We’re in a time when a huge amount of what we do runs on computers and technology, from shopping to communicating, working and learning.

And we know that when something goes wrong, like with a bug in a computer program, it can throw off our entire day.

By the way, the reason we use the term computer bugs is because of something that happened in a computer program on this day in 1947.


Yes, 1947.

A team at Harvard University was working on a computer called the Mark II, when they noticed they were having the same issues over and over with the electronics.

Now the word “bug” had been used since Thomas Edison’s time in the 19th century to describe technical issues.

But that’s not necessarily why the Harvard team called their bug a bug.

The Mark II was in a room that had no screens in the windows, and when they opened the hardware up to see what was wrong, they found a moth inside.

The first computer bug was literally a bug, which they taped in their log book, writing “first actual case of bug being found.”

That team, which featured computer programming pioneer Grace Hopper, not only introduced the term “bug” into computing, but also added the word “debug,” to describe the process by which programmers get rid of bugs in their code.

So if you’ve been cursing out your computer today because of some unexpected crash or error, that’s frustrating, but maybe almost fitting.

Maybe you can think back to those programmers on this day in 1947.

And, for that matter, the moth.

Today is also a big anniversary in the world of sports, or at least in watching sports.

If you’ve ever watched a baseball game on TV, you’ve probably heard that long warning about how you can’t rebroadcast or retransmit a game without express written consent.

On this day in 2005, a guy wrote to Major League Baseball and asked for consent to show an old baseball game at a party.

And the league actually wrote him back to say, yes, that’s ok.

Sep 9, 1947 CE: World’s First Computer Bug  (National Geographic)

Making Sure You Have Your Expressed Written Consent (Deadspin)

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