosexuality” by local authorities on this day in 1988, causing many support groups to fold or severely curtail their activities. Named after the amendment to the Local Government Act of 1986, the language stated that municipal authorities shall not “intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality or promote the teaching in any maintained [public] school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship.”

Sunday 27 March 2022

rolling stock

Retelling the story of the “Little Engine that Could” with love-interest and with due inspirational credit given to Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends, the Andrew Lloyd Weber and Richard Stilgoe musical spectacle with all principals and dancers portraying locomotives on roller skates had its debut on the West End in the Apollo Victoria Theatre. Following a year-long run on Broadway, the show came to the industrial city of Bochum in 1988, and hosted in a custom-built theatre (designed like a skating rink) has become the most attended musical in Germany, still running and seen by over seventeen million. Much more, including the original cast recording of the musical numbers and various performance highlights at the link above.

Sunday 26 December 2021

fyc

Recorded earlier in the studios of Prince’s Paisley Park outside of Minneapolis and released on this day in 1988 as a single featured on their later anthology The Raw & the Cooked, the Fine Young Cannibals’ hit (Birmingham musicians David Steele and Andy Cox) peaked only at number five in the charts at the time but would gain much more stature in later years and has since become instantly identifiable with those last years of the decade.

Friday 29 October 2021

let me reach, let me beach

On this day in 1988, Enya’s Orinoco Flow (see previously) from her second studio album Watermark topped the charts for the first time in the UK and held number one for a run of three weeks. Emblematic of the New Age/SophistiPop genres, its distinctive pizzicato plucking chords were produced by a custom tuning of a Roland D-50 synthesiser called the “Pizzagogo” patch.

Friday 2 July 2021

fast car

Though released earlier in April as the leading single from her eponymous debut studio album, it was Tracy Chapman’s performance (previously) for Nelson Mandela’s Seventieth Birthday Tribute at Wembley Stadium on this day in 1988 that propelled the singer and song to international recognition. The folk rock narrative relates the story of the working poor struggling to escape generational poverty and the persistence of optimism.

Friday 2 April 2021

i wanna hear those sugar bells ring

Reaching top spot on the American Hot R&B/Hip-Hop song charts on this day in 1988, Wishing Well from singer and songwriter Terence Trent D’Arby—now known as Sananda Maitreya having meditated for a new identity after the slow, agonising albeit noble death of his former self in October of 2001. Expressing high opinion of his debut album, D’Arby said it was the most significant recording since Sgt. Pepper, ultimately paid off.

Tuesday 2 June 2020

gallery1988

Via The Morning News that finally piqued my curiosity, I am regretting now not having before having checked out the Hood Internet’s on-going series of year-in-song reviews.
These audio-visual remixes and transitions are really quite fantastic and resoundingly nostalgic brief romps and am working through the back-catalogue (1986 is also particularly good) and looking forward to more instalments.

Thursday 26 July 2018

mcmlxxxviii

A hat-tip to and in full agreement with the source that directed our attention to another visual chronicle from Alan Taylor exclaiming that 1988 doesn’t seem like three decades ago but here we are.
We enjoyed perusing some of the iconic images of the cultural and historic touchstones of the year that punctuated with (the mostly not pictured) establishment of the internet with the first trans-Atlantic connections and also the advent of the first computer viruses (you don’t get the automobile without the traffic jam and car wreck), the Soviet Union began to transition away from a strictly command economy and travel-restrictions were relaxed, the discovery of the first exoplanet—though unconfirmed until 2002, and the beginning of the campaign to eradicate polio.