The lockdown continues here, apparently. Seems a lot busier outside than it was back at the end of March, though

  • How Police Secretly Took Over a Global Phone Network for Organized Crime - The background to the recent widespread arrests of organised criminals throughout Europe: ”The authorities had everything. Images of huge piles of narcotics laying on scales. Kilogram blocks of cocaine. Bags packed with ecstasy. Fistfuls of cannabis. Messages about planned drug drops and major deals. Photos of alleged criminals' family members and discussions of their other businesses.”

  • Ancient Mars may have once had rings, then moons, then rings … - ”Like a phoenix rising from its ashes, scientists believe one of Mars’ current moons, Phobos, may have been born from a ring of dust left by former versions of itself.”

  • Our team climbed Everest to try to solve its greatest mystery - ”Were Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay really the first to summit the world’s highest peak? We searched for a camera that could rewrite history.” Mark Synnott goes in search of the remains of Sandy Irvine.

  • The Whole Earth on CD-ROM in HyperCard in Your Browser - Countercultural hypermedia at the Internet Archive: ”The Whole Earth Catalog, a counterculture magazine that lasted from 1968 to 1998, tried many experiments in bringing the goals and nature of their publication to other media… We have now made The Electronic Whole Earth Catalog emulate inside your browser.”

  • How a Good Scam Can Bypass Our Defences - Bruce Grierson gets ripped off: ”Cons exploit our cognitive biases. I learned the hard way that some of us are more vulnerable than others.”

  • Chronicles of Charnia - ”When an ancient, unexpected imprint is discovered in a stone quarry, scientists endeavor to explain its mysterious origin.” The story of the discovery of Precambrian fossils in Charnwood Forest.

  • 1,000-Year-Old Cat Skeleton Suggests Nomadic Herders Cared for Ailing Pet - ”Archaeologists in Kazakhstan have discovered the well-preserved remains of a cat that died over 1,000 years ago along the Silk Road. The feline lived a tough life but was apparently cared for by pastoralists, in an unheard of practice given their nomadic lifestyles.”

  • The 2020 Audubon Photography Awards: Winners - The year's top bird pics: ”Every spring, the judges of the Audubon Photography Awards gather at Audubon's headquarters in Manhattan to review their favorite images and select the finalists. But as with much of life in 2020, this year's awards had to be handled differently… For our 11th annual awards, which saw more than 6,000 submissions, the judges assembled in an epic day-long Zoom meeting to winnow down the remaining pool to just the 10 winners and honorable mentions shown here.” This is a roadrunner that's captured a lizard, in turn captured on film (or probably on a memory card) by Christopher Smith:

  • Lights and Shadows - ”It’s hard to describe how paramount light is. Ultimately, it is the only thing we see. But just as important the presence of light is, so is its absence. To talk about light we have to start in darkness.” Bartosz Ciechanowski explains more than you thought there was to know about light and dark, with neat interactive widgets embedded in the page to illustrate the concepts.

  • Sex, Drugs, Jazz and Gangsters – The Disreputable History of Gerrard Street in London’s Chinatown - ”At the end of October 1959 in the basement of 39 Gerrard Street, in an unexceptional and damp space that was once a sort of rest room for taxi drivers and an occasional tea bar, Ronnie Scott opened his first self-titled jazz club… Back then, the now vibrant main thoroughfare of London’s Chinatown – popular with tourists and Londoners alike – consisted of mostly brothels, disreputable nightclubs and seedy shops selling books and magazines of dubious quality.” Here, actors George Sewell and Barbara Windsor chat to the Kray twins in the latter's Gerrard Street club, EL Morocco, in 1965.

Happy invoicing!