linkmachinego.com
December 19, 2014
[life] This scientist solved the mystery of belly button lint‘It was mostly people that had stomach hair who also typically found belly button lint. He proved it by shaving his own stomach, and seeing that he didn’t produce any belly button lint until his hair grew back. He also confirmed the seemingly obvious fact that lint originates from shirt fibers in two ways: by seeing that it always matched the color of the shirt he was wearing, and by chemically analyzing the lint and finding that it was mostly made of cellulose (the material that makes up cotton). It also contained some nitrogen and sulfur, likely from sweat and skin cells.’
December 18, 2014
[music] We Didn’t Start the Fire Pedia … a list of all the things in We Didn’t Start the Fire by Billy Joel sorted by their popularity on Wikipedia … ‘Berlin (1,080,805) / Einstein (352,130) / J.F.K. blown away (325,980)’
December 17, 2014
[serial] Serial nears its end, but the Reddit detectives keep working … a look at the impact of Serial as it concludes on Thursday …

Recently Tanveer actually found himself on the phone with Adnan, trying to explain the online furor over Serial. Adnan has no experience of social media, he says, so Tanveer had to find another metaphor to explain things. “Reddit is like road rage,” he says he told Adnan. People were very reactive and emotional. And under cover of anonymity, lots felt free to say things they would never say to Adnan’s face. “For Adnan, it was hard to fathom because Adnan’s been in jail,” Tanveer said. “Adnan said: ‘In my world, if you’re not ready to say something to someone’s face, you don’t say it.’”

December 16, 2014
[ukip] UKIPSum … Lorem Ipsum for people who won’t use foreign placeholder text … ‘Since the passage of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act, the nation has been beset by serious storms and floods. One recent one caused the worst flooding for 60 years. The Christmas floods were the worst for 127 years. Is this just global warming or is there something more serious at work? I can’t go into a bank with a motorcycle helmet on. I can’t wear a balaclava going round the District and Circle line. So why should Islamic women be allowed to wear burqa or veiled niqab in public buildings and in certain private buildings’
December 15, 2014
[sea] Tjipetir mystery: Why are rubber-like blocks washing up on beaches?‘The word Tjipetir turned out to be that of a rubber plantation in West Java, Indonesia, which operated in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The blocks were not strictly rubber – they are most likely gutta-percha, the gum of a tree found in the Malay Peninsula and Malaysia. It was used in the 19th and first half of the 20th centuries to insulate telegraph cables on the seabed. Before modern plastic began to be widely used, gutta-percha was also made into such items as golf balls, teddy bear noses, picture frames and jewellery, among many others.’
December 14, 2014
[comics] Judenhass … Dave Sim’s comic about the Holocaust is now available in the public domain. Download from the Judenhass website or Sequential.
December 13, 2014
[politics] Revealed: how Nigel Farage and Ukip begged for Enoch Powell’s support … What a suprise – it turns out Enoch Powell is one of Nigel Farage’s heroes … ‘Mr Farage, the Ukip leader, was branded “a pound shop Enoch Powell” by Russell Brand, a comedian, during a debate on the BBC’s Questiontime programme on Thursday night. The links between Mr Farage, Ukip and Mr Powell have been unearthed by The Daily Telegraph in letters to Mr Powell held in a university archive.’
December 12, 2014
[space] NASA’s Other Peanuts Traditions … a look at the history between NASA and Charles Schulz’s Peanuts … ‘NASA asked Schulz for permissions to use his two famous characters as call signs for the [Apollo 10] mission, something the artist considered a highlight of his career. Some of Schulz’s friends brought up the “what ifs” – what if the mission failed and a crew of dead astronauts was forever synonymous with his characters? Schultz replied simply that if the astronauts could risk their lives on the mission, he could risk his characters. Charlie Brown and Snoopy became semi-official mascots for Apollo 10, even though they weren’t included in the official mission logo. People brought Snoopy dolls in to NASA to lay on top of the crew’s simulators. Apollo 10’s LM is still flying. The crew burned all the LM’s fuel after rendezvousing around the Moon to send it into a wide solar orbit. British astronomer Nick Howes is trying to find it.’
December 11, 2014
[shining] All Play And No Work… By Mike Handy‘Keep Pedaling’

All Play And No Work

December 10, 2014
[tv] The Mystery of the Creepiest Television Hack … the true story of how a Pseudo-Max Headroom briefly hijacked Chicago TV broadcasting one evening in 1987 …

Then the camera cuts to Max from a slightly new angle, facing off screen and bent over. His mask dangles near the camera; his face is off screen and his buttocks are hanging out, front and center. “They’re coming to get me!” he screams. On the right side of the screen, a woman lazily spanks his ass with a flyswatter. “Come get me bitch!” he yells. The scream becomes a distorted, symphonic drone. And then just as quickly as his arrival, the signal cuts out, and Chicago was back to the eerie quiet of the regularly scheduled Dr. Who episode.

“As far as I can tell,” the Doctor observes at that very moment, “a massive electric shock. He must have died instantly.”

December 9, 2014
[crime] Serial: The Syed family on their pain and the ‘five million detectives trying to work out if Adnan is a psychopath’ … Jon Ronson meets Adnan Syed’s family … ‘As someone who’s written a book about psychopaths, I’ve had about a million people tweet me to ask if I think Adnan is one. I think it’s totally irresponsible to diagnose someone from afar, whether you’re a clinician or not, and I’m not. But for what it’s worth, nothing in Adnan’s conversations with Sarah rings any bells from the time I attended a course that teaches people how to identify psychopaths in part through the nuances of their language.’
December 8, 2014
[funny] Richard Dawkins Renounces Atheism After Smoking DMT

The professor claims that, while his DMT experience is largely ineffable and almost impossible to describe to anyone who hasn’t also been through it, he “saw the self transforming machine elves that Terence McKenna was talking about” and that they communicated with him.

“I can’t believe I’ve been so wrong all of these years,” raged an exasperated Dawkins while smashing his private collection of dinosaur bones. “I always thought I’d be able to explain away any experience I had on the basis of evolutionary theory but I just wasn’t able to apply it to this, it was mental.”

December 7, 2014
[books] Chris Morris interviews Bret Easton Ellis‘Who says Americans can’t write books? Well, my school teacher for one did but she was wrong and she’s dead now, and as if to dance on her grave this American is all book. His name is Brett Easton-Ellis, he’s from New York. Now I want you to imagine a book over 6 feet tall, it looks like a man, then imagine that book takes you aside throws open its arms and sprays words all over your face. It makes you laugh, it makes you cringe with raw satire like guts.’
December 6, 2014
[serial] Serial podcast and the genre question: investigative journalism, character study, or legal procedural? … a look at why Serial can’t settle down on one particular genre … ‘I think there’s a deeper meaning to the way Serial has moved from a project that requires answers and resolutions to one that doesn’t. Maybe the uncertainty is even a small rebuke to us overeager fans, as if the powerlessness in not knowing might bend our minds back to one of the only things we know for sure: that a young woman, Hae Min Lee, was taken from her friends and family forever.’
December 5, 2014
[news] The Most Earth-Shattering Local Newspaper Stories Of 2014‘TOWN NOT READY FOR SUSHI’
December 4, 2014
[comics] Graphic Novels for People Who Aren’t into Superheroes … Great list of comics to look up if you fancy a graphic novel or two (or three or four).
December 3, 2014
[serial] Charts for People Obsessed with Serial … useful info-graphics for people obssesed with the Serial podcast

The odds of getting a charming sociopath as a defendant

December 2, 2014
[religion] God’s Lonely Programmer … fascinating story of a man who has crafted his own computer operating system inspired by God‘ The words pour out on TempleOS.org, a torrent of verified random numbers, news links, YouTube videos, and scriptural exegesis. It’s the dense work of a single, restless mind writing ceaselessly without an audience. After two months of emails and phone conversations, I know more than when I began; specifically, I’ve accumulated more raw data, more facts about his life and experience. But I suspect I’ve only sketched a shadow. The full reality remains unreachable, an irreducible mystery.’
December 1, 2014
[313] What Does the Zapruder Film Really Tell Us? … Errol Morris and Ron Rosenbaum discuss The Kennedy Assasination …

“Can we even have the certainty that all is uncertainty?” I ask.

“Here’s my problem,” Morris replies. “My article of faith is that there’s a real world out there in which things happen. The real world is not indeterminate. I don’t want to hear people misinterpreting the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. Something happened. The problem is not about the nature of reality. We know somebody killed Kennedy and there’s an answer to the question of who and why.

“Another thing we know is that we may never learn. And we can never know that we can never learn it. We can never know that we can’t know something. This is the detective’s nightmare. It’s the ultimate detective’s nightmare.”

November 30, 2014
[religion] Russell Brand on Religion … Can’t be long before Russell enters his turquoise period
November 29, 2014
[ukip] UKIP warns of Schrödinger’s immigrant who ‘lazes around on benefits whilst simultaneously stealing your job’‘This UKIP fella ‘Schrödinger’ sounds smart, how can I vote for him?’
November 28, 2014
[comics] Demon … check out this compelling new webcomic from Jason Shiga. Recommended.
November 27, 2014
[war] A new report shows nuclear weapons almost detonated in North Carolina in 1961 … Eric Schlosser discusses various nuclear weapon accidents …

The Goldsboro bomb that almost detonated was known as Weapon No. 1. As the plane was spinning and breaking apart, the centrifugal forces pulled a lanyard in the cockpit–and that lanyard was what a crew member would manually pull during wartime to release the bomb. This hydrogen bomb was a machine, a dumb object. It had no idea whether the lanyard was being pulled by a person or by a centrifugal force. Once the lanyard was pulled, the weapon just behaved like it was designed to.

The bomb went through all of its arming steps except for one, and a single switch prevented a full-scale nuclear detonation. That type of switch was later found to be defective. It had failed in dozens of other cases, allowing weapons to be inadvertently armed. And that safety switch could have very easily been circumvented by stray electricity in the B-52 as it was breaking apart. As Secretary of Defense McNamara said, “By the slightest margin of chance, literally the failure of two wires to cross, a nuclear explosion was averted.” That’s literally correct, a short circuit could’ve fully armed the bomb.

November 26, 2014
[comics] Alan Moore’s Southern Comfort … Pádraig Ó Méalóid post scans of an obscure early Alan Moore comic for 2000AD and explores if it was rewritten … ‘So, decide for yourself: is this the work of the greatest comics writer of our time? Or is it only partially his, or has the art been changed so much from his original script that it has got lost under there?’
November 25, 2014
[history] The Very First Written Use of the F Word in English (1528)‘Here the word appears (for the first time if not the last) noted down by hand in the margins of a proper text, in this case Cicero’s De Officiis.’

"Fuckin Abbot"

November 24, 2014
[comics] Canadian cartoonist Seth Interviewed‘I try not to worry too much about meaning with what I’m doing, because I think meaning is accumulated or accrued from just doing it. It builds up its own meaning. I think that might be the bad legacy of modern art, the concern about ‘what does it mean?’ I don’t think that’s important to the artist. The artist kind of knows what it means, but it’s up to other people to determine that.’
November 23, 2014
[tv] TV Binge Watching Recommendations: November, 2014‘1. House of Cards. 2. Game of Thrones. 3. Breaking Bad. 4.Tie: Sherlock, Homeland.’
November 22, 2014
[war] Five Men Agree To Stand Directly Under An Exploding Nuclear Bomb … an unbelievable true story with video … ‘They wait. There is a countdown; 18,500 feet above them, the missile is detonated and blows up. Which means, these men intentionally stood directly underneath an exploding 2-kiloton nuclear bomb. One of them, at the key moment (he’s wearing sunglasses), looks up. You have to see this to believe it.’
November 21, 2014
[space] An Astronaut Reveals What Life in Space Is Really Like‘It turns out that once you’re actually in orbit, zero-g has some upsides. Without gravity, bodily fluids move toward your head. It’s a great face-lift. Your stomach gets flat. You feel long, because you grow an inch or two. (I thought, “Oh cool, I’ll be tall,” but of course everybody else was taller too.) But zero-g also has some disadvantages. As that fluid shifts north, you get an enormous headache. Your body compensates and loses about a liter of fluid in the first couple of days—you essentially pee the headache away.’
November 20, 2014
[moore] Alan Moore’s Brought To Light On YouTube … Alan Moore performs Brought to Light, his history of the CIA. … ‘This is not a dream.’

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