Archive for June, 2012

The Secret History of the Dixie Cup

What was it like before we had single serving receptacles at our disposal as simple as the common paper cup? Such objects are taken for granted to the point where they seem invisible, and yet the significance of such objects is legion…


The Unnatural History of the Dixie Cup




The Dixie Cup, the Kleenex of paper cups, the ubiquitous, single-serving, individual drinking vessel, was never meant to be shared. The paper cups were not built to last. Drink. Toss. Repeat.


Their story starts with a Boston inventor named Lawrence Luellen, who crafted a two-piece cup made out of a blank of paper. He joined the American Water Supply Company, the brainchild of a Kansas-born Harvard dropout named Hugh Moore. The two began dispensing individual servings of water for a penny—one cent for a five-ounce cup from a tall, clumsy porcelain water cooler.


Soon they were the Individual Drinking Cup Company of New York and had renamed their sole product the Health Kup, a life-saving drinking technology that could help prevent the transmission of communicable disease and aid the campaign to do away with free water offered at communal cups, “tin dippers,” found in public buildings and railway stations. Make no mistake, because of this scourge, one biologist reported in a 1908 article, there was “Death in School Drinking Cups.”…


For the complete article click here to go to


The theatre predating Shakespeare’s Globe is discovered…

If only it were possible to step into a time machine and land ourselves in the the Curtain theatre (or the Globe itself!) with a mug of ale and a raucous tale for the evening…



Museum unearths pre-Globe Shakespeare theatre in London 



Archeologists in London have discovered the remains of an early playhouse used by William Shakespeare’s company where Romeo and Juliet and Henry V were first performed.


Predating the riverside Globe, the Curtain theatre, north of the river Thames in Shoreditch, was home to Shakespeare’s company – the Lord Chamberlain’s Men.


Remains of walls forming the gallery and the yard within the venue have been discovered by archaeologists from Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA).


“This is a fantastic site which gives us unique insight into early Shakespearean theatres,”…


Read more here.


Turing’s Sentient Mind

The man called Alan Turing was certainly a genius: He foresaw the power and influence of computers – as well as how they would work. He also lived a life of persecution for being a homosexual, he was eventually arrested and forced into chemical “castration”. They say he committed suicide by lacing an apple with cyanide (his favorite story was Snow White and The Seven Dwarves.)


But the most interesting thing about Turing is that he was the first person to ask the question: Will machines someday be able to think like humans? And if so, will they be victims of prejudice too?



The Turing Problem

from RadioLab


“100 years ago this year, the man who first conceived of the computer age was born. His name was Alan Turing. He was also a math genius, a hero of World War II and he is widely considered to be the father of artificial intelligence. But the world wasn’t kind to Alan Turing. In 1952, he was arrested and convicted under a British law that prohibited “acts of gross indecency between men, in public or private.”


In 1936, a young Alan Turing devised a machine that would ultimately change the world. You’re staring at it right now–except Turing’s “universal machine” was much, much simpler and totally imaginary. Nonetheless, he proved that with just a few simple ingredients, the machine could compute any mathematical problem that a human could compute….”


Listen to the complete story below –




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