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

    This time a year ago I was just arriving at A&E. But the links didn't stop then, and they won't stop now

    • Secrets haunt the still-classified Operation Ivy Bells, a daring Cold War wiretapping operation conducted 400 feet underwater. - How the USA eavesdropped on a communications link the Soviets thought too remote be breached: ”At the bottom of the Sea of Okhotsk, the U.S. nuclear submarine Halibut silently listens to the secret conversations of the Soviet Union. With the Kremlin completely unaware, Navy divers emerge from a hidden compartment (referred to as the ‘Bat Cave’) and walk along the bottom of the sea in complete darkness, wiretapping the Soviet's underwater communications line.”

    • Pioneers of the Computing Age - Advent calendar time! ”From December 1st until December 24th we plan to release one article each day, highlighting the life of one of the many women that have made today’s computing industry as amazing as it is: From early compilers to computer games, from chip design to distributed systems, we will revisit the lives of these pioneers.”

    • How The Walking Dead Blew Up a Bridge Full of Zombies Without Actually Blowing Up a Real Bridge - Behind the scenes video; spoiler alert if you haven’t seen the show, I guess: ”A real-life bridge was used as the setting for this climactic scene, as well as several shots involving close-ups of the zombie horde, lead characters, and a giant fireball explosion. But everything else, from a repaired section of the bridge being blown to bits again, to zombies flying through the air, to even a raging current below, were all added by Goodbye Kansas Studios as digital embellishments.” N.B. The video should be embedded below, but Vimeo embeds don't seem to be working at the moment; I'll add it to the list


    • The Stasi Played Along - The authorities in the GDR kept an eye on early microcomputer enthusiasts, and now their records provide a detailed insight into the scene: ”Thanks to that ‘Operational Information,’ the number of people present at that meeting in January 1988 (’70 to 80 persons’) and their estimated average age (’22 to 23’) has not been lost to history. The IM also reported that he had been ‘normally but not suspiciously accepted’ by the other people present and learned from his conversations that ‘several participants are in possession of a Commodore 64 computer, and having one is seen as a prerequisite for membership in the computer club.’”

    • Mystery Math Whiz and Novelist Advance Permutation Problem - 4chan is generally a sewer, but it turns out an anonymous poster seven years ago made a significant mathematical discovery: ”On September 16, 2011, an anime fan posted a math question to the online bulletin board 4chan about the cult classic television series The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya… Fans were arguing online about the best order to watch the episodes, and the 4chan poster wondered: If viewers wanted to see the series in every possible order, what is the shortest list of episodes they’d have to watch? In less than an hour, an anonymous person offered an answer — not a complete solution, but a lower bound on the number of episodes required.”

    • The Cavernous World under the Woods - ”On Vancouver Island, karst researchers hustle to save one of Earth’s most underappreciated—and fragile—ecosystems: an ecosystem hidden in plain sight.” Exploring a delicate ecosystem under threat from logging.


    • The Stranger in the Shelter - ”Three people met in the Georgia woods. They were two young men and a girl not yet 18. They were a drifter and a pair who barely knew each other. They were, all three, green to the outdoors, new to the dragon-backed highlands near the southern end of the Appalachian Trail. One died in those mountains. A second forfeited any shot at a normal life. Just one of the three has outlived the story. Until now, 44 years after the fact, that survivor has shared it with few. Three people met in the Georgia woods, and this is what happened.”

    • Strange waves rippled around the world, and nobody knows why - ”On the morning of November 11, just before 9:30 UT, a mysterious rumble rolled around the world.” Nobody’s quite sure what happened, but here’s what scientists know and suspect about the weird geological event.

    • London Medieval Murder Map - Cool interactive map of murders recorded in mediæval coroner’s rolls: ”Each pin represents the approximate location of one of 142 homicides cases in late medieval London. Click on a pin to open a window that displays the story behind the event, based on the original record produced by the Coroner.” One example of the kind of thing that got people’s backs up in 1326: “On the aforesaid Friday at 6.00 in the morning Roger was walking in Cordewanerstrete carrying eels in a bucket for sale. When he threw down on to the street the skins of eels opposite the shops of Simon de Peckham and John de Keslyngbury, Simon and Richard, John’s apprentice remonstrated with him, and a quarrel arose.”

    • Ancient sea monster reappears on remote Russian island - Meanwhile in Siberia, another weird creature reemerges. Steller’s sea cow became extinct in the 18th century, but the remains of one have been found on a shore in Kamchatka: ”The headless remains of the beast at first appeared like a 'fence' but local officials on a nature reserve survey soon realised they had made a remarkable find - the ribs of this ancient creature.”



    Happy invoicing!

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by NickFitz View Post
    N.B. The video should be embedded below, but Vimeo embeds don't seem to be working at the moment; I'll add it to the list
    Ah, it's trying to embed it using Flash, which decent browsers now completely disable. Shouldn't be too hard to fix, as decent browsers also support the <video> tag…

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    Permutation one is my favourite in weeks!

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