Geek stuff

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I watched the four-part Netflix series on the Three Mile Island disaster and found it to be well crafted and emotionally poignant, though only OK as an educational resource on the partial meltdown. My technical complaint is that they explain almost nothing about why the accident happened and exactly what took place while it was […]

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I have seen a lot of discussion about Jonathan Haidt’s recent article in The Atlantic about how social media has broken US politics. It contains some important criticisms of the progressive left, as well as the authoritarian right — particularly about their demand that all speech and thought should conform to their ideological agenda. On […]

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It may not be easily accessible to non-Audible subscribes, but Stephen Fry’s 12-part series “Inside Your Mind” is thought-provoking, informative, and excellent. He does a great job as a science popularizer and communicator, sharing experimental research without jargon and in a consistently accessible and engaging way. So far, I have found the episode on memory […]

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In what may be the rocket-launched science story of the decade, the James Webb Space Telescope launched from the Guiana Space Centre in Kourou, French Guiana early Christmas morning Toronto time with me and many other science nerds watching the feed with mingled excitement and fear. The process from here is remarkable both in terms […]

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As part of playing around with my GPS data from my exercise walks since I wanted to make a heat map showing the likelihood of being in any particular place. Here’s one I made using Seth Golub’s heatmap.py Python script (radius 5, decay 0.75): I also made one in QGIS. First I converted the tracks […]

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Producing items additively by combining small pieces instead of starting with unshaped materials and cutting into them offers many intriguing possibilities, most notably the ability to make structures which would be implausible or impossible to make via conventional techniques and the option to customize every item produced to the dimensions and other specifications chosen. This […]

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Promoted by a recent Economist article on biodiversity and Alie Ward’s podcast on foresting ecology, I am trying out the iNaturalist app. My outdoor pursuits mostly consist of walking at a steady pace for exercise, so plant and wildlife observations aren’t my priority. Nonetheless, it’s neat to be able to take a break anywhere in […]

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It seems that after a recent computer failure the Hubble Space Telescope is back online in a backup mode.

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Researching social movements — where relevant information is often on social media, or the websites of NGOs, universities, or corporations that reorganize them frequently — link rot is an acute problem. Increasingly, the default way to let a reader see the source you’re referencing is to provide an internet hyperlink, and yet there is no […]

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