How to Figure out That Whole Immortality Thing

May 31, 2017

Dear Geneticists,

Here is how I think you should go about figuring out the secret to immortality:

Read the rest of this entry »


Here are some thoughts

January 3, 2010

The other day my son asked me why the keys on a keyboard are in a random order. I happened to know the answer to that question, furthering the illusion that adults know more things than children. My uncle, who spent many years in the old typesetting business, told me the story. He explained that keyboards used to be laid out in a logical, alphabetical order. Typists became so fast, though, that the mechanical keys of typewriters would get jammed up. I am actually old enough to have used a typewriter in middle school, and this was a frequent occurrence even with my inept typing skills. And so, the story goes, IBM invented the QWERTY layout of keys to slow down typists. So, we have a legacy system designed to make it hard to type. Now, I haven’t checked to see if the QWERTY story is an urban myth, since that would mean the possibility that adults don’t always know what they are talking about, but somebody has to have the courage to change this. I’m talking to you, Apple Computers! You are the big innovators; you are the ones 9 1/2 years ahead of other manufacturers. You should be the one brave enough to change the keyboard. You got rid of floppy disk drives before anyone was ready and we all adapted. You could transition the population with a switchable QWERTY/Alphabetical board.

While you are making that change, Apple, add this long neglected feature: A cents sign. It’s a bit absurd that there’s a dollar sign above the 4, but no cents sign. Read the rest of this entry »


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