Technorama Ep421: Happy New Year

Coming up in this episode…url

  • Minutia
  • Christmas
  • …and The Future

Listen below with the audio player or Click Here for complete show notes.

On This Day In History for December 31, 2014

This is the 365th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar, there are no more days left until the end of 2014.

It is widely known as New Year’s Eve since the following day is New Year’s Day. It is the last day of the year. The following day is January 1 of the following year.

  • It was on this date in 1600 that The British East India Company is chartered.
  • That same date in 1695, A window tax is imposed in England, causing many householders to brick up windows to avoid the tax.
  • Also today in 1759, Arthur Guinness signs a 9,000 year lease at £45 per annum and starts brewing Guinness.
  • This same date in 1790, Efimeris, the oldest Greek newspaper of which issues have survived till today is published for the first time.
  • 161 years ago today, A dinner party is held inside a life-size model of an iguanodon created by Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins and Sir Richard Owen in south London, England.
  • Karl Benz, working in Mannheim, Germany, filed for a patent on his first reliable two-stroke gas engine, today in 1878, and he was granted the patent the following year.
  • December 31, 1879, Thomas Edison demonstrates incandescent lighting to the public for the first time, in Menlo Park, New Jersey.
  • The first New Year’s Eve celebration is held in Times Square (then known as Longacre Square) in New York, New York 107 years ago today.
  • December 31, 1909, Manhattan Bridge opens.
  • That same date in 1923, the chimes of Big Ben are broadcast on radio for the first time by the BBC.
  • It was 68 years ago today that President Harry S. Truman officially proclaims the end of hostilities in World War II.
  • General Motors becomes the first U.S. corporation to make over US$1 billion in a year 59 years ago today.
  • December 31, 1960, The farthing coin ceases to be legal tender in the United Kingdom.
  • 31 years ago today, The AT&T Bell System is broken up by the United States Government.
  • All official Soviet Union institutions have ceased operations by this date and the Soviet Union is officially dissolved 23 years ago today.
  • That same date in 1994, this date is skipped altogether in Kiribati as the Phoenix Islands and Line Islands change time zones from UTC−11:00 to UTC+13:00 and UTC−10:00 to UTC+14:00, respectively.
  • It was 5 years ago today that both a blue moon and a lunar eclipse occur.
  • NASA succeeds in putting the first of two Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory satellites in orbit around the Moon on this date in 2011.

Happy birthday goes out on this date to

  • French navigator and explorer Jacques Cartier, born on this date in 1491
  • Astronomer Robert Grant Aitken, was also born today in 1864
  • Andy Summers, English guitarist, songwriter, and producer turns 72 today.
  • Another musician, John Denver, would have been 71.
  • Actor Ben Kingsley, actually does turn 71 today since he is still alive
  • Donna Summer, American singer-songwriter and actress was born today in 1948, but she passed away in 2012.
  • And finally actor, singer, and producer Val Kilmer is 55.

And that’s the way it was, on this day in history for December 31, 2014

Listener Birthday Calendar


  • 31 – Shadowbird’s Mom
  • 31 – Mr. Sim (aka Jeremy from Winnipeg)
  • 31 – Jimmy Jett


If you want to get on the Technorama Birthday Calendar, visit our Wiki.

Hacks & Strange Stories

Media Corner

Chat About Christmas

  • Christmas Gifts?
    • Kreg: I got Batman TV Series and Guardians of the Galaxy
    • Kreg: I participated in Secret Santa via RedditGifts
    • Chuck: I got mostly clothes. Liisa gave me Cards Against Humanity
    • Chuck: Our co-worker Andrew gave me some code to make PDF certificates!
  • Christmas Hacks?
  • Christmas Movies?
    • Kreg: I saw The Interview, Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies
    • Chuck: No movies over the holidays yet. Planning to bring Julie to Interstellar and Hobbit.

Q: What do you want us to talk about in 2015?

End of Show Stuff

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Also Thanks to

  • Mad Marv for providing the great blog content
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