In 1935 a Soviet miner named Alexei Stakhanov set a record by extracting 102 tonnes of coal in a single shift, compared to the shift average of 7 tonnes. Stakhanov was hailed as the new standard for super workers in Soviet Russia and used to create a new movement called Stakhanovism to promote workers giving their all in the service of their work. Eighty-five years later, this cult of work is alive and well in the corporate workplace where employees are expected to hand over their lives to their jobs and play the corporate power & optics games that are rife in that environment.
Researchers in Australia conducted a memory test study where participants were asked to remember and recite a list of butterfly names. Using ancient aboriginal story telling techniques to encode knowledge, one group in the study were taught how to construct a story around the names. Another group were taught how to use the memory palace technique to remember the names, and the control group were left untaught.
The Irish Times published a piece this week about Percy Ludgate who is believed to be Ireland's first computer scientist. In 1914 the accountant and inventor from Skibereen presented designs for the worlds second analytical engine, a mechanical computer of the time.
The Hustle published an interesting piece looking at the market for Bob Ross paintings, and why owner retention could be why they are so hard to buy despite Bob Ross being one of the most prolific famous painters in history, painting around 30,000 pieces during his life.
For fans of the great TV show Halt and Catch Fire, technologist Ashley Blewer created a great course syllabus for the show. The site is split into 15 classes that link to important RFCs, articles, books, and other resources in the history of computer science and the IT industry that inspire the events of the show.
Researchers from MIT, King’s College London, Queen Mary University London, Utrecht and Leiden used X-ray microtomography scans of a 17th century folder letter locked letter to unfold and read the letter virtually without ever opening it. As amazing as this is, it is even better that the letter contained a complaint! :-)