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We are cruel. We always have been. The Internet did not make us so

We didn’t start the flame war. Scandalous satirical pamphlets were once cranked out by writers and sold at train stations, like so many primordial blog posts. Political cartoons have a long and vicious history. Incivility is our legacy, not our invention. It is part, but only part, of who we are. And have always been. –Tabatha Southey, The Globe and Mail.

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What Part of “No, Totally” Don’t You Understand?

English continues to evolve. I noticed this construction several times today. “No, totally.” “No, definitely.” “No, exactly.” “No, yes.” These curious uses turn “no” into a kind of contranym: a word that can function as its own opposite. Out of the million-odd words in the English language, perhaps a hundred have this property. You can seed a field, in which case you are adding seeds, or seed a grape, in…

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The Most Epic Demo in Computer History Is Now an Opera

This is nice, but what I really want to see is an Elizabethan-style revenge play featuring Clippy. December 9, 1968… in an underground convention center in the heart of San Francisco, Doug Engelbart gave The Mother Of All Demos, introducing the world to an astonishing slew of technologies including word processing, video conferencing, windows, links, and the humble mouse.

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Creationism dismissed as ‘a kind of paganism’ by Vatican’s astronomer

Brother Consolmagno, who works in a Vatican observatory in Arizona and as curator of the Vatican meteorite collection in Italy, said a “destructive myth” had developed in modern society that religion and science were competing ideologies. He described creationism, whose supporters want it taught in schools alongside evolution, as a “kind of paganism” because it harked back to the days of “nature gods” who were responsible for natural events. –The Scotsman…

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Airport retro video games collect spare coins in Sweden

Fliers arriving at Swedens two biggest airports, Stockholm Arlanda and Goteborg Landvetter, can now kill time while waiting for their luggage by playing video game classics “Ms. Pac-Man,” “Space Invaders” and “Galaga.”Best of all, the machines in the “Charity Arcade” are custom-made to take coins of any currency, whether its yen, euro or pounds, and all the money is donated to the Swedish Red Cross. –CNN.com.