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Friday, December 16, 2016

Friday links

Here, on one sheet of paper, is a map of the entire internet as of 1973.

The Island Where Donkeys Wear Pajamas.

Advice from c. 1200: How to Survive the Winter. Don't forget to lay off the purging and blood-letting, and keep your hands and feet covered in wolf grease.

Humans and Cats Have a Strange, Complicated History.

Digital Incarceration: The Finger Pillory.

ICYMI, Wednesday's links are here, and include lots of ugly Christmas sweaters (and DIY instructions for making your own), how animals cope with cold, debunking Kwanzaa, and a 1562 map of America showing the homes of giants, mermaids, dragons and cannibals. Also, T'was the Overnight Before Christmas: the merry tale of how air cargo deregulation led to Amazon.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

A movie is being made about Dunkirk - here's the trailer

The evacuation of large elements of the British and French armies from Dunkirk (wiki) on the French coast, which took place during the period from May 26 through June 4, 1940, followed their defeat by the German blitzkrieg that overwhelmed France during the early months of World War II. The sudden German attack through Belgium on May 10 had quickly rolled up the French and British left wing and surrounded it in a small enclave on the English Channel opposite Dover. 

In a largely improvised but brilliantly executed maritime operation that mustered both the Royal Navy and civilian small craft of every kind, nearly 340,000 British and French troops - nearly 90 percent of those invested - were ultimately withdrawn, despite incessant German armored and air attacks.

Dunkirk was, of course, the inspiration for Winston Churchill's "We shall fight on the beaches...we shall never surrender" speech:
We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.

More on Dunkirk here, including a contemporaneous newsreel.

Excellent cartoon: "The Talk", because if you don't explain quantum computing to your kids, someone else will

Scott Aaronson and Zach Weinersmith at SMBC (Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal):

Here, on one sheet of paper, is a map of the entire internet as of 1973

A bit of internet history, via Twitter user David Newbury (@workergnome):
Going through old papers my dad gave me, I found his map of the internet as of May 1973. 
The entire internet.
Wikipedia's slightly clearer version of the same map used by @workergnome

In the very early years of the Internet, it was the secret and very small ARPANET (wiki) - it had started in the late 1960s, with just four locations (map, right). 

Arpanet's original 4 locations, via @gadgetopia
By 1973, it had expanded to a small handful of government labs, research universities, and private companies, but still so few that the entire network could be mapped on a single sheet of paper.

Recently, Newbury found the map above among his dad’s papers and posted it online. You can find Stanford, UCLA, Utah and UCSB, the original members, but by 1973, ARPANET had expanded east, to Case Western, Carnegie Mellon, Harvard, and MIT. There are government labs, like Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and the Army’s Aberdeen Ballistic Research Lab, and private research organizations like MITRE and Xerox. 

The map Newbury found was printed in a report from the NASA Ames Research Center, which also included this map, showing the geographical spread of the network:

The network, mapped. NASA
And by 1977, there was this, which claimed it was based on the “best information obtainable”. Larger version here.

No mention of Al Gore, who's actual quote on the subject was, "During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet."

via Atlas Obscura

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Wednesday links

Lots of ugly Christmas sweaters, instructions for making your own, plus ugly Christmas sweater suits, and here's how to make Ugly Sweater Ornaments.

CIA Declassifies Maps from 75 Years of Surveillance.

T'was the Overnight Before Christmas: The Merry Tale of How Air Cargo Deregulation Led To Amazon. Related (by the underlying poem): T'was the Night Before Kwanzza, and more of Kathy Shaidle's Kwanzaa-debunking collection

ICYMI, Monday's links are here, and include Mother Teresa's meeting with then-NYC Mayor Guliani to lobby for a parking permit, the pre-Seinfeld origins of Festivus, Teddy Roosevelt's impact of football, and a new Guinness World Record-setting Rube Goldberg machine that takes 412 steps to light a Christmas tree.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Monday links

Before Seinfeld: The Origins of Festivus.

ICYMI, Friday's links are here, and include (without limitation) lots of really bad nativity sets, the history of the chicken dance, Pretend to Be a Time Traveler Day, and how McDonald's got started.