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

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    Default Monday Links from the Bench vol. CDXCIX

    The Roman numerals will get a bit easier from next week

    • Going Down the Pipes - Originally published in 1996, Darcy Frey's report from the New York Terminal Radar Approach Control showed an air traffic control system constantly on the verge of breaking, but somehow held together by the controllers: ”As rush hour arrives, his radar scope fills with blips… But that’s OK, the controller assures himself, he has what they call ‘the picture’… Then, for an instant, his mind wanders—don’t forget to pick up milk on the way home—and suddenly he looks back at the scope and it’s gone: no picture, no pattern, just a mad spray of blips (and more blips now than there were five seconds ago) heading—where? North or south? Climbing or descending? He can’t remember.”

    • This little-known inventor has probably saved your life - HT to WTFH for this account of the life of David Warren, the Australian engineer who invented the aircraft black box, so at least there’s a chance of finding out what went wrong when the ATC system breaks down: ”What if every plane in the sky had a mini recorder in the cockpit? If it was tough enough, accident investigators would never be this confused again, because they'd have audio right up to the moment of the crash. At the very least, they'd know what the pilots had said and heard.”

    • Debate intensifies over speed of expanding universe - ”This week, leading experts at clocking one of the most contested numbers in the cosmos—the Hubble constant, the rate at which the universe expands—gathered in hopes that new measurements could point the way out of a brewing storm in cosmology. No luck so far.” Various attempts at measuring the Hubble constant disagree, which has confused the matter even further.

    • Astromaterials 3D - From NASA, a project to create interactive 3D images of stuff from space, starting with the first rock collected on the Moon: ”The mission of the Astromaterials 3D project is to make more accessible NASA's Apollo Lunar Sample and Antarctic Meteorite collections, and to share their wondrous cosmochemical stories through interactive, high-resolution, research-grade 3D models.”

    • How Swarming Insects Act Like Fluids - When you’re being chased by a swarm of angry wasps at your next picnic, take a moment to marvel at the intricate mathematics that describes their movements: ”Nicholas Ouellette, a physicist at Stanford University… and his colleagues used a strategy inspired by materials science to analyze the dynamics of a flying swarm. They identified properties in the collective behaviors of insects that might help a group to avoid falling apart in the face of a changeable and disruptive natural environment.”

    • The Murderer, the Writer, the Reckoning - John J. Lennon: ”On February 10, 2002, in a New York State prison cell, the bestselling author and twice-convicted killer Jack Abbott hanged himself with an improvised noose. That same day, the body of the man I murdered washed ashore on a Brooklyn beach in a nylon laundry bag. My reason for connecting these two events is to try to account for my crime, to understand better why I did it, and to describe what Abbott’s legacy, as a prison writer of an earlier generation, has meant for me as a prison writer in this generation.”

    • Teeth ‘time capsule’ reveals that 2 million years ago, early humans breastfed for up to 6 years - Australopithecus weren’t in a hurry to cut the apron strings: ”Geochemical analysis of four teeth shows they exclusively breastfed infants for about 6-9 months, before supplementing breast milk with varying amounts of solid food until they were 5-6 years old.”

    • The Search for the Impact That Cratered Ancient Scotland - ”Great Britain’s largest impact crater likely lies in the Scottish Highlands. Scientists dispute whether it’s to the west or the east.” Maybe there were two meteorites?

    • Putting the “crow” in necrophilia - Crows have been observed attempting to mate with their dead: ”No, no, this can’t be, I think. But then it happens. A quick hop, and the live crow mounts our dead one, thrashing in that unmistakable manner. ‘Is it giving it CPR?’ someone asks earnestly. Still in disbelief, John and I exchange glances before shaking our heads.”

    • The 2019 Audubon Photography Awards: Top 100 - Speaking of birds, here’s lots of them: ”This year thousands of photographers from across the United States and Canada submitted more than 8,000 images to the 10th annual Audubon Photography Awards… We've selected 100 additional photographs, displayed here in no particular order. The collection shows birdlife in all its delightful and captivating variety, from elegant to humorous to powerful.” These are the runners-up; you’ll also want to see the winners. This northern gannet was captured bringing seaweed for its nest by Steve Zamek



    Happy invoicing!

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    Liking the photography awards, but I had to laugh. One of the shots is classified as:
    Category: Amateur
    Camera: Canon EOS-1D X Mark II with Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens

    The body is £5,400 and the lens is £13,000.

    Not exactly "Amateur" gear.
    Check...Change...Go

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    Quote Originally Posted by WTFH View Post
    Liking the photography awards, but I had to laugh. One of the shots is classified as:
    Category: Amateur
    Camera: Canon EOS-1D X Mark II with Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens

    The body is £5,400 and the lens is £13,000.

    Not exactly "Amateur" gear.
    on the other hand, having expensive gear doesn't make one a professional.

    I know a few rich wannabe muso's with great gear and no talent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BR14 View Post
    on the other hand, having expensive gear doesn't make one a professional.

    I know a few rich wannabe muso's with great gear and no talent.

    Very true. I'm sure your Lambeg wasn't £20.
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    Quote Originally Posted by WTFH View Post
    Very true. I'm sure your Lambeg wasn't £20.
    what's one of those?

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    Quote Originally Posted by BR14 View Post
    what's one of those?
    This is it:

    Check...Change...Go

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    All a bit boring this week.

    3/10 must try harder.
    SARS-CoV-2 - Finally something from China that still works as designed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DimPrawn View Post
    All a bit boring this week.

    3/10 must try harder.
    Are you having trouble with the long words?
    Old Greg - In search of acceptance since Mar 2007. Hoping each leap will be his last.

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