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Monday Links from the Lockdown vol. DXLIV

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    Monday Links from the Lockdown vol. DXLIV

    You could believe the government when it says it's safe to come out (terms and conditions apply); OR you could just stay locked down reading gubbins on the Internet, like you always did anyway
    • On the Many Mysteries of the European Eel - Patrik Svensson on the strange life of the elongated fish thing: ”It can migrate thousands of miles, unflagging and undaunted, before it suddenly decides it’s found a home… Once it has found its home, it stays there, year after year, and normally wanders within a radius of only a few hundred yards. If relocated by external forces, it will invariably return as quickly as it can to its chosen abode. Eels caught by researchers, tagged with radio transmitters, and released many miles from their point of capture have been known to return to where they were first found within a week or two. No one knows exactly how they find their way.”

    • What Lockdown? World’s Cocaine Traffickers Sniff at Movement Restrictions - Pandemic or not, the coke keeps moving: ”The world’s cocaine industry — which produces close to 2,000 metric tons a year and makes tens of billions of dollars — has adapted better than many other legitimate businesses… The cocaine trade is thriving in a world where even mainstays like oil are facing major disruptions.”

    • Pi in the Sky: General Relativity Passes the Ratio’s Test - ”Carl-Johan Haster, a theoretical astrophysicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has… measured pi to be about 3.115.” No, he's not an idiot: it's all about using observations of gravitational waves to check that general relativity is consistent with reality

    • Why did a loon stab a bald eagle through the heart? - ”In July 2019 a game warden in Bridgton, Maine, got an unusual call: A bald eagle was floating lifeless in a lake… Now, tests have revealed the bird’s bizarre demise: A stab wound directly to the heart. The murder weapon? The dagger-like beak of a common loon.” If they're going around killing great big eagles like that, I'd be quite cautious about calling them “common” when they might overhear

    • Capturing the song of the nightingale - The BBC’s famous Nightingale broadcasts were possible due to cutting-edge advances in microphone technology, as Iain Logie Baird (grandson of John) explains: ”The introduction in 1923 of a new microphone, the Marconi-Sykes magnetophone, marked the beginning of new era of radio broadcasting in Britain. The fact that one of the first outdoor radio broadcasts, cellist Beatrice Harrison’s duet with a nearby nightingale, was possible at all was due to the new microphone’s unprecedented sensitivity. But the strikingly improved sound quality also made the British Broadcasting Company’s broadcasts more emotionally compelling, contributing to their efforts to attract a wider public. The 1924 broadcast would become a milestone in the transition from amateur radio towards a more professional form of radio.”

    • How a City Went Silent - ”The City of London shut down in a matter of hours. Will it ever return to its former vibrancy?” Hazel Sheffield on how the City has changed rapidly and drastically in the face of the pandemic, and what this might mean for its future.

    • The man in the iron lung - ”When he was six, Paul Alexander contracted polio and was paralysed for life. Today he is 74, and one of the last people in the world still using an iron lung. But after surviving one deadly outbreak, he did not expect to find himself threatened by another.” HT to ladymuck for this one (via TPD)

    • Tunnel Vision: Lessons in the Impermanence of Permafrost - How scientists in Alaska are studying permafrost from the inside out: ”To enter the Fox permafrost tunnel — one of the only places in the world dedicated to the firsthand scientific study of the mix of dirt and ice that covers much of the planet’s far northern latitudes — you must don a hard-hat then walk into the side of a hill… A tangle of skinny birches and black spruce adorn the top of the hill, and a giant refrigeration unit roars like a jet engine outside the door — to prevent the contents of the tunnel from warping or thawing.”

    • Coronagrifting: A Design Phenomenon - Kate Wagner of McMansion Hell fame takes on the dumb garbage being spouted by designers and architects to capitalise on the pandemic: ”Design websites are increasingly dominated by text and mockups from the desks of a firm’s public relations departments, facilitating a transition from the paper-architecture-imaginary to what I have begun calling “PR-chitecture.” In short, PR-chitecture is architecture and design content that has been dreamed up from scratch to look good on instagram feeds or, more simply, for clicks. It is only within this substance-less, critically lapsed media landscape that Coronagrifting can prosper.”

    • Beachcomber bars, ballrooms and snooker halls…Fabulous John Hinde Butlin’s Postcards - ”In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the prestigious John Hinde Studio, based in Dublin, produced a series of elaborately staged photographs that were made into postcards. The most popular of these were the amazing colourful John Hinde Butlin’s photographs. In those days more than a million Britons had a holiday at one of Butlin’s holiday camps every year.” “But Mum, will there be a monorail?” you ask. “Of course there’ll be a monorail, it’s the Sixties!” she replies

    Happy invoicing!

    I found the article on Microphones fascinating as I've been using several for home recrdings recently ...on that note I picked up a worse for wear Samsung Galaxy s4 dirt cheap on ebay and I must confess using its native mic renders superb recrdings not only indoors but also outside without using an extra USB mic ...excellent quslity recrdings and value !

    Keep up the good work Nik great post once again.