posts about or somewhat related to ‘birthdays’

Just as victory has many fathers, great events often have many birthdays. We choose Oct. 29, 1969, as Day One of the Internet (which would make it 44 years old today) for a good reason. That was when the very first message moved between the first two computers connected on the new network designed to link the numerous computer science projects funded by the government. →

Happy Birthday, Internets

Via the Los Angeles Times:

That morning, an operator at Professor Leonard Kleinrock’s lab in UCLA’s Boelter Hall began tapping out the word “LOGIN” and sending it to a sister computer at SRI, a government contractor, in Menlo Park, Calif. (The linked computers were known as Interface Message Processors, or IMPs; UCLA’s was IMP-1.) He got as far as “LO” before the SRI unit crashed. Later that day the bug was fixed and the message completed. Within a year, ARPAnet linked 10 computers across the country.

FJP: You can quibble with dates but this seems as good as one as any. Just remember, the Internet isn’t the Web (implemented in 1989) and the Web isn’t the Internet.

Happy 126th, Erwin Schrödinger

Now, about that cat.

Happy 60th, Richard Stallman
Father of the free software movement, creator of the GNU project, pioneer of copyleft, winner of the 1990 MacArthur Genius Grant and founder of the Free Software Foundation.
If you don’t know Stallman or his work, do visit the links above. In an age where our ability to create, communicate and collaborate is dependent on the software, Web sites and social networks we choose, it’s important to understand the stakes inherent in our decisions.
And then read Stallman’s epic 9,350 word longread on how you should work with him if you’d like him to speak at your event or organization.
Image: Via ReadWrite.

Happy 60th, Richard Stallman

Father of the free software movement, creator of the GNU project, pioneer of copyleft, winner of the 1990 MacArthur Genius Grant and founder of the Free Software Foundation.

If you don’t know Stallman or his work, do visit the links above. In an age where our ability to create, communicate and collaborate is dependent on the software, Web sites and social networks we choose, it’s important to understand the stakes inherent in our decisions.

And then read Stallman’s epic 9,350 word longread on how you should work with him if you’d like him to speak at your event or organization.

Image: Via ReadWrite.

Happy Birthday, Muhammad Ali

The Text Message Turns 20
Computerworld: How the SMS got its start in a Danish pizzeria.
Forrester: More than 2 trillion SMS messages were sent in the US in 2011, or 6 billion SMS messages per day.
Pew Internet: The average US teen sends 60 text messages a day.
Falkvinge: How it costs more to send an SMS to someone next door than the equivalent data information from Mars to Earth.
Ryan Kearney: Why it would cost $35 million to send a 4.6 gig HD video through AT&T via SMS (while roaming).

The Text Message Turns 20

Computerworld: How the SMS got its start in a Danish pizzeria.

Forrester: More than 2 trillion SMS messages were sent in the US in 2011, or 6 billion SMS messages per day.

Pew Internet: The average US teen sends 60 text messages a day.

Falkvinge: How it costs more to send an SMS to someone next door than the equivalent data information from Mars to Earth.

Ryan Kearney: Why it would cost $35 million to send a 4.6 gig HD video through AT&T via SMS (while roaming).

Hunter S. Thompson on David Letterman

"Our next guest has been called the most accurate and least factual reporter working today… please welcome back Hunter Thompson.”

A few videos on what would have been Thompson’s 75th birthday:

Thompson killed himself in 2005.

Why Orwell Hated the Cliche →

For what would have been George Orwell’s 99th birthday, here are reflections on his relationship to writing and language from Lawrence Wright:

Orwell’s proposition is that modern English, especially written English, is so corrupted by bad habits that it has become impossible to think clearly. The main enemy, he believed, was insincerity, which hides behind the long words and empty phrases that stand between what is said and what is really meant.

A scrupulous writer, Orwell notes, will ask himself: What am I trying to say? What words will express it? What fresh image will make it clearer? Could I put it more shortly? Have I said anything that is avoidably ugly? The alternative is simply “throwing your mind open and letting the ready-made phrases come crowding in. They will construct your sentences for you — even think your thoughts for you — concealing your meaning even from yourself. It is at this point that the special connection between politics and the debasement of language becomes clear.”…

…Orwell optimistically sets forward six simple rules to improve the state of the English language: guidelines that anyone, not just professional writers, can follow.

But I’m not going to tell you what they are. You’ll have to re-read [Politics and the English Language (PDF)] yourself. I’m only going to speak about Rule No. 1, which is never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech that you are used to seeing in print.

For me, that’s the hardest rule and no doubt the reason that it’s No. 1. Cliches, like cockroaches in the cupboard, quickly infest a careless mind. I constantly struggle with the prefabricated phrases that substitute for simple, clear prose…

…”Political language,” Orwell reminds us, “is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. One cannot change this all in a moment, but one can at least change one’s own habits.”

NPR: Orwell on Writing: ‘Clarity Is the Remedy’

The Lorax Horton Hears a Who! Yertle the Turtle

pbsthisdayinhistory:

MARCH 2, 1904: DR. SEUSS BORN

On this day in 1904, Theodor Seuss Geisel was born. He would have been 108 today.

Most people know Dr. Seuss as the man behind The Cat in the Hat. But how many know that Yertle the Turtle was modeled after Hitler - or that Dr. Seuss created WWII political cartoons that denounced racism, isolationism and other issues of the day?

From 1941 to 1943, Seuss served as chief editorial cartoonist for the New York liberal newspaper PM, and his work commented on issues of the day. His political cartoons during World War II denounced isolationism, racism and anti-Semitism.

Images: Dr. Seuss/ Random House

FJP: Happy Birthday, Doctor!

Happy Birthday, Flickr!
For its eight birthday the Flickr blog is profiling eight photographers who’ve been using the site since its launch in February 2004.
Image via Cheezburger.

Happy Birthday, Flickr!

For its eight birthday the Flickr blog is profiling eight photographers who’ve been using the site since its launch in February 2004.

Image via Cheezburger.

Happy 200th Birthday, Charles Dickens!
As part of the celebration, England’s Royal Mail is releasing stamps to commemorate the author.
Says Philip Parker, a Royal Mail spokesperson, “Charles Dickens was one of the truly great British novelists, a man born into poor circumstances who went on to change the world in which he lived thanks not just to his novels, but his campaigning journalism and philanthropy.”
Image: A Nicholas Nickleby stamp with an illustration by Hablot Knight Browne. Nickleby was Dickens’ third novel, appearing as a serial from 1838 through 1839.

Happy 200th Birthday, Charles Dickens!

As part of the celebration, England’s Royal Mail is releasing stamps to commemorate the author.

Says Philip Parker, a Royal Mail spokesperson, “Charles Dickens was one of the truly great British novelists, a man born into poor circumstances who went on to change the world in which he lived thanks not just to his novels, but his campaigning journalism and philanthropy.”

Image: A Nicholas Nickleby stamp with an illustration by Hablot Knight Browne. Nickleby was Dickens’ third novel, appearing as a serial from 1838 through 1839.

Happy 11th Birthday, Wikipedia!
Via Singularity Hub:

[I]t’s doing more than subsisting, it’s thriving. Wikimedia Foundation’s annual fund drive raised $4.5 million in 2008, $8.7 million in 2009, $15 million in 2010, and now $20 million in 2011. The drive is also getting faster (dropping from 67 days to 50 from 2009-2010), and broader, as seen in the increased number of donors. Besides Wikipedia, there are ten sister projects: Wiktionary, Wikibooks, Wikimedia Commons (aka Wikicommons), Wikispecies, Wikiquote, Wikisource, Wikiversity, Wikinews, MediaWiki, Wikimedia Incubator, and Wikimedia Metawiki. Each has its own dedicated user base and corps of volunteers. WMF has sites in almost every country and in 282 different languages.
The 2011-2012 Foundation Plan calls for expanding the sites further every year. The 2011-2012 budget is actually $28.3 million, with missing funds to be met by grants from institutions like the Sloan Foundation. (This drive and grant combination is the norm, and it seemingly works well.) Wikimedia has increased its hires, bringing the company from 50 to 78 in the past fiscal year and aiming to further increase staff by as many as 35 more hires. Wikimedia Foundation has plenty of money to spend as well, they run a high level of reserves ($13 million or so), and they continue to exceed their expectations in revenue. (Revenue was up 50% or so in 2010). To balance that boon, spending is going to increase by 24% in 2012 to invest in better harnessing the crowd.

Happy 11th Birthday, Wikipedia!

Via Singularity Hub:

[I]t’s doing more than subsisting, it’s thriving. Wikimedia Foundation’s annual fund drive raised $4.5 million in 2008, $8.7 million in 2009, $15 million in 2010, and now $20 million in 2011. The drive is also getting faster (dropping from 67 days to 50 from 2009-2010), and broader, as seen in the increased number of donors. Besides Wikipedia, there are ten sister projects: Wiktionary, Wikibooks, Wikimedia Commons (aka Wikicommons), Wikispecies, Wikiquote, Wikisource, Wikiversity, Wikinews, MediaWiki, Wikimedia Incubator, and Wikimedia Metawiki. Each has its own dedicated user base and corps of volunteers. WMF has sites in almost every country and in 282 different languages.

The 2011-2012 Foundation Plan calls for expanding the sites further every year. The 2011-2012 budget is actually $28.3 million, with missing funds to be met by grants from institutions like the Sloan Foundation. (This drive and grant combination is the norm, and it seemingly works well.) Wikimedia has increased its hires, bringing the company from 50 to 78 in the past fiscal year and aiming to further increase staff by as many as 35 more hires. Wikimedia Foundation has plenty of money to spend as well, they run a high level of reserves ($13 million or so), and they continue to exceed their expectations in revenue. (Revenue was up 50% or so in 2010). To balance that boon, spending is going to increase by 24% in 2012 to invest in better harnessing the crowd.

In the real world, the right thing never happens in the right place and the right time.  It is the job of journalists and historians to make it appear that it has. — Mark Twain
Happy 176th Birthday, Mark Twain!
A few years ago, Mental Floss gathered a series of quotes and called it the Mark Twain School of Journalism.
Among my favorites: Get your facts first and then you can distort them as much as you wish. — Michael
Image: Detail from Time Magazine’s July 2008 cover.

In the real world, the right thing never happens in the right place and the right time.  It is the job of journalists and historians to make it appear that it has. — Mark Twain

Happy 176th Birthday, Mark Twain!

A few years ago, Mental Floss gathered a series of quotes and called it the Mark Twain School of Journalism.

Among my favorites: Get your facts first and then you can distort them as much as you wish. — Michael

Image: Detail from Time Magazine’s July 2008 cover.

The Wall Street Journal turned 122 this month. Its first issue, pictured above and costing all of two cents, was published July 8, 1889.
Its self-declared audience: “operators, bankers and capitalists.”

The Wall Street Journal turned 122 this month. Its first issue, pictured above and costing all of two cents, was published July 8, 1889.

Its self-declared audience: “operators, bankers and capitalists.”

YouTube: Where 48 Hours of Video Uploaded Per Minute Happens →

Over on the YouTube blog they’re celebrating their sixth birthday and reveal some remarkable stats: over 48 hours of video are uploaded to the site each minute, and there are over 3 billion views per day.