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Pluto Flyby

When I was about 10, I wrote to NASA and got a big packet of color magazines and newsletters on the Space Shuttle and Voyager missions. I loved staying up late watching live PBS coverage of the flybys of Jupiter, and Saturn. At some point I wrote again asking for more stuff, but I got a response saying those materials were now only for educators. I was in college for…

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Nicholas Winton, “Britain’s Schindler,” Dies at 106

Nicholas Winton, a British stockbroker who saved the lives of more than 650 children trapped in Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia on the eve of World War II, died on Wednesday. He was 106… Working primarily on his own, Winton arranged safe passage for the group of mostly Jewish children, who were placed with foster families in the United Kingdom for the duration of the war. Although he would later be compared to fellow…

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‘Star Trek’: The Story of the Most Daring Cliffhanger in ‘Next Generation’ History

Around 1990, when I was studying for my MA at the University of Virginia (and also working as a writer/editor for the engineering school), I sometimes had 30 people over at my place for “Star Trek parties.” The local TV station aired the show at midnight Sunday. My friends and I would rotate through different locations, but I seem to remember the group had gathered at my place for The Best of…

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The quest to save today’s gaming history from being lost forever 

“If you want to know how the game was played in 2014, you will need documentation about how the game was played in 2014,” Lowood said. “Having the game available to you in 2064 so that you can play it yourself won’t tell you anything about that. It just tells you how you, 50 years later in a completely different environment, will play that game.” —Ars Technica

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One Man’s Mission To Keep AOL’s Legacy Alive

“Hi. I’m Jason Scott, and I am trying to collect every AOL CD variation ever made.”  Scott works for the Internet Archive, which is kind of like a museum for the Internet. And to him, these CDs are precious artifacts. “They are, in some ways, little time capsules about what online life was and why we wanted to get onto it so badly….  I’m doing it for generations beyond, so — there’s…

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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,…