Monday Links from the Bench vol. CLXIV Monday Links from the Bench vol. CLXIV
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    Default Monday Links from the Bench vol. CLXIV

    Now you've just about got over the nightmare of Monday morning, you can recover by wasting the afternoon on this lot:

    • The Free Universal Construction Kit - Finally, the excuse you needed to get a 3D printer: "The Free Universal Construction Kit offers adapters between Lego, Duplo, Fischertechnik, Gears! Gears! Gears!, K’Nex, Krinkles (Bristle Blocks), Lincoln Logs, Tinkertoys, Zome, and Zoob. Our adapters can be downloaded from Thingiverse.com and other sharing sites as a set of 3D models in .STL format, suitable for reproduction by personal manufacturing devices like the Makerbot (an inexpensive, open-source 3D printer)." (Yes, I'm sure they realise what the abbreviated form of the name spells )

    • The Man Who Killed Osama bin Laden... Is Screwed - "For the first time, the Navy SEAL who killed Osama bin Laden tells his story — speaking not just about the raid and the three shots that changed history, but about the personal aftermath for himself and his family. And the startling failure of the United States government to help its most experienced and skilled warriors carry on with their lives." Profile of the Seal Team 6 member who actually shot Osama bin Laden, but now faces an uncertain future as he leaves the Marines.

    • Every Missing Image Has its Own Story - The One Terabyte of Kilobyte Age project digs through the torrent of data recovered from Geocities before it was closed by Yahoo! examining the remains of 17 year old websites. This piece looks at what we can learn from image tags: "There are many reasons for a webpage to lose its images, but in case of “Misty’s Home Page” there is no mystery. The author just linked all the images to his local hard disc. So they were never ever online! Well, to quote the webmaster: “My first attempt at having a home page [...] As soon as I figure out how to do it, I will!”"

    • The Street Kids of San Francisco - The Priceonomics blog looks at a particular subculture of the homeless, still based around Haight-Ashbury and Golden Gate Park after all these years: "Our initial hypothesis was that life on Haight Street would be a grim, Dickensian hellhole. Instead, we discovered a world of misunderstood, modern-day nomads, blithely toeing the line between poverty, drug dealing, and hippy nirvana. Most of them seemed to be having fun."

    • The 10 best films of the 1890s - "Last week, The A.V. Club took a look at the best films of the 1990s (a look that proved unexpectedly controversial). As a lark, we started talking about a companion list covering the best films of the 1890s. But the more we talked about it, the more it seemed like a good idea to turn back the clock to the very beginnings of film. We selected 10 films we found artistically compelling and historically significant. And because they’re all in the public domain, available on YouTube, and short, you can easily watch them in their entirety as you read along." Whether it's workers leaving a factory or a train arriving at a station, the action never stops in this compendium of early movie history. There's even synchronised sound, from 1894.

    • Scarfolk Council - "Scarfolk is a town in North West England that did not progress beyond 1979. Instead, the entire decade of the 1970s loops ad infinitum. Here in Scarfolk, pagan rituals blend seamlessly with science; hauntology is a compulsory subject at school, and everyone must be in bed by 8pm because they are perpetually running a slight fever. 'Visit Scarfolk today. Our number one priority is keeping rabies at bay.'" Brilliant parodies of cultural artefacts of the Seventies, including the Ladybird "Let's Make Bombs" book, rabies information posters, and of course the Radio Times: "The award-winning Horizon documentary about ITV viewers being backwards was based on a study conducted by Scarfolk College."

    • Adobe Photoshop Source Code - Not the latest version; it is in fact the source to version 1.0, written in Pascal and 68000 assembly language for the Mac in 1989 by Thomas Knoll. Grady Booch comments: "Opening the files that constituted the source code for Photoshop 1.0, I felt a bit like Howard Carter as he first breached the tomb of King Tutankhamen. What wonders awaited me?… the lack of comments is simply not an issue. This code is so literate, so easy to read, that comments might even have gotten in the way."

    • Two for the price of one: Audio Cassette Inserts and VHS Box Graphics taken from Flickr sets by Jubru and Hauk Sven respectively.

    • Reconstructing the Chelyabinsk meteor’s path, with Google Earth, YouTube and high-school math - "Like many others, I was absolutely astounded by the meteor strike over Chelyabinsk when I woke on Friday morning. One silver lining to our self-surveilling society is that an event of this magnitude is certain to get caught on the myriad of always-on dash- and webcams. I for one could not get enough of the videos... Might it be possible to use this viral footage with Google Earth to have an initial go at mapping the meteorite’s trajectory?" Excellent piece of work by Stefan Gees, using measurement of shadows in CCTV to project planes on Google Earth and calculate the course of last week's meteor.

    • You Had One Job! - Extensive collection of idiotic fail pictures, such as this proof that only the British know how to use a telephone box:



    Happy invoicing!

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    Quote Originally Posted by zeitghost View Post
    Disappointed there's no Meccano to Lego adaptor.

    Major fail there, then.
    Indeed. Kids fuss so much about Lego these days, never seeming to realise that with Meccano you could do real mechanical and structural engineering

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    Quote Originally Posted by NickFitz View Post
    Indeed. Kids fuss so much about Lego these days, never seeming to realise that with Meccano you could do real mechanical and structural engineering
    Meccano seems to be very much marketed as a "make this particular model" toy nowadays.
    merely at clientco for the entertainment

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    Quote Originally Posted by eek View Post
    Meccano seems to be very much marketed as a "make this particular model" toy nowadays.
    Much like lego

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    Quote Originally Posted by mudskipper View Post
    Much like lego
    Not really, you can still buy lego kits of bricks or roof tiles. You've not been able to buy the old style construction kits of rods without a direct purpose for meccano since 1992.
    merely at clientco for the entertainment

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    I am sure there is some comical irony here but does the hadonejob page work for anyone? Doesn't work here. Old version of IE so wouldn't be surprised if it is that.
    'CUK forum personality of 2011 - Winner - Yes really!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by northernladuk View Post
    I am sure there is some comical irony here but does the hadonejob page work for anyone? Doesn't work here. Old version of IE so wouldn't be surprised if it is that.
    It's a dreadful site with a Flash slideshow which takes ages to load. But it did work for me in Chrome.

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    The Scarfolk Council one reminds me very much of the National Office of Importance...
    Brexit is having a wee in the middle of the room at a house party because nobody is talking to you, and then complaining about the smell.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Platypus View Post
    It's a dreadful site with a Flash slideshow which takes ages to load. But it did work for me in Chrome.
    No Flash. The slideshow script uses the standard element.addEventListener method, which IE didn't support until version 9. Seems a bit crappy not to include a workaround using old IE's non-standard attachEvent, but that's the way things are going these days.

    Also, you might want to check your network: loading through an HTTP debugging proxy on Firefox, with Firebug active, took 2.68 seconds; the total size of all content, including the first image, was 301.8KB, which isn't that huge. For comparison, the CUK General front page is 406KB, although it loads in a snappy 1.78s. (All load times are with an empty cache.) So the "ages to load" is one-and-a-half times as long as CUK. (Also, CUK makes 48 HTTP requests, versus hadonejob.com's 12; so hadonejob could easily turn out faster on a congested network.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by eek View Post
    You've not been able to buy the old style construction kits of rods without a direct purpose for meccano since 1992.
    I thought the full kits were still being manufactured in Poland.

    Must admit I haven't seen Meccano advertised recently, in New Scientist for example.
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