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A Robotic Dog’s Mortality

Fascinating video journalism from the New York Times. They didn’t shed, chew the sofa or bite the postman, but for thousands of people Sony’s Aibo robotic dog was the closest thing to a real canine companion. So when the Japanese company stopped servicing the robots last year, eight years after it ended production, owners faced a wrenching prospect: that their aging “pets” would break down for good. —The New York Times

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Hermann Zapf, the font designer behind Palatino and Zapf Dingbats, has died at 96

Hermann Zapf, the designer of fonts such as Palatino, Optima, Zapfino, Melior, Aldus, and the bizarre but much beloved Zapf Dingbats, has died at age 96.The revered German typographer and calligrapher passed away on June 4. In his long and prolific career, Zapf worked on many fonts, but his personal favorite was the humanist sans serif typeface Optima, the lettering chosen for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall in Washington, DC. — Quartz

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Time article with clickbaity headline: Web users annoyed by marketing tricks

This Time magazine article is a good one, but that “what you think you know is wrong” headline is more of the same obnoxious clickbait that the article itself critiques, so here’s a bit of what I found useful. Scrolling is more acceptable behavior than it used to be. We’re all much more used to scrolling now, especially when using mobile devices. Just because we click a link doesn’t mean…


The Hidden Benefits Of Daydreaming

When your mind wanders, its like P. T. Barnum putting on a sideshow while the stage is being rebuilt….[P]articipants who did more mind wandering got more creative on the repeated unusual uses tasks; they came up with more creative solutions to the problems presented to them after they had some time to let their brains chew on them, so to speak. The other three groups—the one that performed the cognitively…


From The ‘London Times’ of 1904

A Mark Twain short story, written in 1898, and set a few years into the future, posits the global ubiquity of a new device called the “telelectroscope,” which lets people around the world see and hear each other. The author, a journalist and a social reformer, explored how an innocent man might save himself from a death sentence by using global information technology to find evidence to support his defense. Time,…


‘My Fair Lady’ Couldn’t Actually Dance All Night, So These Songs Had To Go

Clever little Easter eggs in this article about the history of My Fair Lady refer to lyrics from the show. I played Col. Pickering in high school 30 years ago. One night during “The Rain in Spain,” when Higgins threw the xylophone mallet in the air, it got stuck in the drapes above the stage. I had watched it go up, so the audience laughed when I waited for it…