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  1. #1

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    Default Monday Links from the Bank Holiday Deckchair vol. CCCLXXXIII

    No need to waste time with your family this Bank Holiday when there's these important things to read:
    • The Old Man and the Gun - "Just before Forrest Tucker turned seventy-nine, he went to work for the last time… He paused briefly in front of the A.T.M. and pulled the ascot up around his face, bandit style. He then reached into a canvas bag, took out an old U.S. Army Colt .45, and burst into the bank. He went up to the first teller and said, ‘Put your money on the counter. All of it.’” David Grann meets the stickup man who also escaped from almost every prison he was incarcerated in during a career spanning more than sixty years.

    • Reverse engineering the 76477 "Space Invaders" sound effect chip from die photos - Ken Shiriff is at it again: ”Remember the old video game Space Invaders? Some of its sound effects were provided by a chip called the 76477 Complex Sound Generation chip. While the sound effects1 produced by this 1978 chip seem primitive today, it was used in many video games, pinball games. But what's inside this chip and how does it work internally? By reverse-engineering the chip from die photos, we can find out.”

    • Europe’s Famed Bog Bodies Are Starting to Reveal Their Secrets - "A wooden post was planted to mark the spot where two brothers, Viggo and Emil Hojgaard, along with Viggo’s wife, Grethe, all from the nearby village of Tollund, struck the body of an adult man while they cut peat with their spades on May 6, 1950… Archaeologists have been asking the same questions since the Hojgaards first troubled Tollund Man’s long sleep: Who are you? Where did you come from? How did you live? Who murdered you and why? But the way the researchers ask the questions, using new forensic techniques like dual-energy CT scanners and strontium tests, is getting more sophisticated all the time.”

    • Long Before Internet Porn, There Was ‘MacPlaymate’ - NSFW, but why would you be at W on a Bank Holiday? ”MacPlaymate started as a joke, one that Mike Saenz told 30 years ago at a friend’s birthday party in New York City. A joke that appeared as a pixelated woman named Maxine in the confines of an Apple Macintosh… you would take Maxine’s clothes off, because the goal of MacPlaymate — if you could call it a goal — was a to pleasure Maxine with sex toys like the ‘Mighty Mo Throbber,’ ‘Deep Plunger’ or ‘Anal Explorer.’”

    • Space Educators' Handbook Home Page - ”This material is part of the NASA JSC document called: MULTIMEDIA SPACE EDUCATORS' HANDBOOK… The official designation of the SPACE EDUCATORS' HANDBOOK is OMB / NASA Report Number S677.” Loads of educational resources about NASA, originally published on a CD-ROM and still exhibiting all the glories of mid-1990s web design

    • What Bullets Do to Bodies - "Over my years of reporting here, I had heard stories about Temple’s trauma team. A city prosecutor who handled shooting investigations once told me that the surgeons were able to piece people back together after the most horrific acts of violence… I wondered what surgeons know about gun violence that the rest of us don’t.” Jason Fagone shadows Dr. Amy Goldberg, trauma surgeon in North Philadelphia.

    • All mammals poop in 12 seconds and there’s an equation for the ‘duration of diarrheal defecation’ - "An elephant’s rectum is about 10 times longer than a cat’s, yet they poop in the same amount of time. This conundrum may not have stumped you—or even occurred to you—but it vexed researchers at Georgia Tech." Science to the rescue!

    • The egested intestine - And while we’re on the subjects of bowels and traumatic injury, a case from 1769: ”On the 17th day after the accident, in the evening, whilst sitting by the fire, he was seized with such a general debility, that they were obliged to lay him upon the bed… on the following morning, he parted per anum with full fourteen inches of his intestines, apparently a portion of the ileum, with a part of the mesentery adhering to it; after which, he had a lax stool, more in quantity than he ever got quit of at one time since the accident.”

    • How to Fight Cancer (When Cancer Fights Back) - Ed Yong on new approaches to understanding how to treat cancer: ”In the classical view of cancer, a cell picks up mutations until it shakes off the checks and balances that restrain its growth, allowing it to divide uncontrollably and turn into a tumor… In reality, tumors quickly become seething masses of varied cells, all with their own mutations. One area might start growing faster; its neighbor might come to evade the immune system. Over time, the fittest lineages produce more descendants and rise to dominance—the essence of Darwinian natural selection.”

    • IKEA Catalog Covers from 1951-2015 - "With a huge chunk of help from IKEA Communication's copywriters we have put together a list of covers of every single catalog that has come out of the Swedish furniture giant since 1951." Now you don’t have to waste your Bank Holiday by going there! This one’s from 1971, so everything is orange:


    Happy invoicing!

  2. #2

    Super poster

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    Not sure what's worse - the "The egested intestine" or the Ikea catalogue cover from 1971!

  3. #3

    Some things in Moderation

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    I'm rather worried about opening some of those

  4. #4

    TripleIronDad

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    Quote Originally Posted by cojak View Post
    I'm rather worried about opening some of those
    Indeed. IKEA.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrilloPad View Post
    Indeed. IKEA.
    The IKEA ones worried me as some of the 60's has been back in fashion. I hope the 80s stuff doesn't come back in.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SueEllen View Post
    The IKEA ones worried me as some of the 60's has been back in fashion. I hope the 80s stuff doesn't come back in.
    Patiently waiting for the much publicised and feared Brexit Doom.....

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    From the comments of the Space Invaders sounds article.

    One more interesting fact about space invaders is that the 8080A chip that powered it could barely handle all of the aliens. As more aliens died, the game would move faster and faster. Instead of fixing this, the designers kept it as a gameplay mechanic.
    Cool little fact that!!
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  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by northernladuk View Post
    From the comments of the Space Invaders sounds article.



    Cool little fact that!!
    There was a lot of that kind of thing going on back then. On a game I did that had some large blobs wandering about fairly randomly, I had a special check to make sure not too many blobs got near the top of the screen - if there were already a couple up there, the other ones would "choose" a direction downwards or horizontally. This was because after the vertical sync happened, I could only draw a couple of sprites before the electron beam started scanning the visible area, so if I'd let too many get up top they'd flicker where the beam caught up with them as they were being erased and redrawn in their new position. By making sure the others stayed further down, I could get them done before the beam reached them

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    Yeah. After reading so many of the retro gaming articles I can understand how complexities like that cropped up. The articles in getting the extra colours that don't exist and sounds etc. It strikes me programming back then was about pushing the limits of code and hardware beyond what it was supposed to do. Sounds more of a challenge.
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    Quote Originally Posted by northernladuk View Post
    Yeah. After reading so many of the retro gaming articles I can understand how complexities like that cropped up. The articles in getting the extra colours that don't exist and sounds etc. It strikes me programming back then was about pushing the limits of code and hardware beyond what it was supposed to do. Sounds more of a challenge.
    Absolutely! That's why Elite was so stunning when it first appeared on the BBC Micro. It seemed impossible to even draw that many lines at that speed on a 2MHz 6502; yet on top of that, it was a 3D projection with hidden surface removal! Utterly gobsmacking!

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