Monday Links from The Bench vol. CDXXXIII Monday Links from The Bench vol. CDXXXIII
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    Default Monday Links from The Bench vol. CDXXXIII

    Back to posting from the UK after last week's French adventure

    • Was There a Civilization On Earth Before Humans? - Adam Frank and Gavin Schmidt pose the Silurian Hypothesis: "Perhaps, for example, some early mammal rose briefly to civilization building during the Paleocene epoch about 60 million years ago. There are fossils, of course. But the fraction of life that gets fossilized is always minuscule and varies a lot depending on time and habitat. It would be easy, therefore, to miss an industrial civilization that only lasted 100,000 years—which would be 500 times longer than our industrial civilization has made it so far." Arxiv link for the full paper in the International Journal of Astrobiology if you'd like to read it

    • Mastering venom - "From snake-filled projectiles and medieval remedies to the very first antivenom, our relationship with venomous creatures has a colourful history. A fascination with toxic substances has led humans to utilise venom for our own ends - to hurt but also to heal." Emily Osterloff and Kerry Lotzof on the uses of venom, as revealed in an exhibition that's on at the Natural History Museum for a few more weeks.

    • The Turn-of-the-Century Pigeons That Photographed Earth from Above - Andrea DenHoed on the avian photographers of Dr. Julius Neubronner: ”The device was precisely what it sounds like—a small camera fitted with straps and equipped with a timer so that pigeons could carry it and take photos in flight… Additionally, he developed a portable, horse-drawn dovecote, with a darkroom attached to it, which could be moved into proximity of whatever object or area the photographer hoped to capture from on high. ”


    • Encoding data in dubstep drops - "Dubstep songs are often criticized as sound extremely computer generated and often just too aggressive/‘digital’ for a lot of people to enjoy. It’s not uncommon for people to joke that they sound like someone had added a bassline and drums to modem noises… that had me thinking, how much effort would it be to actually embed machine readable data inside a dubstep track, while ensuring that the sound could be enjoyed by humans as well." An interesting steganographic technique by Ben Cox.

    • Astral Sojourn - It appears Van Morrison was on the run from the Mafia when he created his classic album: ”Astral Weeks was born out of sheer desperation, conceived at a time when Morrison was trapped in the world’s worst recording contract and evading record-industry thugs."

    • Akira by Katsuhiro Otomo - "A brief typographic history of the influential Japanese comic." Quentin Schmerber uncovers the origins of the logo of the renowned manga series.


    • An Account of the Titanic’s Morgue Ship - Transcription of an article from the Washington Times recounting the arrival of CS Mackay-Bennett in Halifax with the bodies of 190 of those lost on RMS Titanic: ”The grizzled old sea captain shook his head sadly and a pained expression swept his weather-beaten face. ‘Most of them were members of the crew,’ he said, ‘and we couldn’t care for them. When we left Halifax we took on board all of the embalming fluid in the city. That was only enough to care for seventy bodies. It wasn’t expected that we would find bodies in such great quantities. The undertaker didn’t think these bodies would keep more than three days at sea, and as we expected to be out more than two weeks we had to bury them. They received the full services for the dead before they were put over.’”

    • The Elusive Calculus of Insects’ Altruism and Kin Selection - "How the ultra-cooperative behavior of ants, bees and other social insects could have evolved continues to challenge formal analysis. But a new theory that includes hedging bets against nature’s unpredictability may help to change the math and shift the debate." Jordana Cepelewicz on the paradox of altruism versus natural selection.

    • Eight-bit floating point - "Researchers have discovered that for some problems, deep neural networks (DNNs) can get by with low precision weights. Using fewer bits to represent weights means that more weights can fit in memory at once. Microsoft mentioned its proprietary floating point formats ms-fp8 and ms-fp9 in connection with its Brainwave Project… This post will look at what an 8-bit floating point number would look like if it followed the pattern of IEEE floats or posit numbers.” John D. Cook considers one possible approach to the AI optimisation technique.

    • Jakob Tuggener’s Sensational Photos Of Weapons Factories In Neutral Switzerland - "Jakob Tuggener photos of workers churning out killing machines makes a muse of war"



    Happy invoicing!

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    Quote Originally Posted by NickFitz View Post
    Back to posting from the UK after last week's French adventure

    • Was There a Civilization On Earth Before Humans? - Adam Frank and Gavin Schmidt pose the Silurian Hypothesis: "Perhaps, for example, some early mammal rose briefly to civilization building during the Paleocene epoch about 60 million years ago. There are fossils, of course. But the fraction of life that gets fossilized is always minuscule and varies a lot depending on time and habitat. It would be easy, therefore, to miss an industrial civilization that only lasted 100,000 years—which would be 500 times longer than our industrial civilization has made it so far." Arxiv link for the full paper in the International Journal of Astrobiology if you'd like to read it


    Happy invoicing!
    No point sticking around for the comet

    http://memory-alpha.wikia.com/wiki/D...rigin_(episode)
    Last edited by DoctorStrangelove; 16th April 2018 at 13:59.
    When the fun stops, STOP.

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