A latter day obituary for William Shakespeare

Wednesday, 27 April, 2016

Better late than never I guess… The New York Times obituary for William Shakespeare, as if it were written at the time of his death though.

Over the course of three decades, Mr. Shakespeare rose from working-class obscurity in Warwickshire to become one of England’s foremost playwrights and poets – acclaimed for his penetrating insights into the human character, his eloquent, flexible and infinitely expressive verse; and his readiness to burst the bounds of the English language (drawing on a vocabulary of more than 25,000 words).

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The trailer for The Founder, the story of Ray Kroc and McDonald’s

Tuesday, 26 April, 2016

We all know that brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald founded the famous hamburger restaurant that bears their surname, but it was Ray Kroc, an Illinois business man, who oversaw the concept’s expansion across the US, and then overseas, and it is his story that is the subject of John Lee Hancock’s latest film, The Founder.

This could make for interesting viewing, if the trailer is anything to go by. What is it that they say… you can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs?

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We could never run out of history, there’s too much of it

Friday, 22 April, 2016

Histography, an interactive timeline that spans the history of the universe, from the point of view of certain of the inhabitants of Earth that is, from the Big Bang, straight on through.

Note: you require either the Chrome, or Safari, web browsers to view this page.

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An animation of the Titanic sinking in real time

Wednesday, 20 April, 2016

This is a curious production, an animation running for two hours and forty minutes, that depicts the sinking of the Titanic in real time, starting from when it struck the iceberg in the North Atlantic Ocean.

I didn’t look at the whole clip, but the detail is impressive though, and harrowing. You can read more about the project here.

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The story of the number zero is far from a story about nothing

Tuesday, 19 April, 2016

Of all the numbers, in their infinite abundance, it could be argued that zero has the most interesting story.

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If photos could move, the stories they could tell…

Friday, 15 April, 2016

Now here’s a way to bring the days of old into the present… animate photos from times bygone. The date on the “time machine” says we’re visiting 1931, though it somehow seems earlier.

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The Levi’s 501 documentary

Thursday, 7 April, 2016

If you’re a fan of Levi’s jeans, particularly the iconic 501 cut, you’ll enjoy this short documentary that explores their history, design, and production. I have a few pairs of Levi’s in the wardrobe, though not 501s. They’re the wrong cut for me apparently.

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Galileo, just another ordinary mathematics professor then?

Tuesday, 5 April, 2016

A re-evaluation of the work of Renaissance era astronomer and mathematician Galileo Galilei, seems to suggest his achievements, and reputation, may be overrated.

Could that really be the case?

In 1609, Galileo Galilei was a 45-year-old, largely unknown, north Italian professor of mathematics, a profession with a low social status, well on his way to total obscurity. He had produced his brilliant experimental demonstrations of the laws of falling bodies years earlier but had not published them. He was known among his circle of friends as a purveyor of good wines and a castigating, razor-sharp wit. Then Galileo stumbled upon the recently invented telescope and began the astronomical observations that would make him famous. Realising that he had lucked onto the scientific equivalent of winning the lottery, he rushed into print in early 1610.

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The New York Public Library Digital Collections, images for everyone

Wednesday, 10 February, 2016

Hall of Fame for Great Americans, Bronx, NY

I always love it when things like this happen… the New York Public Library has recently made many, many, thousands of digitised images – including maps, postcards, photographs, and illustrations – freely available for anyone to use.

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Apollo’s on-board flight software source code, printed out

Thursday, 4 February, 2016

Margaret Hamilton

Margaret Hamilton, a computer scientist, lead a MIT Instrumentation Laboratory team that developed on-board flight software for the Apollo Moon flights. She is pictured here, standing beside print outs of the source code that was produced.

About the only time I see source code is on a screen, and if I’m lucky, it’s not too more than a thousand lines in length. Very rare is the occasion I see source code in printed format, if at all, and in this case, I suspect there’s somewhat more than one thousand lines of code.

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