Monday Links from the Bench vol. CCCXCVII
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    Default Monday Links from the Bench vol. CCCXCVII

    The rain forecast for this afternoon has been cancelled, which would be annoying if I actually needed an excuse to stay in all day reading stuff on the Internet
    • Why the Scariest Nuclear Threat May Be Coming from Inside the White House - Michael Lewis (Liar’s Poker, The Big Short et al.) on the organisational dysfunction that is paralysing the work of the US Department of Energy, which is responsible for the nuclear arsenal among many other things, due to the incompetence of the new administration: ”’They mainly ran around the building insulting people,’ says a former Obama official. ‘There was a mentality that everything that government does is stupid and bad and the people are stupid and bad,’ says another… Two billion of that [$30 billion annual budget] goes to hunting down weapons-grade plutonium and uranium at loose in the world so that it doesn’t fall into the hands of terrorists. In just the past eight years the D.O.E.’s National Nuclear Security Administration has collected enough material to make 160 nuclear bombs.”

    • I Tried Soylent. It Didn’t Go Well. - Geraldine DeRuiter experiments with the Silicon Valley stuff-that’s-supposed-to-replace-food, with unfortunate results: ”The point is, since I’m a woman who writes things on the internet, I’m continually told by trolls to ‘Drink bleach and die.’ So I thought, Why don’t I drink something that is marginally better than bleach and instead of dying, I’ll write about it?… It did not end well. It didn’t even begin well.”

    • What it’s like to be struck by lightning - Not good, maybe even as bad as drinking Soylent: ”Justin Gauger wishes his memory of when he was struck – while fishing for trout at a lake near Flagstaff, Arizona – wasn’t so vivid… Even now, some three years later, when a storm moves in, the flickering flashes of light approaching, he is most comfortable sitting in his bathroom closet, monitoring its progress with an app on his phone.”

    • When a Candidate Conspired With a Foreign Power to Win An Election - Not last year (or not only): the story of Richard Nixon’s 1968 presidential campaign’s deliberate undermining of Vietnam peace talks is finally becoming known. ”Nixon had no influence in Moscow, or Hanoi. But he was not completely vulnerable to events… If Thieu would drag his feet, and stall the proposed peace talks, Nixon could portray Johnson’s failed peace initiative as a desperate political trick.”

    • Shot by a toasting fork - Another bizarre medical case unearthed by Thomas Morris: ”On Saturday evening, January the 19th, 1833, I was summoned to attend William Mills, aged 10, living at Boughton, two miles from Upton. When I arrived, his parents informed me that their son had shot himself, with a gun made out of the handle of a telescope toasting-fork.”

    • The Loyal Engineers Steering NASA’s Voyager Probes Across the Universe - "As the Voyager mission is winding down, so, too, are the careers of the aging explorers who expanded our sense of home in the galaxy." Kim Tingley meets the people who’ve kept the two Voyager probes, the fortieth anniversaries of whose launches are fast approaching, flying smoothly on their journeys out of the solar system. (NY Times, I’m afraid, so you may have to contend with their paywall article limit. Tip: open the link in porn mode a private browsing window, or whatever your browser calls it, and the site will think you’re on your first article of the month.)

    • Rhinestones, Madness, and Resurrected Corpses: The Love Story of Tony & Susan Alamo - A weird tale from a member of the Order of the Good Death: ”Greta P. Allendorf starts on an innocent investigative journey into one of the strangest stories in the heart of Arkansas. Her quest led her to a cult, a bid for immortality, and some light breaking & entering.”

    • Dear Mr Johnston - "A letter from Eiichi Kono to the designer of Johnston Sans, the famous London Underground typeface.” From 1979 to 1980, Eiichi was responsible for preparing the master drawings of New Johnston for use in then-modern photocomposition systems, the version which, now digitised, is in use to this day.

    • Talking about money: a true story - Vanessa Woolf with a tale from her days as a freelance movie electrician recounting one method for getting paid by a recalcitrant client: ”The clock ticked closer to midnight and a messenger from the Very Important Producer came around to the heads of department (including me) apologising and saying we were going to run over by ‘a couple of hours.’… Sparks are famous for being pushy about money. My team looked over to me.”

    • Weeks of preparation made this “impossible” shot National Geographic’s best travel photo of 2017 - An incredible shot by Mexican photographer Sergio Tapiro Velasco, and a lot of other excellent shots by other people: ”This photo was the result of years of studying the highly active Volcán de Colima, which lies on the border between Jalisco and Colima states in western Mexico… Velasco had been carefully tracking an increase in activity and closely watched the volcano for almost a month.”


    Happy invoicing!

  2. #2

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    The Voyager link is really quite poignant.

    But for those in the know you can go visit them!

    Voyager 1 | Elite Dangerous Wiki | FANDOM powered by Wikia

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    Quote Originally Posted by original PM View Post
    The Voyager link is really quite poignant.

    But for those in the know you can go visit them!

    Voyager 1 | Elite Dangerous Wiki | FANDOM powered by Wikia
    Nice!

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    Quote Originally Posted by zeitghost View Post
    One of the most frightening thunderstorms I've experienced happened as I was walking up the canal towpath from Neath to Tonna.

    So, one side was the river and the marsh where the lightning was striking and on the other was the canal.

    And all along the towpath was a nice barbed wire fence, just to make sure that the side strike would get me.

    However, apart from getting drenched sufficient to kill the moths in my wallet, I got home safely.

    The Soylent Green thing is unpleasant, much as one might expect.

    And The DOE thing is frightening: Trump & his entourage really are as thick as pigtulip, much as we have always suspected.
    One of the most frightening experiences in my life was walking down the main street in Neath on a Friday night :-)
    Rhyddid i lofnod psychocandy!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by original PM View Post
    The Voyager link is really quite poignant.

    But for those in the know you can go visit them!

    Voyager 1 | Elite Dangerous Wiki | FANDOM powered by Wikia
    I've just started up Elite and off to find it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by woohoo View Post
    I've just started up Elite and off to find it.
    You may be going a while think you need to supercruise and it is quite a way out.

    Imagine Hutton orbital in alpha centauri and then add on a few hours.

    But if you do post a pic!

    😁

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    Quote Originally Posted by original PM View Post
    You may be going a while think you need to supercruise and it is quite a way out.

    Imagine Hutton orbital in alpha centauri and then add on a few hours.

    But if you do post a pic!

    😁
    I started up Elite and read your links properly and thought no chance. Only had a hour or so to play. Still it's on my list now!

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    The Voyager guy is a role model for us all.

    In the early spring of 1977, Larry Zottarelli, a 40-year-old computer engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, set out for Cape Canaveral, Fla., in his Toyota Corolla. A Los Angeles native, he had never ventured as far as Tijuana, but he had a per diem, and he liked to drive.
    Where there's muck there's brass.

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