As (R)D readers know, Randall Munroe’s xkcd webcomic has done some weird and wonderful things before (e.g., here and here), but #1190, ‘Time,” is something special. A time-lapse movie of two people building a sandcastle, it’s been updating just once an hour (twice an hour in the beginning) for well over a month (since March 25th)– and after over a thousand frames shows no sign of ending. Any day now, the number of frames will surpass the total number of xkcd comics. Some of its readers have called it the One True Comic; others, a MMONS (Massively Multiplayer Online Nerd Sniping). It’s sparked its own wiki, its own jargon (Timewaiters, newpix, Blitzgirling), and a thread on the xkcd user forum that runs to over 20,000 posts from 1100 distinct posters. So, is ‘Time” a mesmerizing work of art, a penetrating sociological experiment — or the longest-running shaggy-dog joke in history? Randall Munroe’s not saying.
See it here— and leave it open in your browser… for a long time…
[TotH to Slashdot]
As we remember that at least some things come to those who wait, we might also recall that it was on this date in 1914 that President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Mother’s Day– the second Sunday in May– as a day for Americans to show the flag in honor of those mothers whose sons had died in war.
The drive to found the holiday came from Anna Jarvis (in honor of her mother, Ann, who had tried to start a “Mother’s Remembrance Day” in the mid-19th century). In 1905, Jarvis enlisted the support of merchant extraordinaire John Wanamaker, who knew a merchandising opportunity when he saw one, and who hosted the first Mother’s Day ceremonies in his Philadelphia emporium’s auditorium. In 1912, Jarvis trademarked the phrases “second Sunday in May” and “Mother’s Day”*, and created the Mother’s Day International Association. By 1914, Jarvis and Wanamaker had built sufficient support in Congress to a get Congressional Resolution requesting the President’s action. Wilson, who was by current accounts uninterested in the move (distracted as he was by the beginnings of his ultimately unsuccessful effort to keep the U.S. out of the troubles in Europe that became World War I), nonetheless knew better than to take a stand against moms.
So readers should remember that there are only three shopping days (counting today) before this year’s Mother’s Day.
* Though the ad above handles it differently, Jarvis specified that that “Mother’s” should “be a singular possessive, for each family to honor their mother, not a plural possessive commemorating all mothers in the world.”