Remember Remember ... November 1963?

Andrew Bolster

Senior R&D Manager (Data Science) at Synopsys Software Integrity Group and Treasurer @ Bsides Belfast and NI OpenGovernment Network

Turns out that November 1963 was a pretty stupendous month all in all, in particular the couple of days (20-24) we’re currently wading through.

  • C.S Lewis (Good Belfast Man) who was not only the beloved childrens author, but also an accomplished scholar, and one of the pioneers of the Science Fiction form, popped his clogs due to long term illness on Friday 22nd at around 2pm GMT aged 64

  • Aldous Huxley, one of the greatest thinkers of the 20th century and author of one of my favourite books (Brave New World) spun off his mortal coil at the age of 69 taking one more tab of LSD to lighten his passage at 5pm the same day

  • About an hour and a half later on the other side of the planet, JFK is Assassinated. Not only is this a massive event in and of itself, but it’s the first tragedy of the television age, dominating international airwaves for the rest of the week.

  • The next morning, back in GMT-land, The Moors Murders kidnap their second victim, 12 year old John Kilbride.

  • Later than evening, the first episode of possibly the riskiest series the BBC has commissioned since it’s launch, just over 40 years previously, Doctor Who. And apart from the Paul McGann being the Longest-shortest doctor for a few years in the late 90’s, he’s stayed on our screens, in one for or another, for the next 50 years.

Other events in the month included:

I guess the point I’m trying to make is that not everything is normally distributed in time. Impacts come in clumps and clusters. Tragedies and Comedies and life changing events can come all at one, and it only takes a few days to fundamentally change the world.

1963 also saw the first album release of the Beatles, the first James Bond film (in the US, and then later the second in the UK), the last Project Mercury mission,  first woman in space, the launch of ZIP codes in the US, launch of the first geostationary satellite, the Partial Test Ban treaty was signed (more or less bringing an end to the worst of the Cold-Nuclear-War), the opening of the Arecibo Telescope (Think Golden Eye and Contact), first use of magnetic tape as an instant replay device for sportscasting, and for a soft landing, the Harvey Ball creates the Smiley.

So what did you do today?

What did you do this month?

What did you do this year?

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