Online viewer for Windows 98's icon set

win98icons.alexmeub.com presents Windows 98's meticulously utilitarian and currently fashionable icons in an easy, no-nonsense way.

Why are they so good?

Rather than some designer’s flashy vision of the future, Windows 98 icons made the operating system feel like a place to get real work done. They had hard edges, soft colors and easy-to-recognize symbols. ... Maybe its nostalgia, but I still prefer the classic icons of Windows 98 over the shiny, drop-shadowed icons of later years.

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Hugh Hefner 1926-2017

Hugh Hefner, creator of Playboy and a cultural icon who changed the world thought about sex in the 1960s, is dead at the age of 91.

From The Hollywood Reporter:

Hefner became the unofficial spokesman for the sexual revolution that permeated the 1960s and '70s and he was both lauded and criticized by feminists of the era, with some accusing him of objectifying women while others said he liberated and empowered them. During a conversation with Gloria Steinem in 1970, Hefner dismissed feminism as “foolishness,” and Steinem told him: “What Playboy doesn’t know about women could fill a book … There are times when a woman reading a Playboy feels a little like a Jew reading a Nazi manual.”

Hefner was a staunch supporter of abortion – including helping to finance the landmark Rowe v. Wade decision in 1973 — and more recently was an outspoken advocate of same-sex marriage, and his dedication to such issues (along with his distribution of pornography) made him a pariah in some religious circles. “By associating sex with sin, we have produced a society so guilt-ridden that it is almost impossible to view the subject objectively,” he wrote in 1963 in one of his many broadsides aimed at Christian leaders.

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Historic accord reached in bum-washing bidet toilet UI conventions

Japan's leading bidet toilet manufacturers (including Toto, Panasonic, and Toshiba) have come together through their industry association, the Japan Sanitary Equipment Industry Association, to agree upon a common set of UI conventions for the meanings of the icons on the buttons on the bidets' control panels, thus ending an era in which you might think you were getting "wash and dry" but actually ended up with "layer-cut and dye-job." Read the rest

What's the most iconic scientific image?

I love the thread at Quora asking users to post their favorite iconic and/or beautiful scientific images. Why? Because, while the usual suspects are certainly present and accounted for (O hai, NASA archives! I can haz Mandlebrot sets?) there's also plenty of images that are at once striking, beautiful, and not at all what you would have expected people to post.

Take, for instance, this image. Posted by Alicia Zha, it was first published by neuroscientist Wilder Penfield in 1950, as a way of illustrating connections between parts of the brain and the physical movements they seemed to control, like a pictorial atlas of the cerebral cortex. It's called the motor homunculus. And it's definitely iconic, even if it's not the kind of iconic that's liable to turn up on the evening news.

Other high points of the thread: Robert Hooke's illustrations of the cell structure of cork; the chemical structure of benzene; group photos from the first world physics conference; and early visualizations of model storm systems.

What would you add?

Via W Younes

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