Monday Links from Near-Lockdown vol. DLVI Monday Links from Near-Lockdown vol. DLVI
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  1. #1

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    NickFitz has reached the peak. Play again?

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    Default Monday Links from Near-Lockdown vol. DLVI

    You're probably all busy exploring the weird glitches of Microsoft Flight Simulator, but should you come back to earth at some point, you can lose yourself in this lot instead

    • Long-Haulers Are Redefining COVID-19 - Ed Yong on the problems faced by people for whom the coronavirus triggers long-term health issues: ”Their average age is 44. Most were formerly fit and healthy. They look very different from the typical portrait of a COVID-19 patient—an elderly person with preexisting health problems… In an Italian study, 87 percent of hospitalized patients still had symptoms after two months; a British study found similar trends. A German study that included many patients who recovered at home found that 78 percent had heart abnormalities after two or three months. A team from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that a third of 270 nonhospitalized patients hadn’t returned to their usual state of health after two weeks.”

    • Scientists Uncover Massive Prey in the Belly of an Ancient Sea Monster - ”Inside the giant dolphin-shaped body of an extinct marine reptile, scientists unexpectedly discovered the nearly equally long corpse of its prey.” The original paper is here: Evidence Supporting Predation of 4-m Marine Reptile by Triassic Megapredator.

    • The Case of the Top Secret iPod - David Shayer on a secret project at Apple in 2005: ”I was sitting at my desk, writing code for the next year’s iPod. Without knocking, the director of iPod Software—my boss’s boss—abruptly entered and closed the door behind him. He cut to the chase. ‘I have a special assignment for you. Your boss doesn’t know about it. You’ll help two engineers from the US Department of Energy build a special iPod. Report only to me.’”

    • Rosatom releases previously classified documentary video of Tsar Bomba nuke test - ”Photos and short video clips have previously been available, but this unseen 40 minutes declassified footage of the Soviet Union’s monster nuclear bomb give a whole new insight into what happened on Novaya Zemlya on October 30, 1961.” And here it is


    • The fastest star in the galaxy has been found, and yeah, it’s really *really* fast - ”While peering deep into the heart of the galaxy, astronomers have found the fastest star ever seen. This thing is tearing through space; at one point in its orbit, it’s moving at a terrifying 24,000 kilometers per second — over 85 million kilometers per hour! That’s 8% the speed of light.”

    • Black Death discovery offers rare new look at plague catastrophe - ”In 1348 London, people looked to mainland Europe with dread. The Black Death was sweeping in from the Continent, leaving panic and death in its wake… Some 150 miles north of London, the rural residents of the countryside in what is today Lincolnshire seem to have been taken by surprise by the impact of Y. pestis. Rather than bury their dead in in the parish cemetery, per tradition, at one point in the mid-14th century local residents quickly buried dozens of people at once in a mass grave on the grounds of Thornton Abbey, a mile from the churchyard.” This is another one where you can read the full paper: A Black Death mass grave at Thornton Abbey: the discovery and examination of a fourteenth-century rural catastrophe.

    • 8 Gorgeous Galaxies Shot This Summer By The Hubble Space Telescope That You Need To See - ”The ageing space telescope may now be past its 30th birthday, but it continues to produce sparkling images that deserve to be seen and loved. In the past few months a number of exquisite photos of weird and wonderful galaxies have been published that in its earlier career would have garnered more attention.” This is NGC 2775, over in the constellation Cancer


    • This Twist on Schrödinger’s Cat Paradox Has Major Implications for Quantum Theory - ”What does it feel like to be both alive and dead?… Take [Eugene Wigner’s] fellow physicist Erwin Schrödinger’s famous thought experiment in which a cat is trapped in a box with poison that will be released if a radioactive atom decays. Radioactivity is a quantum process, so before the box is opened, the story goes, the atom has both decayed and not decayed, leaving the unfortunate cat in limbo—a so-called superposition between life and death. But does the cat experience being in superposition?” Nora Tischler and her colleagues at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia decided to find out (without using a cat), leading to the usual quantum weirdness

    • Picking Locks with Audio Technology - ”The next time you unlock your front door, it might be worth trying to insert your key as quietly as possible; researchers have discovered that the sound of your key being inserted into the lock gives attackers all they need to make a working copy of your front door key.” Now they’re working on subverting the microphone on your Internet-connected video doorbell

    • Psychedelic Fishes from the World’s First Natural History Encyclopedia of Marine Creatures Illustrated in Color - Maria Popova rediscovers Louis Renard’s 18th century work Fishes, crayfish and crabs, of various colors and extraordinary figures, which one finds around the Moluccas islands and on the coasts of the Austral lands: ”Renard’s creatures are so fanciful one might be tempted to take them for fictitious… But while their beauty is embellished — by the artistic imagination filling in the gaps of science, as mythology has always done — it is not invented. When a modern ichthyologist examined the book a quarter millennium after its publication, he determined that only about one in ten of the species depicted was drawn from the imagination; the rest were identifiable down to the genus, many even to the species.” Scans of the book are available online at the Biodiversity Heritage Library, though Popova has also restored and colour-corrected them for her post



    Happy invoicing!

  2. #2

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    darmstadt is always on top

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    Quote Originally Posted by NickFitz View Post
    • The Case of the Top Secret iPod - David Shayer on a secret project at Apple in 2005: ”I was sitting at my desk, writing code for the next year’s iPod. Without knocking, the director of iPod Software—my boss’s boss—abruptly entered and closed the door behind him. He cut to the chase. ‘I have a special assignment for you. Your boss doesn’t know about it. You’ll help two engineers from the US Department of Energy build a special iPod. Report only to me.’”


    Enjoyed this. Passed it on to darmstadt jr. who enjoyed it too. A little bit like the work he did for his BA work (for his Masters he's doing something even more complicated):

    https://dl.acm.org/doi/10.1145/3339252.3340524
    GitHub - dasec/fishy: Toolkit for Filesystem based Data Hiding Techniques.
    Brexit is having a wee in the middle of the room at a house party because nobody is talking to you, and then complaining about the smell.

  3. #3

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    OwlHoot - scorchio!

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    Quote Originally Posted by NickFitz View Post
    [*]Rosatom releases previously classified documentary video of Tsar Bomba nuke test - ”Photos and short video clips have previously been available, but this unseen 40 minutes declassified footage of the Soviet Union’s monster nuclear bomb give a whole new insight into what happened on Novaya Zemlya on October 30, 1961.” And here it is

    I wonder if there was some reason they happened to release that video now, just before the US elections.

    [*]The fastest star in the galaxy has been found, and yeah, it’s really *really* fast - ”While peering deep into the heart of the galaxy, astronomers have found the fastest star ever seen. This thing is tearing through space; at one point in its orbit, it’s moving at a terrifying 24,000 kilometers per second — over 85 million kilometers per hour! That’s 8% the speed of light.”
    I've long thought that would be the easiest way for advanced nomadic aliens to scoot round the galaxy, hiding inside (or tagging along close behind) a fast-moving star, because as well as being a prolific and long-lived energy source, its heat and bulk would shield the interior (or for the most part its immediate rear side respectively) against gas and dust and even quite large rocks.

    Oddly enough, a fast moving small star passed within 1 light year of the Solar System around 75,000 years ago, although it is now 20 light years away. So did aliens hop off on the way past and have a quick mosey round before resuming their voyage? Who knows?

    The Close Flyby of Scholz's Star to the Solar System

    And yes, they would have to be patient taking hundreds of years to travel between interesting stars, but if they were tucked up asleep in cryogenic chambers between stops then that wouldn't be a problem (and it would explain why we don't hear alien radio chatter).

    Also, stars can be greatly accelerated by natural processes. So I'm not claiming they are definitely ET, but it is a possibility.
    Last edited by OwlHoot; 24th August 2020 at 19:19.
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