Tag Archives: history

“If you want to understand…”

For the Fourth of July, Maria Kalman’s sketchblog on Thomas Jefferson, a brilliant and flawed man. If you want to understand this country and its people and what it means to be optimistic and complex and tragic and wrong and courageous, you need to go to [Jefferson's] home in Virginia. Monticello. This does not absolve [...]

Ten Years

Sometime last month, and I forget the day*, I started this blog.
When I started More Like This, we called these things Weblogs. There were a handful of them. And we all used homebrew tools or handwritten HTML to maintain them. Permalinks, comments and categories would come later. Though I was one of the first to [...]

“[A]meliorate the evils under which the country is laboring”

[ Hat tip: Tom Higgins ] Given the mess in the financial markets, this bit of history is amusing: September 17, 1859 “At the peremptory request and desire of a large majority of the citizens of these United States, I, Joshua Norton, formerly of Algoa Bay, Cape of Good Hope, and now for the last [...]

A Day that will Live in Infamy Forever

On Twitter, Brad Graham noted that this is the anniversary of Peter Merholz referring to weblogs as “wee-blogs,” and destroying life as we know it.

As We May Link

Fermilab Beam Jockey Bill Higgins reminds me that since The Atlantic Monthly have opened their archives, I can now link to a good copy of Vannevar Bush’s legendary article “As We May Think.” Doug Engelbart’s famous demo is on Google Video. Now if Ted Nelson would put Computer Lib on the web, we’d have three [...]

50 Years In Space

50 years ago, the Soviet Union launched the first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1, into orbit. Novosti agency photo of Sputnik 1′s launch via spacetoday.org A half century later, we have landed rovers on Mars, parachuted instruments onto the oven-baked surface of Venus, and put others in orbit around Jupiter and Saturn. Humans haven’t been out [...]

Scripting News at Ten

My belated congratulations to Dave Winer on ten years of blogging. Scripting News inspired me to create my own blog, and the larval form of this weblog was generated by a Frontier script I’d run after updating an outline of links.

Blood Rain

We’re watching Blood Rain, a murder mystery set in early 19th century Korea. Two inquisitors are sent by the king to an island of the coast, to investigate the sabotage of a ship full of tribute that burned the night before it set sail for the mainland. After the inquisitors arrive, a series of murders, [...]

Tally Viking One!

Back in 1976, Viking 1 was the first successful landing of a spacecraft on Mars. the Mars Recon Orbiter’s HiRise camera photographed it, 30 years later, from orbit. Good job.

Portrait of the Writer as a Young Artist

Liz Henry found a photo of a young Alice Bradley (who would later write under the pen name James Tiptree, Jr.) taken in an art class at the University of Chicago’s Lab School.

WWII is my family history.

That’s the starboard gunner’s position on a B-25J. My namesake, mom’s brother Bill, was training as a pilot on Oahu when the Imperial Navy attacked Pearl Harbor. He was wounded, and the Army Air Corps doctors took him off flight status when they discovered he had a hole in his skull (from a childhood accident.) [...]


There were three WWII bombers visiting Moffett Field this weekend. You’re looking at the port side engine of a B-25J Mitchell. The B-25′s not as famous as the B-17 and B-24, however, they were used in Jimmy Doolittle’s famous raid on Tokyo, and blasted the hell out of Imperial Japanese shipping. I also met Jimmy [...]

When the Data’s Too Good to be True

Professor Lisa Jardine recently found the account of a 17th Century English Naval officer who faked the data from a trial of an early chronometer aboard his ship. The chronometer’s developer, Dutch astronomer Christiaan Huygens, was boggled by the accuracy claimed by the ship’s captain, and asked the experiment’s sponsor, the Royal Society, if the [...]

A bit late for a Quake Centennial Post, but Here’s Some History

A hundred years ago this past morning, the San Andreas fault slipped: the Great San Francisco Earthquake of 1906. Go back a half a billion years: there’s no California. Paleoamerica ended at Utah, the Osmonds instead of the Grateful Dead. Over the next 500 million years, Laurentia (the core of the North American continent) drifts [...]

Let Us Now Praise Famous Suckers

Found a great piece about Suck.com’s history written for the 10th anniversary of the site’s launch. Suck.com’s style: new content daily, the writers’ snark, and their simple (for pre-CSS) design influenced plenty of Webloggers. My favorite piece remains the piss-take on Silicon Valley Techno-Libertarians.