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

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    Default Monday Links from the Bench vol. CDLIV

    It's starting to feel a tad autumnal out there. Well, that's what it says on the Internet anyway; there's no reason to go out and experience it for yourself when you've got this lot to read, though

    • The Life and Times of the Stopwatch Gang - Josh Dean on the rise and fall of Canadian bank robber Stephen Reid: "Throughout the late ’70s and into the very early ’80s, Reid and his partners, Paddy Mitchell and Lionel Wright, robbed dozens of banks, stole millions of dollars, and broke out of numerous prisons… The reason so many robbers fail, Reid told me when I met him in Canada last December, is that they’re desperate people who’ve done little if any planning. On the other hand, if you’re careful and you do your homework, he said, a system’s flaws will reveal themselves."

    • The Mars Exploration Rovers Update: NASA Focuses on Recovering Opportunity as Storm Diminishes and Dust Settles - A detailed explanation of what's actually going on in the aftermath of the massive dust storm on Mars: ”’Forty-five days’ is all most people took in. With no live press conference and what read like a rushed out release, forty-five days is what people read and what they spread. The end seemed near… Even before the dust had a chance to settle on Earth, one thing became immediately clear: this rover is still loved around the world. It also seemed clear that there was more to this story than was being reported or understood."

    • Why things can look like they’re moving faster than light - Earlier this week, we covered astronomers' discovery of fast-moving jets of particles, produced by the object that resulted from a collision of neutron stars. The jets were imaged at two different time points, roughly half a year apart. During that time, the jets appeared to be moving faster than light itself when viewed from Earth. In the article itself, I mentioned the "viewed from Earth" part to indicate that this apparent speed was a matter of perspective and that the jets were not actually outpacing light. I did that because I would need a separate full-length article to explain how that works… So that's what you're getting.”

    • Spiders Can Fly Hundreds of Miles Using Electricity - More delightful news for arachnophobes: ”Spiders have no wings, but they can take to the air nonetheless. They’ll climb to an exposed point, raise their abdomens to the sky, extrude strands of silk, and float away. This behavior is called ballooning… Spiders have been found two-and-a-half miles up in the air, and 1,000 miles out to sea.” And it turns out they’re using electricity to do it

    • Werner’s Nomenclature of Colours - Nicholas Rougeux has revived a classic work about colours: ”In the late 18th century, German mineralogist Abraham Werner devised a standardized scheme for classifying colors which was later adapted and revised in the 19th century by Scottish painter Patrick Syme… I created this project to enhance ‘Werner’s Nomenclature of Colours’ by adding information that I wanted when I read the guidebook like easily jumping to any color, seeing the colors referenced in the description, and seeing photos of what Werner referenced for his descriptions of each color.” Scans of Patrick Syme’s 1821 edition of the book are available at the Internet Archive.

    • Inside the Delightfully Quirky, Absolutely Fabulous, and Utterly Exhausting World of Cruise Performers - "On the first day of the weeklong Entertainer of the Year cruise, I meet its creator, Princess Cruises guest entertainment manager Phil Kaler, in his tiny, windowless cabin… As he moves from categories to specific names, I realize I’ve never heard of any of them, despite my twenty years of working as an entertainment journalist and critic. To use a nautical cliché, the stars most of us can name are just the tip of the entertainment-economy iceberg.” Not my cup of tea, but nearly 26 million people a year go on these cruises…

    • Apollo 12 Was the Lucky Number Among Apollo Disasters - A rundown of the technical problems encountered by the manned missions to the Moon: ”What a crazy coincidence that thirteen has long been considered an unlucky number and that Apollo 13 would be the one we almost lost… The truth is, we were pushing the envelope going to the moon back in those days. Each mission had problems.”

    • Evolution - Fun little tool for creating and evolving artificial life in your browser: ”Use joints, bones and muscles to build creatures that are only limited by your imagination. Watch how the combination of a neural network and a genetic algorithm can enable your creatures to ‘learn’ and improve at their given tasks all on their own. The tasks include running, jumping and climbing. Can you build the ultimate creature that is good at all of the tasks?"

    • Galactic Server - "The intension for this server is to give information about spacepeople related material who are mainly based on channeling and personal experience. The information focus is primary on galactic affairs and spiritual interdimensional topics." For example, you might want to know how to contact mermaids, and all the information you need is right here: "There are 2 main types of mermaids, the extraterrestrial mermaids and terrestrial mermaids… Some of the extraterrestrial and terrestrial originated from extraterrestrial mermaids live on a slight higher dimensionally frequency according to the physical plane. This frequency is so close to the physical plane so the water is present at that frequency, but this mermaids are invisible seen from the physical plane. They have to lower their dimensional frequency in order to be visible at the physical plane. Other extraterrestrial mermaids live directly on the physical plane. The extraterrestrial ones are the most common mermaid.”

    • I Say! What a Bounder – The Life of Terry-Thomas - ”The young Thomas Stevens got his first job at the centuries-old [Smithfield] meat market as a fifteen-bob-a-week junior transport clerk… On his first day, surrounded by blood-stained butcher’s aprons and ash-flecked grey suits, Thomas turned up sporting an olive-green pork-pie hat, a taupe double-breasted suit decorated with a clove carnation, a multi-coloured tie and yellow wash leather gloves, twiddling a long cigarette holder with one hand and twirling a silver topped malacca cane with the other.” As they say, dress for the job you want

    Happy invoicing!

  2. #2


    barrydidit is a fount of knowledge

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    Stopwatch gang - a good read

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