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Link logging

Assorted links from this week. I’ve also been reading a book on Epicurean Philosophy called The Swerve. It has been enjoyable and interesting so far. Also, weirdly apt reading for this day and age, perhaps?

Venusian Habitable Climate Scenarios: Modeling Venus Through Time and Applications to Slowly Rotating Venus‐Like Exoplanets

Evaluating several snapshots in time over the past 4+ billion years, we show that Venus could have sustained liquid water and moderate temperatures for most of this period.

Venus was shockingly habitable until fairly recently…geologically speaking.

Horseradish history

More recent appreciation of horseradish is believed to have originated in Central Europe, the area also linked to the most widely held theory of how horseradish was named. In German, it’s called meerrettich” (sea radish) because it grows by the sea. Many believe the English mispronounced the German word meer” and began calling it mareradish.” Eventually it became known as horseradish. The word horse” (as applied in horseradish”) is believed to denote large size and coarseness. Radish” comes from the Latin radix meaning root.

My 2nd fav. part of a Passover meal.

PicoWars - Advanced Wars DeMake

Advanced Wars was totally my jam on the GBA. This Pico8 demake totally captures the essence of the game. I’ve had a lot of fun playing with it, and combing through the code over the last week.

Also, demakes are a cool scene.

Sourdough Bread

We ran out of flour a few weeks ago, but I am very excited to get back to baking. We placed a bulk order a few weeks ago and it should be ready soon! I’ve got big plans for sourdough baking.

Read-Eval-Print-λove

I am completely smitten by the few issues of this news letter. Lisp and forth!?

This week I’ve also been working my way back through Practical Common Lisp. If you are at all interested in lisp, I highly recommend this one!

Why is CSS so hard

Tbh, I’m adding this piece here mostly because I feel like it doesn’t answer the question it posses — it draws attention to some of CSS many weird edges, but doesn’t really get to the root of why it is so…let’s go with weird” in place of hard, maybe?

Facebook reportedly had evidence that its algorithms were dividing people, but top executives killed or weakened proposed solutions

Ya’ll…Facebook is real garbage. Total garbage. Completely and absolutely garbage.

Deep Space Nine: The Trek spinoff that saved the day by staying put

The show’s unique ability to look back on human history from the future” offers a perspective that other pandemic-centered movies and shows available now simply can’t broach. DS9s challenge: can we employ smart decision-making today to ensure that we’ll make it to tomorrow?

A handful of reviews

In which I review a small handful of completely unrelated things.

Bike

This past summer I was gifted a cargo bike. It has 100% changed my life, both as a dad and as a lover of bikes.

I’ve biked and commuted by bike for a long time. My biking life sort of started to come apart after we had our first kid, though. I had a bike seat for kid 1, but there is only so much that can be done with 1 bike seat.

With kid 2 on the way, and a desire to use bike instead of a car my partner gave me a big red cargo bike.

It is extraordinary and I love it. Initially a bit pricey, but in the long (and, heck, short) term, it is a whole lot cheaper than a car.

A few notes about my cargo bike.

  • It is a red and teal Madsen (note that while they usually sell the bikes with matching buckets, you can request a mismatched color set!)
  • Disc brakes and gears are two things I’ve never really had on a bike. I am glad I have them on the cargo bike.
  • The bike is pretty heavy, but geared really excellently — I haven’t yet found a hill that I can’t make it up, albeit slowly.
  • When empty, the bike is loud…nearly thunderous. At first this was annoying, but I’ve grown to appreciate it. Folks can 100% hear me coming. I try to give dogs a BIG berth, though. I don’t wanna stress them out.

Manjaro

After running Ubuntu and/or Debian for years I made the leap to Arch Linux. Rather than install vanilla Arch I decided to go with Manjaro. It is excellent and I am loving it. Not much else to add other than I was shocked at how easy it was to get up and running. I blocked out 1 day to get up and running. It took 45 mins to install (over sluggish WiFi) and set everything up cozy and right.

Janet

Janet describes itself as a functional and imperative programming language…[that] makes a good system scripting language, or a language to embed in other programs”.

That seems pretty spot on. From what I’ve done with the language I’m impressed and enjoy using it a lot. That said there are a few caveats:

  • documentation is pretty limited (but the IRC/Gitter channels are responsive and helpful)
  • I get that the name is a cute ref. to The Good Place, but it also feels sort of problematic?

YUNOHOST

Yunohost is a flavor of Debian Linux designed to make being a webby sysadmin easy as clicking around a web app. It succeeds at this.

I’ve been running a few services with it locally and am very pleased. It makes running and maintaining a variety of services absolutely mindless.

Wallabag

Speaking of mindless services, I’ve used Wallabag for a long time, but still enjoy it a lot. It and org-mode are sort of the keystone to my information management system.

Two Shades of Brown Podcast

Two Shades of Brown is a podcast about computers and culture hosted by Sadiq Saif and Cristian Colocho.

Think ATP but with actually grounded, relatable hosts who aren’t just rich white dudes.

(I’m also really excited for Cristian’s new podcast, STAR, the first two episodes are really really solid, and exactly what I look for in a podcast.)

Episode 1 of Star Trek: Picard (Spoilers!)

Pros:

  • Dog named Number 1”
  • Patrick Stewart

Cons:

  • Super narrative kicked off with the introduction and immediate fridging of a character, only to then narratively devalue the already problematic death with the introduction of a twin

Baba yaga ghanoush

This week I watched a heap more television than I usually do. Highlights include (and, tbh, are limited to):

  • A bunch of Adventure Time,” because sleep, FTW!
  • Netflix’s IO.” It was interesting. More of a meditation than a narrative. Not as sci-fi as I had hoped. Indie AF.
  • Watched episode 2, season 2 of Star Trek Discovery.” It was very good. Its vibe was heaps Start Trek-y. Perhaps even peak Star Trek-y! It was as heady as the best episodes of TNG, while maintaining a modern sensibility (e.g. it was wicked watchable).

Beside rotting my brain on beautiful moving images, I also got to host the first meeting for the D&D group I’ve been invited to GM! I’m wicked excited…mostly because I’m a giant dork and love tabletop roleplaying games a lot, also because it is a weird honor to be invited to GM by a group of mostly strangers.

The big” non-work related task of the week has been migrating my website off of WebFaction (grrr) and onto blot.im (HOORAY!). Blot…still wicked good.

This week we also welcomed a 12.9″ iPad Pro into our family. It is gorgeous. It replaces Tova’s 5ish year old MacBook Air. She is very proud of it and very pleased.

Now I will eat. I made Baba ghanoush. I love Baba ghanoush. Aubergine is a more fitting name than Eggplant.” What is eggy about this plant? Surely its most striking feature is its color and not its eggyness. 🍆

Here is a song called Aubergine that I think is v. good.