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Thursday, December 31, 2015

In Which We Ring Out the Old Not With a Bang But with the End of the World as We Know It

KFOG, a San Francisco rock station, does a regular feature every weekday morning at 10:00 AM, "Ten at ten": "Ten great songs from one great year," as the tagline says.  It's a fun show.  The year is always a surprise, and between the songs, the DJ's play audio clips of significant news events or cultural milestones from the year in question.  Warm fuzzy nostalgia ensues.

In honor of New Year's Eve, today's theme was different: Instead of focusing on just one year, the segment featured one song from each year of the 1980's.  So my short car ride this morning began with "Girls Just Want to Have Fun," segued into "You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)," moved on to "Walk Like an Egyptian," and culminated, as I reached my destination in "I Wanna Dance with Somebody."  Now, I defy you to find a happier, more feel-good medley than that!  Until that moment when you realize that these songs were popular thirty years ago!  And then you feel old.  And then it just goes back to being chilly New Year's Eve 2015.

Remember 16 years ago when we all braced ourselves for the technopocalypse that was the "Y2K virus"?  How we worried that all our electronic devices would mistakenly believe that it was 1900 and, I don't know, send us back in time to the days of horses and buggies and bubonic plague?  Remember that?  As you will recall, nothing happened.  But that didn't stop any number of fearmongers and fraidy cats from declaring the end was nigh and stocking up on canned goods and ammunition.

I mention this because today a massive solar flare is headed towards earth, and, while the most significant effect is likely to be greater visibility of the aurora borealis, there is at least the possibility--admittedly remote but definitely present--that electronics could be fried and we could, I'm guessing, be plunged into the oft-discussed zombie apocalypse that you just know is coming soon.  And yet, from the major news outlets?  Nary a peep!  All I'm saying, folks, is that you might want to party like it's 1999.   

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