Statistics Saturday: 15 Things You Can’t Believe Happened Earlier In 2021

  • Bean Dad
  • Sea shanties on TikTok
  • Like three probes orbited or landed on Mars and one of them had a helicopter
  • Balloon Boy
  • The Kellogg’s strike
  • That morning we all found a box of Peak Freans on our counter even though they haven’t made Peak Freans since like 1989 and nobody could explain where all these Peaks Freans came from
  • That guy did that really good impression of Robin Williams learning of John Belushi’s death
  • Culture Club released the hit song “Karma Chameleon”
  • The imperatives of state bureaucracy drove European governments to impose family names on all their inhabitants, without regard to local culture or the lack of community need for such things
  • The controversial “Rashomon” episode of Scooby and Scrappy Doo aired
  • Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins died
  • Ken Russell’s film adaptation of The Who’s Tommy uses rather a lot of beans, is unconnected to “Bean Dad”
  • End of the Recombination era of the universe, when electrons and atomic nucleuses finally became cool enough to bind together into atoms, allowing photons to travel great distances, causing space to no longer be opaque for the first time
  • Boss Baby 2 came out
  • Audiences were enchanted by that “so good … but no lumps!” commercial but can’t remember, was it for gravy? For Alka-Seltzer? But Alka-Seltzer was that “Mama Mia, that’s a spicy meatball” commercial, right? That was like four years ago?

Reference: American-Made: The Enduring Legacy of the WPA, Nick Taylor.


Author: Joseph Nebus

I was born 198 years to the day after Johnny Appleseed. The differences between us do not end there. He/him.

4 thoughts on “Statistics Saturday: 15 Things You Can’t Believe Happened Earlier In 2021”

    1. I remember finding the commercial hilarious, even though I never knew what was supposed to be the big problem with gravy lumps, apart from maybe it being less aesthetic. But I also came from a large family where we weren’t going to not eat something just because it was slightly irregular. And that’s why I had that two-month stretch in second grade where our sandwiches were on trapezoidal bread.


  1. fwip! IIRC the product was Franco-American canned gravy and they had an unrelated second commercial where they piece by piece turn a stove cooking a roast into a giant can of gravy (or it might have been the can into the stove.) Usually aired around Turkey day.


    1. Franco-American canned gravy sounds reasonable enough. I come up short seeing lumps as any big deal, though I admit I’m one of those strange people who’ll take smooth or chunky peanut butter and be all right with it.

      I’m surprised not to remember this stove-into-can commercial, since it seems like the kind of thing to catch my fancy. But maybe it’ll come flooding back to mind the moment I see a bit of it.


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