Like three probes orbited or landed on Mars and one of them had a helicopter
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.
Wicktober. A public-safety month in which we go around to all the candles in our house and make sure each of them still works when lit.
Slicktober. Finally our most elaborate scheme comes off without a hitch and it looks effortless.
Talktober. “Talk Talk”, by Talk Talk, spends 31 days playing in your head.
Yaktober. Don’t let the name fool you; it’s a chance to celebrate all the Warner Siblings.
Marktober. Spending all this time getting worried that the spell checker allowed “Marktober” through as a word that it thinks somehow is spelled correctly even though it refuses to help me any with the spelling of Cincinn .. Cinci … Cincinat … that big city in southwestern Ohio where WKRP broadcast from.
Smocktober. Unleash the artist within without getting it all over your nice t-shirt!
Hawktober. A whole month to try selling other people your wares, perhaps foodstuffs of some manner! Good luck!
Woktober. We enjoy great pots of melted cheese that we dip bread into. The name is because “Fonduetober” doesn’t scan.
Bricktober. Unleash the chimney-repairman within without getting it all over your nice smock!
Socktober. A month that feels as good to take off as it does to put on!
Marktober. Trying a second time to spend the month — oh, look, “Marktober” has the same cadence as “Hot Blooded” and now that song’s competing with “Talk Talk”. Sorry.
Stoptober. Persons close to you have leave to say what they’re tired of, which is mostly persons close to me, and this whole October promotions thing.
Rocktober. Self-explanatory, you’d think, but all right. Everybody’s into geology.
Shocktober. A whole month spent distinguishing between behing shocked and merely being startled.
Mocktober. The month for spoofs (good-natured).
Locktober. Three weeks we waste trying to remember the combination. It is 11-4-69.
Blocktober. The floor is covered in Legos.
Clocktober. We all engage in clock- and watch-themed crimes to overwhelm the Caped Crusader!
Spocktober. 31 days of serious inquiry into Dr Benjamin Spock’s program and how it differed from what the people trying to follow his guidance differed, with the final question about whether he was a net positive or negative force answered once and for all on the 29th, by a paintball fight. 9 pm Eastern/6 pm Pacific.
Hard Mocktober. The month for spoofs (nasty and a touch bitter).
Octoctober. You have eight arms! Finally! I mean that you can show.
Stocktober. You lay in enough durable supplies for the winter ahead, as it’s a bit late to lay them in for hte summer behind.
Docktober. We finally get all these breakbulk goods off these cargo ships.
Socktober. Finally something warm and comfortable on our feet.
Reference: Greetings, Carbon-Based Bipeds!, Arthur C Clarke.
Dana Plato was not a regular on The Facts Of Life. She was on Diff’rent Strokes.
There were many more episodes made after the gang was at the Academy (122) than there were when the Academy was the premise of the show (79).
In fact, Dana Plato wasn’t on The Facts Of Life at all, except for the stealth-pilot episode that aired as part of Diff’rent Strokes‘s original run and the first episode of the first season.
Molly Ringwald played one of the characters first season, until the show decided they had too many characters and she was one of the ones that got cut.
Heck, Dana Plato played her character Kimberly Drummond on more episodes of Hello, Larry (three) than The Facts Of Life (one or maybe two depending how you count the stealth pilot).
Had Soviet Air Defece Force officer Stanislav Petrov not kept his cool during the 1983 false nuclear alarm incident, and had allowed the mistaken reports of a sneak attack by the United States to escalate into a nuclear “retaliation”, the first episode of The Facts Of Life which would have been preempted for nuclear war was #80, titled “Gamma Gamma or Bust”.
There are five episodes of Diff’rent Strokes that Gary Coleman was not in. This has nothing to do with The Facts Of Life, but it is hard to accept.
The Facts Of Life has been mentioned in more host sketches, through season twelve, of Mystery Science Theater 3000 (one) than have any works of science fiction legend Ray Bradbury (zero).
Not listed: the first Diff’rent Strokes episode that would have been preempted had the world destroyed itself in nuclear war in 1983 was the one where they’re filming an episode of The A-Team in the Drummonds’ apartment for some reason and so Arnold (Gary Coleman) makes himself up as a miniature Mister T.
Reference: Naming Infinity: A True Story Of Religious Mysticism and Mathematical Creativity, Loren Graham, Jean-Michel Kantor.
Despite the name no so-called “universal remote” has ever in fact been remote from the universe.
No United States president has ever been born in the future.
The 100 pleats in a chef’s hat represent the 100 times that the guy who bought the hat-pleating mechanism insisted on showing this was too a good purchase and would pay for itself in time.
In the Star Trek episode “Court Martial” Spock discusses what would happen “if I let go of a hammer on a planet that has a positive gravity”, implying there are enough zero- and negative-gravity planets around he needs to shut talk about them down before it even starts.
There must always exist at least one breadbox that cannot be put inside another breadbox. However, if the universe were infinitely large, we could not count on this being true.
No episode of the 1980s animated series of The Smurfs establishes that Gargamel knows of the Snorks.
Those coworkers whose names you aren’t sure you have yet, and it’s too awkward now to ask about? Sara and Mike. If there’s a third, it’s Darryl or maybe Darren. Go confident on the “Darr” part and underplay the second syllable and you’ll get away with it.
D is known as “the sunshine vitamin” because it was first discovered by spectral analysis of the sun. It would not be seen on Earth for nearly a generation after its detection.
Not only could they make Blazing Saddles today, they did, which is where everybody was all day and why they’re all tuckered out. You should have come over and helped, you’d have had a great time. Maybe you can catch them next month when they hope to make Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One.
Despite every advance in the technology to write songs, they are likely to be outnumbered by unwritten songs through 2024 at the soonest.
Reference: A Diplomatic History Of Europe Since The Congress Of Vienna, René Albrecht-Carié.
Editorial note. Due to an editing error last week’s chart included the number “1”, representing the number of deep-space spacewalks (as opposed to moonwalks) during Apollo 15. Although that statistic had been considered, the intention was to instead present the number of parachutes which failed to open during the (safe) splashdown. I regret the mistake and include the corrected chart here. Thank you for your understanding.
Reference: European History 1648 to 1789, R M Rayner.
Brazened Apples. To take apples or any other fruit with edible skin and subject them to a display of outrageous behavior.
Deglaze. To take food off the window.
Reassembled Eggs. Scrambled or stirred eggs which have been placed back into a shell or similar hard container. It is not necessary to unstir them; if one does, the result is called “Delmonico Eggs”.
Oignon Brute. A half-peeled onion placed on a skillet in a manner characteristic of 1960s and 70s architecture, generally reliant on concrete, with the working structure implied by the shapes of the visible exterior or of elements within the living interior space.
Adumbrate. To set a relish or other briny material on the shelf in the pantry by mistake until you remember it maybe should be refrigerated, but you’re not sure if that’s really necessary or just cautious.
Roast Jeté. To set something in the oven while jumping.
Discoursing the Meat. To remove the edible part of an artichoke from a golf course or other public walkway.
Naked Spaghetti. The most dangerous pasta.
Icing. To make any kind of food wait for you.
Serendipity Sauce. Any process which moistens your cooking surface without your effort, including the automatic sprinklers going off.
Blornching. To over-stir the meat, meat substitute, or thick pudding, to the point you neglect everything else, and you end up not even liking the meat either.
Escanaba. (Localism.) To have or serve food in Michigan’s upper peninsula.
Scowling Cheese. Any hard or semi-soft cheese which has been made to disapprove.
Western-Fried (as in steak). To southern-fry something while lost.
Chunked Wheat. To sort into four or fewer categories a pile of flour or other wheat product.
Reference: Defining NASA: The Historical Debate Over The Agency’s Mission, W D Kay.
Set it in the microwave without turning the microwave on.
Transfer the pizza repeatedly from one thermos bottle to another.
Get people on social media talking about it a lot.
Give the pizza a stern lecture about the importance of conserving its heat.
Set the pizza in a hot bath.
Ask your neighborhood’s ice elemental to never cold your pizza up. This may involve a Bugs Bunny/Daffy Duck-like argument about “you will” “I won’t” “you will” “I won’t” “You won’t” “I will” “Have it your way, Doc.”
Set the pizza on top of a coffee mug that, on inspection, turns out to hold iced tea.
Hypnotize the pizza.
Shine a laser on it, but it’s one of those keychain lasers you get as a gift when the department wants you to not actually feel better about working there.
Engage the pizza in a heated debate.
Embarrass your pizza by reminding it of that one time it had a Tweet go a little viral and it misspelled “public” and it was twenty responses in before someone pointed it out.
Wrap the pizza in some cute sweaters.
Reference: Airborne Trailblazer: Two Decades with NASA Langley’s 737 Flying Laboratory, Lane E Wallace.
Also not mentioned: that Tintin project because I don’t think Tintin was ever a comic strip and, like, Betty Boop had a short-lived comic even if it wasn’t good.
Also, coming back to the mentioned: Motley’s Crew? Really? Huh. I mean, I guess that’s a comic strip that existed all right, but … Really. Huh. I mean … huh. You’re passing on Bill Schorr’s The Grizzwells for this, then.
Reference: Nathaniel’s Nutmeg: How One Man’s Courage Changed The Course of History, Giles Milton.
The one where the waitresses go out on strike and they explain that to be a legal picket line the people in it have to stay in motion at all times, although it’s probably okay if Vera gets on roller skates so she can just slide around, even though she doesn’t know how to stop or steer and she goes rolling off into … traffic, I guess? It seemed bad for her, anyway. I think her injuries shamed Mel into settling the strike. Anyway it’s a good lesson to not learn US labor law by watching Alice.
Flo leaves so she can start her own spinoff series, and she gets replaced with … uh … her cousin or maybe sister or someone who’s a lot like her except she doesn’t have that great “Kiss my grits” catchphrase to fall back on.
There’s definitely one where a wrecking ball smashes through the diner, right? I couldn’t be imagining that of all things?
There’s probably one where Alice’s kid gets to say No to having a Drug even though his bestest best friend forever who we never saw before or after is having them.
Mel sells the diner for the last episode so everybody has to go and achieve their lifelong dreams now and what do you know but they do.
I’m just guessing that there was one where a major character discovers like six seasons in that they never learned to read, so they learn now. But I don’t know for sure.
Not listed: the Saturday-morning cartoon spinoff of Alice which pop culture theory tells us ought to have existed. The most generally accepted hypotheses suppose that they would all be working their way around the world selling stuff from a funny Wienermobile-like contraption with astounding powers, possibly including flight and the ability to operate as a submarine, and meanwhile there’s spies after them for some reason. They might have a zany pet or it might just be Alice’s flying submersible Wienermobile has a talking computer.
Considerably, as Nevada has only 16 palm trees, and they’re all on a golf course that consumes two-thirds the volume of the Colorado River to maintain
Last Friday in April
Messing with North Dakota, not you
First Friday in April
Messing with South Dakota, not you
Second Friday in April
Only a little
Third Friday in February
Last Friday in April
First Friday in May
Just picking a fight with New Hampshire
Last Friday in April
Thank you for getting things back in order
First Wednesday in April
Just checking if you’re paying attention
Third full week in May
Up to moderate mischief here
7th – 14th of March
Up to even more mischief here
Last full week of February
Now cut that out
Last Monday in April
Adorable attempt to pretend there’s trees in Wyoming
First full week of April
This is refugee Californians messing things up, right?
Third Friday in April
Last Friday in April
Not at all
First Friday following March 15
Ugh, this again?
First Friday in November
What the heck?
Reference: Stan And Ollie: The Roots Of Comedy: The Double Life Of Laurel And Hardy, Simon Louvish. With special thanks to my love without whom I’d never have realized Arbor Day isn’t the same day in every state and that some of them put a whole week to Arbor Day.
“Yowza yowza, that’s a real thin man!” — Not said by Nick or Nora Charles, The Thin Man.
“Yowza yowza, that’s a real treasure of the Sierra Madre!” — Not said by Fred C Dobbs, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.
“Yowza yowza, that’s a real love story!” — Not said by Jennifer Cavalleri, Love Story.
“Yowza yowza, that’s a real wizard of Oz!” — Not said by Dorothy Gale, The Wizard of Oz.
“Yowza yowza, that’s a real Goldfinger!” — Not said by Goldfinger, Goldfinger.
“Yowza yowza, that’s a real cool hand, Luke!” — Not said by Dragline, Cool Hand Luke.
“Yowza yowza, that’s a real space odyssey!” — Not said by Dave Bowman, 2001: A Space Odyssey.
“Yowza yowza, that’s a real Scrooge!” — Not said by Mr Snedrig, Scrooge.
“Yowza yowza, that’s a real shape of water!” — Not signed by Elisa Esposito, The Shape of Water.
“Yowza yowza, that’s a real Casablanca!” — Not said by Rick Blaine, Casablanca.
“Yowza yowza, that’s a real space jam!” — Not said by Lola Bunny, Space Jam.
“Yowza yowza, that’s a real planet of the apes!” — Not said by Dr Galen, Planet of the Apes.
“Yowza yowza, that’s a real Wall Street!” — Not said by Gordon Gecko, Wall Street.
“Yowza yowza, that’s a real Turbo!” — Not said by Turbo, Turbo.
“Yowza yowza, that’s a real Chinatown!” — Not said by Lawrence Walsh, Chinatown.
Reference: Inside Nick Rocks: The Complete Story of the Music Video Show You Remember Being On Between Mr Wizard’s World and You Can’t Do That On Television, and How it Changed the World — and Whatever Happened To “Joe From Chicago”, Dr Will Miller.