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

    Not long ago it was too warm to go out, now it's too chilly; luckily, the thermostat is always set just right on the Internet

    • The Cheating Scandal That Ripped the Poker World Apart - ”Mike Postle was on an epic winning streak at a California casino. Veronica Brill thought he had to be playing dirty. Let the chips fall where they may.” Accusations and counter-accusations, though the situation is currently unresolved…

    • Physicists Argue That Black Holes From the Big Bang Could Be the Dark Matter - A possible explanation for where all the missing stuff is: ”We know that dying stars can make black holes. But perhaps black holes were also born during the Big Bang itself. A hidden population of such “primordial” black holes could conceivably constitute dark matter, a hidden thumb on the cosmic scale. After all, no dark matter particle has shown itself, despite decades of searching. What if the ingredients we really needed — black holes — were under our noses the whole time?”

    • Star Trek: The Motion Picture - Dave Addey’s Typeset in the Future appeared here in July 2016 with a look at the typography of Blade Runner. In this extract from his book (which is well worth getting if you’re interested in sci-fi typography), he looks at Star Trek: ”The Original Series’s inconsistent typography did not survive the stylistic leap into the 1970s. To make up for it, The Motion Picture’s title card introduces a new font, with some of the curviest Es known to sci-fi. It also follows an emerging seventies trend: Movie names beginning with STAR must have long trailing lines on the opening S… Illustrated by Bob Peak, the poster for The Motion Picture has become something of a classic.”

    • Columbia's Last Flight - In the present day, space travel isn’t as easy as it is in the movies. This article from 2003 is an excellent account of the investigation into the loss of Space Shuttle Columbia: ”Cain insisted on control-room discipline. He said, ‘No phone calls off site outside of this room. Our discussions are on these loops—the recorded DVIS loops only. No data, no phone calls, no transmissions anywhere, into or out.’ Later this was taken by some critics to be a typical NASA reaction—insular, furtive, overcontrolling… But it was also, more simply, a rule-book procedure meant to stabilize and preserve the crucial last data. The room was being frozen as a crime scene might be. Somewhere inside NASA something had obviously gone very wrong—and it made sense to start looking for the evidence here and now.”

    • This Is What We Can Learn From The Genome Of Alexander Fleming’s Original Penicillin Mold - Fleming’s original source of penicillin hadn’t been genetically sequenced until now, and it turns out to be somewhat different to the varieties used in modern manufacturing: ”When Pathak, Barraclough, and their colleagues compared the genome of Fleming’s Penicillum mold with the genomes of two modern strains of Penicillum mold, now used in the U.S., to produce penicillin for pharmaceutical companies, they found a subtle difference. And that difference, according to Pathak, Barraclough, and their colleagues, might offer some hints about combatting antibacterial resistance.”

    • Exploring The Clouds Of Venus; It’s Not Fantasy, But It Will Take Specialized Spacecraft - Given the recent news of possible signs of life in the atmosphere of Venus, Tom Nardi takes a look at various past proposals for methods of exploring it: ”This isn’t the first time scientists have turned their gaze towards Earth’s twin. In fact, had things gone differently, NASA might have sent a crew out to Venus after the Apollo program had completed its survey of the Moon. If that mission had launched back in the 1970s, it could have fundamentally reshaped our understanding of the planet; and perhaps even our understanding of humanity’s place in the cosmos.” There’s also been a proposal to send an airship, which all airship aficionados must surely applaud

    • Gaia has Already Given Us 5 New Insights Into the Milky Way - Among other weird and wonderful things: ”A team of researchers working with Gaia data found a family of 30,000 stars moving through the Milky Way. These stars are all around us, interspersed with other stars, and they’re all moving the same speed and direction. But their motion is separate from the rest of the Milky Way. They’re moving in ‘elongated trajectories in the opposite direction to the majority of the Galaxy’s other hundred billion stars, including the Sun,’ according to a press release.”

    • My Week Shadowing a Tornado Hunter in Oklahoma - Linda Logan got lucky when she went out with a storm chaser: ”We watched as the black rainstorm dissipated, revealing the object of our search behind it. ‘There’s our tornado,’ Dean said, referring to the fact that a tornado is only a tornado once it hits the ground. The whole time Mike and I stood there taking pictures, Dean was watching the RadarScope app on his cell phone. The tornado was moving closer. ‘Gotta go,’ he said. ‘Now.’”

    • George “Machine Gun” Kelly - ”At 11:15 p.m., on Saturday, July 22, 1933, Mr. and Mrs. Charles F. Urschel, one of Oklahoma’s wealthiest couples, were playing bridge with their friends, Mr. and Mrs. Walter R. Jarrett, on a screened porch of the Urschel residence at Oklahoma City. Two men, one armed with a machine gun and the other with a pistol, opened the screen door and inquired which of the two men was Mr. Urschel. Receiving no reply, they remarked, ‘Well, we will take both of them.’” The FBI’s official account of a Depression-era kidnapping

    • The Biggest in the World Collection of Full Cigarette Packs - ”My name is Igor Sergeev. I live in Moscow. I collect full unopened cigarette packs since 1973. There are 50234 packs in my collection now (30 of July 2016).” A fine collection from all over the world; my father smoked these in the early 1970s before he gave up

    Happy invoicing!

  2. #2


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    Whatever happened to our tame storm chaser, Wxman?

    The CIAB thing is grim.
    Last edited by DoctorStrangelove; 28th September 2020 at 14:41.
    When the fun stops, STOP.

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