Man, Machine: Can't We Get Along?

Description of an Irish museum exhibit: “A giant mechanical bug, it looks like a demented cross between a bat, a praying mantis and the superstructure of a blimp… once it senses someone’s presence its arms begin to hover menacingly, as if they had eyes, over the viewer. ” Daithí Ó hAnluain —Man, Machine: Can’t We Get Along?Wired)

The First Smiley

Here’s what’s reputed to be an archive of the first e-mail message that included a smiley. [I wish I’d found it instead of Micro$oft. :( In 1979, someone named Kevin MacKenzie suggested the symbol -) for “tongue in cheek”. It’s not a “smiley”, of course, but it serves the same function. I’ve archived MacKenzie’s post here. —The First SmileyMicrosoft)

Once Upon a Magnetic Mattress

“In the old days, it was magnetic stones, magnetized trees, and magnetized air. Today, it’s magnetic bracelets, magnetic necklaces, magnetic shoe inserts, and now, magnetic mattresses. What’s next? Magnetic jock straps? But I knew that Grandma wouldn’t listen to a history lesson or a science lecture, so I thought I’d try another approach. ” Nada Mangialetti —Once Upon a Magnetic MattressACSH) The author, a medical writer with a Ph.D., uses…

"You Send Me" by Patricia T. O'Conner & Stewart Kellerman

“[R]ather than examining why online writing is so undisciplined and attempting to appreciate the virtue of such impertinence, O’Conner and Kellerman are determined to impose on electronic communication all the limitations of the forms to which they’re already accustomed.” Review by Jonathan Keats —“You Send Me” by Patricia T. O’Conner & Stewart KellermanSalon)