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

    Nothing in the news but some weird orange pervert hassling the Queen, so you might as well read this lot instead

    • Outlaw Country - ”Klamath County, Oregon, is the perfect place to go if you don’t want to be found—and the worst place to be if someone threatens your life.” Turns out one problem with going off to live in the Oregon wilderness is that you might have to shoot your neighbour before he shoots you

    • Galaxy Simulations Offer a New Solution to the Fermi Paradox - ”Astronomers claim in a new paper that star motions should make it easy for civilizations to spread across the galaxy, but still we might find ourselves alone.” Maybe we're just the first, and it's up to us to show the galaxy the way?

    • Science, Sensationalism, and the Lessons of ‘Insectageddon’ - The problem of sensationalist reporting of science: ”I recently read about a review of studies published in the journal Biological Conservation charting a catastrophic decline of insect populations worldwide. I was primed to take it at face value, and apparently, other journalists were, too, with sensational headlines ricocheting around the globe… In a response published in the journal Rethinking Ecology, Komonen and colleagues worried that the unsubstantiated claims pinballing across the globe could diminish public faith in science, and even undermine efforts to address the real stressors that many of the planet’s insects face.”

    • When a Fatal Grizzly Mauling Goes Viral - If the neighbours don't get you, the grizzlies will: ”In the chilling phrasing of the coroner’s report, the bear had retreated from the trail and ‘moved into a position of advantage’ under the thick, obscuring branches of a spruce tree, six feet away. It was an ambush: no one could have seen him coming or reacted in time if they had. Théorêt might as well have been struck by lightning.”

    • First You Make the Maps - A brief history of cartography, with lots of lovely old maps and charts: ”From the fifteenth to the eighteenth century, European powers sent voyagers to lands farther and farther away from the continent in an expansionist period we now call the Age of Exploration… While geographically accurate maps had existed before, the Age of Exploration saw the emergence of a sustained tradition of topographic surveying.”


    • Donald Trump’s Wikipedia Entry Is a War Zone - Pity the Wikipedia editors trying to keep Trump’s page within the encyclopaedic spirit of the site; the struggle predates his incumbency as President of the USA, because he's always been a liar and a con man: ”The main Trump page is constantly in motion. It’s undergone more than 28,000 edits since its creation in 2004… One of the earliest discussions from Trump’s page had to do with confusion over whether he had actually purchased WWE’s Monday Night Raw franchise in 2009. It turns out the business deal was just a fictional plot point for the show.”

    • The surgeon had a dilemma only a Nazi medical text could resolve. Was it ethical to use it? - The moral quandary that doctors face when Nazi research is the best source of help in treating a patient: ”To figure out where the nerve wends its way between and around and under muscle and connective tissue and free it, she needed to consult the best anatomical maps of peripheral nerves ever created… Soon after this 2014 operation, she began worrying whether she had done the right thing. The meticulous, four-color paintings in the Pernkopf book… were created by Viennese medical illustrators who were such ardent Nazis they included swastikas and lightning-bolt SS symbols in their signatures… and were based in part on the bodies of people executed by the Nazis.”

    • Electricity Map - Interesting interactive visualisation of data around energy production throughout the world: ”The Electricity Map is developed and maintained by Tomorrow, a small Danish/French start-up company. Our goal is to help humanity reach a sustainable state of existence by quantifying, and making widely accessible, the climate impact of the daily choices we make.”

    • Unraveling the JPEG - ”JPEG images are everywhere in our digital lives, but behind the veil of familiarity lie algorithms that remove details that are imperceptible to the human eye. This produces the highest visual quality with the smallest file size—but what does that look like? Let's see what our eyes can't see!” You can play with editing the values in a JPEG and seeing how it changes (or doesn’t change in any way you can see) the image

    • Cereal Offers - Probably the definitive online repository of promotional items from UK breakfast cereals: ”To give you some idea there are over 8000 pictures of gifts, packets, adverts & promotional items specifically relating to Weetabix, Quaker, Cereal Partners & Kelloggs across 2500+ pages. This is still very much work in progress.” This SR-71 Blackbird kit could be obtained by sending in six packet tops from Frosties in 1976



    Happy invoicing!

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    Quote Originally Posted by NickFitz View Post
    Nothing in the news but some weird orange pervert hassling the Queen, so you might as well read this lot instead
    He'll be finding out what's in that handbag if he does.

    The outlaw piece looks promising - it's good to swot up one's visitors countries so one can be rude about them.

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    1970 Soccer Star Photos & Football Cards free in Shredded Wheat cereal

    I remember opening Shredded Wheat and no football stickers.

    I wrote to them. Three free packs sent by post!

    For a 6 year old it was like wining the lottery.

    If only life was so simple now.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrilloPad View Post
    1970 Soccer Star Photos & Football Cards free in Shredded Wheat cereal

    I remember opening Shredded Wheat and no football stickers.

    I wrote to them. Three free packs sent by post!

    For a 6 year old it was like wining the lottery.

    If only life was so simple now.....
    A few years ago I worked with a client that ran promotions and competitions and what have you for assorted companies, and for a while I sat right next to the customer service people. One of the offers they'd been running but which had recently ended involved McVities biscuit tins matching the pack designs. There was a woman who phoned in who'd got the set, all but the Digestives tin - she had the coupons or whatever, but had failed to send them in in time, and was desperate to get that final tin.

    The customer service woman dealing with her emailed everybody asking if they could find one as there weren't any left in the warehouse, and one of the sales people upstairs found a forgotten tin in the bottom drawer of their desk and brought it down.

    The customer was absolutely overjoyed when the CS woman called her back and told her she had the tin and was sending it out to her now. I thought it was a wonderful example of customer service

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    Quote Originally Posted by NickFitz View Post
    A few years ago I worked with a client that ran promotions and competitions and what have you for assorted companies, and for a while I sat right next to the customer service people. One of the offers they'd been running but which had recently ended involved McVities biscuit tins matching the pack designs. There was a woman who phoned in who'd got the set, all but the Digestives tin - she had the coupons or whatever, but had failed to send them in in time, and was desperate to get that final tin.

    The customer service woman dealing with her emailed everybody asking if they could find one as there weren't any left in the warehouse, and one of the sales people upstairs found a forgotten tin in the bottom drawer of their desk and brought it down.

    The customer was absolutely overjoyed when the CS woman called her back and told her she had the tin and was sending it out to her now. I thought it was a wonderful example of customer service
    That is fantastic!

    Baby BP had the same with McDonalds - had everything in a set of toys except one. Local McDonalds contacted head office and they obliged. It means a great deal to disabled children and McDonalds went right up in our estimation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NickFitz View Post
    A few years ago I worked with a client that ran promotions and competitions and what have you for assorted companies, and for a while I sat right next to the customer service people. One of the offers they'd been running but which had recently ended involved McVities biscuit tins matching the pack designs. There was a woman who phoned in who'd got the set, all but the Digestives tin - she had the coupons or whatever, but had failed to send them in in time, and was desperate to get that final tin.

    The customer service woman dealing with her emailed everybody asking if they could find one as there weren't any left in the warehouse, and one of the sales people upstairs found a forgotten tin in the bottom drawer of their desk and brought it down.

    The customer was absolutely overjoyed when the CS woman called her back and told her she had the tin and was sending it out to her now. I thought it was a wonderful example of customer service
    And then they sacked her for wasting time and resources.
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    Quote Originally Posted by northernladuk View Post
    And then they sacked her for wasting time and resources.
    This company has made you jaded!


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    Quote Originally Posted by northernladuk View Post
    And then they sacked her for wasting time and resources.


    It was a small business, maybe around forty people. So it was the kind of place where, when the MD/owner heard about it, he came by and congratulated her personally on doing such a good job for the customer

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