The snow's almost stopped, so I can venture out in search of lunch once this lot are posted:
- Internet activist Aaron Swartz killed himself last Friday, apparently due the the persecution he was suffering at the hands of the US Government. Here's a collection of pieces about living from his blog: Raw Nerve - "Next time you start feeling that feeling, that sense of pain from deep in your head that tells you to avoid a subject ó ignore it. Lean into the pain instead. Youíll be glad you did." Alex Stamos, who was acting as an expert witness in the case, has written an informative piece about Aaron's alleged crime.
- Wednesday Picture: Carreras Art Deco Cigarette Factory, Mornington Crescent - "Could this be the most gloriously incongruous building in all North London? Giant Black Cat statues; oversized Art Deco grandeur; curious hieroglyphic stylings." A look at the history of this excellent building. Also: Mornington Crescent!
- Nine Unusual Author Deaths - "Sometimes authors donít shuffle off this mortal coil quietly or Ė for want of a better word Ė normally. Sometimes they meet a sticky and untimely end, and sometimes myths build up around an authorís demise and we come to accept legend as fact."
- Rare Photo of the Mushroom Cloud Over Hiroshima Discovered in a Former Japanese Elementary School - "In the center of Hiroshima, in a part of the city totally destroyed by the explosion and ensuing fires, a long-lost photograph taken shortly after the blast has been discovered among a collection of articles about the bombing." The photo was taken about six miles away from Ground Zero, within five minutes or so of the detonation.
- Inside the Wild, Wacky, Profitable World of Boing Boing - "It's eccentric. It's unprofessional. And it makes money. How four people who do exactly what they want run one of the most popular blogs on the planet." Good profile of the blog and its contributors.
- Tales from the Lunar Module Guidance Computer - A paper by Don Eyles: "The Apollo 11 mission succeeded in landing on the moon despite two computer-related problems that affected the Lunar Module during the powered descent. An uncorrected problem in the rendezvous radar interface stole approximately 13% of the computer's duty cycle, resulting in five program alarms and software restarts. In a less well-known problem, caused by erroneous data, the thrust of the LM's descent engine fluctuated wildly because the throttle control algorithm was only marginally stable. The explanation of these problems provides an opportunity to describe the operating system of the Apollo flight computers and the lunar landing guidance software."
- The 12 cognitive biases that prevent you from being rational - "A logical fallacy is an error in logical argumentation (e.g. ad hominem attacks, slippery slopes, circular arguments, appeal to force, etc.). A cognitive bias, on the other hand, is a genuine deficiency or limitation in our thinking ó a flaw in judgment that arises from errors of memory, social attribution, and miscalculations (such as statistical errors or a false sense of probability)." Useful examples can be found in pretty much any thread in General
- Underground 150: Paddington to Farringdon - To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Tube, London Geezer takes an overground walk along the route of the original Metropolitan Railway: "It's not one of London's greatest walks, to be honest, given that most of it involves breathing in six lanes of carbon monoxide. But bear with it, because it heads past some of the capital's more interesting places, and because I'll be dipping down into the stations too. Let's start at the Paddington end, and probably not at the Paddington station you're expecting..."
- The Hunt for the Death Valley Germans - "This is the tale of what for me was a rather remarkable adventure. It was assembled on the basis of my personal recollection and experience, emails, GPS logs and some official documents... In the past Iíve kept certain locations regarding this incident fairly well cloaked for a variety of reasons, explained as part of the narrative. Mainly, itís a very difficult, even dangerous, area to get into, and there are a lot of armchair desert adventurers possibly tempted to try it. However in the interest of completeness Iíve decided to include images showing the GPS tracks of the various search efforts." Fascinating account by desert explorer Tom of his long search for a family of German tourists who disappeared in Death Valley.
- It's Just A Bit Broken - "The rubbish that rubbish human beings try to sell." Wonderful collection of utter crap people have posted on eBay, such as this charming little fellow: