The Magic Flight of Thought

  Today I was talking to my sister (Happy Birthday, Chi!) and we were chatting about the crazy speed of new technology.  How strange it is to collapse our life experience into a series of new devices and how they affected us, and then try to imagine what it is like to be born digital, […]

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Unboxing a 1964 Smith Corona Sterling

It would be great if everyone was as lucky as I was today when unboxing a Fedex carton containing a used manual typewriter.   The typical horror stories of rattling loose pieces and totally broken machines could be greatly reduced in number if people were careful packers, like the “secretagent” who sold me this beautiful […]

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Telepathic Bird Brains and Ornithopters

From the editorial “Communication Between Minds” by Fred Pohl [Worlds of Tomorrow, Nov 1965] “Reading Vitus Droscher‘s fascinating The Mysterious Senses of Animals (Dutton), when it occurred to us that an experiment Droscher had described could be construed as a proof of telepathy.   The experiments in question were performed by von Holst and Jechorek at […]

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21st Century Bag of Tricks

The modern day shaman — the serial start-up entrepreneur — carries around a fascinating collection of baubles and tools. The old school shrunken heads, shark’s teeth, eagle feathers, ointments and herbs are certainly no more fetishistic than today’s gadgets, cables, and protective sleeves. This fascinating anthropology study belongs to Joi Ito, which I stumbled across […]

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Aloha Mars, Can-D gram for Perky Pat!

Given the opportunity, I just couldn’t resist sending a little micro-chipped token of my affection to my favorite sub-miniaturized phantasm on Mars.  Aloha,  Perky Pat!  How’s the water at Lake Shalbatana?  Thanks to NASA, you too can send a Can-D gram to the red planet!   Don’t be Chew-Z, sign up today! http://mars9.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/participate/sendyourname/index.cfm

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The Groove is Analog

I was talking with my friend Don about this cool book I am reading about the rocket scientist John Whiteside Parsons — Strange Angel — when the conversation somehow changed tracks to Leon Theremin, the enigmatic Soviet inventor.   This conversation prompted me to check out the recent biography by Albert Glinsky, Theremin: ETHER MUSIC […]

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Bust Out of Energy Addiction

Isn’t it about time we moved beyond the idiotic “central heating” concept and kicked our energy habit?   But how, you might ask, do we get this 100 quadrillion BTU monkey off our back?  The answer, as ridiculous as it sounds, is to simply build better homes, and used efficient heat exchange.   Really, that’s it! […]

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