Link Dumpage for 2009-02-03

Notable links enjoyed today:

  • "According to legend, Genghis Khan lies buried somewhere beneath the dusty steppe of Northeastern Mongolia, entombed in a spot so secretive that anyone who made the mistake of encountering his funeral procession was executed on the spot. Once he was below ground, his men brought in horses to trample evidence of his grave, and just to be absolutely sure he would never be found, they diverted a river to flow over their leader’s final resting place."
  • "The Saqqara Bird is a bird-shaped artifact made of sycamore wood, discovered during the 1898 excavation of the Pa-di-Imen tomb in Saqqara, Egypt ... The function of the Saqqara Bird is unknown, due to lack of period documentation, but there has been a great deal of speculation regarding the significance of the Saqqara Bird."
  • "As the ceremony got under way with a dramatic, drummed countdown, viewers watching at home and on giant screens inside the Bird's Nest National Stadium watched as a series of giant footprints outlined in fireworks processed gloriously above the city from Tiananmen Square ... What they did not realise was that what they were watching was in fact computer graphics, meticulously created over a period of months and inserted into the coverage electronically at exactly the right moment."
  • "In Douglas Hofstadter's Gödel, Escher, Bach, Tumbolia is "the land of dead hiccups and extinguished light bulbs", "where dormant software waits for its host hardware to come back up ... In the later dialogue "A Mu Offering" (named after Bach's Musical Offering), the Tortoise gets rid of a knot in a string by tying a second one, and both disappear to Tumbolia; apparently, this is "The Law of Double Nodulation" (a parody of the law of double negation)."
  • "In 1934, Otlet sketched out plans for a global network of computers (or “electric telescopes,” as he called them) that would allow people to search and browse through millions of interlinked documents, images, audio and video files. He described how people would use the devices to send messages to one another, share files and even congregate in online social networks. He called the whole thing a “réseau,” which might be translated as “network” — or arguably, “web.”"