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

    It isn't even Bonfire Night for a few more hours, yet the first Christmas-related link creeps in this week. It's as bad as Sainsbury's in here sometimes

    • The Time Bandits of Southern California - ”The true story of a ring of thieves who stole millions of dollars' worth of luxury watches—and the special agent who brought them down.”

    • Cockroaches deliver karate kicks to avoid being turned into “zombies” - Jennifer Ouellette on a new study by Vanderbilt University's Ken Catania of roaches' defences against attack by the emerald jewel wasp: ”The female of the species is known for stinging unsuspecting cockroaches with a nasty venom that turns the roach into her docile slave. That way she can lay her eggs in the still-living roach and bury it alive… Roaches can use their hard, spiky legs as weapons, even delivering wide sweeping kicks to ward off an attacking jewel wasp.” You can find out more from Catania's original paper, How Not to Be Turned into a Zombie.

    • Photographing These Abandoned Space Shuttles Made Me a Russian Target - I featured Ralph Mirebs' secret visit to the Buran hangar a little over three years ago, but this seems to be a different person, judging by the photos, and they seem to have annoyed the Russians more: ”He’s a European based urbex photographer who didn’t want his name published for fear it’d make international travel difficult… he explains in his own words how he got into the facility, how he got away, and how Russian agents have been on his tail since.”


    • Too much Christmas music can mentally harm you - Now the month-long marketing of Hallowe'en is over, the marketing of Christmas can begin in earnest, and you'll be pleased to hear it rots your mind: ”Studies show that hearing Christmas songs too many times increases stress.”

    • Dinosaur eggs came in many colors—just like birds’ - ”Bird eggs have been admired since ancient times for their many hues and patterns, from the vivid blue of American robin eggs to the deep green-black of emu eggs. Now, a study shows these colors and markings are even older than we thought—they may have graced dinosaur eggs some 150 million years ago or more.”

    • A former city on a former island - More urban exploration in derelict areas of the former USSR, by Elyor Nematov: ”Behold the ruins of Aralsk-7, the site of a long-abandoned top-secret Soviet biological weapons lab.”


    • Boy Scouts in a war zone - In the Central African Republic, the Scouts are a crucial element in society: ”As in most of the rest of the country, there is no government presence in the CAR’s far east. Periodic violence means there are no international organisations either. There is no health system, no reliable communications network, no way to know whether the information was accurate without despatching a helicopter, loaded with heavily armed peacekeepers… There is one other option. It’s time to send in the boy scouts.”

    • Let's remove Quaternions from every 3D Engine - ”An Interactive Introduction to Rotors from Geometric Algebra” Marc ten Bosch explains an alternative to quaternions, used to represent rotations in 3D graphics engines

    • Welcome to the Petty Hall of Fame - ”Throughout history, humans have not let low stakes interfere with big egos. Here are the top 60 moments in our long, long history of just being extra.” From claims that painting bike lanes on the road would induce "dizzying vertigo" in drivers to being buried at the opposite end of the cemetery to your brother because of a misunderstanding decades before, it seems there's no limit to how much a minor spat can be blown out of all proportion

    • Stand Well Back - As it's "Burn a Catholic Terrorist" day, here's a selection of images from the catalogues of the Hirayama Fireworks company in the early 1900s; the full contents are at the Yokohama archive (in Japanese)



    Happy invoicing!

  2. #2

    Prof Cunning @ Oxford Uni

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    Quote Originally Posted by NickFitz View Post
    • Too much Christmas music can mentally harm you - Now the month-long marketing of Hallowe'en is over, the marketing of Christmas can begin in earnest, and you'll be pleased to hear it rots your mind: ”Studies show that hearing Christmas songs too many times increases stress.”


    I agree, we should have no Christmas music, particularly late in the evening. All we want then is a Silent Night.
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