1. Found at a market in Berlin: what I think is an old DIY oscilloscope, complete with handwritten panel lettering!

    I’m guessing this could have been a build by someone living under the GDR who couldn’t get hold of a scope.

  2. Found in The Division Viol (1659): an interesting social comment on mid-17th Century acceptance of the idea of a heliocentric solar system:

    “(Chuse whether you will have the Sun, or Earth to be the Fixed Center)”

    Also of interest: “American English” spelling of “centre” as “center”…
  3. that “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” was appropriated by Pete Seeger (and then further sanitized by George Weiss) from a song written by Solomon Linda, who died in poverty. His family only received royalties for the song’s widespread Disney use after a lawsuit in 2006 — 44 years later.

    There’s an archive of the in-depth three part write-up of the whole thing from Rolling Stone by Rian Malan here.

  4. A 2003 iSight sitting on top of a 2012 iPad:

    The iSight was built to work with a great many products, and as a result is extensible. The lead is a standard Apple firewire lead nested inside an adapter which can fit onto many different attachments. On the attachment, there’s a thumbscrew, so that same clear plastic hook can join onto items of many different thicknesses (such as the iPad). That’s four levels of modularity.

    The iPad was built to be useful for two years, tops, before being replaced. Its dock connector is already out of date. Its case is incompatible with the previous model.

    Which is better designed? Which will retain its value longer?