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

    Things are still getting worse before they get better, but that's only in the real world. Everything's fine on the Internet if you look in the right places

    • How “Am I the Asshole?” Created a Medium Place on the Internet - An interesting look at the history of the AITA subreddit, and its place in moral philosophy: ”The famous subreddit started as a forum for one man to ask about his workplace behavior. Seven years later, it’s become a platform where millions of people discuss good, bad, and everything in between. How did it get here? And can it actually help make people better?”

    • Could You Stomach the Horrors of 'Halftime' in Ancient Rome? - AITA was not, it seems, a question considered by the promoters of games in Ancient Rome: ”To meet this ever-growing pressure to keep the Roman crowds happy and engaged by bloodshed, bestiarii were forced to consistently invent new ways to kill. They devised elaborate contraptions and platforms to give prisoners the illusion they could save themselves — only to have the structures collapse at the worst possible moments, dropping the condemned into a waiting pack of starved animals… Prior to the animals' release, the action was paused so that bets could be made in the crowd about which of the helpless men would be devoured first.”

    • Glowing blue helps shield this tardigrade from harmful ultraviolet light - ”When blasted with ultraviolet radiation, a newly discovered species of tardigrade protects itself by glowing blue.” Cunning beasts, these water bears; if you want more detail, the full paper is at the Royal Society's Biology Letters: Naturally occurring fluorescence protects the eutardigrade Paramacrobiotus sp. from ultraviolet radiation.

    • Room-Temperature Superconductivity Achieved for the First Time - ”Physicists have reached a long-sought goal. The catch is that their room-temperature superconductor requires crushing pressures to keep from falling apart.” 59°F is 15°C, which isn't that warm, though it turns out to be the same temperature as my bedroom was first thing this morning. I'm going to have to stop leaving the window open overnight

    • Postwar Concrete Postscript - Sarah Ramsey spent a year travelling the world looking at Brutalist architecture: ”Brutalism– typically identified as heavy, superscaled massings in concrete, brick or block– had its building boom from the 1950s to the 1970s, with some later examples in Eastern European Soviet cities. The heroic, monumental scale and inexpensive materials that characterized the style made it especially popular for public projects–examples of this oft-maligned building style can be found throughout the globe. Once pervasively built, vast numbers of these projects are in decline, under aggressive redevelopment or slatted for demolition.” This imposing edifice is the Central Post Office in Skopje:


    • Museum of Play Online Collections - ”The Strong is the nation’s museum of play. It is home to hundreds of thousands of historical objects for and about play, including the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of toys, dolls, board games, video games, electronic games, and other play-related artifacts.” Lots of interesting play-related things here, from the history of early games consoles to the history of pinball

    • Don't panic! But Betelgeuse may be 25% closer to Earth than we previously thought - When analysing Betelgeuse's recent dimming, astronomers discovered it's not as far away as was thought: ”The old estimates were it being 1.5 billion kilometers or so across, while the new one is now just over a billion… That means in turn it must be closer to us. They get a number of about 530 light years, 25% closer than previous estimates.”

    • The Linguistic Genius of Prairie Dogs - The North American rodents turn out to have complex linguistic skills: ”Slobodchikoff also noticed that even though the calls signaling a certain type of predator would follow a distinct pattern, they contained small nuances that varied with each individual predator of that type… Slobodchikoff had a sudden insight: ‘What if they’re describing the physical features of each predator?’”

    • Monitor your GitHub build with a Raspberry Pi pumpkin - A project by Martin Woodward: ”As a programmer you really don’t want to accidentally commit bad code, which is why we often set up continuous integration builds that constantly check the latest code in our project. I decided to create a 3D-printed pumpkin that would hold a Raspberry Pi Zero with an RGB LED pHat on top to show me the status of my build for Halloween. All the code is available on GitHub alongside the 3D printing models which are also available on Thingiverse.”

    • Underwater Cathedrals - Photos by Silvio Maraini of underground reservoirs, taken when they were drained for maintenance: ”Later, after the next Ice Age, archeologists will find this untouched burial chamber and ponder the rites that must have been celebrated here.” He's published a book of these photos, so this is just a selection. This is Scharten 2 in Austria:



    Happy invoicing!

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    Naturally occurring fluorescence protects the eutardigrade Paramacrobiotus sp. from ultraviolet radiation.
    Is that the same as gingers naturally occurring lobster pinkness to protect themselves from sunlight?
    'CUK forum personality of 2011 - Winner - Yes really!!!!

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    I had forgotten about the AITA sub reddit. A lovely timewaster of a read

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