Sunday Things - not quite Monday edition

posted in Links by Cargo Cult on Sunday April 30 2017

It can be handy living this far west of Greenwich. It gives more time for procrastination.

Cosmic cinema!
Seven Soviet sci-fi films everyone should see - further to last week's Tarkovsky micro-extravaganza, here's a cerebral listicle pointing out further interesting Soviet cinematography. I've found some full versions on YouTube!
Almost as expensive in its day as the 2MB memory upgrade for my Atari ST.
Selectron Tube - early, fantastic-looking volatile computer memory, initially storing four kilobits in each oversized vacuum tube. Developmental problems meant magnetic core memory took over before Selectron tubes became commercially viable.

Cassini's Grand Finale

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NASA at Saturn: Cassini's Grand Finale - this long-lived Saturn probe has just completed its first orbit diving beneath Saturn's rings, so here's a nice animation portraying its final days. From Erik Wernquist, who's made things like the splendid Wanderers and ... erm ... The Annoying Thing, a.k.a the Crazy Frog.

Bonus Stylish Prose corner:

Sunday Things - entirely on time edition

posted in Links by Cargo Cult on Sunday April 23 2017

Last week's Sunday Things was a special edition exclusively for the IRS (the contents weren't exactly riveting stuff) - and in keeping with these modern times, I have decreed not to share it with the rest of you.

Get out of here, stalker!
A Unique Perspective on the Making of 'Stalker' - speaking of Russian connections, here's 'the testimony of a mechanic toiling away under Tarkovsky's guidance'. Lots of behind-the-scenes imagery and information from this influential work of science fiction. Unexpectedly, some of the interior scenes deep inside the Zone were done in a studio in Moscow, not all some god-forsaken abandoned industrial sites in Estonia as I assumed. Splendid set design!

I said come in! Don't stand there!

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Сталкер - speaking of which, here's Stalker in glorious HD thanks to Mosfilm. English subtitles available - it brings back memories of another zone I explored... If you've got numerous more hours to spare, they've also got Tarkovsky's Solaris, in two parts. Wahey!

Cologne Cathedral - Nave Fly Through

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Cologne Cathedral - Nave Fly Through - fellow VR photogrammetry enthusiasts David Finsterwalder and friends have recently updated Realities with some magnificent scans of Cologne's cathedral and from Death Valley. Go visit!
Surprisingly non-rusty.
City of the Dead - urban explorer extraordinaire Lana Sator casts aside the usual corroded Soviet industrial sites and goes exploring these ancient crypts in North Ossetia.

Bonus High Voltage On A Budget corner:

Sunday Things - belated photographic edition

posted in Photography by Cargo Cult on Sunday April 9 2017

Late again? I've been away. More scenes have been captured for VR, and I even took a few conventional shots too.

Mystery tree Volcano Metrosideros polymorpha

A few extras on the photos page. I have so much data to sort through...

Sunday Things - late edition

posted in Links by Cargo Cult on Sunday April 2 2017

It's still Sunday! ... Depending on where you are.

Vault-Tec: Revolutionizing safety for an uncertain future.
Dustbin of History: Project Greek Island - new employee at hotel complex audits the books, discovers gigantic secret nuclear bunker underneath hotel. Built in the 1950s and only closed in the early 1990s, this is pure Fallout.
Get out of here, stalker!
Spomenik -
Yugoslav monuments. See also: Soviet bus stops. Yeah.
Glue the sheet to the dark blue background.
The "Harvard Sentences" Secretly Shaped the Development of Audio Tech - these days a chicken leg is a rare dish. The birch canoe slid on the smooth planks. How much can a person mishear before the meaning is lost? Now automated systems use these phonetically balanced relics to test telephone network quality.

Bonus Alternate System Font corner:

... TeddyBär! ... what?

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.
Сан-Франциско
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.