Saturday, 13 October 2012

10 Saturday stories

Thanks heavens for scheduling because by the time this post gets published I shall have been travelling for a long time to get to Library Camp 2012 – and, of course, Cake Camp.
Woo hoo.
I am really looking forward to it - but not to the 5am start that travelling from Kettering involves.

Implanting a London Oyster card transponder in a ring
via Boing Boing by Cory Doctorow
Dhani Sutanto removed the transponder from a Transport for London Oyster card (a RFID-based stored value card used to pay for rides on public transit) and implanted it in a ring, making a lovely bit of snitchy jewelry that gets him on the bus.
Oyster Ring (Thanks, Phoebe!)
Please note that doing this is illegal (but fun).

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Furious religious establishment figures decry Life of Brian and John Cleese, who parries them masterfully
via Boing Boing by Cory Doctorow

In this BBC 4 video, apparently contemporaneous with the 1979 release of Monty Python’s classic The Life of Brian, a collection of robed clerics from the Church of England (and possibly others?) tell John Cleese that he’s been very, very naughty for helping to make the movie, while Cleese and other Pythons parry them.
It’s quite a ride.
(Thanks, Fipi Lele!)

The Beatles’ Last Photo Session, August 1969
via Retronaut by Chris

“Tittenhurst was the home of John and Yoko from late summer 1969 until August 1971 when they moved to America, and subsequently the home of Ringo Starr. The Beatles’ very last photo shoot took place here on 22nd August 1969”
Images by Ethan Russell / Monte Fresco / Mal Evans
Source: BeatlesTweets / Beatles Bible

At the Beach, 1906
via Retronaut by Chris
And the selection includes:
  • Brighton
  • Ostende
  • Weymouth
  • Folkestone

In lieu of a photograph of Ramsgate I had to choose one of the Folkestone ones
You can see the rest of Chris’s selection here.
All images by Edward Linley Sambourne
Source: The Library Time Machine, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
Thank you to Dave Walker

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Party Line: 1921
via Shorpy Historical Photo Archive - Vintage Fine Art Prints by Dave
Party Line: 1921
January 1921
Washington, D.C. “National Woman’s Party switchboard”
If you can ignore the mold and the fingerprints, there are a number of interesting details here
National Photo Company Collection glass negative
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The Wiki Game is like Trivial Pursuit on steroids
from the desk of The Red Ferret
If you’ve ever fancied yourself as a bit of a bright spark – you know the type, can’t stop answering obscure questions down the local bar – then you’ll be right at home with the latest generation of games which use technology to exercise the mind in interesting ways. We’re thinking specifically about fun activities such as online quizzes, or even Geo-Caching games with your mobile phone.
The Wiki Game offers the same kind of brain teasing fun, but this time you spend your play hours trying to use your general knowledge and ability with a mouse to join the dots in There are several games available, most of which involve tracing a route from a starting page on Wikipedia to an end point. The challenge is to do so in the shortest time and with the fewest clicks.
As if I didn’t have enough time-wasting activities!

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How to Cool Down on a Hot Day: Drink Tea
Learn why drinking hot drinks can help you cool down in a summer heat wave.
Over the last couple of weeks, almost all of the United States has been struck with a massive heat wave, bringing temperatures up to the triple-digits. If you want to cool down, your first inclination might be to grab a cold glass of water, lemonade, or maybe a beer.
According to University of Cambridge neuroscientist Peter McNaughton, our tongues have special “receptor” cells that respond to heat, and a message to the brain. Our brains respond by activating our sweat glands, which cool us down.
“The hot drink somehow has an effect on your systemic cooling mechanisms, which exceeds its actual effect in terms of heating your body,” McNaughton told NPR.
McNaughton adds that chili peppers tend to be popular in hot countries like Thailand because they can help people lower their body temperature through sweating.
So, if you can’t stand the heat, it might be time to get into the kitchen – and boil up a hot cup of tea. (And maybe a spicy pad thai to go along with it.)

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