November 15th in nerd history: Tunes, squad up

November 15th in nerd history: Tunes, squad up
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Happy National Drummer Day! For today only, drummers across the country are entitled to practice their fills as often as they'd like, even in the middle of practice — and you can even give one a ride. God knows they'll need one.

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

November 15 in Nerd History

Here are five things that happened on November 15th at the intersection of nerd and pop culture.

I.

Birthdays of honor: Macho Man Randy Savage (1952), Beverly D’Angelo (1951), Georgia O'Keeffe (1887), Ed Asner (1929), Shailene Woodley (1991), Sam Waterston (1940).

II.

When you have star power as strong as Michael Jordan's at his peak of popularity, naturally the logical thing to do is find a way to get him together with the Looney Tunes. Today in 1996, the thing nobody asked for hit theaters with Space Jam.

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When evil aliens threaten to turn all of the Looney Tunes characters into slaves (in the form of amusement park rides, of course), their only hope is to beat the Monstars in a game of basketball — and in fairness, if you really need to win a game of basketball, Jordan is the right person to get on board.

Despite the ridiculous plot and mediocre reviews, it grossed over $250 million worldwide and for over 25 years was the highest-grossing sports movie of all time.

III.

In 1971, Intel released the 4004 processor. Sounds pretty boring, but it was revolutionary in the world of computing, as it was the very first microprocessor to ever hit the market.

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This little guy kicked off a microcomputing craze that made it possible for us to enjoy such modern luxuries as ATMs, programmable microwaves, and video games — oh, and I almost forgot to mention, basically every electronic device in existence today. It set the technology market on a new course and frankly deserves a little more respect from all of us.

IV.

Today in 2001 I personally started playing video games online in earnest for the first time when Microsoft released the first Xbox to the world.

Now that you can enter the metaverse with so-called wearables and do the Facebooks and the AI and whatnot, the first Xbox almost seems rudimentary — but this thing felt like you were putting a quantum computer in your house. And BTW, not only could you play games on it, you could watch DVDs!

Microsoft's first foray into the console market, it was the first time an American company had produced a video game console since the Atari Jaguar in 1993 — and if you haven't heard of the Jaguar, that is both normal and exactly why it failed.

It was also the first time a console had a hard disk onboard and featured a built-in ethernet port that allowed for both online play and some killer LAN parties. The console actually did really well overall, in large part thanks to the multiplayer madness that was Halo: Combat Evolved, which launched on the same day.

That means today is also the day the Xbox started losing to PlayStation. But who's keeping track?

V.

Y? Because we like you.

30 years ago today, in 1993, a new iteration of The Mickey Mouse Club, which was also a new iteration of the already new iteration called The All-New Mickey Mouse Club, hit The Disney Channel — and because it was the '90s, it was simply called MMC.

But the real reason we care is because that season's cast included a few kids who would go on to do pretty damn well for themselves — Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, and Ryan Gosling.

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After running intermittently since 1955, all forms of MMC shut down for good in 2018... until the inevitable next revival, anyway.