Professor Dame Wendy Hall, one of the pioneers of the world wide web and "hypermedia", talks to Jim Al Khalili about a life spent at the forefront of Web Science.
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The coming war on general purpose computing - Future Tense - ABC Radio National (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
Sci-fi author and digital rights activist Cory Doctorow talks about a coming ‘war on general purpose computing’, which could have far reaching consequences for our society.
Brad Frost joins us on the podcast and share his stories about public speaking and thoughts on women in tech.
Beyond Ink is a monthly design podcast, that aims to encourage those in the creative or web industry to talk more and help us understand our craft more than ever before.
Leaving technical topics behind, and talking to new and industry-leading figures about everything from real-life projects to personal workflows, Beyond Ink aims to challenge us to think deeper into the decisions we make and how we work.
Beauty and Brains.
Dramatizing the Internet.
The East Wing is a podcast brought to you by Tim Smith, that talks with industry experts about design, solving problems and the keys to creating products with value.
Tim talks with Anna Debenham about how she got started and some real talk about freelancing.
A few hours north of San Francisco is the town of Boonville, nestled in the quaint Anderson Valley of Mendocino County. Like Silicon Valley, this place is known for its innovations in communication – but in a completely different way.
Boonville has its own homegrown language called Boontling and only a handful of people still speak it. Among them is Wes Smoot, 81, the unofficial king of Boonville.
Smoot and his cohorts meet at the Redwood Drive-In on the central drag practically every day at 4 p.m. Smoot says it’s one of the last places that feels like the town he grew up in. Outside, Smoot says, wine and tourism have turned the friendly, close-knit community into a place full of strangers.
For Smoot, Boontling is a connection to the past. It’s said to have emerged in the late 1800s and every word has a meaning related to a person or event in Boonville. For example, to work hard is ottin’, after a man named Otto who was the hardest worker in town.
But more often than not, Boontling is used to describe salacious words unfit for print. Former Chico State University professor Charles C. Adams published a dictionary of them in his book “Boontling: An American Lingo.”Today, Boonville residents refer to Adams’ publication as “the big book.”
The little book is a pamphlet Smoot prints and distributes around town with a more child-friendly glossary. It has the definitions and origins of words like zeese (coffee) and blue-tail (rattlesnake).
“In order to speak the language and understand the people you gotta know something about the history of the valley,” Smoot says.
That history has cycled from an isolated farming town, to a logging boomtown, to a winemaker’s paradise. But when Smoot returned after several years away from Boonville as a young man serving in the Korean War, and then traveling around the state for Caltrans, he already felt like his childhood home had changed.
Boontling has been documenting those changes word-by-word. Though there’s no recorded history of where the language itself came from.
Smoot’s favorite version of Boontling’s origin is about a young San Francisco woman who became pregnant out of wedlock and was sent up north by her high society parents to have the baby.
“There’s a number of stories, it’s very interesting,” says Robert Nimmons, a volunteer for the Anderson Valley Historical Society. “We’ve heard several stories that the adults developed it so they could talk but the kids didn’t know what they were saying.”
Regardless, there are just a few fluent Boontling speakers left. And even though Smoot and his pals are sure Boonville’s homegrown language will eventually die off, they’re still contributing to the lexicon.
“Another fella and I came up with a new word now, when the salmon go up the stream and spawn,” Smoot says. “Well when you get our age we’re downstreamers, we’re getting to go back down stream. We’re downstreamers now.”
Science, pop culture & comedy collide on StarTalk w/ astrophysicist & Hayden Planetarium director Neil deGrasse Tyson, comic co-hosts, celebrities & scientists.
Pneumatic (adj.): of, or pertaining to, air, gases, or wind.
In the world before telephone, radio, and email, the tasks of transmitting information and moving material objects were essentially the same challenge. The way you sent someone a message was pretty much the same process as sending someone a package—you had to send a piece of physical media through the post, or on a ship.
It was really the telegraph that divided telling someone something from far away and giving someone something from far away. But every day people didn’t speak morse code (or have telegraph equipment). The message had to be deciphered, written on a slip of paper, and then that was delivered to the recipient. For many cities, the pneumatic tube was essential in getting these slips of paper to the intended recipient quickly.
It’s no surprise that electronic communication eventually killed most of the need for pneumatic tubes. But you may not know that it was the telegraph itself that also put pneumatic tubes into widespread use.
Architectural historian and pneumatic tube aficionada Molly Wright Steenson leads us through the rise and fall (but not disappearance of) pneumatic tubes in Paris, and beyond.
Here’s a pneumatic adventure through Paris’ sewers in François Truffaut’s 1968 film Baisers volés (Stolen Kisses):
…and, here’s a similar trek through a modern-day pneumatic tube system (complete with sound FX!).
But the scale of the pneumatic tube systems in hospitals (or banks or big-box stores) pales in comparison to the one on Roosevelt Island in New York City. They use underground tubes—and not trucks—to dispatch with their garbage. Here’s a video detailing the wonders of their system, produced for the museum exhibit Fast Trash.
AVAC System :: Roosevelt Island, NYC from gregory whitmore on Vimeo.
The exhibit’s website even includes a 10-minute musical theatre piece about island’s garbage system, called AVAC Memories.
And if you really can’t get enough of pneumatic tubes or Molly Wright Steenson (we sure can’t), here she is giving a rapid-fire talk at Ignite/LA.
NOTE: In the audio version of this story, we stated that the Poste Pneumatique in Paris operated until 1964; it actually operated until 1984. Molly writes, “Duran Duran was a household name before pneumatic tubes stopped shuttling messages in Paris.” We regret the error!