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.
“Racket-on-Chez” (for those who care) is moving along nicely
Max Tegmark (he of the “Our Mathematical Universe” book) weighs in further on the need to stop asking about the meaning of things, and to just ”Shut up and calculate” (somehow, I don’t think people are going to stop asking about the meaning of things …)
On the “old tech nostalgia” theme, if you first encountered the internet in the early-to-mid 90s, you might recall Gopher: “Remembering the web that wasn’t” (I was nostalgic enough to push a related pic as the cover image for this blog post).
I feel the old “static typing vs dynamic typing” debate has gotten more nuanced recently with ‘spec’ and ‘schema’ in Clojure (i.e. better, fine-grained, runtime constraints). Also, as this article shows, there is a different “sweet spot” for different companies/people, which colors their perceptions of usefulness.
Cool antique stuff: check out this machine that debuted at the 1939 World’s Fair in New York.
A fake interview with Linus Torvalds on Linux and Git, which made me smile 🙂
This, from almost twenty years ago, is the result of an internal Microsoft satire competition. I feel like copy-pasting the whole damn thing here, but maybe I’ll make a separate post for it, it’s that good.
I wish I understood this better, for now I’ve just shelved it on my “to-read” list: one of those “how is everything really connected” pieces. I’ve stalked blog posts by John Shutt for a long time now, love all the insights in the past.
I’ve started and stopped reading The Elements of Programming a few times, but here’s someone who’s demonstrating the concepts (pun intended) in there.
Connecting programming language design to architecture.
I just don’t have time these days, but I do want to watch “The Orville”; here’s Seth McFarlane discussing it, and the possibilities for science fiction today.
This one tickles a very old itch of mine: a lot of natural processes can really be seen as computation
This one is just … I don’t know what to say. Trekking across the desert and finding an abandoned space shuttle is like some indie video game, not real life. And yet, and yet …
This one is a blast from the past (about twenty two years ago), when Java was launched. But what to make of the following little paragraph?
Herb Sutter put out a real teaser about upcoming metaprogramming abilities in C++
Finally, a short but important article reminds us that regardless of the machine underneath, we program in metaphors, and there’s no point trying to deny that.
You must master the art of metaphor selection, of meaning amplification. You must know when to add and when to subtract. You will learn to revise and rewrite code as a writer does. Once there’s nothing else to add or remove, you have finished your work. The problem you started with is now the solution. Is that the meaning you intended to convey in the first place?