General interesting links: January 2018

Meta note: decided to change the continuing title here from “Media Summary”, which made sense to me when I first started it in 2016 but just sounds a bit odd now.

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A worker polishes the marble at Kievskaya station, in the Moscow Metro

So, some stuff I read last month that I liked:

 

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Monthly recap (January 2018)

Children's Fairyland, in Oakland
Children’s Fairyland, in Oakland

Major updates

  • I guess the biggest highlight of this month was that it turned out to be my last month at Google after nearly eight years (!) there (might write more on that separately).

Minor updates

  • Came back with a bad (week-long!) cold after vacation (but so did pretty much everyone else, from what I can tell!)
  • Tara got a ukulele and a harmonica, and likes to play them
  • I managed quite well with her for a few days when Shivi had to travel
  • Finally got a mysterious roof leak fixed after many months(!)

Watched/Read

  • Watched Dunkirk (thumbs up), The Mummy (thumbs down)
  • Re-watched an old episode of Yes Minister and The IT Crowd
  • Trying to focus my reading for this year, got a bunch of new books I’d like to go through, we’ll see how that goes.

Sci/Math/Prog Summary: January 2018

Interesting stuff I came across last month:

An old control room
An old soviet control room
  • It’s now possible to create a stable plasma ring without all the magnets

“We were told by some colleagues this wasn’t even possible. But we can create a stable ring and maintain it for as long as we want, no vacuum or magnetic field or anything,” says co-author Francisco Pereira of the Marine Technology Research Institute in Italy, a visiting scholar at Caltech.

The stream of water is an 85-micron-diameter jet blasting from a specially designed nozzle at 9,000 pounds per square inch that strikes the crystal plate with an impact velocity of around 1,000 feet per second. For reference, that’s a stream narrower than a human hair moving about as fast as a bullet fired from a handgun.

Annual recap: 2017

(forgot to do this a couple of weeks ago! life was busy … anyway, a summary of highlights from 2017)

Me:

  • Went back to work after my injury in 2016
  • Finished the 1000 piece puzzle I got in December 2016
  • Baby steps towards a regular weekly workout schedule

Family:

  • Bought our first new car: Subaru Outback
  • Nice Kitchen automation going: Rotimatic, Nespresso, Instant Pot(s!)
  • Unusual amount of travel: Tokyo, Hawaii, San Diego, New York

Tara:

  • Started swimming classes
  • Moved from small to big car seat
  • Moved from high chair to booster seat
  • Potty trained (lol)
  • Graduated from a crib to a bed (!)

Tentative New Years’ Resolutions (☺️):

  • Become a morning person
  • Proper regular workout
  • Get back to running (try a 10K, or even a half-marathon again!)

Media Summary: December 2017

Detail from the frontispiece to the 1863 edition of Collin de Plancy’s Dictionnaire infernal

Some interesting links for the month:

  • Apparently, millenials “hate Capitalism”
  • My “long read” pick of the month: Lapham’s Quarterly has an article called The Ghost and the Princess, discussion Descartian origins of the mind-body split-view, the “princess” being Princess Elisabeth of Bohemia, with whole Descartes corresponded on this subject (!)
  • On the economic/political “holding pattern” of the world right now
  • Late night comedy seems quite useless, almost overtaken by reality.
  • (this month’s art book pick) A “synthesis of the Enlightenment and the occult” in a hundred and fifty year old illustrated book, Jacques Collin de Plancy’s Dictionnaire infernal
  • The New Yorker found one of its fiction pieces was interpreted as journalism

When we look to our texts to teach us not how to think, but what to think, we suffer for it — as artists and consumers of art, but also as citizens. We further collapse the distinction between truth and lies, fact and fiction …

Monthly recap (December 2017)

Morning fog
Morning fog (taken by my dad on a trip outside Delhi)

Major updates:

  • Spent the last week of December and the first week of January in India (also, a couple of days in Singapore). Mostly fun. Caught up with a lot of people.
  • Tara’s birthday party! A lot of fun.

Minor updates:

  • Christmas Market with Tara

Watched/read

  • Alien: Covenant, Valerian and the city of a thousand planets, In Zeiten Des Abnehmenden Lichts (flight)
  • Pete’s Dragon (hotel)
  • Frozen, Croods (tv with Tara’s cousins)
  • Crown (tv, binge watched)
  • Showa 3 (book (manga), left with part 4 now)
  • Phantom, The Hundred Foot Journey (tv)
  • The big short (Netflix, with parents)

 

Sci/Math/Prog Summary: December 2017

 

Galaxy Sizes
Large galaxies (exluding IC 1101)

Interesting stuff from the last month: