If it isn't raining yet where you are it probably will soon, so settle in and have a read instead
- M.I.A. - "Half a century ago, an American commando vanished in the jungles of Laos. In 2008, he reappeared in Vietnam, reportedly alive and well. But nothing was what it seemed."
- Chuck Berry reviews Sex Pistols, Talking Heads, Clash and many more, 1980 - Chuck Berry was interviewed by a punk fanzine and gave his opinion of various contemporary records, such as the Ramones’ Sheena Is A Punk Rocker: ”A good little jump number. These guys remind me of myself when I first started, I only knew three chords too.”
- Die photos and analysis of the revolutionary 8008 microprocessor, 45 years old, Reverse-engineering the surprisingly advanced ALU of the 8008 microprocessor, and Analyzing the vintage 8008 processor from die photos: its unusual counters - Ken Shirriff has appeared here before with an analysis of the 6502’s overflow flag back in 2014 and a comparison of the ARM1’s instruction sequencing with that of the 6502 and Z80 last year; now he’s at it again: ”Intel's groundbreaking 8008 microprocessor was first produced 45 years ago. This chip, Intel's first 8-bit microprocessor, is the ancestor of the x86 processor family that you may be using right now. I couldn't find good die photos of the 8008, so I opened one up and took some detailed photographs. These new die photos are in this article, along with a discussion of the 8008's internal design." There’s loads of other good stuff on his blog: concurrent with this 8008 series is an analysis of the 74181 ALU, and I suspect Zeity won’t be getting much work done this afternoon
- The Sad Tale Of Kai The Hatchet-Wielding Hitchhiker - You may have seen a remarkable news interview that went viral a few years ago, in which drifter Kai explained how he’d used a hatchet from his backpack to stop a man who was attacking several people in Fresno. Kai has now spent over three years in prison awaiting trial for the murder of a lawyer who he claims had drugged and sexually assaulted him: ”Kai’s saga marks one of the more bizarre twists in the world of internet-ordained celebrity, and serves as a king bummer of a case study in viral fame gone wrong… While some of these uncommon heroes try to cash-in on their brief brush with fame, most ease back into their un-extraordinary lives. Few have gone on to face a murder rap and life in prison.” Here’s Kai’s original interview:
- When ‘The Simpsons’ Came Out of the Closet - Once again our four-fingered friends were at the forefront: ”Twenty years ago, filmmaker John Waters showed up on Fox’s animated sitcom and kick-started a gay revolution on TV.”
- The Married Woman Who Kept Her Lover in the Attic - "In April 1930, the Los Angeles Times began publishing what would end up being months’ worth of eye-popping details from an exceedingly strange court case. It involved a ‘comely’ woman named Dolly, her murdered husband, and her lover, a man known as the ‘garret ghost’ who, at Dolly’s behest, lived a ‘bat-like life in hidden rooms.’”
- Meet the Companies Literally Dropping ‘Irish’ Pubs in Cities Across the World - There’s an entire industry in providing all the trappings of an Irish pub anywhere in the world: ”The Auld Dubliner — small, dark, and convincing, with a flat, matte, unassuming facade (red and yellow lettering over black paint, on wood) — rests between a heavily illuminated branch of T-Mobile and a “dueling piano café” on a street approximately 5,000 miles from the place invoked in its name. Almost every part of the bar the eye falls on — from the stocky tables and the upholstered chairs to the floor tiling and the mock oil lamps dangling from the ceiling — were railed into the unit in Long Beach, California, from a 40-foot container that spent between three and five weeks at sea.”
- Rare Nuclear Test Films Saved, Declassified, and Uploaded to YouTube - "From 1945 until 1962, the United States conducted 210 atmospheric nuclear tests—the kind with the big mushroom cloud and all that jazz. Above-ground nuke testing was banned in 1963, but there are thousands of films from those tests that have just been rotting in secret vaults around the country. But starting today [last Wednesday] you can see many of them on YouTube.” Here’s the entire playlist, and here’s Operation Teapot:
- What I Learned from Losing $200 Million - "The 2008 financial crisis taught me about the illusion of control, and how to give it up." Bob Henderson speaks from personal experience of life in the extreme tail of a probability distribution about the problems that can come from thinking we know what we’re doing.
- The Lodz Ghetto Photographs of Henryk Ross - "Henryk Ross's images, taken from 1940 to 1945, provide an extraordinary glimpse into Jewish life in the Lodz Ghetto during a harrowing period in history… Ross served as an official photographer for the ghetto Jewish administration, but he also risked his life to take illegal photographs that document the grim realities of Lodz Ghetto residents. Before the ghetto was shut down, Ross buried his negatives with other artifacts, hoping that his collection might one day become part of the public history of World War II. Fortunately, he was able to recover the buried material when the Lodz Ghetto was liberated in 1945.” This photo shows the "evacuation" of the sick and elderly by horse-drawn cart: