Sunday, February 22, 2009. Twenty years ago today, Senator Mark Warner read George Washington's Farewell Address on the floor of the Senate, in keeping with a Senate tradition going back to the 19th century.  I talk about the traditions of the Senate, both present and past, and my own fascination with those traditions.

Direct download: 20yearsago_142_022209.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:51am EDT
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Episode #141 -- Total Lunar Eclipse Friday, February 20, 2009.  Twenty years ago today, a total lunar eclipse visible through much of North America occurred.  I share some memories of eclipses and other celestial phenomena I've been fortunate enough to witness.

The picture at the right is of the last total lunar eclipse that was visible in North America, which took place just over a year ago.  I found it on Maryland Weather, a fascinating blog about all sorts of weather and sky phenomena, written by Baltimore Sun reporter Frank Royce.


Direct download: 20yearsago_141_022009.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:30am EDT
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Sunday, February 15, 2009. Twenty years ago today, the last Soviet troops left Afghanistan.  It was the end of the occupation, but not of the war.  I look at the fighting in Afghanistan, and consider the effects of the Cold War on a country which has been in conflict and turmoil for three decades or more.
The historical analysis offered here is strictly my own opinion, based on the sort of material any average American of my age would have access to: newspapers, TV documentaries, and perhaps a few books.  I make no claim to expertise in this (or any other subject I talk about in this podcast), and I have no ideological ax to grind.  Take it for whatever it's worth to you.

Direct download: 20yearsago_140_021509.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:47am EDT
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Episode #139 -- Barbara Clementine Harris Wednesday, February 11, 2009.  Twenty years ago today, Barbara Harris became the first woman to be ordained bishop in the Episcopal Church.  I talk about the Rt. Rev. Harris, and my own perspectives on Christianity -- I belong to the Episcopal Church also.

Direct download: 20yearsago_139_021109.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:00am EDT
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Episode #138 -- Osamu Tezuka For Monday, February 9, 2009.  Twenty years ago today, Dr. Osamu Tezuka died at the age of 60.  I talk about the man who is known as one of the greatest comic artists of all time, and about my connections to Japanese comics and animation.

The official Osamu Tezuka website can be found here.  At the time of posting, the English language portion of the site is listed as still under construction -- for an excellent English language companion, check out Tezuka In English.

Direct download: 20yearsago_138_020909.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:45pm EDT
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Episode #137 -- The Cat Came Back Monday, February 2, 2009.  "It Was 20 Years Ago Today" returns with new episodes, beginning with the final day of the third Los Angeles International Animation Festival, at which "The Cat Came Back" won two awards.  I talk about this, one of my favorite cartoons, and about my fondness for animation going back to childhood.

It is frequently possible to see "The Cat Came Back" via YouTube; I suggest going to the site and searching the title.

Direct download: 20yearsago_137_020209.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:37am EDT
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Episode #136 -- Pan Am 103 Sunday, December 21, 2008. Twenty years ago today, Pan Am Flight 103 was blown up over Lockerbie, Scotland.  I discuss the story of the most deadly terrorist attack against Americans prior to September 11, 2001, a story that is far from over twenty years later.

The podcast will be taking a short hiatus to recharge and get a jump on preparing new episodes.  When I return on February 2, I'll be talking about one of the best cartoons ever made.


Direct download: 20yearsago_136_122108.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:59pm EDT
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Episode #135 -- Spitak Earthquake Sunday, December 7, 2008.  Twenty years ago today, a major earthquake struck the city of Spitak, in what was then Soviet Armenia.  At least 25,000 people were killed in this disaster.  I look at why so many people were killed in this earthquake, and my thoughts about the prospect of being in a natural disaster myself.

People from nations all over the world stepped in to help rebuild after the Spitak earthquake.  The picture here is a statue that the people of Armenia gave to the United States as a token of gratitude.  It stands near the Red Cross Building in Washington D.C.


Direct download: 20yearsago_135_120708.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:06pm EDT
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Episode #134 -- The Steel Cloud Friday, December 5, 2008. Twenty years ago today, plans for a unique monument called the Steel Cloud were unveiled in Los Angeles.  I tell a little of the story of this oddity in steel and glass that was never built, and muse about visions of the future and how they stack up to reality.


Direct download: 20yearsago_134_120508.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:26am EDT
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Episode #133 -- Computer Security Day Sunday, November 30, 2008. Twenty years ago today was the first Computer Security Day, an event held annually to raise awareness of computer security issues.  I talk about the observation of Computer Security Day, and about the problem of computer malware such as viruses, which were beginning to become a serious problem in 1988.

The image at the right was the first Computer Security Day poster, created for the second CSD in 1989.  It, and all the CSD posters from the past 20 years, can be found at the Computer Security Day website.


Direct download: 20yearsago_133_113008.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:52pm EDT
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