Saturday, 3 November 2012

Stupendous Stuff for Saturday: some miscellaneous items I just happened across

Take a Video Tour of the British Film Institute National Film and Television Archive
via LJ INFOdocket by Gary Price
The video was recorded in June 2012 at the BFI National Archive in Berkhamsted, England

British Film Institute National Archive Tour from Ned Thanhouser on Vimeo
Hat Tip: @amianet

Arts & Letters Daily – ideas, criticism, debate
The truth about truth is complicated. After all, lying sometimes desirable. Indeed, small lies can reveal big truths. Ask Gulliver... more

Why do stubbed toes hurt so damned much?
via Boing Boing by Cory Doctorow
Many’s the time I’ve rolled around on the ground, grimacing and making animal keening noises and wondering why the hell humans evolved to experience such dramatic pain from toe-stubbing. Here is a plausible-sounding threefold answer from Chris Geiser, director of Marquette College’s College of Health Sciences athletic training program.
Continue reading here

10 Artifacts from Literature That We Wish Were Real
via Flavorwire by Emily Temple
This week, we stumbled upon some interesting news: that a specific strain of fictional marijuana – Elephant Crush, from Mark Haskell Smith’s Baked – had been created in the real world. “I’m totally surprised and delighted that someone would grow a fictional strain,” Smith said. “What happens when you smoke it? Do you enter a fictional world?” If only. Inspired by this recent development, we got to thinking about some fictional items from literature that we wish were real – and we’re talking real real, not collector’s item real.
  1. The alethiometer from His Dark Materials
  2. Gandalf’s fireworks from The Fellowship of the Ring
  3. Everything in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  4. The Marauder’s Map from the Harry Potter series
  5. Magic Carpets, from One Thousand and One Nights and various other tales
  6. “DRINK ME” potions and “EAT ME” cakes from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
  7. The Necronomicon from H. P. Lovecraft’s universe
  8. Dorothy’s silver shoes from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
  9. The Babel Fish, from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
  10. The Entertainment, from Infinite Jest
See the rest of the pictures, Emily’s reasons for including these particular items and links to via Flavorwire for each of the books here.

Arts & Letters Daily – ideas, criticism, debate
How to fake a masterpiece: Simulate the spider-web cracking in the paint, the dots of fly droppings, the slimy green look of old varnish... more

via How-To Geek by Asian Angel
This game is all about blocks — lots of blocks. Your objective is to move the blocks into chains of three or more to clear the level with a minimum number of moves. It all seems simple enough at first, but are you up to the challenge that awaits you?
You can read Asian Angel’s walk-through here or take a chance on your own skills here.

Smoking: 1949
via Shorpy Historical Photo Archive - Vintage Fine Art Prints by Dave
Smoking: 1949
Chicago, 1949
“Woman standing in office, smoking while modelling undergarments”
An early image from budding photojournalist and nascent filmmaker Stanley Kubrick
Look Magazine Photo Collection
View original post

Arts & Letters Daily – ideas, criticism, debate
Facts turn out to be fetishes; fetishes turn out to be facts. The philosophical superstar Bruno Latour, post mid-life crisis, introduces the “factish”... more

Learn How to Tie a Bow Tie with Bill Nye the Science Guy
via How-To Geek by Jason Fitzpatrick

You’ve got the lab coat, you’ve got the slacks and sensibly comfortable shoes, you almost have your dashing scientist look down pat–you just need the nail that bow tie. Who better to teach you than the bow tie wearing Bill Nye?
[via Neatorama]

A Brief History Of Computers That Changed The World
via MakeUseOf by Matt Smith
The computer is undoubtedly among mankind’s most important inventions. The ability to compute and store data provides us with the ability to tackle problems that would likely be impossible to handle otherwise. It’s hard to imagine scientists looking for the Higgs-Boson with nothing more than typewriters and legal pads.
You can spend years delving into the history of the computer. There are tons of inventions, tons of books about them – and that’s before you start getting into the finger-pointing that inevitably occurs when a team of engineers creates something wonderful and only a few are given credit. With that said, I’ve tried to sum up computer history by highlighting thirteen particularly influential computers.

The list

  1. Harvard Mark I
  2. ENIAC
  3. Manchester Baby
  5. IBM System 360
  6. Dynabook
  7. Apple II
  8. IBM 5150
  9. Compaq Portable
  10. Apple Macintosh
  11. Compaq LTE
  12. Intel ATX
  13. Apple iPad
Obviously, a short look at computer history can’t cover everything. If you know of a computer that you particularly admire, I encourage you to post about it in the comments and tell us why you think it is important.

Rather than include any of the images provided in the original post I thought I would share with you something that changed my world as opposed to the world.

I hereby present you with an Elliott 405 (aka the NE-405) the first computer I ever worked on!
Thanks to the IT History Society (where there is more info about this lovely machine!)

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