one hundred sixty-two things tagged “favorite things”
In many cases, you’re staring at the face of someone who lived centuries ago. That was their hair, their nose, their eye-lashes, their sleep. Very few things are more fascinating than this.
I will always let my puppy inspect everything for approval (and, usually, immediate loss of interest.)
I’m not saying there’s going to be a schism or anything, but I’m not not saying that, either.
This is just genius (Cached)
This is indescribably badass.
Lovely Python-esque stuff.
Wish something like this existed for baseball, for I find it inscrutable and don’t think I’ll ever get it.
by @sportsracer48 (Patreon)
All images © the artist
A God descends into Hell to slay its demons on a whim. Squint hard enough and you might even find some compassion in his caprice and ruthlessness. Just a beautiful movie.
She addresses graduate/PhD students struggling to complete their theses but there’s quite a bit to learn here. She considers procrastination as a perfectly logical response: why wouldn’t one seek pleasure? It’s something that (a) reveals a lot about what you’re afraid of and (b) is hence a protection response.
Other notes, thoughts, etc:
- “B’s get degrees.” Don’t pursue perfectionism. Done is better. Don’t let Perfect be the enemy of the Good. Don’t get Good be the enemy of the Necessary. “Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.” You’ll be OK. Finish it.
- The environment you do your work in and your work ritual are very, very important. Set a time and place every day to what needs to be done. Diminish distractions as much as possible1.
- Set your phone in distraction-free mode and place it on the floor, face down. Allow only a few people to break its silence in case of emergencies. Establish working hours with them and everyone else (i.e., not everything is an emergency.) Guard your time fiercely.
- Chunk the job/project into as many atomic tasks as possible. Do the smallest task. Celebrate its completion (briefly) and be kind to yourself. Rinse and repeat. Seek momentum.
- Procrastination ultimately is about the past or the future. Try not to think of the end result. You are here right now to finish a paragraph, write a bit of code, read that paper. Be here now.
- Assume responsibility. Stop whinging.
Over the past year, I’ve been amazed by how much mindfulness comes up with almost every conversation I have (or book I read or podcast I listen to) about self improvement and Joy in Life.
Was reading an article on the efficacy of todo lists and lo!
It’s the same deal as with weight loss: you will lose weight if your kitchen only contains healthy and low-sugar food. ↩︎
I used to have a printout of this at my desk at work because I just loved looking at it so much 🌸♥️ It was pretty popular on the internet a while ago. The little girl’s name is Butedmaa and she was just 5 when this picture was taken in 2003 by photographer Han Chengli, who titled it “Inner Mongolian Child”. Here’s another of her with her family in 2014.
I can die, they can do my picture. I have 84 years, but I am still creating. All my life I create, and is more and more and more.
The mind is like a universe. It’s constantly expanding. Like the universe, exactly like the universe, open the mind. The opening of the mind is every day, is open. That was this picture. Open the mind of all the persons who worked there. From the producer to the artists. From the workers… for every one was an opening of the mind, this work.
Was ambitious, but not too ambitious. Myself, I have the ambition to live 300 years. I will not live 300 years. Maybe I will live one year more. But I have the ambition. Why you will not have ambition? Why? Have the greatest ambition possible. You want to be immortal? Fight to be immortal. Do it. You want to make the most fantastic art of movie? Try. If you fail, is not important. We need to try.
Watched with LD. What an incredible story. His vision would’ve strayed a bit far from the book but what a wonderful thing it would’ve been to experience.
I am going to read The Incal posthaste. It’s a set of highly regarded graphic novels by Jodorowsky and Moebius. I’m told it’s a heavily copied work too. Lovely stuff. Never give up.
TIL that (a) tentacles and arms are two different things and (b) there is a lot more diversity to this family1 than I’d imagined!
This beautiful piece was sculpted in Japan around the 13th century and is about three feet tall. The subject is a Zen Buddhist monk Shinchi Kakushin, who lived till the ripe old age of 95. After his death, he was given the title “perfectly awakened national teacher of the Dharma lamp” which is what “Hotto Enmyo Kokushi” means.
It’s at the Cleveland Museum of art. More info here.
by Ned Gulley at Star Chamber from a long, long while ago.
Simply delightful. Here’s an article about him.
Not sure why this actually got to me.
There are also full-size illustrations
Translated from the original Korean
In college, I remember being blown away by a huge, physical map of metabolic pathways our Biochemistry professor once brought into class. It looked like this:
Here it is online. Kinda like a Google Maps of cellular reactions. It was impressed upon us that the interior of a cell (especially a eukaryotic one) is a really, really busy and tight and ‘goopy’ place: “crowded, compartmentalized, sticky, spatially inhomogeneous”. As that paper notes, this messy, “macromolecular crowding” helps your proteins fold properly (among several other factors.) This was a bit hard for me to appreciate since, up to then, I was only accustomed to images of cells from a light microscope or vastly simplified illustrations school texts.
I was somehow reminded of all of that after seeing some astounding paintings by Professor David S. Goodsell (Wiki, Twitter, Website). He calls the series “Molecular Landscapes.” Here are a few related to the pandemic we’ve been through.
SARS-CoV-2 and Neutralizing Antibodies, 2020
Acknowledgement: David S. Goodsell, RCSB Protein Data Bank and Springer Nature; doi: 10.2210/rcsb_pdb/goodsell-gallery-025. The painting was commissioned for the cover of a special COVID-19 issue of Nature, presented 20 August 2020, and is currently in the collection of the Cultural Programs of the National Academy of Sciences.
Acknowledgement: Illustration by David S. Goodsell
Acknowledgement: Illustration by David S. Goodsell, RCSB Protein Data Bank; doi: 10.2210/rcsb_pdb/goodsell-gallery-019. This painting depicts a coronavirus just entering the lungs, surrounded by mucus secreted by respiratory cells, secreted antibodies, and several small immune systems proteins. The virus is enclosed by a membrane that includes the S (spike) protein, which will mediate attachment and entry into cells, M (membrane) protein, which is involved in organization of the nucleoprotein inside, and E (envelope) protein, which is a membrane channel involved in budding of the virus and may be incorporated into the virion during that process. The nucleoprotein inside includes many copies of the N (nucleocapsid) protein bound to the genomic RNA.
SARS-CoV-2 Fusion, 2020
Acknowledgement: Illustration by David S. Goodsell, RCSB Protein Data Bank; doi: 10.2210/rcsb_pdb/goodsell-gallery-026. This painting depicts the fusion of SARS-CoV-2 (magenta) with an endosomal membrane (green), releasing the viral RNA genome into the cell cytoplasm (blue), where it is beginning to be translated by cellular ribosomes to create viral polyproteins. The painting includes speculative elements that are designed to highlight the process, most notably, multiple states of the viral spike protein are shown.
SARS-CoV-2 mRNA Vaccine, 2020
Acknowledgement: Illustration by David S. Goodsell, RCSB Protein Data Bank; doi: 10.2210/rcsb_pdb/goodsell-gallery-027. Messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines developed for the COVID-19 pandemic are composed of long strands of RNA (magenta) that encode the SARS-CoV-2 spike surface glycoprotein enclosed in lipids (blue) that deliver the RNA into cells. Several different types of lipids are used, including familar lipids, cholesterol, ionizable lipids that interact with RNA, and lipids connected to polyethylene glycol chains (green) that help shield the vaccine from the immune system, lengthening its lifetime following administration. In this idealized illustration, all of the lipids are arranged in a simple circular bilayer that surrounds the mRNA and the PEG strands have both extended and folded conformations. In reality, the structure may be less regular, as suggested in the NanoLetters paper […]
I read this story a long while ago and have been searching for it since. I have related increasingly exaggerated variants of it from memory every few years to friends who laugh nervously when I lose my damn mind to the “She just went home I guess” part.
To me, few things are funnier than stories of the wittingly incompetent and their inadvertent courage in this boring, rigged dystopia we live in.
This is just indescribably beautiful.
Here’s another called “Transfiguration” 🙌
Here’s a third video (not by Universal Everything.) It’s from 2016.
My favorite visualization of “Clapping Music” by Steve Reich. Here’s a video of him performing it with one other musician.
Watched with LD. Kate Winslet is an amazing actor and this miniseries is her best work yet. It is excellent everything: story, score, cinematography, dialogue, casting, acting. About economic depression, blue-collar America, forgotten America, the opioid epidemic caused by unchecked Capitalist greed, community, family, single parenthood, decline in religious participation, and the country’s abysmal attitude towards the treatment of mental illness.
That’s a lot of layers and facets and it’s all done exquisitely, gut-wrenchingly well.
“You know I wrote this in… when I was looking at the mirror, right?”
I was rather dismayed to find out that there were no more episodes of “Grill Talk” with the leader of one of the worst companies on the planet1. I wonder if the PR team that thought it was a good idea to show the ‘casual and human’ side of their ethically bankrupt CEO are still with the company.
Here’s a condensed version by umami. It is one of my favorite creepy things on the internet ♥️
Disclaimer: I’m on Instagram, have an Oculus, and cannot get my family off WhatsApp. I console myself by noting that I’m never on Facebook itself and that all these companies were acquisitions whose souls haven’t been polluted by Facebook (yet… and as if that matters because it doesn’t.) ↩︎
Neil Panchal on substituting shitty, ineffective, and expensive consumer-grade items with their industrial and military grade equivalents. Emphases mine:
For I wouldn’t have any friends left if I did that. ↩︎
Update: Here’s another Big Happy Guy
This is one of the most seriously badass representations of Shakti I’ve seen in a while.
Reddit user and evident Mark Wood fan @kanyay-west put together this list of England’s All-Time Cricketing Best when asked “What’s your country’s all time ODI XI?” I’ve reproduced it here and formatted it for clarity. I laughed a lot to this and am a rather silly person 🙏♥️
- Mark Wood
- Mark Wood
- Mark Wood
- Mark Wood (Captain)
- Mark Wood
- Mark Wood
- Mark Wood (Wicket-Keeper)
- Mark Wood
- Mark Wood
- Mark Wood
- Mark Wood
|12th Man||Mark Wood|
|On field umpires||Mark Wood and Mark Wood|
|3rd umpire||Mark Wood|
|Pitch Curator||Mark Wood|
|Team Sponsor||Mark Wood|
|Director of ECB||Mark Wood|
|Head Coach of Men’s ODI team||Mark Wood|
|Fielding Coach||Mark Wood|
|Bowling Coach||Mark Wood|
|Batting Coach||Mark Wood|
|Spin bowling Coach||Mark Wood|
|Team Analyst||Mark Wood|
|Team Fitness Coach||Mark Wood|
|Team Massuse||Mark Wood|
|Team Bus Driver||Mark Wood|
|Team Manager||Mark Wood|
|Team Babysitter||Mark Wood|
|Team Bat Crafter||Mark Wood|
|Stadium Supporters||Mark Wood x100,000|
|Stumps and Nails Material||Marked Wood|
|Team Mark Wood||Mark Wood|
Now write down “You’re gonna need more carrots” on a sticky and look at it from time to time ♥️
With the trailing comma and sorted properties/imports/arguments/whatever! It looks like this in Python:
from constants import ( EXIT_CODE_ARTICLE_ROOT_NOT_FOUND, EXIT_CODE_NOT_A_GIT_REPOSITORY, EXIT_CODE_NOT_AN_ABSOLUTE_PATH, MARKDOWN_EXTENSION_CONFIG, MARKDOWN_EXTENSIONS, MARKDOWN_FILE_EXTENSION, MAX_NUMBER_OF_WORKERS, PATHS_TO_REMOVE, )
In which universe are these shittier alternatives considered readable or maintainable?
from constants import (MAX_CHARS_IN_SEARCH_RESULTS, MAX_CHARS_SURROUNDING_SEARCH_HIGHLIGHT, MAX_SEARCH_RESULTS, MIN_CHARS_IN_SEARCH_TERM, SEARCH_INDEX_PATH)
from constants import (MAX_CHARS_IN_SEARCH_RESULTS, MAX_CHARS_SURROUNDING_SEARCH_HIGHLIGHT, MAX_SEARCH_RESULTS, MIN_CHARS_IN_SEARCH_TERM, SEARCH_INDEX_PATH)
from constants import ( MAX_CHARS_IN_SEARCH_RESULTS, MAX_CHARS_SURROUNDING_SEARCH_HIGHLIGHT, MAX_SEARCH_RESULTS, MIN_CHARS_IN_SEARCH_TERM, SEARCH_INDEX_PATH)
That’s for Python and the modes are from the excellent isort’s docs. I am glad that Prettier does VHI by default (although you have to specify the trailing-comma and object properties are not sorted.)
“I love you, Ted Danson.”
Don’t. Just let this kid assure you that everyfing’s gonna be alright.
I love this more than I can describe.
Just stop it.
Via Professor Goldsman.
I love this so much. Just look at this happy fuzzderp 🥰
This is around Rovaniemi, Finland.
“Positive Affirmations don’t work when I question them, Jeremy.”
Some surrealism: Jan Švankmajer - Lunch (Food 1992).
The shortest film ever nominated for an Academy Award: Fresh Guacamole by PES.
Cooking utensil salad by Omozoc
And finally, an electronic hamburger via Clicker
Was discussing water quality in Des Moines with DL. Told her that our city couldn’t hold a candle to Ames, that their water was the “cleanest around.” Wanted to prove this but couldn’t find the 2014 viral hit “Hooray for Ames” video anywhere on the internet. GN, blessed datahoarder that he is, luckily had a copy ❤️🚰
Whatever. 🤘 Go Hawks 🤘
We do not deserve dogs.
♥️♥️♥️ Via @uiowa
Here’s to a Malarkey-Free America 🇺🇸🍦😎 Things won’t magically start getting better. He isn’t perfect. But he certainly is a decent human being, if only because he isn’t malevolent narcissism incarnate.
And unless your career depends on democratic dysfunction and systemic ineptitude, cruelty, and dishonesty that sow and sustain rancour1, you at least ought to be relieved you won’t have to say “God what the fuck did he do now?” with the exhausting and dismaying frequency you did over the past four (THOUSAND) years. That’s something.
Special 📣 to some #techbros and their engagement targets 💸 ↩︎
And about those mittens:
A little more backstory:
And finally (via KP):
This is the best one I’ve seen so far (via JK):
There’s also a collection (via CK) and another called “The approximate size of various ocean animals with a Bernie for scale” (via Deepu), and a Zillow listing.
Via CO. Succinct and appropriate for a gamut of events.
I made a bet at work that involved me eating my Crocs (if I lost, of course), prompting my co-worker to send me this story about Eric Taylor, a “former Magic: The Gathering player and highly regarded Magic columnist, especially during the earlier days of the game” (MTG Wiki), who made a similarly hasty bet and honored its terms:
From this book that features 14 animals. Which are definitely not octopuses.
And please get off this gentleman’s lawn and out of his city.
This is a pretty high-res image. Tap to explore!
Ronald Ray Cobb was “an American-Australian cartoonist, artist, and film designer” who passed away in September last year. He worked on movies like “Back to the Future”, “Jodorowsky’s Dune”, and “Alien”.
This is such a wonderful idea. Stand opposite the glass and you’d know what Kruševac Fortress in Serbia looked like in its heyday:
Franklin Court in Pennsylvania is another example of how one could illustrate architectural history.
Fat claim, but I cannot imagine anything more badass than this.
I remember seeing an interview with him and the person asking him the question asked him “How was that shot perfectly timed?” He said “I just saw the count down clock and we waited until minus 10 seconds to start recording”.
And there was an assistant doing the count down with his fingers that Burke could se [sic] so Burke could time it perfectly.
This is indescribably beautiful.
I love, love, love this work by Elke König.
I have a foreboding of an America in my children’s or grandchildren’s time – when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness…
The dumbing down of American is most evident in the slow decay of substantive content in the enormously influential media, the 30 second sound bites (now down to 10 seconds or less), lowest common denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudoscience and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance.
First came by this remarkable generation of the DOOM guy’s face:
And here are Alexander, Caesar, Zuck, and Jesus.
More of his work on Instagram.
Serigraph for sale at the Davidson Galleries (it’s $550.)
Here’s some further examination by Ricky Gervais and crew. Features Sir Ian McKellen and Daniel Radcliffe.
Saith The Lord to Socialist Democrats:
“Am I truly controlling anything?” (cached)
They’re always “just joking.” About pandemic response, about requesting foreign interference in their country’s elections, injecting disinfectants to treat disease, asking for more police brutality, mocking the disabled, treason, dangling pardons like a mob boss, asking foreign governments to investigate political opponents, calling onself “The Chosen One”, calling a former president the founder of a terrorist organization, or condoning violence against journalists. Just look at your face, bro 😆
And then there’s Schrodinger’s Asshole:
A person who decides whether or not they’re full of shit by the reactions of those around them.
Clever girl 🐘 ♥️
Had to cache it because this is just lovely stuff. Pretty sure I had a mini-blackout when I read the Trainspotting part 💯
Q: How has the response been from your previous fans and followers that were around before the meme? Also, have you received any interesting or wholesome messages from fans since your meme went viral that you can share with us?
A: When I read the comments section after my video went viral, I see that my Turkish followers still do not understand the meme, and they ask questions like, “Is the channel stolen? Why are there so many foreigners here? Where are the Turks?”
Which TIL has an editorials section… ↩︎
You could almost just narrate the body changes and narrate the dream. So here she’s asleep. She sees a crab and her color starts to change a little bit then she turns all dark. Octopuses will do that when they leave the bottom. This is a camouflage like she’s just subdued a crab and now she’s going to sit there and eat it and she doesn’t want anyone to notice her. It’s a very unusual behavior to see the color come and go on her mantle like that. I mean, just to be able to see all the different color patterns just flashing one after another… you don’t usually see that when an animal’s sleeping which really is fascinating.
But yeah if she’s dreaming that’s the dream.
Mentioned this to NB. Saving here for later.
On this event:
I often wonder what people like him would think of our times.
Cached. “Yes, at seventy years old and 143 pounds, Mister Rogers still fights, and indeed, early this year, when television handed him its highest honor, he responded by telling television—gently, of course—to just shut up for once, and television listened.” ↩︎
Saw this after about 18 years. Some assorted notes: Thought I heard “Boléro”. Every frame is a fucking painting. Just so wonderful: sunshine through the leaves and at the interrogation, characters walking into and out of the audience, the gate’s history and state of decay, and of course Tajomaru’s sword when he’s under the tree 🤣 No idea what his constant fly-swatting signified. Faces sometimes resembled those in Ukiyo-e paintings (like this one). Save for the hapless priest, every character is demon and human. Storytelling: tension between whether it is to be regarded a fable or a real account. ‘The lies we tell ourselves don’t matter as long as they’re in the service of mending and preserving our humanity.’ Professor David Thorburn breaks down the movie.
Just pure joy.
I love the movie and was surprised to find out that there was a graphic novel that preceded it. A work of original and breathtaking beauty like the movie and its soundtrack. Kent Williams’ style and vision took a bit to get used to. Wonderful stuff.
Aronofsky notes in the book that the movie almost didn’t happen due to budgetary concerns, and that he reworked it to make it a “lean, mean indie film.” I wonder if that explains the beautiful macrophotography they used for SFX.
Here it is on ThriftBooks.
👏 👏 👏 (cached)
“Nidhi: In thirty-five years of being in this industry, I’ve never seen a dish look like that… taste so good. It’s delicious.”
On the developer side, what I hope people are doing is trying to make, not just good code, but these days we’ve been very good about having explanations for the code. So commit messages to me are almost as important as the code change itself. Sometimes the code change is so obvious that no message is really required, but that is very very rare. And so one of the things I hope developers are thinking about, the people who are actually writing code, is not just the code itself, but explaining why the code does something, and why some change was needed. Because that then in turn helps the managerial side of the equation, where if you can explain your code to me, I will trust the code.
A lot of open source in general is about communication. And part of it is the commit messages, part of it is just the email going back and forth. Communicating what you’re trying to do or communicating why something doesn’t work for you is really important.
– Linus Torvalds, in conversation with Dirk Hohndel (emphasis mine)
I hereby swear to read this document and make writing good commit messages a habit ✋🚀
On tech culture’s obsession with quantifying and optimizing every single moment of one’s existence1:
I hate this framing. It is pressuring, dehumanizing as it contextualizes human endeavor in transactional terms, usually in a market.
I know this goes against the ethos of high-tech, but humans don’t have an imperative to be as productive as possible. They don’t have to make the most use of their time. They don’t have to get as efficient as they could. These are metrics that work fine for our machines, our code. But humans are not machines. Sure, we shepherd the machines, and sure sometimes we are in rivalrous dynamics that increasing efficiency has a payoff, but it is never the goal in itself.
The real “currency” we have, if we are using the term in the sense of denoting essentialness, is our humanness, our mortality, our psyches, our connection with other people and seemingly mundane but meaningful parts of our lives. I mean, look how many of us started baking their breads and enjoying it. It is not a wise use of the “currency of time”, but it is part of life very well spent, as our internal reward mechanisms have been telling us.
With corroboration via sophomoric interpretations of stoicism and objectivism, all aimed at summoning this latent, dispassionate übermensch whose sole purpose is to “leverage” and deliver value. ↩︎
I have found a new thing I’m going to turn into scrambled eggs repeatedly until I get it right.
See also: more omelettes.
When I see a carefree runner in I-did-not-need-to-see-that shorts in windy, 5-degree weather.
This is the "the oldest surviving complete musical composition, including musical notation, from anywhere in the world" and dates from “either from the 1st or the 2nd century AD.” It was found engraved on a tombstone and was “dedicated by Seikilos to Euterpe, who was possibly his wife.” (Wikipedia)
While you live, shine
have no grief at all
life exists only for a short while
and Time demands his due
Started with this blog post about why one would need a monad (from a typing standpoint.) Then watched “What the 𝒇 is a Monad” which made a lot of things clear. Then watched this excellent, excellent talk on Lambda Calculus (with JS and Haskell code!) by Gabriel Lebec.
Finally saw this with PLG. Daniel Day-Lewis’ best performance IMO. Astounding, really.
Mr. Day-Lewis’s outsize performance, with its footnote references to Huston and strange, contorted Kabuki-like grimaces, occasionally breaks the skin of the film’s surface like a dangerous undertow. The actor seems to have invaded Plainview’s every atom, filling an otherwise empty vessel with so much rage and purpose you wait for him to blow. It’s a thrilling performance, among the greatest I’ve seen, purposefully alienating and brilliantly located at the juncture between cinematic realism and theatrical spectacle.
– Manohla Dargis “An American Primitive, Forged in a Crucible of Blood and Oil”
Paul Dano is great as an ageless vampire-pastor 😑 The excellent soundtrack was written by Jonny Greenwood (!) and features works by Arvo Pärt and Brahms.
I first saw this when I was about 10 and tried my first jigsaw puzzle with my little sister. We were quite mesmerized by the painting. We found the puzzle too difficult and lost the pieces. 26 years later, I found a complete puzzle on eBay and can’t wait to put it together with her 😃
Googling revealed that a certain David Lewis recreated the painting with real officers of the Royston Police Station in Hertfordshire in 1990.
Image via Herts Past Policing
2019 in review, by way of Mr. Lovenstein’s comics.
And why not just twist the knife?
I thought using loops was cheating, so I programmed my own using samples. I then thought using samples was cheating, so I recorded real drums. I then thought that programming it was cheating, so I learned to play drums for real. I then thought using bought drums was cheating, so I learned to make my own. I then thought using premade skins was cheating, so I killed a goat and skinned it. I then thought that that was cheating too, so I grew my own goat from a baby goat. I also think that is cheating, but I’m not sure where to go from here. I haven’t made any music lately, what with the goat farming and all.
I’ve made this mistake all too often, especially when trying to learn something new.
Things that quote kinda reminds me of:
- The old “Hole in My Bucket” song (here’s a version by Odetta and Harry Belafonte.)
- “For Want of a Nail”
- This classic from “Malcolm in the Middle”
I’ll consider myself dead on the inside until I’m this ecstatic after sipping mushroom soup.
So, here you are
too foreign for home
too foreign for here.
Never enough for both.
– Ijeoma Umebinyuo, Questions for Ada
Home is not where you are born; home is where all your attempts to escape cease.
One of my favorite things in the world.
Located southwest of Orion in the southern-hemisphere constellation Fornax, the rectangular image is 2.4 arcminutes to an edge, or 3.4 arcminutes diagonally. This is approximately one tenth of the angular diameter of a full moon viewed from Earth (which is less than 34 arcminutes), smaller than 1 sq. mm piece of paper held at 1 meter away, and equal to roughly one twenty-six-millionth of the total area of the sky. The image is oriented so that the upper left corner points toward north (−46.4°) on the celestial sphere.
– Wikipedia (emphasis mine)
Here’s all that in video form
The best screensaver in the world using red-shift data
Our shit is so, so, so tiny.
There are over 100 billion galaxies in the universe. Simply saying that number doesn’t really mean much to us because it doesn’t provide any context. Our brains have no way to accurately put that in any meaningful perspective. When we look at this image, however, and think about the context of how it was made and really understand what it means, we instantly gain the perspective and cannot help, but be forever changed by it.
We pointed the most powerful telescope ever built by human beings at absolutely nothing for no other reason than because we were curious, and discovered that we occupy a very tiny place in the heavens.
Not so sure about “instantly” gaining perspective but the rest about wonder and curiosity and our insignificant place the heavens still stand.
I absolutely love Dustin Curtis’ splendid explanation of “AppleTV” branding that’s making making the rounds on HN. For posterity, I stole this handy color-coded transcription off Michael Tsai’s blog.
See also: The intractably stupid AppleTV Remote.
and this one “Deep Forest”
Linus Torvalds on
I’d also like to point out that unlike every single horror I’ve ever witnessed when looking closer at SCM products, git actually has a simple design, with stable and reasonably well-documented data structures. In fact, I’m a huge proponent of designing your code around the data, rather than the other way around, and I think it’s one of the reasons git has been fairly successful
[. . .]
I will, in fact, claim that the difference between a bad programmer and a good one is whether he considers his code or his data structures more important. Bad programmers worry about the code. Good programmers worry about data structures and their relationships.
Do quite a bit more, good and invisible things, than required for the MVP or for the bloody “sprint.” You will then smile a lot and sleep quite well indeed. Excellence is a habit. It is yours. Nobody steals this from you.
Saved here via Stephanie Harcrow’s post.
Yakeen maan-na, Baghban dekhne se pehle mujhe idea bhi nahin aaya tha ki maa-baap ko nikaala bhi jaa sakta hai.
Beautiful, astoundingly well-crafted, painfully short work of interactive art.
Was watching an episode or two of Joy of Painting with my sister when we wondered what happened to all the finished paintings on his show.
Now we know.
Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind. These passions, like great winds, have blown me hither and thither, in a wayward course, over a great ocean of anguish, reaching to the very verge of despair.
I have sought love, first, because it brings ecstasy – ecstasy so great that I would often have sacrificed all the rest of life for a few hours of this joy. I have sought it, next, because it relieves loneliness – that terrible loneliness in which one shivering consciousness looks over the rim of the world into the cold unfathomable lifeless abyss. I have sought it finally, because in the union of love I have seen, in a mystic miniature, the prefiguring vision of the heaven that saints and poets have imagined. This is what I sought, and though it might seem too good for human life, this is what – at last – I have found.
With equal passion I have sought knowledge. I have wished to understand the hearts of men. I have wished to know why the stars shine. And I have tried to apprehend the Pythagorean power by which number holds sway above the flux. A little of this, but not much, I have achieved.
Love and knowledge, so far as they were possible, led upward toward the heavens. But always pity brought me back to earth. Echoes of cries of pain reverberate in my heart. Children in famine, victims tortured by oppressors, helpless old people a hated burden to their sons, and the whole world of loneliness, poverty, and pain make a mockery of what human life should be. I long to alleviate this evil, but I cannot, and I too suffer.
This has been my life. I have found it worth living, and would gladly live it again if the chance were offered me.
– Bertrand Russell, What I Have Lived For
I cannot get over how maddeningly cute this is. Reddit user pendragwen’s comment makes it even better:
Awww! But look at how they test out their chromatophores first thing after hatching! It’s speculated that color-changing is how they communicate and show emotion. Almost like a little joyful stretch and squeal. “Yay! I’m alive!”
Michael Leggett, lead designer of Gmail from 2008-2012
“It’s like Lucky Charms got spewed all over the screen,” he says to me, as he scrolls through his inbox. It’s true. Folders, contacts, Google apps like Docs and Drive–and at least half a dozen notifications–all clutter Gmail at any given moment. And of course, there’s that massive Gmail logo that sits in the upper left-hand corner of the screen. Just in case you forgot that you just typed “gmail.com” into your browser bar three seconds ago. “Go look at any desktop app and tell me how many have a huge fucking logo in the top left,” rants Leggett. “C’mon. It’s pure ego, pure bullshit. Drop the logo. Give me a break.”
– Fast Company, “The former lead designer of Gmail just fixed Gmail on his own”
So he made this plugin for Chrome and Firefox that cuts out all the terrible visual noise of Gmail. I’m never uninstalling this one.
And while I’m on the subject, who signed off on this disaster?
Because we all know that the only way to attact attention to a UI element is to adorn it with a big blue goddamn fucking tumor.
What is the cost of lies? It’s not that we’ll mistake them for the truth. The real danger is that if we hear enough lies, then we no longer recognize the truth at all. What can we do then? What else is left but to abandon even the hope of truth and content ourselves instead with stories? In these stories, it doesn’t matter who the heroes are.
But it is still there. Every lie we tell incurs a debt to the truth. Sooner or later, that debt is paid. That is how an RBMK reactor core explodes. Lies.
To be a scientist is to be naive. We are so focused on our search for truth, we fail to consider how few actually want us to find it. But it is always there, whether we see it or not, whether we choose to or not. The truth doesn’t care about our needs or wants. It doesn’t care about our governments, our ideologies, our religions. It will lie in wait for all time. And this, at last, is the gift of Chernobyl.
Where I once would fear the cost of truth, now I only ask: What is the cost of lies?
If you ate this fuel chip, not much of it would likely dissolve in your gut; the matrix is UO2, and U(IV) Oxide is poorly soluble even in the acid environment of the gut. But let’s say it did dissolve completely and got metabolized. You’d be committing yourself to about 20 mSv (2 rem) from Cs-137, and probably a similar dose from Sr-90. Basically, if you were a radiation worker in the USA, your annual dose limit of 5 rem would be met. In many countries and facilities, you would exceed annual allowances.
Bill Hader is made to faceshift when doing his impression of Arnold Schwarzenegger. It’s weird and brilliant and I love it. Here’s another where he does Al Pacino.
TIL about the term “deepfakes”.
Absolutely amazing stop motion by Daniel Cloud Campos & Co.
Here’s the making of. They did it over 17 days. I wonder when they got any sleep. At one point he says “we got 2 seconds after 4 hours.” ~3 minutes of video = 360 hours, or 15 days 😬
And it reminds me of the Oldboy fight scene!
Whenever you’re called on to make up your mind,
and you’re hampered by not having any,
the best way to solve the dilemma, you’ll find,
is simply by spinning a penny.
No—not so that chance shall decide the affair
while you’re passively standing there moping;
but the moment the penny is up in the air,
you suddenly know what you’re hoping.
For My Mother by May Sarton
I summon you
Out of the past
With poignant love,
You who nourished the poet
And the lover.
I see your gray eyes
Looking out to sea
In those Rockport summers,
Keeping a distance
Within the closeness
Which was never intrusive
Into the world.
And what I remember
Is how we laughed
Till we cried
Swept into merriment
Especially when times were hard.
And what I remember
Is how you never stopped creating
And how people sent me
Dresses you had designed
With rich embroidery
In brilliant colors
Because they could not bear
To give them away
Or cast them aside.
I summon you now
Not to think of
The ceaseless battle
With pain and ill health,
The frailty and the anguish.
No, today I remember
Vicki Boykis’ excellent article on every aspect of ‘Data Science’ I can think of: a little history, employment prospects, skills, education, and continuous learning.
It would appear that more than half the job, at least, is wrangling (replicating, cleaning, imputing, transferring, understanding, augmenting) data. It’s boring and super-important so, of course, is the least favorite thing 🙃
You can also “discover” your own. Like this one
Best thing I’ve seen this year. About as spiritual as it gets.
After an unimaginable length of time, even the black holes will have evaporated and the universe will be nothing but a sea of photons, gradually tending towards the same temperature, as the expansion of the universe cools them towards absolute zero. Once the very last remnants of the very last stars are finally decayed away to nothing and everything reaches the same temperature, the story of the universe finally comes to an end. For the first time in its life, the Universe will be permanent and unchanging. Entropy finally stops increasing because the cosmos cannot get any more disordered.
Nothing happens. And it keeps not happening forever.
😢 how beautiful is that? And black holes take a long, long time to evaporate
A black hole with the mass of the sun will last a wizened 1067 years. Considering that the current age of our universe is a paltry 13.8 times 109 years, that’s a good amount of time. But if you happened to turn the Eiffel Tower into a black hole, it would evaporate in only about a day.
And that’s after this happens
It will take hundreds of trillions of years for the first stellar remnant to cool completely, fading from a white dwarf through red, infrared and all the way down to a true black dwarf. By that point, the Universe will hardly be forming any new stars at all, and space will be mostly black.
BLN and I spoke about how we simply have no good strategy to attempt a comprehension of “hundreds of trillions” of years.
A delightful, 20-minute video from the Hamilton Watch Company1
It’s just an initiation into the idea until the abilities to appreciate life forthe moments in a row starts to make you a deeper and more fulfilled person, and the energy you put towards pursuing the goals … it starts out obsessive.
The point of goals
My stupid goal: I’ve risen above that and I don’t need a goal, I’m just stupid. I just float free, knowing that after you’ve pursued a stupid goal for a long time, even if you understand it’s not important, you understand it’s a device to help you overcome the absurdity of life.
Social Media (article lists this as “on getting involved”)
[One] modern phenomenon is that people have begun to savor their spectatorship rather than being involved. They don’t want to be a part of it, or if they do, they don’t know how. They construct an artificial wall between reality and themselves — and they don’t cross it.
And on life
The only way to not be crushed by the stupidity of life is to pursue something energetically and gain as much satisfaction as you can before it gets stupid — and just ignore the fact that it’s stupid. The whole thing is shitty. You’re gonna fucking die.
All Yesterdays is an exploration of things we know we will never know about “dinosaurs and prehistoric animals” . Jonathan Wojcik at bogleech.com has an excellent review of the book. Of particular interest: We know little-to-nothing about the creatures’ anatomies and morphologies because of missing soft tissue data. Here are paleoartists’ recreations of a cow and a swan:
Looked up a sperm whale’s skeleton and can’t imagine how lacking a recreation would be:
As C.M. Kosemen explains throughout All Yesterdays, we really can’t ever know how much fat and other soft tissues contributed to the overall shape of dinosaurs since that’s the first thing to rot and shrivel tight against their bones and like even a sperm whale has a little skinny skeleton.
how would we know?
The Des Moines Register on how to send them email in (I’m guessing) the late 80s/early 90s.
An article on how Baud Rate isn’t the same as Bit Rate
Baud rate refers to the number of signal or symbol changes that occur per second. A symbol is one of several voltage, frequency, or phase changes. NRZ binary has two symbols, one for each bit 0 or 1, that represent voltage levels. In this case, the baud or symbol rate is the same as the bit rate.
– Lou Frenzel, Electronic Design, “What’s The Difference Between Bit Rate And Baud Rate?”
Set to “Destino”
This is absolutely beautiful. I’m happy there’s a way to generate music that sounds like one of my favorite tracks.
'Posting’ in the pen world refers to what you do with your pen cap while you write [. . .] when you put the cap on the back of the pen while you write, regardless of whether it pushes on or screws on with threads.
[. . .] what do you do with the cap? Do you put it on the desk? Hold it in your hand? Both of these would be ‘non-posting’ or ‘unposted’ writing methods.
I write unposted, have done so my whole life, and think that people who post are weird, pitiable, and simply wrong.
An interactive model of the office from The Office 😍
by Dani Donovan
Three years late but what an absolutely beautiful game!
“One of my main goals when designing ‘Prune’ was to respect the player’s intelligence and to respect their time, whether that player is 4 or 74,” McDonald said. “So much of the mobile game market just does not do this incredibly simple thing of respecting their players as actual human beings whose time is precious.”
– Business Week, “How a half-fallen tree inspired the hottest iPhone game right now”
Via co-worker DH. Dara Ó Briain on how Racism is better than Astrology:
Racism is one of the worst social evils they can imagine. “How dare you do that?” they say. "How dare you ascribe to me personality traits? You don’t even know me, but you tell me that you know me, and you know these things about me, and you say I share these personality traits with this huge group of people, and I don’t know them, you don’t know them, and you say not only do we have the same character traits, but we have some sort of common history and some common destiny, and you make all of these horrible presumptions on the back of what? On the back of a fluke of birth. How dare you do that?
What? Ooh, Capricorn.
Ross Pomeroy for RealClearScience, “What’s the Most Efficient Language?”
[. . .] travel the world and record at least a dozen speakers of every language reading those passages aloud at their normal cadence. Count the overall number of syllables used for each passage and measure the time it took subjects to read their passage. Divide the syllable count by time to get the number of syllables spoken per second. Next, come up with some value for how much meaning is packed into each syllable, which will give you an average information density per syllable. Finally, use those values to derive an “information rate.”
English came out on top, but not by much. Most of languages grouped pretty closely together, however, Japanese lagged behind the rest. Interestingly, the languages that conveyed the least amount of information per syllable, like Spanish, Japanese, and French, tended to be spoken at a faster rate. This allowed these languages (apart from Japanese) to deliver a similar amount of information compared to more meaning-dense languages like Mandarin and English.
Jonathan McWhorter for The Atlantic, “The World’s Most Efficient Languages”
When a language seems especially telegraphic, usually another factor has come into play: Enough adults learned it at a certain stage in its history that, given the difficulty of learning a new language after childhood, it became a kind of stripped-down “schoolroom” version of itself.
In contrast, one cannot help suspecting that not too many adults have been tackling the likes of sǝq’ayǝƛaaɣwǝaɣhaś. Kabardian has been left to its own devices, and my, has it hoarded a lot of them. This is, as languages go, normal, even if Kabardian is rather extreme. By contrast, only a few languages have been taken up as vehicles of empire and imposed on millions of unsuspecting and underqualified adults. Long-dominant Mandarin, then, is less “busy” than Cantonese and Taiwanese, which have been imposed on fewer people. English came out the way it did because Vikings, who in the first millennium forged something of an empire of their own in northern and western Europe, imposed themselves on the Old English of the people they invaded and, as it were, mowed it. German, meanwhile, stayed “normal.”
In Ithkuil, “Tram-mļöi hhâsmařpţuktôx” translates to “On the contrary, I think it may turn out that this rugged mountain range trails off at some point.” 😐
I think we all know John McWhorter is not to be relied upon when he ventures away from his bailiwick of creole languages, which he is frequently called on to do since he has become the go-to linguistics popularizer, but he does have a pleasant prose style and it’s always fun to argue about his overgeneralizations and sometimes wacky obiter dicta (like the one about the Awful Russian Language).
– Steve Dodson, Language Hat, Efficient Languages
It turns this
The value proposition of our agile mindset and scrum methodology is to enable the emergence of disruptive, convergent, crowdsourced platforms that allow our clients to lean in and engage in collective mindshare on established design patterns using the latest usercentric technologies empowered by the cloud.
Here’s how he made it. Fucking brilliant. I saved a list of the terms and phrases that cause the ligatures. On a related note, I’d be bullshitting myself if maintain any hope of finishing this tiny book at some point.
As if I needed another reason to fall in love with Tilda Swinton
Swinton penned a phony IMDb biography to keep the secret, and wore fake genitalia, created by makeup artist Mark Coulier, while in character. (“She did have us make a penis and balls,” Coulier told the paper. “She had this nice, weighty set of genitalia so that she could feel it dangling between her legs, and she managed to get it out on set on a couple of occasions.”) Both she and Guadagnino were miffed when their secret got out. “Frankly, my long-held dream was that we would never have addressed this question at all,” Swinton told the Times. “My original idea was that Lutz would die during the edit, and his ‘In Memoriam’ be the final credit in the film.”