Bringing the past to life


Not a big deal, but something I liked.

Here is another example of reddit, as a community, taking an idea and adding value. Like the Ukraine unrest, which I talked about in my last post, this is also about violence, but this time from 1945.

Whereas much of this could have been done without a web community to organise it I very much doubt it would have happened, and more pertinently (for me at least) I am sure it would not have come to my attention.

Aside from the actions of the reddit historyporn sub which made these edits (impressive), which I think really elevates the way this story is presented, these photos are also simply a reminder of war and its mundane brutality. The transformation from 1945 to 2013 is chilling.

Oberdorla, Germany, 1945: American soldiers come under sniper fire having lost one soldier.

US troops 1945 oberdorla

The original photo

Edit 1 - colorised

Edit 1 – colorised

Edit 2 - Oberdorla as it is today

Edit 2 – Oberdorla as it is today

Edit 3 - overlay onto 2013 Oberdorla

Edit 3 – overlay onto 2013 Oberdorla

The image of Oberdorla today was provided by the reddit user u/Mugros who as a result of seeing the original photo being posted went there and took a bunch of photos which were then hosted on imgur and also posted in the reddit thread.

Those photos can be found here.

u/siliconbunny adds a lot more detail and related links here.

Finally Google maps 360 panorama from the same spot.



Fun with Wikipedia

Ever found yourself in an office, several floors up looking out of the window, a large window that in fact stretches from the floor to the ceiling? I have, quite a few times actually (not that its anything special). On a few occasions I have leaned against the glass trusting that it would be secure, and the evidence of this being written of course tells that it was. On a few other occasions I have pondered the idea of testing the glass with something more substantial than a simple lean. Its a very easy idea to walk away from. I am never going to run at the glass to test that it is strong enough to prevent me falling to my death. If only Garry Hoy felt the same way he wouldn’t be dead. Running at the glass was Garry’s party trick until one day the whole pane popped out of its frame and that was the end of him.


Then there is Sir Adrian Paul Ghislain Carton de Wiart and officer in the British army. He was possibly the hardest man who ever lived. From his Wikipedia listing.

He served in the Boer War, First World War, and Second World War; was shot in the face, head, stomach, ankle, leg, hip, and ear; survived two plane crashes; tunnelled out of a POW camp; and bit off his own fingers when a doctor refused to amputate them. Describing his experiences in World War I, he wrote, “Frankly I had enjoyed the war.”

Meet J002e3f an object found to be orbiting earth in 2002. This was a mystery as it had long been the accepted wisdom that the moon was the only substantial body in orbit in our skies. Originally it was assumed to be an asteroid but eventual analysis showed that the electromagnetic spectrum of the object was consistent with the paint used by NASA for the Saturn V rockets. Its no longer flying around us as the moon helped to slingshot it out of our orbit, although it is expected to return some time in the 2040’s. The first link shows its orbital path as it flirted with hitting us.

I have recently found a number of Wikipedia entries that just purport to function as simple nodes for crowd sourced lists. A nice dynamic resource. Here are 3 of them. Objects in the solar system by size, science in 2013 by month and emerging technologies by sector.

JB Links (3)

This could steal a lot of your time, probably best to move on if you have a busy day ahead of you. Its an interactive map of the world that shifts the land mass of individual countries in response to a variety of different data sets. Broad topics cover people, planet, business, politics and living while there are separate maps for differentials within the US and Japan. They are adding new data sets all the time so definitely one for your bookmarks.



This is a very short, but sweetly instructive Wikipedia post summarising in 5 simple statements what goes wrong with teams. Sad to say its all rather familiar.



Eric Raymond is an interesting man. In equal measure he inspires both massive respect and trepidation, at least in my experience. He is one of the founding and outspoken members of the original movement towards open source software and as such has some very important contributions. On the other hand he does represent a lot of what I find, more than faintly, scary about modern America. His blog is named “Armed and Dangerous, Sex, software, politics and firearms. Life’s simple pleasures…” . So, his presentation of American libertarianism aside this post is a dynamite must read. If you have ever wondered why some people complain about Apple’s closed garden this explains in clear non partisan terms what the problem is. Evaluating the harm from closed source



A stunning story of courage from the Korean war culled from the wall of noise that is Reddit. Speaks for itself.