Burmese map of the world 1906
I’ll have what he’s having.
This is an unlikely heel turn in linguistics. In most written language, the period is a neutral way to mark a pause or complete a thought; but digital communications are turning it into something more aggressive. “Not long ago, my 17-year-old son noted that many of my texts to him seemed excessively assertive or even harsh, because I routinely used a period at the end,
When it started in 1963, Doctor Who should not have succeeded. A committee created it, to fill a time slot. It had a small budget. The BBC intended for it to be a children’s educational show focusing on science and history. Oh, and it debuted the night after John F. Kennedy was assassinated.
And yet it worked, as seen in the incredible hype preceding Saturday’s 50th anniversary special—an extra-long, star-filled special called “The Day of the Doctor.”
What went right? It’s not just the always-exterminating Daleks, or the complex, wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey plots. Those are fun, but there’s something more primal that’s been with it since it’s start in 1963: adventure. A sense of the new. When William Hartnell debuted in November 1963 as the Doctor, showing off his time and space-traveling TARDIS, and asked his co-stars and viewers, “Have you ever thought what it’s like to be wanderers in the Fourth Dimension?” And the truth was, they hadn’t. Not like this.
Read more. [Image: BBC]
SAIC is also the company that NYC Mayor Bloomberg demanded return $600 million after a city computer project (budgeted at $68 million) actually cost $740 million. SAIC has a long list of similar spectacular failures on government IT projects.
When powerful, executive politicians speak, they often forgo visual aids. Obama, Reagan, Kennedy: There’s something about the prestige of the president, of presiding, that demands he (or she) face the nation straight-on and honestly, with… his face.
But what if that wasn’t the case? Thirteen years ago, Peter Norvig, the current director of research at Google, suffered a dark night of the soul. Powerpoint presentations, he felt, ruled everything around him. Sales pitches, mission statements, even (shudder) inspirational speeches: All had been processed and extruded by the harsh, homogenizing gizzard of Microsoft’s leviathan.
So, he wondered, what if the Powerpoint had existed earlier in history? What if Lincoln, for example, had turned to the software in a time of utmost national need—what if, oh my gosh, what if Lincoln had delivered the Gettysburg address as a Powerpoint?
Read more. [Image: Norvig]
Dial Up Modem Handshake Sound - Spectrogram
via Kurt White
This is the most beautiful thing I’ve seen all day.