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

    Ten years ago, the links were posted on Tuesday, as I'd been in hospital having my first heart attack sorted out and didn't have a phone charger with me. No such hindrance this week

    • Into the Unknown - The 1912 Antartctic trek of Douglas Mawson, Xavier Mertz, and Belgrave Ninnis: ”The men had crossed two major glaciers and scores of hidden crevasses—deep fissures in the ice camouflaged by thin snowbridges. Just after noon that day, Mertz had held up his ski pole, signaling yet another crevasse… Now Mawson and Mertz cut away the fragile lip of the open crevasse, roped up, and took turns leaning over the abyss. What they saw appalled them. One hundred fifty feet down, a husky lay moaning on a snow shelf, its back evidently broken. Another dog, apparently dead, lay beside it. A few pieces of gear lay scattered on the same shelf.”


    • The Search for Dark Matter Is Dramatically Expanding - ”Ever since astronomers reached a consensus in the 1980s that most of the mass in the universe is invisible — that ‘dark matter’ must glue galaxies together and gravitationally sculpt the cosmos as a whole — experimentalists have hunted for the nonluminous particles.” But they haven’t found any, leading them to rethink what, and where, it might be.

    • Power Stations of the UK - ”Ever since Thomas Edison opened the UK's first power station in 1882 coal has been the mainstay fuel of electricity generation. Powering literally everything that requires electricity, not a day went by when coal was not burnt to generate the lifeblood of the technological times we have become accustomed to. That is, until 21st April 2017, for the first time in 135 years the UK saw a 24 hour period where no coal was used to generate electricity… As a homage to everything these beasts have done for us, this website follows the closure of the last remaining coal-fired and oil-fired power stations and takes a look back at their glory days, detailing many of the UKs most prominent stations as they close with a detailed look at their inner workings.” This is the control room of Fawley, an oil-fired plant that closed in 2013.


    • 40 Years Ago, We Almost Blew Up Arkansas - ”On the night of September 18, 1980, a Titan II missile carrying a thermonuclear warhead exploded in rural Arkansas. Here’s what the terrifying incident was like, from those who were there.” And while we’re on the subject of non-nuclear explosions of nuclear weapons, here’s one from Texas in 1963: Remember That Time a Nuclear Weapons Bunker Blew Up in San Antonio?

    • Call for extra hands to clear Russky bridge, still shut after last week’s disastrous ice rain - Life in Siberia just keeps getting better; an ice rain brought down power lines and is threatening to collapse a major bridge in Vladivostok, so people are having to climb up and chip it off: ”Over 100,000 people spent last week without electricity, heating and water at a temperature of -6C… More than 20 industrial climbers and emergency workers with experience in climbing are currently deployed to clear ice off the Russky Bridge, the longest cable-stayed bridge in the world. For many of them this was an unpaid job, too.”


    • templatemaker.nl - As you’re going to have to post Christmas presents and cards this year rather than delivering them in person, you’ll find this collection of templates for bags, boxes, mailers and all kinds of other things handy: ”This site offers a practically unlimited amount of templates (also knows as ’dielines‘ or ‘nets’) for paper craft, packaging, package design, learning materials, decoration and much more. All the models are custom sized. Usually, that includes the length, width and height of an object. Some models also have some angles you can customise or a number of facets. After entering the right dimensions, you can download the models in a variety of formats. PDF will be most likely be the easiest, so you can start printing, cutting and folding straight away.”

    • The Roving Eye - HT to Paddy for this article from the Broadcast Engineering Conservation Group: ”This brief history follows the development of the BBC facility providing real-time television pictures from moving vehicles to bring action pictures to viewers.” This Citroen DS had to tow a generator to provide power for the camera equipment


    • Californian cave artists may have used hallucinogens, find reveals - ”With recurring zigzags, spirals, and other simple geometric patterns, ancient rock art is sometimes surprisingly similar across the globe. One hypothesis is that the artists were all using psychoactive compounds, which nudged the brain toward certain patterns. Now, a new find from a roughly 500-year-old cave used by Native Americans suggests such compounds may indeed have been an important component of their rock art.” Full paper at PNAS: Datura quids at Pinwheel Cave, California, provide unambiguous confirmation of the ingestion of hallucinogens at a rock art site

    • The Code That Controls Your Money - An interesting look at the history, and future, of COBOL: ”COBOL is a coding language older than Weird Al Yankovic. The people who know how to use it are often just as old. It underpins the entire financial system. And it can’t be removed. How a computer language controls the financial life of the world.”

    • À l’intérieur des villas italiennes abandonnées - ”Thomas Jorion a passé dix ans à photographier des palais et des résidences secondaires à la beauté fanée.” Again, in English: Thomas Jorion spent ten years photographing palaces and second homes of faded beauty. In Italy, to be precise.



    Happy invoicing!

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    Gosh.

    Power stations designed, manufactured and built in the UK.

    Who'd have thunk it?

    How are the mighty fallen, relying on the French and the Chinese Communists these days.

    "Command and Control" does a minute by minute description of the Titan Ii accident.

    Guess who invented missile silos.

    We did.

    Ampex VR3000. Never seen one of those.

    LabGuy's World: Ampex VR-3000 Portable Quadruplex VTR 40th Anniversary!

    Len Santalucia, the longtime mainframe expert, once worked with the financial institution DTCC to investigate the possibility of converting their COBOL to Java.

    “They probably have about seventy five million lines of COBOL code,” he tells me, “and they found out that it would cost them so much that it would take, maybe, a couple of lifetimes to recover. It was ridiculous. And they have more money than God.”


    Remind me never to go to Antarctica.

    I've never written a line of COBOL.

    Now FORTRAN IV, one or two.
    Last edited by DoctorStrangelove; 30th November 2020 at 13:34.
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    The Code That Controls Your Money - An interesting look at the history, and future, of COBOL: ”COBOL is a coding language older than Weird Al Yankovic. The people who know how to use it are often just as old. It underpins the entire financial system. And it can’t be removed. How a computer language controls the financial life of the world.
    The code that controls my money is Wife 1.0. Brillopad is on version 7.0. Should I be going for an upgrade or two?
    'CUK forum personality of 2011 - Winner - Yes really!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by northernladuk View Post
    The code that controls my money is Wife 1.0. Brillopad is on version 7.0. Should I be going for an upgrade or two?
    Upgrades are OK, it's the legacy systems that cost...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zigenare View Post
    Upgrades are OK, it's the legacy systems that cost...
    MF just locks the hard drives in a safe for data retention purposes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NickFitz View Post
    The Code That Controls Your Money - An interesting look at the history, and future, of COBOL: ”COBOL is a coding language older than Weird Al Yankovic. The people who know how to use it are often just as old. It underpins the entire financial system. And it can’t be removed. How a computer language controls the financial life of the world.”
    makes me wonder should I retrain as a cobol programmer. There is serious money to be made in it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy2 View Post
    makes me wonder should I retrain as a cobol programmer. There is serious money to be made in it.
    2045 is going to be the new Y2K cash cow!

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    Quote Originally Posted by DoctorStrangelove View Post
    Remind me never to go to Antarctica.
    On the bright side, there's very little chance of picking up SARS-CoV-2 if you're a few thousand miles from the rest of the human race - there are no confirmed cases there as yet: COVID-19 pandemic in Antarctica - Wikipedia

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    I've bookmarked the templates link, very useful, thank you!

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    The Into the Unknown story reminds me of this:

    Tess Daly details her fears over 'hungry and cold' husband Vernon Kay's I'm A Celeb stint | Daily Mail Online

    Very similar levels of suffering.
    I design idiot proof software. Trouble is, they keep making better idiots.

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