36 eBooks on Computer Programming from O’Reilly Media: Free to Download and Read

≡ Category: Computer Science, e-books, Technology |Leave a Comment

This past week, we featured a free course on the programming language Python, presented by MIT. A handy resource, to be sure.
And then it struck us that you might want to complement that course with some of the 36 free ebooks on computer programming from O’Reilly Media–of which 7 are dedicated to Python itself.


Japanese Computer Artist Makes “Digital Mondrians” in 1964: When Giant Mainframe Computers Were First Used to Create Art

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In the 21st century, most of us have tried our hand at making some kind of digital art or another — even if only touching up cellphone photos of ourselves — but imagine the task of producing it 50 years ago.


The History of Electronic Music Visualized on a Circuit Diagram of a 1950s Theremin: 200 Inventors, Composers & Musicians

≡ Category: Music, Technology |3 Comments

No historical leap forward has changed human culture more than the harnessing and commercialization of electricity. It may seem banal to point out such a truism—of course, nothing in the modern world would be what it is without the furious activity of Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla, and so many other inventors and early electrical engineers.


The Museum of Failure: A New Swedish Museum Showcases Harley-Davidson Perfume, Colgate Beef Lasagne, Google Glass & Other Failed Products

≡ Category: Business, Museums, Technology |1 Comment

Here, in Silicon Valley, failure isn’t always failure. At least according to the local mythology, it’s something to be embraced, accepted, even celebrated. “Fail fast, fail often,” they say. And eventually you’ll learn enough to achieve real success.
On June 7th, the Museum of Failure will open in Helsingborg, Sweden.


A Three-Minute Introduction to Buckminster Fuller, One of the 20th Century’s Most Productive Design Visionaries

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Architect, inventor, theorist, and all-around fount of ideas Buckminster Fuller came up with many new things, though most of us associate him with one above all: geodesic domes.


63 Haunting Videos of U.S. Nuclear Tests Now Declassified and Put Online

≡ Category: History, Technology |Leave a Comment

Last month, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory put on YouTube 63 now-declassified videos documenting American nuclear tests conducted between 1945 and 1962. According the Lab, “around 10,000 of these films sat idle, scattered across the country in high-security vaults.


200-Year-Old Robots That Play Music, Shoot Arrows & Even Write Poems: Watch Automatons in Action

≡ Category: History, Technology |1 Comment


The robots, as we all know, are coming for our jobs. We might regard that particular anxiety as distinctive of the digital age, but the idea of machines that perform what we’ve long considered specifically human tasks has a long history — as does the reality of those machines.


Marshall McLuhan in Two Minutes: A Brief Animated Introduction to the 1960s Media Theorist Who Predicted Our Present

≡ Category: Technology |3 Comments


Marshall McLuhan, writes novelist and artist Douglas Coupland, entered the zeitgeist in the 1960s as “a guru or as a villain – as a harbinger of the flowering of culture, or of its death,” a “fuddy-duddy fiftysomething English lit professor from Toronto” whose distinctive research interests and even more distinctive habits of mi


Every Front Page of The New York Times in Under a Minute: Watch the Evolution of “The Gray Lady” from 1852 to Present

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Buckling under information overload?
The long view can be soothing, as filmmaker Josh Begley proves in just under a minute, above. The data artist reduced 165 years worth of chronologically ordered New York Times front pages—every single one since 1852—to a grid of inky rectangles flashing past at lightning speed.


Rock Band: Hear The Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun” Played with Electromechanical Instruments That Make Music with Rocks

≡ Category: Music, Technology |1 Comment

From Neil Mendoza comes “Rock Band,” an amalgamation of “electromechanical instruments that make music with rocks by throwing them through the air, slapping them and making them vibrate.” Above, hear the band play one of my favorite Beatles songs, “Here Comes the Sun.” There’s no Paul, John, George and Ringo here.


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