Monday Links from the Lockdown vol. DXXXIX Monday Links from the Lockdown vol. DXXXIX
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    Default Monday Links from the Lockdown vol. DXXXIX

    Here’s an idea if you have a dual monitor setup: position them so only one is visible to anybody entering the room and set its desktop background to a screenshot of a Zoom meeting. Then any member of your family who blunders in will think you’re busy and back out rather than disturbing you, leaving you in peace to read this lot on the monitor they can’t see

    • The True Story of the White Island Eruption - Alex Perry on the volcano that killed many tourists and their guides: ”Last December, around 100 tourists set out for New Zealand's Whakaari/White Island, where an active volcano has attracted hundreds of thousands of vacationers since the early 1990s. It was supposed to be a routine six-hour tour, including the highlight: a quick hike into the island's otherworldly caldera. Then the volcano exploded.”

    • How engineers are operating deep-space probes, Martian rovers, and satellites from their homes - In space, nobody can hear you cough: ”Just like millions of workers all over the world, the engineers who operate spacecraft are grappling with how to do their jobs while working from home. All of NASA’s centers have instituted mandatory telework policies, with some exceptions for essential personnel. That includes many people who are tasked with calculating commands for interplanetary space probes and navigating rovers through harsh terrains on other worlds.”

    • Medieval Myths Bingo - Fake History Hunter presents an exhaustive debunking of all those myths about life in the Middle Ages that you learned at school and from the movies: ”Many of these misconceptions come from Victorian writers and historians who reflected their Victorian society into how they thought Medieval life was… What I have written here is based on the opinions of modern day historians and experts who generally get their information from actual Medieval records, archaeological finds, evidence and other sources. Don’t take my word for all of this being the absolute truth, use the links I share and also do your own research before making your mind up.”

    • Hundreds of tiny arachnids are likely on your face right now - Bored at home? Why not contemplate the fact that you're infested with tiny creatures: ”Face mites are the ultimate hermits, likely living most of their lives head down inside a single pore… they live not only among towering forests of brows and lashes but also in the savannas of short, fine hairs all over our bodies, save the palms and the bottoms of feet.”

    • Cosmic beauty and terror mark the 30th anniversary of Hubble Space Telescope - ”Thirty years ago today, the Space Shuttle Discovery roared into space. Tucked away in its payload was a revolution in astronomy: The Hubble Space Telescope.” Well, last Friday, not today, time being what it is. This video gives an idea of Hubble's capabilities by zooming in to the tiny region of the Large Magellanic Cloud shown in detail in the anniversary image


    • Han van Meegeren's Fake Vermeers - A Dutch artist's fakes changed the way art historians appraised “rediscovered” works: ”In May 1945, Van Meegeren was arrested, charged with collaborating with the enemy and imprisoned. His name had been traced to the sale made during WW II of what was then believed to be an authentic painting Vermeer to Nazi Field-Marshal Hermann Goering. Shortly after, to general disbelief, Van Meegeren came up with a very original defense against the accusation of collaboration, then punishable by death. He claimed that the painting, The Woman Taken in Adultery, was not a Vermeer but rather a forgery by his own hand.”

    • Jubilee Jim Fisk and the great Civil War score - How a struggling nineteenth century stockbroker devised the original Big Short: ”Fisk had his sights set on something big — in fact it couldn’t get much bigger. He wanted to short Confederate bonds to the shrewdest financial minds of London, the commercial capital of the world. To pull that off, Fisk needed to know just one thing: the outcome of the Civil War before anyone else.”

    • Why everything you know about wolf packs is wrong - ”The alpha wolf is a figure that looms large in our imagination. The notion of a supreme pack leader who fought his way to dominance and reigns superior to the other wolves in his pack informs both our fiction and is how many people understand wolf behavior. But the alpha wolf doesn't exist—at least not in the wild.” Lauren Davis explains the flawed science that led to the myth of the alpha.

    • Excel Turing Machine - ”Our goal was to built the Turing machine using formulas only… Since we are only using formulas, we cannot continuously change the tape. Therefore, we use one row in the spreadsheet to represent one state of the tape. Each following line represents the state of the tape after one transition.” Next step: implement Excel as an Excel spreadsheet

    • Сладкая Россия - Or, “Sweet Russia”. This is the 1920s catalogue of a Soviet biscuit factory: ”После Октябрьской революции 1917 года фабрика была национализирована и стала называться 'Государственная кондитерская фабрика № 1, бывшая Эйнемъ', в 1922 году была переименована в 'Красный Октябрь'… К 1917 году Эйнемъ считался лучшим и крупнейшим производителем кондитерских изделий в России.”, which means ”After the October Revolution of 1917, the factory was nationalised and became known as 'State Confectionery Factory No. 1, the former Einem', in 1922 it was renamed 'Red October'… By 1917, Einem was considered the best and largest manufacturer of confectionery in Russia.” according to Google Translate



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    Quote Originally Posted by NickFitz View Post
    Here’s an idea if you have a dual monitor setup: position them so only one is visible to anybody entering the room and set its desktop background to a screenshot of a Zoom meeting. Then any member of your family who blunders in will think you’re busy and back out rather than disturbing you, leaving you in peace to read this lot on the monitor they can’t see

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    Quote Originally Posted by NickFitz View Post

    :::
    [*]Medieval Myths Bingo - Fake History Hunter presents an exhaustive debunking of all those myths about life in the Middle Ages that you learned at school and from the movies: ”Many of these misconceptions come from Victorian writers and historians who reflected their Victorian society into how they thought Medieval life was… What I have written here is based on the opinions of modern day historians and experts who generally get their information from actual Medieval records, archaeological finds, evidence and other sources. Don’t take my word for all of this being the absolute truth, use the links I share and also do your own research before making your mind up.” :::
    I've always assumed that the Viking horned helmet myth started because when the Vikings raided monasteries they would leave their helmet cheek flaps up, as a contemptuous gesture that those they were attacking were no threat even to someone with their helmet precariously worn instead of securely fastened, and the daft monks (who wrote all the chronicles back then, remember) assumed the upward pointing flaps were supposed to be horns.
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