Links: Early May 2013

Some links. Not many, but that suits me: it means the blog post doesn’t take long to compose.


  • I didn’t expect to enjoy the NYT article on psychology fraudster Diederik Stapel, but on giving it a chance I found it surprisingly thought-provoking.
  • A fifty minute interview from the Guardian on the origin of life.
  • A brief history of traditional marriage in England. I bet there’s a lot more to be said, but this is an interesting and often surprising take.


  • Cheeky animal video of the month (monkey vs tiger).
  • Everything hangs in the balance in this fantastic work of art.
  • I won’t personally be ordering a copy of Planet of the Apes and Philosophy, but the Amazon page is worth a visit.
  • If you’ve ever dreamed of a utility to convert a Google Street View route into a hyperlapse video, look here. It’s not that utility, but rather a library of Javascript code that can be used to create that utility (hopefully we’ll soon see programmers publishing versions all over the web). The very limited demo version essentially goes to and fro between a start point and an end point, with a third point controlling the camera angle.

A personal postscript: I had a huge scare last night when I lost the message bodies of all 220-ish emails in my Thunderbird inbox! I published a blog post calling for help, and stated that it was a temporary blog post which would be deleted when the crisis was resolved. After a sleepless night and some moral support I did manage to get most of the messages back, and accordingly I’ll delete that blog post shortly after publishing this one.

Herewith a summary. Due to some software glitch (the trigger of which is a complete mystery), the Inbox file (which stores the message bodies) had been wiped clean of content, although the corresponding .msf file (which contains message headers, essentially) was still intact. Hence Thunderbird still displayed the list of messages, but not the messages themselves. To fix the problem, I had to use the Windows 7 restore facility to restore a previous version of the Inbox file (you know: right click on the file, choose Properties, choose Previous Versions, etc). I lost a few days of emails, but these were all receipts and other acknowledgements, nothing critical.

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