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

    The next Bank Holiday Monday is exactly 26 weeks from today. HT to East End blogger @diamondgeezer for that cheering thought

    • The Kim Jong-nam assassination: meet the Indonesian woman caught up in the plot - ”[Siti Aisyah's] new job was to go up behind strangers at various locations around the Malaysian capital and smear baby oil on their faces while the film crew recorded the targets’ bemused reactions from a distance… But today would be different in two critical ways: this was no random stranger, but Kim Jong-nam, playboy half-brother of North Korean tyrant Kim Jong-un; and the liquid was not baby oil, but VX, a deadly nerve agent.” Simon Parry meets one of the young women duped into carrying out an assassination in Kuala Lumpur International Airport in 2017.

    • How Space and Time Could Be a Quantum Error-Correcting Code - ”The same codes needed to thwart errors in quantum computers may also give the fabric of space-time its intrinsic robustness.” If you enjoy some pretty abstruse physics, you'll enjoy this

    • Researchers “Translate” Bat Talk. Turns Out, They Argue—A Lot - ”A machine learning algorithm helped decode the squeaks Egyptian fruit bats make in their roost, revealing that they ‘speak’ to one another as individuals.” If you're intrigued, you can find more details in the paper Everyday bat vocalizations contain information about emitter, addressee, context, and behavior. And while we're on the subject of talking animals, I'll throw in Study Confirms Horses ‘Talk’ to Human Handlers for good measure

    • The Andromeda Galaxy ate its small friends… twice - ”Astronomers using a vast survey of the sky around the Andromeda Galaxy have found evidence that it has had two huge meals in the distant past, two separate events where smaller galaxies were physically consumed by the far larger one.” And it's coming for us in about 4.6 billion years

    • Cows painted with zebra-like striping can avoid biting fly attack - ”Experimental and comparative studies suggest that the striped coats of zebras can prevent biting fly attacks. Biting flies are serious pests of livestock that cause economic losses in animal production. We hypothesized that cows painted with black and white stripes on their body could avoid biting fly attacks.” There's a useful diagram, should you fancy replicating this research or are just curious to know where a cow's legs are in relation to its body, though you should probably ask the farmer for permission before getting the Dulux out


    • The Giant Moon That Might Be the Heart of a Jupiter - I remember when we didn't even know if there were any planets outside our solar system, and now they're having to theorise about exomoons: ”Small variations in the orbital period of Kepler-1624b suggested the presence of an unseen body that was tugging on the planet… The moon is on a long orbit about the planet and has a measured mass similar to that of Neptune. Such a large moon defies ready formation by any of the above three moon-y recipes.”

    • Beware of Cranks - David S. Richeson on the nutters who plague mathematicians with "solutions" to impossible problems: ”The four impossible ‘problems of antiquity’—trisecting an angle, doubling the cube, constructing every regular polygon, and squaring the circle—are catnip for mathematical cranks. Every mathematician who has email has received letters from crackpots claiming to have solved these problems.”

    • The Fox in the Time Machine - Dmitri Belyaev and Lyudmila Trut’s experiment in the domestication of silver foxes began in the Soviet era and has now been running for sixty years: ”Since its inception in 1959, Trut, Belyaev, and their team of Russian biologists have raised tens of thousands of foxes, breeding approximately the sweetest and calmest 10 percent of each generation… Within six years — six fox generations — they had gone from wild animals that fled from humans, attacked when cornered, or both to foxes that begged for belly rubs, wagged their tails when Trut approached, and whined when she left.”

    • King Crimson: How we made In The Court Of The Crimson King - The classic album was released fifty years ago last Thursday; here, members of the band recall those days in 1969: ”We weren’t one of those bands who rolled a couple of joints and had a Scotch before we started work at midnight, we used to get up there at lunchtime and work through until we were exhausted at around nine or 10 and not push it. We worked fairly hard and we did it very quickly… I remember being in Oxford Street just after it was released, and seeing a whole shop window full of them. I thought: ‘Strewth, what have we done?’”

    • Some Books - Anne Billson: ”In the 40 years since I left home, I have moved house 14 times, and lived in four different countries. Each time I moved, it was necessary, for practical reasons, to get rid of a lot of possessions, books included… There are some volumes that have stayed the course, and have somehow managed to stick with me through all the moves and clear-outs and sales and giveaways.” I have this edition of Willans and Searle’s How to be Topp, though mine is a 1972 printing with the price of 20p (4/- in real money) on the back cover



    Happy invoicing!

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    I'm really pleased they drew a diagram on the cow to highlight it's body and legs. That's really helped me out.
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    Quote Originally Posted by northernladuk View Post
    I'm really pleased they drew a diagram on the cow to highlight it's body and legs. That's really helped me out.
    You just need one for arse and elbows now.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zigenare View Post
    You just need one for arse and elbows now.
    The left and right socks I got for xmas solved that particular problem. The above is still confounding me so any solution would be welcome. Life is hard.
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    I woz at the King Crimson/ Stones hyde park gig.
    i think it was brilliant BIDRR all of it

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    "Court of the Crimson King" is the only one of their albums that I like.

    Though I tolerate "Lark's tongue in aspic" coz it's on the other side of the cassette.

    The Dead Zone: 40 years later, Stephen King's novel is scarier than ever

    Here's one that justifies LHO.
    Last edited by DoctorStrangelove; 14th October 2019 at 12:47.
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    I thought the bats at Chester Zoo just ate and had sex? Maybe its just Chester that is like that?

    Loved the maths and physics articles too....

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrilloPad View Post
    I thought the bats at Chester Zoo just ate and had sex? Maybe it's just Chester that is like that?

    Loved the maths and physics articles too....
    Apart from the one I stood on. That didn't squeak.
    Old Greg - In search of acceptance since Mar 2007. Hoping each leap will be his last.

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