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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

July 15, 2006

It's Tuesday Timeline time once again, and can you believe that we're halfway through the month of July already?  This summer is certainly passing by really quickly, isn't it?  Of course, even when I was a kid, summer seemed to zoom past at an alarming rate.  Of course, that could be because I hated going to school - not for the learning part, but the forced social interaction part - and summer signified a sign of freedom for me away from all that.

Come to think of it, days in which I was off school, or off work...that's when I'm at my most happiest.  But I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels that way.  Let's face it...when our time is our own to do with whatever we want, it always makes us feel better about ourselves.  At least, I'd like to think so, anyway.

In the meantime, we have some business to take care of before we talk about today's selected Tuesday Timeline topic.  Let's have a look at some of the events that took place on the fifteenth of July.

1207 - King John of England expels Canterbury monks for supporting Archbishop Stephen Langton

1815 - Napoleon Bonaparte surrenders aboard the HMS Bellerophon

1823 - The Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls in Rome is destroyed by fire

1834 - After 356 years of terrorizing people, the Spanish Inquisition is disbanded

1870 - Manitoba and the Northwest Territories are admitted into Canadian confederacy and Georgia becomes the last of the Confederate states to rejoin the Union

1888 - 500 people are killed when Mount Bandai erupts

1916 - William Boeing and George Conrad Westervelt incorporate Pacific Aero Products (later renamed Boeing)

1918 - The Second Battle of the Marne commences during World War I

1927 - Actress Nan Martin (d. 2010) is born in Decatur, Illinois

1935 - Football player/actor Alex Karras (d. 2012) is born in Gary, Indiana

1954 - The first flight of the Boeing 367-80

1959 - The Steel Strike of 1959 begins, causing the United States the need to import steel from outside countries.

1979 - President Jimmy Carter addresses the nation with his "malaise" speech

1983 - Eight die and fifty-five are injured when ASALA launches an attack on Orly Airport in Paris, France

1991 - Game show host Bert Convy dies of a brain tumor at 57

1996 - Voice actress Dana Hill dies of a diabetes related stroke at just 32

1997 - Fashion designer Gianni Versace is shot and killed by serial killer Andrew Cunanan in Miami, Florida - Versace was 50 years old

2002 - Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh is sentenced to death for the murder of journalist Daniel Pearl

2003 - The Mozilla Foundation is established

I'd also like to wish the following famous faces a happy birthday today!  Joe Turkel, Joanna Merlin, Ken Kercheval, Barry Goldwater Jr., Patrick Wayne, Millie Jackson, Jan-Michael Vincent, Linda Ronstadt, Richard Russo, Jesse Ventura, Terry O'Quinn, Alicia Bridges, Jeff Jarvis, Willie Aames, Lolita Davidovich, Forest Whitaker, Brigitte Nielsen, Jason Bonham, Adam Savage, Eddie Griffin, Scott Foley, Brian Austin Green, Gabriel Iglesias, Lana Parrilla, Tristan Wilds, and J.B. Gaynor.

So, now that we have that all out of the way, it's time to go back in time to the main event.  But don't worry.  We're sticking within this century for this edition.

Let's take a trip back to July 15, 2006.  That was only eight years ago, so most of you should remember it.

I suppose if you wanted to look at the decade known as the 2000s, that was the decade in which the Internet exploded in popularity.  Many people were first introduced to it in the mid-1990s, but by the year 2006, there were hundreds of millions of people using the Internet for at least one hour each day.  And, why wouldn't they use the Internet?  It was a place in which you could connect with people all over the world in seconds.  You could purchase virtually anything you wanted via eBay and Amazon, you could watch movie clips, music videos, and other funny things on the newly created YouTube site, and message board communities and forums were getting some stiff competition from newly created social media communities.  Facebook has been online since 2004.  Instagram was founded in 2010.  And for those of you who are fans of Pinterest, that site was also founded in 2010.

But on July 15, 2006, I suppose you could say that the social network of the stars was officially launched to the public.  It was founded four months earlier in March 2006 by four people (Jack Dorsey, Evan Williams, Biz Stone, and Noah Glass), and their philosophy when creating the social media platform was that brevity was the source of wit.

Who knew that a little blue bird would go on to become a major force to be reckoned with in the online community?  And this was a blue bird that predated the phenomenon known as "Angry Birds".

For you see...this little bluebird of happiness (or anger depending on how you use your account) helped launch the social juggernaut known as "Twitter"!  Hard to believe that Twitter has been around for eight years now.

Now, I suppose you might be interested in knowing how Twitter came to be a huge part of so many people's lives.  According to Dorsey, the idea behind naming the site "Twitter"  was inspired by the dictionary definition of the word, which for posterity's purposes, I'll include down below.

TWITTER:  a short burst of inconsequential information, chirps from birds.

I suppose this explains the reason why the blue bird was chosen as Twitter's official mascot.  I suppose it sure beats a lower case "f" inside of a dark blue square.  But let's take a look at that first definition.  A short burst of inconsequential information. 

I guess that would be a fancy way of saying that you have a specific character limit when it comes to saying what you want to say.  You have exactly 140 characters per tweet to get your point across.  If you are successful, you can say what you want to say and still have some characters left over.  If you're not...well, you'll have to either post a second tweet, or you'll have to get creative with spelling and grammar.

(Which, the writer in me absolutely CRINGES at...but more on that later.)

It's not hard to see why "Twitter" is so popular.  With so many famous faces using Twitter, it's never been easier to get in touch with some of your favourite stars (well, as easy as it can get without getting arrested for harassment, that is).  Certainly the celebrities who are on Twitter use it for a variety of reasons.

They use Twitter to promote upcoming projects.

They use Twitter to wish their celebrity friends well.

They use Twitter to poke fun at their celebrity friends.

They use Twitter to post funny observations about life.

And, unfortunately, they use Twitter to apparently show their true colours to people who used to admire them.

But hey, the balancing act of social media is sometimes a tricky thing for the average joe to maintain.  Celebs probably have an even harder time minding their own P's and Q's.

Twitter also popularized the idea of "hashtags".  Or, I suppose I should write it as #hashtag.  You know, there was once a time in which I remember that the hashtag used to be called a "pound sign", and the only place where you ever found them was on a touchtone phone underneath the number 9.  But "Twitter" completely changed the way that you saw the pou...ahem...hashtag.  People who inserted hashtags in their tweets allowed other people to easily find their tweets just by entering keywords.  For instance, if I was to do a blog entry on potatoes, I'd type in #potatoes.  Why I would do a blog on potatoes, I have no idea.  Just giving an example.

And, in celebration of Twitter's 8th anniversary online, I have a special surprise for all of you who might be Twitter users reading this right now.  For the longest time, I tried to avoid Twitter.  I had signed up for it for a few months some time back, and I could not figure out why it was so big at all.  I dropped it after about six months and never looked back.  But it's dawned on me that if used the right way, Twitter could be used as a great promotional tool, and I think that I could definitely use it for my favour.

So, as a result of this, A Pop Culture Addict's Guide To Life now has its very own Twitter page!

If you want to, you can follow me at my Twitter handle @PCA_GuideToLife.  There you can read my very first tweet, as well as see some of the people and shows that I am following (though, it's nothing too glamourous).

I'll also be posting blog entries on the Twitter account, and maybe if I have enough characters, I'll be putting a couple of hashtags as well.  I figure it might be worth a shot in promoting my writing more...and hey, if it allows me to make some new friends in the process, I'm all for it.

So, with that, I say...Happy birthday, Twitter.  Glad to be a part of the show!

(By the way, you can also still read my entries on Facebook, and on Google+.)

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