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April 20
‘We went from naive, hippyish protesters to hardcore anarchists’: the criminal justice bill protests, 30 years on. The criminal justice and public order bill aimed to criminalise “sounds wholly or predominantly characterised by the emission of a succession of repetitive beats”. “It was almost like a surrealist prank,” Harry Harrison, co-founder of DiY sound system, says now. “I said: ‘Is this real?’ It was a crazy mixture of the sinister and the absurd.” [from The Guardian] - 3 comments

A century ago saw the premiere of Jean Sibelius’ Seventh Symphony, the culmination of decades of experimentation and refinement of the form, as Alex Ross explains (with musical examples). A few years later, he started work on an eighth symphony, which he never completed to his satisfaction, and eventually he burned his manuscripts of it. In 2011, after sifting through the Sibelius manuscript archive, it was possible to record roughly two and half minutes of the thirty minute work. Despite some subsequent hints from correspondence with Sibelius’ copyist, no further fragments have been uncovered, and the Eighth Symphony remains lost. - 4 comments

Over on gRubiks.com, they've come up with an interesting puzzle solving guide:
If you have an old scrambled [Rubik's] cube just lying around the house, if you’re trying to learn how to solve it on your own and just need a “reset”, if you're looking for algorithms for patterns, or even if you just want to impress your friends—this solver is perfect for you.
Just take your scrambled Rubik's Cube, place it in front of you, and color the squares on the screen as you see them on your cube. Then press "solve", and it will walk you through the solution. - 10 comments

Over on Mathstodon.xyz, Alexandre Muñiz comes up with an interesting puzzle game:
I call it Reverse the List of Integers. How it works is, you start with a list of positive integers, (e.g. [7, 5, 3]) and your goal is to make the same list, in reverse ([3, 5, 7]). You have two moves you can make:
1) Split an integer into two smaller integers. (e.g. [7, 5, 3] → [6, 1, 5, 3])
2) Combine (add) two integers into a larger one. (e.g. reverse the last e.g.)
There are two restrictions that seem natural for making this into an interesting game:
1) You can never make an integer greater than the largest integer in the original list.
2) You can never make a move that results in the same integer appearing in the list more than once.
User @ch33zer chimes in with a basic web implementation (followed by other attempts, including a visual version), and @GistNoesis offers some code for exploring the problem space to brute-force solutions. - 1 comments

How Phish turned Las Vegas’ Sphere into the ultimate music visualizer "Some moments last night felt like you were seeing enormous versions of the old visualizers from Winamp or iTunes. Others brought the crowd into intricate, dazzling scenes." - 45 comments

It’s 2008. Though a San Francisco resident, I crave “Girl in New York” stories. Felicity Porter, Lena Dunham, Eileen Myles—in books and TV shows, I’ve watched them come of age in their frothy version of Brooklyn. As a black man, I have to tell myself this fascination isn’t me idolizing whiteness. No, this must be, like Venus Xtravanganza before me, a rational envy for those society deems valuable. A desire to chase my dreams through a maze of hangovers and strange lovers and suffer mere embarrassment for my mistakes. It seems I’ve found another such fantasy in this Reagan-era relic about itinerant artists—provided I steal it. Bohemian behavior for a bohemian book. So, Slaves in hand, I keep walking. from The Time I Stole Tama Janowitz’s Slaves of New York and Couldn’t Stop Reading It by Elwin Cotman - 3 comments

Unlikely friendship between cockatoo and lorikeet bamboozles wildlife sanctuary visitors. A red-tailed black cockatoo and a musk lorikeet have become inseparable, with the smaller bird often found under the wing of the cockatoo at Tasmania's Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary. - 18 comments

April 19
A database of 589 math problems posed by Paul Erdős, mostly in combinatorial geometry and number theory, only 159 of which have been solved. Get to work! - 15 comments

The NLRB announced tonight that UAW won a historic union election at Volkswagen in Chattanooga Tennessee. The union won by a margin of more than 70% as votes [continued] to be counted. With labor shortages throughout the manufacturing sector, many of the workers hired by Volkswagen were much younger and more diverse. Some had even moved from more pro-union parts of the country to work there. “It’s a totally different ball game,” [Renee Berry] said. “The atmosphere is different. You see more pro-union than anti-union [workers]. A whole lot of people who were anti-union in the past have switched.” - 16 comments

last updated at 3:58:04 PM PST