January 16 in nerd history: Happy birthday John Carpenter!

Happy Appreciate a Dragon Day! And just to be clear, this is Appreciate a Dragon Day, not all dragons. I know who I'm going with:

This is The Reset Button from Classic Nerd, resetting your day.

January 16 in Nerd History

Here are five things that happened on January 16th at the intersection of nerd and pop culture.


Birthdays of honor: John Carpenter (1948), Sade (1959), Lin-Manuel Miranda (1980), Ethel Merman (1908), Frank Zamboni (1901).


There is nothing wrong with your inbox. Do not attempt to adjust the font. We are controlling transmission.

That almost exact intro, while often confused with the opening for the quite similar The Twilight Zone, greeted audiences in the mid-60s up until today in 1965, when the last episode of the original run of The Outer Limits aired on ABC.

While clearly influenced by Twilight Zone, the anthology show developed a loyal following in its own right, often focusing more on sci-fi stories compared to fantasy or the supernatural. But while it proved popular initially, it was moved to a Saturday night slot in its second season. Going up against Jackie Gleason proved fatal.

Yet the show's influence was outsized compared to its limited run — some of the monsters from the show made it into Star Trek, and filmmakers and authors (including Stephen King) have cited it as heavily influential.

A revival ran from 1995 through 2002.


If you need a reminder of just how powerful MTV was in the '90s, consider the fact that one day they decided it would be neat if people played on acoustic guitars — and turned that into some of the best-selling albums of all time.

Today in 1992, it was Eric Clapton's turn to record his version of Unplugged. The chill sesh featured the hit single "Tears in Heaven", as well as a chill version of Derek and the Dominos' "Layla". It went on to sell over 26 million copies, making it the best-selling live album in known history, and inspiring dads everywhere to buy a guitar that they sold two years later.


If you're a Browns, Eagles, or Cowboys fan, well... sorry. But hey, at least you don't live in St. Louis!

Today in 1988, the St. Louis Cardinals announced the team would be moving to Arizona. Maybe because it was too confusing having two teams from different sports in the same city with the same name?

Luckily for St. Louis football fans, the Los Angeles Rams would move into town and bring the city a championship. And now they still get to enjoy a winning team with — hold on, I'm getting something. Ah yes, the Rams moved back to Los Angeles, leaving the city with nothing. What the hell are ya'll doing to these poor football players in St. Louis?


Whenever I see a squirrel, I stop in my tracks, watch it closely, and hear David Attenborough's voice in my head. That's largely thanks to Life on Earth, the breakthrough documentary series that catapulted Attenborough into becoming the voice of nature of generations, released 45 years ago today in 1979.

While an immense project, it turns out people enjoy watching birds do weird stuff while a British dude quietly talks about it, with over 500 million people estimated to have watched Life on Earth upon its release. And hell, at 97 the dude is still at it.