1988

Weird S*** Wednesday: The Silent People

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The Silent People Image One
Photo Credit: Timo Newton-Syms & Amusing Planet

In looking thru odd stories, this caught my attention. From Oddity Central:

A Creepy Art Installation Freaking People Out on Google Maps

By Spooky on May 15th, 2020
An eerie art installation located in a barren field in the Finnish countryside recently went viral after someone accidentally stumbled upon it while searching on Google Maps. With quarantine and isolation measures still in place in many countries around the world, people are spending a lot of time online looking for cool places to visit once they can travel again. Many are using free tools, like Google Maps, and end [up] going deeper down the rabbit hole than they originally anticipated. That’s probably how some people recently discovered The Silent People, […] creepy-looking [figures] that left them scratching their heads about why anyone would fill a field with hundreds of scarecrows and dress them as real people.

Seen from afar, The Silent People [site] looks like a perfectly still army of people all facing the same way. It’s only when you take a closer look that you realize it’s made up of wooden frames covered in human clothes and heads made of [peat], which does a surprisingly good job of emulating human hair. Even knowing that it’s an art installation, you still feel uneasy looking at the almost one thousand still [bodies] but, knowing absolutely nothing about it and [suddenly] finding it on Google Maps can really freak a person out.

The Silent People Image Two
Photo Credit: Antti T. Nissinen & Amusing Planet

From Amusing Planet:

Hiljainen Kansa: The Silent People of Suomussalmi, Finland

By Kaushik Patowary on March 28, 2015
Motorists driving along Highway 5, about 30 km north of the small town of Suomussalmi, in north-eastern Finland, are greeted by a peculiar sight. A crowd of almost a thousand figures stand silently on a field near the road. In the morning with light behind them, this motionless army appears morose, even menacing. But, when a light breeze picks up their colorful dresses and blows them around their still bodies, they appear to have sprung into life.

This army of scarecrow-like figures called “The Silent People” or “Hiljainen Kansa” in Finnish, were the creation of local artist Reijo Kela. They were first displayed in 1988 in a field in Lassila, a neighbourhood of Helsinki. Later in 1994, these were on display in the Market Place of Helsinki’s Senate Square, then on the banks of the river Jalonuoma, Ämmänsaari and finally moved to this location in 1994 itself.

Additional Reading:
The Silent People (Atlas Obscura)

Tune Tuesday: November 13, 1988

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The Escape Club Image
Photo Credit: englandunderground.com

Thirty years ago, today, the #1 Billboard Hot 100 song was The Wild, Wild West by The Escape Club, an English pop-rock band out of London (Est. 1983). Curiously, the album and the single didn’t chart in the UK, their home turf.

Nominations:
Breakthrough Video (1989 MTV Video Music (VMA) Awards)
Best Post-Modern Video (1989 MTV VMA)
Best Special Effects In A Video (Nicholas Brandt & Bridget Blake-Wilson/1989 MTV VMA)

 

The #1 Billboard Adult Contemporary (Pop) song was How Can I Fall? by English pop-rock band Breathe, also out of London (Est. 1984).


 

The #1 Billboard Mainstream Rock song was It’s Money That Matters by Randy Newman. [This is Newman’s only #1 hit in any U.S. chart. The only reason this qualifies as rock is because Mark Knopfler is on guitar. ~Vic]


 

The #1 Billboard Alternative song was Desire by U2, Irish rock band out of Dublin (Est. 1976). This had been the #1 Mainstream Rock song one week prior.


 

The #1 Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop song was Giving You The Best That I Got by Anita Baker.


 

The #1 Billboard Hot Country song was Runaway Train by Roseanne Cash.

Throwback Thursday: Kathy D. Sullivan & Space

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Kathryn D. Sullivan Image
Photo Credit: wikimedia.org

October 11, 1984, Kathryn Dwyer “Kathy” Sullivan became the first American woman astronaut during the STS-41-G mission to perform an EVA or an extravehicular activity (3.5 hours worth), which freely translates to a “space walk”. This was NASA‘s thirteenth flight in the Space Shuttle program and the sixth flight of the Challenger. She was the Mission Specialist 1 and had just turned 33 years of age eight days prior.

She received a Ph.D. in geology from Dalhousie University in 1978, became an Adjunct Professor of Geology at Rice University in 1985 and joined the Navy Reserves in 1988 as an Oceanography Officer, retiring after 18 years at the rank of Captain.

April 24, 1990, she served on board the Space Shuttle Discovery as a Mission Specialist 3 for the STS-31 mission that launched the Hubble Space Telescope. March 24, 1992, she served as Mission Specialist 1 during the STS-45 mission on board the Space Shuttle Atlantis. She was part of the Group 8 NASA Astronaut selection on January 16, 1978. She left NASA in 1993.

Other October 11 space-related trivia:

1957…..Operation Moonwatch scientists calculate Sputnik 1‘s ‘satisfactory orbit’ with an IBM 704.

1958…..NASA launches the lunar probe Pioneer 1 (Pioneer Program). It falls back to Earth and burns up.

1968…..NASA launches Apollo 7, the first crewed flight.

2000…..NASA launches STS-92, the 100th Space Shuttle mission to the ISS via Discovery.

Wayback Wednesday: SS Central America 1857

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SS Central America Image
Photo Credit: coinweek.com

In 1857, caught in a Category 2 Hurricane, the SS Central America sank 160 miles off the coast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, drowning 420+, including Captain of the Ship Commander William Lewis Herndon. Nicknamed The Ship of Gold, 30,000 pounds of gold from the California Gold Rush went down with her, exacerbating The Panic of 1857.

It wasn’t until very recently that the lost gold was recovered and only two years ago that the salvage award of 100% was awarded.

In other September 12 trivia bits, as we wait for Hurricane Florence 2018 to show up, this appears to be a rather bad day for hurricanes. Did you know that there have been six Atlantic Hurricanes named Florence? She gets around. ~Vic

1910 Alice Stebbins Wells was hired as the first LAPD Policewoman.

1928 The Okeechobee Hurricane, a Category 4 storm, struck Guadeloupe, killing 1,200.

1979 Hurricane Frederic, a Category 4 storm, slammed into Dauphin Island, Alabama, destroying the bridge to the mainland and killing five.

1988 Hurricane Gilbert, the most intense Atlantic hurricane on record until 2005, devastated Jamaica, produced a 19 foot storm surge and killed 49.

Tune Tuesday: Steve Winwood 1988

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Steve Winwood Photo
Photo Credit: bbc.co.uk

It’s Tune Tuesday! And…I just made that up. But, hey, I’m having fun. I hope you have fun, too. ~Victoria

Thirty years ago, today, the number one song was:
Roll With It by Steve Winwood.