Monday Links from the Bench vol. CCCLXXXII Monday Links from the Bench vol. CCCLXXXII
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    Default Monday Links from the Bench vol. CCCLXXXII

    In an ideal world there'd be a Bank Holiday every Monday, never mind just four more. Still, no need to do any work when there's an Internet full of distractions:

    • Watchers of the earth - "Indigenous peoples around the world tell myths which contain warning signs for natural disasters. Scientists are now listening.” Turns out people who’ve lived in a place for millennia have a body of knowledge about that place, even if they never invented the printing press. Who knew?

    • The Flying Crowbar: The Insane Doomsday Weapon America Almost Built - "The Cold War had plenty of disadvantages for the world as a whole, true, but there was never a better time to be a mad scientist with crazy doomsday devices. No longer limited to freelance work delivering threats to the UN, the Cold War meant governments would actually hire you to make things. Things like Project Pluto.” They should teach this stuff in school to get kids into science

    • The Story of the Forgotten Genius who Discovered the Apple's Birthplace, Before Being Murdered by Stalin - ”When I wrote The Apple Orchard, there were edits. I wanted to give the origin story of the apple, but this was cut from the final book… It was an important chapter in a book about apples, just not the book about apples that mine had become. I've been saving it for a while but as we're at the start of blossom time, one of the most wonderful times in the apple year, I thought I'd celebrate by publishing this story here.” Pete Brown, who has achieved the ultimate goal of mankind by making a living out of going to pubs, on the origin of apples in Kazakhstan.

    • The Lock Pickers - "The Open Organization of Lockpickers… perhaps not surprisingly given that it spends its time figuring out how to open the world’s locks, is sensitive about its portrayal, and LockCon itself is “invitation only.” As Wels had told me, ‘we spend a lot of time trying to keep the bad guys—or guys with bad intentions—out.’” In my experience, the bad guys just smash the door in. Some people have no class

    • Mars Missions Need To Be Neat Freaks At Key Sites - "One of the most common features of space exploration has been the use of disposable components to get missions to where they are going. Whether we are talking about multistage rockets (which fall away as soon as they are spent) or the hardware used to achieve Entry, Descent and Landing (EDL) onto a planet, the idea has been the same. Once the delivery mechanism is used up, it is cast away." TLDR: fly-tipping is bad even if you do it thirty-odd million miles away.

    • A Mind Is Born - "Making a demo in just 256 bytes would be a formidable challenge regardless of platform. A Mind Is Born is my attempt to do it on the Commodore 64. In the absence of an actual 256-byte compo, it was submitted to the Oldskool 4K Intro compo at Revision 2017, where it ended up on 1st place." Linus Akesson explains how his tiny C64 demo works. You may want to brush up your 6502 assembly language for this one

    • What makes a man-eater? Check the teeth - "Analysis of man-eating lions' teeth suggests dental disease was the culprit, not lack of prey.” Turns out humans are easier to chew than many other things lions could eat

    • The Forgotten ‘China Girls’ Hidden at the Beginning of Old Films - "Few people ever saw the images of China girls, although for decades they were ubiquitous in movie theaters. At the beginning of a reel of film, there would be a few frames of a woman’s head. She might be dressed up; she might be scowling at the camera. She might blink or move her head. But if audiences saw her, it was only because there had been a mistake."

    • The origins of XXX as FIXME - "The token XXX is frequently used in source code comments as a way of marking some code as needing attention. (Similar to a FIXME or TODO, though at least to me XXX signals something far to the hacky end of the spectrum, and perhaps even outright broken). It's a bit of an odd and non-obvious string though, unlike FIXME and TODO. Where did this convention come from? I did a little bit of light software archaeology to try to find out." Spoiler alert: it’s a Unix thing

    • Walking in the Danchi !! - "I sharing photos of the housing estate and housing complex that I have been visit those." Photos of places where Japanese people live



    Happy invoicing!

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    Re the Mars mission thingy - I was watching some stuff on BBC4 last night about the moon landings and it seems astronauts were under no compulsion to bring their litter home with them

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    Quote Originally Posted by barrydidit View Post
    Re the Mars mission thingy - I was watching some stuff on BBC4 last night about the moon landings and it seems astronauts were under no compulsion to bring their litter home with them
    Bet they wish they had now - litter from the Moon would be worth a bomb on eBay

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