March 10th - The Winter Blight swept vineyards throughout the continent. Winter blight caused the grapevines to send out leaves far too early in the year, freezing on the vine and weakening the plant severely. Many great vineyards were lost. One enterprising vineyard owner set up heaters in the fields, keeping the leaves unfrozen. The expense in space heaters and extension cords was extraordinary, but the resulting “Blight Wines” were highly sought after and more than paid for the expense. The cause of the Winter Blight was never found, and has not struck again, although botanists suspect that it is only a matter of time.
May 26th - Melinda Berman, the Masked Editor, passed away. Her obituary was proofread thirty-six times and shone as a testament to correct use of semicolons. A national day of mourning was declared for one of the great heroes of editing and thesauruses were shelved at half-mast for a week.
June 27th - The game “Mondo Beast” was launched. One of the first wildly successful stand-up arcade machines, “Mondo Beast” had graphics head and shoulders above any game previously released. It was an overnight sensation and arcades reported lines over an hour long to play. As it was also hellishly difficult, play time rarely lasted more than eight minutes and separated players from quarters with great efficiency.
July 2nd - An extremely depressed woman woke up in the morning and thought “I can get through this.” Things got better after that.
November 3rd - Inventor Alistair Whetsmith invented a coffee grinder that he called the “Bean-Matrix,” This would not normally be significant, except that the coffee grinder proved able to grind nearly anything, including logs, stones, and, unfortunately, fingers. Whetsmith renamed his invention the “Grind-O-Matrix” but its lack of safety features made it unsellable in the modern market.