Tuesday, 18 April 2017

10 more of my interesting items (should have been published 14 April)

Learn the Geeky Details of Any Apple Product, Old and New
via How-To Geek by Matt Klein
If you’re a fan of Apple products, but your hardware is limited to what you can afford, then you can still have fun taking a trip through Apple’s product history with Mactracker.
Apple Mac hardware is generally a straightforward experience. You may not even know exactly what processor or graphics card is in your system, but you can easily discover this information yourself by using the System Report.
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Ken Russell’s post-war London – in pictures
via the Guardian
Promenade in Portobello,1954. From a series: “Portobello – scenes of everyday life”
Promenade in Portobello, 1954
Before his uproarious film career, Ken Russell started out with a Rolleicord camera, documenting teddy girls and bomb-scarred streets.
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1954 is the year I started at "senior school" and I still had a hairstyle very reminiscent of these younger girls. Parting on the left and a single hair ribbon (which I was continually losing) on the right.

A beautiful ghost rainbow
via Boing Boing by David Pescovitz

Landscape photographer Melvin Nicholson captured this stunning shot of a ghost rainbow, aka white rainbow or fog bow, in Rannoch Moor north of Glasgow, Scotland.
Like rainbows, fogbows are caused by sunglight reflecting off water drops. However, as NASA explains:
The fog itself is not confined to an arch -- the fog is mostly transparent but relatively uniform.The fogbow shape is created by those drops with the best angle to divert sunlight to the observer. The fogbow's relative lack of colors are caused by the relatively smaller water drops. The drops active above are so small that the quantum mechanical wavelength of light becomes important and smears out colors that would be created by larger rainbow water drops acting like small prisms reflecting sunlight.

Archeaologists Have a Huge New Stonehenge to Figure Out
via Big Think by Robby Berman
Article Image
Archeaologists have a new mystery to solve in Kazakhstan, a complex of stone structures reminiscent of Stonehenge but much bigger. The site is the size of 200 American football fields, about 300 acres. It was discovered in 2010 by a man identified as F. Akhmadulin, who was exploring the sagebrush desert area in Altÿnkazgan on the Mangÿshlak Peninsula along the eastern shore of the Caspian Sea with a metal detector.
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Guy restores a century-old letterpress to perfect condition
via Boing Boing by Andrea James
Jimmy DiResta kept passing by a 1911 Chandler & Price letterpress sitting out in the rain. After buying it from the neglectful owner, he spent several years lovingly restoring it, eventually learning how to print with it.
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Vermeer and violins: science and art – strange bedfellows or partners in crime?
via OUP Blog by Quincy Whitney
EPSON scanner image
When Einstein claimed his theory of relativity came from a musical insight, no one blinked twice. Of course music could inspire scientific insight. But the reverse idea is often fraught with baggage. Artistic circles often feel that science is more threat than ally.
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The beginnings of the Iraq Museum
via The National Archives Blog by Dr Juliette Desplat
Iraq has very much been in the news lately. Overwhelmed with the war stories, you may have missed the very uplifting news of the opening of a museum in Basra, in one of Saddam Hussein’s old palaces. The museum gathers artefacts relating to the history of the city since the Hellenistic period, and is a fantastic place. This took me back to the 1920s and the opening of another museum…
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Retro TV has old-school channel-changing knob
via Boing Boing by Mark Frauenfelder

Doshisha’s new Vintage Taste 20-inch LCD Television has HDMI, AV, USB, LAN inputs, and digital audio outputs, coated in a plastic craptastic retro veneer. It's main selling point is a clickable knob to change channels.
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When Not to Translate
via Arts & Letters Daily: Tim Parks in The New York Review of Books
Illustration from a French edition of <em>The Decameron</em>, fifteenth century
We live in a time of retranslation. New versions of the classics appear fairly regularly, and of course, as soon as the seventy years of copyright following an author’s death runs out, there is a spate of new translations. So Proust and Thomas Mann have recently been retranslated into English, while writers like F. Scott Fitzgerald, Virginia Woolf, and D. H. Lawrence are all reappearing in new versions in Europe.
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I found this article fascinating.

History of Mechanical Keyboards
via Boing Boing by Rob Beschizza

Andrew Lekashman offers a brief pictorial a history of mechanical keyboards, from adding machines to dumb terminals to Symbolics monstrosities to modern blank-key hacker totems. There was a lot of ingenious tech left by the wayside on the way to finding the perfect click.
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How would the ancient Stoics have dealt with hate speech?
via OUP Blog by William Irvine
Insults have lately been making headline news. Last year [2015], the world witnessed an attack on the offices of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo. Eleven people were killed, and another eleven were injured. The attackers felt that some of the cartoons the newspaper had published had insulted the prophet Mohammed, and they were willing to sacrifice their own lives to right that wrong.
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