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

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    Default Monday Links from the Bench vol. DI

    Onwards to the millennium

    • Murder in the Moroccan Mountains - The perils of going places and doing stuff: ”Last winter, Moroccan officials found two hikers dead on the trail to the highest peak in the Atlas Mountains. The international investigation that followed revealed the fragility of the adventure travel economy, as well as what happens when a small tourist hub is suddenly made strange by violence.”

    • Thousands of Years Ago, a Dog Gave Rise to an Immortal Entity - ”The story of CTVT—a contagious cancer that spreads from dog to dog—gets weirder all the time.” We had a NatGeo article about this transmissible tumour in dogs back in 2014. The findings of a new genetic study by Elizabeth Murchison's team at Cambridge University show just how weird it is.

    • The Maid Who Mapped the Heavens - ”Edward Charles Pickering, director of the Harvard College Observatory, had become so exasperated with the sloppy work of his male assistants — ‘computers,’ as they were called in those days — he’d quipped that his ‘Scotch maid’ could do a better job.” He was correct, and housemaid Mina Paton Fleming ended up doing groundbreaking work in astronomy (Pickering’s team of female computers was also mentioned here back in 2013.)

    • The Russian Gangster Cemetery in Yekaterinburg - ”In one section of [the Shirokorechenskoe Cemetery], among the pines, you’ll find some of the most elaborate tombstones. Huge granite headstones with large-than-life photo-realistic carvings depicting hardened men in expensive suits and leather jackets, with gold chains and tattoos, holding a cigarette or keys to a Mercedes in their hands. Often the cars themselves would be engraved in the background, sometimes accompanied by their girlfriends. These extravagant tombs belong to gangsters who died violent deaths during the gangland wars of the turbulent 90s.” Even in death, nouveau riche crooks have terrible taste. I imagine when Trump dies, he’ll be buried under something like this, though probably with more gold.


    • Software spotlight: Cassette software for the IBM PC - ”While people stick their noses up at floppies these days (or any physical media for that matter), few realize that the original IBM PC and PCJr both supported an even more primitive form of program storage: audio cassette tape.” The first IBM PC I ever used, at work in 1984, was an original model with cassette port and ROM BASIC

    • I assure you, medieval people bathed. - Dr Eleanor Janega addresses one of the most common misconceptions about the Middle Ages: ”In fact, medieval people loved a bath and can in many ways be considered a bathing culture, much in the way that say, Japan is now. Medieval people also very much valued being clean generally in an almost religious way.”

    • How Chinese Ingenuity Destroyed Salad Bars at Pizza Hut - The Chinese get their revenge for all those people taking advantage at all-you-can-eat buffets: ”You had one trip to the salad bar. So dammit, you had to make it count… A while back, it became a fad of sorts to build enormous fruit and vegetable structures at Pizza Hut salad bars. The reason was that customers only got one plate and one trip to the salad bar, so they wanted their visit to be worth it. And was it ever.”


    • Sun’s Puzzling Plasma Recreated in a Laboratory - ”The twisting loops of the sun’s magnetic field control the flow of charged particles throughout the solar system. For the first time, researchers have created a scale model of this mysterious environment.” The people of Essex eagerly await the home version.

    • Software woven into wire: Core rope and the Apollo Guidance Computer, Apollo Guidance Computer: Dipstiks and reverse engineering the core rope simulator - Ken Shirriff continues his work reviving an Apollo Guidance Computer: ”Since weaving a core rope was a time-consuming and expensive process, an alternative was required during development and ground testing. In place of the core ropes, NASA used rope simulators that allowed the AGC to load data from an external system. Our Apollo Guidance Computer was used for ground testing so it didn't have core ropes but instead had a core rope simulator… Although we have extensive documentation for the Apollo Guidance Computer, I couldn't find any documentation on the simulator boxes. Thus, I had to reverse engineer the boxes by tracing out all the circuitry and then figuring out what the boxes were doing.” And to complete the buzzword bingo: Bitcoin mining on an Apollo Guidance Computer: 10.3 seconds per hash

    • Art's Beer Cans - ”Welcome to Art’s Beer Cans – Exceeding Beer Can Collecting needs since 1997.” Art even offers a service for repairing beer cans, should you be building a collection. Here’s his catalogue of collectible cans; this London Tavern cone top (empty) sells for $1500



    Happy invoicing!

  2. #2

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    Call that a beer can collection?

    Clipper Pale: September 2003 Can of the Month

    As mentioned, the mint version of the Clipper Pale Ale can went for $19k back in 2003.

    Apollo AGC rom emulator: just thinking about that cordwood stuff gives me the horrors.

    I used to frighten the kiddies with pictures of cordwood construction.

    The true horror can be seen here:

    boldport: A tribute to the cordwood construction of old

    Dunno about a tribute, garlic & a crucifix would work better.

    What's always struck me is how the feck you fix it if it goes wrong.

    In other news, the netnanny in the library won't display any of the images on that boldport site.

    remarkable.
    Last edited by DoctorStrangelove; 6th August 2019 at 09:32.
    When the fun stops, STOP.

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    Wot no cheeky link to the People's Princess or even the Daily Express?!
    “Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”

    ― Marcus Aurelius

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    Life/Death goals: 1996 Volvo S70 on a gravestone. Check!

    qh
    He had a negative bluety on a quackhandle and was quadraspazzed on a lifeglug.

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