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

    Time for a quick look at the news… oh, on second thoughts, don't bother; just stay online and read this lot instead

    • Whitey Bulger’s life in exile - ”At least twice a day, Carol Gasko would crouch on the sidewalk in front of her Santa Monica apartment building to feed an abandoned, tiger-striped cat while her husband, Charlie, stood by protectively. They brought Tiger to the veterinarian when he was sick and kept his picture on their wall. Their devotion caught the attention of Anna Bjornsdottir, a former actress and Miss Iceland 1974, who lived in the neighborhood for months at a time and sometimes stopped to chat while they fed the tabby… It was this bond, formed over the cat, that proved the downfall of one of America’s most wanted men, South Boston gangster James ‘Whitey’ Bulger, after 16 years on the run.” From 2011, the story of the notorious gangster and FBI informant’s downfall

    • Engineering a battery fast enough to make recharging like refueling - A new approach may make fast battery charging a reality: ”A paper published earlier this week in Science suggests an unusual way that it might be accomplished: using a material called black phosphorus, which forms atom-thick sheets with lithium-sized channels in it. On its own, black phosphorus isn't a great material for batteries, but a Chinese-US team has figured out how to manipulate it so it works much better. Even if black phosphorus doesn't end up working out as a battery material, the paper provides some insight into the logic and process of developing batteries.”

    • Humans Are All More Closely Related Than We Commonly Think - Ancestry is more closely intertwined than you might expect: ”By the 33rd generation—about 800 to 1,000 years ago—you have more than eight billion [ancestors]… That is more than the number of people alive today, and it is certainly a much larger figure than the world population a millennium ago.”

    • All Hail the Blob, the Smart Slime Mold Confounding Science - ”With nearly 720 sexes, and the ability to heal itself in two minutes if cut in half, The Blob (or La Blob, as it's called in France) is surprisingly accomplished for such a simple organism. And despite having no mouth, eyes, or brain, slime mold can remember things and solve simple problems. Impressive, considering that some humans reach political office without mastering most of these tasks.” I, for one, welcome our new slime mould overlords

    • The first known dinosaur feather inspired decades of dispute. Here's why. - Ruffled feathers in the world of palaeontology: ”Today, the feather that started it all is arguably the most famous fossil of its kind. But it’s also among the most controversial—with one 2019 study even suggesting that it didn’t belong to Archaeopteryx at all… Now, researchers led by National Geographic Explorer Ryan Carney are laying out what they say is the most comprehensive case to date that, yes, the feather belongs to Archaeopteryx.”


    • Tinted Talkies - Turns out black-and-white films often weren’t just black-and-white: tinting in various hues was widely used, and the advent of talkies (with the soundtrack at the side of the film) led to advances such as pre-tinted stock manufactured by Kodak, but then studios stopped bothering because of TV: ”Even though color television was introduced in 1954, it was a basically black-and-white medium for over a decade. As television was the main outlet for old films, it just didn’t make sense to spend the extra money to copy the films onto pre-tinted stock… It surprises many people—scholars and film buffs alike—to learn that original release prints of Dracula (Tod Browning, 1931) were on green tinted stock, or that the Marx Brothers film A Day at the Races (Sam Wood, 1937) had its two big musical numbers toned: the ballet was toned sepia and the ‘venetian waters’ number was toned blue.”

    • Cinetrii - And on the subject of films, this is an interesting approach to finding suggestions for ones to watch based on ones you like: ”Directors and screenwriters might take inspiration from works that have come before - Cinetrii tries to trace this lineage. The algorithm analyzes written reviews by film critics, seeks out references to other works and tries to rank the connections on relevance.”

    • Grandson of President John Tyler, Who Left Office in 1845, Dies at Age 95 - ”In a reminder of just how young the United States is as a country, Mental Floss’ Michele Debczak reports that Lyon Gardiner Tyler Jr., grandson of tenth president John Tyler, died on September 26 at age 95… John Tyler was born in 1790, just 14 years after the nation’s founding. He became president in 1841, after William Henry Harrison died in office, and served until 1845. His son Lyon Gardiner Tyler was born in 1853 (a full 12 years before the 13th Amendment abolished slavery), when John was 63. Lyon Gardiner Sr., in turn, was in his 70s when Lyon Gardiner Jr. and Harrison Ruffin were born.”

    • The Simple Math Problem We Still Can’t Solve - ”This column comes with a warning: Do not try to solve this math problem. You will be tempted. This problem is simply stated, easily understood, and all too inviting.” A look at the Collatz conjecture, which continues to baffle mathematicians.

    • Housing the Occult: How Superstitions Shape Architecture Around the World - ”In the northeastern United States, so-called “witch windows” are said to foil evil crones soaring on broomsticks. Meanwhile, halfway around the world, Chinese “dragon gates” are designed not to block but rather encourage the passage of fantastical beasts, allowing them to freely fly back and forth between mountains above and seas below.” A look at various architectural features related to the supernatural from around the world. These curves on Chinese roofs are said to confuse spirits that can only travel in straight lines



    Happy invoicing!

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    Yum.

    Combine "black phosphorous" with lithium in a battery.

    What on earth could go wrong with that combination?
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    Does the smart blob want a job running this country?
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    I don't know fast-charging is the answer. A Tesla 3 has a battery capacity of about 50kWh. If you want to charge it in 1 minute, akin to refuelling, you need to provide 3000kW. Tesla already provide higher-voltage chargers at 480V but lets push to 600V to make the maths easier... you need to provide 5000A!

    This seems too crazy so I may have done something wrong but the 'supercharger' by Tesla can provide about 75kW per car and takes over an hour for a full charge which seems in the same ballpark.

    OK we can say people might consider 5min acceptable if they don't have to go into the garage to pay on top, and they probably don't need a full charge. But it seems to me the Amps become a problem. It's all well and good when you've got one electric car pulling in to charge, but as they become the norm you might have 10 charging at once at a regular 'gas station'. Do we have that sort of infrastructure to provide kiloAmp supplies?

    Hot swapping batteries seems far more practical to me. The magic of petrochemicals is the amount of energy you can move around... if you can swap a whole battery in 30s the problem goes away.

    Or, what about 'piped' batteries. Has nobody worked on a way you can pump liquid electrolytes?
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    1 kilogram of dry wood 5,3 kwh 19,0 mJ
    1 kilogram of coal 8,1 kwh 29,3 mJ
    1 cubic metre of natural gas 8,8 kwh 31,7 mJ
    1 litre of petrol 9,1 kwh 32,6 mJ
    1 litre of diesel-oil 10,0 kwh 35,9 mJ
    1 kilogram of hydrogen 33,6 kwh 120,8 mJ
    1 kilogram of Uranium 235 22,2 million kwh 80,0 million mJ
    Uranium powered cars! The future is here! The future is orange*!

    (*Well yellow really which is why they call it yellowcake).

    I'm sure I knew how to do tables once upon a time before the brain rot set it.

    Now what did I come in here for?
    Last edited by DoctorStrangelove; 13th October 2020 at 12:03.
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