Revisiting a Website I Created in 1996: Engineering Writing Centre (University of Toronto)

During the Christmas break of 1996, when I was working on my Ph.D. at the University of Toronto, I asked my boss at the Engineering Writing Center if I could log about 10 hours converting a bunch of paper handouts into hyperlinked web documents. I actually put in about 20 hours, and slapped into shape the first rough version of the website. The oldest archive I can find is from…

Rediscovering History’s Lost First Female Video Game Designer

RCA’s console never rivaled the impact of Atari’s VCS, Magnavox’s Odyssey, or Mattel’s Intellivision, and few people remember it today. But the true story behind it is fascinating. Its underlying technology began in 1969 as a personal computer developed at home by one man with a vision, Joseph Weisbecker. His daughter, Joyce, ended up being the earliest known female developer who wrote video games and got paid for it. —Co.Design


British Politician begins reciting colonial-era Kipling poem in in Myanmar temple

After the UK ambassador cut off his recitation of a pro-colonial Kipling poem in a Maynmar temple, UK foreign secretary Boris Johnson said, “No? Good stuff.” The foreign secretary has been accused of “incredible insensitivity” after it emerged he recited part of a colonial-era Rudyard Kipling poem in front of local dignitaries while on an official visit to Myanmar in January. Boris Johnson was inside the Shwedagon Pagoda, the most sacred Buddhist site…

Teaching the First Amendment Freedoms

In an opening lecture, I briefly listed the five freedoms Americans are guaranteed in the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Then I moved on. I quizzed them the next week, and they didn’t do too well. They did a little better when I surprised them with a follow-up quiz. After that, it looks like they got the message. Every student correctly listed press, speech, assembly and…


Edgar Allan Poe Was a Broke-Ass Freelancer – The Millions

His despair is only part of his artistic journey. When researching Poe last year, I was surprised to come across an anecdote about him playing leap-frog with his wife and splitting his pants, causing both of them to collapse in fits of laughter. I’m sure it was the memory of joyful moments like this that haunted him as she lay dying and long after she was dead.