No wacky holidays from us today — it’s a solemn day for many, and a day when we simply lean into the words of a couple of very wise dudes. Today in particular, we’ll do our best to honor their guidance:
This is The Reset Button from Classic Nerd, resetting your day.
September 11 in Nerd History
Here are five things that happened on September 11th at the intersection of nerd and pop culture.
Birthdays of honor: Ludacris (1977), Harry Connick Jr. (1967), O. Henry (1862), D. H. Lawrence (1885), Bear Bryant (1913), Moby (1965), Brian De Palma (1940).
Today in 1977, video games changed forever when the Atari 2600 hit the market and popularized the ability to not only play video games at home, but to be able to swap out games using a single system.
The idea of playing video games at home wasn’t new, and even the Fairchild Channel F had beaten Atari to market with a swappable cartridge system, but the 2600 (originally called the Atari Video Computer System, or VCS) won out in terms of marketing and quality of games, with 1980’s home port of Space Invaders becoming a huge hit.
The 2600 even brought us the idea of selling a bundle with a console, controllers, and a game (originally either Combat or Pac-Man).
And somehow, 46 years later, you can now play new games made for the Atari 2600.
Look, this is just an opinion, but the ’70s produced some ugly ass cars.
Case in point: Today in 1970 Ford introduced its first subcompact car, the Pinto.
I’m willing to bet that at some point either you or your parents owned one of these little bastards. Over about a decade, Ford produced over 3 million Pintos with options including hatchbacks, station wagons, and sedans. They outproduced all competitors in the category — yep, even including the possibly somehow uglier AMC Gremlin.
Unfortunately, they eventually gained a reputation for blowing up. While in retrospect the Pinto’s fuel-system design was similar to most other subcompacts at the time, Ford took the brunt, and a bevy of legal cases eventually led to a slew of new regulations that help to keep us safe today. That is, of course, unless you’re still driving a Pinto.
In 1985, Pete Rose hit his 4,192nd hit, breaking Ty Cobb’s record.
He hit a single to left center as the Cincinnati Reds took on the San Diego Padres. Notably, this came as Rose was acting as player-manager, a role that was once common but which he was the last to occupy in the MLB to this day.
Rose would end his career with 4,256 hits and still holds the all-time hits record in Major League Baseball.
So why isn’t he in the Hall of Fame? When you have a few spare hours, go take your dad on a ride in his Pinto and let him tell you all about it.
60 years ago today, in 1963, “My Boyfriend’s Back” by The Angels was the top song in the country.