linkmachinego.com
November 10, 2022
>> I don’t know who need this today but here’s some joyful old clips of Vincent Price riding roller coasters. You’re welcome.
November 9, 2022
[vaccines] No One Knows What’s Inside the Smallpox Vaccine … The fascinating mystery story inside our oldest vaccine. ‘Scientists call it vaccinia, and it is pretty much found only in the vaccines. No one knows where vaccinia came from in nature. No one has ever found its animal reservoir. No one knows quite what vaccinia is—even as it has been used to inoculate billions of people and saved hundreds of millions of lives. It is a ghost of a virus that has survived by being turned into a vaccine.’
November 8, 2022
[tech] Can a Computer catch a Spy? … The story of an American Spy – Aldrich Ames – and a look at how computers can replace human intuition in the hunt for spies.

It was a $5,000 deposit in cash made on July 5. Three days earlier the chronology read: Lunch with Chuvakhin. Grimes knit her brow and grabbed the last deposit slip. It was for $8,500 in cash, deposited on July 31. And the chronology showed that on the very same day — Ames had had lunch with Chuvakhin.

“That was it for Sandy,” Grimes said, referring to herself by name. “I said, ‘You guys won’t believe it, this is it — you won’t believe it.” She ran down the hall to tell the head of the CIA’s counterintelligence division, Paul Redmond. “I closed the door and I didn’t wait for him, I just said, ‘It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see what’s going on here: Rick is a goddamn Soviet spy.”

November 7, 2022
[comics] Ten years of 2000 AD… … Many of Tharg’s art, writing and editorial droids discussing the success of 2000AD in 1986.

November 4, 2022
[concentration] The Ultimate White Noise Player • Design Your Own Color … A website that helps you generate brown noise which can help with mental focus apparently.
October 31, 2022
[truecrime] Bible John: Creation of a Serial Killer … An engrossing BBC podcast looking at the Scottish serial killer Bible John.
October 28, 2022
October 26, 2022
[comics] Marvel’s Miracleman Omnibus shows how Alan Moore paved the road to Watchmen… Slate on Marvel’s reprint of a full collection of Miracleman along with a look at it’s impact. ‘It’s remarkable how powerful the book remains in spite of its occasional unevenness. Moore is easily the medium’s most important just-writer (as opposed to writers who draw their own scripts, which Moore does very rarely), having demonstrated a complete grasp of its intricacies and potential almost from the beginning of his career. He is, in some sense, a composer, and the people working in comics who can match that formidable perfection are cartoonists themselves—no other writer really comes close.’
October 25, 2022
[space] Saturn: 1993 – 2022 … Go Look at this visualisation of Saturn’s 22yr Orbit Round the Sun which recently completed. ‘Constructed from individual images made over 29 Earth years, the split panorama is centered along the ecliptic and crossed by the plane of our Milky Way galaxy.’
October 24, 2022
>> Glanced at: Trump Betrayed by His Diet Coke Valet, Walt Nauta … BY MY DIET COKE VALET, BETRAYED!!! ‘Donald Trump could ultimately be done in by his Diet Coke habit. Not physically (though drinking 12 diet sodas a day doesn’t seem great for your health) but legally. The Washington Post reports that his former White House valet — the man who had to respond every time the president pressed his famous Oval Office Diet Coke button — provided key evidence that led to the FBI’s search of Mar-a-Lago in August.’ [via jwz]
October 21, 2022
[retro] Don’t Piss Off Bradley, the Parts Seller Keeping Atari Machines Alive … An amusing story about the cantankerous gatekeeper of a huge collection of ancient Atari hardware. ‘Best’s catalog is only available in print. It costs $7.50 plus shipping, is the size of a small phone book, and is more than 20 years out of date. It needs to be cross-referenced with an “addendum” section on the Best website, where Koda has logged about 65 typewritten pages’ worth of piecemeal price changes and other corrections over the past two decades. Anyone who can’t figure out this system risks being deemed a time-waster. In emails to customers, Koda often laments his busy schedule, and he seems to take distractions personally.’
October 14, 2022
[moore] Watchmen author Alan Moore: ‘I’m definitely done with comics’… … Another interview with Alan Moore in the Guardian and here is a review of Illuminations – his new collection of short stories. ‘He shuns new tech to the extent that we speak down a landline, so I can’t see the lavishly bearded face from which his gentle Northampton burr issues. “When the internet first became a thing,” he says, “I made the decision that this doesn’t sound like anything that I need. I had a feeling that there might be another shoe to drop – and regarding this technology, as it turned out, there was an Imelda Marcos wardrobe full of shoes to drop. I felt that if society was going to morph into a massive social experiment, then it might be a good idea if there was somebody outside the petri dish.” He makes do, instead, with an internet-savvy assistant: “He can bring me pornography, cute pictures of cats and abusive messages from people.”’
October 7, 2022
[lauguage] Compound pejoratives on Reddit – from ‘buttface’ to ‘wankpuffin’ … An important study of compounded swearwords on Reddit. ‘As a corpus, Reddit has the virtue of being uninhibited in its profanity, and on the cutting edge of new coinages. For example, Google Books Ngram Viewer, which indexes the majority of all books published in English up to 2019, gives no results for fuckwaffle, whereas the term has been used in 1,096 Reddit comments.’
October 3, 2022
[queen] BBC Television Channels – 1830BST 8th September 2022 – Announcing The Death Of Queen Elizabeth II … Grid showing BBC Television channels as they announced the Queen’s death.

September 30, 2022
[photos] 5 Unintended Consequences of Photography‘Photography Gave Us an Appreciation of Time – The big events of life usually pass too slowly for us to observe. But photographs freeze the instants of change so we can see our child getting older by degrees, or our parents gradually aging across the years. And we can piece together a year from a thousand photographed memories of events our memories consider too minor to keep handy. We take this power of capturing time for granted, but it simply didn’t exist prior to photography.’
September 23, 2022
[truecrime] What Serial Gets Wrong … After Adnan Syed’s recent release, an examination (from 2014) of what the Serial podcast got wrong. ‘I have no idea who lied fifteen years ago, and I doubt we’ll ever find out. Lies have a way of burrowing into the brain and reshaping and reforming into truth after awhile. Whatever Adnan and Jay believed then could have changed by now. What does seem clear to me, though, is that there was rampant and serious misconduct by Baltimore law enforcement. It seems impossible that, as a defendant, Adnan got within the realm of a fair shake here. And even if law enforcement’s shady behavior didn’t rise to illegal misconduct, there’s a reasonable possibility that it could have had a tangible effect on the outcome.’
September 21, 2022
[moore] Discover Alan Moore’s Surprising First Published Superman Stories … A look at some long-forgotten UK published stories from Alan Moore. ‘That second Superheroes Annual in 1983…There was a two-page text piece by Alan Moore, with illustrations by the brilliant Bryan Talbot. The story was titled “Protected Species,” and it was about an alien who traveled the universe collected endangered species from lost planets that he would then bring to his bosses who would keep the survivors on a sort of zoo…’
September 19, 2022
[comics] “Westminster.”

From Hell - Westminster

September 16, 2022
[queen] The short unhappy life of Elizabeth Windsor … Politico sum up the life of Queen Elizabeth. ‘She knew a lot about the things she had inherited and not much about anything else. She drove — fast — about her estates in a beaten-up Land Rover and dedicated her life to fiercely protecting the promulgation of the family firm. But it was almost as if she was absent from her own story — her legend as rigorously curated and spun as that of any autocrat. To provide her United Kingdom with the monarch she felt it needed, she sacrificed an ordinary life and the other things most of us take for granted. But then the curious nature of hereditary monarchy never offered her another path.’
September 14, 2022
[queen] Inside British newsrooms on the day Queen Elizabeth II died: secret codes, chaos and black ties

‘Thirteen minutes after the note came the tweet. “Following further evaluation this morning, the Queen’s doctors are concerned for Her Majesty’s health and have recommended she remain under medical supervision,” wrote Buckingham Palace. “The Queen remains comfortable and at Balmoral.”

“When the statement dropped about her health it was obvious, and suddenly no MPs would talk,” the Whitehall correspondent says. Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs stopped responding to messages.

Across at what was once known as Fleet Street, time stopped.’

September 12, 2022
[queen] Who the hell updated Queen Elizabeth II’s Wikipedia page so quickly?‘It’s not as simple as changing “is” to “was.” After Sydwhunte made the initial death edit, Elizabeth II’s article underwent more than 55 edits in the subsequent 15 minutes — adding sources, changing the tense, updating the infobox with the length of her reign, and updating her categories (she’s no longer in the category “living people,” for example). Over on the article for now-King Charles III, there was a frenzy of title changes as editors waited for his regnal name to be announced. Charles’ article changed titles five times while people waited for his official regnal name.’
September 9, 2022
[death] [NOTE: Do Not Run Until Fucking Queen Is Dead Or People Will Lose Their Shit] Queen Elizabeth Dead At 96 … The Onion’s top-quality obituary for the Queen. ‘She married Philip Mountbatten in 1947, beginning a [TK ADJECTIVE] royal union that lasted [TK] years until [NOTE: DID HE DIE? CHECK. IF HE DID, WE FORGOT TO RUN AN OBIT], in which they had four children: Prince Charles, the heir apparent, as well as Princess [TK], Prince [TK], and Prince Andrew [NOTE: CHECK ANDREW’S LATEST ROYAL STATUS RE: PEDOPHILIA ALLEGATIONS]. In addition to her children, the queen is survived by [INSERT SOME BULLSHIT HERE ABOUT HER DO-NOTHING PROGENY]. As Britain’s first lady queen [PROBABLY LOOK THIS UP] …’
September 8, 2022
September 7, 2022
[tv] Casting Columbo: the gargantuan unseen effort … A lot of the magic in Columbo came from casting the right actors for villians, victims and supporting cast. ‘Team Columbo considered up to three dozen different actors for every role in every episode. For a typical 1970s Columbo, the casting started with the producer. Three to four weeks before the scheduled start of filming—about the time he hired his director—the producer would compile a list of actors he thought would be right for each part. He’d also send the script to several talent agencies, to get their suggestions. Executives from Universal Television and from NBC would also weigh in. And, finally, the producer would bounce his options off of the director and Peter Falk.’
September 6, 2022
[politics] “He was scum.” … Hunter S. Thompson’s obituary for Richard Nixon.

‘If the right people had been in charge of Nixon’s funeral, his casket would have been launched into one of those open-sewage canals that empty into the ocean just south of Los Angeles. He was a swine of a man and a jabbering dupe of a president. Nixon was so crooked that he needed servants to help him screw his pants on every morning. Even his funeral was illegal. He was queer in the deepest way. His body should have been burned in a trash bin.

These are harsh words for a man only recently canonized by President Clinton and my old friend George McGovern — but I have written worse things about Nixon, many times, and the record will show that I kicked him repeatedly long before he went down. I beat him like a mad dog with mange every time I got a chance, and I am proud of it. He was scum.’

September 5, 2022
[cia] The Surreal Case of a C.I.A. Hacker’s Revenge … The astonishing story of how the CIA lost control of it’s arsenal of hacking tools because of an extremely angry, disgruntled employee. ‘Unlike other prominent digital leakers, Schulte did not seem like an ideological whistle-blower. Ayn Rand fanboys are not exactly famous for their doctrinal consistency, and Schulte’s concerns about “Big Brother” don’t appear to have occasioned much soul-searching in the years he spent building surveillance weapons for a spy agency. On an anonymous Twitter account that Schulte maintained, he reportedly expressed the view (in a since-deleted tweet) that Chelsea Manning should be executed. Weber recalled Schulte saying that Snowden deserved the same. Could it be that Schulte had leaked the C.I.A.’s digital arsenal not because of any principled opposition to the policies of the U.S. government but because he was pissed off at his colleagues?’
September 2, 2022
[toys] Genuine Thoughts and Prayers Collectible Toy‘Perfect for any tragedy.’

Genuine Thoughts and Prayers

August 25, 2022
[comics] Neil Gaiman on the Secret History of ‘The Sandman,’ from Giant Mechanical Spiders to the Joker … Long interview with Gaiman on The Sandman comics, TV series, Alan Moore, his history with DC Comics and much more. ‘I love that the House of Secrets and the House of Mystery are on screen. I love that Asim Chaudhry and Sanjeev Bhaskar are respectively Abel and Cain. I love the fact we’ve got Goldie and Gregory the Gargoyle. I look at Gregory and I’m just sad that [artist] Bernie Wrightson is no longer with us, because I wish he’d lived to see Gregory the Gargoyle flying around on the screen, this thing that he made. I love all that. I think that’s so much fun. And I love the fact that if you want to do weird deep dives into DC chronology, you have Lyta Hall, who in some versions of DC Comics existence — not really the one that we were in even by the time we got to the comic — but there is a level in which she’s Wonder Woman’s daughter. And perhaps she is, we’ll never know.’
August 24, 2022
[life] If You Transplant a Human Head, Does Its Consciousness Follow? … The engrossing real life story of a surgeon obsessed with head transplants. ‘One day, her friend, Cleveland neurologist Michael DeGeorgia, called her to his office. He quietly slid a battered shoebox toward her, inviting her to open it. Schillace obliged, half-worried it might contain a brain. She pulled out a notebook—perhaps from the ‘50s or ‘60s, she says—and started to leaf through it. “There’s all these strange little notes and stuff about mice and brains and brain slices, and these little flecks,” Schillace says. “I was like, ‘What … what are all these marks?’” Probably blood, DeGeorgia told her.’
August 19, 2022
[comics] Interview: Joe Colquhoun … Charlie’s War artist Joe Colquhoun interviewed in 1982 by Lew Stringer. ‘I found Roy [of the Rovers] a bit of a boring subject, not being a great fan of football, and after four or five years of drawing those bloody hairy-arsed footballers tearing around morning, noon and night, it got me down a lot.’