The National Lottery has awarded Bletchley Park -- the site of the invention of modern cryptography and a key piece of computer history -- a £460,500 grant as a start on the £10m worth of desperately needed preservation spending. There's some indication that they'll come up with more money in the future, too.
Don't get me wrong, I'm overjoyed to see Bletchley saved from ruin, but isn't it kind of ironic that the funding to preserve the institute that demonstrated, once and for all, the power of randomness and the dangers of statistical innumeracy is coming from a state-sponsored scam that preys on innumeracy and bad intuition about randomness? I suspect that Turing and co would have sensibly looked at the lotto and said, "Pssht, I have a higher chance of dying before the balls are drawn than I have of winning the jackpot. No thanks."
The grant, announced today, is worth £460,500 - a fraction of the £10m it will take to convert Bletchley Park into a world-class heritage site but it will allow the trust to draw up a detailed plan and go back for more. Combined with other money coming in, including grants from English Heritage and Milton Keynes Council, it should be enough to save Bletchley's famous out-buildings.
Huts used to defeat Nazis rescued by £4m grant
Hut 6 at Bletchley Park, where a team of brilliant mathematicians and linguists decoded messages sent by Hitler to his generals, is scandalously dilapidated. Its wooden walls and roof are literally rotting away. It was in this hut that messages brought in by bike messengers from listening stations all over Britain were decoded into German. They were then passed to Hut 3, for translation and analysis.
(via O'Reilly Radar
Scientists discovered this new species of “glass frog” in Ecuador’s Amazon lowlands. Hyalinobatrachium yaku’s belly is so transparent that you can clearly see its kidneys, bladder, and beating heart. From Science News: Yaku means “water” in Kichwa, a language spoken in Ecuador and parts of Peru where H. yaku may also live. Glass frogs, like […]
Jennifer Raff — a bioanthropologist and geneticist who researches and teaches at U Kansas and U Texas — provides some excellent advice and context on how to read a scientific paper, from figuring out which papers and journals are worthy of your attention to understanding the paper in its wider context in the relevant field.
Apple released this lovely new commercial featuring Carl Sagan reading from his magnificent 1994 book Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space, now available as an audiobook. This surprising partnership spurred Adweek to interview my friend Ann Druyan, Sagan’s wife, collaborator, and creative director of the Voyager Golden Record, about being […]
Learning a new language will give your resume an upgrade, sure, but it will also provide a huge cognitive boost for mental tasks outside of translation and conversation. Bilingual brains have been shown to be better at handling multiple concurrent tasks, and gaining fluency in a new tongue is an amazing way to improve memory, […]
If you struggle to get a good night’s rest, consider replacing your pillows before dropping hundreds on a new mattress. You can give your tired neck a break with a 2-pack of memory foam pillows, available now in the Boing Boing Store.Each of these pillows is stuffed with cooling polyurethane foam that molds to your […]
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 […]