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

    Grey day out, but on the Internet, all is magic and sparkle

    • 3 Dangerous Ideas From Ray Kurzweil - Peter Diamandis: "Recently, I interviewed my friend Ray Kurzweil at the Googleplex for a 90-minute webinar on disruptive and dangerous ideas.” I’m definitely up for the living forever thing

    • Kate’s Still Here - "Before Kate died at age 67, but when she realized it was coming, she knew she didn’t want any of the standard funeral packages most Americans buy. She did not want to be embalmed and placed in a casket underground, or to be cremated, or to have anything to do with a funeral home. She wanted to die in her house, to be laid out there, and to have everyone come and spend as much time as they wished with her body." The story of a home funeral.

    • Bacteria Use Brainlike Bursts of Electricity to Communicate - They’re taking over: ”Biologists have known for decades that bacteria can use chemical cues to coordinate their behavior… But Süel and other scientists are now finding that bacteria in biofilms can also talk to one another electrically. Biofilms appear to use electrically charged particles to organize and synchronize activities across large expanses. This electrical exchange has proved so powerful that biofilms even use it to recruit new bacteria from their surroundings, and to negotiate with neighboring biofilms for their mutual well-being.”

    • Did Microsoft Just Manually Patch Their Equation Editor Executable? Why Yes, Yes They Did. (CVE-2017-11882) - A recent vulnerability in the old Microsoft Office Equation Editor (which is still a part of the distribution for compatibility reasons) needed to be patched, but it would seem Microsoft didn’t even have the source code: ”Some pretty skilled Microsoft employee or contractor reverse engineered our friend EQNEDT32.EXE, located the flawed code, and corrected it by manually overwriting existing instructions with better ones (making sure to only use the space previously occupied by original instructions).” I did this kind thing myself about thirty years ago, with hand-assembled 8086 code and the Norton Utilities disk sector editor

    • Why did the Road Cross the San Andreas Fault? 15 Years of Geologic Change (an Update) - Geologist Garry Hayes has been keeping an eye on a particular road in California: ”Highway 25 in the California Coast Ranges connects the town of Hollister with the access road to Pinnacles National Park (formerly Pinnacles National Monument). Along the way the highway crosses the San Andreas fault in a section where the fault creeps an inch or so each year (36°35'54.27"N, 121°11'40.19"W). Most years we've stopped to have a look at the effect the movement has on the pavement.”


    • 10 Tragic Stories From The Childhood Of Charles Manson - ”Charles Manson was a child once, and that childhood was littered with tragic moments. No one would claim that these stories are sad enough to justify what he did, but they might shed light on how monsters are formed.” It’s almost as if a traumatic and abusive childhood has bad long-term effects on people.

    • Stewart Brand Recalls First 'Spacewar' Video Game Tournament - Not content with putting on the 1966 Trips Festival with Ken Kesey and leading the Long Now Foundation, Stewart Brand also found time to organise this: ”The first video game tournament was held on October 19th, 1972. Competitors gathered at the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab in Los Altos, California to do battle in the sci-fi rocket combat game Spacewar. At the time, the lab was one of the only a handful of locales in the world with hardware sophisticated enough to run it.”

    • A Subterranean Mystery on Oxford Street - Nick Louras seeks answers to a question posed on a forum in 2005: ”Does anybody know anything about the supposed Victorian High Street underneath the present Oxford Street? Evidently Oxford St was raised up years ago but there is a tunnel underneath where the original cobbled road still stands and the part facias [sic] of Victorian shops. Or is this just an urban myth?”

    • Live Wildlife Web Cams - HT to WTFH for this excellent collection of live streams of various beasts going about their business. As he says, ”If you're sitting in a boring meeting, why not watch birds feeding, or at night maybe spot the foxes & badgers…” Now he’ll probably ban me for quoting a DM in a public post

    • Starring The Computer - "Starring the Computer is a website dedicated to the use of computers in film and television. Each appearance is catalogued and rated on its importance (ie. how important it is to the plot), realism (how close its appearance and capabilities are to the real thing) and visibility (how good a look does one get of it). Fictional computers don't count (unless they are built out of bits of real computer), so no HAL9000 - sorry." Here’s the first computer I ever used (though probably not the very same one) in Pirates of Silicon Valley, a DEC PDP-8/e, being used by Bill Gates and Paul Allen to create the MiTS Altair BASIC interpreter that was Microsoft’s first product:



    Happy invoicing!

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    That Geotripper website had a link to volcano webcams

    All the volcano webcams of the world | Big Think

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    That is not the San Andrea fault. I have seen the documentary tremors.

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    Quote Originally Posted by barrydidit View Post
    That Geotripper website had a link to volcano webcams

    All the volcano webcams of the world | Big Think
    Now we need to bring them together with the wildlife webcam people. Badgers being thrown into magma FTW!

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    You might appreciate the UK version of the road across the San Andreas Fault.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NickFitz View Post
    Now we need to bring them together with the wildlife webcam people. Badgers being thrown into magma FTW!
    Careful now. You'll have Brian May on your case

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    And I was listening today to his biographer that Charles Manson had a reasonable childhood, the arch manipulator made most of it up.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cojak View Post
    And I was listening today to his biographer that Charles Manson had a reasonable childhood, the arch manipulator made most of it up.
    I've got a biography of him that I bought a while ago and haven't read yet. Too late now to get it signed by the subject

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