39th year  -  N° 148                 Monday, 27 May 2024         Antwerpen		
Paradise by the Dashboard Light

Since 1985 DDV has been compiling a daily Calendar that lists important births, facts and deaths day by day. These include artists, scientists, politicians, composers, musicians, writers, filmmakers, actors, serial killers, mass murderers, villans, executions, airplane crashes, terrorist attacks, explosions, shipwrecks, fires and other man-involved disasters claiming 100 or more lives.

It started out as a small booklet, just listing most dates you already knew; The Kennedy Assassination, The Tate-LaBianca Murders, Adolf Hitler's Suicide, The Gary Gilmore Execution.

In 1987 a revised updated edition was published. Since then the Calendar is kept and regularly updated in various database systems. As of today there are 10209 facts about 5942 persons.

1988 showed an update edition only. Just this edition presented a whole new booklet with almost an equal amount of data as the volumes published in the years before. The nature of the data also got more detailed, less well-known facts appeared in the Calendar, both about famous people already mentioned before, but also new individuals would enter the annals.

By 1989 the complete file was so huge it became almost impossible to print all data in each edition, so a selection had to be made. So 1989 showed a special selection of memorials only. In this edition only data of 5 years ago, 10 years, 15, 20, 50, 75, 100, etc - but also 11, 22, 33, 44 and specials like 13, 23 etc. This again proved a fine selection that filled the average size of earlier publications.

With the 90's ahead it was apparent that a powerful selection had to be made. What better could be chosen in the age of sex crime than a selection of killers? For the 1990 edition 90 killers from past and present were chosen and all their acts listed day by day. This resulted in a well-packed list of devious acts.

In 1991 a total artists' dates edition was made, listing only data about artists, musicians, composers, writers, filmmakers, actors.

In 1992 the last printed edition was an index of all names listed in the database at that time.

As the years continued the collection of data also continued. And the database moved from an old Commodore 64 computer to a FoxPro and finally to a Filemaker database.

In 2007 a first web based output was generated. A daily list was published on a blog every day. Every day also had a photo by DDV, taken on that very day since 1999. The photos were taken more or less worldwide and carefully selected from a stock of over 25000 digital images.

The same blog was repeated, refined and updated in 2010.

As of 1 January 2012 the project resides on a dedicated website and daily postings will appear for the whole of this year. The archived and searchable 2007 and 2010 blogs remain available as well. A full searchable online database system is in the works.