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Mesmerizing rebuild of a mechanical Fourier calculator

Albert Michelson's harmonic analyzer -- a 19th century mechanical calculator that can do Fourier analysis with just gears, springs and levers -- was found at the University of Illinois, and then lovingly restored by a trio of makers who lavishly documented it in a book (free PDF/paperback/hardcover) and a mesmerizing video series.

Albert Michelson's Harmonic Analyzer: A Visual Tour of a Nineteenth Century Machine that Performs Fourier Analysis [Book]

Albert Michelson's Harmonic Analyzer [Youtube]

Albert Michelson's Harmonic Analyzer (book details) [Free PDF]

(via JWZ)

Beautiful, detailed photos of mechanical calculators' guts


San Francisco photographer Kevin Twomey shot an amazing gallery of images of the inner workings of a large collection of mechanical calculating machines from the collection of Mark Glusker, stitching together multiple images to ensure that every rod, gear and linkage was vividly rendered.

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Retro-computing and grieving


Paul Ford has written a haunting, beautiful essay about his voyage into the emulation of extinct, obsolete computers and the way that this has allowed him to come to grips with the death of an older friend and father figure, who helped him through a very difficult period of adolescence through their shared love of computers.

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1980 D&D ad asserts that RPGs are woman-friendly


By modern standards, the inclusion of two women in this Dungeons and Dragons ad was a surprisingly bold move -- a kind of sad snapshot of our lost, pre-Reagan/Thatcher/Pinochet/Mulroney-era past.

(via Seanan McGuire)

Richard Kadrey's Metrophage back in print in signed special edition


Before there was Sandman Slim, there was Richard Kadrey's classic, groundbreaking cyberpunk debut novel Metrophage, a Terry Carr Ace Special (the same line that gave us Neuromancer) -- now it's back in print.

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Hundreds of vintage games to play in your browser


The Internet Archive's Internet Arcade resurrects over 900 classic arcade games from the 1970s to 1990s for play inside your browser, using the JSMAME emulator.

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Wesley Crusher Star Trek hoodie


The iconic, stripe-shouldered uniform made Wil Wheaton the beloved scamp we know and love today, and it can be yours for $60, complete with aura of youthful, exuberant naiveté.

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Dead technology jack-o-lanterns

Tech Cemetery features downloadable jack-o-lantern templates for carving momentos mori for your dead and lamented technologies of yesteryear. (Thanks, Justin!)

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WATCH: 8-Bit Silence of the Lambs

Daniel writes, "As Halloween draws closer, CineFix presents The Silence of The Lambs retold via old-school 8-bit (and a little 16 bit) game tech." (Thanks, Daniel!)

Justin Hall at XOXO

Justin describes his life as an early Web writer, why it made him happy and how it nearly destroyed him, and who it turned him into. It's a talk that's uplifting and sad and funny and absolutely worth your time. (via Waxy)

The lost cyber-crayolas of the mid-1990s


Circuit board green, cyber space orange, floppy yellow, graphic green, green.com, infra red, megabyte blue, megahertz maroon, on-line orange, plug & play pink, point & click green, transistor yellow, ultra violet, web surfin' blue, world wide web yellow, www.purple.

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Booze flasks that look like NES cartridges


I bought one of these at New York Comic-Con this weekend -- it's a surprisingly good facsimile of an old NES cart; and the rubber stopper (rated to 10psi) performs better than it looks like it would. My only complaint is that it's a bit awkward to nip from directly, though it'd be fine with a straw.

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All the vintage Hallowe'en masks


Brechtbug's Halloween Costumes Vintage Photos collection is a triumph, and arguably what both infinite scroll and the Internet were invented for.

Castelvania casemod


Vadu Amka gave his old-school SNES a stunning Castelvania casemod makeover, with an attention to detail that demands our respect and admiration.

SNES Castlevania - Dracula's castle Edition (via Kotaku)

Rare footage of the 1914 Martian conflict

The History Channel's created a bizarre secret history of a war against Martian invaders that's an allegory for WWI. The accompanying video has a spooky resonance and plausibility that is not to be missed.

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Vintage Soviet space program cigarette packages


The Soviet space program inspired some of the great space-themed tchotchkes of the 20th century, including a whole line of cigarette packs from Russia and surrounding nations.

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Saturday morning TV cartoon schedules from the 1980s


If you spent the 80s eating sugarbombs and watching badly animated 22-minute toy ads disguised as cartoons, here is your Proustian madeline.

(Today is the last day that Saturday morning cartoons aired on US broadcast TV).

(via @foxxyhooves)

Skateletor or Die


He-Man meets skater culture with Pedro Josue Carvajal Ramirez's Skateletor or Die from the Boing Boing Flickr Pool (it's also in contention for a Threadless tee).

15 lessons from 15 years of blogging


Anil Dash has been at it for 15 years (slightly longer than me, but only slightly!) and his reflections on a decade and a half of blogging -- through major life changes from marriage to parenthood -- really chime with me, especially:

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Man From Mars Radio Hat


It's been three years since we last mentioned the astounding Man From Mars Radio Hat, so here is your triennial reminder that we are a fallen people, our glory years long behind us.

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Monster Manual: bestiaries from 16th Century/1977/2014

Robert sez, "Dungeons & Dragons, now celebrating its 40th anniversary, is about to release its new Monster Manual -- the original Monster Manual was a watershed moment in human history, part of a history that includes a 16th century bestiary, the Augsburg Book of Miracles; bestiaries reveal our profoundly human desire for an enchanted, magical world."

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Qwerkywriter: a mechanical typewriter keyboard


Shipping in summer 2015, Qwerkywriter is a $300 computer keyboard that uses mechanisms that mimic the keys of an old-fashioned manual, mechanical keyboard.

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Donate a sock - free house elves!


The vintage-y war-propaganda poster imploring you to DONATE A SOCK - FREE HOUSE ELVES! comes in sizes from 8"x10" to 24"x36" ($15-$38) from Entropy Trading Company, who have an extensive line of similar lithos. (via Geeky Merch)

Death stalks the joyriders


Illustration from the pentecostal youth magazine Christ’s Ambassadors, October, 1926

Cough syrup from the heroic age


"One Night" because taking enough of it will make this night your last.

this is your periodic reminder that old-timey medicines did not fuck around

(via Seanan McGuire)

Do you even Yubiwaza?


Once, there was a golden age -- not a golden age of martial arts, certainly, but a golden age of easy copywriting employment for anyone with a penchant for florid prose and a casual relationship with consensus reality.

[Don't point that finger at me, it might be loaded]

Science fiction's Islamic roots


From Ibn Tufail's 12th century Hayy Ibn Yaqzan to Rokeya Sakhawat Hussain's 1905 feminist masterpiece Sultana's Dream, the Islamic world produced some of the earliest proto-sf, which IO9's Charlie Jane Anders rounds up in an excellent post.

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