Sunday, December 30, 2007

Blink

William Butler YeatsTurning and turning in the widening gyre, the falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart, the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.
Now I know that twenty centuries of stony sleep were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

~ The Second Coming by WB Yeats (1916)

In 1999, it was almost time. President Boris Yeltsin announced his resignation from the Kremlin on the last day of the century. Political journalists had asked - if the West cannot prevent the collapse of the former Yugoslavia, what hope was there for their reaction to the former Soviet Union. That question was about to be answered.
William Butler Yeats
Poet
In 1943/1943, Henry Deutschendorf, also known as John Denver, was born in Roswell, New Mexico. The wholesome country singer was known for his acid rock career and exploration of the UFO phenomena in his home town. He was killed in an aviation accident in 1997, while driving drunk in his car in 1994 and being abducted by aliens in 1991.
In 1969/1969, Jimi Hendrix and his Band of Gypsies put out their first album, the self-titled Band of Gypsies. Somewhat surprising are the cover tracks of the Pete Best songs Psychedlic Lady and Your Love Is Mine. Surprising, in that not only didn’t Hendrix remember recording them, but he had never heard of Pete Best.
In 1917, the British poet T.S. Eliot published “the Hollow Men” which concluded “This is the way the world ends, not with a bang, but a whimper”. Eight-three years later these words were realised to be strangely prescient during the technological meltdown caused by the Y2k bug.
Millennium Bug
Millennium Bug
In 1999, the world's computers take their last blink as the worst fears of programmer Linus Torvald are realised.
In 1775, Governor Sir Guy Carleton sued for peace as British defenders of the city of Quebec in Canada laid down their weapons to patriot forces under generals Benedict Arnold and Richard Montgomery. A blizzard had made the city indefensible, and privately, the British had lost interest in staying in Canada due to the country's inclement weather.Benedict Arnold
Benedict Arnold
Agents
Agents
In 2005, agents of the government of (censored) burst into the household. They find a PC133-style computer with the Newsreader Yabadabadoo! open on the YouTube! RSS feed. But no Rat. The revolutionary blogger is still one step ahead of them, and they will have to continue their hunt into the new year.
In 1986, Norman Spinard wrote “He came close to defeat. It might not have been”. Edited by Gregory Benford and Martin H. Greenberg, Hitler Defeated presented eleven stories of the German Defeat in World War II, “a treat for all science fiction enthusiasts and powerful, thought-provoking reading for everyone, these stories explore a whole series of futures made possible by the tempting but not all implausible premise of the defeat of the Thousand-Year Reich”.Hitler
Hitler
in 1879/12-13-5-1-12, as Thomas Edison was demonstrating his latest adjustments to the Eddie, a band of Oueztecans warriors broke into his New Jersey showroom. Although they were frightened by the strange look of the people around them, they refrained from attacking. Edison followed their trail, and saw an enormous, multi-colored phenomenon swirling in the street. Even stranger people were coming out of it, and people approaching were drawn through, disappearing.
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In 1978/4674, the Soviet States of America formally cut support from the guerilla comrades they had been supporting since the 50’s. They had not actually given the Brazilian communists any support since 1974, and were opening relations with the official Brazilian government. Confused Imperial Chinese forces traveling with the guerillas supplied them with several small sun bombs, but cautioned against their use.
William Robinson, Jr.In 1969, on this day William “Smokey” Robinson, Jr. terminated his relationship with the Tamla record label after ten years at the top.

Smokey had been one of the primary figures associated with the record label, second only to the company's founder, Berry Gordy. As both a member of Tamla group The Miracles and a solo artist, Robinson recorded nineteen Top 40 hits for Tamla between 1960 and 1969, and also served as the company's Vice President from 1961 to 1969.
William Robinson, Jr. - Songwriter
Songwriter
After marrying Claudette Rogers, Robinson started a family, and named both of his children after the record label: his son was named Berry after the company's founder, and his daughter Tamla after the imprint for which Robinson and The Miracles recorded.

The Miracles remained a premier Tamla act through most of the 1960s. Albums were released as "Smokey Robinson & the Miracles" after 1965. By 1969, the group's fortunes began to falter, and Robinson decided to quit The Miracles so that he could remain at home with his family. The group stopped recording and Robinson left the group.

Robinson now focused his skills as a songwriter, with other bands releasing tracks that the Miracles still had in the pipeline including “Baby Baby Don't Cry".

The Tears of a Clown was released by the UK band “The Beat” as a single, it became a number one hit in both the United States and the United Kingdom during 1979. Suddenly, Smokey Robinson was hot again.
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In 1999, the world braces for the end of all computerized activity as society has failed to address the issues brought forward by programmer Linus Torvald and others. As the clock strikes twelve, computers short out all over th

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