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

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    Default Monday Links from the Bench vol. CDXCV

    Soon be winter now the days are drawing in, so stay in and keep warm whilst reading this lot

    • What Really Happened to Malaysia’s Missing Airplane - Five years on from the mysterious disappearance of flight MH370, William Langewiesche looks at what we know about the flight, the slim evidence that has been gathered, and the likely truth hiding in plain sight: ”A great deal about the disappearance of MH370 has come into clearer view, and reconstructing much of what happened that night is possible. The cockpit voice recorder and the flight-data recorder may never be recovered, but what we still need to know is unlikely to come from the black boxes. Instead, it will have to come from Malaysia.”

    • When Magic Is Seen in Twisted Graphene, That’s a Moiré - ”What do moiré patterns seen in optics, art, photography and color printing have to do with superconducting layers of graphene?” Lots, it turns out.

    • Did the Romans do fundamental math too, & if so, what kind? - ”The Romans had a staggering lack of interest in the fundamentals of mathematics, or of the universe or really of anything… But there are two interesting things in that short answer. 1. Given that the Greeks were really good at fundamental maths, why were the later, superior (don’t @ me) Romans so bad at it? And 2. If they were so bad at maths, how were they so good at engineering?” Ancient historian Dr. Emma Southon (the history's ancient, not her) on how the Romans did what they did for us when they could barely manage basic arithmetic.

    • 16th-Century Calligraphy Manual Available for Free Download - ”Between 1561 and 1562, [Georg Bocskay, secretary to the Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand I] created Model Book of Calligraphy (Mira Calligraphiae Monumenta) in order to record all the types of writing known to him. Thirty years later, Ferdinand’s grandson, Emperor Rudolph II, decided to make his own mark on the manual by commissioning Hungarian/Flemish illustrator Joris Hoefnagel to intervene on the pages.” The book is available online via the Getty Museum, so get your quills out and start practising

    • From Two Bulls, 9 Million Dairy Cows - ”There are more than 9 million dairy cows in the United States, and the vast majority of them are Holsteins… more than 99 percent of them can be traced back to one of two bulls, both born in the 1960s. That means among all the male Holsteins in the country, there are just two Y chromosomes.” Now geneticists and other bovine experts are concerned that the lack of diversity in the herd may threaten the entire US dairy industry.

    • What’s Happening in Your Brain When You Can’t Stay Awake - ”A team of neuroscientists based in Singapore has documented what’s going on in the brain when the battle to stay awake is momentarily lost… The researchers looked specifically at the patterns of activity in the participants’ brains in those moments that their eyes fell involuntarily shut.” Now you know what's happening to you in those interminable project meetings

    • Ground Zero Photographs (September-October 2001) - A remarkable gallery of hitherto unseen photos of the former WTC site in the early stages of the post-9-11 cleanup operation, found on CD-Rs at a house clearance sale and archived by Jason Scott of the Internet Archive and This is the atrium of the Winter Garden, over the road from the WTC site.

    • No, Black Holes Don't Suck Everything Into Them - Turns out black holes are easy to miss, though you still don't want to get too close: ”We think of black holes as cosmic vacuum cleaners, consuming everything that dares to approach their vicinity. Even though NASA itself has released videos illustrating this effect, it's a complete falsehood. Black holes don't suck, after all.”

    • It’s possible to build a Turing machine within Magic: The Gathering - ”A recent paper posted on the physics arXiv proves that it's possible in principle to build a simple computer within this massively popular tabletop game using just the right combination of Magic cards. While the inputs must be pre-programmed, ‘Literally any function that can be computed by any computer can be computed within a game of Magic,’ said co-author Alex Churchill, a longtime Magic fan who has been working on the problem for several years.” Meaning you could have used the game to generate Bitcoin and then had them stolen on Mt. Gox, aka “Magic: The Gathering Online eXchange

    • みかんアート!皮のむき方が衝撃す る10選 (translated: Orange art! 10 selection of how to peel is too shocking) and みかんアート ベスト (translated: Mandarin Art Best) - The Japanese art of peeling mandarins to create sculptures: ”There are some cute things, but there is a super-powering mandarin peel art, but the point that is finished just by peeling one mandarin orange is wonderful.” Good point, well made

    Happy invoicing!

  2. #2


    DoctorStrangelove is always on top

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    Liked the Roman thing and the MH370 thing.
    When the fun stops, STOP.

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