In 1903, London's Alhambra Theatre introduced a new kind of opening act on its evening program of ballet, opera, and magic: Cheese Mites, a scientific film of the organisms as viewed through a microscope. New Scientist has a wonderful feature on the earliest science films, including video of some of these blockbusters. From New Scientist:
"The popularity of early films had as much to do with their novelty as with their subjects," says (Tim Boon, curator of Films of Fact, a new exhibition at London's Science Museum.) "People shuddered at monsters and took mock fright at locomotives apparently hurtling towards them. When the cheese mites appeared on screen the audience was expected to recoil in terror." They did. After fear, there was awe. When The Frog, His Webbed Foot, And the Circulation of his Blood appeared on screen everyone marvelled at the blood "rushing through its artery like water in a millstream". Even the sight of protoplasm streaming around the cells of a piece of pondweed seemed magical. Then for an edge-of-the-seat thrill there was The Fresh Water Hydra, whose much magnified tentacles writhed towards the audience like snakes.
Link (Thanks, Will Knight!)
David Robinson used the data from the 28,657 people who self-selected to take the Stack Overflow survey to investigate the relationship between programmer pay and the conventions of using either tabs or spaces to mark indents, and found a persistent, significant correlation between using spaces and bringing home higher pay.
It’s the end of an era, sort of: Fraunhofer IIS, the developers of the MP3 audio compression format, announced that they are ceasing their licensing program. In a blog post, spokesman Matthias Rose says that it’s had a good 20-year run and is obsolete. But it’s also true that the decoding patents expired last year, […]
Freddy deBoer writes that he’s been telling the same joke for years about Silicon Valley’s only product, which might be universalized as “At last, a way to verb with nouns on the internet!” But the social-media techopoly is stable, now, and so the venture capitalists have moved on to the three terrible trends that will […]
Although flagship smartphones are unlikely to adopt heavy-duty outer casing anytime soon, you can always prepare your device for the outdoors with a beefy case and and an external battery like this Nomad Tile Trackable PowerPack, available in the Boing Boing Store for $119.95.The Nomad Tile can fully recharge an iPhone 7 over three times […]
Even though credit cards now feature an EMV chip for securing transactions, they still have to include the magnetic strip for compatibility with older point of sale systems. Because of this, there’s no way for the chip’s new security capabilities to protect against card skimmers in the wild.How do you protect yourself from legacy-technology-induced fraud? […]
As the old saying goes, “You should sit in meditation for 30 minutes every day. Unless you are too busy, in which case you should meditate for an hour.” Since most of us have an endless list of things to do and people to see, carving out quiet time can feel impossible, especially when most […]