Sunday, 14 August 2016

Ten more trivial items for you

34 weird vintage photos of women in tiny miniskirts at huge old computers
via Boing Boing by Xeni Jardin
Totally weird and many are completely unrealistic.
Smoking? In a clean zone?
High heels? When you would, as an operator, have spent half the day on your feet?
However towards the end of the pictures there's this girl adjusting 35mm recording tape. If the computer was British instead of American they could have been me in 1961/2.

Look at the rest for yourself

Myth Makers: The long reach of a famous circle of Oxford scholars
via Arts & Letters Daily: Michael Nelson in the Weekly Standard
BOGSAT: according to, a “Bunch Of Guys Sitting Around Talking” in “regularly scheduled daily/weekly worthless meetings.”
The Inklings: according to religion scholars Philip and Carol Zaleski, “a small circle of intellectuals” who “from the end of the Great Depression through World War II and into the 1950s .  .  . gathered on a weekly basis in and around Oxford University to drink, smoke, quip, cavil.”
Were the Inklings a BOGSAT? Yes. Were their meetings worthless? Hardly. The Inklings took their name, wrote J. R. R. Tolkien, as a “pun .  .  . suggesting people with vague or half-formed intimations and ideas plus those who dabble in ink.” Tolkien was at the heart of the group, along with his fellow Oxford don C. S. Lewis, in whose large, shabby rooms at Magdalen College the Inklings met on Thursday evenings.
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What can we learn from Buddhist moral psychology?
via OUP Blog by Jay L. Garfield
Buddhist moral psychology represents a distinctive contribution to contemporary moral discourses. Most Western ethicists neglect to problematize perception at all, and few suggest that ethical engagement begins with perception. But this is a central idea in Buddhist moral theory. Human perception is always perception-as. We see someone as a friend or as an enemy; as a stranger or as an acquaintance. We see objects as desirable or as repulsive. We see ourselves as helpers or as competitors, and our cognitive and action sets follow in train.
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A great brief video introduction to consciousness and its myriad mysteries
via Boing Boing by David Pescovitz
Here's what we know, and what we know we don't know, and what we don't know we know, and what we don't know we don't know.
(The Economist)

Children are asylum seekers too
via An Awfully Big Blog Adventure by Miriam Halahmy
Recently I have discovered that the UK still has around the same number of applications for asylum as we have had for at least the past 8 years - just over 30,000 a year. In 2014 there were 1,861 separated children seeking asylum in the UK. Hardly a swarm! Not a record to be proud of either.
I have become increasingly concerned about the plight of people seeking a place of safety in recent times. Many are children, some only babies in arms. I have asked myself, What would I do in this situation? The same as my great grandparents, I hope.

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What A Stink! That Time London Smelled So Bad That Government Was Abandoned (And The Embankment Was Built)
via Find My Past by Matthew Calfe
Anyone strolling along the Victoria, Albert or Chelsea embankments on a sunny afternoon these coming months might remark at the beauty of their construction, and what a pleasant walk it is. Little do they know that the elegant route is built on top of massive sewer tunnels, constructed as a reaction to exploding toilets, smelly politicians and lots of lime.
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Yes, the links for additional information all go back to Find My Past but I thought this was sufficiently interesting that you could ignore the advertising.

The Pulpit: 1899
via Shorpy Historical Photo Archive – Vintage Fine Art Prints by Dave
Circa 1899
“Near Lewiston, Minnesota – The Pulpit”
Yet another rock formation with a fanciful name
8x10 inch dry plate glass negative
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The Fascination of Braids
via 3 Quarks Daily by Carl Pierer
Gypsy Shawl
Braids are fairly simple to picture. A few interleaved strands of string, say, gives a complex and mesmerising object. They are aesthetically appealing, as their widespread use as ornament testifies. While most will be familiar with the standard braid used for braiding hair, there is basically no limit to complexity and beauty. Yet, braids are more than merely nice, artistic adornments for clothes and jewellery. The more and deeper you delve into braids and their complex interconnections, the more fascinating they become. Trying to look at them with a mathematical eye opens up pathways and connections to many deep and beautiful fields of pure mathematics.
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Listen: Marlene Dietrich plays musical saw (with bonus Star Trek theme)
via Boing Boing by Andrea James
Marlene Dietrich always wanted to be a classical musician. Since her cabaret act and film career left little time for her to do the required practice, she played the musical saw instead. Throughout World War II she wowed USO audiences with the novelty. Here she is playing "Aloha Oe" in 1944 with the comedic setup she did in her cabaret act.
Lots of pictures and a couple of videos here

Why do we prefer eating sweet things?
via OUP Blog
Is the “sweet tooth” real? The answer may surprise you. Humans vary in their preference towards sweet things; some of us dislike them while others may as well be addicted. But for those of us who have a tendency towards sweetness, why do we like what we like? We are hardly limited by type; our preference spans across both food and drinks, including candy, desserts, fruits, sodas, and even alcoholic beverages. In this short (but sweet) animated video, we take a quick look at the science behind our preference for sweetness.
Continue to here for the video

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