At the Ref Desk (4/25/17): Someone calls but when I pick up the phone all I get is background noise -- people talking, etc. Did he or she just sit on their smartphone and dial out accidentally? Interesting jumping off point for a work of fiction... [more...]
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Anniversary/Holiday

Happy Blue Beanie Day!

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sun, 11/30/14 (7:25pm)


Happy Blue Beanie Day! As Ethan Marcotte says, "...[C]ould you imagine anything like responsive web design without web standards?". #bbd14

Moon Landing in Eagle River, Wisc. (1969)

Submitted by Leo Klein on Wed, 7/16/14 (2:01pm)

The lunar landing in 1969 -- I remember it well. We were kids hanging out at Camp McCormick in Eagle River, Wisc. There in the darkness, under a star-lit sky, sitting on a hill overlooking the pine forests and lakes and streams of northern Wisconsin's 'Land O'Lakes', we listened on our portable radio -- TV not being allowed in summer camp -- as the Apollo 11 astronauts made their landing. When it happened and Armstrong said those famous words, we jumped up and cheered.

9/11 -- All I Had to Do Was Turn Around

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sun, 9/11/11 (12:41am)

Everyone has their own story about 9/11; here's mine.

I was living on 12th St. between Avenues A & B in lower Manhattan. That day, a Tuesday, was like any normal work day. I was getting up, listening to the radio. Suddenly reports started coming in of an airplane crashing into one of the towers at the World Trade Center.

How could this have happened? I had just been there on the preceding Saturday if only to use the bathroom in the basement. The twin towers were a prominent fixture in the skyline whenever I looked south. How could something like this have happened?

Speculation on WNYC, the radio station I was listening to, ran the gamut from pilot error to intentional attack. One way or the other it was still too early to tell. Then the second plane hit and all doubt was put to rest.

I left the apartment stunned.

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MetaFilter - Happy 12th Anniversary!

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sun, 7/24/11 (9:11pm)

MetaFilter was the original community blog. It's where everyone went to discuss everything from web design to politics. Last week it celebrated its 12th Anniversary.

The site was originally put together by Matt Haughey and frequented by techies. There was a lot of discussion in the early days about web design and development. Adherents of Jacob Nielsen and web designers would trade barbs particularly over the use of Flash (hence the 'Flash Wars'). This was a dispute not settled until the arrival of more reasonable adherents of usability like Jared Spool who knew how to speak to designers and thus had a far more positive impact.

Later on as membership grew, topics of more general interest such as news and politics became more prominent. MetaFilter was where we went to discuss the fall-out from the Bush-Gore election results in 2000 as well as the aftermath following 9/11.

Anyway, the local alternative weekly where Matt Haughey lives in Portland has run an interesting article on him called, "The Blogfather". Also, MetaFilter has its own page of user-submitted reminiscenes called, "MetaFilter Memories".

Berlin, Oct. 3, 1990

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sun, 10/3/10 (1:17pm)

I remember the ceremony out in front of the Reichstag very well. The flag was raised and they played 'Deutschland, Deutschland'. It was the cumulation of events that had started a year earlier with the opening of the Berlin Wall (11/9/1989) and the upheaval all over Eastern Europe.

This date has always had personal significance for me. I had been in Europe by that time for 10 years (Paris, Rome, Berlin). The reunification of Germany represented a new beginning. I had known the old way: the two Berlins, the Wall, the crazy lovable nut-house ('Bonnie's Ranch') on one side and the police state on the other.

That was coming to an end -- and thank God it was -- but the new beginning prompted me to think about what I was doing and where I wanted to go.

I got into an airplane and flew back to the United States the next day.

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9/11

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sat, 9/11/10 (1:36pm)

9/11 is always a time of reflection and memories for me. I was living in Manhattan on 12th St. at the time. Here are some of the scenes I video-taped in the days following the attack.

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Happy 13th Birthday, WebDesign-L

Submitted by Leo Klein on Fri, 4/2/10 (11:20am)

"Happy 13th Birthday, WebDesign-L" -- that's how "List Mom" Steven Champeon titled his post reminding us that the hallowed Listserv for web designers and web developers that originally started way back in 1997 is now celebrating its 13th Birthday.

My 9/11 Home Video: Lower Manhattan Two Weeks After the Attack

Submitted by Leo Klein on Fri, 9/11/09 (9:40am)

I've posted this before but every year at this time I'm reminded of the incredible tragedy that happened while I was living in New York and its aftermath.

It's strange but maybe understandable: my initial reaction immediately following the attack that morning -- after the shock and confusion -- was simply to go to work, show my face and help in any way needed.

In November, we'll be celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. I was there and it easily has to be the most significant public event I ever personally witnessed in a good way. By the same token, 9/11 had to be the worst.

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Happy SysAdmin Day!

Submitted by Leo Klein on Fri, 7/31/09 (3:58pm)

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System Administrators of the World unite!

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