The Internet is Awesome



Patrick is a mid-40 year old geek with an undergraduate degree in mathematics and a master's degree in Information Systems. Nothing he says here has anything to do with the official position of his employer or any other institution.

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56 Responses

  1. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    I’ll admit it.  I teared up there at the end.Report

  2. I was a wreck at the end.

    That kid is awesome.Report

  3. Avatar Sam says:

    That’s fantastic.Report

  4. Avatar Mary M says:

    I love the internet.
    I remember the summer after 6th grade I was visiting my dad in California. I had some friends there that I wanted to keep in touch with when I went back to Texas, so one afternoon two of my girlfriends and I set up email accounts. When I got back to my mom’s house in Houston, I would wait forever for the dial-up to show me the messages from my pen pals. I created folders and filed the letters away. I still use that email account today and I’m sure those emails are waiting patiently in the folders labeled Rick, Autumn, Amanda, etc.
    And where would I be without social networking sites? Facebook is the only way I keep in touch with the kids from the neighborhood I lived in from kindergarten to 4th grade.
    I would be a totally different person if I didn’t grow up with the Internet.Report

  5. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    A much-needed spot of happiness today. Especially Caine’s final quote at the end.

    But damnit, there must be a lot of dust in the air today. My eyes got all waterey.Report

  6. Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

    The Caine’s Arcade facebook page has a posting that they’ve gathered $24,000 for a scholarship fund.Report

  7. Avatar JenX says:

    I love this!  Best feel-good story this year.

    Way to go Caine!Report

  8. Avatar Kazzy says:

    Fuck the internet… that kid is awesome!Report

  9. Avatar mark boggs says:

    Yeah.  Awesome story.  It’s nice when the kid who would otherwise be considered kinda weird (he created an arcade?! From cardboard?!) comes out on top.  I’ve got a child like that, so it’s nice to know there’s hope.Report

    • Avatar Mary M in reply to mark boggs says:

      You mean creative and a genius? Hope?! Hell, I envy people like that.Report

      • Avatar mark boggs in reply to Mary M says:

        Sometimes, those are the kids who wander around at recess by themselves muttering to themselves some sort of one-person monlogue while also being a multi-character play they’ve concocted.  They may be creative and genius, but really the are a bit weird.  As I said, I’ve got a daughter like that and I love her to death and think she’s one of the smarter people out there, but when it comes to swimming in the kiddie pool with 20 other kids and she’s doing a performance of some dragons and dinosaur drama for no one but herself, that’s pretty weird.Report

        • Avatar Mary M in reply to mark boggs says:

          I’d be friends with her, if I was her age. Maybe I’m in denial about how weird I am.Report

          • Avatar mark boggs in reply to Mary M says:

            Oh, she definitely enjoys other people who are weird like her and I’m glad she is able to find them.  Fair warning, she’d probably have you lassoed into playing the role of a hex bug nano or some sort of feline in her latest production.  And you would build sets from loose-leaf paper and tape costumes to your face.  Hang on, I’ll get her and you guys can plan a play date.  : )Report

            • Avatar Mary in reply to mark boggs says:

              I would totally rock that play date. It was not that long ago that I enlisted my little brother to help me build a 4 foot tall stage in my father’s backyard so that I would write, direct, produce and star in a series of one act plays. Every child and stuffed animal in the neighborhood was required to see and/or perform in my plays. Constructive criticism was encouraged as long as it was something nice.

              I also may or may not have acted out a dark version on The Little Mermaid when I was playing by myself in the public pool throughout the summer.Report

              • Avatar Murali in reply to Mary says:

                How much darker can the little mermaid get?Report

              • Avatar Mary M in reply to Murali says:

                There were a few additional mythical creatures who deviated for the basic storyline. This was also the summer my older sister and I stayed up late (warping our young minds) watching Poltergeist and several other scary movies while eating Popsicles. So many Popsicles.Report

              • Nob Akimoto Nob Akimoto in reply to Mary M says:

                *Serves Ariel as sashimi at the wedding banquet…*Report

              • Avatar Mary M in reply to Nob Akimoto says:

                No, but I like the way you think. Ariel has always been my least favorite Disney princess. As the years go by my dislike only grows stronger.Report

              • Avatar mark boggs in reply to Mary says:

                Oh, Ella isn’t necessarily into the unhappy (or more realistic) endings to things.  She still has a very traditional view of the way things should work.  She gets blubbery at the end of Pocahontas and other movies where bad things happen to good people, so she might balk at your darker versions of some of these productions.  But somebody has to teach her that the world can be cruel and unfair at some point.  The way her mother and I spoil her and her brother, it sure as hell isn’t going to be us apparently.  Might as well be you.Report

  10. Avatar Scott says:

    Nice to see that someone still has entrepreneurial spirit left.  That is until some liberal comes in and shuts him down for not having a license or some other BS.Report

    • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to Scott says:

      This was just to much to have hoped for.  Thank you for this.Report

      • Avatar mark boggs in reply to Tod Kelly says:

        The whip cream is never any good without a big turd on which to put it.Report

        • Avatar Scott in reply to mark boggs says:


          I’m a lawyer and a realist not a pie in sky liberal with rose colored glasses.  Or are you denying that such things happen?Report

          • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to Scott says:

            I just think it’s a shame you couldn’t have been there to crap on it in front of young Caine personally.Report

            • Avatar Scott in reply to Tod Kelly says:

              Part of an attorney’s job is to anticipate problems for their clients before they become problems and to plan appropriately.  Acknowledging that a glass is half full is not being negative just an honest assessment of reality.Report

              • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Scott says:

                That’s not the problem, Scott. The problem is that you had to go the cheap ideological route.  FWIW, in my town it’s conservatives who complain and ruin everybody’s fun, because they’re all cheerless puritans.  So being the type of asshole who wants to shut down everybody’s fun is a bipartisan affair–and so to turn this happy little celebration of ingenuity into an excuse to bash just one ideological side is cheap, churlish, and childish.

                Not everything has to be an ideological spat, except among people unable to rise above that level.Report

              • But you will admit that the statists just LOVE to shut down kids’ lemonade stands, right?

                That, and arguing politics along ideological lines is why 90% of the commentariat is here.Report

              • Were his prizes tested for lead content?Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Scott says:

                Folks, though it seems like Scott’s snarling about Libruls bein’ Meen to Kiddies, fact is, this kid is going to need a good tax guy.   The money everyone’s donated to this kid’s college fund is in a grey area.   The kid is doing business on his father’s property.    Presumably the dad is properly registered as a business, but even gifts are taxed.  There are ways to shelter a good deal of that income but it’s a fairly large sum and none of it is deductible unless someone had the foresight to establish a 501(c)(3) for this scholarship fund.Report

    • Avatar Will H. in reply to Scott says:

      That’s kinda what I was thinking to.
      Matter of time until someone files a lawsuit.Report

      • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Will H. says:

        But at least you didn’t turn a feel-good story into an excuse to bash your ideological opponents.Report

        • Avatar Kazzy in reply to James Hanley says:

          This. There was room for a (potentialy very funny!!!) joke about bad governance, which no ideology has a monopoly on. But instead, more of the partisan slap fighting. Only liberals can be idealists? What a terrible lot in life… Thinking positively. Damn libruls…Report

  11. Avatar Boegiboe says:

    OMG the calculator security system is SO clever.Report

  12. Avatar Scott Fields says:

    Not to take anything away from young Caine, who is obviously remarkably ingenious, but can I give a shout out to Customer #1?

    This guy didn’t know Caine from Adam; he was just shopping for used auto parts. But he recognized the wonder in what the boy had created and decided to do something about it.  And with relatively little effort, something beautiful happens. Wow – just wow.

    I’m wiping tears from my eyes and at the same time wondering about all those other hidden wonders out there waiting for a Nirvan Mullick to come along.Report