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This Week in Nerd History | Aug. 14 – 20

Nerd culture is a vibrant tapestry of events, releases, and milestones that have shaped the entertainment landscape. From iconic movies to groundbreaking games and significant literary contributions, this article takes a trip down memory lane to explore the notable nerd culture events that occurred from August 14th to August 20th in history. Let’s celebrate these cherished moments that have left an indelible mark on the hearts of fans around the world.

Photo Credit: Retro Video Gaming

August 14, 1995 | Virtual Boy

On this day, the Nintendo Virtual Boy was released. This 32-bit tabletop portable video game console used a red monochrome display to create the illusion of 3D graphics. It was a commercial failure and discontinued in 1996 after only 22 games were made for it.

Nerdy Fact: The Virtual Boy was originally intended to have a full-color display, but Nintendo decided to use only red LEDs to reduce the cost and avoid potential health issues caused by flickering colors. However, this also made the graphics less appealing and caused eye strain and headaches for some users.

Photo Credit: ComingSoon.net

August 14, 2020 | BELIEVE

On this day, Ted Lasso premiered. This comedy-drama series was about an American football coach who takes on the challenge of coaching a struggling English soccer team, and wins over the hearts of the players, fans, and even his boss with his optimism, humor, and kindness.

Nerdy Fact: The biscuits that Ted Lasso bakes for Rebecca Welton, the owner of AFC Richmond, are actually made by Hannah Waddingham, who plays Rebecca. She is an avid baker and makes her own shortbread cookies for the show.

August 15, 1969 | Woodstock

On this day, Woodstock began. This was a historic music festival that took place on a farm in New York, where hundreds of thousands of people gathered to celebrate peace, love, and rock and roll.

Nerdy Fact: The festival was originally planned to be a profit-making venture, with tickets costing $7 for one day and $18 for three days. However, due to the overwhelming number of attendees, the organizers decided to make it a free event. They later declared bankruptcy, losing about $1.3 million.

Photo Credit: Lakewood Symphony Orchestra

August 15, 1998 | iMac

On this day, the original iMac released. This revolutionary all-in-one desktop computer featured a colorful, translucent, plastic case, a CRT monitor, a G3 processor, and USB ports, but no floppy disk drive or serial ports.

Nerdy Fact: The original iMac was inspired by the classic Volkswagen Beetle, which also had a round and colorful design. Steve Jobs admired the Beetle’s simplicity and elegance, and wanted to create a computer that was similarly friendly and approachable. He even hired the same ad agency that made the famous “Think Small” campaign for the Beetle to market the iMac.

Photo Credit: Sportskeeda

August 15, 2010 | Daniel Bryan Returns from WWE Exile

On this day, Daniel Bryan returned to WWE at SummerSlam 2010 as the surprise seventh member of Team WWE, who faced the Nexus in a seven-on-seven elimination tag team match, after being fired two months earlier for choking ring announcer Justin Roberts with his tie during the Nexus’ debut invasion.

Nerdy Fact: Daniel Bryan’s return was kept a secret from almost everyone, including most of the WWE roster and staff. Only a few people knew about it, such as Vince McMahon, John Cena, Triple H, and Michael Cole. Even the other members of Team WWE and the Nexus were unaware of his identity until he showed up at the arena.

Photo Credit: The New Yorker

August 17, 2018 | Disenchantment

On this day, Disenchantment premiered. This hilarious and adventurous animated series created by Matt Groening follows the misadventures of a rebellious princess, her personal demon, and her elf friend in the medieval fantasy kingdom of Dreamland and beyond.

Nerdy Fact: The series is full of Easter eggs and references to other works by Matt Groening, such as The Simpsons and Futurama. For example, in the first episode, Bean’s wedding cake has the same design as Homer and Marge’s wedding cake from The Simpsons episode “I Married Marge”. In the second episode, Elfo’s blood is used to power a machine that resembles Bender from Futurama. In the third episode, a character named Sorcerio mentions the Planet Express ship from Futurama as one of his failed inventions. There are many more hidden jokes and nods to Groening’s previous shows throughout the series.

Photo Credit: Bloody Disgusting!

August 18, 1995 | Test Your Might

On this day, Mortal Kombat premiered. This thrilling and action-packed film adaptation of the popular video game franchise followed three Earthrealm warriors who must fight for the fate of their world in a deadly interdimensional tournament against the evil forces of Outworld.

Nerdy Fact: Christopher Lambert, who played Raiden, was so enthusiastic about the role that he agreed to pay for his own travel expenses and work for a lower salary.

Photo Credit: Game Informer

August 18, 2013 | Disney Infinity

On this day, Disney Infinity launched. This creative and fun video game series allowed players to mix and match characters, worlds, and stories from various Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars franchises using physical toys and a digital platform.

Nerdy Fact: The game was originally conceived as a project called Toy Box, which was inspired by the way Pixar employees would play with their own toys in their offices. The developers wanted to create a game that would let players unleash their imagination and creativity with their favorite Disney characters.

Photo Credit: Outback Storage

August 19, 1950 | Saturday Morning Kids Shows

On this day, ABC launched its first hour-long block of Saturday Morning children’s programming, consisting of two shows: Animal Clinic, which featured live animals and educational facts, and Acrobat Ranch, which showcased circus acts and acrobatic stunts.

Nerdy Fact: This was the first time a network placed children’s programming on Saturday Mornings. Before that, most networks only aired cartoons and children’s shows on weekday afternoons and evenings.

Photo Credit: MUBI

August 19, 1994 | Blankman

On this day, Blankman premiered. This comedy parody of the Batman TV series and other superhero films was about a nerdy repairman who becomes a superhero without any superpowers, using his inventive skills and gadgets to fight crime and corruption in his neighborhood, with the help of his brother and a news anchor.

Nerdy Fact: The movie features several actors who were part of the sketch comedy show In Living Color, which starred Damon Wayans and David Alan Grier. Some of them are Jim Carrey, who plays a news anchor, Tommy Davidson, who plays a street thug, and Kim Wayans, who plays a reporter.

Photo Credit: Sky News

August 20, 1989 | Saved By the Bell

On this day, Saved by the Bell premiered. This popular American sitcom featured a group of teenage friends and their adventures at Bayside High School. The show was known for its humor, romance, and social issues, and spawned several spin-offs and movies. Some of the iconic characters are Zack Morris, Kelly Kapowski, A.C. Slater, Jessie Spano, Lisa Turtle, and one of the 90s nerd icons, Screech Powers.

Nerdy Fact: It was originally a spin-off of another show called Good Morning, Miss Bliss, which starred Hayley Mills as a teacher.

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