Geek stuff

Life is hectic with advising my undergraduate students on the first written assignment while grading assignments from the graduate course where I am a TA. I have been using a few breaks to play the excellent and engrossing boardless board game Hive, both online and with the portable pocket set. I haven’t progressed to the […]

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Notably: Canon 24-70 f/2.8L Canon 70-200 f/4L Canon 100 2.8L macro Canon 50 1.4 Metz 44 AF-1 Canon 430EX-II PocketWizard PlusX (x3) Synology NAS

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When I see people out walking dogs, I like reaching a hand out to the creatures and seeing their reactions. Usually the humans are happy about this and volunteer information about the dog’s name and breed. Occasionally, there are people who pointedly ignore me and yank hard on the leash to punish the dog for […]

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There is a widespread expectation that autonomous or driverless cars of the sort being developed by Google will soon become commercially available and active on public roads. A recent Slate article makes some strong arguments for why that expectation may be premature: But the maps have problems, starting with the fact that the car can’t […]

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Between when my family first got internet access (I got my first taste at the Science Al!ve daycamp at SFU, using a primitive form of Netscape) and sometime between my M.Phil / working in Ottawa / starting my PhD, I spent thousands of hours talking with all sorts of friends over ICQ, MSN Messenger, and […]

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The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a constellation of twenty-one primary satellites, and three spares, in near-circular orbits 11,000 miles above the earth at an inclination of 55 degrees to its equator. While the satellites are best known for their role in allowing the precise location of individuals and objects, by 1995 they had been […]

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During the readout of Vela 6911, AFTEC personnel watched as a stylus drew a figure representing the variations in light intensity, as monitored by the two satellite bhangmeters. There was no data from a third optical sensor, whose mission was to provide the geographic origin of any noticeable flash of light, because it was out […]

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New dietary guidance from the Heart and Stroke Foundation warns against “ultra-processed foods”, those that are “nutritionally unbalanced foods high in sugar, fat and salt manufactured in a way to promote over-consumption and are associated with weight gain and high blood pressure”. They include “soft drinks, packaged fruit juices, cookies, ice cream, salty snacks, ready […]

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Parche left for the Barents shortly after yet another diplomatic scuffle, in which the Soviets boycotted the Olympic Games in Los Angeles, answering the U.S. boycott of the games in Moscow four years earlier. When she returned, it was clear that she had brought home far more than the most optimistic intelligence officials had hoped […]

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When the Yankee subs were the best the Soviet Union had, nearly every one sent within range of the United States had been in the line of fire of U.S. subs shadowing behind. If war had broken out, those subs could have sunk the Soviet boomers before they ever fired. Then, if both sides ever […]

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