Monday Links from the Bank Holiday Deckchair vol. CCLXXIX Monday Links from the Bank Holiday Deckchair vol. CCLXXIX
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    Default Monday Links from the Bank Holiday Deckchair vol. CCLXXIX

    Bit late today, but you're probably all at B&Q or some garden centre anyway

    EDIT: ah crap, stray "V" in the Roman numeral in the title Still, one week I forgot to put it in entirely and nobody noticed, so I don't suppose it matters

    • Graves of the Dead - "After starting in Pittsburgh, the Ohio River heads north and then quickly loops south, as if realizing the error in its ways. It is a place to get lost and to get found. The river bends and twists here with energy, like a snake caught by its tail… What’s needed is a guidepost, which is both more and less than a mileage marker, meaningful and maybe a little muddy, like the river itself. That is the best way to approach the Grave Creek Mound.” Ken Otterbourg on the tangled history of the USA’s equivalent of Silbury Hill.

    • What's NeXT? Software, Psychedelics and the Origins of OS X & iOS. - "Today I'm going to share with you stories of the people and events that helped create the World of Today and talk freely about the influences and the coming of age stories affecting the kids born in the mid-1950's (Like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, me & probably many of you)… The grand narrative was alive and well in '68 - we had a MOON to reach! We had Russian Soviets to prove ourselves superior to. We were in year 2 of Star Trek and the future was very bright.” The aptly-named Andrew Stone recalls how a bunch of deadheads and yoga freaks changed the world, leading to “you having a Unix box in your hand today”.

    • Game Mechanic Explorer - "A collection of concrete examples for various game mechanics, algorithms, and effects… Each section contains several different examples that progress in sequence from a very basic implementation to a more advanced implementation. Every example is interactive and responds to keyboard or mouse input (or touch).” Modern browser required; a great tool for getting your head around how various fundamental components of interaction and animation work.

    • Wake No More - "What if you could sleep 50 hours straight and still never feel truly awake? Welcome to the bizarre, distressing, and totally exhausting world of the hypersomniac." Virginia Hughes on hypersomnia, a category of conditions which cause excessive sleepiness. Bonus linky: she first wrote about the subject in her 2012 article Re-Awakenings.

    • These Ships Have Sailed - "Lake Michigan's water is so clear right now that you can see right down to the shipwrecks." More info on the wrecks at Manitou Passage Underwater Preserve

    • Fission Stories #70: Tag, You’re It - ”The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) shut down the Unit 2 reactor at its Browns Ferry nuclear plant in Alabama for a refueling outage in late 1979. As happened before, this refueling outage was extended when something fell into the water that presented the risk of overheating fuel in the reactor core… Many people within the nuclear industry thought this mistake was the stupidest act in refueling history. It is, at worst, the second stupidest act.” As that “#70” implies, this isn’t the only interesting story about nuclear reactors on this site - at the moment, they’re up to #187

    • Exploiting the DRAM rowhammer bug to gain kernel privileges - Google’s Project Zero team explain a privilege escalation vulnerability that can, on susceptible hardware, be achieved simply by writing and reading non-privileged memory locations: ”By repeatedly accessing two “aggressor” memory locations within the process’s virtual address space, they can cause bit flips in a third, “victim” location… This works because DRAM cells have been getting smaller and closer together.”

    • Cruel Medical Experiments On Slaves Were Widespread In The American South - "Invasive surgeries and other shocking experiments were “commonplace” on slaves before the Civil War, according to a sweeping new survey of old medical journals." Looks like the USA had a few Dr Mengeles of its own.

    • Going the whole orang: Darwin, Wallace and the natural history of orangutans - "This article surveys the European discovery and early ideas about orangutans followed by the contrasting experiences with these animals of the co-founders of evolution by natural selection, Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace. The first non-human great ape that both of them interacted with was the orangutan." Good paper on the influence of orangutans on the development of evolutionary theory.

    • The Manholes of Westminster Abbey: Portals Between Heaven and Hell - "Manhole covers were once a part of a town’s civic pride, with foundries and local authorities placing their stamp on the cast-iron covers… In the Westminster Abbey cloisters and Westminster School, I found a total of 15 visible manholes, 14 with reference to the supplier and one unbranded wooden manhole. There were 33 other smaller openings ranging in type from gas, water, hatches, drainage grates and hydrants.” There’s a chart, and a plan

    Happy invoicing!
    Last edited by NickFitz; 4th May 2015 at 13:04. Reason: Roman numerals were a mistake from the start.

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