linkmachinego.com
June 15, 2021
[gonzo] The Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Board Game, Inspired by Hunter S. Thompson’s Rollicking Novel … An amusing art project / board game that should come with a health warning. ‘Baldwin’s game is not to be taken seriously…or taken orally. It’s actually a one-of-its-kind piece of art that can be purchased for $3,500. Drugs, like batteries, are not included. You must supply your own, possibly through your attorney.’

Hunter's Case

June 14, 2021
[books] Review: Malcolm Gladwell’s New Book Is a Fantasy of War From the Air … A scathing review of Gladwell’s book The Bomber Mafia. ‘The Bomber Mafia is adapted from an audiobook, which means that what sounds conversational and engaging on tape can sound garrulous on the page, but it also allows Gladwell to telegraph his breathless fascination with these men. “I worry that I haven’t fully explained just how radical—how revolutionary—the Bomber Mafia thinking was,” he says at one point, before launching on a long digression about chapel architecture.’
June 11, 2021
[curtis] Adam Curtis Hate Matrix‘I mean we were just having a lovely time for my nan’s birthday, what does that have to do with nuclear disarmament? – Man whose Butlins holiday footage was played, over-exposed and at half-speed beneath Aphex Twin’s Avril 14th.’
June 10, 2021
[family] My [40F] daughter’s [15F] cryptocurrency club is creating problems at our church … Cryptocurrency Club = Ponzi Scheme. ‘I want to guide my daughter towards phasing out the group, but she doesn’t have enough money to pay everyone back. She’s been doing so well with the club that cash has never been a problem, but if she shut down immediately, she’d owe thousands of dollars that she can’t repay.’
June 8, 2021
[funny] Imaginary Friends Reunited 💭👤 … An imaginary friends social network! ‘Chicken in my Pocket – Imagined by Diamondflamer at 2-5 years old: It was a chicken that lived in my pocket, I think it was yellow. When it went in my pocket it was small, when I got it out it could be any size I wanted, sometimes as tall as me!’
June 4, 2021
[herzog] Exploring Werner Herzog’s obsession with chickens‘In the AMA, Herzog added a more tangible but bleaker insight into the nature of the chicken: “I would note: chickens are living manifestations of death, bred only to be domesticated and killed. When we look into their eyes, we see the part of ourselves of which we are most afraid – our ultimate destination, death.”’
June 1, 2021
[life] The Tapeworm That Helps Ants Live Absurdly Long Lives … Oh, dear god, Tapeworms. ‘Down to the molecular level, the parasite is pulling the strings. Sara Beros, Foitzik’s former doctoral student and the paper’s first author, told me she has split open Temnothorax abdomens and counted up to 70 tapeworms inside. From there, the worms can unleash a slurry of proteins and chemicals that futz with the ant’s core physiology, likely impacting their host’s hormones, immune system, and genes. What they achieve appears to be a rough pantomime of how ant queens attain their mind-boggling life span, a feat humans still don’t understand. (The tapeworms’ grasp of ant aging is far more advanced than ours.) The parasites are effectively flash-freezing their host into a preserved state—one that will up their own chances of survival, and help guarantee that their species lives on.’
May 27, 2021
[space] The First Interstellar Comet Ever Detected Was Lonely … Understanding sad comet 2I/Borisov. ‘Borisov is unlikely to skim by another star. More than one astronomer told me that the chances are nearly zero. The distances between stars are simply too big. “If you had a collision between the Milky Way and another Milky Way, you could collide the galaxies and no two stars would ever hit,” David Jewitt, an astronomer at UCLA who studies comets, told me. Astronomers believe Borisov coasted alone for hundreds of millions of years, even billions, through space before reaching us. “In that amount of time, you might pass by one star,” Jewitt said. “So for Borisov, maybe this is it.”’
May 25, 2021
[virus] Lung Samples From 1918 Show a Pandemic Virus Mutating‘The team was able to recover a complete flu-virus genome from the 17-year-old girl’s lung tissue—only the third ever found. The two other full 1918 flu genomes both came from the United States, from the lungs of a woman buried in Alaska and from a paraffin-wax-embedded lung sample of a soldier who died in New York. With another genome in hand, the researchers moved to investigate how they differed. Several changes showed up in the flu’s genome-replication machinery, a potential evolutionary hot spot because better replication means a more successful virus. The team then copied just the replication machinery of the 17-year-old’s virus—not the entire virus—into cells and found it was only half as active as that of the flu virus found in Alaska.’
May 24, 2021
[adventure] 1982: The Hobbit … A look back at The Hobbit – a ground-breaking adventure game from 8-bit era. ‘But Megler loved the game’s unpredictability. “I didn’t make any attempt to stop that,” she said of unexpected NPC deaths, “because I thought it was cool.” Unlike Adventure, you never knew quite what would happen when you booted up her game. It was exactly the kind of nondeterministic serendipity she had hoped to create: “I was really aiming for something like life, where the outcome is the result of many independent occurrences and decisions by many people, and sometimes things just don’t work out… I actively wanted the unpredictability.”’
May 21, 2021
[life] Where Do Butts Come From? … A look at the the evolutionary history of the anus. ‘The sea cucumber’s posterior is so much more than an exit hole for digestive waste. It is also a makeshift mouth that gobbles up bits of algae; a faux lung, latticed with tubes that exchange gas with the surrounding water; and a weapon that, in the presence of danger, can launch a sticky, stringy web of internal organs to entangle predators. It can even, on occasion, be a home for shimmering pearlfish, which wriggle inside the bum when it billows open to breathe. It would not be inaccurate to describe a sea cucumber as an extraordinary anus that just so happens to have a body around it.’
May 19, 2021
[games] Kick the Ball Back 👞⚽️ … Great time wasting web game.
May 14, 2021
[books] Today I Learned: The 422 Words That Shakespeare Invented‘Compiling a definitive list of every word that Shakespeare ever invented is impossible. But creating a list of the words that Shakespeare almost certainly invented can be done. We generated list of words below by starting with the words that Shakespeare was the first to use in written language, and then applying research that has identified which words were probably in everyday use during Shakespeare’s time. The result are 422 bona fide words minted, coined, and invented by Shakespeare, from “academe” to “zany”…’
May 12, 2021
[life] A New Generation Of Scientists Takes On A 142-Year-Old Experiment … The story behind a long-running, baton-pass science experiment. ‘Weber says it was really cool to pull a bottle out of the ground, knowing that “the last person to touch it was professor Beal, 140 years ago, you know, this person who was writing letters to Darwin.” The researchers immediately took the bottle to a lab. They spread out almost all of the contents onto potting soil…’
May 11, 2021
May 7, 2021
[life] NEVER sit in a stained chair in the Poker room of a Casino … A disturbing, dark thread on Reddit about gambling addiction. ‘Anyone that works in a busy casino will have some fucked up stories. I remember an old couple that would sit and fill up their diapers playing slots. One day the wife died at the machine. Her husband wouldn’t get up from his machine to go with her after the EMT’s loaded her up and took her away.’
May 4, 2021
[books] ‘I’m bursting with fiction’: Alan Moore announces five-volume fantasy epic … Alan Moore comments on his new series of books. ‘Speaking about his book deal, Moore said that he was at a moment in his career when he was “bursting with fiction, bursting with prose”.’
April 29, 2021
[books] Illuminations, Long London 1: books are coming… More details revealed about Alan Moore’s new books to be published by Bloomsbury. ‘Illuminations is an astonishing, rich and broad collection of short stories, each featuring some kind of illumination or realization. From ghosts and otherworldly creatures to the four horsemen of the apocalypse to the Boltzmann brains fashioning the universe at the big bang, Alan Moore’s Illuminations is a series of beguiling and elegantly crafted tales that reveal the full power of imagination and magic.’
April 28, 2021
[books] Literary Critics Praise Unpublished Salinger Novels As Good, But Not ‘Go Out And Shoot A Celebrity’ Good‘Unfortunately, would-be assassins will likely find that the novel’s tendency towards the maudlin and a muddled narrative fail to evoke the passion required to take down a singer or presidential candidate.’
April 26, 2021
[tv] @xnemxia on Twitter:‘I wonder who killed her / What the fuck’

Twin Peaks - Who Killed her / WTF

April 22, 2021
[politics] Diamond Geezer’s London Mayoral Hustings … DG analyses Sadiq Khan’s opponents for London Mayor. ‘The classic eccentric – Count Binface: Hurrah for intergalactic space warrior Count Binface.’
April 20, 2021
[tools] Open source, experimental, and tiny tools roundup … Great list of tech tools. ‘This is a list of small, free, or experimental tools that might be useful in building your game / website / interactive project. Although I’ve included ‘standards’, this list has a focus on artful tools and toys that are as fun to use as they are functional.’
April 19, 2021
[bbc] Photo essay: Life at BBC Broadcasting House during the coronavirus pandemic … Haunting photos of life at the BBC during Covid.
April 16, 2021
[royalty] What will ACTUALLY happen when the Queen dies … A look at what might really happen when London Bridge is down. ‘Nigel Farage won’t be invited to any of the official pageantry, but will post a photo of himself saluting his television.’
April 15, 2021
[tv] How Columbo Became an Unlikely Quarantine Hit‘Columbo isn’t quite hardboiled like detectives out of Dashiell Hammett or Raymond Chandler; he’s also not flashy or well-dressed like Sherlock Holmes or Hercule Poirot. The show isn’t gritty like many American crime shows, and it isn’t whimsical like some of the British detective shows you’ll find on Masterpiece. There isn’t a lot of violence; instead, Falk brings a comic tone to his character. Columbo, basically, is the most soft-boiled detective show I’ve ever seen. And soft is all I’m looking for these days.’
April 13, 2021
[conpiracy] Making sense of conspiracy theorists as the world gets more bizarre … Jon Ronson looks back over twenty years of conspiracy theories. ‘You get renaissances of conspiracy theories when the powerful behave in conspiratorial ways. The mystery is why the theorists are never happy with the actual evidence, and instead behave like amateur sleuths inside some magical parallel world where metaphors are facts. In that world, the deaths at David Koresh’s church in Waco were caused not by government overreach but by the Illuminati’s Satanic desire for blood sacrifice. Why they invariably slap a layer of fiction on top of an already fascinating truth had long been a puzzle to me…’
April 12, 2021
April 8, 2021
[science] Why Physicists Tried to Put a Ferret in a Particle Accelerator … You’ll be glad to hear that Felicia the Ferret’s Intrinsic Field was not removed. ‘Faced with a recalcitrant ferret, the scientists reassigned her to a section of 12-inch-wide tubes in the Meson Lab, a testing facility that was still under construction. “She was taught to scamper through progressively longer tunnels until she was ready to try one of the 300-foot sections that will be joined together to make the Meson Lab’s tubes,” Time noted. After her first run, she emerged “looking a little tired and bemused but otherwise quite healthy,” according to Beck. She’d pulled the string all the way through. As planned, workmen pulled the swab through the tubes. It came out covered with specks of dust and steel.’
April 7, 2021
[tech] Booting an IBM PC from a Vinyl Record … Watch and listen to the PC boot here. ‘There is a small ROM boot loader that operates the built-in “cassette interface” of the PC (that was hardly ever used), invoked by the BIOS if all the other boot options fail, i.e. floppy disk and the hard drive. The turntable spins an analog recording of a small bootable read-only RAM drive, which is 64K in size. This contains a FreeDOS kernel, modified by me to cram it into the memory constraint, a micro variant of COMMAND.COM and a patched version of INTERLNK, that allows file transfer through a printer cable, modified to be runnable on FreeDOS. The bootloader reads the disk image from the audio recording through the cassette modem, loads it to memory and boots the system on it. Simple huh?’
April 6, 2021
[tech] Why Computers Won’t Make Themselves Smarter … A look at why the singularity is unlikely. ‘This ability of humans to build on one another’s work is precisely why I don’t believe that running a human-equivalent A.I. program for a hundred years in isolation is a good way to produce major breakthroughs. An individual working in complete isolation can come up with a breakthrough but is unlikely to do so repeatedly; you’re better off having a lot of people drawing inspiration from one another. They don’t have to be directly collaborating; any field of research will simply do better when it has many people working in it.’