Episode #122 -- Bentsen/Quayle Debate Sunday, October 5, 2008.  Twenty years ago today, Senators Lloyd Bentsen and Dan Quayle met for their vice-presidential debate.  Out of that debate came one of the finest political zingers of all time.  I recall that moment, and my own opinions of it.

In addition to his famous put-down, Bentsen also coined another political term, "astroturfing," to describe what appears to be a grass-roots activism effort that really isn't.

An extra special thanks to Joe Medina, who got the sound clip for me by extracting it from a video file.  It seems that there are plenty of video copies of this moment out on the net, but no standalone audio!

Direct download: 20yearsago_122_100508.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:42pm EDT

Episode #121 -- STS-26 Returns to Earth Friday, October 3, 2008. Twenty years ago today, the space shuttle Discovery landed, marking the successful conclusion of mission STS-26. I talk about that mission, which marked the return to flight after the loss of shuttle Columbia over two years before, and share my love for and memories of the space program.

This show also marks the second anniversary of "It Was 20 Years Ago Today."  I want to thank everyone who has made this show possible, especially Joe Medina, who has always been there with research, technical help and motivation.  Marc Rose composed and performs the theme music, and has also given technical help, as has Sam A. Mowry of the Willamette Radio Workshop.  Thank you all so much!

I also want to thank all of you who take the time to download and listen to the show, whether it be every episode or just a few.  Two years is nearly forever in the world of podcasting, but I hope to keep this show going for a long time still.  The best is yet to come!

Direct download: 20yearsago_121_100308.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:39am EDT

Episode #120 -- Charles Addams Monday, September 29, 2008. Twenty years ago today, Charles Addams died at the age of 76.  I take a look at the life and career of the celebrated cartoonist of the creepy and the influence he had on my life.

If by some chance you have not seen the Addams Family commercial for M&Ms Dark Chocolate, you can find it on the M&Ms website.

Our theme music is composed and performed by Marc Rose.

Direct download: 20yearsago_120_092908.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:45am EDT

Monday, September 22, 2008. Twenty years ago today, the Canadian Government announced an act of redress toward Japanese Canadians who had been interned during World War II.  I talk about the Canadian act, as well as the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, its United States counterpart, which had been signed into law just six weeks earlier.

Our theme music is composed and performed by Marc Rose.

Direct download: 20yearsago_119_092208.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:40am EDT

Episode #118 -- A Fish Called Wanda Thursday, September 18, 2008. Twenty years ago today, the number one movie at the USA box office was "A Fish Called Wanda."  I talk about why this is one of my favorite movies of all time, as well as offering a few observations about the difference between the box office charts then and now.  For both the number one and two movies to have been in release for two months is something just about impossible today.

Our theme music is composed and performed by Marc Rose.

Direct download: 20yearsago_118_0901808.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:38am EDT

Nominations are opening shortly for the 2008 People's Choice Podcast Awards, presented by the fine folks at Podcast Connect, home to Geek News Central.  Please take a few minutes and nominate "It Was 20 Years Ago Today" by clicking on the Podcast Awards banner at the right, or by visiting the PodCastAwards website.

Thanks for the support!
Category:Announcements -- posted at: 10:55pm EDT

Episode #117 -- Hurricane Gilbert Saturday, September 13, 2008. Twenty years ago today, Hurricane Gilbert became the most intense hurricane ever measured in the western hemisphere.  I talk about Gilbert, its intensity, path, and effects.  I also add some thoughts of my own about the people who live and work in the paths of tropical cyclones.

As this podcast goes out, Hurricane Ike is wreaking havoc on the coast of Texas and Louisiana.  If you can spare a few dollars to help the many thousands of people gravely affected by this storm, I'd encourage you to take a few minutes and make a donation to the American Red Cross or other disaster relief agency of your choice.

Our theme music is composed and performed by Marc Rose.

Direct download: 20yearsago_117_0901308.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:11am EDT

Sunday, September 7, 2008. Twenty years ago today, the New York Times featured an article about a new computer chat service called Aline. I talk about that long-gone service and also about another computer chat protocol invented twenty years ago and still going strong, IRC.  I also discuss how the revolution in online communications has affected the world of science fiction fandom.

If you happen to be a Doctor Who fan and would be interested in seeing that last fanzine, I have it available as a PDF.  Just email me.  For more fan fiction online, you can check out the site fanfiction.net, a clearinghouse of creative efforts from fans of more TV shows and movies than you can possibly imagine.  I do have one story there myself, in the Babylon 5 section, and a fragment in the Crusade section.

Our theme music is composed and performed by Marc Rose.

Direct download: 20yearsago_116_090708.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:54pm EDT

Episode #115 -- Channel Tunnel For December 15, 2007. Twenty years ago on this day, digging began on the tunnel beneath the English Channel.  I describe a little about the Channel Tunnel (also known as Eurotunnel or the Chunnel), a concept drawing of which is seen here.  I also talk about why I find large engineering and construction projects like the Chunnel so fascinating.

Our theme music is composed and performed by Marc Rose.

Direct download: 20yearsago_115_082908_121507.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:01am EDT

Thursday, August 28, 2008. Twenty years ago today, a mid-air collision during an airshow at Ramstein Air Base in West Germany killed three pilots and 67 people on the ground.  I talk about how this event, possibly the worst airshow disaster in history, took place, and about the emotional reaction I had to it.

Witnesses and survivors of the Ramstein airshow disaster can be found in a number of places on the Internet -- a principal one is at the site www.flugtag88.com.  The translation of lyrics for the song 'Ramstein,' along with many other Rammstein songs, can be found at the fan site Herzeleid.com.  Our theme music is composed and performed by Marc Rose.

Direct download: 20yearsago_114_082808.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:46pm EDT





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