Let’s get nerdy
Hit and Miss #205
How are you? I hope this finds you as well as can be.
Links for you this week:
- I’m still scratching my head over this bizarre story. Men in camo outfits were chased out of a wetland, leaving behind pumps and pipes apparently meant to drain it. Wha…!?
- Learned this week about the Examination Unit, a cryptographic bureau during the Second World War. Based in a big Victorian house in Sandy Hill (next door to Laurier House, home at the time of Prime Minister Mackenzie King), it was recently commemorated as a national historic event. I find its physical location intriguing: these codebreakers—with women making up a large portion of the unit’s staff—worked right next door to one of the major centres of power of the day; a nod to the future importance of cryptography in government operations (and everyday life, whether we realize it or not).
- Philippe Lagassé, contributing to ongoing discourse about a seemingly imminent request to dissolve the current Parliament, provides one of the best summaries of responsible government and ministerial responsibility that I‘ve ever read. (This is excessively nerdy—and excellent.)
- For some fun, explore this in-browser recreation of the original Kid Pix. While the sounds are great fun, I also find the iconography intriguing, particularly the “cut / paste” (moving truck) and “undo” (man with a worried expression) buttons. They remind me of the ICON computer system, built specifically for Ontario classrooms in the 1980s. Because it was designed for children, the creators didn’t think normal software metaphors were appropriate—they didn’t think kids would understand file folders, paper clips, or other iconography drawn from business. Instead, their operating system used household metaphors, with programs grouped by different rooms of a house and so on. Interesting opportunities for reflection on knowing who uses your software, and of what might have been in computing.
All the best for the week ahead!