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Monday Links from the Bench vol. CLXIII

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    Monday Links from the Bench vol. CLXIII

    Why is it that, as soon as one has some time off, there turn out to be loads of things one needs to do?
    • Color Motion Pictures - The Earliest Days: 1922 - "Recently I saw a piece of film at the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film that mesmerized me. It was a test of Kodachrome color motion picture film from 1922. To provide context, the first full length color feature film did not appear until 13-years later (Becky Sharp)." SFW.


    • The Importance of Excel - "...while Excel the program is reasonably robust, the spreadsheets that people create with Excel are incredibly fragile. There is no way to trace where your data come from, there’s no audit trail (so you can overtype numbers and not know it), and there’s no easy way to test spreadsheets, for starters. The biggest problem is that anyone can create Excel spreadsheets—badly." This article looks at the role of Excel in a trading screwup at JPM, but if you like reading about spreadsheet failures, have a look at The European Spreadsheet Risks Interest Group's collection of "horror stories"

    • The Distress of the Privileged - "As the culture evolves, people who benefitted from the old ways invariably see themselves as victims of change. The world used to fit them like a glove, but it no longer does. Increasingly, they find themselves in unfamiliar situations that feel unfair or even unsafe. Their concerns used to take center stage, but now they must compete with the formerly invisible concerns of others." This article about perceptions of change makes me think of certain sections of the popular Press.

    • Reuleaux Collection of Kinematic Mechanisms, Cornell University - "The 220 models in Cornell University’s Reuleaux Collection were built in the late 19th century to demonstrate the elements of machine motion, as theorized by the German engineer Franz Reuleaux. The University acquired the models in 1882 for use in teaching and research." If you've ever wondered what a Doublewheel Gravity Escapement, as used in the Westminster Clock, looks like, there's one in here. (Needs Flash for the videos of the mechanisms working.)

    • Lost Hospitals of London - it says "This site is still under construction", presumably because not all of the hospitals have yet been closed Interesting collection of photos and info about the many hospitals that have come and gone in London over the centuries.

    • At The Corner Of Broadway And Maiden Lane: The Story Of New York's Sidewalk Clock - "In lower Manhattan, blocks from where the World Trade Center once stood, embedded deep into the sidewalk, is a clock. It's a simple clock, the hours and minutes are neatly displayed by spade hands, while roman numerals and train track minutes markers circle the dial. All of this is cloudy, but visible under the scratched and stained crystal that occupies a break in the pavement at the intersection of Maiden Lane and Broadway. And it has been ticking away there, under the feet of Manhattan, for over a century." Interesting history of the clock, which can be (just about) seen on Google StreetView.

    • Kid Logic (transcript of radio broadcast; audio here) - Tales of children drawing perfectly logical, yet utterly wrong, conclusions from available evidence, such as Rebecca, whose friend Rachel discovered that the tooth fairy was actually her father: "I remember wondering what it was like for Rachel to know that her dad was the tooth fairy. And definitely being a little envious that her dad had this special job and this special power and that he had this whole other interesting life. Where my dad just came home from work and that was it."

    • eWorld: Apple’s Dream of the 90′s - "While the internet of today is very open and one can access anything at anytime, the 90’s internet was a fairly closed off place. The vision for how people would use the internet was more akin to a planned community, where everything would be organized and you would interact with everyone in one consolidated location. Nothing exemplifies that concept more than Apple’s ‘dream’ for the internet in the 90’s, eWorld." Ah, the days of proprietary online services, when Compuserve thought it perfectly reasonable to give people usernames like 524364.243

    • 6 Inventors Killed by Their Own Inventions - From wingsuits to shock-absorbent barrels: triumphs of self-confidence over common sense.

    • WTF, Evolution? - "Honoring natural selection's most baffling creations. Go home, evolution, you are drunk."


      A parasitic louse that crawls into your mouth, vampirizes your tongue, then clamps itself onto the withered stub so it can ride around inside you and drink your mucus for the rest of your mutual lives? Why, yes. It’s called symbiosis and it’s beautiful.


    Happy invoicing!

    #2
    Originally posted by NickFitz View Post
    The Distress of the Privileged - "As the culture evolves, people who benefitted from the old ways invariably see themselves as victims of change. The world used to fit them like a glove, but it no longer does. Increasingly, they find themselves in unfamiliar situations that feel unfair or even unsafe. Their concerns used to take center stage, but now they must compete with the formerly invisible concerns of others." This article about perceptions of change makes me think of certain sections of the popular Press.
    In view of my static day rate over several years, it makes me think of certain sections of the IT contracting industry
    Work in the public sector? Read the IR35 FAQ here

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