October 25, 2000
THRILLS OF THE FUNHOUSE You're sitting in a small rickety car. All of a sudden, the car lurches, the lights go out and a skeleton hand touches you. With your heart in your throat, you emerge safely into the sunlight, with a laugh. Welcome to Laff in the Dark at www.laffinthedark.com This Web site features a series of articles, fond memories by their authors, about the glory days of funhouses and "dark rides," which were meant to startle and scare the wits out of you. Where in North America is the only remaining Noah's Ark ride located?
March 29, 1999
Only a horror writer like Edgar Allan Poe or Stephen King could describe the anguish of a person suffering total paralysis -- aware, thinking, feeling, but unable to speak, move a muscle or even blink an eye.Now, however, researchers are developing systems that let helpless victims of accident or disease break out of their isolation and communicate by thought alone.They are harnessing the brain's faint electrical signals to move a cursor -- a bright spot or an arrow -- on a computer screen.
December 14, 1996
So, you're sitting at the computer e-mailing your favorite squeeze when one of life's most powerful urges hits like you like a virus: Chocolate! No problem. You simply reach over and grab your mouse and take a big chomp out of it. Not, of course, the HTC one connected to your keyboard. The low-tech, high-calorie chocolate computer mouse from ComputerGear Inc. The mouse comes wrapped in gold foil (complete with tail) and contains 3.5 ounces of solid milk chocolate. Mmmmmm. Mmmmmmm. Who were you e-mailing, anyway?
July 31, 1995
As a drawing or painting tool, the computer mouse is only slightly less effective than a potato. This is particularly a problem for artists who want to use the power of the personal computer to create new forms of electronic art, but it also makes life difficult for people who want to draw maps, make sketches or simply doodle with a computer painting program.The Wacom Technology Corp. recently introduced a new graphics tablet for Apple Macintosh computers that uses a cordless "ultra" pen, instead of a mouse, to enable artists to draw, paint and trace images more naturally.
November 25, 1994
Two new companies are turning to a combination of computer-based on-line information services and interactive CD-ROM disks that can store dozens of product catalogs.If all goes as planned -- and the history of home shopping technology suggests that it will not -- shoppers may become cyber-Santas, soaring through virtual malls where the only creature stirring is the computer mouse. But most experts predict the new services' impact will not be felt until holiday season 1995, rather than this year.
May 29, 1994
As crowds flock to "The Flintstones," one of the blockbuster summer movies that opens this weekend, they will guffaw at the garage-door opening lizard, the pigasaurus garbage disposal, the lobster lawn mower and other conveniences of life in fictional Bedrock.But don't laugh: It is we who are the modern, Stone Age family. We're still teetering on the precipice of the next technological revolution. Most of the experts agree they don't know where CD-Roms and interactive cable and virtual reality and "cyberchat" are going to lead us, or more accurately, where we are going to lead all of it. But they agree that life at the beginning of the 21st century will be much different from life at the end of the 20th.