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Looking Back

LOOKING BACK: February 2020

Canada wins(finally,) Charlie Brown checks out, and Voyager 1 never left.

Time to jump back into the time machine, kiddies. Here’s what was cooking in 2010, 2000, and 1990 in the month of February.

2010

February 14: Better late than never

On February 14, Alexandre Bilodeau won gold in the freestyle skiing men’s moguls event. Say that last sentence three times, fast. He was the first Canadian to win a gold medal during a Canadian-hosted Olympics. So okay, it was only the third time, but given that there’s like one hundred gold medal events in any given Winter Olympics, and Canada is like, winter central… Come ON, Canada! Good lord.

It was Valentine’s Day, and Canada felt the love. The sweet, sweet love.
LOVE…

2000

FEBRUARY 13: All out of Peanuts

The very last new Peanuts comic strip ran on 13 February, 2000, a Sunday. By coincidence or fate, it was only a day after its creator, Charles Schulz, passed away. Thus ended an era of small, smart-mouthed kids and one smart-ass dog that stretched a full half-century.

This dog has written and published novels. His 401k makes yours look like a joke. He retired at 50. So how you doin’?

As happens with all intellectual property, the Peanuts brand has been kicked around, bought up, and divided multiple times since Schulz kicked off. The brand was sold off to the new company Peanuts Worldwide LLC, which was 80% owned by Iconix Brand Group and 20% owned by Charles M. Schulz Creative Associates. Then DHX Media swallowed Iconix whole, taking their 80%. Then they sold 49% of their 80% to Sony Music Entertainment Japan for like, some reason.

I can’t stop wondering what Linus would make of all this.

1990

FEBRUARY 14: Voyager snaps a world-class pic

What is with everything happening on Valentine’s Day? Is it just a good waypoint, or something? Anyway…

The Voyager 1 space probe finally got far enough afield to take a picture of the entire solar system.

Look, it’s a space probe, not Sears Family Portrait Studio.

It was the composite of the last pictures the probe sent back to Earth. It continued to send other data back home, however. In fact, it still does to this very day, despite being over 13 billion miles from home base.

Voyager 1 has never failed to impress. The space probe’s original mission was completed nearly FORTY YEARS AGO, but it just kept going, and going, and going… As long as everything keeps poking along, Voyager 1 will mark the 43rd anniversary of its launch this September.

How long can it go? Sadly, not much longer. Best estimates suggest that the electrical power will fail sometime in 2025. I think it’s safe to say this thing’s done its service to God and country, however. Dead but not gone, it will continue to float further afield into outer space, possibly outliving the civilization that first sent it on its way.

Voyager 1: Taking the fiction out of Sci-Fi.

TODAY’S LESSON: A cartoon dog and an inanimate object have both outworked and outlived you. Time to step up your game, yo.