After you see "Hidden Figures" (or read the book) check out Tom Wolfe's story of the same events. It's interesting to see the same events from a different perspective.

After you see "Hidden Figures" (or read the book) check out Tom Wolfe's story of the same events, sans mathematicians. It's interesting to see the same events from a different perspective; what's left out can be infuriating, but that's what's instructive. And fair dues to Wolfe, his book is a great read and he doesn't contradict the other version so much as leave it out -- possibly was unaware of it? -- concentrating on the story from the perspective of the astronauts, which is what makes the combination of these two versions a compelling, rounded history of this time and place.

 

 

Black macaque selfie, still copyright-free.
Macaque selfie
I can use this picture because a macaque took it. Look forward to seeing it often.

In August 2014, a court ruled that a human photographer who owned the camera a  black macaque used to take a selfie cannot claim copyright on the picture, using the same logic that says complete strangers don't own the copyright on a the picture you took of them standing in front of the Teddy Roosevelt butter sculpture at the state fair when they handed you their phone to use.

Now a U.S. District Court judge has ruled that the monkey doesn't own the photo either. PETA had brought the lawsuit on the monkey's behalf; the judged determined that the law doesn't specify that non-humans can claim photograph ownership, using the same logic that explains why your car doesn't own the copyright on the photo of you driving through a speed trap on the toll road. Also, since there are no monkeys in PETA, he had doubts about their legal standing to represent their client. (Sidenote: Does anyone actually know where the client is these days?)

The photographer insists he will appeal and win, since he intended to take a picture.

In other words: Black macaque selfie, still copyright-free.

Research: "Not Quite 'Planet of the Apes'":The New York Times has this piece on bonobo research by writer James Gordon and filmmaker David Frank.

"Not Quite 'Planet of the Apes'": The New York Times has this piece on bonobo research by writer James Gordon and filmmaker David Frank.

Since we all know the story, let's not speak of it.

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[photo @andreaWBZ]  

By now we've all heard the story of the hitchhiking robot that made it all around the world safely and the was ripped apart by colonial ghosts in Elfreth's Alley, a 17th century neighborhood in Philadelphia. In fact, since we all know the story, let's not speak of it. Let's all agree there are terrible people who see innocent young friendly robots in a dark alley at three in the morning and something about the way the light hits them, or a tone in the speakerbox, maybe the round glowing shape of its dispenser-like head, and some drunk idiot gets the idea it's full of candy and rips it open like a piñata. Let's not talk about it. I wasn't there, I don't know what happened. My wife will testify I was home in bed between 2:58 and 3:02 am on the night in question. My understanding is that this is precisely when it happened, at least a 45-minute drive from our house. I cannot imagine who would do such a thing. It obviously was not full of candy; looking at it in the cold light of day (which is the only way I have ever seen it) there is no way this could be a Hershey bar receptacle.  There is no refrigeration in its little plastic kitty litter bucket body.

I have no idea what that stain is on my shirt. I was cleaning the attic earlier.