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

    I was away to the dentist this morning, but does that let me off scouring the Internet for links? No; no it doesn't

    • On November 26th, a mole will land on Mars - That's today! The Oatmeal explains what's going on with NASA's InSight probe, which is landing on Mars (we hope) later. Watch it at NASA who really should have UTC times on their website; it's from about 1900 onwards in the UK.


    • Do You Even Bake, Bro? - ”Bread requires little and it has existed in some form for thousands of years, relatively unchanged, because it’s simple to make and it feeds you. But if you were to scroll through Instagram, or watch recent YouTube tutorials, or read the libraries of blogs and self-published e-books, you might come away thinking that making bread was more challenging than performing brain surgery. That’s because bread-baking in America has, of late, found a friend in the unlikeliest of people: engineers, technologists, and the Silicon Valley-centric and adjacent.” Always amuses me how the SV crowd manage to grossly over-engineer even the most basic things; "Simple is better than complex" just won't wash with them

    • Why 536 was ‘the worst year to be alive’ - Interesting results from analysis of ice cores show that 536 onwards was a wretched time, and quite literally the Dark Ages: ”A mysterious fog plunged Europe, the Middle East, and parts of Asia into darkness, day and night—for 18 months… Snow fell that summer in China; crops failed; people starved… Then, in 541, bubonic plague struck the Roman port of Pelusium, in Egypt. What came to be called the Plague of Justinian spread rapidly, wiping out one-third to one-half of the population of the eastern Roman Empire.”

    • This Is How Humanity's First Nuclear Explosion Created A New, Radioactive Mineral - ”On July 16, 1945, humanity carried out the very first successful atomic bomb test at the Trinity site in the desert of New Mexico… the blast created a crater between 5-8 feet (1.6-2.4 meters) deep. And all around the land, a new type of mineral never-before created on Earth was created: trinitite. Here's how it happened.”

    • Welcome to the witch capital of Norway - A visit to the Steilneset Memorial: ”Today’s Vardø may be trying to reinvent itself as a tourist attraction (bird-watching is its other big draw), but three centuries ago, it was the beating, psychotic heart of a major witch panic… In the 17th century, Finnmark held fewer than 3,000 souls, so prosecuting 135 people for witchcraft and killing 91 was a lot. ”


    • The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy - That conspiracy theory about lightbulb manufacturers deliberately shortening the bulbs' lives? It's all true: ”On 23 December 1924, a group of leading international businessmen gathered in Geneva for a meeting that would alter the world for decades to come. Present were top representatives from all the major lightbulb manufacturers… The cartel’s grip on the lightbulb market lasted only into the 1930s. Its far more enduring legacy was to engineer a shorter life span for the incandescent lightbulb.”

    • Medieval dental plaque sheds light on how our microbiomes have changed - ”The communities of bacteria that live in our mouths have changed drastically since the Middle Ages, according to a new study of remains buried in a medieval Danish cemetery.” Full details of the study are at Nature: Quantitative metaproteomics of medieval dental calculus reveals individual oral health status.

    • Galactic Beacons Get Snuffed Out in a Cosmic Eyeblink - Quasars are vanishing faster than expected (assuming one expected quasars to vanish): ”The first image, captured in 2000 with the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, resembled a classic quasar: an extremely bright and distant object powered by a ravenous supermassive black hole in the center of a galaxy. It was blue, with broad peaks of light. But the second image, measured in 2010, was one-tenth its former brightness and did not exhibit those same peaks… Although quasars turn off, transitioning into mere galaxies, the process should take 10,000 years or more. This quasar appeared to have shut down in less than 10 years — a cosmic eyeblink.”

    • Building the Original Commodore 64 KERNAL Source - Commodore's source code for various ROMs is now on GitHub: ”The Commodore engineer Dennis Jarvis rescued many disks with Commodore source, which he gave to Steve Gray for preservation. One of these disks, c64kernal.d64, contains the complete source of the original KERNAL version (901227-01), including all build tools. Let’s build it!”

    • Art Deco Photo Galleries - Some lovely stuff on this site dedicated to Art Deco: ”This site is the work of Randy Juster who, one summer evening long ago, decided to take a photo of the streamlined Art Deco Lake movie theater in Oak Park, Illinois… Eventually he had an archive of Art Deco architecture photos that were used in books, magazines, museum exhibits and so on… This new incarnation of Decopix includes a blog which should provide a richer experience (which is a fancy way of saying more content) with the stories behind the photos and the opportunity to exchange ideas with you.” This ceiling lamp is from the Queen Mary:



    Happy invoicing!

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    Funny website about the mole. Lots of humour and nice pictures. I can only imagine how excited they are at NASA right now. I'll be watching this one at 7pm. Fingers crossed for them but the stats they mentioned don't make for good odds. I had no idea there have been 43 robotic missions to mars but only 18 making it is woeful.

    Love the reverse engineering pages even though they don't mean much to me. Like this comment on the commodore one today.

    First, we need a Commodore PET. Any PET will do, as long as it has enough RAM
    Ah yes, any PET, because we've loads kicking about :|
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    Quote Originally Posted by northernladuk View Post
    Funny website about the mole. Lots of humour and nice pictures. I can only imagine how excited they are at NASA right now. I'll be watching this one at 7pm. Fingers crossed for them but the stats they mentioned don't make for good odds. I had no idea there have been 43 robotic missions to mars but only 18 making it is woeful.
    It worked!

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    Quote Originally Posted by northernladuk View Post
    Funny website about the mole. Lots of humour and nice pictures. I can only imagine how excited they are at NASA right now. I'll be watching this one at 7pm. Fingers crossed for them but the stats they mentioned don't make for good odds. I had no idea there have been 43 robotic missions to mars but only 18 making it is woeful.

    Love the reverse engineering pages even though they don't mean much to me. Like this comment on the commodore one today.



    Ah yes, any PET, because we've loads kicking about :|

    They sound happy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mudskipper View Post
    They sound happy.
    I can't even imagine they buzz they must be getting. I get all giddy when a project comes out of warranty without being a complete pile of crap let alone landing something on Mars.

    Oh oh. Indian accent. They haven't got TCS on the job have they?
    Last edited by northernladuk; 26th November 2018 at 20:05.
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    How come NASA can land this thing on Mars but Elen Musk can't get his boosters to land most of the time?
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    Man that was intense. Best set of links ever NF
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    Quote Originally Posted by northernladuk View Post
    How come NASA can land this thing on Mars but Elen Musk can't get his boosters to land most of the time?
    I think that is mainly due to the shape of the booster - long and thin and also the increased gravity on Earth.

    But then I am pretty sure you knew that.

    Here is what happens when they get it right


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    Quote Originally Posted by original PM View Post
    I think that is mainly due to the shape of the booster - long and thin and also the increased gravity on Earth.

    But then I am pretty sure you knew that.

    Here is what happens when they get it right

    Joking aside it is very impressive when it works like that.
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