Strange Hobby, New Baby Tie ’90s Alumni to Oregon

Summer 2006

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The University of Oregon Computer & Information Science Department has published a short article about my involvement with the Exploding Whale in their alumni newsletter. Below, a scan of the article as it appeared in the newsletter appears aside a transcription.

From Computer and Information Science @UOregon, Summer 2006

Strange Hobby, New Baby Tie ’90s Alumni to Oregon

Alumnus Steve Hackstadt celebrated the thirty-fifth anniversary of the exploding whale incident by moving his commemorative website to its new home at

Hackstadt first learned of the exploding whale while he was studying for his master’s degree in computer science about twenty years after the incident. The incident occurred when the Oregon Highway Division exploded a whale carcass on the beach near Florence seemingly without regard to the likely pattern of fallout.

Upon learning of the incident, he put some information about the event on his CIS website. Since then, he has maintained and expanded the site, eventually moving it to his personal domain and now to its new home in honor of the thirty-fifth anniversary on November 12th, 2005. The website and incident were profiled by Register-Guard columnist Bob Welch on the anniversary.

Hackstadt studied performance visualization for parallel and distributed computing and received his master’s degree in 1994. After leaving the University at the end of 1999, he joined a small company that was eventually acquired by The Nasdaq Stock Market where he is currently a senior software engineer.

Steve and his wife Jen, also a CIS alumnus (’97 M.S.), live in Eugene with their new son Evan who was born on June 8, 2005.

“Being a new dad has a lot in common with the exploding whale,” Steve says. “You can never be fully prepared for it, and there’s definitely a lot of clean-up, but it’s still one of the greatest things ever.”