Thursday, September 25, 2014

Excellent Nova programs last night on hacking and Richard III

Last night Nova ran two programs back to back that were both excellent about topics I often cover here. 1) The Rise of the Hackers http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/tech/rise-of-the-hackers.html and 2) Secrets of the Dead: Resurrecting Richard III http://www.pbs.org/wnet/secrets/resurrecting-richard-iii-preview/1896/ 

The Rise of the Hackers discusses the global emergence of hackers, who, what they do, some of the methods used and systems or flaws in systems they take advantage of, and what the future impact will be globally of hackers, as well as discussing with those who have been hacked and are fighting hackers. Excellent and very understandable to all. One of the scariest points is that individuals, governments and criminals are all equal in status as hackers. Talk about a sobering thought.


Resurrecting Richard III continues an earlier program and news articles (see my blog for several entries) about finding his remains and verifying it was him. Resurrecting... goes into analysis of his diet, physical state, and health. The scientists had a volunteer whose curvature of the spine was very close to Richard's who was trained to act as a living body double. This man, Dominick, volunteered to go through various physical activities and training so researchers could better understand the effects of Richard III's curved spine on his life and fighting abilities. They trained Dominick to ride a war horse, made armor for him, and he participated in a partial recreation which showed that being in a medieval saddle(which is more rigid than a modern saddle) on a horse allowed a man with a curved spine and slight build advantages in fighting in war. It is clear that the curved spine would not have prevented Richard III from fighting or riding a distance well, although sustained battle would have been difficult due to problems with drawing deep breaths due to his ribs being asymmetrical as a result of the curvature. I applauded for Dominick all the way through the program. He was great!

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