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

    After the unpleasant warmth of the weekend you'll probably find it comparatively chilly out there today. Luckily, there's no reason whatsoever to actually go out there when you can bask in the pallid rays of the Internet instead

    • A dirty, rotten, double crossing (true) story of what happened to the Italian American mob - Alex Hannaford finds out what the Italian Mob in New York has been up to lately: ”I wanted to see how close I could get to the mafia, to find out how it made its money in 21st-century America. It was a journey that would take me to New York, Massachusetts and Florida, to meetings with men who had murdered rivals in cold blood and who wouldn’t have hesitated to kill their own father to honour a century-old fraternity.” Bonus criminal underground linky: Gangs, a March 1928 piece from The Atlantic: ”People called them hoodlums, and hoodlums they were, but they were a gusty element in community life, noisy and forceful.”

    • Mucus: The Body’s Unsung Hero - ”We know it best as a stringy slime dripping from noses and as viscous, discolored goop hacked up by sickened airways. But it’s so much more than that. Coating the surfaces of guts, eyes, mouth, nasal cavity and ears, mucus plays a range of important physiological roles — hydrating, cleaning, supporting good microbes and warding off foreign invaders.” Good stuff, mucus

    • Stonehenge Skyscape - ”This website has been created by English Heritage to enable people around the world to experience the skies above the iconic stone circle, to learn about movements of the sun, moon and planets and to see the solar alignment at Stonehenge.” Don't forget your bodhran and chillum

    • The Hiding Place: Inside the World's First Long-Term Storage Facility for Highly Radioactive Nuclear Waste - You no doubt remember the link to the Sandia Labs report Expert Judgement on Markers to Deter Inadvertent Human Intrusion into the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Monday Links XVI. Here, Robert Macfarlane visits such a place in Finland, though unlike the "shunned land" envisaged in that report, this one has a visitors' centre: ”The tomb is intended to outlast not only the people who designed it, but also the species that designed it. It is intended to maintain its integrity without future maintenance for 100,000 years, able to endure a future ice age… The reception area is clean and well funded. There are free-standing wardrobes, veneered on the outside with high-definition photographs of forest vistas. In the bathroom there is no piped music but there is piped birdsong. People piss to the calls of nuthatches, or perhaps they are treecreepers.”

    • Радио-жирафф — Валентин Катаев - Or Radio Giraffe - Valentina Kataeva to you and me, a 1927 children's book about animals in the zoo setting up a radio station, with a chimp as DJ and the giraffe acting as antenna


    • The hidden strengths of freshwater mussels - Sharon Levy on the problems faced by bivalves: ”Spending most of their lives buried in streambeds, freshwater mussels can be easy to miss. You could wade across a dense bed of them without noticing… Yet even though they’re hunkered out of sight, freshwater mussels shape ecosystems.”

    • Learning Synths - Synth company Ableton has created this tool for learning about synths: ”On this website, you’ll learn the basics of using synthesizers (or synths). No prior experience or equipment is required; you’ll do everything right here in your browser.” You'll probably need your headphones to use this one in the office, or get the permies to join in and start an orchestra

    • Google's Quantum Processor May Achieve Quantum Supremacy in Months - ”Moore's Law famously held that computer processor power would double about every two years, but now, Neven's Law appears to show quantum computing's explosive, 'doubly exponential' growth.” This probably has profound implications for the security of your Bitcoin wallet.

    • Kiss My Bloody Arse: Swearing in Victorian Cardiff - Anthony Rhys tracks down the few sources detailing how ordinary working class people actually swore in the 19th Century: ”You've got the roughest streets in Cardiff full of the roughest career criminals mixed in with boat loads of sailors and copious amounts of alcohol and opium. The question is what language did they use?… The language [recorded in the Petty Sessions books] starts of pretty tame in the 1840's and 50's but luckily this changed in the 1860's and the court transcriber Mr Rees was kind enough to write down a LOAD of the really bad swear words that the police reported.”

    • Exercise Book Archive - ”…is an ever-growing, participatory archive of old exercise books that allows everyone to discover the history, education, and daily life of children and youth of the past through this unique material. The Archive includes hundreds of exercise books from 30 different countries and dated from the late 1800s to the early 2000s.” All kinds of designs graced these books, such as lions and elephants in Argentina, or planes and trains in the USA. Meanwhile, the UK's very own Cheshire Education Committee went for sententious advice about crossing the road



    Happy invoicing!

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    Good to see a commitment to data security in the Exercise Book archive. I'm sure Margaret Hughes would agree.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhiltheGreek View Post
    Good to see a commitment to data security in the Exercise Book archive. I'm sure Margaret Hughes would agree.
    Yes, they've done a cracking job on the GDPR compliance

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    Hope the security is a bit better on the nuke waste depository.
    When the fun stops, STOP.

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