Conventions & Events

The Geekly with a Twist: December 23rd-29th

Hello to everybody, and I hope you all had a wonderful start to the winter season (yup, the solstice fell on the 22nd this year)…but it’s time to move inside and veg out in front of your FAVORITE weekly article on your FAVORITE SciFi news and opinion site.  Overreaching?  We’ll call it my Yuletide wish.  Regardless, onward with the history!

December 23rd, 1986: The first non-stop, around-the-world flight (without refueling) is completed when pilots Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager land the Voyager at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

December 24th, 1966Luna 13, an unmanned Soviet space probe, lands on the moon.

Picture taken December 24th, 1968 from Apollo 8

December 24th, 1968: James A. Lovell, William Anders, and Frank Borman orbit the moon on the mission Apollo 8.

December 25, 1642: Before England had adopted the Gregorian calendar, the man who would be remembered for an apple falling on his head (though he should be remembered for the shared development of calculus and the three laws of motion, but you can’t say much for what people want to remember) is born on “Christmas Day 1642.”  Isaac Newton’s actual birthdate is more correctly January 4th, 1643, but nonetheless he was recorded to have been born as a Christmas baby in eastern England.

December 26th, 1792: The man who very well could be responsible for the computer (as he was the first to come up with the concept), Charles Babbage is born in London.

December 26th, 1982: For the first time, TIME magazine named a non-human as their “Man of the Year.”  It was a computer.

December 27th, 1571: Scientific revolutionary Johannes Kepler is born in what is modern-day Germany.

December 27th, 1822: The microbiologist and chemist responsible for a number of scientific breakthroughs (including the first vaccines for rabies) as well as a man who is considered one of the founding fathers of microbiology, Louis Pasteur is born in eastern France.

December 27th, 1831: The HMS Beagle leaves its anchorage on what would be a groundbreaking scientific voyage (for those of you not catching on, Charles Darwin was on board).

December 27th, 1904: “Peter Pan,” the play by James Barrie, premieres in London.

December 27th, 1981: A young woman noted for her roles on Roswell and Lost, the beautiful Emilie de Ravin is born in Mount Eliza- a suburb of Melbourne, Australia.

December 27th, 2002: Clonaid announces the birth of the first cloned human baby, “Eve.”  The child’s existence, much less that of its genetic status as a clone, has never been verified.

Photo Courtesy Edward Liu on flickr

December 28th, 1922:  Yup…stay tuned for a special birthday wish for “The Man” himself on Wednesday, December 28th.  Excelsior!

December 28th, 1934: The brilliant actress who, of late, has been noted for her role as Professor Minerva McGonagall in the Harry Potter films, Maggie Smith is born in Ilford, a town in Essex, England.

December 28th, 1981: The first American test-tube baby, Elizabeth Jordan Carr, is born in Norfolk, Virginia.

For this week’s Twist, check out my Guide to that Dreaded Winter Holiday for everything from eggnog to Winter Veil Hot Apple Cider!

And, of course, I’ve gone most of the article in blissful ignorance of that darn holiday, but, for your Garnish,  and yet again I’ll just sit here and pretend it’s not happening!  (Yeah, I know, I’m a Grinch.)  BUT!  I will share the one thing that made me fall over with a heart attack of happiness today…


Peter Jackson, I love you.

Until next week, geek on!

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