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

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    Default Monday Links from the Bench vol. CDLXXIII

    The sun may be out, but it’s a trap! Stay in the warm with this fine reading instead

    • The True Story of the Lost Sci-Fi Movie 'Brainstorm,' Natalie Wood’s Last Film - ”It was directed by one of the most important and influential visual artists in film history, and the plot foretold the invention of virtual reality decades ahead of its time. The script was written as a showcase for a new technology designed to change the way we see movies. One of the Hollywood legends died before the movie was finished, a mysterious death… And you’ve never heard of it.”

    • Sounding out the brain - Using ultrasound to control cells in living organisms directly: ”Sonogenetics and other promising technologies let researchers use focused sound waves to control genes and entire cells deep in the tissues of living animals, without surgery.”

    • How Nearby Stellar Explosions Could Have Killed Off Large Animals - ”A new study suggests that subatomic particles called muons streamed through the atmosphere and fatally irradiated megafauna like the monster shark megalodon.” Rebecca Boyle brings us exploding stars and giant sharks! There's also her article from a week or so earlier on a related topic: Why the Best Place to Find Dark Matter May Be in a Rock.

    • Mesmerising Science: The Franklin Commission and the Modern Clinical Trial - A useful reminder that pure hokum can have indirect benefits: ”Benjamin Franklin, magnetic trees, and erotically-charged séances — Urte Laukaityte on how a craze for sessions of “animal magnetism” in late 18th-century Paris led to the randomised placebo-controlled and double-blind clinical trials we know and love today.”

    • ASCII Porn Predates the Internet But It’s Still Everywhere - ”ASCII porn is credited as being the first form of pornography sent across the internet. Unlike sending image files that were agonizingly slow to download using the day’s dial-up connections, ASCII art loaded as quickly as any other text. And even before image files were transmitted over the internet, ASCII art was a relatively simple way to make and share all kinds of kinky tulip.” Weirdly, this stuff is probably safer for work the closer anybody who might be offended is to your screen

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    • Bosons and Bubbles: Building a Universe from Scratch - Eleanor Hook on Dr. David Weir's theories on the creation of the Universe: ”The currently accepted model of physics, known as the Standard Model, doesn’t explain the matter/antimatter asymmetry—obviously, or it wouldn’t be an open question. That’s why researchers like Weir turn to more exotic models, adding in extra particles that haven’t been observed yet. (This isn’t as crazy as it sounds, since many particles were predicted theoretically before being confirmed experimentally.)”

    • Infographic Breaks Down Film Genre Popularity of the Past 100 Years - Interesting tool for movie fans: ”In this interactive version of the infographic above, you can see the top 5 movies each year when you hover your mouse over any given point in each genre… It's interesting to see the spikes in War and Action over time, as well as the gradual climb of Documentaries and the decline of Westerns.”

    • Thousands of Russians have joined something called the ‘Union SSR’ trade union, calling themselves Soviet citizens and refusing to pay their bills - This is the Russian equivalent of those "sovereign citizen" loonies: ”The agreement — officially between Dyomkin and Russia’s ‘Constitution Guarantor’ — stated that the Russian Federation will carry out the ‘free delivery of utilities and other services’ to each member of the labor union. In Dyomkin's words, since the ‘Constitution Guarantor’ (that is to say, Vladimir Putin) did not respond to the document’s publication, the contract is in force, giving all union members the right to ignore their utility bills.”

    • Alaska Fried Chicken: the UK’s curious approach to naming chicken shops. - HT to DaveB for this excellent example of data visualisation: ”It all started when I walked past Tennessee Fried Chicken in Camberwell, pretty close to where I live. It’s clearly a knock-off KFC, and I wanted to know how many other chicken shops had the same name format: [American state] Fried Chicken.”

    • Information Security Posters of the Russian Army - Not, as you might expect, from the Cold War, but modern posters exhorting the Russian military to beware of social media and the use of iPhones when, presumably, Not Actually In Ukraine At All.

    Happy invoicing!

  2. #2

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    Thanks for the links Nick, as always quality stuff.

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