John Henry was a steel-drivin' bastard

Via MetaFilter: You’ve got just over two weeks to make it to the John Henry celebration in Leeds, Alabama, where some folks believe the legendary steel driving contest actually took place. Maybe you already made it to John Henry Days in Talcott, West Virginia (or read a fictionalized account), where some more folks claim the same. John Garst, Scott Nelson, and other folklorists weigh in here, supplemented by a wealth…

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Time of day calling it quits at AT&T – Los Angeles Times

David Lazarus describes the Time Lady’s end in California. “It was always there,” said Orlo Brown, 70, who for many years kept Pacific Bell’s (and subsequently SBC’s) time machines running in a downtown Los Angeles office building. “Everybody knew the number.” Richard Frenkiel was assigned to work on the time machines when he joined Bell Labs in the early 1960s. He described the devices as large drums about 2 feet…

The Tale of the Mechanical Virus

Sean McBride: The problem I discovered was that one of the thin walls between the holes had broken and bent down, forming a ramp. When I plugged the DVI adapter into my computer, two of the pins went into the same hole, and the projector could no longer understand the output from my computer. However, it doesn’t end there. When I plugged the DVI adapter into the broken socket, the…

Black and white and all over? – In Depth – theage.com.au

Rachel Buchanan: It has all happened so fast. In the 20th century, media evolved through a series of technological landmarks that seem stately in comparison: first radio waves across the Atlantic in 1901; television invented, 1926; television transmission begins in Australia, 1956; CNN begins, 1980. From there, change is compressed. In 1992 the Mosaic browser made the internet easier to use. By 1998, Matt Drudge’s online news and gossip website,…

Kid Fined for Putting Teacher on YouTube

AP: A court on Friday fined a 15-year-old schoolboy for posting a video on YouTube of his teacher singing karaoke without her permission and claiming she was a lunatic. In the first case of its kind in Finland, Nurmes District Court found Toni Vesikko guilty of intentional defamation and fined him $120. He also was ordered to pay $1,000 in damages for “causing harm and suffering,” and $3,000 in court…