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Posts Tagged ‘1904 World’s Fair

Caveat faber…

An e-waste processing center in Bangalore, India. Source: Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition

From PC World, a list of “The Most Dangerous Jobs in Technology“…  It won’t surprise readers to see “fixing undersea internet cables” or “communications-tower climbing” on the list.  But items like “mining ‘conflict minerals'” and “unregulated e-waste recycling” are reminders of facets of the technology industry of which we too rarely think.  Consider, for example, “internet content moderation”:

Think of the most disgusting things you’ve stumbled across online. Now imagine viewing the stuff that nightmares are made of–hate crimes, torture, child abuse–in living color, from 9 to 5 every day. That’s the work of Internet content moderators, who get paid to filter out that kind of material so you don’t have to see it pop up on a social network or photo-sharing site. Demand for the work is growing, especially as more Web-based services enable users to post pictures instantly from their mobile devices.

“Obviously it’s not the job for everyone,” says Stacey Springer, vice president of operations at Caleris. The West Des Moines, Iowa, company’s 55 content moderation employees scan up to 7 million images every day for some 80 different clients. “Some people might take it personally if they have a child and see images of children that might be sensitive to them, or if they see animal cruelty.”

Caleris content reviewers receive free counseling as well as benefits including health insurance, but for some the psychological scars don’t heal easily.

Contemplate the full list here.

As we think twice about replacing that iPhone, we might recall that it was on this date in 1888 that the first baby– Edith Eleanor McLean, who weighed 2 lb 7 oz at her pre-mature birth– was placed in a “hatching cradle””– or as now we call them, “incubator.”  Designed by Drs. Allan M. Thomas and William C. Deming, it became a public curiosity before it settled in regular use in neonatal care.  One of the most popular attractions at the 1904 World’s Fair, for example, was an “exhibit” of 14 metal-framed glass incubators, attended by nurses caring for real endangered infants from orphanages and poor families (whose care was funded by exhibit admission fees).

The World’s Fair in 1904 included “incubator babies” as one of the main attractions on the Pike. Source: neonatology.com

Would you like a vodka with that?…

Readers can accompany English Russia on a behind-the-scenes tour of the Baumanskaya station McDonald’s in Moscow…  Manager Aleksander Ostroukhov explains the the operation and provides a step-by-step demonstration of the preparation of that signature delight, “The Royal Deluxe.”

McDonald’s- How it Works

As we muse that this is what became of the Cold War, we might recall that it was on this date in 1904 (as the Library of Congress notes) that the first ice cream cone was served.

On July 23, 1904, according to some accounts, Charles E. Menches conceived the idea of filling a pastry cone with two scoops of ice-cream and thereby invented the ice-cream cone. He is one of several claimants to that honor: Ernest Hamwi, Abe Doumar, Albert and Nick Kabbaz, Arnold Fornachou, and David Avayou all have been touted as the inventor(s) of the first edible cone. Interestingly, these individuals have in common the fact that they all made or sold confections at the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition, known as the St. Louis World’s Fair. It is from the time of the Fair that the edible “cornucopia,” a cone made from a rolled waffle, vaulted into popularity in the United States.

Another claimant, Italo Marchiony, actually received a patent in 1903 for a device to make edible cups with handles. However the patent drawings show the device as a molded container rather than the rolled waffle seen at the Fair. Although paper and metal cones were used by Europeans to hold ice cream and pita bread was used by Middle Easterners to hold sweets, the ice-cream cone seems to have come to America by way of “the Pike” (as the entertainment midway of the St. Louis World’s Fair was called).

Randolph Smith Lyon, Mildred Frances Lyon, Mrs. Montague Lyon (Frances Robnett Smith Lyon), Montague Lyon, Jr., eating ice cream cones at the 1904 World’s Fair. Snapshot photograph, 1904.  (Missouri History Museum)

The 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis: site of the national debuts of peanut butter, the hot dog, Dr Pepper, iced tea, cotton candy– and of course, ice cream cones. (source)

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