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.

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.