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

    If you could just tear yourself away from panic-buying Izal for a moment, the Internet has some matters it would like to draw to your attention:

    • The invisible city: how a homeless man built a life underground - ”After decades among the hidden homeless, Dominic Van Allen dug himself a bunker beneath a public park.” An ingenious solution to the problem of finding accommodation in London. They should have let him be

    • From Berth to Death - Before air travel spread COVID-19, steamships spread the flu virus: ”Within 24 hours of leaving port, the virus had infected 700 troops and the sickbay was overflowing. Within a week, that number climbed to 2,000 as blood, vomit, and sputum coated the decks… Steamships spread the Spanish flu to almost every corner of the world carried in the lungs of sailors, soldiers, coal stokers, and civilians, infecting a third to half of the world’s 1.9 billion people and killing more than 50 million in six months.”

    • The Bizarre Bank Robbery That Shook an Arctic Town - How crime came to Longyearbyen: ”Once Popov held the gun in his hand, the reality of his plan hit him. He had come thousands of miles to kill himself. He had a rifle. The time had come, but he was losing his nerve. So he put it off… A new solution dawned on him: he would do something that would allow him to get help, right here in Norway. ”

    • I’m devoted to reminding people that Lord of the Rings actually ‘takes place’ in March - ”Did you know that the Battle of Helm’s Deep began around midnight on March 3?” Susana Polo on her quest to establish the precise dates and times of the events in Lord of the Rings

    • A stranded Dutch warship evaded the enemy by disguising itself as an island, 1942 - ”HNLMS Abraham Crijnssen was the last Dutch warship standing after the Japanese swept the rest of the Dutch fleet… The HNLMS Abraham Crijnssen was able to successfully escape to Australia because the captain came up with a crazy scheme. He disguised the entire ship as a small island.” See if you can spot it


    • Nuclear Tests Marked Life on Earth With a Radioactive Spike - Carl Zimmer on the many things scientists have learned from the increase in radiation caused by atmospheric nuclear tests and its gradual decline: ”The carbon 14 produced by hydrogen bombs spread over the entire world. It worked itself into the atmosphere, the oceans, and practically every living thing. As it spread, it exposed secrets. It can reveal when we were born. It tracks hidden changes to our hearts and brains. It lights up the cryptic channels that join the entire biosphere into a single network of chemical flux.”

    • Wearable Microphone Jamming - HT to ladymuck for this way to evade Alexa: ”We engineered a wearable microphone jammer that is capable of disabling microphones in its user’s surroundings, including hidden microphones. Our device is based on a recent exploit that leverages the fact that when exposed to ultrasonic noise, commodity microphones will leak the noise into the audible range. Moreover, our device exploits a synergy between ultrasonic jamming and the naturally occurring movements that users induce on their wearable devices (e.g., bracelets) as they gesture or walk.”

    • A Blast from the Past - ”The Roman emperors could command their people’s attention with a sonic blast from a three-meter-long horn, called a cornu… This signature sound of ancient Rome seemed consigned to oblivion, as all the remaining cornua from this time are broken, unplayable relics. But thanks to a new acoustics study, scientists have created a virtual reconstruction of this instrument, which allows a two-thousand-year-old past to be heard again.”

    • ISS Lights - Sacha Judd: ”When LEGO announced that it would be making a kit of the International Space Station, I ordered it as soon as it was available.” And then somebody suggested it would be cool if it lit up when the actual ISS passed overhead. Time to break out the Arduino

    • Skeletons of Utopia: The Story of Shumen’s Central City Square - Yet another monumental project that got left in the wake of the collapse of the Eastern Bloc: ”When the Bulgarian Communist Party relinquished its single-party system at the end of 1989, and the country slid into what would be, for at least the first half-decade, a somewhat chaotic and economically unstable democracy, many former state projects were left incomplete. You see them by the roadside – all over Bulgaria are the shells of abandoned construction projects, orphans of a dissolved government. But nowhere in Bulgaria do any come close to the size of Shumen’s Central City Square.”



    Happy invoicing!

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    Never mind the Carbon 14, what about the Cobalt Thorium G?

    When We Tested Nuclear Bombs - The Atlantic
    Last edited by DoctorStrangelove; 9th March 2020 at 13:25.
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    A Blast from the Past - ”The Roman emperors could command their people’s attention with a sonic blast from a three-meter-long horn, called a cornu… This signature sound of ancient Rome seemed consigned to oblivion, as all the remaining cornua from this time are broken, unplayable relics. But thanks to a new acoustics study, scientists have created a virtual reconstruction of this instrument, which allows a two-thousand-year-old past to be heard again.”
    I'm waiting for when they get Joshua's motorbike running again!

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    Quote Originally Posted by DoctorStrangelove View Post
    Never mind the Carbon 14, what about the Cobalt Thorium G?

    When We Tested Nuclear Bombs - The Atlantic
    Remember folks, you saw it here first, back when superinjunctions were in the news: Monday Links from [REDACTED] Vol. LXXI

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    Re the chap tunnelling under Hampstead Heath, wasn't there are chap who tunnelled under Dalston from his house?
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