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Your New Source for Women in Tubes

May 30, 2014

As a grad student, it’s inevitable I’ll fall behind on the latest news. But I don’t know how I missed this one…

Fellow Macbot and talented illustrator Mike Clelland has started a blog inspired by Mac that is a spectacular image collection of women in tubes. I just found it through this post from io9 which is already over a year old, so I’m painfully behind in mentioning it. Le sigh. But if you need a women-in-tubes fix, head on over to Tubular Women!

Thanks for keeping the tradition alive, Mike!


Mac and Philosophy: From high school classrooms to SXSW

March 9, 2012

Mac's artwork captured in a screenshot of Twittamentary, which will be shown this week at SXSW (pic thanks to @transnormalcy!) (Correction: this particular image is the work of David B. Metcalfe as posted on Macbots)

Something interesting has happened over the course of the last few weeks that I thought you Macbots might want to know about.  Some of you may know that I do some teaching in the undergraduate Education program at the university I attend.  Specifically, I assist training new teachers to teach high school Philosophy.  From time to time, we have guest speakers visit our class and talk about various aspects of high school philosophy, from classroom management to marking schemes to favourite lesson activities.

A couple weeks ago, our guest speaker was a current high school Philosophy teacher who came with handouts for our class of articles he’d used with great success in his own classroom that he claimed sparked a lot of discussion and that his students particularly loved.

Imagine my surprise when one of those handouts was the NYT article on Mac Tonnies!  Our guest speaker had no idea Mac was a friend of mine, or that I had been interviewed for that very article.  We talked about it a bit after class, and I learned that Mac’s story has spread quite a bit further than I ever imagined!

The guest teacher explained to me that Mac’s story raised a number of issues that students loved discussing.  In particular, it could be used to discuss all sorts of metaphysical issues such as the nature of life and the nature of reality, as well as more concrete topics such as the nature of friendship and legal/privacy issues.  Initially, it was hard talking about Mac in such an objective way, but the more I spoke with this teacher, the more amazed I was that the tragedy of losing him, which had been so painful, was actually being turned into a learning experience for others, and a force for good!  In this way, I feel that all of us Macbots who share in this story are actually pretty lucky.

But there’s more!  In a follow-up email, I learned that a link to Mac’s NYT article is going to be included in the Metaphysics chapter of the upcoming high school Philosophy textbook.  This means that high school students across Ontario (where I live, fyi) will have a chance to read and reflect on Mac!  I’m so thrilled!

This experience of the last two weeks was overwhelming, and really made me think about how Mac’s (and all of ours’) story has actually had quite a philosophical impact on many people.  High school philosophy classes aren’t the only ones discussing the philosophical impact of Mac’s story.  As you may remember, Siok Siok Tan featured this story in her film, Twittamentary.  This film documents the impact Twitter has had on people and has been shared around the world, and even this week has multiple viewings at SXSW (one sold out show underway as I type, and another upcoming viewing on the 13th, get your ticket!!).  The film asks, how has Twitter changed your life?  It takes only a small extra step to turn this into a philosophical reflection by asking, what does Twitter make you see differently?  I know for myself, it has made me see friendship differently, not only through my friendship with Mac, but also from all of you with whom I have emailed, texted, and tweeted with over the years.  Maybe in the future, I will post a longer reflection on Mac’s impact on my own philosophy, but for now, I just wanted to share this very amazing, very exciting news!

Happy holidays, Macbots!

December 18, 2011

Hoping all you lovely Macbots enjoy a safe and happy holiday, wherever you are!

Thanks to Dave Asprey for pointing me to the Cthulhu Christmas, which you can see more of here!

Cuddly and Adorable Knitted Alien Autopsy

November 9, 2011

Thought at least one person here might get a kick out of this 🙂

By Emily Stoneking, available on Etsy here.

(h/t @CaseyContrarian)

Not Forgotten: Mac Tonnies

October 22, 2011


Funniest PHB Post?

July 28, 2011

Hi again, Macbots…

Been thinking about Mac a lot this week. I wonder if it has something to do with summer being halfway through, and his birthday coming up again….

Specifically, I have been remembering how easily Mac made me laugh. This was spurred by @katesherrod referring to his post “Gloriously Stark Moscow Apartment” in a tweet last week. I can’t imagine I’m alone in thinking Mac was one of the funniest people I’d ever met. So, it would be really great to hear from some of his friends and readers who keep returning to this site. What things did Mac say, do, or post that was hilarious to you?

So if you have time, leave a comment with a link to any of your favourite Post-Human Blues posts. I think this is an awesome way to remember Mac!

25 Yugoslavian Monuments Look Like They’re From the Future

May 27, 2011

I found this post on Twitter a couple of weeks ago, and thought of Mac instantly!  I could hardly believe he hadn’t posted something about these monuments on PHB already!

Back in the 60’s and 70’s, massive structures were built to commemorate the sites of WWII battles and where concentration camps once stood in former Yugoslavia.  Originally representing the strength of the Social Republic, these monuments were all but abandoned in the 1990’s.  Between 2006 and 2009, a photographer named Kempanaers made a tour of these sites, guided by a 1975 map of the memorials.  The staggering scope and beauty of these monuments are seriously other-worldly.

Read the article and view all 25 breath-taking images here.

Planning a Mac tribute concert

March 21, 2011

Greeting earthlings and fellow Macbots,


Being a booker/promoter/musician here in my home state of Indiana, I set up about 2 or 3 events a month featuring a lot of cool, original bands from the area. I’ve been considering it for awhile now, but think I might just hold a MAC TONNIES TRIBUTE type of event sometime in May, and dedicate the show to concepts of futurism/ufology/conspiracy and the like.


I just wanted to get some feedback on this event should it occur, and some of your thoughts on things I could do to make this show really cool and best highlight the life and research of Mac Tonnies. Likewise, what charity do you believe would be “Mac approved” to donate the funds to? Hope to get some ideas regarding this possibility, and of course I could keep all Mac fans updated with pics and video from the event.


Please shoot me some ideas on how to make this event really special, of course I’d include some pamphlets and leaflets regarding Mac’s contribution of research and bibliography… Thanks y’all..!

Post-Mac Blues

January 6, 2011

In which we post to those who come looking, that there is a second (or first, depending on which way you are headed) Mac Tonnies tribute site Post-Mac Blues that is curated by Mac’s friend (and artist) the wonderful Dia Sobin. You should check it out.

NYT Article on the Digital Afterlife, featuring Mac Tonnies

January 5, 2011

An preview of an article entitled “Cyberspace When You’re Dead”, due to be printed this coming Sunday, has been released online today.  This beautiful and extensive article was written by Rob Walker and features Mac’s story as well as comments from his family and friends.

Find the article here:

This is a very thoughtful piece on death and the new issues we have to come to terms with in light of the ubiquity of digital media.  As I read it, I couldn’t help but reflect on the year that has passed and how special the people are that I have met because of it, through here and Twitter.  The article notes how Mac is lucky to have friends to keep his digital memory alive, but really, *we* are the lucky ones; it took a series of very random events for us to have Mac’s collective digital afterlife and the community that supports it!

This article also gave me a new appreciation for the experience as its been for Bob and Dana Tonnies, Mac’s parents.  I always kind of wondered how they felt about the whole online community thing, especially seeing as they only really experienced it after Mac’s passing.  In part, I felt they welcomed us, mostly because of their many contributions from Mac’s early childhood to Macbots.  But what I had not considered was how frustrating it must have been to not have control over what was said about their son, from the very earliest and hardest days after his death.  In that sense, the internet truly is a double-edged sword.  I am so happy and grateful that Bob and Dana decided to press through and embrace those who rallied to support Mac’s memory because their contribution here has meant a lot to all of us!