"by a faulty anode in an I.B.M. machine"
IBM's original logo
Public DomainIBM's original logo

I.B.M. is the multinational computer giant, International Business Machines. The company has become known more recently by the nickname “Big Blue,” reflected in the predominant color of its more recent logos. The image at right is the company's original business logo, which it used from 1924 to 1946.

Before the era of desktop computers and laptops, the clients for IBM’s huge mainframe computers were mostly large corporations and government agencies such as the Army.

Only around the turn of the 21st century was it revealed that IBM subsidiary Dehomag had sold punched card equipment and data processing technology to Nazi Germany, and that the equipment was used to help administer the systematic genocide of the Jews.

That a marine mammal specialist from Harvard would have been sent to the front with the Medical Corps because of a malfunctioning anode in a computer is another example of the arbitrariness of fate in these men's (and, by implication, everyone's) lives.