jm + history   268

25 Years of WIRED Predictions: Why the Future Never Arrives
These early views of the sharing economy were accurate depictions of the moment, but poor visions of the future. Within a few short years, many of those Uber drivers would be stuck paying off their cars in sub-minimum-wage jobs with no benefits. What began as an earnest insight about bits and atoms quickly turned into an arbitrage opportunity for venture capitalists eager to undercut large, lucrative markets by skirting regulations. To meet the growth and monetization demands of investors, yesterday’s sharing economy became today’s gig economy.
advertising  future  technology  futurism  predictions  wired  web2.0  history  1990s  2000s 
24 minutes ago by jm
Peter Flynn caused the first 404
Now that's a great bit of web trivia :) "[UCC's] first webmaster was the first person to ever break a link on the web, when he moved the location of a webpage on UCC's servers without telling TimBL. Such a change resulted in the need to error-handle such an occurrence, and the 404 was born"
404  history  http  web  peter-flynn  ucc  irish-web  trivia 
4 days ago by jm
"Aungier Street -- Revitalising a Historic Neighbourhood"
interesting doc from 2013 from Dublin City Council describing the Aungier St / Stephen St / South Great Georges' Street neighbourhood of D2/D8, covering the archaeological digs next door to the Swrve office
d2  d8  dublin  history  archaeology  aungier-street 
4 weeks ago by jm
Nosferatu is only viewable today due to piracy
'In 1922 a German court ordered all prints and negatives of Nosferatu destroyed following a copyright dispute with the widow of Bram Stoker. The film only exists today because of piracy. One copy survived and somehow found it's way to America, where Dracula was already in the public domain. That's it. That's the only reason you've ever seen the granddaddy of all horror movies.'
dracula  bram-stoker  nosferatu  piracy  licensing  movies  history 
5 weeks ago by jm
"Stylish" browser extension steals all your internet history | Robert Heaton
'Stylish, the popular CSS userstyle browser extension [collects] complete browser history, including sites scraped from Google results. Instant uninstall.' (via Andy Baio)
privacy  browser  extensions  stylish  css  history  data-protection 
11 weeks ago by jm
The iconic _Fountain_ (1917) was not created by Marcel Duchamp
In 1982 a letter written by Duchamp came to light. Dated 11 April 1917, it was written just a few days after that fateful exhibit. It contains one sentence that should have sent shockwaves through the world of modern art: it reveals the true creator behind Fountain – but it was not Duchamp. Instead he wrote that a female friend using a male alias had sent it in for the New York exhibition. Suddenly a few other things began to make sense. Over time Duchamp had told two different stories of how he had created Fountain, but both turned out to be untrue. An art historian who knew Duchamp admitted that he had never asked him about Fountain, he had published a standard-work on Fountain nevertheless. The place from where Fountain was sent raised more questions. That place was Philadelphia, but Duchamp had been living in New York.

Who was living in Philadelphia? Who was this ‘female friend’ that had sent the urinal using a pseudonym that Duchamp mentions? That woman was, as Duchamp wrote, the future. Art history knows her as Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven. She was a brilliant pioneering New York dada artist, and Duchamp knew her well. This glaring truth has been known for some time in the art world, but each time it has to be acknowledged, it is met with indifference and silence.

This article addresses the true authorship of Fountain from the perspective of the latest evidence, collected by several experts. The opinions they voice offer their latest insights.  Their accumulation of evidence strengthens the case to its final conclusion. To attribute Fountain to a woman and not a man has obvious, far-reaching consequences: the history of modern art has to be rewritten. Modern art did not start with a patriarch, but with a matriarch. What power structure in the world of modern art prohibits this truth to become more widely known and generally accepted? Ultimately this is one of the larger questions looming behind the authorship of Fountain. It sheds light on the place and role of the female artist in the world of modern art.
elsa-von-freytag-loringhoven  marcel-duchamp  modern-art  history  art-history  scandals  credit  art  fountain  women 
11 weeks ago by jm
In America, Naturalized Citizens No Longer Have an Assumption of Permanence | The New Yorker
Michael Bars, the U.S.C.I.S. spokesman, told the Washington Examiner that the agency is hiring dozens of lawyers for the new task force. The mandate, according to both Cissna and Bars, is to find people who deliberately lied on their citizenship applications, not those who made innocent mistakes. The distinction is fuzzier than one might assume.

Back in 1989, I had to make a decision about whether to lie on my citizenship application. At the time, immigration law banned “aliens afflicted with sexual deviation,” among others suffering from “psychopathic personality,” from entry to the United States. I had come to this country as a fourteen-year-old, in 1981, but I had been aware of my “sexual deviation” at the time, and this technically meant that I should not have entered the country. [....]

Over the years, the applications for both citizenship and permanent residence have grown ever longer, filling with questions that seem to be designed to be used against the applicant. Question 26 on the green-card application, for example, reads, “Have you EVER committed a crime of any kind (even if you were not arrested, cited, charged with, or tried for that crime)?” ... The question does not specify whether it refers to a crime under current U.S. law or the laws of the country in which the crime might have been committed. In the Soviet Union of my youth, it was illegal to possess foreign currency or to spend the night anywhere where you were not registered to live. In more than seventy countries, same-sex sexual activity is still illegal. On closer inspection, just about every naturalized citizen might look like an outlaw, or a liar.
law  immigration  us-politics  america  citizenship  naturalization  history 
june 2018 by jm
8thref.ie
An archive of 489,506 Irish abortion tweets from the period around the 8th referendum in Ireland
ireland  history  analytics  archives  archival  repealthe8th 
june 2018 by jm
A first draft of history
For journalists it is always easier to point to the politician with the pearly-white smile and the pithy sound-byte as the harbinger of change – they attract the cameras and the microphones and make us turn our backs on the truth. It’s like we cannot – or will not – believe that change can be brought about by ordinary people doing extraordinary things, no matter how often we see it. It’s like we need the fallacy that our leaders are somehow better than us, somehow in control to sleep safely at night, when in fact much of our insomnia and worry is their creation.

My first draft of history is this:

“On Friday May 25 2018, the women of Ireland repealed the Eighth Amendment.”

And that’s it.

It may have taken them 35 years, and in that time they were scorned and laughed at and belittled and abused, right up until Saturday morning and in some cases beyond, and yet they did it. Nothing else is relevant.

Through the day I saw women, from teenagers who had just cast their first vote to political veterans who started out on this trail 35 years previously, gradually realising what they had done.

One by one, it dawned on them the immense power that they now wield.

They banded together, and over the weeks and months and years, they changed a country.

And they’re not done yet.


Amen to that. Resist the rewriting of history -- this was a revolutionary moment for Ireland, and in some ways, the world.
ireland  history  repealthe8th  abortion  referenda  journalism 
may 2018 by jm
on the etymology of "ramen"
One day it hit her when she heard her Chinese chef using his call to let her know an order was done: "Hao-ra" (好了), meaning "it's ready."
She decided to start calling it Ra-men, and the name quickly took off.
ramen  food  japanese  noodles  words  etymology  history 
may 2018 by jm
I am a computer — docubyte
absolutely glorious classic microcomputing GIFs
micros  computing  history  apple  ibm  gifs  images  art 
may 2018 by jm
Archiving the 8th
'archiving & collecting the 2018 referendum':
This site was set up as a voluntary effort to answer some of these questions, and to quickly compile information on all known archiving and collecting activities happening nationwide, on both sides of the referendum campaign. It’s still very much a work in progress but the aspirations include:

to provide an immediate, temporary resource to consolidate information on who’s archiving the 8th, and offer contact details
share resources and suggestions, particularly for people wishing to donate material
identify potential gaps or opportunities in collecting
support networking of folks around the country engaged in archiving the 8th
share models of protocols and examples of other ‘rapid response’ collecting elsewhere
repealthe8th  history  archives  archival  2018  referenda 
may 2018 by jm
Dickens invented "gammon" as a slur in 1838, in 'Nicholas Nickleby'
This is thoroughly brexiteering stuff:

The time had been, when this burst of enthusiasm would have been cheered to the very echo; but now, the deputation received it with chilling coldness. The general impression seemed to be, that as an explanation of Mr Gregsbury’s political conduct, it did not enter quite enough into detail; and one gentleman in the rear did not scruple to remark aloud, that, for his purpose, it savoured rather too much of a ‘gammon’ tendency.

‘The meaning of that term — gammon,’ said Mr Gregsbury, ‘is unknown to me. If it means that I grow a little too fervid, or perhaps even hyperbolical, in extolling my native land, I admit the full justice of the remark. I AM proud of this free and happy country. My form dilates, my eye glistens, my breast heaves, my heart swells, my bosom burns, when I call to mind her greatness and her glory.’
brexit  funny  gammon  charles-dickens  history  gb  politics  uk-politics  uk 
may 2018 by jm
Abortion - the street demonstrations in pictures
There's me, marching after the X Case in 1992; bookmarking for posterity and my own scrapbook! Repeal the 8th!

'1992: A demonstration against the High Court injunction forbidding a 14-year-old alleged rape victim from obtaining an abortion in Britain. Photograph: The Irish Times'
1992  1990s  history  ireland  x-case  abortion  repealthe8th  law 
may 2018 by jm
Silicon Valley Can't Be Trusted With Our History
the internet is messing with human cognition in ways that will take decades to fully understand. Some researchers believe it is altering the way we create memories. In one study, researchers told a group of people to copy a list of facts onto a computer. They told half the group that the facts would be saved when they finished and the other half that the facts would be erased. Those who thought that the facts would be saved were much worse at remembering them afterward. Instead of relying on our friends and neighbors — or on books, for that matter — we have started outsourcing our memories to the internet.

So what happens if those memories are erased — and if the very platforms responsible for their storage are the ones doing the erasing? That scenario is a threat everywhere, but particularly in countries where the authorities are most aggressively controlling speech and editing history. We say the internet never forgets, but internet freedom isn’t evenly distributed: When tech companies have expanded into parts of the world where information suppression is the norm, they have proven willing to work with local censors.
Those censors will be emboldened by new efforts at platform regulation in the US and Europe, just as authoritarian regimes have already enthusiastically repurposed the rhetoric of “fake news.”

The reach and power of tech platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are so new and strange that we’ve barely begun formulating a response. But we can learn from the activists already doing it; from Mosireen, or the team behind the Syrian Archive — six people, with a budget of $96,000, who are preserving thousands of hours of footage from their country’s civil war. The archive recently published the Chemical Weapons Database, documenting 221 chemical weapons attacks with 861 verified videos, implicating the Assad regime in a pattern of war crimes and putting the lie to armchair investigators helping to propagate conspiracy theories in the West. One of its cofounders recently told the Intercept that he spends nearly all his time making sure videos aren’t deleted from the big tech platforms before he gets a chance to download them.
censorship  syria  chemical-weapons  assad  history  youtube  video  archival  mosireen  the-syrian-archive  archives  memory  facebook 
may 2018 by jm
The Joy Reid fight reinforces how critical the Internet Archive is to modern politics - The Washington Post
What the Wayback Machine provides, in essence, is a third-party archiving service that largely escapes the influence of the content creators. If you publish a blog on a blogging platform (or a tweet on Twitter, etc.), you still have the power to go in and remove or alter what you’ve written. The Wayback Machine makes it much more difficult to cover your tracks, should you wish to. As more people who grew up creating content for the Web enter positions of authority in media and politics, that archive becomes more important.

If the Wayback Machine hadn’t indexed Reid’s site, her words might have been lost. Or if someone had stumbled onto her old blog post, her expert’s argument that the post was fraudulent in some way might carry more weight. But with that index timestamped more than a decade ago, the argument is substantially undercut.

Reid’s blog, though, is not currently available on the Wayback Machine. Her old blog updated the file on its server telling automated systems what can and can’t be indexed, a set of instructions that the Wayback Machine’s system respects as it gathers information from around the Web. By changing that file, Reid’s team essentially pulled a curtain down on her past writing.
internet-archive  archival  history  joy-reid  web  blogging  wayback-machine  robots.txt 
april 2018 by jm
Thomas Mayne (politician) - Wikipedia
An illustrious ancestor, apparently!

'Thomas Mayne (1832–1915) was an Irish Parliamentary Party politician. He was elected as Member of Parliament (MP) for Tipperary at a by-election in 1883,[1] and held the seat until the constituency was divided at the 1885 general election. He was then elected for the new Mid division of Tipperary,[2] and held that seat until he resigned in 1890 by becoming Steward of the Manor of Northstead.[3]'

He was known for helping Charles Stewart Parnell in a sticky situation -- from http://www.online-literature.com/elbert-hubbard/journeys-vol-thirteen/6/ :

'About six months after this, London was convulsed with laughter at a joke too good to keep: One Captain O'Shea [Kitty O'Shea's husband] had challenged Charles Parnell, the Irish Leader, to a duel. Parnell accepted the challenge, but the fight was off, because Thomas Mayne had gone to O'Shea and told him he "would kick him the length of Rotten Row if he tried to harm or even opened his Galway yawp about Parnell."'
parnell  thomas-mayne  ancestors  history  ireland  nationalism  mps  1800s  19th-century  kitty-oshea 
april 2018 by jm
Mythology about security…
A valuable history lesson from Jim Gettys:
Government export controls crippled Internet security and the design of Internet protocols from the very beginning: we continue to pay the price to this day.  Getting security right is really, really hard, and current efforts towards “back doors”, or other access is misguided. We haven’t even recovered from the previous rounds of government regulations, which has caused excessive complexity in an already difficult problem and many serious security problems. Let us not repeat this mistake…


I remember the complexity of navigating crypto export controls. As noted here, it was generally easier just not to incorporate security features.
security  crypto  export-control  jim-gettys  x11  history  x-windows  mit  athena  kerberos 
april 2018 by jm
SXSW 2018: A Look Back at the 1960s PLATO Computing System - IEEE Spectrum
Author Brian Dear on how these terminals were designed for coursework, but students preferred to chat and play games [...]

“Out of the top 10 programs on PLATO running any day, most were games,” Dear says. “They used more CPU time than anything else.” In one popular game called Empire, players blast each other’s spaceships with phasers and torpedoes in order to take over planets.


And PLATO had code review built into the OS:

Another helpful feature that no longer exists was called Term Comment. It allowed users to leave feedback for developers and programmers at any place within a program where they spotted a typo or had trouble completing a task.

To do this, the user would simply open a comment box and leave a note right there on the screen. Term Comment would append the comment to the user’s place in the program so that the recipient could easily navigate to it and clearly see the problem, instead of trying to recreate it from scratch on their own system.

“That was immensely useful for developers,” Dear says. “If you were doing QA on software, you could quickly comment, and it would track exactly where the user left this comment. We never really got this on the Web, and it’s such a shame that we didn’t.”
plato  computing  history  chat  empire  gaming  code-review  coding  brian-dear 
march 2018 by jm
Last orders: Ireland's vanishing 'quirky' shopfronts – in pictures | Cities | The Guardian
Graphic designer Trevor Finnegan spent seven years documenting traditional shopfronts throughout Ireland.


Lovely examples of a vanishing vernacular style.
architecture  ireland  rural  shopfronts  signs  history 
february 2018 by jm
How the Game Genie worked
"Sometimes it was really easy to find cheats, because the code was very straightforward, and sometimes it was a massive pain in the arse," recalls Jon. "In simple terms, if a game started you with three lives I'd set up the logic analyser to stop when it found the value three being written to RAM. Then I'd use the Game Genie to change that 3 to say a 5, reboot the game and see if I started with 5 lives. If not, then I'd let it find the next time it wrote 3 into RAM and try that.

"Infinite lives codes were always the best. Once I'd found where in RAM the lives value was stored I'd then monitor when it got decremented. What I was looking for was where the game's original coder used -most likely - the DEC A (&H3D) instruction after reading the lives value from RAM, and then storing it back into RAM. If I found this then all I had to do was swap out the DEC A (&H3D) decrement operation with a NOP (&H00), which performed no operation. So the lives value would be left as-is and voila the player had infinite lives."
games  gameboy  game-genie  via:its  logic-analysers  reverse-engineering  history  hacking 
february 2018 by jm
why Cheddar Man was dark skinned
'But why should that be surprising? He's over 10,000 years old, while mutations that led to white skin [the depigmentation gene SLC24A5] only began to spread widely [across Europe] 5,800 years old!'
europe  history  prehistory  skin-colour  cheddar-man  race  skin  slc24a5  genetics  david-grimes 
february 2018 by jm
Playboy is suing Boing Boing - but linking is not copyright infringement
Boing Boing linked to a an imgur archive of all Playboy centerfolds,
and Playboy is suing them:
Playboy’s lawsuit is based on an imaginary (and dangerous) version of US copyright law that bears no connection to any US statute or precedent. Playboy -- once legendary champions for the First Amendment -- now advances a fringe copyright theory: that it is illegal to link to things other people have posted on the web, on pain of millions in damages -- the kinds of sums that would put us (and every other small publisher in America) out of business.
intellectual-property  copyright  playboy  boing-boing  centerfolds  porn  history  linking  web 
january 2018 by jm
'A Look into 30 Years of Malware Development from a Software Metrics Perspective'
'During the last decades, the problem of malicious and unwanted software (malware) has surged in numbers and sophistication. Malware plays a key role in most of today’s cyber attacks and has consolidated as a commodity in the underground economy. In this work, we analyze the evolution of malware since the early 1980s to date from a software engineering perspective. We analyze the source code of 151 malware samples and obtain measures of their size, code quality, and estimates of the development costs (effort, time, and number of people). Our results suggest an exponential increment of nearly one order of magnitude per decade in aspects such as size and estimated effort, with code quality metrics similar to those of regular software. Overall, this supports otherwise confirmed claims about the increasing complexity of malware and its production progressively becoming an industry.'
malware  coding  metrics  software  history  complexity  arms-race 
january 2018 by jm
The Gremlin Loader
Writeup of one of the classic tape loaders used on the ZX Spectrum, both for fast loading and piracy protection
piracy  reverse-engineering  history  zx-spectrum  tape  loaders  gremlin 
january 2018 by jm
What Gamergate should have taught us about the 'alt-right'
Spot on, from a year ago:

Prominent critics of the Trump administration need to learn from Gamergate. They need to be prepared for abuse, for falsified concerns, invented grassroots campaigns designed specifically to break, belittle, or disgrace. Words and concepts will be twisted, repackaged and shared across forums, stripping them of meaning. Gamergate painted critics as censors, the far-right movement claims critics are the real racists.

Perhaps the true lesson of Gamergate was that the media is culturally unequipped to deal with the forces actively driving these online movements. The situation was horrifying enough two years ago, it is many times more dangerous now.
politics  fascism  gamergate  history  alt-right  milo  fake-news  propaganda  nazis  racism  misogyny 
december 2017 by jm
Bella Caledonia: A Wake-Up Call
Swathes of the British elite appeared ignorant of much of Irish history and the country’s present reality. They seemed to have missed that Ireland’s economic dependence on exports to its neighbour came speedily to an end after both joined the European Economic Community in 1973. They seemed unacquainted with Ireland’s modern reality as a confident, wealthy, and internationally-oriented nation with overwhelming popular support for EU membership. Repeated descriptions of the border as a “surprise” obstacle to talks betrayed that Britain had apparently not listened, or had dismissed, the Irish government’s insistence in tandem with the rest of the EU since April that no Brexit deal could be agreed that would harden the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.
The British government failed to listen to Ireland throughout history, and it was failing to listen still.
europe  ireland  brexit  uk  ukip  eu  northern-ireland  border  history 
december 2017 by jm
Tansplaining
/tanˈspleɪn/ - verb informal - (of a British journalist or political type) explaining Irish history and politics to an Irish person, in a manner regarded as condescending, patronizing, and often incorrect.
politics  lols  funny  tansplaining  black-and-tans  history  uk  brexit  dictionary  neologisms 
november 2017 by jm
Unicomp, Inc.
'I think you want a Unicomp [...] They bought the old IBM model M factory line, it's a model M with USB' -- a classic IBM-style clacky full size keyboard -- https://twitter.com/SwartzCr/status/932678394021535751
keyboards  clacky  model-m  ibm  history  hardware  usb 
november 2017 by jm
Rich "Lowtax" Kyanka on Twitter's abuse/troll problem
how did you solve this problem at Something Awful? You said you wrote a bunch of rules but internet pedants will always find ways to get around them.

The last rule says we can ban you for any reason. It's like the catch-all. We can ban you if it's too hot in the room, we can ban you if we had a bad day, we can ban you if our finger slips and hits the ban button. And that way people know that if they're doing something and it's not technically breaking any rules but they're obviously trying to push shit as far as they can, we can still ban them. But, unlike Twitter, we actually have what's called the Leper's Colony, which says what they did and has their track record. Twitter just says, “You're gone.”
twitter  communication  discussion  history  somethingawful  lowtax 
november 2017 by jm
"1 like = 1 delicious cocktail recipe or booze fact."
Great cocktail factoid thread from Manhattans Project/Every Cloud's Felix Cohen
felix-cohen  cocktails  booze  factoids  history  drinks 
october 2017 by jm
A history of the neural net/tank legend in AI, and other examples of reward hacking
@gwern: "A history of the neural net/tank legend in AI: https://t.co/2s4AOGMS3a (Feel free to suggest more sightings or examples of reward hacking!)"
gwern  history  ai  machine-learning  ml  genetic-algorithms  neural-networks  perceptron  learning  training  data  reward-hacking 
october 2017 by jm
One person’s history of Twitter, from beginning to end – Mike Monteiro
Twitter, which was conceived and built by a room of privileged white boys (some of them my friends!), never considered the possibility that they were building a bomb. To this day, Jack Dorsey doesn’t realize the size of the bomb he’s sitting on. Or if he does, he believes it’s metaphorical. It’s not. He is utterly unprepared for the burden he’s found himself responsible for.
The power of Oppenheimer-wide destruction is in the hands of entitled men-children, cuddled runts, who aim not to enhance human communication, but to build themselves a digital substitute for physical contact with members of the species who were unlike them. And it should scare you.
politics  twitter  mike-monteiro  history  silicon-valley  trump 
october 2017 by jm
Turtle Bunbury - THE NIGHT OF THE BIG WIND, 1839 (Reprise)

The Night of the Big Wind was the most devastating storm ever recorded in Irish history. Known in As Gaeilge as ‘Oiche na Gaoithe Moire’, the hurricane of 6th and 7th January 1839 made more people homeless in a single night than all the sorry decades of eviction that followed it.
1839  1830s  19th-century  ireland  turtle-bunbury  history  storms  weather  hurricanes 
october 2017 by jm
House Six, the Heartbeat of Student Life – The University Times
Dilapidated but beloved, House Six shapes student life in Trinity and has for decades been the backdrop to changes in Irish society.


Ah, memories -- in my case mostly of all-night Civ games in Publications
history  tcd  trinity  house-six  csc  tcdsu  dublin  buildings  landmarks 
october 2017 by jm
A Decade of Dynamo: Powering the next wave of high-performance, internet-scale applications - All Things Distributed
A deep dive on how we were using our existing databases revealed that they were frequently not used for their relational capabilities. About 70 percent of operations were of the key-value kind, where only a primary key was used and a single row would be returned. About 20 percent would return a set of rows, but still operate on only a single table.

With these requirements in mind, and a willingness to question the status quo, a small group of distributed systems experts came together and designed a horizontally scalable distributed database that would scale out for both reads and writes to meet the long-term needs of our business. This was the genesis of the Amazon Dynamo database.

The success of our early results with the Dynamo database encouraged us to write Amazon's Dynamo whitepaper and share it at the 2007 ACM Symposium on Operating Systems Principles (SOSP conference), so that others in the industry could benefit. The Dynamo paper was well-received and served as a catalyst to create the category of distributed database technologies commonly known today as "NoSQL."


That's not an exaggeration. Nice one Werner et al!
dynamo  history  nosql  storage  databases  distcomp  amazon  papers  acm  data-stores 
october 2017 by jm
London's Hidden Tunnels Revealed In Amazing Cutaways | Londonist
these really are remarkable. I love the Renzo Picassos in particular
design  history  london  3d  cutaways  diagrams  comics  mid-century 
october 2017 by jm
The world's first cyber-attack, on the Chappe telegraph system, in Bordeaux in 1834

The Blanc brothers traded government bonds at the exchange in the city of Bordeaux, where information about market movements took several days to arrive from Paris by mail coach. Accordingly, traders who could get the information more quickly could make money by anticipating these movements. Some tried using messengers and carrier pigeons, but the Blanc brothers found a way to use the telegraph line instead. They bribed the telegraph operator in the city of Tours to introduce deliberate errors into routine government messages being sent over the network.
The telegraph’s encoding system included a “backspace” symbol that instructed the transcriber to ignore the previous character. The addition of a spurious character indicating the direction of the previous day’s market movement, followed by a backspace, meant the text of the message being sent was unaffected when it was written out for delivery at the end of the line. But this extra character could be seen by another accomplice: a former telegraph operator who observed the telegraph tower outside Bordeaux with a telescope, and then passed on the news to the Blancs. The scam was only uncovered in 1836, when the crooked operator in Tours fell ill and revealed all to a friend, who he hoped would take his place. The Blanc brothers were put on trial, though they could not be convicted because there was no law against misuse of data networks. But the Blancs’ pioneering misuse of the French network qualifies as the world’s first cyber-attack.
bordeaux  hacking  history  security  technology  cyber-attacks  telegraph  telegraphes-chappe 
october 2017 by jm
S3 Point In Time Restore
restore a versioned S3 bucket to the state it was at at a specific point in time
ops  s3  restore  backups  versioning  history  tools  scripts  unix 
october 2017 by jm
In 1973, I invented a ‘girly drink’ called Baileys
The creation of the iconic booze:
'We bought a small bottle of Jamesons Irish Whiskey and a tub of single cream and hurried back. It was a lovely May morning. 1973. Underdogs Sunderland had just won the FA Cup. We mixed the two ingredients in our kitchen, tasted the result and it was certainly intriguing, but in reality bloody awful. Undaunted, we threw in some sugar and it got better, but it still missed something. We went back to the store, searching the shelves for something else, found our salvation in Cadbury’s Powdered Drinking Chocolate and added it to our formula. Hugh and I were taken by surprise. It tasted really good. Not only this, but the cream seemed to have the effect of making the drink taste stronger, like full-strength spirit. It was extraordinary.'
whiskey  cream  booze  drinks  baileys  1970s  history  1973  chocolate  cocktails 
october 2017 by jm
The copyright implications of a publicly curated online archive of Oireachtas debates
"a publicly curated online archive of Oireachtas debates is so obviously in the public interest that copyright law should not prevent it." (via Aileen)
via:aileen  copyright  oireachtas  debates  ireland  parliament  archival  history 
october 2017 by jm
the execution of James Connolly in cake form
As depicted in the Decobake 1916 commemorative cake competition. Amazing scenes of edible history
odd  funny  decobake  1916  history  ireland  republican  nationalism  james-connolly  executions  omgwtf  cake 
october 2017 by jm
"HTML email, was that your fault?"
jwz may indeed have invented this feature way back in Netscape Mail. FWIW I think he's right -- Netscape Mail was the first usage of HTML email I recall
netscape  history  html  email  smtp  mime  mozilla  jwz 
september 2017 by jm
This Heroic Captain Defied His Orders and Stopped America From Starting World War III
Captain William Bassett, a USAF officer stationed at Okinawa on October 28, 1962, can now be added alongside Stanislav Petrov to the list of people who have saved the world from WWIII:

By [John] Bordne’s account, at the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis, Air Force crews on Okinawa were ordered to launch 32 missiles, each carrying a large nuclear warhead. [...]

The Captain told Missile Operations Center over the phone that he either needed to hear that the threat level had been raised to DEFCON 1 and that he should fire the nukes, or that he should stand down. We don’t know exactly what the Missile Operations Center told Captain Bassett, but they finally received confirmation that they should not launch their nukes.

After the crisis had passed Bassett reportedly told his men: “None of us will discuss anything that happened here tonight, and I mean anything. No discussions at the barracks, in a bar, or even here at the launch site. You do not even write home about this. Am I making myself perfectly clear on this subject?”
wwiii  history  nukes  cuban-missile-crisis  1960s  usaf  okinawa  missiles  william-bassett 
september 2017 by jm
So much for that Voynich manuscript “solution”
boo.
The idea that the book is a medical treatise on women's health, however, might turn out to be correct. But that wasn't Gibbs' discovery. Many scholars and amateur sleuths had already reached that conclusion, using the same evidence that Gibbs did. Essentially, Gibbs rolled together a bunch of already-existing scholarship and did a highly speculative translation, without even consulting the librarians at the institute where the book resides. Gibbs said in the TLS article that he did his research for an unnamed "television network." Given that Gibbs' main claim to fame before this article was a series of books about how to write and sell television screenplays, it seems that his goal in this research was probably to sell a television screenplay of his own. In 2015, Gibbs did an interview where he said that in five years, "I would like to think I could have a returnable series up and running." Considering the dubious accuracy of many History Channel "documentaries," he might just get his wish.
crypto  history  voynich-manuscript  historians  tls 
september 2017 by jm
Download 67,000 Historic Maps (in High Resolution) from the Wonderful David Rumsey Map Collection | Open Culture
You do not need to be a Stanford student or faculty or staff member to access the vast treasures of the Rumsey Map collection, nor do you need to visit the university or its new Center. Since 1996, the Rumsey collection’s online database has been open to all, currently offering anyone with an internet connection access to 67,000 maps from all over the globe, spanning five centuries of cartography.


(via Oisin)
via:oisin  maps  art  graphics  open-access  mapping  history  david-rumsey  collections 
september 2017 by jm
The solution to the Voynich manuscript
To those who have studied medieval medicine, and possess a good knowledge of its origins, the classical physicians Galen (AD 129–210), Hippocrates (460–370 BC) and Soranus (AD 98–138) among them, the Voynich manuscript’s incorporation of an illustrated herbarium (collection of plant remedies), Zodiac charts, instructions on thermae (baths) and a diagram showing the influence of the Pleiades side by side will not be surprising. They are all in tune with contemporary medical treatises, part and parcel of the medieval world of health and healing. Bathing as a remedy is a time-honoured tradition: practised by the Greeks and the Romans, advocated by the classical physicians, and sustained during the Middle Ages. The central theme of the Voynich manuscript is just such an activity, and one of its chief characteristics is the presence of naked female figures immersed in some concoction or other. Classical and medieval medicine had separate divisions devoted to the complaints and diseases of women, mostly but not exclusively in the area of gynaecology, and covered other topics such as hygiene, food, purgatives, blood­letting, fumigations, tonics, tinctures and even cosmetics and perfumes: all involved “taking the waters”, by bathing or ingesting.
history  voynich-manuscript  codes  medieval-medicine  thermae  herbaria 
september 2017 by jm
Distilled Identity
Gabriel recently bought a distillery in Barbados, where he says the majority of his team is of African descent. “The sugar industry is a painful past for them, but my understanding, from my team, is that they do see it as the past,” Gabriel explained. “There was great suffering, but their take is like, ‘We built this island.’ They are reclaiming it, and we are seeing that in efforts to preserve farming land and not let it all go to tourism.”

I rather liked this narrative, or at least the potential of it. Slavery was appalling across the board, but countries and cultures throughout the African Diaspora have managed their paths forward in ways that don’t mimic the American aftermath. A plurality of narratives was possible here, which was thrilling to me. I am often disappointed by the mainstream perception of one-note blackness. One could easily argue the root of colonization is far from removed in the Caribbean. But if I understood Gabriel, and if he accurately captured the sentiments of his Barbadian colleagues, plantation sugarcane offered career opportunities to some, and was perhaps not solely a distressing connection to a shared global history. We chewed on this thought, together, in silence.
history  distilling  rum  barbados  african-diaspora  slavery  american-history  booze  language  etymology 
august 2017 by jm
Linux Load Averages: Solving the Mystery
Nice bit of OS archaeology by Brendan Gregg.
In 1993, a Linux engineer found a nonintuitive case with load averages, and with a three-line patch changed them forever from "CPU load averages" to what one might call "system load averages." His change included tasks in the uninterruptible state, so that load averages reflected demand for disk resources and not just CPUs. These system load averages count the number of threads working and waiting to work, and are summarized as a triplet of exponentially-damped moving sum averages that use 1, 5, and 15 minutes as constants in an equation. This triplet of numbers lets you see if load is increasing or decreasing, and their greatest value may be for relative comparisons with themselves.
load  monitoring  linux  unix  performance  ops  brendan-gregg  history  cpu 
august 2017 by jm
The White Lies of Craft Culture - Eater
Besides field laborers, [Southern US] planter and urban communities both depended on proficient carpenters, blacksmiths, gardeners, stable hands, seamstresses, and cooks; the America of the 1700s and 1800s was literally crafted by people of color.

Part of this hidden history includes the revelation that six slaves were critical to the operation of George Washington’s distillery, and that the eponymous Jack Daniel learned to make whiskey from an enslaved black man named Nathan “Nearest” Green. As Clay Risen reported for the New York Times last year, contrary to the predominant narrative that views whiskey as an ever “lily-white affair,” black men were the minds and hands behind American whiskey production. “In the same way that white cookbook authors often appropriated recipes from their black cooks, white distillery owners took credit for the whiskey,” he writes. Described as “the best whiskey maker that I know of” by his master, Dan Call, Green taught young Jack Daniel how to run a whiskey still. When Daniel later opened his own distillery, he hired two of Green’s sons.

The popular image of moonshine is a product of the white cultural monopoly on all things ‘country’
Over time, that legacy was forgotten, creating a gap in knowledge about American distilling traditions — while English, German, Scottish, and Irish influences exist, that combination alone cannot explain the entirely of American distilling. As bourbon historian Michael Veach suggests, slave culture pieces together an otherwise puzzling intellectual history.
history  craft-beer  craft-culture  food  drink  whiskey  distilling  black-history  jack-daniels  nathan-nearest-green 
august 2017 by jm
After Charlottesville, I Asked My Dad About Selma
Dad told me that he didn’t think I was going to have to go through what he went through, but now he can see that he was wrong. “This fight is a never-ending fight,” he said. “There’s no end to it. I think after the ‘60s, the whole black revolution, Martin Luther King, H. Rap Brown, Stokely Carmichael and all the rest of the people, after that happened, people went to sleep,” he said. “They thought, ‘this is over.’”
selma  charlottesville  racism  nazis  america  race  history  civil-rights  1960s 
august 2017 by jm
Allen curve - Wikipedia
During the late 1970s, [Professor Thomas J.] Allen undertook a project to determine how the distance between engineers’ offices affects the frequency of technical communication between them. The result of that research, produced what is now known as the Allen Curve, revealed that there is a strong negative correlation between physical distance and the frequency of communication between work stations. The finding also revealed the critical distance of 50 meters for weekly technical communication.

With the fast advancement of internet and sharp drop of telecommunication cost, some wonder the observation of Allen Curve in today's corporate environment. In his recently co-authored book, Allen examined this question and the same still holds true. He says[2]

"For example, rather than finding that the probability of telephone communication increases with distance, as face-to-face probability decays, our data show a decay in the use of all communication media with distance (following a "near-field" rise)." [p. 58]


Apparently a few years back in Google, some staff mined the promotion data, and were able to show a Allen-like curve that proved a strong correlation between distance from Jeff Dean's desk, and time to getting promoted.
jeff-dean  google  history  allen-curve  work  communication  distance  offices  workplace  teleworking  remote-work 
august 2017 by jm
Beard vs Taleb: Scientism and the Nature of Historical Inquiry
The most interesting aspect of this Twitter war is that it is representative of a malaise that has stricken a good chunk of academics (mostly scientists, with a peppering of philosophers) and an increasing portion of the general public: scientism.

I have co-edited an entire book, due out soon, on the topic, which features authors who are pro, con, and somewhere in the middle. Scientism is defined as the belief that the assumptions, methods of research, etc., of the natural sciences are the only ways to gather valuable knowledge or to answer meaningful questions. Everything else, to paraphrase Taleb, is bullshit.

Does Taleb engage in scientism? Indubitably. I have already mentioned above his generalization from what one particular historian (Beard) said to “historians” tout court. But there is more, from his Twitter feed: “there is this absence of intellectual rigor in humanities.” “Are historians idiots? Let’s be polite and say that they are in the majority no rocket scientists and operate under a structural bias. It looks like an empirically rigorous view of historiography is missing.”
history  science  scientism  nassim-taleb  argument  debate  proof  romans  britain  mary-beard 
august 2017 by jm
APOLLO 13 EARTH ORBITAL CHART | Artsy
Some nice catalogue details around this Apollo 13 AEO:
Apollo Earth Orbit Chart (AEO), Apollo Mission 13 for April 1970 Launch Date. March 3, 1970. Color Earth map, first edition. 13 by 42 inches.

From the Catalogue:
SIGNED and INSCRIBED: “JAMES LOVELL, Apollo 13 CDR and FRED HAISE, Apollo 13 LMP." Additionally INSCRIBED by HAISE with mission events: "Launch at 2:13 pm EST, April 11, 1970" and "Splash – April 17, 1970." He has marked the splashdown area with an "X."

Circular plots in black represent the ground station communication coverage areas with the red circle being the tracking ship Vanguard in the Atlantic Ocean. Orbital paths show the full launch range azimuths of 72 to 108 degrees. The first orbit is plotted in light blue with the second orbit in dark blue. The planned TLI (TransLunar Injection) burn occurred on time during the mission and is plotted with a red dashed line. The point above the Earth as Apollo 13 headed toward the Moon is shown with a brown line and continues for 24 hours of mission elapsed time. This line moves over the Pacific Ocean and into the continental United States. Then it moves backwards (relative to the Earth’s rotation) over the Pacific Ocean and ends near the west coast of Africa. The Service Module explosion occurred some 32 hours after end point of the TLI brown line tracking plot.
aeo  apollo  history  spaceflight  collectibles  antiques  james-lovell  fred-haise  1970  apollo-13  charts 
august 2017 by jm
Decoding the Enigma with Recurrent Neural Networks
I am blown away by this -- given that Recurrent Neural Networks are Turing-complete, they can actually automate cryptanalysis given sufficient resources, at least to the degree of simulating the internal workings of the Enigma algorithm given plaintext, ciphertext and key:
The model needed to be very large to capture all the Enigma’s transformations. I had success with a single-celled LSTM model with 3000 hidden units. Training involved about a million steps of batched gradient descent: after a few days on a k40 GPU, I was getting 96-97% accuracy!
machine-learning  deep-learning  rnns  enigma  crypto  cryptanalysis  turing  history  gpus  gradient-descent 
july 2017 by jm
"This War of Mine" review by survivor of the siege of Sarajevo
'Big Kudos to designers of this game. I can't imagine how much research it was for them to make this. It is as if they were in Sarajevo during whole Siege of Sarajevo, and they weren't doing anything else but taking notes. Will you like this game? Well, I do not know. If you want to know how a siege works, then YES. If you want to play great game with theme that is a bit dark, YES. If you want to play amazingly heavy solo or coop game, YES. But, also, I can see why someone would never play this game. My board game collection, before This war of mine, was just “The wall of fun”, and now, amongst other boxes, there is this one that is also fun, but different than any other. This is one really unique game.'
reviews  siege  sarajevo  history  war  boardgames  this-war-of-mine  heavy 
july 2017 by jm
Burning Fossil Fuels Almost Ended All Life on Earth - The Atlantic
“what I like to talk about is ‘the Great Weirding’ and not just the Great Dying because the Great Dying seems to have been a relatively quick event at the very end. But if you just talk about the Great Dying you’re missing all of this other crazy stuff that led up to it,” he said. “The Earth was getting really weird in the Permian. So we’re getting these huge lakes with these negative pHs, which is really weird, we don’t know why that happened. Another thing is that the whole world turned red. Everything got red. You walk around today and you’re like, ‘Hey, there’s a red bed, I bet it’s Permian or Triassic.’ The planet started looking like Mars. So that’s really weird. We don’t know why it turned red. Then you have a supercontinent, which is weird in the first place. Plate tectonics has to be acting strangely when you have all the continents together. Eventually it rifts apart and we go back into normal plate tectonics mode, but during the Permian-Triassic everything’s jammed together. So there has to be something strange going on. And then at the end, the Earth opens up and there’s all these volcanoes. But we’re not talking about normal volcanoes, we’re talking about weird volcanoes.”
extinction  history  geology  permian-era  earth  climate-change  carbon-dioxide  scary  pangaea 
july 2017 by jm
La història del gran tauró blanc de Tossa de Mar
Amazing pic and newspaper report regarding a great white shark which washed up on the beach at Tossa de Mar in the Costa Brava in the 1980s
tossa-de-mar  costa-brava  spain  sharks  nature  great-white-shark  1980s  history  photos  wildlife 
july 2017 by jm
Letters and Liquor
These are lovely! (via Ben)
Letters and Liquor illustrates the history of lettering associated with cocktails. From the 1690s to the 1990s, I’ve selected 52 of the most important drinks in the cocktail canon and rendered their names in period-inspired design. I post a new drink each week with history, photos and recipes. Don’t want to miss a single cocktail? Click here for email updates.
cocktails  text  letters  typography  graphics  history  booze 
july 2017 by jm
"BBC English" was invented by a small team in the 1920s & 30s
Excellent twitter thread:
Today we speak of "BBC English" as a standard form of the language, but this form had to be invented by a small team in the 1920s & 30s. 1/
It turned out even within the upper-class London accent that became the basis for BBC English, many words had competing pronunciations. 2/
Thus in 1926, the BBC's first managing director John Reith established an "Advisory Committee on Spoken English" to sort things out. 3/
The committee was chaired by Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw, and also included American essayist Logan Pearsall Smith, 4/
novelist Rose Macaulay, lexicographer (and 4th OED editor) C.T. Onions, art critic Kenneth Clark, journalist Alistair Cooke, 5/
ghost story writer Lady Cynthia Asquith, and evolutionary biologist and eugenicist Julian Huxley. 6/
The 20-person committee held fierce debates, and pronunciations now considered standard were often decided by just a few votes.
bbc  language  english  history  rp  received-pronunciation  pronunciation  john-reith 
june 2017 by jm
London's Tube has been running so long it's literally raising the temperature of the earth around it | CityMetric
London has been running tube trains so long that the ground beneath parts of the city is now as much as 10°C hotter than it was in 1900.
london  tube  underground  tfl  engineering  history  temperature  ventilation 
june 2017 by jm
A Brief History of the UUID · Segment Blog
This is great, by Rick Branson. I didn't realise UUIDs came from Apollo
history  distributed  distcomp  uuids  ids  coding  apollo  unix 
june 2017 by jm
The inventor of dynamic programming, had to hide the fact he was inventing it from the Secretary of Defense
"His face would suffuse, he would turn red, and he would get violent if people used the term "research" in his presence. You can imagine how he felt, then, about the term "mathematical". [....] I felt I had to do something to shield Wilson and the Air Force from the fact that I was really doing mathematics inside RAND"
rand  funny  history  insane  dr-strangelove  1950s  dynamic-programming  mathematics  algorithms 
june 2017 by jm
The Forgotten Story Of The Radium Girls
'The radium girls’ case was one of the first in which an employer was made responsible for the health of the company’s employees. It led to life-saving regulations and, ultimately, to the establishment of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which now operates nationally in the United States to protect workers. Before OSHA was set up, 14,000 people died on the job every year; today, it is just over 4,500. The women also left a legacy to science that has been termed “invaluable.”'
osha  health  safety  radium  poisoning  regulation  history  us-politics  free-market  cancer  radiation 
may 2017 by jm
Reverse engineering the 76477 "Space Invaders" sound effect chip from die photos
Now _this_ is reversing:
Remember the old video game Space Invaders? Some of its sound effects were provided by a chip called the 76477 Complex Sound Generation chip. While the sound effects1 produced by this 1978 chip seem primitive today, it was used in many video games, pinball games. But what's inside this chip and how does it work internally? By reverse-engineering the chip from die photos, we can find out. (Photos courtesy of Sean Riddle.) In this article, I explain how the analog circuits of this chip works and show how the hundreds of transistors on the silicon die form the circuits of this complex chip.
space-invaders  games  history  reverse-engineering  chips  analog  sound-effects 
may 2017 by jm
Stiff Upper Lip by Alex Renton review – the damage boarding schools have done | Books | The Guardian
Holy shit:
Stiff Upper Lip is studded with startling stuff. Discussing the importance of football, for instance, in 19th-century public schools, he drops in the line that “in Charterhouse’s version a small boy was the ball”. I blithely went over that one, thinking he meant “a small boy was [expected to crouch on] the ball” or similar; but it was no typo. In a cheery kickabout on Good Friday, 1924, the Earl of Sussex’s son died from his injuries – _having been [used as] an actual football_.


(via Eva Wiseman)
football  public-schools  uk  school  history  murder  insanity  charterhouse  alex-renton  education 
april 2017 by jm
Fans of chess were outraged when the queen piece was added
"scacchi alla rabiosa" ("madwoman's chess") faced a backlash from 16th-century gamergaters
gamergate  funny  16th-century  history  chess  gaming  games  queen 
april 2017 by jm
Who Discovered Why The Challenger Exploded?
Everyone knows Richard Feynman’s famous televised demonstration that the Challenger had exploded because its O-rings got stiff when they were cold -- but it wasn’t Feynman’s discovery. It was Sally Ride’s.'

(via Tony Finch)
richard-feynman  sally-ride  history  space  challenger  o-rings  science  engineering  nasa 
march 2017 by jm
Bakeneko - Wikipedia
'The bakeneko (化け猫, "changed cat") is a type of Japanese yōkai, or supernatural creature. According to its name, it is a cat that has changed into a yōkai. It is often confused with the nekomata, another cat-like yōkai,[2] and the distinction between the two can often be quite ambiguous.'

Reportedly, Totoro's catbus is a bakeneko, as is the Maneki Neko good luck totem.
superstitions  cats  catbus  totoro  bakeneko  yokai  japan  history 
march 2017 by jm
Colm O'Gorman, on societal responsibility for Mother & Baby Homes, Magdalene Laundries & various other church atrocities in Ireland
Excellent twitter thread on the topic. Pasted:

It is often said that everyone knew what was happening in such places, or about the rape of children by priests. That is not true.
It is true that deep veins of knowledge existed across Irish society, at all levels, but not everyone knew. Or were allowed to know.
Just like is always the case, the terrible things that were done were possible only because they were tolerated. They went unchecked.
They were tolerated by those in positions of authority who either dared not, or did not wish to, challenge the power strictures that existed
They were tolerated by those without power or position because they feared what speaking up might do to them and to their families
That was an Ireland where challenging such vile abuse by power would see you become its victim. It was brutal and vicious.
If you did not, or could not, conform to the demands of the powerful, you were in real danger. At best, ostracisation and excommunication.
But many experience far worse than that. They found themselves in the very places we now acknowledge as hell holes. Locked up in institutions
I always remember the late, great Mary Rafferty exposing the scale of such abusive institutionalisation. She pointed out that at one point
in our relatively recent history, we led the world in one regard. Per capita, we locked up more people in psychiatric institutions than
any other country on the planet. Only the Soviet Union came a distant second to us. That was how Ireland treated dissent or difference
That what was happened to many who could not conform to a brutal demand to be somehow 'acceptable' to dogma & unaccountable power
And it wasn't some ancient Ireland either. The last laundry closed in 1996. In 2002, when fighting for inquiries into child rape by priests
and it's cover up by bishops, cardinals and popes, those same princes declared themselves above the rule of the law of this Republic
insisting that the law of their church was superior to the law of this state. And their position was taken seriously by many.
It took months of dogged battle by me and others to get past that bullshit. For our political and legal system to assert itself.
The Ireland where the lives of women & children were controlled & brutalised by people who felt they had a God given right to do so is not
some other country that existed back in some other time. It is this Ireland. We have changed a lot - but it is still this Ireland.
The difference now is that we ALL know. That the truth is out, and that more is being revealed. And yes, undoubtedly there is more to come.
So it is NOT true all past members of society, or even anything close to a majority, colluded with such abuses. That is a falsehood.
It is also a falsehood to suggest that the church did what the state would not do, and provided as best it could. That is a lie.
The Catholic Church captured control of what should have been arms of the state. Health, education and social care. And it exploited them.
It used them to drive its own agendas, to enforce its own dogma. And at every turn it resisted any 'intrusion' into those realms by others.
including the state. Look at the Mother & Child Scheme for eg, or the response to the first multi-denominational schools, and much more.
Catholic orders defended themselves against accusations of appalling abuse of children in their institutions by claiming that
the state did not give them enough money to feed, clothe and properly care for the children they detained in those places. This was a lie.
in the same institutions where children went starving, clergy were well fed and housed. They went for nothing. Funded by the state and the
forced labour of the children or women they detained. The Ryan Report debunked that lie in its entirety.
Ryan found that religious orders maintained "bloated congregations" by bringing in more and more children, and therefore more and more money
And now we know. Now the threat of brutal reprisal is lifted. Now is the time for truth, to own what has been done to so many vulnerable
people in our Republic. To learn from it and ensure we identify how that same corrupting tendency manifests today. Because it does of course
It may not be quite as vicious, but it prevails.Look at how power still treats a reasonable demand for accountability: Maurice McCabe for eg
Look at how our education and health systems still allow religious dogma to exert extraordinary power over people's lives.
We are a different Ireland, but are we different enough?
mother-and-baby-homes  tuam  ireland  catholic-church  abuse  colm-o-gorman  twitter  history  priests 
march 2017 by jm
Martin Fowler's First Law of Distributed Object Design: Don’t
lol. I hadn't seen this one, but it's a good beatdown on distributed objects from back in 2003
distributed-objects  dcom  corba  history  martin-fowler  laws  rules  architecture  2003 
march 2017 by jm
The State already knew about Tuam. Nothing ever changes in Ireland
Forensic archaeologists are combing through the soil in Tuam. Perhaps justice might be better served if forensic accountants were combing through the accounts of the Bon Secours Sisters. They sold healthy babies and let the rest to die.
nuns  bon-secours  history  ireland  tuam-babies  tuam  horror 
march 2017 by jm
Phoenician Sun God in Eighteenth-Century Ireland? - Beachcombing's Bizarre History Blog
It is the most extraordinary inscription. This mill-stone rock, which once stood on the top of Tory Hill in County Kilkenny in Ireland, has been taken as proof of Carthaginian contact and settlement or at least trade with Ireland in antiquity. The words clearly read (give or take some distorted letters) Beli Dinose, a reference to the Carthaginian god Bel or Baal Dionysus. Extraordinary to think that Phoenicians, in the early centuries B.C. brought their nasty child-killing faith to the green hills of Ireland. Only of course they didn’t… At least not on this evidence. The stone celebrating ‘the lordly one’ actually has a rather different origin.


excellent tale.
phoenicia  dionysus  baal  history  tory-hill  kilkenny  carthage  gods  typos  fail  archaeology  graffiti 
march 2017 by jm
In 1914, Feminists Fought For the Right to Forget Childbirth | Atlas Obscura
Wow, this is creepy.
Tracy and Leupp described twilight sleep as “a very fine balance in the states of consciousness,” which required “special knowledge of the use of drugs that cause it.” Once a woman had gone into labor, she was given a combination of morphine to dull the pain and scopolamine to dull her memory of the experience. (Today, scopolamine is sometimes called the “zombie drug” because its users become susceptible to suggestion but retain no memory of their actions.)

These drugs had been used in the past as anesthetics, but few doctors had adopted them with enthusiasm. But the German clinic, the McClure’s article reported, had reached a technical breakthrough with scopolamine, which allowed the doctors to administer it with more precision and therefore with more success. Women who they treated with these drugs would retain muscle control and would follow orders from doctors, but would remember none of it.

There were some strange conditions that went along with the use of these drugs. Because the women’s state of suspension was precarious, women in twilight sleep were kept in padded, crib-like beds, with eye masks blocking out the light and cotton balls in their ears blocking out sound. Sometimes they were fitted into straight-jacket-like shirts that limited the movement of their arms. When the birth was over, women also often experienced a moment of dissociation, as Carmody did: Had they really had a baby? Was the baby they’d been handed really theirs?
twilight-sleep  childbirth  history  freiburg  morphine  scopolamine  anaesthesia  birth 
february 2017 by jm
4chan: The Skeleton Key to the Rise of Trump
This is the best article on chan culture and how it's taken over
4chan  8chan  somethingawful  boards  history  internet  trump  alt-right 
february 2017 by jm
Mail-Order Kit Houses
could be ordered by mail and built by a single carpenter. Pretty cool
architecture  history  housing  us  kit-houses  mail-order  houses 
february 2017 by jm
Inuit Cartography
In Kalaallit Nunaat (Greenland), the Inuit people are known for carving portable maps out of driftwood to be used while navigating coastal waters. These pieces, which are small enough to be carried in a mitten, represent coastlines in a continuous line, up one side of the wood and down the other. The maps are compact, buoyant, and can be read in the dark.
maps  inuit  history  sailing  navigation  coastlines  greenland 
february 2017 by jm
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