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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!

Recent Images of Mars!

September 3, 2010

photo credit: Wired Science

Wired Science posted some new pictures of Mars from the orbiting HiRISE camera; I figured at least a few people here would be interested in seeing them 😀

The article states that 236 photos taken between July 8 and July 31 have been released; this article features just a few of these shots but links to the rest of them.  While they are all beautiful, a number of them are absolutely bewildering (read: I can’t make sense of them!).

Call me crazy, but the first thing I thought of when I saw the above picture was how similar the crater patterns looked to some kind of writing Mac posted about… It was some kind of trance writing, or non-symbolic writing…  Ringing a bell to anyone?

Anyways, enjoy!

Exotic New Mars Images from Orbiting Telephoto Studio (

Happy Birthday, Mac!!!

August 20, 2010

It is with a mix of sadness and joy that I post today, on Mac’s 35th birthday. His continued presence through his friends’ blogposts and tweets prove that he is still very much with us!

I would like to draw attention to a very special entry posted today by our friend Dia Sobin. This beautiful reflection digs a little into the date Mac was born, and comes up with some surprising and spectacular results! Read her entry at Araqinta here:

Also dear to my heart this week, Macbot Kate wrote a sonnet dedicated to our effort in naming a crater on Mars for Mac. Enjoy!

Sending warmest thoughts to all Mac’s family, friends, and anyone else missing him today.


Naming a crater on Mars for Mac

August 17, 2010

I received a very interesting email last night that I think you all would be interested in!  Shepherd Johnson would like to collect votes and showcase Mac’s work on Mars to persuade USGS (U.S. Geological Survey) to name a Martian crater for Mac.

Shepherd has a contact at USGS who has stated and believes, as per the website guidelines, that Mac “falls under the criteria for the naming convention, which is that craters are named for writers and others who have contributed to the lore of Mars.” All that is required for this is a recommendation, but Shepherd and I would like to go the extra step and showcase Mac’s work, as well as show a whole bunch of citizen support!

Shepherd has started by creating a Facebook group for people interested in having a crater (preferably in or near the region of Cydonia!) named for Mac.  If you are a Facebook user, please join to show your support!  We have no idea if voting will help, but it certainly couldn’t hurt!

Next, we are looking for ideas of ways to showcase Mac’s work, which is where we could use some help from the Macbot community.  We could either give this USGS contact a list of URLs that link to his Mars-related material, or possibly direct her to a page here at Macbots where we post everything Mars-related we can find, but either way, we need help searching for the material!!  Neither of us know Mac’s work as well as the whole community does, so we really need the hivemind to get this off the ground!

If you can think of a link, article, or anything of Mac’s that you think would be useful, please post a comment here,  tweet me @macbots, or email me at blazingbetta [@] gmail [dot] com.  It may take a while, even a couple years, to see this effort come to fruition, but I think Mac is definitely worth the effort!

Thanks, Macbots!!

Faves from Mac’s camera

August 16, 2010


One of the things I loved most about Mac was his incredible eye for detail.  He sure had a knack with a camera.  I thought I would kick off Birthday Week with a tribute to Mac’s work and what I felt it reflected about him.  All shots are from his Flickr account or PHB.


One of the first things I noticed about Mac’s artistic style was his affinity for clean lines.  This was really indicative of his minimalist style overall, whether it was in art or writing.  He always seemed to resist the flashy, the garish and convoluted.  I really liked that.





I loved it when he went for walks in the city and came back with pictures!!  Didn’t he just have the craziest ability to find beauty in the most random, unseeming places?!  Seriously, his whole blog was full of hidden awesomeness, just like these pictures:


"Ready, aim . . ."


"Make the call"



Mac enjoyed getting close-up, too!  He was clearly an individual who saw beauty in the details.

"Elfin dancer"

"Fountain (detail)"



"Martian mannequin"

"Mechanical eye"

Last, but definitely not least, you could count on Mac to show you we had visitors everywhere.

"All-seeing robot"





Miss you a lot, Mac!