Home > Links, Weekly Link Dump > This Week 06: November 8th, 2009

This Week 06: November 8th, 2009

Here we are again.  Enjoy this week’s gathering of singing computers (with a connection to Arthur C. Clarke), Isaac Asimov, sperm whales, giant squid, accidents and bears.

This week I enjoyed:

(via BoingBoing)

Quoting Bell Labs:

One of the more famous moments in Bell Labs’ synthetic speech research was the sample created by John L. Kelly in 1962, using an IBM 704 computer. Kelly’s vocoder synthesizer recreated the song “Bicycle Built for Two,” with musical accompaniment from Max Mathews. Arthur C. Clarke, then visiting friend and colleague John Pierce at the Bell Labs Murray Hill facility, saw this remarkable demonstration and later used it in the climactic scene of his novel and screenplay for “2001: A Space Odyssey,”

This week I loved:

Please – no preferential treatment – Shamefully, I’ve only read one Isaac Asimov book, the Bicentennial Man collection of short stories, but each story is prefaced with comments from Asimov himself about how he came to be writing it and he’s always very humble and modest. This letter from him is a perfect example of that, where he receives more money than he expected for his work and immediately writes to make sure that he’s not being given preferential treatment or harming the magazine in any way.

I was fascinated by:

RARE PHOTOS: Giant Squid Eaten by Sperm Whale (found via Pharyngula) – That they eat giant squid has been known for some time but it’s rare to find photos of it.

I liked:

Brazil man appears at own funeral – It still has a sad element to it because somebody did die and was mistakenly identified at this man, but the idea of somebody turning up at their own funeral always entertains me.  You should also check out Cracked’s 6 People Who Faked Their Own Death (For Ridiculous Reasons) for examples of when it’s not such a welcome occasion.

I was slightly horrified by:

(originally found on English Russia, but the embeddable YouTube video above comes from BoingBoing)

I was interested by:

Who’s taken my fur coat? Vets baffled by bald bears with mystery condition (found via BoingBoing) – Vaguely irritating tabloid headline aside, bears do look pretty odd without their thick fur coats, and they don’t know why it’s happening.  Somebody in the BoingBoing comments already made the connection to Fallout 3’s mutated bears, the Yao Guai.

I also liked:

Supernatural Collective Nouns (via SimonParkin Twitter) – Clearly a lot of thought went into it, and there are some really good ones in there.

Film of the Week: A Christmas Carol (as well as being the only film I saw this week, it was enjoyable).

TV of the Week: True Blood (season two, episode eight)

Game of the Week: Left 4 Dead 2 demo (I haven’t really played much this week, due to other commitments).

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