General Interesting Links: March 2018

 

A 1933 rendering of Plan Obus by Le Corbusier

 

Bunch of random stuff I liked this month:

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Monthly recap (March 2018)

 

Random light pole against the sun.
Just another lamp pole

 

Major updates:

  • None really (!)
  • Caught up with a few movies that were on the “to-watch” list, just “the usual” stuff

Minor updates:

  • Mostly busy with work
  • Got myself a new fountain pen
  • Discovered Yogaglo
  • Fun trip to Dolores Park one sunny weekend

Watched/read:

  • Guardians of the Galaxy (the old one)
  • In this corner of the world
  • The shape of water
  • Bridge of Spies
  • Lady Byrd
  • Birdman

Programming/Math/Science roundup: March 2018

 

Jupiter’s north pole: eight cyclones around a central cyclone.

 

Interesting stuff from last month (not a lot?):

  • Entanglement isn’t just across space, but across time too(!)
  • There is a new type of ice, occurring in the inclusions of diamonds formed hundreds of miles inside the earth’s mantle, with a cubic instead of hexagonal structure.
  • Some viruses are big, a thousand times bigger than the smallest ones, and can even synthesize proteins (very much like cellular organisms)
  • As the title says, five git concepts explained the hard way (worth reading even if you know git!)
  • The deepness of Jupiter is only now coming into study, with its octagonally arranged polar cyclones (the pic above) and its varied layers of clouds stretching up for thousands of kilometers (!)
  • It’s easy to forget even the very recent past; a look at how far Yahoo fell from the top of the world, twenty years ago.
  • I hate all the “free” games that make you pay for everything with in-game purchases; I knew some people paid hundreds of dollars for these, but here’s someone who’s happy to have spent over $70K on in-game characters!

General interesting links: February 2018

Wangenheim’s drawings of the aurora borealis.

Some random links from last month:

 

 

  • This month’s “art pick” are sketches by Alexey Feodosievich Wangenheim, who was the first head of the Soviet Union’s weather bureau in the 1930s, and drew these while spending the rest of his life in the Gulag.

 

 

Some amazing quotes:

Maya civilisation, at its peak some 1,500 years ago, covered an area about twice the size of medieval England, with an estimated population of around five million.

”With this new data it’s no longer unreasonable to think that there were 10 to 15 million people there,” said Mr Estrada-Belli, “including many living in low-lying, swampy areas that many of us had thought uninhabitable.”

The archaeologists were struck by the “incredible defensive features”, which included walls, fortresses and moats.

They showed that the Maya invested more resources into defending themselves than previously thought, Mr Garrison said.

One of the hidden finds is a seven-storey pyramid so covered in vegetation that it practically melts into the jungle.

The game-changing technology here appears to be Lidar.

 

 

Programming/Math/Science roundup: February 2018

Interesting stuff I came across last month:

p85-Oliver-1240x827
Oliver No. 1, 1896 
  • The giant shipworm (three foot long, lives on hydrogen sulfide, within a calcium carbonate tube that it secretes) has finally been located (by scientists, that is … local people in certain parts of Thailand have been eating it as a delicacy)
  • Say what you want about Stephen Wolfram, I’m beginning to love the long-form posts I read at his blog, such as this one on civilizational artifacts (enjoyable apart from the plug for Wolfram Language)
  • Apparently, plants are quite active at long time scales, and can be sedated, just like animals! (there’s a good GIF on that page, of pea tendrils, that I wasn’t able to embed here)

    When the dope wore off, the plants returned to life, as if something had hit pause — almost like they were regaining consciousness, something we typically don’t think they possess. It’s all so animal-like.

  • If you like typewriters …
  • An example of a new species (the mutant crawfish) emerging in just a couple of decades
  • Blast from the past: in 1995, an article about disruption in the supercomputer industry (never happened)
  • Continuing on the sea creatures theme for a bit: starfish have eyes. Below their arms. Scallops have eyes too, on their tentacles (with two retinas each) … I suppose the real puzzle being why?
  • Excellent summary of the importance of the role of “the log” in distributed systems and real-time data processing
  • Part-entertaining and part-insightful, an opinionated guide to Haskell for 2018
  • Oracle has finally made dtrace available for Linux. Personally this seems too little too late given that we have BPF now, but it’s still a good thing
  • Yes, there is a turing-complete Powerpoint
  • Couple of viewpoints on “unthinkable thoughts” using programming languages.
  • A certain unicode character became an iOS-crashing bug.
  • Finally, something for the very young with lots of time on their hands: learning Physics using Haskell!

Monthly recap (February 2018)

Sunset at La Jolla

Major updates:

  • Started at a new place, Pure Storage … having a blast!
  • Visited my brother in San Diego (and saw the two-month baby!)

Minor updates:

  • Tara getting a bit better at swimming, less scared, having more fun
  • Got me a new Faber Castell pen
  • Trying out YogaGlo (impressive close to a real studio experience)

Watched/read:

  • Birdman (yes I know, four years too late, but … still awesome)

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.

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

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