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

    Trial results announced today show that ignoring the nonsense happening in the world and reading this lot instead is 96% effective at taking your mind off it all

    • Trapped - ”Deep inside a remote canyon, a boulder shifts. In an instant, Aron Ralston's hand is pinned beneath half a ton of rock. So begins an ordinary hero's six-day ordeal of grit, pain, and courage—culminating in a decision to do the unthinkable.” Ralston's ordeal was turned into the film 127 Hours, which I thought was very good when I watched it

    • When stars collide: Solving the 16-year mystery of the Blue Ring Nebula - ”First spotted in 2004, the star with an unusual ultraviolet ring appears to be the result of two stars merging, spewing out debris in opposite directions and forming two glowing cones. It appears to us as a blue ring because one of those cones points directly at Earth.”

    • Booting from a vinyl record - The original IBM PC had a cassette port, but why bother with a tape? ”Most PCs tend to boot from a primary media storage, be it a hard disk drive, or a solid-state drive, perhaps from a network, or – if all else fails – the USB stick or the boot DVD comes to the rescue… Fun, eh? Boring! Why don’t we try to boot from a record player for a change?”

    • We’ve Found An Ancient ‘Fossil Galaxy’ Inside Our Milky Way, Say Scientists - It seems our galaxy is more than one galaxy: ”Just last week scientists developed the first family tree of our home galaxy, but another paper published this week in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society claims to have discovered a hitherto unknown ‘fossil galaxy’ hidden in the inner depths of our Milky Way.”

    • A Peek into Einstein's Zurich Notebook - ”Einstein's search for general relativity spanned eight years, 1907-1915. Some periods were quiet and some were more intense. The moments when the great transition occurred, came sometime between the late summer of 1912, when Einstein moved from Prague to Zurich, and early 1913. If we could choose one time at which to look over Einstein's shoulder and watch him work on general relativity, it would be this time. And that is just what we can do. For, found among his papers when Einstein died in 1955 was a small, brown notebook containing his private calculations from just this time. This is the Zurich notebook.” John D. Norton takes us through Einstein’s notes. This page contains the first appearance of the “line element”, whatever that is


    • The Stradivarius Affair - ”It isn’t every day that a street criminal—a high-school dropout with two felony convictions—is accused of stealing a centuries-old violin worth as much as $6 million. But nothing about the heist of the Lipinski Stradivarius, which galvanized the music world last winter, was normal, or even logical.” N.B. “Last winter” would have been 2013-14. I particularly like the police chief’s conjecture as to just why a low-level crook thought it would be a good idea to steal a priceless musical instrument: “We can’t ever dismiss the nitwit factor.”

    • Strange Supernovae Upend Expectations - A look at the odd ways stars blow up: ”Stars die in surprisingly diverse ways… These extreme deaths appear to be rare, but the fact that they happen at all tells us there is much we still do not understand about the basics of how stars live and die.”

    • The Beirut Port Explosion - By analysing images and video from social media, a team from the Forensic Architecture research group at Goldsmith’s have been able to uncover a lot of detail about the circumstances of the explosion: ”Smoke plumes are continuously transforming and have a unique shape at every moment… We identified four separate smoke plumes emanating from different parts of the warehouse within the space of fourteen minutes. Each of these smoke plumes, with their distinct shape and colour, provide indications as to the arrangement of goods in the warehouse, and the way the fire developed.” The models used for this analysis are available on Github: https://github.com/forensic-architec...tree/master/65


    • Reverse engineering the ARM1, ancestor of the iPhone's processor - Take a break from gloating over your shiny new phone as Ken Shirriff explores the original Acorn RISC Machine from 1985: ”The Visual ARM1 simulator shows what happens inside the ARM1 chip as it runs; the result (below) is fascinating but mysterious. In this article, I reverse engineer key parts of the chip and explain how they work, bridging the gap between the puzzling flashing lines in the simulator and what the chip is actually doing. I describe the overall structure of the chip and then descend to the individual transistors, showing how they are built out of silicon and work together to store and process data.”

    • SoundClash: London's dub reggae roots - From the Museum of London, a collection about the development of dub reggae in the capital. Curator Cedar Lewisohn: ”It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly when dub reggae emerges, there are important moments in the 1960s and early 1970s. We’re not being purist about the subject, but taking a broad view of the music and culture. Whether that’s dub reggae, ska, rocksteady, lovers’ rock: I’m interested in the whole lineage of the music and the culture that surrounds it.” This is Admiral Ken and his box men photographed by Dennis Morris in 1973 with his sound system, getting ready to roll:



    Happy invoicing!

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    Lots of stars and explosions this week.
    When the fun stops, STOP.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NickFitz View Post
    • Booting from a vinyl record - The original IBM PC had a cassette port, but why bother with a tape? ”Most PCs tend to boot from a primary media storage, be it a hard disk drive, or a solid-state drive, perhaps from a network, or – if all else fails – the USB stick or the boot DVD comes to the rescue… Fun, eh? Boring! Why don’t we try to boot from a record player for a change?”
    The sound of that so reminds me of loading games onto my brother's Spectrum

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    Quote Originally Posted by DoctorStrangelove View Post
    Lots of stars and explosions this week.
    Yes, there seems to be a lot going on up there at the moment

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    Lots more info about the IBM PC cassette port, including a bunch of good stuff in the comments: Software spotlight: Cassette software for the IBM PC — WinWorld

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    Bugger. There's no cassette port on the XT.

    One of which is upstairs along with the mono monitor.
    When the fun stops, STOP.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NickFitz View Post

    • Trapped - ”Deep inside a remote canyon, a boulder shifts. In an instant, Aron Ralston's hand is pinned beneath half a ton of rock. So begins an ordinary hero's six-day ordeal of grit, pain, and courage—culminating in a decision to do the unthinkable.” Ralston's ordeal was turned into the film 127 Hours, which I thought was very good when I watched it
    Ouch!

    The ending was dissastifying. I did wonder if there was a second page that I was missing a link to.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ladymuck View Post
    Ouch!

    The ending was dissastifying. I did wonder if there was a second page that I was missing a link to.
    I think you need to buy his book for the rest

    Or watch the film, of course: 127 Hours (2010)

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