Sunday, 26 July 2015

Trivia (should have been 19 April)

Shipshape, 1897
via Shorpy Historical Photo Archive – Vintage Fine Art Prints by Dave
Shipshape: 1897
March 16, 1897
“U.S.S. Brooklyn, office of executive officer”
Note the ancient typewriter
8x10 inch glass negative, Detroit Photographic Co.
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Ikea flat-pack furniture: The game
via BBC by Dougal Shaw
To build your dream home, you have to live through the nightmare of constructing flat-pack furniture.
That is the sad truth now acknowledged by many.
But for one group of American students, this was also the realisation that led to a video game that has generated a lot of buzz.
Home Improvisation was developed in 48 hours by students in Atlanta, as part of the annual Global Game Jam competition.
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via Arts & Letters Daily – ideas, criticism, debate
Bring back the serialized novel
The novel is in the doldrums. Sales are down, something called “snackable content” is in demand. The solution? A return to the past: serialization… more

Inside the University of Oxford's Museum of Natural History
via the Guardian by GrrlScientist
Dinosaurs are really amazing, but natural history museums contain – and do – far more than show off the wonders of these animals. Today’s “Museum Monday” video tags along with several employees at the University of Oxford’s Museum of Natural History. As we follow them, we catch a glimpse of the many, varied, roles of a Natural History Museum within its local and scientific communities: public outreach and public education; providing young people with hands-on experience for how scientists do basic lab-based research; documenting and conserving the collections and making them freely available to the scientific community, artists, photographers and others for research and educational purposes. In this video, we also watch museum researchers use the latest modern technologies from laser scanning and high-tech photography to dentists’ drills and paintbrushes to uncover the stories contained within millions of animal, plant and mineral specimens.
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A history of paleontology in China
via OUP Blog by Zhonghe Zhou
Life is the most exquisite natural outcome on our planet, arising as an evolutionary experiment that has persisted since the formation of this planet 4.5 billion years ago.
The enormous biodiversity we see today represents only a small fraction of life that has existed on earth. As the most intelligent (and probably lucky!) species, we humans, with our unique and conscious minds, have never stopped inquiring where we came from.
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via Arts & Letters Daily – ideas, criticism, debate
Rethinking extinction
Extinction is not a helpful way to think about conservation. It’s alarmist, simplistic, and inaccurate. Nature is as robust as it ever was – maybe more so, says Stewart Brand… more

The forgotten women who helped build Waterloo Bridge
via the Observer by Yvonne Roberts
Women War Workers
The Kinks immortalised it in Waterloo Sunset, it has formed the backdrop to films such as Alfie, and Wendy Cope used it as a setting for a poem.
For the millions of Londoners and tourists who use it each year to cross the river and gaze at the famous views along the Thames, it is Waterloo Bridge. But for the boat men who ferry tourists up and down the Thames, it is known as the Ladies Bridge because of the key role women played in its construction. Now a campaign is to be launched to celebrate the efforts of dozens of women who worked in stone, steel, timber and concrete on construction of the bridge after replacing Irish labourers who went home at the outbreak of war.
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People throwing pennies changed the color of a Yellowstone hot spring
via Boing Boing by David Pescovitz
Yellowstone National Park’s Morning Glory thermal spring used to be deep blue but its current yellow and green hues were caused in part by tourists throwing coins, rocks, and assorted crap into the pool. The detritus has the effect of “partially blocking the underground heat source and lowering the temperature of the spring to a range habitable by photosynthetic microorganisms that probably didn’t live there before” and produce pigments that result in the yellow and green color, according to a Science Friday article.
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via Arts & Letters Daily – ideas, criticism, debate
Moral of Caesar
The assassination of Julius Caesar failed in its stated purpose, to end tyranny. “The world without Caesar was still a world about Caesar”… more

Pope Francis, Radical Leftist?
via 3 Quarks Daily by Elizabeth Stoker Breunig at The New Republic
In any analysis of a public figure, partisan interests will influence one’s opinion, and there isn’t anything particularly productive about pointing out that conservatives tend to forgive in conservative leaders what they don’t in liberals. A more helpful question is this: Why has Pope Francis addressed political issues, such as climate change, inequality, poverty, and overpopulation? Is it evidence of abject partisan interest, or a covert dedication to communism, Marxism, or some other insidious ideology?
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