Friday, 23 April 2021

halfway between the gutter and the stars

Featuring Bootsy Collins, the accompanying music video for the Big Beats artist Fatboy Slim’s 2000 “Weapon of Choice,” reprised on the occasion as a stand-alone single, directed by Spike Jonze, was first aired on this day in 2001. Depicting Christopher Walken dancing around an empty lobby, the choral refrain of “You could blow with this or you could blow with that” references the Native Tongues’ “The Choice is Yours”—the titular album an homage to Oscar Wilde’s Lady Windermere’s Fan (“some of us are looking at the stars”) and the lyric advising to “walk without rhythm and it won’t attract the worm” quotes Frank Herbert’s establishing novel.

Wednesday, 17 March 2021

hypospray or mister x

Via Waxy, here’s a nice survey of jabs and vaccination campaigns as portrayed in film and television, including classics like the Star Trek TOS episode Miri, biopics of Louis Pasteur and Edward Jenner, and a multiplicity of Simpsons episodes like the December of 2000 show “The Computer Wore Menace Shoes” wherein Homer’s alter ego creates a conspiracy website (after his first, innocent attempt failed to draw interest) that unfortunately speaks across the decades. As punishment for being too clever, Homer is imprisoned on an island for people who know too much. Seriously, get your shot and protect yourself and others.

Friday, 30 October 2020

cospar id 1998-067a

Though still tethered to Earth in low-orbit, this day in 2000 marked the last day that there was no enduring human presence in outer space. The Soyuz TM-31 launched on the next day with the first resident crew for the International Space Station,  docking three days later and which has been continuously crewed ever since. The first three joined modules were called Zvezda, Unity and Zarya and were placed in orbit in 1998 (it has presently expanded to an array of fourteen with additional solar cells, inflatable segments and experimental bays) and the station’s mission is expected to last at least until 2030.

Monday, 30 December 2019

you can turn the clock to zero, honey—i’ll sell the stock, we’ll spend all the money

Via fellow internet caretaker Miss Cellania, we learn the backstory to those novelty New Year’s glasses, concocted on one stoned evening in January of 1990 and put into production in time to herald in the next year by revelers and for the following years to come.
The duo behind the iconic variations, Richard Sclafani and Peter Cicero of Seattle, were schooled in the patent application process and realised that there was essentially no safe means of protecting one’s design from being knocked-off by competitors—yet they did register pairs of glasses for the next fourteen years and did have a good and profitable stint of success, until when the final year of the twentieth century appeared on the horizon with 2000 and too many opportunists saw the potential for easy profit. Those sales diminished and their marketing efforts undercut, both behind the phenomenon are grateful for their good run and the smiles they brought to people counting-down. Designers will again, after 2020, be challenged to come up with more clever frames.

Tuesday, 26 November 2019

hanging chad

Though George Walker Bush would not be officially awarded the presidency until the Supreme Court issued its split-decision nearly a month after election day and halted ballot re-count, on this day in 2000 Secretary of State of Florida, Katherine Harris certified Bush as the winner, having purged many voters (felons and other disenfranchised individuals) from the rolls, narrowly defeating contender Albert Arnold Gore Junior and losing the overall popular vote but thus able to carry the majority of the Electoral College. Coverage of the debate and controversy cemented the colour-coding conventions of US political parties (previously), whereas prior media coverage had been inconsistent or idiosyncratic, often following UK schemes which portray conservatives as blue and liberals as red.

Friday, 2 November 2018

expedition 1

On this day in 2000, the first long-term residents arrived at the International Space Station, ferried up by a Soyuz spacecraft, the crew activating ISS systems and unpacked equipment to prepare for a series of deliveries by shuttle and other resupply vehicles.
During their four-and-a-half month stay in orbit, the three person crew also conducted experiments to study the behaviour of plasma and protein crystallisation in microgravity and filmed footage for a 3D IMAX documentary. Since the complement was refreshed with Expedition 2 in March 2001, there has been an uninterrupted human presence in space to the present day.

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

these kids today with their y2k

For those who have become accustomed to using the turn of the century or fin de siรจcle as a way to reckon future and past dates I’m sure have already come to wrestle with the sobering fact that the Year 2000 Computer Bug will attain the age of majority soon and that 1970 is not thirty years in the past but more like nearly five decades and hardly futuristic.
We nonetheless appreciated this collection of popular culture call-backs that the times inspired—from novelty songs, sitcom staples, class-action suits and survival guides for the technological apocalypse soon to visit humanity. Ultimately, there was no ensuing disaster and tigers did not rain from the heavens (no matter how we might try to frighten ourselves) and while I know that there’s little commonality about this non-event and the esteem for which we have for other, real impending disasters which may not be repaired with a simple patch are nonetheless within our power to prevent and part of me wonders if that boy-who-cried-wolf, survivor-mentality does not somehow resign some to leave everything to invisible hand, trickle-down providence. What do you remember about those last tense moments but forcing oneself to abandon and partying like it was 1999? What media digest do you remember prophesying the worst?  I suppose the y2k worries and shared memories will perhaps even more so than the prevalence of connectivity and virtual personae be the shibboleth that separates one generation from the next.