Science Friday

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True story: The first letters typed on the Internet were L-O-L

Ira Flatow, host of "Science Friday"Did you know that the first three characters ever typed on the Internet were L-O-L?

No, this is not a joke. It’s a tiny bit of knowledge identified as interesting by someone who does that all the time: Ira Flatow (right), founder and principle voice of the public radio show Science Friday.

On Oct. 24, he was interviewing Charlie Kline, who entered those (and other) letters on Oct. 29, 1969, but had never himself realized that that was kinda funny. Kline was telling the story of the first test of ARPANET, which became the Internet: He was at UCLA, and as a test run, tried to log into a computer at Stanford Research Center in Palo Alto. There were no names and passwords; to log into this computer, one typed, L-O-G-I-N. Kline said that when he typed L, it appeared on the screen in Palo Alto. Same when he typed O. But then the SRI computer crashed.

Big Food's false choice

I was listening to Ira Flatow interview Rob Lustig on a Science Friday podcast when I heard Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist at UC Berkeley, make a really good point.

Big Food spinmeisters subvert the libertarian viewpoint to “keep Big Brother from telling me what to eat” as a way to avoid any fetter on its ability to sell its products, when Big Food is already telling us what to eat!

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