If your bit of the universe is anything like mine, it's a very drab day, so you might as well look at the pretty colours of the Internet instead
  • How Checkers Was Solved - "Marion Tinsley—math professor, minister, and the best checkers player in the world—sat across a game board from a computer, dying… His opponent was Chinook, a checkers-playing program programmed by Jonathan Schaeffer, a round, frizzy-haired professor from the University of Alberta, who operated the machine.” The story of Schaeffer’s work in applying machine learning to draughts, which the Americans for some reason name after Richard Nixon’s dog.

  • Antipodes Map - HT to WTFH for this one: ”This map helps you find the antipodes (the other side of the world) of any place on Earth. The Left Map presents the place for which you want to find the antipodal point. The Right Map shows the antipodal point for the selected location on the left map.” FWIW, the answer to “What’s on the other side of the world from this place on land” is almost always “the sea”

  • How naughty was the past? The hidden depths of the medieval church - "Hidden messages and tongue-in-cheek depictions were widespread throughout medieval churches. But was the medieval world simply rife with satire or did these etchings and carvings hold deeper meanings? Here, Dr Emma J Wells from the University of York explores seven of the most curious examples.”

  • Read the FBI’s guide to how Soviet spies recruit American assets - "A pamphlet written by the FBI’s Intelligence Division in 1983 and signed by then-FBI Director William Webster addressed ‘the unseen conflict’ of Soviet espionage operations against the United States." One to come back to when Putin gets bored of playing with his puppet Trump and releases the pee tape

  • Operation: neutrino - ”How the neutrino went from ghost particle to vital physics tool – a tale of bombs, espionage and subtle flavours.” The strange machinations surrounding research into the tiny particle.

  • What NASA’s Chief Astronaut Learned from Near Disaster - NASA Chief Astronaut Chris Cassidy on lessons learned from combat in Afghanistan and the incident when Luca Parmitano's space suit began to fill with water during an ISS spacewalk. ”Never before had we envisioned that water could somehow get from the cooling system into the spacesuit. This was thought to be not possible based on how the engineering was done.”

  • The teenage whaler’s tale - "Before his story made the Anchorage paper, before the first death threat arrived from across the world, before his elders began to worry and his mother cried over the things she read on Facebook, Chris Apassingok, age 16, caught a whale." Apparently living off the land and sea as your people have done for millennia isn’t good enough for arseholes on Facebook

  • You've Got To Fight For What You Want - Tim Worthington on the dubbed 1960s TV series The Flashing Blade: ”How did the swashbuckling exploits of a French swordsman have audiences on the edge of their seats one minute and falling about with laughter the next? It’s all down to the redubbing. Two different sets of redubbing, in fact.”

  • How Technology is Hijacking Your Mind — from a Magician and Google Design Ethicist - Tristan Harris on the techniques used, either knowingly or not, by companies greedy for your clicks and eyeballs: ”Where does technology exploit our minds’ weaknesses? I learned to think this way when I was a magician. Magicians start by looking for blind spots, edges, vulnerabilities and limits of people’s perception, so they can influence what people do without them even realizing it. Once you know how to push people’s buttons, you can play them like a piano.”

  • The Man Who Changed the Face of Album Artwork - A look at some of the work of Barney Bubbles: ”Unlike his contemporaries such as Storm Thorgerson, Aubrey Powell and Roger Dean, the London-born graphic artist never signed his work, operating anonymously for most of his life, and occasionally under alternative pseudonyms.”

Happy invoicing!