AUTOVON: A Phone System Fit for the Military

It’s a common enough Hollywood trope that we’ve all probably seen it: the general, chest bespangled with medals and ribbons, gazes at a big screen swarming with the phosphor traces of incoming ICBMs, defeatedly picks up the phone and somberly intones, “Get me the president.” We’re left on the edge …read more

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The Astronomical Grit of Ronald McNair

There is more than one way to lead a successful life. Some people have all the opportunity in the world laid out before them, and it never does them any good. Others have little more than the determination and desire they’ve dredged up within themselves, and that grit turns out …read more

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Start Me Up: What Has The Windows 95 Desktop Given Us 25 Years Later?

We’ve had something of an anniversary of late, and it’s one that will no doubt elicit a variety of reactions from our community. It’s now 25 years ago that Windows 95 was launched, the operating system that gave the majority of 1990s PC users their first taste of a desktop-based …read more

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OCR Reads Old Newspapers So We Don’t Have To

Plenty of people don’t bother to read the current newspaper, let alone editions that were published over 100 years ago. But there’s a wealth of important historical information buried in these dusty old publications, assuming you can find a way to reliably digitize and index it all. You might think …read more

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Gene study suggests penguins originated in warmer Australian waters

A rigorous new genomic study has homed in on exactly when and where modern penguins originated. The study suggests the flightless birds first appeared in Australian and New Zealand coastal waters about 22 million years ago, and it was later that they s… Continue reading Gene study suggests penguins originated in warmer Australian waters

The Mostly Forgotten Story of Atmospheric Railway

It doesn’t matter whether you know it as a railway, a railroad, a chemin de fer, or a 铁路, it’s a fair certainty that the trains near where you live are most likely to be powered either by diesel or electric locomotives. Over the years from the first horse-drawn tramways …read more

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NYC study concludes COVID-19 is as deadly as the 1918 Spanish Flu

Comparing data from two vastly different pandemics, with more than a century separating them, is perhaps an impossible task. But, a new analysis published in the journal JAMA Network Open, is suggesting a novel metric for comparing the 1918 Spanish Flu… Continue reading NYC study concludes COVID-19 is as deadly as the 1918 Spanish Flu