Now is the time to reveal the truth. Yes, there was a special reason, and the reason was laziness. The details aren't particularly important, but the answer lies in the early days of these columns when a different graphic graced those pages. When the Communications and Computers in Education site was given a bit of a face lift the graphic was changed. The new graphic kept the old name and thus fit right into place, but its dimensions were different than the original and thus it got squeezed into (or out of) shape.
Making the correction (which in this case basically meant removing the dimension parameters and letting the graphic take whatever space it needed) wasn't a difficult task, but I never got around to it. Until now. As best as I can tell, as of now (September, 2000) the graphic looks as it should, as while I was at it I did a bit of standardizing of the layout as well. Hopefully this means that each column has almost the same layout as all the others. I guess that means that if nobody notices this, that's the way it should be.