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

    If you should find yourself with a few moments free from needlessly panic buying toilet roll ahead of Thursday, you might find this assortment of reading matter will help take your mind off the prospect of having to stay home with your loved ones, again

    • The Heist - ”When Stanley Mark Rifkin walked into a Los Angeles bank one autumn afternoon and stole more than $10 million, it was the biggest bank job in U.S. history, and no one even knew it had happened. It was a flawless caper, a perfect computer crime—until human nature was factored into the program.” Been a while since we've had a good bank job, and this 1978 one from Esquire's archives was carried out by a contractor who just kept on going to the bank after his contract was finished

    • Work, Float, Eat, Dream: Life on the International Space Station - ”For the past 20 years, without interruption, a small huddle of people—typically six at a time—have been living and working 250 miles over our heads, circling endlessly through the vacuum of space at five miles per second… No one person, no one crew, could convey the space station story in its entirety. But we asked some of the people who’ve spent the most time there: What’s it like?” Nice work if you can get it

    • A history of the trig pillar - HT to DaveB for this look at the origins of the Ordnance Survey's theodolite stands: ”In 1935 Ordnance Survey, in a project led by Brigadier Martin Hotine, decided to implement a complete new control network for the whole country and at the same time unify the mapping from local county projections onto a single national datum, projection and reference system. This lead to the OSGB36 datum and The National Grid, both of which are still with us today.”


    • The ungentle joy of spider sex - ”Some spiders pair puny males with gigantic females, making mating both tricky and dangerous. Why and how such mismatches evolved remains curiously enigmatic.” Not suitable for arachnophobes

    • Climate Change Hits Rock and Roll as Prized Guitar Wood Shortage Looms - Fender faces a shortage of trees: ”Once cheap and readily available, swamp ash became an integral part of Fender’s DNA over the decades… But earlier this year an acute shortage forced Fender to announce it would move away from using swamp ash in its famous line of Stratocasters and Telecasters—reserving the wood for vintage models only. Fender blamed the dwindling supply on longer periods of climate-fueled flooding along the lower Mississippi—which is endangering saplings and making it harder for lumber companies to reach standing trees—as well as the looming threat of an invasive tree-boring beetle.”

    • In the Hunt for Industrial Brine, a Surfeit of Sinkholes - ”On a July morning in 2008, the ground below southeastern New Mexico began to shift and crack, shooting a huge plume of dust into the air. Within minutes, a massive sinkhole emerged, which eventually grew to roughly 120 feet deep and 400 feet in diameter… A few months later, in November, dust once again streamed toward the sky as another similarly sized sinkhole opened, cracking a nearby roadway.” Turns out that dissolving away the ground on which you've built things can backfire


    • Zombie Survival - Halloween may be over, but that doesn't mean the threat of zombie attack has gone away. Luckily, the Zombie Research Society has your back with a range of useful advice on what to do when the inevitable happens: ”The Zombie Research Society was originally founded in 2007 by author and zombie expert Matt Mogk as an organization dedicated to the historic, cultural, and scientific study of the living dead. Our small community of authors, academics, and scholars quickly became the ultimate authority on the undead.”

    • First Look: New York’s Digital Subway Map Comes Alive Today - New Yorkers have a new map, hopefully resolving decades of disagreement on the best way to represent their subway network: ”It’s so thoroughly up-to-the-moment that you can watch individual trains move around the system on your phone. Pinch your fingers on the screen, and you can zoom out to see your whole line or borough, as the lines resolve into single strands. Drag your fingers apart, and you’ll zoom in to see multiple routes in each tunnel springing out, widening into parallel bands — making visible individual service changes, closures and openings, and reroutings. Click on a station, and you can find out whether the elevators and escalators are working.”

    • How I Spent My Summer of 1982 - Garry Kitchen looks back on the experience of implementing Donkey Kong for the Atari 2600 console in three months: ”I had 4,096 bytes of memory in which to store all of the code, graphics and sound effects. In addition, I had 128 bytes of RAM memory to keep track of everything (NOTE: not kilobytes, bytes). The game would be programmed to run on a 1 MHZ, 8-bit microprocessor. Those numbers are almost guaranteed to bring knowledgeable programmers to their knees.”

    • See the best wildlife photos of 2020 - Another wonderful selection of photos from NatGeo, including this chap: ”A young male proboscis monkey closes his pale blue eyelids. The photograph, captured by Mogens Trolle of Denmark, won in the ‘animal portrait’ category.”



    Happy invoicing!

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by NickFitz View Post
    If you should find yourself with a few moments free from needlessly panic buying toilet roll ahead of Thursday, you might find this assortment of reading matter will help take your mind off the prospect of having to stay home with your loved ones, again

    [LIST][*]The Heist - ”When Stanley Mark Rifkin walked into a Los Angeles bank one autumn afternoon and stole more than $10 million, it was the biggest bank job in U.S. history, and no one even knew it had happened. It was a flawless caper, a perfect computer crime—until human nature was factored into the program.” Been a while since we've had a good bank job, and this 1978 one from Esquire's archives was carried out by a contractor who just kept on going to the bank after his contract was finished
    unbelievable. He asked them to do a wire transfer and they did. its not a robbery its a donation.

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    "Donkey Kong": 4096 bytes of ROM and 128 bytes of RAM.

    Sounds plenty to me.

    I still program machines smaller than that.

    Or at least I used to before I retired to a life of indolence and tediium.
    When the fun stops, STOP.

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