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

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    Default Monday Links from the Bench vol. CDXC

    Some weeks the hardest part of putting this lot together is thinking of something to say here at the start. Maybe I just won't bother this time

    • Journeys of a Psychic Army Spy - Intriguing account of the US military's psychic remote viewing project:”Smith drifted in a reality that was beyond normal comprehension, seeing flashes of images, hearing snippets of sounds and feeling the terror of an event that he couldn’t fully grasp. As protocol dictated, he jotted down words associated with what he was seeing — ‘water,’ ‘vessel,’ ‘smoke’ and ‘wings’… That Monday morning, headlines across the country announced that an Iraqi fighter-bomber had fired two anti-ship missiles at the USS Stark, a frigate patrolling the Persian Gulf.”

    • The Navy’s probe into sky penis - HT to greenlake for this rather less salubrious US military activity: ”’I’m gonna go down, grab some speed and hopefully get out of the contrail layer so they’re not connected to each other… Balls are complete,’ he reported moments later. ‘I just gotta navigate a little bit over here for the shaft.’”

    • A Truly Remarkable Spider - ”The spider Hyptiotes reinvented the concept of the web, building an extraordinary, spring-loaded trap.” I tell you, they’re coming for us

    • Seven Big Misconceptions About Heredity - Carl Zimmer on the things genome sequencing won’t tell you: ”People are no longer thinking of their DNA as a black box but as a database to be mined… There’s a lot we can learn about ourselves in these test results. But there’s also a huge opportunity to draw the wrong lessons.”

    • Chef Stef's NES Arkanoid "warpless" in 11:11.18 - Turns out there’s a community of people who program computers to play old video games in record times. Stefan Roger, aka Chef Stef, recently took on Arkanoid: ”At first glance, brute-forcing an 11-minute TAS might seem to be completely impossible, having 2^8^(60 * 60 * 11) possibilities to evaluate. But that assumes we actually want to try every combination of inputs; if we encode the rules of the game into the bot and don't bother looking for things like glitches or ACE exploits, we can actually get this into the realm of possibility. The input surface of the game is actually quite small: you only have to press left, right, and A, and never any of those at the same time. There also aren't all that many ways to bounce the ball around.” Here’s the entire game:


    • The moon is quaking as it shrinks - ”A 2010 analysis of imagery from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) found that the moon shriveled like a raisin as its interior cooled… A new analysis suggests that the moon may still be shrinking today and actively producing moonquakes along these thrust faults.” Anybody remember the game Incredible Shrinking Sphere?

    • Crash site of the Apollo 12 ascent module possibly found after almost 50 years - Another use for data from lunar seismographs: ”A very odd set of lunar features could mark the location where part of the Apollo 12 Lunar Module slammed into the Moon at nearly two kilometers per second.”

    • Inside the Pampered and Personalized World of DC’s VIP Diners - Guzzling while Rome burns: ”That every person is treated the same is the great lie all restaurants tell. Everyone might get attentive service and an excellent meal, sure. But for a select group of dining heavies around town, a whole other world of special perks and suck-uppery awaits.”

    • The Origin of Script Kiddie - LiveOverflow explores hacker etymology: ”I think it would be interesting to look for the origin of the term script kiddie and at the same time it gives us an excuse to look into the past, to better understand on what our community is built upon and somewhat honour and remember it. I wish I was old enough to have experienced that time myself to tell you first-hand stories, but unfortunately I’m born in the early 90s and so I’m merely an observer and explorer of the publicly available historical records. But there is fascinating stuff out there that I want to share with you.”

    • The Rusted Cell Blocks of the Mansfield Reformatory - Been a while since we had an abandoned building: ”Welcome to the Ohio State Reformatory of Mansfield, Ohio… The reformatory still holds two of the world’s largest cell blocks, with the East block still clutching to a world record of a towering 6-tier free standing section of rusted, decaying steel… These human cages were not always in such a state of rusted decay, but years ago held hundreds and thousands of criminals from all over the US, California to Texas and beyond.”



    Happy invoicing!

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by NickFitz View Post
    Some weeks the hardest part of putting this lot together is thinking of something to say here at the start. Maybe I just won't bother this time



    Happy invoicing!
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    Quote Originally Posted by NickFitz View Post
    Some weeks the hardest part of putting this lot together is thinking of something to say here at the start. Maybe I just won't bother this time
    Ok for this time but we are expecting a doozy next week!
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    Arkanoid, sooooooo addictive when I played it back in the day.

    qh
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    Lovely spooky old building!

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    Not sure I believe a word of the Uri Geller psychic spy story. Everything I've ever read about him says he is a complete fraud and illusionist...but then they would say that I suppose if he were the real deal?
    I was miserable and depressed, but CUK turned it all around. Now I'm depressed and miserable.

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    Am waiting for volume ACDC


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    Quote Originally Posted by DimPrawn View Post
    Not sure I believe a word of the Uri Geller psychic spy story. Everything I've ever read about him says he is a complete fraud and illusionist...but then they would say that I suppose if he were the real deal?
    And they'd also say that if he was a fraud and illusionist, yet the US military seemed to take him seriously, at least briefly; the film The Men Who Stare at Goats (2009) (and the book on which it was based) covers similar ground

    There's a chap on Twitter who used to be a junior editorial assistant at Psychic World or some such magazine. He revealed that one of the small pleasures of his job was answering the phone to Uri Geller, who often called the editor. He'd ask who was calling, Geller would say "It's Uri", and he'd always say "Uri who?" to which the invariable response was an angry "URI GELLER!"

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    The book, it must be said, is rather different from the film.
    When the fun stops, STOP.

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