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

    Not strictly from the bench, as I ought to be working on the forum templates rather than wasting everybody's time with stuff like this

    • The Women Code Breakers Who Unmasked Soviet Spies - Venona was the US project to break Soviet spy communications, and most of the cryptanalysts were women: ”This article is based on exclusive interviews with [Angeline] Nanni, the last living member of the original team of Venona women; relatives of code breakers who are no longer alive; and NSA and CIA publications that detail how the project unfolded. It marks the first time that any of the female Venona code breakers has given an interview to a reporter.

    • Under poaching pressure, elephants are evolving to lose their tusks - Darwin in action: ”Hunting gave elephants that didn’t grow tusks a biological advantage in Gorongosa. Recent figures suggest that about a third of younger females—the generation born after the war ended in 1992—never developed tusks. Normally, tusklessness would occur only in about 2 to 4 percent of female African elephants.”

    • Recently Declassified Photos Show the Birth of the Soviet Space Program - ”Kapustin Yar (known today as Znamensk) is one of the Soviet Union’s first rocket launch and missile development sites. The test ground was established on May 13, 1946, and to mark its 70th anniversary Russia’s Defense Ministry has declassified revealing photographs of the site that offer a peak inside the top secret military complex.” If you know Russian, you can find the full gallery at Полигон Капустин Яр.


    • I Found the Best Burger Place in America. And Then I Killed It. - A cautionary tale from Kevin Alexander, who declared Stanich's of Portland's cheeseburger to be the best in the USA: ”We filmed a short video to announce my pick. On camera, Stanich cried as he talked about how proud his parents would be… Five months later, in a story in The Oregonian, restaurant critic Michael Russell detailed how Stanich’s had been forced to shut down. In the article, Steve Stanich called my burger award a curse, ‘the worst thing that’s ever happened to us.’”

    • The Watcher - ”A family bought their dream house. But according to the creepy letters they started to get, they weren’t the only ones interested in it.” Weird story from Westfield, NJ.

    • Eastern Bloc Songs: 7″ Gallery - A gallery of singles sleeves from the Communist Bloc. It's unclear whether the band name “Beatings” is intended ironically


    • My Father's SOS—From the Middle of the Sea - ”Richard Carr, a retired psychologist who had long dreamed of sailing around the world, was in the middle of the Pacific when he started sending frantic messages that said pirates were boarding his boat. Two thousand miles away in Los Angeles, his family woke up to a nightmare: he might be dying alone, and there was almost nothing they could do about it.”

    • The Stretcher Railing Society - Been a while since we had one of these societies of recondite interest: this one aims to protect and conserve post-WWII railings made from stretchers. ”The housing estates of South London have a hidden secret - many feature beautiful railings up-cycled from former ARP Stretchers used in the Second World War… When the war ended there was a large surplus of stretchers and many of London's housing estates had had their original railings removed to serve the war effort. The LCC set about replacing them through clever re-use of the ARP stretchers.”

    • Glowing mercury thyratrons: inside a 1940s Teletype switching power supply - Ken Shirriff examines a 1940s power supply: ”The REC-30 is very large—over 100 pounds—compared to about 10 ounces for a MacBook power supply, demonstrating the amazing improvements in power supplies since the 1940s. In this blog post, I take a look inside the power supply, discuss how it works, and contrast it with a MacBook power supply.”

    • Puzzle Montage Art by Tim Klein - ”Jigsaw puzzle companies tend to use the same cut patterns for multiple puzzles. This makes the pieces interchangeable, and I sometimes find that I can combine portions from two or more puzzles to make a surreal picture that the publisher never imagined. I take great pleasure in “discovering” such bizarre images lying latent, sometimes for decades, within the pieces of ordinary mass-produced puzzles.” You can buy these too, should you be seeking an unusual Christmas present for an unusual person



    Happy invoicing!

  2. #2

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    Looks like someone at the Guardian also reads Nick's links: What's the beef? The dark side of the quest for the world's best burger | Food | The Guardian
    Brexit is having a wee in the middle of the room at a house party because nobody is talking to you, and then complaining about the smell.

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    Quote Originally Posted by darmstadt View Post
    Beat them to it!

    Though to their credit, they have that link that tells you to eat burgers upside-down, which I hadn't come across before

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    Quote Originally Posted by NickFitz View Post
    Beat them to it!

    Though to their credit, they have that link that tells you to eat burgers upside-down, which I hadn't come across before
    that's kangaroo burgers, shirley?
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    Quote Originally Posted by BR14 View Post
    that's kangaroo burgers, shirley?
    Is having a criminal record enough?

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    My Father's SOS—From the Middle of the Sea - ”Richard Carr, a retired psychologist who had long dreamed of sailing around the world, was in the middle of the Pacific when he started sending frantic messages that said pirates were boarding his boat. Two thousand miles away in Los Angeles, his family woke up to a nightmare: he might be dying alone, and there was almost nothing they could do about it.”
    This one was quite a tough read - must have been awful for the family and no real closure either.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ladymuck View Post
    This one was quite a tough read - must have been awful for the family and no real closure either.
    You'd think a psychologist of all people would have been aware of the potential snags, for his family even if not for himself, and at least taken a satellite mobile phone.
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