January 22 in nerd history

January 22 in nerd history

Happy Answer Your Cat's Questions Day! Of all the animals humans keep as pets, the sounds cats make are the most likely to make you feel like they're piercing your soul with questions that will make you wonder about the very nature of existence. Either that, or they're just demanding a few head scratches.

Either way, today is the day you stop ignoring those plaintiff meows and really listen — then take your best guess at just what your cat is trying to ask of you. Or just shout "I don't know what you want of me!" until the neighbors complain.

Video gif. A tabby cat looking into and reaching up toward a fisheye camera, as its face presses up to the lens.

January 22 in Nerd History

Here are five things that happened on January 22nd at the intersection of nerd and pop culture.

I.

Birthdays of honor: Diane Lane (1965), Sam Cooke (1964), Steve Perry (1949), Francis Bacon (1561), John Hurt (1940), Bill Bixby (1934), Lord Byron (1788), Linda Blair (1959), DJ Jazzy Jeff (1965), Daniel Johnston (1961), Jim Jarmusch (1953).

II.

Say what you will about the Cold War, but it inspired some damn fine military-inspired/sci-fi content. 40 years ago today, in 1984, one such TV show hit the airwaves when Airwolf debuted on CBS.

Named after the badass, futuristic helicopter featured in the show, it also featured a protagonist with one of the most badass names of any protagonist ever — Stringfellow Hawke. It also featured one of the most badass theme songs of the '80s (thankfully updated to a catchy, synthy tune in season 2 from the more orchestral theme of the first season).

With an initially darker season to kick things off, producers tried to make things a little more family-friendly in later seasons. Which is why I remember it so well, I guess? Or maybe I just liked watching stuff blow up...

Unfortunately, the show didn't do as well as it should have, running just three seasons on CBS and struggling through a fourth on USA. Still, I miss the movies and shows like this where there was basically just a cool vehicle and a dorky dude behind the controls.

III.

In 1989, Metallica debuted their very first music video on MTV, for the iconic "One".

Running nearly 8 minutes, it featured clips from the film version of 1971's Johnny Got His Gun interspersed with the band shredding in a mysterious dark room with blue light.

To date, Metallica now has 50 music videos to their name.

IV.

If you're one of those people who says they just watch the Super Bowl for the commercials, this one's for you: 40 years ago today the iconic Apple Macintosh commercial inspired by George Orwell's 1984 premiered during the third quarter of the big game.

Cited as one of the greatest moments in advertising history, the ad was directed by none other than Ridley Scott. And it was pretty damn successful, going down in history but also leading to $3.5 million in Macintosh sales ​immediately following​ the ad's airing.

V.

If you were cruising around in a sweet hotrod, or I guess technically any type of car, circa 1964, you weren't worried about mileage in the slightest — gas was averaging just 30 cents a gallon 60 years ago.

Pick of the Day: 1964 Chevrolet Impala SS with small-block, 4-speed

Maybe that's why people love to roll in their '64s so much...