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Posts Tagged ‘punch

“We expect more from technology and less from each other”*…

 

Replace these “wireless telegraphs” with smartphones, update the dress a little, and this vision from a 1906 issue of Punch magazine could easily be for 110 years in the future. Part of a series of “forecasts” for the year to come, the caption reads: “These two figures are not communicating with one another. The lady receives an amatory message, and the gentleman some racing results.” It’s a reminder that the idea of technology leading to a breakdown in “authentic” human interaction is a worry not solely limited to our age.

Punch seemed to have a knack for uncanny predictions of distant technologies to come. See for example this vision of the Skype-like “Telephonoscope” from 1879…

A Vision of Isolating Technology from 1906,” from Public Domain Review.  (The original is housed at the Internet Archive, from the University of Toronto Libraries.)

* Sherry Turkle, Alone Together

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As we pull on the thread, we might recall that it was on this date in 1858 that Queen Victoria sent the first official telegraph message across the Atlantic Ocean from London to the U.S. (Test messages had been exchanged for the prior 10 days).  Her message to President Buchanan, in Washington D.C., began transmission at 10:50am and was completed at 4:30am the next day, taking nearly 18-hrs to reach Newfoundland. With 99 words, consisting of 509 letters, it averaged about 2-min per letter.  The message was forwarded across Newfoundland by an overhead wire supported on poles; across Cabot Strait by submarine cable to Aspy Bay (Dingwall), Cape Breton; then by an overhead wire across eastern Canada and Maine, via Boston to New York.

This earliest Transatlantic Cable went dead within a month.

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Written by LW

August 16, 2016 at 1:01 am

“To thine own self be true”*…

 

Readers may recall an earlier entry on what was thought to be the very first selfie… and indeed, it may be (at least insofar as that particular form of self-snap is concerned).  But as Susan Zalkind reports, self-portraits date back further…

My great-great-great-grandfather, Edward Linley Sambourne (1844–1910), known as “Sammy,” was the principal cartoonist for Punch. Sammy set up a studio at his home in Kensington, London, and photographed not only his servants and children, but also himself—thousands of times! “The Rhodes Colossus,” depicting British colonialist Cecil Rhodes with one foot in Cairo and the other in Cape Town, is his most iconic drawing.

More at “Grandfather of the Selfie.”

* William Shakespeare

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As we watch the birdie, we might recall that it was on this date in 1888 that the National Geographic Society was incorporated.  Two weeks earlier, the 33 founders of the Society had first met at the Cosmos Club in Washington, D.C. to agree to plans; nine months later, the first issue of National Geographic Magazine was published.

This 1963 painting depicts the founders signing their names to the new organizations’s charter. The table in the painting is in use today in the Society’s Hubbard Hall.

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Written by LW

January 27, 2016 at 1:01 am

“Enjoy every sandwich”*…

 

In late August, the U.S. District Court for The District of Puerto Rico dismissed an appeal on a civil suit filed there. The dispute, between Norberto Colón Lorenzana and South American Restaurant Corp., stemmed from a fried-chicken sandwich…

Both amusing and illuminating– the tale in its tasty entirety at “Can You Copyright a Sandwich?

[Special intellectual property bonus: “The International Fight Over Marcel Duchamp’s Chess Set,” featuring Scott Kildall, whose “Playing Duchamp” was featured here earlier.]

* Warren Zevon

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As we ask for extra mayonnaise, we might note that this, the 20th day of National Chicken Month, is National Punch Day.

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Written by LW

September 20, 2015 at 1:01 am

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