From the Sun vaults, September 5 - 11, 1980
One small step for Marin County couch potatoes scour galaxy for latest ‘Eight is Enough’ episode...
by Howard Rachelson
1. It takes window washers almost two months to clean the 4,000 windows (which pivot 360 degrees so they can be cleaned from the inside) at what San Francisco structure, completed in 1972? 2. Are icebergs fresh or salt water? 3. Last weekend, Japan defeated Hawaii in the final game of what international sports tournament? 4. According to the assassin’s diary, he had originally planned to kidnap Abraham Lincoln, but changed his mind to murder the day before he did the deed.Who was he? 5. The Diary of Anne Frank was written in what city? 6a. The movie Avatar is set on what distant planet? 6b. What blue-colored indigenous people live there? 6c. Pictured below: What actress (whose name begins with Z) played the role of Neytiri, the chief’s daughter who falls in love with the visiting American?
7. Which 20th-century British prime minister had the longest continuous term of office, 11 years? 8. Invented in 1972, those sporty little foot bags, which kids and soccer players like to kick around, are known by what brand name? 9. What 1968 musical with a one-word title—a boy’s name—won the Academy Award as Best Picture? 10. Andy can swim one length of a pool in 20 seconds; Benji can swim one length in 30 seconds. If each swimmer begins at the same time at opposite ends of the pool, moving toward each other at their normal rate, how long will it be until they meet? BONUS: September is named for the Latin word septem, which means seven...but September is the ninth month. What’s up with that? Howard Rachelson, Marin’s Master of Trivia, invites you to a live Team Trivia Contest every Wednesday at 7:30pm at the Broken Drum in San Rafael. Send your best trivia question (with your name and hometown) to email@example.com; if your question is used in the ‘Paciﬁc Sun,’ we’ll give you credit!
± We’ve run lost wallet stories before, but this may be the best yet. PJ from Tiburon went home with her Home Depot purchases, but left her purse in the store’s shopping cart. Credit cards, checkbook, cell phone and more were gone. PJ called Home Depot, but they didn’t have it—some nice painting contractors did. They also called Home Depot, only to be told no one reported a missing purse. Although the contractors looked through the purse and found PJ’s name, her number is unlisted. They tried numbers in her cell phone, but couldn’t reach anyone. Eventually, PJ called her cell phone and heard a new message: “We’ve been trying to reach you, but don’t have your number. We’ll drop your purse off on our way home this evening.” Our Heroes did just that, politely refusing the offered reward.
Answers on page 30
with 40 percent of the earth at any given moment. Soon companies like RCA caught onto the advantages of such unencumbered “I watched it for a little while...I love to watch things signal routes and started ﬂinging their own packages of electronic parts years ago on TV”—Lou Reed, “Satel- 4,000-pound into space. Then in the 1970s, television lite of Love” networks and ﬂedgling companies like Marin was spacing out in front of the TV HBO and Showtime began using the satellites to distribute movies and entertainment 30 years ago this week. It was September of 1980, and little more specials to cable TV systems. At ﬁrst, wrote English, “only big-budget than a decade after humankind ﬁrst set enterprises could afford the $25,000 in foot on the moon, we once again looked hardware necessary to receive satellite transto the stars for the answers to some of the missions.” But soon, explained the writer, a universe’s greatest mysteries. number of “microwave hobbyists”—mostly Like, who technicians who shot J.R.? preferred tinkerThe new ing to drinking fall television during their season was ﬁoff-hours—benally at hand gan assembling and there was home-brewed no denying “earth stations” Marinites’ in their backdelight at the yards using surtouchingly plus parts picked humorous up in electronics exploits of junkyards. By the the Potsies, late ’70s, buildKlingers and your-own-satelSquiggies of lite-receiver kits prime-time were available to network telethe average armvision. But chair quarteractually payback for a cool ing cold hard Intelligent life forms light years from earth could watch the one where $3,300. For the cash for The Jack tried to sneak an airline stewardess out of his bedroom past a cash equivalent Facts of Life sleeping Mr. Furley. of a single win and Benson on Match Game, was another Marin TV addicts could ﬁnally realize their matter entirely. dreams of free Showtime. David Hodgson Fortunately, announced the Sun that of Sausalito, for instance, lost little time in week, “Space TV is here!” erecting a 15-feet-in-diameter ﬁberglass eye“Over 100 channels of programming to sore on the hillside near his home, while San choose from—most of them commercial free, and all of them ghostless, studio-quality Rafael’s Taum Jacobs opened Jacobs Video Services in order to transform his neighbors’ and razor sharp,” wrote reporter Robert backyards into something that looked like English to a readership beleaguered by cable the inside of the Jawas’ sandcrawler in Star companies charging exorbitant rates for Wars. a measly 12 channels on VHF. “In fact, it’s In fact, concluded the writer, anyone being beamed right through you as you read with a “good working knowledge of this—from a string of satellites hovering electronics and...handy with a soldering over the equator, 23,400 miles out in space.” iron” could assemble an earth station from While satellite television would one day scratch for as little as $500. be the norm for county couch potatoes, Satellite TV may sound like something Marinites circa the Carter administration out of a far-fetched Battlestar Galactica epiwere responding with their ﬁnest “Wachoo sode, admitted the Sun, but just think... “if talkin’ ’bout Willis?!” at the thought of Curt Gowdy ﬁnally slugs Howard [Cosell] Hello, Larry beaming across the galaxy in during a commercial on Monday Night some kind of reverse SETI project. Football—you’ll be there.” ✹ The birth of satellite television was, Beam your thoughts to Jason at jwalsh@paciﬁcsun.com. arguably, in 1963, when Hughes Aircraft launched a satellite called SynCom into the earth’s orbit, where its unbending miBlast into Marin’s past with more crowave signals would be in line-of-sight Behind the Sun at ›› paciﬁcsun.com by Jason Walsh
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²ÊThe dogs of Sausalito are being robbed by a diabolical thief. According to the couple that owns the Harbor Shop on the boardwalk in downtown Sausalito, someone absconded with the dog-water dish they keep outside their store. For six years, the pooches that prance down the boardwalk have always had water waiting to wet their whistle. Until last fall, that is, when the ﬁrst bowl was stolen. Since then, there have been ﬁve more incidents, making it a regular rash of recent thefts. Merry from the Harbor Shop is pretty sure someone has a bone to pick with the community’s ﬁne canines, but she can’t ﬁgure out why. FYI, Zero, the store has now bolted the bowl to the building with heavy-gauge steel, so we suggest you pursue a more constructive activity. —Nikki Silverstein
Got a Hero or a Zero? Please send submissions to e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Toss roses, hurl stones with more Heroes and Zeros at ›› paciﬁcsun.com SEPTEMBER 3 - SEPTEMBER 9, 2010 PACIFIC SUN 9
The September 9, 2010 edition of the Pacific Sun