Links: April 2014

Links from the last month:


  • Widely-reported astronomical discoveries included an asteroid with rings and the second object (after Sedna) ever to be found in the inner Oort cloud. Links go to the best articles I’ve seen on each topic.
  • Also in astronomy, a model of Enceladus’s ocean derived from gravitational anomolies. This doesn’t tell us much we didn’t already know, but it’s an interesting confirmation.
  • A lovely tribute to a strange sea slug.
  • And in more creature strangeness, a sexually-reversed insect.
  • A relatively obscure 17th century alchemist and inventor.
  • British Pathé released an extensive archive of historical television clips. It’s well worth a browse, and if you find some favourites I encourage you to link to them in the comments. Meanwhile, each of the following asterisks links to a different video to get you started: [********]. In my opinion the most interesting ones are often those that reflect changing social attitudes.


  • For when you have plenty of time: the original Cosmos series on Youtube.
  • Christie Wilcox shares a dream. (Have you ever dreamed about a new species of animal? One of mine last year featured a migrating desert snail monotreme, but even in the dream I didn’t get to touch it; just saw the news report.)
  • Cityscape timelapse with a difference.



3 Responses to “Links: April 2014”

  1. Stan Says:

    I emailed several people about Heartbleed when the news broke, and chose the same two links. Probably not a coincidence.

    Strange animals are a motif in my dreams. They’re usually small, unclassifiable mammals, or improbable mutant forms of familiar animals.

  2. Adrian Morgan Says:

    The two Heartbleed links complement each other well — the Mashable link gets right to the heart of what one needs to do, and the New Yorker link answers questions that someone seeking a broader understanding might ask (like how it was allowed to happen and how it could have been prevented).

    Having studied programming at university, I agree with the New Yorker that security-related protocols should be implemented in a programming language optimised for security-related needs (which is definitely not C).

  3. Stan Says:

    Yes, exactly: Mashable has clear coverage of necessary next steps, while the New Yorker piece goes into more detail for those with the time and interest, while remaining admirably accessible to the less technically minded.

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