RIP, Jef Raskin

Sad: Jef Raskin, the philosophical father of the Macintosh, died of pancreatic cancer on Saturday.

As credit wars spread in the blogosphere over ideas like RSS and podcasting, I’d like to note that both Raskin and Steve Jobs can fairly claim credit for creating the Macintosh without taking away from either’s contribution. Jef had many of the ideas, and Steve drove the refinements and shipped the damn thing. But without either, I’d be writing this on a 30-pound Kaypro rather than my PowerBook, and for that, I thank them.

More: Metafilter, Joy of Tech, TidBITS.

No UFIA in Boston

Universal Hub: FleetCenter renamed to Boston Garden!. For a day. Drew Curtis’s, which bought naming rights for the center for a day during a charity auction, ended up renaming the center “Boston Garden” after several less funny but more sophomoric in-joke names (the “ Duke Sucks Center,” “the UFIA Center,” “the Abe Vigoda Memorial Center”) were rejected.

This is much classier and cooler. Thanks, Drew!

(Incidentally, don’t look up UFIA unless you have a strong stomach.)

LifeHacker: blogs imitate Python

With articles like How to photograph snow, How to make a life poster, and How to read effectively, new Gawker-authored, Sony-sponsored blog LifeHacker reminds me of nothing so much as a certain Monty Python sketch, “How to do it”:

(Cut to a sign saying ‘How to do it’. Music. Pull out to reveal a ‘Blue Peter’ type set. Sitting casually on the edge of a dais an three presenters in sweaters – Noel, Jackie and Alan – plus a large bloodhound.)

Alan: Hello.

Noel: Hello.

Alan: Well, last week we showed you how to become a gynaecologist. And this week on ‘How to do it’ we’re going to show you how to play the flute, how to split an atom, how to construct a box girder bridge, how to irrigate the Sahara Desert and make vast new areas of land cultivatable, but first, here’s Jackie to tell you all how to rid the world of all known diseases.

Jackie: Hello, Alan.

Alan: Hello, Jackie.

Jackie: Well, first of all become a doctor and discover a marvellous cure for something, and then, when the medical profession really starts to take notice of you, you can jolly well tell them what to do and make sure they get everything right so there’ll never be any diseases ever again.

Alan: Thanks, Jackie. Great idea. How to play the flute. (picking up a flute) Well here we are. You blow there and you move your fingers up and down here.

Noel: Great, great, Alan. Well, next week we’ll be showing you how black and white people can live together in peace and harmony, and Alan will be over in Moscow showing us how to reconcile the Russians and the Chinese. So, until next week, cheerio.

Alan: Bye.

Jackie: Bye.

(Children’s music.)

Pork chop sandwiches!! And knowing is half the battle

And speaking of horrific Internet mindworms, these inspired remixes of animated GI Joe public service announcement spots should earn a fond spot in the heart of anyone who watched a lot of syndicated cartoons on weekday afternoons in the ’80s. Personal faves: “Jamaican Nyquil” and “Fire” (not to be confused with “On Fire,” which is also pretty funny). Warning: contains copious amounts of profanity, so watch with headphones on.