Monday Links from the Bench vol. CDXLVII Monday Links from the Bench vol. CDXLVII
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  1. #1

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    Default Monday Links from the Bench vol. CDXLVII

    Still too hot, so find some shade in which to read this lot

    • The Peculiar Math That Could Underlie the Laws of Nature - Could octonions explain the Universe? Mathematician Cohl Furey thinks they might. "Driven by a profound intuition that the octonions and other division algebras underlie nature’s laws, she told a colleague that if she didn’t find work in academia she planned to take her accordion to New Orleans and busk on the streets to support her physics habit. Instead, Furey landed a postdoc at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. She has since produced a number of results connecting the octonions to the Standard Model that experts are calling intriguing, curious, elegant and novel."

    • How Viruses Cooperate to Defeat CRISPR - If you're a bacterium, look out because the phages are coming: "Some weaken their hosts’ immune systems by sacrificing themselves in kamikaze fashion, paving the way for successful infections later."

    • an entomologist rates ant emojis - Who more qualified? "Elbowed antennae and delicately segmented legs and body… This ant moisturizes. This ant is round and huggable. This ant is a star. 11/10."


    • Stunning chaos in the galactic core - "A new radio telescope in South Africa has just been switched on for the first time, and the inaugural image taken by it is jaw-droppingly spectacular." It seems the centre of the galaxy is a busy place.

    • Think everyone died young in ancient societies? Think again - "People in the past were not all dead by 30. Ancient documents confirm this. In the 24th century BCE, the Egyptian Vizier Ptahhotep wrote verses about the disintegrations of old age… Ancient artworks and figurines also depict elderly people: stooped, flabby, wrinkled." Individuals don't show much further sign of ageing in their remains after about fifty, but analysing the remains of an entire community makes it clearer just how long people really lived in antiquity.

    • The Bizarre Story of the Seattle Mystery Vending Machine - "In the city of Seattle, Washington there exists a vending machine that over the years has become something of a local landmark amongst residents who are familiar with its mysterious history… The seemingly ancient machine is well known for dispensing random, sometimes rare, cans of soda- a fact that’s made all the more intriguing when you consider that nobody seems to know who stocks the machine or where it came from." The machine has currently disappeared, leaving behind a short note. Will it return in the future? Nobody knows…

    • How I Captured a Wasp Paralyzing a Tarantula - Amazing photos by Lior Kestenberg: "A rather strong and unusual rustle sound coming from the dry leaves caused me to turn my head, and for a few seconds, I couldn’t believe my own eyes. A massive, black furry tarantula spider, was wrestling one-on-one with a smaller, yet still quite large, wasp… The wasp is the attacker here, and it’s called a tarantula hawk for a reason."


    • Meet the folks designing the future of mouse mazes - Turns out the field of mazes for research was ripe for innovation: "So far, Maze Engineers’ wares have been used to help demonstrate the ins and outs of the mammalian hippocampus, a type of RNA associated with seizures, spatial memory, and rare diseases, among many others. And they’re built for every kind of animal, from mice to bees, and even for plants."

    • The graceful restoration of a 200-year-old serif typeface shows the problem with digital fonts - Type designers at Monotype have remastered the typeface Walbaum for digital use: "Before computers allowed us to change a font’s point sizes instantly, type designers had to create variations of the same typeface in different sizes. In this process, they were also able to make important adjustments… All this was lost when typefaces were digitized in the 1980s and 1990s."

    • Vintage Greenleaf Classics Books 1959 - 1975 - Wonderful galleries of pulp novel covers. Many of them are NSFW, if you work in the 1950s, though the most obscene thing about French Sin Port is that second semicolon in the blurb



    Happy invoicing!

  2. #2

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    PhiltheGreek - scorchio!

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    Quote Originally Posted by NickFitz View Post
    [*]Vintage Greenleaf Classics Books 1959 - 1975 - Wonderful galleries of pulp novel covers. Many of them are NSFW, if you work in the 1950s, though the most obscene thing about French Sin Port is that second semicolon in the blurb
    There was much more obscenity, take it from me. Actually, one seems to recall a similar looking girl piping the admiral aboard in Perpignan just after the war. Happy days.

  3. #3

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    There a vid of some nutjob getting himself stung by that remarkable wasp.

    Apparently it's the 2nd most painful sting known.

    And it looks like it.
    When the fun stops, STOP.

  4. #4

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    Octonion is a fascinating read.

    And I always thought an octonion was used to describe people as old as Zeity.....

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