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

    It may be a nice sunny day, but that's no reason to go outside when you can stay at your screen reading this lot
    • The Victorian Belief That a Train Ride Could Cause Instant Insanity - "January, 1865. The peace on a regular English train journey from Carnforth to Liverpool is shattered by one man’s deranged laughter and erratic antics… At the next train stop in Lancaster, the man suddenly becomes calm and serenity is returned. But as the train begins to roll again, his aggression returns." And there wasn’t even somebody in the carriage talking loudly on a mobile phone.

    • ‘2 Girls, 1 Cup’: An Investigation Into the Web’s tuliptiest Mystery - It’s the tenth anniversary of the viral scat video: ”In 2007, the web was at an inflection point — where streaming content met social media — and the frontiers of this new world were strange, gross and exhilarating. We logged on just to collectively recoil at the very worst of what we found.”

    • The Roman girl buried beneath a London landmark - "30 St Mary Axe – better known by its nickname “The Gherkin” – is one of the most distinctive skyscrapers in London… It was during excavations taking place prior to the construction of the Gherkin that, in 1995, the skeleton of a Roman Londoner who had lain undisturbed for 1,600 years was discovered." And over the water: Identity of Young Victorian Girl Found Beneath San Francisco Home Revealed - "The remarkably well-preserved remains of a young 19th-century girl were found during renovations beneath a San Francisco home in May of 2016… The unidentified girl was buried 140 years ago, but while most of the cemetery’s residents were relocated to the necropolis of nearby Colma, she was somehow left behind."

    • The 6 Most Surprising, Important Inventions From World War I - "Once the fighting started, a stalemate emerged on the Western Front, between Germany on the east and the Allies on the west. Both sides hunkered down in trenches, and it was nearly impossible for either side to make any significant progress against the other… Many well-known innovations that we associate with the war today were invented to try to gain an advantage over an entrenched enemy.”

    • United States Early Rado History - An interesting archive, compiled by Thomas H. White: ”Articles and extracts about early radio and related technologies, concentrating on the United States in the period from 1897 to 1927.”

    • How NASA Breaks in New Spacesuits - ”Before spacesuits are sent to space, their subcomponents are required to undergo a break-in process called ‘cycling’.”

    • Pet Project - Bored with his college course, Matt Nelson started tweeting pictures of dogs. It’s now turned into a lucrative Plan B: ”He was confident that WeRateDogs would become popular quickly because any joke about dogs on his personal account ‘would get more favorites than it definitely should have.’ His friend Matt, who was sitting next to him, became his first follower… A WeRateDogs book, a combination of greatest hits and original material, comes out in October. A mobile-phone game, created by a British company but earning royalties for Nelson, debuted earlier this year. His online store, which sells clothes and mugs emblazoned with popular sayings from the account, earns him in the low five figures each month.”

    • Cuba: Where underground arcades, secret networks and piracy are a way of life - Embargoes don’t stop Cuban gamers: ”Secret gaming networks entwine utility lines, broadcast from rooftops and piggy-back phone cables over highways. Speakeasy arcades can be found in many Havana neighborhoods, locked away behind closed doors… And the people who play these games are just as passionate about making them, writing about them, competing in them.”

    • Are Pop Lyrics Getting More Repetitive? - Colin Morris presents an interactive analysis of the lyrics of 15,000 songs that charted between 1958 and 2017: ”I know a repetitive song when I hear one, but translating that intuition into a number isn't easy… The Lempel-Ziv algorithm works by exploiting repeated sequences. How efficiently LZ can compress a text is directly related to the number and length of the repeated sections in that text.”

    • Yoshinori Mizutani captures the colourful, rain soaked commuters of Tokyo - ”’I always thought of rain as something gloomy and unpleasant,’ says Tokyo-based Yoshinori Mizutani. ‘One day, however I stepped out into the city and realised how rain can alter our everyday landscape.’”

    Happy invoicing!

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