Sunday Things - yet another edition

posted in Links by Cargo Cult on Sunday March 26 2017

More random linkage dredged from the bookmarks!

Not exactly an MD5 hash.
Kit Williams's Golden Hare - an ARG long before ARGs existed, Masquerade was a 1970s puzzle book which reached out into the real world, attempting to lead its solvers to literal buried treasure. Almost a cautionary tale in how ARGs can go wrong, things soon fell apart. The shadiness continues in a second, equally fascinating article.
Inside the Secret World of Russia’s Cold War Mapmakers - the Soviet Union had two sets of maps, with deliberately vague and inaccurate ones made for usage by its general populace, and gorgeously accurate ones - of the whole world - kept secret for use by the military and above. And, with the collapse of the USSR, many were left behind and sold on. Now available on eBay. I've got one of the Pacific Northwest...

Strandbeest Evolution

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Strandbeest Evolution - I first read about these elegant, wind-powered monsters some time in the 1990s in New Scientist. I love that Theo Jansen is still perfecting, evolving and hybridising them.

Bonus Useful Skills For After The Apocalypse corner:

  • Rough Science - some kind soul has uploaded the complete set to YouTube. Ideal material for insomniacs, this BBC / Open University show had scientists building unlikely things from near base principles. Taking a photograph with horse manure, a sparkly rock and a magnifying glass? Yes. Also the subject of last week's mini-puzzle, solved by Acolyte Pace after a bit of prompting - I'd found precise coordinates for the filming locations for all six series: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.
  • Primitive Technology - for if the apocalypse was really spectacular. Glorious Australian loon making useful stuff from mud, rocks and trees.

Still another non-photo

posted in Virtual Reality by Cargo Cult on Wednesday March 22 2017

Yet another digitised segment of Derbyshire to explore in room-scale VR, this time some wintry Beech Woodlands on the Destinations Workshop.

I really do need to digitise more of Seattle some time.

A bit of an experiment into capturing vegetation in 3D, with a pretty much worst-case scene. Fine detail, complex topology, large area to cover... It mostly worked. Mostly.

Some of the branches are definitely a bit cobwebby. But some aren't! This is progress.

Description contains an absolutely huge batch of discoveries and processes involved, only some of which are covered in the existing outdoors photogrammetry tutorial.

Sunday Things - nuclear wasteland edition

posted in Links by Cargo Cult on Sunday March 19 2017

Prompted by no recent events whatsoever, here's a guide to nuclear wastelands of various types - and the apocalyptic events that might trigger them.

"We'll meet again, don't know where, don't know when..."

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These recently declassified nuclear test videos are utterly mesmerizing, terrifying - the Lawrence Livermore National Lab is posting previously unseen nuclear test footage on YouTube. An aside: US nuclear test code names are brilliantly peculiar, and a vast source of computer names.

Protect and Survive

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Protect and Survive - the British means of surviving the thermonuclear apocalypse involved piling suitcases full of earth on angled wooden doors nailed to the floor. Brilliantly (and unintentionally) creepy, and miles away from the can-do Fallout attitude of US shelter construction.
This place is not a place of honour - no highly esteemed deed is commemorated here.
Excerpts from Expert Judgement on Markers to Deter Inadvertent Human Intrusion into the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant - I don't think I've linked to this already? Whatever, it's one of my favourite things ever, and you may note elements of it leaking into my level design in the past. A treatise on guarding future cultures from stored nuclear waste, some of the language is magnificent. The danger is in a particular location... it increases toward a centre... the centre of danger is here... of a particular size and shape, and below us. The danger is still present, in your time, as it was in ours.

Bonus No Really This Isn't An ARG corner:

  • What links these places? 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

Sunday Things - photographic interlude

posted in Photography by Cargo Cult on Sunday March 12 2017

Since I've been thoroughly neglecting to upload any photos recently, have a purely arbitrary selection from the past year or so on the photos page. (I'm still sorting a load out in Lightroom, and realise I've forgotten many.)

747 Construction London

Yes, they're old-fashioned 2D efforts and not new-fangled 3D versions to explore, but hey. They start here and crawl their way to the present day.

Sunday Things - miscellaneous edition

posted in Links by Cargo Cult on Sunday March 5 2017

Greetings, readers across the world! I had a quick peer at my web-stats whatsits, to see followers from as far afield as Austria, Latvia, Peru and New Zealand. Hello, whoever you are.

This week is mainly retro space-related, with some bonus 1970s horror.

Indistinguishable from the real thing.
Scarfolk Council - life is increasingly imitating art. 'Scarfolk is a town in North West England that did not progress beyond 1979. Instead, the entire decade of the 1970s loops ad infinitum. Here in Scarfolk, pagan rituals blend seamlessly with science; hauntology is a compulsory subject at school, and everyone must be in bed by 8pm because they are perpetually running a slight fever.'
BRB, building in KSP.
NASA Johnson Space Center's Shuttle II - the original Space Shuttle was meant to be the beginning of a series of spacecraft, each more advanced than its predecessors. Instead, we had the 1970s original design running well into the 21st century. Here's one of the proposed replacements, from 1988.
Soviet space robots, of the anthropomorphic kind.
Rams Un Rums - splendid Soviet space robots in this children's book from the early 1960s. Like something out of The Cyberiad or Machinarium.

Bonus Terran Trade Authority corner:

For more information please reread.