Happy National Banana Split Day! While according to Wikipedia “the origin of the banana split is controversial”, it popped up sometime around 1904 and originally cost about 10 cents a pop — which in those days, was actually a lot more than most other ice cream treats. So indulge yourself today with this fancy delight.
This is The Reset Button from Classic Nerd, resetting your day.
August 25 in Nerd History
Here are 5 things that happened on August 25th at the intersection of nerd and pop culture.
Birthdays of honor: Sean Connery (1930), Tim Burton (1958). Billy Ray Cyrus (1961), Gene Simmons (1949), Regis Philbin (1931), Leonard Bernstein (1918), Claudia Schiffer (1970), Elvis Costello (1954), Monty Hall (1921).
Today in 1939 The Wizard of Oz hit theaters nationwide. Considering it’s the most-seen film in history (according to the U.S. Library of Congress), you may have heard of it.
But while it was always lauded as an incredible movie, it actually lost over a million dollars upon its initial release. A re-release in 1949 changed that a bit, but it wasn’t until they started showing Dorothy and her crew on television in 1956 that the movie gained mythic status.
Let’s be honest — the biggest achievement from The Wizard of Oz was how the filmmakers knew decades in advance that Pink Floyd’s Darkside of the Moon would sync up with it.
Think those videos on Facebook of kittens are cute? Yeah, well, try The Adventures of Milo and Otis, released today in 1989. Milo is a kitten, and Otis is a puppy. They’re born on a farm and become friends, but Milo is a bit too curious and ends up getting washed downstream in a box — but not to fear, Otis chases after his friend. So yeah, it’s a movie about a puppy and kitten having adventures.
The movie was originally released in Japan in 1986 but repurposed for U.S. audiences in ’89, with none other than Dudley Moore providing the narration.
But if you were a little too old for baby animal movies, you could have opted for Little Monsters, released on the exact same day as Milo and Otis. Starring Fred Savage, Little Monsters was a lot like many movies from the ’80s: good intentions, but ultimately terrifying.
Savage’s character, Brian, is an 11-year-old who befriends a monster (played by Howie Mandel). Turns out being a monster is fun! You can mess with bullies, eat junk food, and play video games pretty much all of the time. The downer? After a while, you become a monster yourself and can never be in the light again. And here’s the really freaky part — turns out all monsters used to be children. Part tween comedy, part dark fantasy, fully a reason for my therapy bill.
Today in 1997, video games changed forever when GoldenEye 007 came out for the N64. Featuring an atmospheric single-player mode that made you really feel like you were Mr. Bond himself, and blowing multiplayer wide open with up to four players being able to play at once (and the silly amount of silly options for making rounds just stupidly fun), it went on to become the third best-selling game in N64 history.
And it changed how game makers thought about first-person shooters. Call me nuts, but I think GoldenEye is what made Call of Duty possible.
You think you’ve got it bad with misinformation today? Trying being a New Yorker in 1835, when today marked the publication of the first article in the Great Moon Hoax series.
Published in The Sun, a newspaper out of NYC, the articles detailed the supposed discovery of not only life but an entire civilization on the moon — including bat-like humanoid creatures, unicorns, beavers that walked on two legs, and great temples that the inhabitants built.
The stories were never retracted and never noted as fake by the paper, but supposedly it sent sales through the roof. Talk about a deepfake.
Way past the moon by this point, the Voyager 1 spacecraft entered interstellar space on this day in 2012 — the first human-made object to do so. Rumor has it Matthew McConaghy is still out there searching for it.