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Kam-Yung Soh
5,598 followers -
An explorer of nature, science and various forms of entertainment.
An explorer of nature, science and various forms of entertainment.

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Via Hacker News [ https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13964739 ]. "Introducing the Octalyzer, an innovative new all-in-one platform for exploring computing history, starting with the Apple II! The Octalyzer is a multi-tasking Apple IIe emulator, with enhanced (but compatible) language interpreters, expanded modern capabilities, and (eventually) an integrated on-line bulletin-board system and media library for exploring computing’s past with all the comforts of the present."

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A look at the history of the Jews in Singapore. "After the British East India Company established Singapore as a trading post in 1819, various trading communities began to arrive and settle on the island, one of which was the Jewish community. Although there was only a handful of them in Singapore in the early 1830s, by 1858, the population grew to almost 20 Jewish families. Known as the Sephardi or Oriental Jews, most of them were born in India and had their ancestries traced back to Baghdad.

Another group of Jews – the Ashkenasi Jews – arrived much later and were from Germany and other parts of Europe."

Pictured: One of the best known Jewish-influenced landmarks in Singapore is the David Elias Building, located at the junction shared between Middle Road, Selegie Road and Short Street. The three-storey building was built in 1928 and was named after its owner David Elias, who had set up a trading company in Singapore in the early 20th century.

Architectural firm Swan & Maclaren was the designer behind the building, which featured extensively the neo-classical style made popular in the 1920s. Its most eye-catching feature is the pitched roof with a concrete frontage inscribed with a six-pointed Star of David, the name “David Elias Building” and “1928”, the year of its completion.

The David Elias Building was given the conservation status on 28 October 1994.

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Well this was an interesting sight. My family was on a butterfly walk organised by the Nature Society (Singapore) at Rifle Range Road, Singapore, on 26 March, 2016. During the walk, we saw a puddling Blue Jay (Graphium evemon eventus). What was more interesting was one of the people on the walk was wearing blue shoes and the Blue Jay was very happy to stick close to the shoe while puddling around it.

If you look at the last few shots, you can even see the Jay putting some of its legs on the shoe.

According to Simon, a butterfly expert who was on the walk with us, it's possible the Blue Jay thought it was in a congregation of Blue Jays due to the colour of the shoe and felt safe (safety in numbers). In any case, it gave everybody a good chance to take shots of the butterfly.
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3/27/17
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The story behind this image is fantastically told by +Philip Plait. "In astronomy, you deal with a lot of ridiculously violent cosmic phenomena. Stars explode, asteroids collide, whole galaxies smash together. When you look at the math and physics, when you actually grasp the levels of power involved, it’ll make the hair on the back of your neck stand up. It’s chaos wielded on a mind-crushing scale.

And then there’s the “two supermassive black holes colliding and merging and then launching the resulting even larger billion-solar-mass black hole out of a galaxy at nearly 8 million kilometers per hour due to gravitational waves” scale of immensity.

Holy. WOW.

The story here starts with a relatively innocuous-looking galaxy. Called 3C 186, it’s a fuzzy blob even in the most powerful telescopes, but don’t be fooled: It’s 8 billion light-years away, a distance vast enough to shrink even the mightiest galaxy to a smear of light.

Even using Hubble, it doesn’t look like much

Ah, but appearances deceive. In this case, a lot."

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Happy Posthumous Birthday to the legendary Leonard Nimoy (1931-2015), who played #Spock in #StarTrek #TOS. Live long and prosper. #LLAP 🖖
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Interesting behind the scenes look with nice photos in the article. "The Zoological Society of London zoo is home to more than 650 animal species. Photographer Linda Nylind was given exclusive access to spend time with the keepers and find out more about their daily routines

London zoo was established in 1828 and is the world’s oldest scientific zoo. Created as a collection for the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), the animals from the Tower of London’s menagerie were transferred there in 1832 and it opened to the public in 1847. Today it houses more than 20,000 animals and almost 700 species.

ZSL is not funded by the state – it relies on memberships and fellowships, entrance fees and sponsorship to generate income."

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"SINGAPORE: For many tourists, Christmas Island is famous for a spectacle that celebrates the abundance of life – the annual mass migration of red land crabs as they head out to sea in their millions during the monsoon season.

But a new exhibition by Singaporean artist Robert Zhao Renhui puts the spotlight on darker ecological issues that plague this remote island in the middle of the Indian Ocean.
[...]
The complicated human-animal relationship on the Australian territory is the subject of Zhao’s ongoing solo show Christmas Island, Naturally, which is on display at ShanghART Singapore at Gillman Barracks until May 8.

First exhibited at last year’s Sydney Biennale, the exhibition was the result of three exploratory trips to the island, which was previously part of the Crown Colony of Singapore.

Zhao initially planned to explore the island’s Singapore-Australia connections, but was drawn instead to its native animals and the effects the presence of humans (and the animals they’ve brought in) have had on these."
[...]
"On Christmas Island, they’re trying to return to a kind of pre-humans state, to make it as wild as possible. So the killing of the cats, from that perspective, is very justified. In Singapore, wildlife is intruding on us and we’re trying to keep them back. And unlike in Christmas Island, we don’t have a baseline of what state it should be in because it’s always changing,” said Zhao.

“But at the same time, I’ve learned that humans really have a large part to play (in the environment). Our impact is very big and can have serious consequences on animals. We have a hand in everything.”"

Pictured: A detail from a photograph of a cluster of swell moths. (Photo: Robert Zhao Renhui)

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This pigeon was later found dead at the school. Yet, even then, it can provide lessons for the students. "“A Racing Homer Pigeon (Columbia livia) was found in our school on the afternoon on 3rd March 2017. Miss Amelia Huang noticed the bird standing by the stairwell leading to the auditorium.

“The legs of the pigeon were tagged. The sighting was reported to me and I took over the case and started conversation with ACRES over WhatsApp. ACRES suggested water and some cooked rice to be given to the stranded pigeon, which is capable of long distance flight and might have made a stopover at our school due to the periodic rain these days.
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“Sadly, this pigeon was found dead outside the Physics Lab (Level 4) this morning by Mdm Devi and some students.

“I contacted NUS researcher David Tan who works at the Evolutionary Biology Laboratory and studies bird carcasses here in Singapore. He suggested that I should put a mesh around the dead bird before burying it, so that after a few months of decomposing, I will be able to skeletonise the bird to show our students about bird osteology.
[...]
Jacob Tan Guanrui
Senior Biology Teacher
Commonwealth Secondary School
Singapore
6th March 2017"

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Fun article about the fabulous SID chip in the Commodore 64 and how it is still influencing music today. "New SID tunes are being written by composers re-discovering the chip’s distinctive sonic quality. Chiptunes’ influence can be identified across electronic music through direct sampling, such as Zombie Nation’s use of David Whittaker’s tune from the C64 game Lazy Jones, producer Timbaland’s sampling of a SID tune by Finnish musician Janne Suni for Do It by Nelly Furtado, or Crystal Castles’ pillaging of 8-bit chiptune sounds.

But more so, the hyperactive sounds of the SID have become part of the lexicon of electronic music-making. Sample libraries for modern music software include SID and chiptune sounds alongside other archetypes of modern electronic music such as the classic sounds of the Roland TB-303 bass station and TR-808 and TR-909 drum machines. In fact, such is the popularity of the SID sound that you can buy hardware devices that include genuine SID chips pulled from vintage C64s that can be integrated into modular synthesizer and studio setups, or software emulations that allow the gloriously lo-fi, 8-bit, ultra-fast arpeggios and barely intelligible digitised speech to be reproduced with pristine fidelity."

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"A Brown Widow spider pulls up a Southern Alligator Lizard - it's our Observation of the Day! Seen in California by mykle559."
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