1999: When American astronaut Dan Barry tried to whistle during a spacewalk, he found he couldn’t. Astronauts’ spacesuits are depressurized, so they can hum, but they can’t whistle.
Tag archive: 1999
1999: For weeks, the Philippines was rife with rumours of a military plot to unseat the country’s unpopular president, Joseph “Erap” Estrada. When the lights went out in Manila and across much of Luzon on the evening of 10 December, jittery Filipinos thought a coup was under way, until Estrada popped up to show he was still in charge. The electrical blackout had in fact been caused by jellyfish: tons of jellyfish had clogged the cooling water intake of a power plant in Pangasinan.
Source: Lisa-ann Gershwin, Stung!: On Jellyfish Blooms and the Future of the Ocean (2013), pp. 13–14
1926: British road accident and casualty data, collected nationally for the first time, showed there were 124,000 accidents and 4,886 deaths during the year. The worst single year for road deaths came in 1941, when 9,196 died. Between 1951 and 1999, 15.6 million people were injured in accidents on Britain’s roads, and 285,752 killed.
Source: Road Casualties Great Britain 2006 (2007)
1999: The Scottish poet and translator William Auld became the first person to be nominated for the Nobel Prize in literature for work in Esperanto.
Source: The Daily Telegraph, 22 September 2006
1999: Although the crunching collisions of American football are absent from soccer, the game is not without its perils. Between 1979 and 1999, 18 children died and 14 were seriously injured in the United States when movable soccer goals fell on them.
Source: Simon P.R. Jenkins, Sports Science Handbook: The Essential Guide to Kinesiology, Sport and Exercise Science (2005), vol. 1, p. 140
1999: As the year 2000 approached, computer experts warned of the havoc that could be expected from the millennium bug. Inordinate sums were spent to make computers, in the current jargon, “Y2K compliant”. In retrospect, it appears ridiculous and slightly embarrassing, but at the time, fears of widespread dislocation of the world’s computer systems seemed plausible enough.
At the end of December, rumours spread in the Philippines that not only would electronic devices be affected, but even candles and matches. Exactly how this would happen wasn’t clear. Fortunately, getting them blessed by a priest would make them Y2K compliant.
Source: Far Eastern Economic Review, 13 January 2000