Archive for January 26th, 2011

January 26, 2011

The Shard

the shard

The Shard is an 87-story skyscraper in London that forms part of the London Bridge Quarter development. The Shard’s construction began in 2009 and finished in late 2012. Standing approximately 306 metrs (1,004 ft) high, it is currently the tallest building in the European Union. It is the second-tallest freestanding structure in the UK, after the concrete tower at the Emley Moor transmitting station.

It was designed by the Italian architect Renzo Piano, and replaced Southwark Towers, a 24-story office block built on the site in Southwark in 1975. The Shard was developed by Sellar Property on behalf of LBQ Ltd, and is jointly owned by Sellar Property and the State of Qatar.

Tags:
January 26, 2011

Honeypot

honeynet

In computer terminology, a honeypot is a trap set to detect, deflect, or in some manner counteract attempts at unauthorized use of information systems. Generally it consists of a computer, data, or a network site that appears to be part of a network, but is actually isolated and monitored, and which seems to contain information or a resource of value to attackers.

A honeypot is valuable as a surveillance and early-warning tool. They should have no production value, and hence should not see any legitimate traffic or activity. Whatever they capture is therefore malicious or unauthorized. One practical application of this is a honeypot that thwarts spam by masquerading as a type of system abused by spammers. Honeypots can carry risks to a network, and must be handled with care. If they are not properly walled off, an attacker can use them to break into a system.

January 26, 2011

Charles Bukowski

now what

bukowski

Henry Charles Bukowski (1920 – 1994) was a German-American poet, novelist and short story writer.

His writing was influenced by the social, cultural and economic ambience of his home city of Los Angeles. It is marked by an emphasis on the ordinary lives of poor Americans, the act of writing, alcohol, relationships with women and the drudgery of work. Bukowski wrote thousands of poems, hundreds of short stories and six novels, eventually having over 60 books in print. In 1986 Time called Bukowski a ‘laureate of American lowlife.’

read more »

January 26, 2011

Henry Chinaski

barfly

Henry Charles ‘Hank’ Chinaski is a semi-autobiographical protagonist of several works by the American writer Charles Bukowski. He appears in five of Bukowski’s novels, a number of his short stories and poems, the 1987 film ‘Barfly’ (played by Mickey Rourke and featuring a script written by Bukowski), and the 2005 film ‘Factotum’ (portrayed by Matt Dillon).

The works featuring him are ‘Confessions of a Man Insane Enough to Live With the Beasts’ (1965), ‘Post Office’ (1971), ‘South of No North’ (1973), ‘Factotum’ (1975), ‘Women’ (1978), ‘Ham on Rye’ (1982), ‘Hot Water Music’ (1983), ‘Hollywood’ (1989), and ‘Septuagenarian Stew’ (1990). He is also mentioned briefly in the beginning of Bukowski’s last novel, ‘Pulp.’

Tags:
January 26, 2011

Ouroboros

eternal return

snake by raphael garnier

The Ouroboros [or-oh-bohr-ohs] is an ancient symbol depicting a serpent or dragon eating its own tail, which often represents self-reflexivity or cyclicality, especially in the sense of something constantly re-creating itself, the eternal return, and other things perceived as cycles that begin anew as soon as they end (compare with phoenix). It can also represent the idea of primordial unity related to something existing in or persisting before any beginning with such force or qualities it cannot be extinguished.

The ouroboros has been important in religious and mythological symbolism, but has also been frequently used in alchemical illustrations, where it symbolizes the circular nature of the alchemist’s opus. It is also often associated with Gnosticism, and Hermeticism. The earliest known representation of the Ouroboros is contained in the Egyptian Book of the Netherworld. The self-begetting sun god Atum is said to have ascended from chaos-waters with the appearance of a snake, the animal renewing itself every morning, and the deceased wishes to turn into the shape of the snake Sato (‘son of the earth’), the embodiment of Atum.

January 26, 2011

Plus 15

The Plus 15 or +15 Skyway network in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, is the world’s most extensive pedestrian skywalk system with a total length of 16 kilometers (10 mi) and 59 bridges. The system is so named because the skywalks are approximately 15 feet (approximately 4.5 metres) above street level. (Some Plus 15 skywalks are multi-level, with higher levels being referred to as +30’s and +45’s.)

Opening in 1970, the +15 network has expanded to include dozens of downtown Calgary buildings. The central core of the system is a series of enclosed shopping centers, and the city’s flagship department stores. Although there are currently no plans to remove bridges or to discontinue building new ones, the system has been subject to criticism in recent years. It has been identified with a decline in street life in the Downtown Commercial Core. Street life is instead concentrated on streets (such as Stephen Avenue) or in neighbourhoods where there are no bridges (such as Eau Claire and the Beltline).

January 26, 2011

Black Fax Attack

black fax shirt

The term black fax refers to a prank fax transmission, consisting of one or more pages entirely filled with a uniform black tone and often made into a loop the sending machine will transmit endlessly. The sender’s intention is typically to consume as much of the recipient’s fax ink, toner or thermal paper or disk space as possible, thus costing the recipient money and/or denying the recipient the use of their machine (this is similar to computer-based denial of service attacks).

Black faxes can be particularly effective as the fax algorithm compresses the solid black image very well, so a very short fax call can produce many pages. They have been used to harass large institutions or government departments, to retaliate against the senders of junk faxes, or merely as simple pranks. In a black fax attack, one or more sheets are fed halfway through the sender’s fax machine and taped end to end, forming an endless loop that cycles through the machine. Not only can solid black be used, but also images which will repeat endlessly on the receiver’s machine until his or her toner runs out.

Tags:
January 26, 2011

Thundersnow

thundersnow

Thundersnow is a rare kind of thunderstorm with snow falling as the primary precipitation instead of rain. It typically falls in regions of strong upward motion within the cold sector of an extratropical cyclone, where the precipitation consists of ice pellets rather than snow. One unique aspect of thundersnow is that the snowfall acts as an acoustic suppressor of the thunder.

The thunder from a typical thunderstorm can be heard many miles away, while the thunder from thundersnow can usually only be heard within a two to three mile radius from the lightning. In the United States, March is their peak month of formation, and on average, only 6.3 events are reported per year.

Tags: