- Getting a spacecraft to travel several dozen million miles, and start orbiting a small space rock in a one-mile radius is no mean feat
- This one house in LA connects movies as far apart as House on haunted hill, Blade runner, and Game of thrones
- Modelling (using Clojure) and milling a wooden toy
- If you care, something about rodent languages (yes)
- In the unsurprising news of the month: Most of the internet is fake
- On that theme, I’m not alone in despairing about big data; Yuval Noah Harari does too
- This one is from the “weird medical stuff” genre
- This one is in our cheer you up genre: “Penguin travels every year to visit man who rescued him”
- How the Astounding magazine created most of our memorable science fiction (please click through on this one, if only to browse the old magazine covers! Incidentally, this led me to the illustration work of Elliott Dold)
- Explaining weird natural phenomena: hair ice (makes you wonder how much more is out there to be explained!)
- People who play MMORPGs really do live inside them: here’s a story about “dramatic events” inside EVE Online
- More on ‘Oumuamua
- Fungi, without our brains, without basic nervous systems, without even the vascular system that plants use, are still able to have multi-cellular signaling, somehow
- Mandatory Octopus story
- On “efficiency” in human languages
- Favorably comparing Tumblr to Twitter (I’m not convinced …)
- About “brain-eating amoebas”
- Sometimes it pays to have a good grad school advisor
- The bizarre-but-not-so-bad rent-a-family industry in Japan
- Once upon a time, long before trees, there were apparently giant mushrooms
- Viruses that spy on bacteria
- The archaeologist who was beheaded for refusing to let ISIS destroy Palmyra antiquities
- The “memories” of ant colonies (I’m reminded of G.E.B. here)
- Some clouds are just weird (cover photo): Undulatus Asperatus
- This month in quirky theories: “Bizarre ‘dark fluid’ with negative mass could dominate the universe”
- An ancient board game
- C. S. Lewis on reading old books (I agree)
- Trip to India to visit parents/friends/relatives
- A unicorn-themed birthday party for Tara at home!
- A first movie night for me and Shivi (i.e. also a first for Tara being babysitted): watched Bohemian Rhapsody. An absolute delight!
- Caught up with a lot of movies/reading this month
(This is how I catch up on the movies of the year!)
- Rewatched Raiders of the lost Ark (always good)
- In the plane: Mission Impossible: Fallout (wow!), The predator (2018) (yuck), Avengers: Infinity War (okay), The Meg (okay), The house with a clock in its walls (okay), Ready player one (good), Bad times at El Royale (wow!)
- While on vacation: 15:17 to Paris(okay), Andhadhun (wow!)
- At home: Masters of the Universe (fun), Civilizations (okay)
- Read Zero to One, Atomic Habit; finished reading The Prague Cemetery and The power of full engagement after many months
- An extremely in-depth comparison of Apple Maps and Google Maps
- An account of an underwater adventure, including befriending an Octopus. Another account of too much bonding with a Dolphin.
- Getting started with HAM radio (I got an Amateur license a few years ago, though I’m embarrassed to admit I never did anything with it)
- On Alberto Savinio’s paintings
- We’re still discovering new stuff about how the pyramids were constructed
- Bit of a niche link: an interesting story about the origin of isotopes
- A tokamak in China achieved plasma temperatures of 100 million degrees!
- The cooking show on Netflix I liked the most: Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat
- As the title says: “Rare microbes lead scientists to discover new branch on the tree of life”, and”Brazilian termite mounds are visible from space”
- A couple of articles about how many apps are turning us into “data factories”, and the world becoming our “skinner box”.
- Finally, a heartwarming story about a dad sending his son’s toy reindeer into space !
A week in Cabo!
- A lot of hanging out at the pool
- A lot of eating
- Wandering into the towns, encountered some music
- A boat ride and just randomly walking around (nice and warm)
- Adventures in fixing a faucet and water heater
- Read The power of full engagement
- Watched Season 6 of House of Cards (meh)
- A Soyuz rocket malfunctioned, and … the astronauts managed to escape (!)
- “Memetic tribes and culture war”
- “Mega-Tunnels Dug by South American Megafauna”
- A camera taking 10 trillion frames per second
- The awesome and tragic story of the Buran space shuttle
- Something about extremism on college campuses
- This blew my mind: dandelion seeds fly using little unattached vortexes … read this if you read nothing else
- Another thing that blew my mind: I came across somewhere and had to validate it, and then found this news article from 2006 about it (emphasis mine):
The doctor noticed that the student’s head seemed a little larger than normal and he referred him to Dr Lorber for further examination.
Dr Lorber examined the boy’s head by Cat-scan to discover that the student had virtually no brain …
In hydrocephalus the cerebrospinal fluid, which circulates through brain channels called ventricles builds up pressure that balloons up the ventricles pressing the overlying brain tissue against the cranium. This insult from within causes a loss of brain matter and many hydrocephalics suffer intellectual and physical impairment …
Hydrocephalus is usually fatal in the first months of childhood and, if an individual survives, he/she is usually seriously handicapped. However, the Sheffield student lived a normal life and graduated with an honours degree in mathematics.
- Ran a 10K! (Stevens Creek Trailblazer at Shoreline Park)
- Fun weekend trip to Seattle
- Visited the Monterey Aquarium and finally saw the Giant Pacific Octopus moving around!
- Updated my older Series 1 Apple Watch to the newer one
- Halloween fun
- Disney on Ice … not bad
- Listened to The essential guide to NLP
- Couple of episodes of Altered Carbon