December 5 in nerd history: Why does it always have to be snakes?

December 5 in nerd history: Why does it always have to be snakes?

Happy Krampusnacht! Today in Germany, other parts of Europe, and increasingly more places, people will dress up as Krampus, a demon that swats misbehaving children with branches or steals the presents St. Nicholas has given them. During celebrations, those dressed as Krampus hand out bundles of twigs as a reminder that if any kids do anything remotely naughty, they will be assaulted by a demon. Happy holidays!

Devil Lucifer GIF by CK HOŠKA TOUR

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

December 5 in Nerd History

Here are five things that happened on December 5th at the intersection of nerd and pop culture.


Birthdays of honor: Walt Disney (1901), Little Richard (1932).


In 1984 I learned one of the three songs I could play on piano at age 5 thanks to the release of Beverly Hills Cop, starring Eddie Murphy.

Besides the killer theme song (“Alex F”), the tale of a street-smart detective from Detroit who travels to uppity Beverly Hills to solve the murder of his best friend was a huge blockbuster — it grossed $234 million domestically, making it the biggest movie of the year and instantly creating a lasting franchise.

Play it!

Also released on this day:

  • You had to think about whether you liked apples in 1997 with Good Will Hunting.
  • 1980’s version of Flash Gordon, including the hit Queen soundtrack.
  • The true-crime tale Serpico turns 50 today, released in 1973.


Maybe hardcore punk isn’t your thing, but if we’re talking early ’80s hardcore punk, it’s definitely our thing. And boy, it’s hard to fathom that Damaged, the debut album by Black Flag, turns 42 years old today.

After cycling through a few lead singers (including future Circle Jerks frontman, Keith Morris), Henry Rollins joined the band and brought a new energy that finally brought it all together.

The album was essentially ignored at the time outside of hardcore circles, but has since been recognized as one of the most influential punk albums of all time — and today often makes those fancy lists of the best albums ever made.

Rollins was 20 when he joined Black Flag. You do the math in terms of how old that makes him today, I don’t have the patience for it.


In 1945, Flight 19, a group of TBF Avengers, was out for a training exercise in a region off the coast of Florida — or as some call it, the Bermuda Triangle.


After the exercise was believed to have been completed, transmissions started coming through that the group’s compasses weren’t working and they couldn’t figure out how to get home. After some additional time, the radio signals became choppy, until finally there was no response.

Additionally, a rescue aircraft sent to look for the airmen vanished — no wreckage or remains were ever recovered.


If you weren’t jamming the new Black Flag record today in 1981, you were probably headed out to see Raiders of the Lost Ark yet again. The blockbuster Indiana Jones movie had just reclaimed its number one spot in its 26th weekend of release.