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View Full Version : Monday Links from the Fens vol. CCCLIII



NickFitz
3rd October 2016, 11:03
Deceptively sunny out, but it'll probably rain on you if you go outside. Best stay in and read this lot instead :)


Death and MetaFilter (https://medium.com/@joshmillard/death-and-metafilter-24ec69e1a473) - Josh Millard on the difficult business of informing an online community that a member has died: ”When I took this job — when I started working as a moderator at MetaFilter, just part time at first, back in 2007, moonlighting from my day job at an insurance company with its surprisingly lightly-filtered internet connection — there were things I knew I knew about the job, things that were part of going in with eyes wide open to what is in ways a deeply idiosyncratic gig… Even on a site like MetaFilter where people tend to be a few standard deviations more decent to one another than the typical internet comments section dumpster fire, people have bad days, bad moods, bad instincts. It’s a job where you have to put up with people living through their worst moments and taking it out on you. I was ready. I knew this. But I didn’t know I’d be dealing with people dying.”


A Nonlinear History of Time Travel (http://nautil.us/issue/40/learning/a-nonlinear-history-of-time-travel) - An excerpt from James Gleick’s new book on time travel in fiction and science: ”For Einstein’s 70th birthday, in 1949, his friend [Kurt Gödel] presented him with a surprising calculation: that his field equations of general relativity allow for the possibility of “universes” in which time is cyclical—or, to put it more precisely, universes in which some world lines loop back upon themselves. These are “closed time-like lines,” or, as a physicist today would say, closed time-like curves (CTCs)… If the attention paid to CTCs is disproportionate to their importance or plausibility, Stephen Hawking knows why: “Scientists working in this field have to disguise their real interest by using technical terms like ‘closed time-like curves’ that are code for time travel.” And time travel is sexy. Even for a pathologically shy, borderline paranoid, Austrian logician.”


GDC Talk: How To Explain Your Game To An Asshole (http://www.pentadact.com/2012-03-17-gdc-talk-how-to-explain-your-game-to-an-asshole/) - Tom Francis transcribes a talk he gave to the Game Developer’s Conference: ”When you’re trying to describe your game – for its website, in an interview, or in a trailer – you can’t assume the reader is a reasonable, interested, intelligent human being. Because in the worst case scenario, your reader might be me. And I’m an asshole.”


The Bomb in the Bag (https://blog.longreads.com/2015/03/04/the-bomb-in-the-bag/) - "How America’s first suicide attack changed one man’s fortune forever." Historian Jack El-Hai on the bombing of the Broadway, N.Y. office of financier Russell Sage in 1891.


Going to Mars is (relatively) easy; coming back is where it gets tricky (http://arstechnica.com/science/2016/09/going-to-mars-is-relatively-easy-coming-back-is-where-it-gets-tricky/) - "Elon Musk is proposing a ton of audacious things to get to Mars before the 2020s are over. But perhaps the most striking feature of his plan is the simplest. He's not just sending people to Mars; he's planning on bringing them back." John Timmer on the difficulties involved in making enough fuel to get back.


Did Someone Order a Pizza? (http://www.eater.com/2016/9/28/13076736/yeah-that-kind-of-pizza-delivery-guy) - E J Dickson on the history of pizza delivery as a plot device in porn. Note the small-print warning: ”Many of the links in this story are not safe for work. The ones that direct to actual porn say "NSFW," but depending on the open-mindedness of your HR department, you might want to exercise caution with the ones that don't, too.”


Very Long-Term Backup (http://rosettaproject.org/blog/02008/aug/20/very-long-term-backup/) - Another one of those wonderful projects from the Long Now Foundation: ”This problem of long-term digital storage seemed a crucial hurdle for any civilization trying to act generationaly. How could a society think in terms of centuries unless there was a reliable way to transmit and store its knowledge over centuries? This puzzle was the focus of a conference hosted by Long Now in 1998, dedicated to technical solutions for Managing Digital Continuity. At this meeting Brewster Kahle of the Internet Archive suggested a new technology developed by Los Alamos labs, and commercialized by the Norsam company, as a solution for long term digital storage. Norsam promised to micro-etch 350,000 pages of information onto a 3-inch nickel disk with an estimated lifespan of 2,000 -10,000 years.” One of these disks now rests on the comet 67P, having travelled there aboard the probe Rosetta and been delivered last week: "So somewhere in the solar system, where it is safe but hard to reach, a backup sample of human languages is stored, in case we need one."


The First Hundred Penguin Books (http://spitalfieldslife.com/2016/01/08/the-first-hundred-penguin-books-2/) - Spitalfields blogger “The Gentle Author” reminisces about the time in his life when, travelling all over the UK for job interviews, he gradually managed to collect a copy of each of the first hundred books published by Penguin: ”With their faded orange, indigo, green, violet and pink spines they make a fine display and I am fond of this collection that took me so many years to amass… Arriving at each destination, I would consult the directory and make a list of the second-hand booksellers, then mark them on a tourist map and, after the job interview, I would visit every one. There were hundreds of these scruffy dusty old shops with proprietors who were commonly more interested in the book they were reading behind the counter than in any customer.”


The Doctor Who Designed a Cipher Wheel to Decode Shakespeare (http://mentalfloss.com/article/86632/doctor-who-designed-cipher-wheel-decode-shakespeare) - Dr. Orville Ward Owen sought to prove not only that Bacon wrote Shakespeare, but also that coded messages were concealed within the plays: ”Around two huge cylindrical spools, each 3-foot by 4-foot, Owen wound an enormous length of canvas fabric, onto which he pasted pages of Shakespeare’s Complete Works plus extracts from his contemporaries’ works. By aligning the pages in a specific order and then turning the spool, vast swathes of text could be analyzed at once. Owen would sit between the two spools, calling out passages of interest to an assistant, who would then collate the extracts for later analysis.”


Wetherspoon's Carpets (http://wetherspoonscarpets.tumblr.com/) - This photoblog dedicated to, as the name implies, Wetherspoon’s carpets, has now spawned a book :freaky:

This one’s from The Potter’s Wheel, Swansea:


http://www.nickfitz.co.uk/images/wetherspoons-carpets.jpg


Happy invoicing! :wave:

cojak
3rd October 2016, 11:13
Doodab and Fleety (and HAB?) - RIP. :ohwell

vetran
3rd October 2016, 11:19
Loved the Pizza one, Carpets & Penguin classics.


Thanks

northernladuk
3rd October 2016, 11:24
Doodab and Fleety (and HAB?) - RIP. :ohwell

HAB?!??!?! No way? What makes you think this?

northernladuk
3rd October 2016, 11:25
Wetherspoon's Carpets - This photoblog dedicated to, as the name implies, Wetherspoon’s carpets, has now spawned a book


Even with these fabulous links and far too much time on my hands over the years it never ceases to amaze me what appears on the web!! :laugh

DaveB
3rd October 2016, 11:52
HAB?!??!?! No way? What makes you think this?

He had some serious health issues back when he was still posting, then stopped posting without warning and hasn't been heard from since. :(

DaveB
3rd October 2016, 11:56
Even with these fabulous links and far too much time on my hands over the years it never ceases to amaze me what appears on the web!! :laugh

You never heard of rule 34? :D

http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/rule_34.png

northernladuk
3rd October 2016, 13:50
You never heard of rule 34? :D

http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/rule_34.png

Gonna get WeatherspoonsCarpetPorn.com registered.... Gonna make millions.. muahahahah

barrydidit
3rd October 2016, 14:14
Gonna get WeatherspoonsCarpetPorn.com registered.... Gonna make millions.. muahahahah

Have you thought it through? Think again :eek

992 and Counting: Meet the Woman Trying to Visit Every Wetherspoons in the UK | VICE | United Kingdom (http://www.vice.com/en_uk/read/mags-thomson-visit-every-wetherspoons-pub-uk)

northernladuk
3rd October 2016, 14:15
Have you thought it through? Think again :eek

992 and Counting: Meet the Woman Trying to Visit Every Wetherspoons in the UK | VICE | United Kingdom (http://www.vice.com/en_uk/read/mags-thomson-visit-every-wetherspoons-pub-uk)

You know me better than that!!