The Jenny, the little plane that could.
As popular as the plane was with the Army, the Jenny came into her own after the war. The government sold hundreds of surplus JN-4s, some of them still in their shipping containers, to anyone with $300 (about $4,130 today), says Jeffery S. Underwood, a historian at the United States Air Force Museum at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. The plane proved especially adept at barnstorming, becoming the most popular aircraft used in that daring sport. Thousands of pilots learned to fly in a Jenny, including Amelia Earhart.
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John Pound lives in Eureka, California. He’s either 62 or 63—he can’t remember at the moment—and he’s been a cartoonist his whole life. The first half of his career was traditional, insofar as any career in weirdo art and underground comics can be traditional. He sketched and inked and colored by hand. He made the annual pilgrimage to Comic-Con, back in the days when it was still concerned with comics. In 1984, he collaborated with comics legend Art Spiegelman on the first run of Garbage Pail Kids cards for Topps, painting 40 gross characters in 40 exhausting days.
But in the late 1980s, the purchase of his first computer, an Amiga, set Pound’s artistic pursuits on a slightly different course. He started checking out other people’s computer art and got to wondering what his new machine could do for a cartoonist. Eventually, he became smitten with the idea of creating a program that could automatically generate comics for him. The dream has kept him busy for the better part of three decades. Today, he’s generating striking, randomly generated compositions by the hundreds, none of which look anything like what the art we’ve come to expect from computer code.
Pro tip: John Pound is on Tumblr. Go follow him immediately.
I liked one of my cousin’s updates, which he had re-shared from Joe Kennedy, and was subsequently beseiged with Kennedys to like (plus a Clinton and a Shriver). I liked Hootsuite. I liked The New York Times, I liked Coupon Clipinista. I liked something from a friend I haven’t spoken to in 20 years—something about her kid, camp and a snake. I liked Amazon. I liked fucking Kohl’s. I liked Kohl’s for you.
My News Feed took on an entirely new character in a surprisingly short amount of time. After checking in and liking a bunch of stuff over the course of an hour, there were no human beings in my feed anymore. It became about brands and messaging, rather than humans with messages.
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Stewart doesn’t think Silicon Valley is beyond skewering, and God knows he’s class-conscious. He lists the ways that he’s privileged: first and foremost he is a man, and a white man at that, which he notes gives him a huge advantage over being born black or a woman, and what’s more, he was born to affluent parents in an English-speaking country, at just the right moment in history for what he does. Oh, and he grew up on a commune.
His phone rattles with a message. It’s Joel Johnson. He’s blinking. All of Gawker is going to begin using the paid version of Slack. “We decided to pay so we could have maximum integrations,” Joel says, like all good tech journos, via instant messenger. “And because I like paying for software that we use. The price is so fucking painful, though. It’s just not priced for large organizations.”
But nonetheless Gawker slid its dollars across the table, and now everyone at Gawker Media uses Slack. Even Valleywag.
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