Kickoff For October 2, 2023

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Monday Kickoff, a collection of what I’ve found interesting, informative, and insightful on the web over the last seven days.

Let’s get this Monday started with these links:

On the trail of the Dark Avenger: the most dangerous virus writer in the world, wherein we take a trip to an earlier ear of computing, and learn why Bulgarian programmers wrote computer viruses, and the efforts to find and stop the most dangerous and prolific of them.

Who was the real Robert Oppenheimer?, wherein we get a glimpse into work, the true personality, and the public persona of the theoretical physicist who helped shepherd America’s nuclear program into reality.

This Fusion Reactor is Held Together with Tape, wherein we get a look at a cutting-edge fusion reactor which isn’t, as the article’s title suggests, MacGyver’ed together.

How Thomas Lanier Williams Became Tennessee, wherein we learn a bit about the forces that shaped the playwright and the ways in which he transformed himself over the years.

Delts Don’t Lie, wherein we learn how and why artists in the Renaissance often used male models as subjects when depicting the female form in paintings and in sculpture.

The Blue Flash: How a careless slip led to a fatal accident in the Manhattan Project, wherein we’re walked through the events that led to physicist Louis Slotin’s death at Los Almos in 1946, and the aftermath of the reckless safety standards in America’s early nuclear weapons programs.

Creatives are Dorks, wherein Charlotte Gill ponders why there aren’t more women in certain fields, and what shapes that imbalance.

How to Be Blind, wherein Andrew Leland discusses his teenaged diagnosis of retinitis pigmentosa, the steady deterioration of his vision through his adult years, and how he came to embrace being without sight after visiting the Colorado Center for the Blind.

Bing is a Trap, wherein Damon Beres looks at some of the dangers of online search powered by AI.

And that’s it for this Monday. Come back in seven days for another set of links to start off your week.

Scott Nesbitt