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Thirty Years Ago
“Larry was so nice at first,” Mary sighed, recalling the nights she had spent in his warm embrace. “But then he started getting weird. He bought a big German shepherd and brought him to bed with us. He built a torture chamber in our basement — whips and chains and branding irons. He brought his friends over for orgies. He tied me up and beat me and raped me.”

“Oh, Mary!” Kathy consoled her. “That sounds terrible!”

“Well, it wasn’t that bad. I just thought I’d better leave before it got worse.”
“A PINCH OF PORN,” Janet Lane, June 22, 1978

Twenty-Five Years Ago
When the disco fad began to subside toward the end of 1979, the Bacchanal in Kearny Mesa was the first of the big local nightclubs to switch back to live rock music. A much-ballyhooed “Disco Sucks” party was held featuring the hard-rock tunes of Bratz and several other local bands, and disco records — predominantly by black, or black-sounding, artists like Donna Summer, Gloria Gaynor, and the Bee Gees — were smashed on the stage. But as trends tend to do, things started to reverse themselves around the start of this year.

And the Bacchanal, which two weeks ago adopted a five-night-a-week disco format, is one of about a dozen local nightclubs that have already made, or are contemplating making, the switch back to recorded music.
CITY LIGHTS: “DISCO ARISES FROM DEAD,” Vincent Roberts, June 23, 1983

Twenty Years Ago
Dear Matthew Alice:
Why do polar bears have black skin?
Liz Spencer, College Area

Polar bears are the most efficient solar-energy converters that can be found anywhere. The most surprising thing is not that their skin is black, but that their fur is actually made of hollow, clear tubes that only appear to be white in reflected light.
STRAIGHT FROM THE HIP, Matthew Alice, June 23, 1988

Fifteen Years Ago
The independent baseboard installer is the highest-paid carpenter in San Diego County. A skilled baseman can easily install 1000 feet a day. At 20 cents a foot, that’s 200 bucks. On a hot day a baseman can make twice that.

Say you live in an apartment complex that has 150 units. Figuring on an average of 225 feet per unit, total footage would equal 33,750 feet, roughly 6-1/3 miles. That’s just one lift of base. I’ve installed over 150 lifts in the past 20-odd years, about 18 train-car loads.
“HE CRAWLED 700 MILES,” Anonymous, June 24, 1993

Ten Years Ago
I don’t know what I’d been thinking, why I thought going to a Cambodian restaurant the day after Pol Pot’s death would be a reasonable thing to do. The chunk of pig blood wobbled in the ladle, tiny crumbs of it floated in the suddenly forlorn broth. Everything I knew, or thought I knew, about Cambodia came rushing down on me: The Killing Fields’ Haing Ngor writhing in a slimy pit of rotting corpses, the grinning skulls piled in the postgenocide wire-service photos out of Phnom Penh, Henry Kissinger.
RESTAURANT REVIEW: “DISCOMFORT FOOD,” Abe Opincar, June 25, 1998

Five Years Ago
Like many hackers, David Nakamura Hulton goes by more than one name. His other one, his handle, is h1kari. Some people say you shouldn’t ask a hacker what his handle means. Handles aren’t always meant to be serious. Sometimes they’re designed to foil any journalist who assumes a handle is a window into a hacker’s soul.

The Starlight Ballroom is on the ninth floor of downtown’s Bristol Hotel. If this seems like an odd place for a weekend hacker conference to hold its opening party, maybe it isn’t any odder than a hacker conference in the first place.
“‘H’ IS FOR HACKER,” Jeanne Schinto, June 19, 2003

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