Respecting Your Elders

Respecting Your Elders

Today we say goodbye to another old-school Internet site. AltaVista is no more. AV attracted plenty of users back in the day, before it was acquired by Yahoo in 2003. Those were the days when there were several players still vying for your search engine eyeballs. Here’s a look at what’s become of the some the biggest brands of the first boom.

+ Is there still room for a major Internet company to change the search landscape? Facebook’s Graph Search is rolling out to U.S. users.

+ Long before AltaVista and the first Internet boom, Douglas Engelbart was describing what could happen when computers talk to each other. Engelbart died last week. The Atlantic’s Alexis Madrigal takes us back to the hut where the Internet began.

+ Syndicated from Kottke: Douglas Engelbart died at his home in California [on July 2nd] at the age of 88. Engelbart invented the mouse, among other things. In 1968, Engelbart gave what was later called The Mother of All Demos, in which he demonstrated “the computer mouse, video conferencing, teleconferencing, hypertext, word processing, hypermedia, object addressing and dynamic file linking, bootstrapping, and a collaborative real-time editor”. Not bad for a single demo.


Seat 30K

“From seat 30K, Benjamin Levy knew something was wrong. Outside his window, as the plane approached the airport where Mr. Levy, a frequent traveler, knew there should have been tarmac, there was instead a terrifying sight: the waters of San Francisco Bay.” The NYT has the latest on Asiana Flight 214 that crash landed at SFO.

+ So far, two people have died, and one of them may have been killed by an emergency vehicle.

+ From Time: San Francisco’s Boeing 777 Crash: Why It Was Survivable.

+ Over the weekend, a runaway 72-car freight train carrying crude oil derailed and caused a series of explosions in Lac-Mégantic, a lakeside town in Quebec. InFocus has a collection of photos from the scene.


The Eighties

“I was the youngest of her four sons, and almost the youngest of the vast cousinhood on her side of the family. I was always the youngest boy in my class at high school. I have retained this feeling of being the youngest, even though now I am almost the oldest person I know.” Oliver Sacks on: The Joy of Old Age. (No Kidding.)



“I was privileged enough to go into the locker room straight after the match and Andy was basically in a state of shock. I just gave him a big hug when I got in there and said ‘I really don’t know how you did that’ and he said ‘nor do I’.” That was Tim Henman on Andy Murray’s big Wimbledon win. Murray ended Great Britain’s 77 year wait for a men’s singles champion.

+ England is celebrating Andy Murray. But Fred Perry, the last British man to win Wimbledon, didn’t feel the same kind of adoration.

+ Buzzfeed: Why is a four-decade-old tennis book still a self-help sensation? (Possibly because the last 39 years worth of self-help books haven’t been any good?)

+ The Daily Beast: Tennis has a doping problem.

+ Andy Murray’s did more than win a tennis tournament. He also cracked the top five list of the most Tweeted events ever.


Show Me the (Actual) Money

You’d think the ubiquity of credit cards, the rise of payment solutions like Square, and the surge of online transactions would all be swiping away the amount of cash in our increasingly cashless society. But “on June 26, the amount of U.S. currency in circulation reached an all-time high of $1.19 trillion.” While most of us pay with plastic, concerns about the global economy and the state of the banking industry has turned a lot of people into collectors of cold, hard cash.


Kid Stuff

Considering the size of its budget (and the intensity of its marketing), Johnny Depp’s The Lone Ranger got crushed at the box office. Maybe it was the bad reviews. Maybe it was the curse of the blockbuster Western. Or maybe it was something more simple. If you go up against a big summer animated movie like Despicable Me 2, you get obliterated. I took my kids to see Despicable Me 2 on Sunday evening and I was shocked at how many adults without kids were there to see the same movie. These folks should really either have kids, or at least watch mine for a few hours.


If You Spitz in the Air…

Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford is back. Anthony Weiner is back. And now, Eliot Spitzer has joined the race for New York City Comptroller. The move by Spitzer brings up two key questions that voters need to answer before the next election. One, how long does it take for the public to forgive politicians who have been caught in sex scandals? Two, what’s a comptroller?


Table For One

Consider these numbers from an animal shelter in Norfolk, VA: In 2011 and 2012, a total of 43 dogs and cats were adopted while about about 4,000 were killed. And now consider this: The shelter is run by PETA.


No Flip-Flopping on This Issue

“Extended flip-flop use seems to transport people across some sort of etiquette Rubicon where the distinction between public and private, inside and outside, shod and barefoot, breaks down entirely.” Slate’s Dana Stevens: Your Flip-Flops Are Grossing Me Out.


The Bottom of the News

When I was in high school, my friend Karen told me she liked my outfit. So I wore it every day for the next week. I thought that was pretty impressive. But it turns out my attire stamina was nowhere near Dale Irby’s. The P.E. teacher from Texas wore the same fantastically 70s shirt and sweater vest in every school picture for forty years.

+ From Wired: Grilling Over Gas Is Objectively, Scientifically Better Than Grilling Over Charcoal. And from Wired: Grilling Over Charcoal Is Objectively, Scientifically Better Than Grilling Over Gas. Anyone who has ever been stuck cleaning the grill knows that getting take-out is objectively, scientifically better than both.

+ A brief history of sliced bread.

+ How to perform a head transplant.

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