Category Archives: News

Daily Trivia: 12/14/12

Question: What was the full name of the 18-month-old baby whose rescue received national media attention in 1987 after falling down a well?


Last Question: In A Christmas Story, according to Ralph, what was getting Randy ready for school like preparing for?

A. War
B. Cave exploration
C. Extended deep-sea diving
D. Coal mining

Answer: C. Extended deep-sea diving

“You can put your arms down when you get to school!”

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Daily Trivia – 3/12/12

Question: What HBO show featured a mystic oracle known as Madame Trash Heap?


Last Question: What 13-year old sued his Kokomo, Indiana school after he was expelled for being HIV-positive?

Answer: Ryan White

Ryan White was the poster child for HIV/AIDS in the ’80s. When he was three days old, White was diagnosed with severe Hemophilia A, a hereditary blood disorder which causes even minor injuries to result in severe bleeding. In order for him to be treated, he received weekly blood transfusions.

At the time, AIDS was poorly understood at the time, to say the very least. It was only associated with the male gay community, because it was first diagnosed among gay men. But, in December 1984, during a partial-lung removal procedure, Ryan White was diagnosed with AIDS. It was discovered that one of the blood transfusions that he had received was infected with the virus.

After the diagnosis, White was too ill to return to school, but by early 1985 had begun to feel better. His mother asked if he could return to school, but was told by school officials that he should not. The school faced enormous pressure from parents and faculty to bar White from the school. There was little-to-no information about AIDS at the time, so people thought that they could get the disease just by casual contact or breathing the same air. Scientists knew it spread via blood and was not transmittable by any kind of casual contact, but ignorance prevailed, and people were scared to be around somebody that had AIDS.

The White family filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn the ban. On November 25, an Indiana Department of Education officer ruled that the school must follow the Indiana Board of Health guidelines and that White must be allowed to attend school. Sadly, when White was permitted to return to school for one day in February 1986, 151 of 360 students stayed home. If that wasn’t bad enough, he also worked as a paperboy, and many of the people on his route canceled their subscriptions, believing that HIV could be transmitted through newsprint.

There were many threats of violence, and White was discriminated against in the Kokomo school. When a bullet was fired through the Whites’ living room window, the family decided to leave Kokomo. After finishing the school year, his family moved to Cicero, Indiana, where White enrolled at Hamilton Heights High School. On August 31, 1987, a “very nervous” White was greeted by school principal Tony Cook, school system superintendent Bob G. Carnal, and a handful of students who had been educated about AIDS and were unafraid to shake White’s hand.

The publicity of White’s trial catapulted him into the national spotlight, amidst a growing wave of AIDS coverage in the news media. Between 1985 and 1987, the number of news stories about AIDS in the American media doubled. White made several television and fundraising appearances. Many celebrities appeared with White, including John Cougar Mellencamp, Elton John and Michael Jackson, as well as President Ronald Reagan and Nancy Reagan. Slowly, but surely, the world was becoming more educated about AIDS, with Ryan White playing large part in that.

By early 1990, White’s health was deteriorating rapidly. In his final public appearance, he hosted an after-Oscars party with former president Ronald Reagan and first lady Nancy Reagan in California. Although his health was deteriorating, White spoke to the Reagans about his date to the prom and his hopes of attending college.

“We owe it to Ryan to make sure that the fear and ignorance that chased him from his home and his school will be eliminated. We owe it to Ryan to open our hearts and our minds to those with AIDS. We owe it to Ryan to be compassionate, caring and tolerant toward those with AIDS, their families and friends. It’s the disease that’s frightening, not the people who have it.”
—Former U.S. President Ronald Reagan, April 11, 1990

On March 29, 1990, several months before his high school class graduated and before his senior prom, White entered Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis with a respiratory infection. As his condition deteriorated he was placed on a ventilator and sedated. He was visited by Elton John and the hospital was deluged with calls from well-wishers. White died on April 8, 1990.

In 1992, White’s mother founded the national nonprofit Ryan White Foundation. Elton John was inspired to create the Elton John AIDS Foundation. White also became the inspiration for a handful of popular songs. Elton John donated proceeds from “The Last Song,” which appears on his album The One, to a Ryan White fund at Riley Hospital. Michael Jackson dedicated the song “Gone Too Soon” from his Dem>Dangerous album to White, as did Tiffany with the song “Here in My Heart” on her New Inside album.

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Moammar Gadhafi – Dead

According to ABC News, Libyan Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril announced that dictator Moammar Gadhafi has been killed. The following is from the report:


The flamboyant tyrant who terrorized his country and much of the world during his 42 years of despotic rule was reportedly cornered by insurgents in the town of Sirte, where Gadhafi was born and which was a stronghold of his supporters.

National Transition Council leaders said Gadhafi’s son, Motassim, was also killed though another son, Saif Al-Islam, fled Sirte in a convoy. Three of Gadhafi’s children are in Algeria, and NTC leaders say they will ask the neighboring country to send them back.

“We have been waiting for this moment for a long time. Moammar Gadhafi has been killed,” Jibril said at a news conference in Tripoli.

He added that the rebel government will wait until later today or Friday to officially declare what it calls a state of liberation.

The National Transition Council earlier today said that its fighters found and shot Gadhafi in Sirte, which finally fell to the rebels today after weeks of tough fighting. Rebels now control the entire country.

An NTC fighter who says he shot Gadhafi told reporters the eccentric leader was carrying a golden pistol and pleaded to him not to shoot.

Word of Gadhafi’s death triggered celebrations in the streets of Tripoli with insurgent fighters waving their weapons and dancing jubilantly.

The White House and NATO said they were unable to confirm reports of his death.

Al Jazeera aired video of what appeared to be the dead leader, which showed Gadhafi lying in a pool of blood in the street, shirtless, and surrounded by people.

Libya’s Information Minister Mahmoud Shammam told the Associated Press that Gadhafi was in a convoy when he was attacked by rebels.

A NATO official said that its jet fighters struck two military vehicles “which were part of a larger group that was maneuvering in the vicinity of Sirte conducting military operations that presented a clear threat to civilians.” But NATO would not confirm whether Gadhafi was part of that convoy.

Gadhafi had been on the run for weeks after being chased out of the capital Tripoli by NATO bombers and rebel troops.

He was believed to be hiding in the vast Libyan desert while calling on his supporters to rise up and sweep the rebel “dogs” away. But his once fearsome power was scoffed at by Libyans who had ransacked his palace compound and hounded him into hiding.

While reports of Gadhafi’s death have been met with jubilation, Libya now faces a new challenge of establishing a government.

“Let us recognize immediately that this is only the end of the beginning,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today.

Gadhafi, 69, ruled Libya with an iron fist for almost 42 years. He seized control of the country in Sept., 1969 in a bloodless coup when he was just 27 years old. The then young and dashing army captain and his small band of military officers overthrew the monarch King Idris, setting up a new Libyan Arab Republic that over the years became increasingly isolated from the rest of the world.

Gadhafi became an advocate of Arab and African unity, and openly declared his vision for a “United States of Africa.” But his relationship with the western world was strained and Gadhafi instead became known as the top sponsor of terrorism and for harboring international fugitives.

At the height of his ability to threaten terrorism, President Ronald Reagan dubbed Gadhafi the “mad dog of the Middle East.”

He was accused of backing the 1986 bombing of a Berlin disco popular with American soldiers, reportedly funding the hijacking of the cruise ship Achille Lauro in 1985, and the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, which resulted in the U.N. and United States imposing sanctions on Libya.

For years, Gadhafi refused to take responsibility for the bombing, but that changed in 2003 when he acknowledged his role and tried to make amends.

Western nations established diplomatic relations with Libya in 2003 after Gadhafi agreed to give up weapons of mass destruction.

The eccentric leader, who amassed power and wealth by controlling the nation’s oil industry, held the title of being the longest-serving leader in Africa and the Arab world.

Over the years, Gadhafi earned an international reputation for his outlandish apparel and much-ridiculed phobias and proclivities.

In U.S. diplomatic cables recently released by WikiLeaks, Gadhafi was described as a “mercurial and eccentric figure who suffers from severe phobias, enjoys flamenco dancing and horse racing, acts on whims and irritates friends and enemies alike.”

He was “obsessively dependent on a small core of trusted personnel,” especially his longtime Ukrainian nurse Galyna, who has been described as a “voluptuous blonde,” according to the cables.

Among his other unusual behaviors, the Libyan leader reportedly feared flying over water, didn’t like staying on upper floors and traveled with a “pistol packing’ posse” of female bodyguards.


He Counted On America To Be Passive. He Counted Wrong …

As mentioned in the article above, Gadhafi was responsible for backing the 1986 bombing of a Berlin disco popular with American soldiers. Big mistake. Big, big mistake. In response to this, on April 14, 1986 shortly before 7 p.m. EST (2 a.m., April 15 in Libya), The U.S. launched air strikes against Libya. Five military targets and “terrorism centers” were hit, including the headquarters of Gadhafi.

Even before the operation had ended, President Reagan went on national television to discuss the air strikes. “When our citizens are abused or attacked anywhere in the world,” he said, “we will respond in self-defense. Today we have done what we had to do. If necessary, we shall do it again.”

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Black Monday – October 19, 1987

24 years ago today, October 19, 1987, the stock markets around the world crashed. The day was dubbed ‘Black Monday’. The crash began in Hong Kong and spread west to Europe, hitting the United States after other markets had already declined by a huge margin. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped by 508 points.

By the end of October, stock markets in Hong Kong had fallen 45.5%, Australia 41.8%, Spain 31%, the United Kingdom 26.45%, the United States 22.68%, and Canada 22.5%.

Most people feared that there would be a recession, or maybe even a new ‘Great Depression’. However, the stock market quickly rebounded. The Dow made record gains on Tuesday and again on Thursday. By the end of the year, the Dow was higher than it had been at the start of the year, and returned to its pre-Black Monday level just two years after the crash.

Despite fears of a recession, the stock market quickly rebounded. The Dow made record gains on Tuesday and again on Thursday. By the end of the year, the Dow was higher than it had been at the start of the year, and returned to its pre-Black Monday level just two years after the crash.

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Daily Trivia – 10/5/11

Question: What cop show spun off the short-lived Richard Grieco series Booker?


Last Question: What poison was found in Extra Strength Tylenol capsules in 1982, leading manufacturers to take stronger steps against product tampering?

Answer: Cyanide

Isn’t it annoying when you’re already not feeling good, and you need an extra sharp pair of scissors or a knife to get through the plastic wrapping that is around the medicine bottle? Then it gets worse when you have a hard time twisting the cap into the position just right so you can open in. Dammit! You need a jackhammer to get through the seal that covers the top opening of the bottle! Whew, you done. Oh crap! You have to dig through miles of cotton to get to the medicine. Of course it rips off in pieces instead of coming out all at once. You can thank the jackass, who poisoned Extra-Strength Tylenol capsules with cyanide back in 1982, for this.

On the morning of September 29, 1982, twelve-year-old Mary Kellerman of Elk Grove Village, Illinois, died after taking a capsule of Extra-Strength Tylenol. Adam Janus of Arlington Heights, Illinois, died in the hospital shortly thereafter. Adam’s brother Stanley of Lisle, Illinois, and sister-in-law Theresa died after gathering to mourn his death, having taken pills from the same bottle. Soon afterward, Mary McFarland of Elmhurst, Illinois, Paula Prince of Chicago, and Mary Reiner of Winfield, also died in similar incidents. Investigators soon discovered the Tylenol link. This began a nationwide panic.

Johnson & Johnson, the maker of Tylenol, launched a massive recall of its product and offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person or people responsible. Everybody flushed all their Tylenol down the toilet, and was afraid to take any headache medicine. Sure, they said that this only occured in the capules, and not the solid pills. But, who was going to take a chance?

Since all the deaths occured in the same area, the tampering at the manufacturing level was ruled out. Somebody went into some stores, took the Tylenol bottles, replaced the capsules with cyanide inside, then put them back on the shelves.

The way that Johnson & Johnson handled the crises was legendary. They halted Tylenol production and advertising. They issued a nationwide recall of Tylenol products; an estimated 31 million bottles were in circulation, with a retail value of over $100 million. At the time, it was unusual for companies to recall their products. When it was determined that only capsules were tampered with, they offered to exchange all Tylenol capsules already purchased by the public with solid tablets.

In November, it reintroduced capsules but in a new, triple-sealed package. In order to motivate consumers to buy the product, they offered a $2.50 off coupon on the purchase of their product. They were available in the newspapers as well as by calling a toll-free number.

Many people speculated that Tylenol would never be able to recover from the disaster. However, within a year, Tylenol’s market share rebounded and its tarnished image was significantly repaired.

Oh, by the way, the Tylenol killer has not been caught yet. There is still a $100,000 reward out there if you have information that would lead to the capture.

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R.E.M. Calls it Quits

Geez, I hope the fact that I listed their song “Stand” as the #5 worst hit of the ’80s didn’t break the band up! The following is from their official web site:

“To our Fans and Friends: As R.E.M., and as lifelong friends and co-conspirators, we have decided to call it a day as a band. We walk away with a great sense of gratitude, of finality, and of astonishment at all we have accomplished. To anyone who ever felt touched by our music, our deepest thanks for listening.” R.E.M.

In their own words: The guys share their thoughts on why now.

MIKE

“During our last tour, and while making Collapse Into Now and putting together this greatest hits retrospective, we started asking ourselves, ‘what next’? Working through our music and memories from over three decades was a hell of a journey. We realized that these songs seemed to draw a natural line under the last 31 years of our working together.

“We have always been a band in the truest sense of the word. Brothers who truly love, and respect, each other. We feel kind of like pioneers in this–there’s no disharmony here, no falling-outs, no lawyers squaring-off. We’ve made this decision together, amicably and with each other’s best interests at heart. The time just feels right.”

MICHAEL

“A wise man once said–‘the skill in attending a party is knowing when it’s time to leave.’ We built something extraordinary together. We did this thing. And now we’re going to walk away from it.

“I hope our fans realize this wasn’t an easy decision; but all things must end, and we wanted to do it right, to do it our way.

“We have to thank all the people who helped us be R.E.M. for these 31 years; our deepest gratitude to those who allowed us to do this. It’s been amazing.”

PETER

“One of the things that was always so great about being in R.E.M. was the fact that the records and the songs we wrote meant as much to our fans as they did to us. It was, and still is, important to us to do right by you. Being a part of your lives has been an unbelievable gift. Thank you.

“Mike, Michael, Bill, Bertis, and I walk away as great friends. I know I will be seeing them in the future, just as I know I will be seeing everyone who has followed us and supported us through the years. Even if it’s only in the vinyl aisle of your local record store, or standing at the back of the club: watching a group of 19 year olds trying to change the world.”

ATHENS, GA–(Marketwire – Sep 21, 2011)

“During our last tour, and while making Collapse Into Now and putting together this greatest hits retrospective; we started to ask ourselves ‘what next?’,” commented Mike Mills. “Working through our music and memories from over three decades was a hell of a journey. We realized that these songs seemed to draw a natural line under the last 31 years of our working together. The time just feels right.”

R.E.M. is unique in that they are very much still the group of friends from Athens, Georgia that they’ve been since the band formed in 1979. While their career has spanned 15 studio albums and huge global success, the band itself only ever comprised the four original members. The one person to leave this tight-knit group was drummer Bill Berry, who retired two years after suffering a brain aneurysm on-stage during 1995’s “Monster” tour. But not before extracting a promise from his band mates that they would continue on as R.E.M.: “Bill insisted he would stay, if his leaving meant breaking the band up,” remembers Michael Stipe.

Mills adds: “We have always been a band in the truest sense of the word. Brothers who truly love and respect each other. We feel kind of like pioneers in this — there’s no disharmony here, no falling-outs, no lawyers squaring off. We’ve made this decision together, amicably and with each other’s best interests at heart.”

“A wise man once said — ‘the skill in attending a party is knowing when it’s time to leave,” agrees Michael Stipe. “We built something extraordinary together. We did this thing. And now we’re going to walk away from it. I hope our fans realize this wasn’t an easy decision; but all things must end; and we wanted to do it right, to do it our way. We have to thank all the people who helped us be R.E.M. for these 31 years, our deepest gratitude to those who allowed us to do this. It’s been amazing.”

Buck picks up on his thoughts: “One of the things that was always so great about being in R.E.M., was the fact that the records we made and the songs we wrote, meant as much to our fans as they did to us. It was, and still is, important to us to do right by them. Being a part of their lives has been an unbelievable gift.

“Mike, Michael, Bill, Bertis, and I walk away as great friends. I know I will be seeing them in the future, just as I know I will be seeing everyone that has followed and supported us through the years. Even if it’s only in the vinyl aisle of your local record store, or standing at the back of a club; watching a group of 19-year-olds trying to change the world.”

R.E.M. will release a career-spanning Greatest Hits album through Warner Brothers in November. More information to follow.

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She’s Lovin’, She’s Touchin’, She’s Squeezin’ Another

In case you haven’t heard yet, Neal Schon has made the tabloids by hooking up with Michaele Salahi of “The Real Housewives of D.C.” She and her husband, Tareq, first got attention for allegedly crashing a state dinner at the White House.

According to the L.A. Times, Tareq reported Michaele missing very late Tuesday night, telling law enforcement that his wife had been gone for six hours.

It seems Michaele had actually run off with Journey lead guitarist Neal Schon in Tennessee on Wednesday, according to TMZ, which got confirmation from the band’s rep that “nobody kidnapped her and they are in Memphis together.” Mrs. Salahi and Mr. Schon had even hung out together in the past, including with Mr. Salahi at a party at the Salahi family’s winery. It was what the missus called an “intimate and passionate relationship,” the celeb website said.

TMZ also confirmed Michaele has dated Schon in the past and she’s called it an “intimate and passionate relationship.”

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’80s Stars Have a Tough Week

Madonna the Diva (Well I suppose this shouldn’t be too surprising)

First, Madonna embarrassed herself last week, by accidentally announcing to the world, her feelings about hydrangeas. Right before a press event for her new film W.E. at the Venice Film Festival, a fan presented Madonna with a branch of blossoming purple hydrangea.

Madonna thanked the fan, but didn’t realize she was being taped when she quickly put the thing under the table, leaned over to some unknown person and said:

“I absolutely loathe hydrangeas. He obviously doesn’t know that.”

Well, we all know it now! I hope she has learned to love them, because I’m sure she will be getting them delivered by the truckload now.

Here is what happened in case you missed it:

Well, it wasn’t as bad as Christina Aguilera

Poor Cyndi Lauper. She flubbed the lyrics to the national anthem at tennis’ U.S. Open this past Sunday. She messed up on the same line that Christina Aguilera screwed up at this year’s Super Bowl. Aguilera’s error involved a reference to “the twilight’s last reaming”. Cyndi was suppose to sing “O’er the ramparts, we watched as our flag was still streaming,” instead of “O’er the ramparts we watch’d were so gallantly streaming.” Of course, it didn’t help that this occurred on the remembrance of the 10-year anniversary of 9/11. And by the way, the U.S. Open takes place in New York. So Cyndi is taking a lot of heat. Here is the performance. It is actually pretty good except for that one part:

At least there is some hope

Not all ’80s stars had a bad week. The Academy has announced that Eddie Murphy will host the Oscars. Could this be the beginning of a comeback? I sure hope so. It would be great to see him in a stand-up routine in front of a huge audience. It will have to be cleaner than Delirious and Raw, but hopefully he will be as funny as he was back then.

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Surviving Hurricane Irene

Hey Gang, this is one of the rare non-80s related articles that I am posting today. My wife and I survived Hurricane Irene. However, our power did not. We lost power between 8:30-9:00 yesterday morning right at the very beginning of the hurricane. If it comes back up sooner rather than later, I will be shocked (hopefully not literally). To make matters worse, we have well water. The water comes through a pressure tank, which runs on…you guessed it…electricity! So, we have no water either! We filled up buckets of water before we lost power, so at least we can get the toilets to work for most of the week.

Things could have been much worse for us though. The neighbor behind us has a couple of huge trees that are not too healthy. They wobble like crazy in a little windstorm – never mind a hurricane! But, they just lost a few humongous branches, which landed in their own yard. So, we had no damage, and just lost a refrigerator full of food (and the clock is ticking on the freezer full of food).

So, I apologize ahead of time if the Daily Trivia and Music Trivia are sporadic this week. I only have my lunchtime at work to write them up. Hopefully, I’ll be back in full force before the week is over though.

Is there anybody else that was affected by the hurricane this weekend? I hope everybody is doing well.

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