linkmachinego.com
August 19, 2014
[london] 100 Slightly Strange London Bus Stop Names‘Lady Dock Path. Lings Coppice. Little Britain.’
August 18, 2014
[box] Expensive Shoebox – What would be the most expensive way to fill a size 11 shoebox (e.g. with 64 GB MicroSD cards all full of legally purchased music)?‘A gram of pure plutonium, for example, would cost about $5k. As a bonus, plutonium is even denser than gold, which means you could fit almost 300 kilograms of it in a shoebox. Before you spend $3 billion on plutonium, take note: Plutonium’s critical mass is about 10 kilograms. So while you could fit 300 kilograms of it in a shoebox, you could only do so briefly.’
August 17, 2014
[tech] Browsing speeds may slow as net hardware bug bites… BBC News on the 512K routing bug … ‘This may come as a surprise to non-specialists who view the internet as a high-tech affair comparable to the bridge of the USS Enterprise of Star Trek fame, in actuality, the internet is more akin to an 18th century Royal Navy frigate, with a lot of running about, climbing, shouting, and tugging on ropes required to maintain the desired course and speed.’
August 16, 2014
[films] What author/writer has had the most film adaptations?‘Bob Kane, the creator of Batman, has 100 credits to his name.’
August 15, 2014
[comics] Interviews: learning your A, B, Cs … Pat Mills discusses the A. B. C. Warriors … ‘ I think the ABCs is a rare story that endows machines with personality. This has always seemed an obvious thing to do. To treat them like superheroes but in a more rewarding way. They are a metaphor for working class heroes.’
August 14, 2014
[books] Against the Tide … Review of a book profiling the late Mary Whitehouse via her archive of letters … ‘Reading Mary Whitehouse’s letters is like digesting a scrambled Charlie Brooker. Dr Who is “teatime brutality for tots”. The World at War has too much genocide in it. Complaining of Chuck Berry’s performance of “My Ding-a-Ling” on Top of the Pops in 1972, she elicited the observation that the song began “with such a clear account of the contraption in question including bells”, that although the possibility of a double entendre was recognised, the BBC felt it was unlikely to “disturb or emotionally agitate its listeners”. But of course Whitehouse was permanently agitated. In editing this material from her archive, Ben Thompson not only works hard to salvage entertainment from some tedious cultural jeremiads, he also – and more interestingly – tries to make some sense of them…’
August 13, 2014
[space] Modern Art From The Hubble Space Telescope‘This is a genuine frame that Hubble relayed back from an observing session. Hubble uses a Fine Guidance System (FGS) in order to maintain stability whilst performing observations. A set of gyroscopes measures the attitude of the telescope, which is then corrected by a set of reaction wheels. In order to compensate for gyroscopic drift, the FGS locks onto a fixed point in space, which is referred to as a guide star. It is suspected that in this case, Hubble had locked onto a bad guide star, potentially a double star or binary. This caused an error in the tracking system, resulting in this remarkable picture of brightly coloured stellar streaks. The prominent red streaks are from stars in the globular cluster NGC 288.’ [via Blech]

Hubble Error Space Art

August 12, 2014
[tv] The 1979 “Rockford Files” Episode that Inspired “The Sopranos” … David Chase was trying out characters and situations used in the Sopranos twenty years prior to the start of the series … ‘In Just a Coupla Guys, Tony the mob boss (Antony Ponzini) is a doting father who also happens to be a killer. Anthony Jr. (Doug Tobey) is a good kid acting up to get his dad’s attention. Jean (Jennifer Rhodes) is the long-suffering mob wife, trapped in a suburban mansion. And Mr. Lombard (Gilbert Green), is an aging former boss who may or may not have lost his marbles. There’s even a Catholic priest (Arch Johnson), although he’s nowhere near as attractive as Father Phil, the clergyman who caught Carmela Soprano’s eye.’
August 11, 2014
[life] Britain On Instagram Vs. Britain In Real Life … amusing comparison of pictures of Britain on Instagram with real life.
August 10, 2014
[comics] The Complete 14 Batman Window Cameos‘A compilation of all 14 window cameos from the 1960s ABC TV series Batman. Almost fifty years later, some of these folks are still remembered today–Others, not so much.’

August 9, 2014
[comics] Miliband to show Obama his 2000AD collection … an important question – which world leaders are Squaxx dek Thargo? …

Miliband said: “Barack Obama looks as though he would definitely have been part of my gang at school, The League of Zarjaz Earthlets.

“I may even detach the Space Spinner free gift from issue one for some light-hearted yet reverent fun.”

August 8, 2014
[blogs] A Brief History of Bloggering … Giles Turnbull reports on the early days of blogs … ‘In the UK, the blogging scene began in London. Greg Fisher remembers it well. “I was blogging about the break-up of my first, second, and third relationships,” he says. Greg’s blog was a huge hit. He had over five regular readers, two of them via RSS. This was a huge success by British standards at the time. By any standards, actually. He couldn’t believe his good fortune.’
August 7, 2014
[space] Stunning Images from Rosetta Show Closeup Views of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko … go look at this collection of images the Rosetta spacecraft sent back after entering orbit around the Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko yesterday.
August 6, 2014
[clowns] Don’t Be Afraid Of The Clowns … Leigh Cowart visits the 2014 World Clown Association convention …

I am not afraid of clowns. But there’s something that happens when you walk into the forgettable bathroom of a hotel lobby and meet a fully made-up clown standing by the sink, reflection staring back at you with the Kubrickian blankness of a greasepaint grimace.

I almost wet my pants.

Media seminar fresh in my head, I choke the gasp in my throat and try to smile. While I am going for “warm and effusive,” I’m sure my face is more a pained amalgamation of terror. I can only hope that she thinks I’m trying to be polite. I’m sure she gets it all the time.

But. There are reasons people can find clowns to be so unsettling. That makeup: white face; huge, red mouth; drawn-on smile; eyebrows that kiss the hairline. “When it’s up close, it’s the visual equivalent of being screamed at,” explains Jaron Aviv Hollander, the co-founder and artistic director of the Kinetic Arts Center in Oakland. And it’s all the big top’s fault: When a clown is standing in one of three or more rings and playing to a huge crowd, the audience needs to be able to read familiar facial landmarks in order to get the bit.

August 5, 2014
[batman] Batman the Redeemer

Batman The Redeemer

August 4, 2014
[comics] Dear Hollywood: Stop Using Frank Miller’s Batman Stories As Source Material‘Experimentation is what has kept superhero comics alive from Batman’s first appearance until this year’s Batman Day. Indeed, The Dark Knight Returns and Year One were huge risks when they hit the stands. But on the big screen, DC is beating Frank Miller’s ideas into the ground. There’s nothing inherently wrong with Miller’s twin Batman epics. But there is something creatively bankrupt about studios focusing on them so monomaniacally. As Miller himself once said, “There are 50 different ways to do Batman and they all work.” Our fate is sealed for Batman v. Superman, but we have to imagine a better future. If an ambitious filmmaker wants to make a truly innovative Batman movie, he or she needs to put Frank’s hard-boiled sagas back on the shelf…’
August 3, 2014
[religion] Newspaper Discovery Sends Shock Waves Through Subgenius Community … can it be that a real-life original image of J.R. “Bob” Dobbs has been found from 1956? …

Reactions ranged from incredulity to claims of “Without a doubt, this is the most significant discovery of the age.” and “A truly earth shattering discovery!” Naysayers left comments such as “Hmmm…no dimple on the chin. I call FALSE BOB! CAST HM OUT!”, “That is not ‘Bob’ — it’s a False Bob. Do not be fooled by cheap imitations”, “The shadows are ALL WRONG. The shadows from his nose and cheeks point downwards at a 45 degree angle to the left (DOWN AND TO THE LEFT, DOWN AND TO THE LEFT), but the shadow of his PIPE go down at a 45 degree angle to the RIGHT. It’s LEE HARVEY OSWALD all over again”, and “Note the strange roundness of the pipe.”

August 2, 2014
[tech] Why does Outlook map Ctrl+F to Forward instead of Find, like all right-thinking programs?‘And then a bug report came in from a beta tester who wanted Ctrl+F to forward rather than find, because he had become accustomed to that keyboard shortcut from the email program he used before Exchange. That beta tester was…’
August 1, 2014
[politics] Ukip Duo Resign Claiming ‘Occultists’ Have Infiltrated The Party … HAIL HYDRA! Is UKIP being targeted by Angelic Reiki Masters?… ‘A Ukip parliamentary candidate and his branch chairman have resigned after claiming the local party is being infiltrated by what they see as “occultists”. Jake Baynes, who was to run in the Somerset city of Wells at next year’s general election, said he felt he was being driven out by local members, including a couple based in nearby Glastonbury who practise alternative healing, which they claim is inspired and guided by angels.’
July 31, 2014
[life] Love in the Key of Partridge … trying to find love – using only the words of Alan Partridge.

Love in the Key of Partridge

July 30, 2014
[books] The Bible vs. Mao: A “Best Guess” of the Top 25 Bestselling Books of All Time’10. (tie) The Truth that Leads to Eternal Life, Jehovah’s Witnesses/Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York. Published in English in 1968, 107 million copies. 10. (tie) Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, J.K. Rowling. The first novel of J.K. Rowling’s famous “Harry Potter” series sold over 107 million copies since its 1997 publication.’
July 29, 2014
[religion] More Engaging Copy for the Ten Commandments.’37 Things in Your Bedroom That You Need to Get Rid of Right Now, Like Adulteresses.’
July 28, 2014
[politics] ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ – the two faces of Michael Gove … intriguing profile of the recently demoted Tory minister … ‘As brokering replaced bombing in Northern Ireland, most people in Britain were relieved, but Gove pamphleteered for an alternative strategy of “resolute security action”. He retained an anachronistic feeling for “Greater Britain”. After 9/11 he sometimes wrapped up fervent support for Blair-Bush crusades in the modern parlance of liberal interventionism, and sometimes lapsed into an older discourse. In one sweeping column, he hailed the 1704 capture of Gibraltar “as an opening chapter in democracy’s vindication”, noted “profound echoes” with today’s struggles against autocrats in the Muslim world, and even suggested that “far-sighted” Spaniards might learn to see Britain’s Iberian outpost as the rock on which western success was built. Columnists are employed to grab interest rather than decide things, but Gove’s stridency on world affairs survived his 2005 move into parliament…’
July 27, 2014
[space] Spacecraft Rosetta Shows Comet has Two Components … remarkable animated image of a rubber duck shaped comet taken from the Rosetta Spacecraft chasing it through space … ‘The comet’s unusual 5-km sized comet nucleus is seen rotating over the course of a few hours, with each frame taken 20-minutes apart. Better images — and hopefully more refined theories — are expected as Rosetta is on track to enter orbit around Comet Churyumov–Gerasimenko’s nucleus early next month, and by the end of the year, if possible, land a probe on it.’
July 26, 2014
[space] The Audacious Rescue Plan That Might Have Saved Space Shuttle Columbia … The untold story of the rescue mission that might have saved the astronauts on board Columbia in 2003‘The mission to rescue Columbia, though, represents the kind of task that NASA, since its beginnings, has demonstrated an unswerving ability to execute. There would have been a clear goal, there would have been hard timing requirements, and the agency’s massive pool of engineering talent would be empowered to accomplish the goal at any cost and without restriction. The will to win would not be lacking, but technical challenges are ignorant of will and drive—look, for example, at the liquid oxygen tank explosion that crippled the Apollo 13 command and service module in 1970. That explosion was the result of a combination of events that occurred prior to launch, with potential blame stretching from the tank’s manufacturer all the way to the crew itself. The error-free rescue of Columbia would have depended not just on the flawless execution of teams at all of the NASA centers but also on an unknown number of events that happened days, weeks, months, or even years in the past leading up to the mission.’
July 25, 2014
[apollo] Twenty Awesome Covers From The US Space Program‘Manuals, guidebooks, press kits, reports, brochures – all with cool artworks and typography. Enjoy!’

Apollo Mission Book Covers

July 24, 2014
[space] Riding the Space Shuttle Booster into Orbit (and Back Again)‘A movie from the point of view of the Solid Rocket Booster with sound mixing and enhancement done by the folks at Skywalker Sound. The sound is all from the camera microphones…’ [more...]
July 23, 2014
[space] The Broken Beyond: How Space Turned Into an Office Park – Technology – The Atlantic… depressing article wondering why all our dreams of exploring space have died …

Space, once a place for governments and dreamers who would really just be civil servants, has become a playground for the hyper-affluent. [...] We don’t have flying cars, but we have a billionaire who sells electric cars to millionaires. We don’t have space vacations, but we have another billionaire who will take you on a magic carpet ride for two-hundred large. Today, a kid who says “I want to be an astronaut” is really just saying “I want to be rich.” Isn’t that what everyone wants? All of today’s dreams are dreams of wealth.

The official mission of the final Space Shuttle, STS-135, reads more like a joke from The Office than a science fictional fantasy: “Space Shuttle Atlantis is carrying the Raffaello multipurpose logistics module to deliver supplies, logistics and spare parts to the International Space Station.” Among its tasks: the delivery of a new tank for a urine recycling system, and the removal of a malfunctioning space sewage pump. If only I’d known in 1982 that astronaut and garbage collector would turn out to be such similar jobs.

July 22, 2014
[apollo] Moondoggle: The Forgotten Opposition to the Apollo Program … turns out a majority of Americans did not think going to the Moon was worth it in the 1960s … ‘The race to the moon may not have been wildly popular among scientists, random Americans, or black political activists, but it was hard to deny the power of the imagery returning from space. Our attention kept getting directed to the heavens — and our technology’s ability to propel humans there. It was pure there, and sublime, even if our rational selves could see we might be better off spending the money on urban infrastructure or cancer research or vocational training.’
July 21, 2014
[comics] Explorers on the Moon 1969 … Tintin and Gang greets Neil Armstrong on the Moon …

Tintin and Gang greet Neil Armstrong on the Moon


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