October 23rd in nerd history: Watch out for frogs

October 23rd in nerd history: Watch out for frogs

Happy Slap Your Annoying Coworker Day! Normally we wouldn't condone this kind of violence in the workplace, but it's a holiday, so we can't really argue with that. But if you end up being the one who gets slapped in the middle of your meeting — you might want to rethink some of your work habits.

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

October 23 in Nerd History

Here are five things that happened on October 23rd at the intersection of nerd and pop culture.


Birthdays of honor: “Weird Al” Yankovic (1959), Pele (1940), Ryan Reynolds (1976), Emilia Clarke (1986), Johnny Carson (1925), Dwight Yoakam (1956), Michael Crichton (1942), Sam Raimi (1959), Doug Flutie (1962), Diana Dors (1931), Ang Lee (1954), Cat Deeley (1976).


In 1941, we met a little elephant named Jumbo Jr. — or as most know him, Dumbo.

The heartwarming tale of an elephant who could fly from Walt Disney Productions was originally intended to be not much more than a way for the studio to recoup a little cash. Due to the war in Europe, Pinnochio and Fantasia hadn't done well, and the studio needed a story that could be told with simpler, aka cheaper, animation.

Audiences loved it, with the film becoming the most successful Disney movie of the '40s, despite the war.

My guess as to why it worked so well? Definitely the trippy pink elephant scene.


In 1981 we all realized how much we didn't want a small amphibian to get crushed when Frogger hit arcades in North America.

Having already seen some success in Japan, Sega wasn't sure if an American audience would like the game so much, considering it didn't have the violent appeal of other popular games at the time. So they ran a test at a San Diego bar, which was so successful they immediately started ordering duplicate machines.

The simple concept appealed to all ages and genders, making Frogger a monster hit. In case you were ever wondering whether all those quarters could really add up to anything meaningful, this game made an estimated $135 million (in fairness, that was in cabinet sales, but it sounds cooler if you think about it in quarters).


For those who've seen it, Reservoir Dogs gave the Stealers Wheel's "Stuck in the Middle With You" a whole new meaning when it was released today in 1992.

Despite the fact that it was Quentin Tarantino's debut feature film, his knack for making profanity and violence somehow fun was there from the get-go. It's highly regarded as a monumental movie in independent film history and an easy Halloween costume if you can gather up enough friends and are willing to walk around in slow motion.


In 2001 Apple was all like, "Yeah, we're gonna blow up the music industry." Today they released the iPod, which changed how we listen to music forever.

As Apple is oft known to do, they didn't invent the idea of a portable MP3 player — they just took it and made it really easy to use. Not to mention, they were able to combine it with their iTunes digital music store, and voila, music industry disrupted.

Of course, most of us listened to pirated music on iPods in those early days, but it was still pretty amazing to be able to have hundreds of songs at your beck and call. The line was finally discontinued last year but was estimated to have sold over 450 million units.