Missing CHRISTMAS LECTURES | The Royal Institution

We are asking people across the country and beyond to search the long-forgotten contents of dusty attics or little-used store cupboards, to help unearth past series of the CHRISTMAS LECTURES from the Royal Institution, described by Sir David Attenborough and other past Christmas Lecturers as ‘national treasures from a golden age of broadcasting’.

We are in the process of making the entire BBC archive of these broadcasts available on our website for the first time. However 31 episodes broadcast between 1966 and 1973 are missing. Included in the missing episodes is footage of Sir David Attenborough not seen since it was first broadcast live nearly 50 years ago.

via Missing CHRISTMAS LECTURES | The Royal Institution: Science Lives Here

Hopefully someone out there has them on tape somewhere. The list of missing lectures and who to contact are listed on the site.


Brazil National Museum fire: Key treasures at risk – BBC News

The National Museum of Brazil in Rio de Janeiro is a treasure trove which contains more than 20 million scientific and historical items.
A massive fire spread through the 200-year-old institution on Sunday engulfing almost all of its rooms and gutting large parts of the building.
Most of its priceless collection is thought to have been burnt.

via Brazil National Museum fire: Key treasures at risk – BBC News

A huge (if not total) loss.

There is a movement to create a virtual museum with appeals for any previous visitors who have photos of exhibits to submit them and effectively digitise the museum. If you have any photos, consider sending them.

Fernando Alonso wins Le Mans 24 with Toyota – BBC Sport

Fernando Alonso won Le Mans 24 Hours at the first attempt as he and team-mates Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima finally ended Toyota’s long drought.

Toyota had never won the sportscar race despite years of trying but finally delivered in an event in which they were effectively without opposition.

via Fernando Alonso wins Le Mans 24 with Toyota – BBC Sport

Even though Toyota were effectively unopposed, I was still nervous for them. It’s still not an easy thing to make a car take that punishment.

I am pleased for the Toyota team and that Alonso can try for the ‘Tripple Crown’ with a win in Indy 500.

Slip Coaches: Back When British Express Trains Detached Passenger Cars at Speed [ARTICLE] — 99% Invisible

According to British railway lore, the “slip coach” was born when a rail official was riding in a train car that came an unexpected stop. The rest of the express train kept going while his carriage glided to a gentle halt in front of a midway station. As the story goes, the coupling chain broke…

via Slip Coaches: Back When British Express Trains Detached Passenger Cars at Speed [ARTICLE] — 99% Invisible

Hovertrain: The British Hyperloop That Never Happened

The hovertrain, it was hoped, would speed passengers from London to Glasgow in little more than two hours at speeds of up to 300mph. It would revolutionise long-distance travel and consign conventional trains to the history books. But the vision never materialised. In 1975, little more than five years after construction started, the test track was demolished and the project was unceremoniously mothballed.

via The strange tale of the hovertrain, the British hyperloop of the 1970s | WIRED UK


While reading a history of timepieces, I learned that features a watch performs – above and beyond telling the time – are known as complications. A complication can be a calendar date, alarms, lunar phase etc. Apple too, refers to apps for the Apple Watch as complications.

I suppose it comes from a time where watch makers were competing on features and wanted to draw attention to the mechanisms and engineering that powered these complications. Perhaps an inside joke into the extra effort they caused.

Response to Daily Prompt: Complication.

The internet’s problems haven’t changed in 22 years

A 1996 Wall Street Journal article that’s been quietly sitting on the web, waiting for its rediscovery and renewed relevance, has found its moment on Twitter this week. Though it discusses the contemporaneous issues and concerns of its time, if you extract the particular problems it identifies with the internet and apply them to our present day, you’ll find something disturbing: nothing’s changed. The core concerns that troubled us about our participation in online communities and services in 1996 are basically identical in 2018.

via The internet’s problems haven’t changed in 22 years – The Verge

Stephen Hawking: Visionary physicist dies aged 76 – BBC News

World renowned physicist Stephen Hawking has died at the age of 76.
He died peacefully at his home in Cambridge in the early hours of Wednesday, his family said.
The British scientist was famed for his work with black holes and relativity, and wrote several popular science books including A Brief History of Time.

via Stephen Hawking: Visionary physicist dies aged 76 – BBC News

Whenever I was in Cambridge I always hoped to catch a glimpse of him around, now – assuming time is linear – I’m sad that won’t happen.

A remarkable human. Stephen Hawking RIP.

How Futura Became The Most Ripped-Off Typeface In History

You’ve never used the real Futura.

Instead, you’ve used either a copy—one of Futura’s many contemporary competitors created shortly after its release in 1927—or a copy of a copy, one of the dozens of digital Futuras now on the market. Many more knockoffs are just simple reproductions adapted to new formats; many of these even inhabit the name Futura, despite their genealogical or stylistic differences from the original designed by Paul Renner for the Bauer Type Foundry. Only experts and wonks can, or want to, tell the difference between the original, the blatant rip-offs, and all the contemporary digital copies. To most viewers, the copies—and even some of the modern hybrids—are Futura.

Interesting article.

via How Futura Became The Most Ripped-Off Typeface In Histo | Co.Design