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

    I hope you're all being sensible and avoiding the pubs, assuming they're open where you are (they aren't here). No point getting sick or dying just so the government can blame you for the second wave (which in Leicester we already have)

    • How A TV Repairman, A Mortician, And A Ragtag Crew Of Futurists Cryonically Froze The First Man - The strange tale of the Cryonics Society of California: ”Robert Nelson had no professional background or even a college degree, yet he found himself at the center of a nascent scientific movement — and then things got messy.”

    • The Hidden Magnetic Universe Begins to Come Into View - ”Astronomers are discovering that magnetic fields permeate much of the cosmos. If these fields date back to the Big Bang, they could solve a major cosmological mystery.” Said mystery being that of the Hubble tension, as Natalie Wolchover explains.

    • 11,000-year-old mine in underwater cave surprises archaeologists - ”The ancient site, preserved like a time capsule deep in a Mexican cave system, gives a rare glimpse into the lives and actions of some of the first residents of the Americas.”

    • Do You Have What It Takes to Be a Master Auctioneer? - If Bargain Hunt is to be relied on, British auctioneers are a bit less showy than the American variety, but as Katy Vine found, there's a lot to understand about the psychology of buyers as well as being able to chant ever-higher numbers at a quickfire pace: ”While buyers may come to an auction looking for a bargain, a funny thing happens after they take their seats… If an auctioneer is raising the bid in ten-dollar upticks and a bidder shouts out a twenty-dollar raise, bids generally keep going up at that rate. That causes other bidders to think, ‘Hey, this Garfield mug is hot!’ They become even more motivated.”

    • Conscripted Into The Emperor’s Private Orchestra - Charlie Perrière was a young musician planning to leave the Central African Republic when Emperor Jean Bédel Bokassa made it clear that he’d better stay: ”He told me: ‘As head of state, I can’t forbid you from going to Congo, but … as a father, I wish that you wouldn’t go,’… Bokassa turned to his ministers and ordered them to procure instruments for what would become Bokassa’s ‘Imperial Orchestra.’ This marked the start of Perrière’s decades-long career making music as a private bandmaster for one of the world’s most feared and murderous despots.”

    • Why Scientists Fall for Precariously Balanced Rocks - ”PBRs are more than just unusual geologic features—they’re a source of valuable scientific insight. They’re what are called ‘reverse seismometers’ because their mere existence makes it possible to measure earthquakes that didn’t happen. If they’re still balanced, then the earth hasn’t moved enough to knock them over, at least in the last few thousand years.” And they look cool too

    • Why Does Time Slow Down and Speed Up? - ”The perception of time is intensely personal, not to mention effectively unmeasurable. But few if any internal clocks are synced to UTC—no one experiences time at an even, unvarying rate.” Psychologists offer explanations for the phenomenon.

    • See the Face of a Man Whose Skull Was Mounted on a Stake 8,000 Years Ago - ”Some 8,000 years ago, the skull of a Scandinavian man in his 50s was impaled on a wooden stake in Sweden. Now, a new facial reconstruction by Swedish forensic artist Oscar Nilsson allows modern viewers to envision this mysterious individual’s prominent cheekbones, blue eyes and brown hair.”

    • Asteroids - In this 60-part series, Ron Jeffries sets out to pass the time during lockdown by implementing the classic arcade game from scratch in Codea: ”I’ve chosen to build something like the old arcade Asteroids game. I’m not shooting to match it exactly, but my current plan is to be pretty close, and then, perhaps, to move it just a bit toward something modern, like late 20th century. We’ll see. I’ll stop when it stops being fun.”

    • Thomas Annan’s Powerful Photographs of ‘The Old Closes and Streets of Glasgow’ 1868 - ”At one point during the late 18th-century, a new estate was built at Laurieston on the south of Glasgow. As businessmen and entrepreneurs were in charge of the city council, they proposed to build factories and industrial sites wherever they wanted. The once beautiful homes at Laurieston were abandoned to become part of the industrial slum known as the Gorbals… Photographer Thomas Annan (1829-1887) was commissioned by Glasgow’s authorities to document the last of the city’s slums, which were considered to be the worst in Europe.”

    Happy invoicing!

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    Read "Ron Jefferies" as "Ron Jeremy". .
    When the fun stops, STOP.

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