World’s Fair 50:
The Automatic Language Translator
Another World’s Fair crowd pleaser was the IBM Automatic Language Translator. In a live demonstration, the computer translated Russian text into English in a matter of seconds.
The most amazing part was that the translation wasn’t created from a computerized ‘dictionary search’ but from the analysis of both languages’ complex nuances and shades of meaning, syntax and grammar. To think that 50 years later, we have smart phones with translation apps for just about every language spoken. Очень здорово. Translation: Very cool.
For Holocaust Remembrance Day on April 28th, Minneapolis-based agency Olson has created an interactive experience that will allow anyone, anywhere in the world to tour the Riga Ghetto and Latvian Holocaust Museum.
"Here it is up close - the very first ET cartridge exhumed after 30 years." - @majornelson
Last month, in honor of its eighth birthday, Twitter took a walk down memory lane. The network unveiled a special page, allowing users to automatically see and share their first tweet ever.
As savvy users quickly discovered, the tool also allowed looking up awkward—and occasionally embarrassing—first tweets from anyone, including celebrities, entrepreneurs, and politicians.
It turns out that even some of today’s most prolific and successful tweeters got off to a rocky start. Here’s a peek at five famous first tweets and what they say about Twitter’s evolution:
“[Google] could just be pulling the wool over our eyes.”
March 27, 1912: The First Japanese Cherry Blossom Trees Are Planted in the U.S.
On this day in 1912, the first two Japanese cherry blossom trees were successfully planted by First Lady Helen Taft and Viscountess Chinda on the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C. Japanese Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo gave the U.S. over 3,000 trees to demonstrate the growing relationship between the U.S. and Japan.
Every spring, Washington D.C. commemorates the initial planting through the National Cherry Blossom Festival. This year, the peak bloom is forecast for April 8-12.
As you wait for this year’s blooming period, treat yourself to this delicious spring recipe, a Raspberry, Pistachio, and Vanilla Semifreddo from PBS Food.
Image: Cherry blossoms in Washington D.C. 2013
“If we didn’t have elevators … we would have a megalopolis, one continuous city, stretching from Philadelphia to Boston, because everything would be five or six stories tall.”
This Jackie Kennedy selfie with JFK from 60-years ago is perfect.
On March 12, 1989, the visual layer of the Internet was quietly revealed, fundamentally changing the way we communicate, research, consume and share media, waste time at work, and, well, do everything else really. It was called the World Wide Web. To celebrate, we’ve put together a purposefully brisk and oversimplified history (trust us, you don’t want to see the unabridged version) leading up to its now 25 years of existence.
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"In most any other city in the country at that time, if you tried to put a company together that included a couple of sport-coat-and-tie-wearing yuppies, some pocket-protector, can’t-give-you-a-good-handshake computer nerds, as well as some hippie-freak rock-and-roll poster artists, those three walks of life would not get along and respect one another. When you come to Austin, those three walks of life are intermingled throughout the city. At SXSW, my group of nerds was embraced by the rock-and-roll hippie freaks, and the business suits were welcomed into the community.” —RichardGarriott, founder, Origin Systems; creator, online game Ultima (now creative director, Portalarium; astronaut, Space Adventures)