The celebration continues! Pegasus Lighting is 15 this year, and to commemorate our anniversary we’re creating monthly blog posts about popular culture 15 years ago. You know, just to remember where we came from. July 1999 was a tumultuous month. There were some inspirational moments, tragic moments, and just plain bizarre moments, like when we intentionally crashed a spacecraft into the moon. Enjoy this walk down memory lane. Don’t forget your baggy pants, hair gel, and Christina Aguilera CDs.
Do me a favor and imagine that you are in need of suggestions for a Fourth of July party. You head to Pinterest (where else?) and search “Fourth of July.” You are blinded by a barrage of red, white, and blue. On the screen are colored pretzels stacked into a replica of the American flag; painted mason jars (lots of mason jars); twine; tin cans; stars lovingly painted in water soluble paint on the grass. But here’s the thing. Fireworks are so much more important than any of these crafts or decorations.
Here’s why I think so.
Imagine you’re walking down a museum exhibit on popular culture from June 1999. Like any good exhibit, this one will inspire both laughter and tears. You’ll see Mike Myers dressed as Austin Powers on the left, and on the right, you’ll see Stephen King getting hit by a car on a Maine road. Venus and Serena Williams exalt their first Grand Slam doubles win on the left. On the right, Oliver Stone sits in his car a little bit drunk, forgetting the hashish in his pocket, as a police officer approaches his car, back lit by blue lights.
This exhibit-like blog post will take you back to June 1999, 15 years ago this month. Why 15 years? Because this year marks our 15th anniversary in business as Pegasus Lighting, and we’re thrilled! Enjoy this latest installment in our 15th anniversary month-by-month pop culture throwback celebration!
So, there’s this circulating time-lapse video of the northern lights, or the aurora borealis, at play in the northern UK sky, and you definitely need to see it. The time lapse video of the northern lights was made by photographer Maciej Winiarcyzk using more than two thousand digital photographs just over a month ago.
This morning I am going to talk about the poem “Let the Light Enter,” by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper (1825-1911). Her bio is beyond the scope of this entry, but I encourage you to follow the link and check her out. Get a little perspective on life today by reading a paragraph about this amazing human being and poet.
A couple months back, Medical News Today published an article on the effect of room lighting on decision making. Invoking crime dramas in which suspects are interrogated under bright lights, the report suggests that people tend to feel emotions more intensely in brighter light. This finding is significant not just for retailers but for anyone who consciously uses light in their spaces for a desired effect.
To commemorate our fifteenth year, we are taking a look back at what life was like 15 years ago. Do you remember May 1999? It was a month of ups and downs. We gained Star Wars: The Phantom Menace but lost Shel Silverstein. Natural disasters of epic proportions and new leadership in world powers made the month one that would change the course of history. Legal precedents were established and technologies that we all utilize now were just being announced. Here are fifteen moments in history from fifteen years ago. Next stop: May 1999.
1. Bluetooth Is Announced
The nineties were the era of the Ethernet cable, that funny phone line-looking wire that wouldn’t quite fit into the phone jack. (Wait, what’s a phone jack?!) In May 1999, an organization called Ericsson announced a revolutionary way of sending data wirelessly. They called the technology Bluetooth. Now, we can listen to music with wireless headphones and talk to our loved ones while driving with both hands on the wheel.
This guy’s name is Humphry. He’s about 24 years old. A chemist. And, by the looks of him, pretty content with his accomplishments and station in life. He’s the boy wonder credited with creating the first incandescent light. He seems to be thinking, “I’m just a genius. No biggie.” It’s around 1802. England.
We were born into a world of electric illumination. Incandescent lights, fluorescent lights, halogen, xenon, LEDs. It glows from lamps and televisions, twinkles from nightlights, puts on a show when you rush past it in tunnels, speckles a cityscape at night. We take it for granted, generally speaking. It’s tough to imagine a world in which electric light does not exist. But, when you think about it, electric lamps have only been the norm for a tiny,TINY percentage of the history of human life.