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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,…

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Caroll “Big Bird” Spinney was originally to be on NASA’s doomed Challenger flight

And he was even offered a seat as Big Bird on the ill-fated Space Shuttle Challenger in 1986 in a bid to get children more interested in the NASA program when Star Wars was all the rage. | But there wasn’t enough room for the costume, which is more than eight feet tall, sparing Spinney from the tragedy that saw the Challenger break apart 73 seconds into its flight, killing all seven people…

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Baltimore Residents Urged To Stay Indoors Until Social Progress Naturally Takes Its Course Over Next Century

“As we continue to incrementally evolve into a completely free and fair society over the next 100 years, please do not venture outside unless it is absolutely necessary. Those who go out onto our streets before our social, economic, and political structures have undergone gradual reform over the course of several generations are doing so at their own risk.” —The Onion

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Boosting the Signal: Peaceful Protesters in Baltimore are the Norm

Video of people throwing rocks or burning cars appeals to our baser emotions (anger, fear, disgust), which leads to faster, more intense emotional responses that TV can use to make money (by packaging our eyeballs and selling them to advertisers). TV news is very good at capturing our attention. Images of hundreds of peaceful, determined faces appeal to our higher emotions, which are not as easy to monetize. I want…

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National Science Foundation announces plan for comprehensive public access to research results

This is good news. It’s unfair that government-funded studies get published in private databases that make money off of the public’s desire to access results of studies paid for by our taxes. NSF will require that articles in peer-reviewed scholarly journals and papers in juried conference proceedings or transactions be deposited in a public access compliant repository and be available for download, reading and analysis within one year of publication.…

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Citizen Journalist Thrown Out of City Council Receives $200,000 Settlement

Know your rights as a journalist, and your rights as a citizen. The Mayor called the meeting to order and then said, “First of all, a little house cleaning. Uh, Chief Tatum, if you would, remove the camera from — from the auditorium. We don’t allow filming inside of the city hall here unless it’s specific reasons, so if you would remove the camera.” “Respectfully, Mayor … I am exercising…