Punky Brewster Challenger

I remember watching the Challenger space shuttle launch in grade school and then heading to the cafeteria for lunch shortly after the explosion.

In a very special Punky Brewster, Episode 44 “Accidents Happen”, Punky reacts to the shuttle disaster featuring special guest Buzz Aldrin. Even though I was roughly Punky’s age at the time, I don’t remember having any any kind of traumatic reaction from the disaster but who is to say? I still remember that day, after all. It was the last time they wheeled a TV into the classroom for a shuttle launch.

The episode is is available in two parts on youtube.

Part 1:

Part 2:



Nobody Bothers Me Either ;)

The Americans, a newish show on FX, is doing everything right. Sites, sounds, and popular culture of Washington D.C. during the cold war, mixed with apparitions of EST, nuclear fear and confusion.  Historical fiction relies on popular culture, and the writers didn’t forget the best part of DC life: inside-beltway humor.

Growing up in Washington, D.C. during the Cold War never seemed  any different than anywhere else, because we were kids.  There was a dark umbrella most adults ominously called an Iron Curtain and monthly bomb drills at school. In the Nation’s Capitol, there was no escaping angst of the cold war.

Thankfully there was TV.

Local news was usually national news, but on the hyperlocal level life was good. We had  Captain 20, while our local CBS affiliate (channel 9) aired The George Michael Sports Machine after 11:30pm on Sundays.

We had  Jhoon Rhee Tae Kwon Do. Always on between cartoons, all the time. Nobody wanted to be bothered by bad guys, and this local ad is iconic for a lot of cold war era Washingtonians.


The Americans got it right, as Martha tells Clark there’s something …still….bothering her, S2E8:

And here, where OK, Go covers it after Damian reminisces about growing up in DC:




End of the Space Race

On July 15, 1975 the launch of joint USA/USSR Apollo–Soyuz space flight took place, effectively marking the end of the cold war space race. This project included the first space docking of crafts from the two countries. After this flight, there would be no Americans in space until the shuttle era began voyages in 1981.

Apollo–Soyuz Test Project Mission Insignia

Astronaut Crew:

  • Thomas P. Stafford
  • Vance D. Brand
  • Donald K. “Deke” Slayton

Cosmonaut Crew:

  • Alexei Leonov
  • Valeri Kubasov

Additional information:

#1 Hit Songs: 1980

I put together an rdio playlist of the seventeen songs that hit #1 in the United States from 1980. It is interesting mix of songs to kick off the decade.

The songs (via):

  • KC and the Sunshine Band – Please Don’t Go
  • Rupert Holmes – Escape (Pina Colada Song)
  • Michael Jackson – Rock With You
  • Captain and Tennille – Do That to Me One More Time
  • Queen – Crazy Little Thing Called Love
  • Pink Floyd – Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)
  • Blondie – Call Me
  • Lipps, Inc. – Funkytown
  • Paul McCartney and Wings – Coming Up (Live at Glasgow)
  • Billy Joel – It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me
  • Olivia Newton-John – Magic
  • Christopher Cross – Sailing
  • Diana Ross – Upside Down
  • Queen – Another One Bites the Dust
  • Barbra Streisand – Woman in Love
  • Kenny Rogers – Lady
  • John Lennon – (Just Like) Starting Over

Less Than Zero: An Homage to ‘80s Lit, Big Hair & Distressed Denim

San Francisco’s Litquake organization is hosting the event Less Than Zero: An Homage to ‘80s Lit, Big Hair & Distressed Denim.

The event features some of our favorite Bay Area writers reading 1980’s literature, along with the usual 80’s nostalgia


  • Joshua Mohr reading Bret Easton Ellis
  • Alia Volz reading Tama Janowitz
  • Andrew Dugas reading Jay McInerney
  • Michelle Tea reading from The Official Preppy Handbook


  • Sparkle Motion dance duo channeling the Solid Gold Dancers
  • New Wave/Dynasty makeup bar
  • Vintage films
  • Dress-up bin replete with leg warmers, fingerless gloves, scrunchies, and other glorious items from the cutting edge of ‘80s style

Thursday, July 24, 2014 – 8:00 PM
Verdi Club
2424 Mariposa Street
$15 advance, $20 at door
Proceeds benefit Lit Crawl 2014

Details and ticket links at http://www.litquake.org/calendar-of-events/less-than-zero-litquakes-homage-to-80s-lit-big-hair-and-distressed-denim