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History

July 03, 2015

"The floating turd mystery that still haunts NASA"

The headline got me.

"This Week in the Civil War: Lieutenant General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson (1824-1863) C.S.A."

Long, but I thought quite interesting

Thomas Jonathan Jackson was known as “Stonewall,” but “the Christian soldier” would have been a more appropriate title. his military experience was in artillery, yet he excelled as a commander of infantry. Soldiers adored him, despite the fact that he was a tight-lipped, stern-disciplined eccentric. Fellow generals were in awe of him because his silence concealed a fiery combativeness smoldering deep inside. Although he was in the field but two years during the Civil War, he more than any other individual became the radiant hope of the Southern cause. more astounding are the number of people – past and present – who assert that had he not died in 1863, his genius would have enabled the Confederate States to achieve their independence. Such was the mystique of Thomas J. Jackson.

June 29, 2015

"What are some examples of public policy and laws that produced totally unexpected results?"

I imagine this Quora discussion will get very, very long.

June 28, 2015

"The Seychelles – Gangsta’s Paradise"

Amazing. Or maybe not.

June 18, 2015

"Did China Discover America"

Zheng He certainly got around, but nope.

It is these detailed elements, however, that give the game away. Only Europeans represented the globe this way. European explorers completed travels like this over the course of hundreds of years, rather than Zheng He’s 30, which makes it almost impossible that his maritime voyage would have had such a specific grasp of river courses. The Arctic appears first on a Ming Chinese map only in 1593. And the world’s greatest mountain range was labelled as such only in the 19th century.

"What was the best battle strategy ever planned?"

Several interesting answers. Although ranked far down as I write, the answer about Cannae was the most interesting to me.

June 06, 2015

"How Data Nerds Found A 131-Year-Old Sunken Treasure"

Interesting story. (19 minute video.)

May 20, 2015

"7 famous people who should have been cryogenically frozen when they died"

It's certainly a shame. (The author doesn't even mention polio.)

May 11, 2015

"The Engineer’s Lament: Two ways of thinking about automotive safety"

Interesting piece by Malcolm Gladwell that offers insight into the difference between how engineers view the world and how the rest of us do.

Almost all engineering jokes—and there are many—are versions of this belief: that the habits of mind formed by the profession enable engineers to see things differently from the rest of us. “A pessimist sees the glass as half empty. An optimist sees the glass as half full. The engineer sees the glass as twice the size it needs to be.” To the others, the glass is a metaphor. Nonsense, the engineer says. The specifications are off. He doesn’t give free rein to temperament; he assesses the object. These jokes, like many of the jokes people tell about themselves, are grievances. The engineer doesn’t understand why the rest of us can’t make sense of the world the way he does.

It includes some interesting discussion of the infamous Pinto case.

April 29, 2015

"Riots Just Don't Work"

Detroit, South Central, Newark, D.C. . . . you don't say.

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