“For scientific discovery give me Scott; for speed and efficiency of travel give me Amundsen; but when disaster strikes and all hope is gone, get down on your knees and pray for Shackleton.” – Sir Raymond Priestly, Antarctic Explorer and Geologist.
AT: We hoped to make some money. But the fees came only a year after the book was published – under the terms of the contract. If we were paid immediately, we could buy a car. But there was a monetary reform and the fee was enough only to drink coffee.
A planet was found near Proxima Centauri. But more interesting than that is how it was found:
This ‘wobble’ technique look for changes in the star’s motion along the line of sight from Earth; ESPRESSO can detect variations of just 10 centimetres per second. The total effect of the planet’s orbit, which takes only 5 days, is about 40 centimetres per second, says Faria, who is at the Institute of Astrophysics and Space Sciences of the University of Porto in Portugal. “I knew that ESPRESSO could do this, but I was still surprised to see it showing up.” .
Some hedging: “On Earth, the signal would be seen as strong evidence for ancient microbial life.” and “Still, the rover has seen no physical traces of ancient microbes, so the researchers say it’s also possible deep microbes might have jump-started the enrichment, with UV light driving it the rest of the way”
Nickel oxide is interesting because when you expose it to hydrogen gas, its crystalline structure subtly changes and more electrons become available to generate an electrical current. In our experiment, we kept switching between the hydrogen-only and regular air environments. You would expect the electrical conductivity to oscillate up and down directly in relation to the exposure to hydrogen or air. But just as with the sea slugs, the change in conductivity of the nickel oxide slowly went down the more we stimulated it. It got habituated to the hydrogen.
We affirm that the ability to copy a link to a resource is as important for cognitive productivity as the ability to copy other types of information. This applies to all persistent digital information.
To help people benefit from the information they process with software, we advocate ubiquitous support for linking of information resources. This would help realize the potential of hypermedia that was envisioned by information technology pioneers such as Ted Nelson and Douglas Englebart.
Many academics attack the very idea of a Western canon as chauvinistic, while the general public increasingly doubts the value of the humanities. In Rescuing Socrates, Dominican-born American academic Roosevelt Montás tells the story of how a liberal education transformed his life, and offers an intimate account of the relevance of the Great Books today, especially to members of historically marginalized communities.
The viral success of MrBeast’s “$456,000 Squid Game in Real Life!” video means that many viewers, like some of my students, have come to associate Squid Games through MrBeast’s version rather than through its original series, thereby removing its original context and meaning. As NBC tech journalist Kat Tenbarge succinctly tweeted: “Now what if — bear with me here — the stakes of this game were life and death, painting a grim portrait of capitalism.”
By celebrating the creation of new content devoid of original meaning and context, we’re praising a system of ahistorical, non-relational entertainment over substance and critique. Or, as Stan Cross sarcastically responds to the fan account: “in the future creator economy, there will be so few gatekeepers, MrBeast will be able to operate at such speed he’ll rack up millions of views parodying shows before they’ve even been conceived, and then they won’t need to be made. A win for all of culture.”
Bizarre, but somebody’s using this, GreaterWrong, “a way to browse LessWrong”
Case study: implementing a log-based relational database in Common Lisp
This is a book about what goes on in the minds of programmers. Most programming books are about the mechanics of programming. These are essential, yet they can leave novices confused and bored. Tao Te Programming tries to get at the spirit of programming, to expose the ways of thinking that make programming challenging and fulfilling rather than too hard and grinding.
Good programming is often about effective compromise. You can go too far in a good direction. That is why many chapters have opponents — an indication of forces you need to try to balance. Chapters can also have allies that point in a similar direction.
On how and why the Roman building practices have lasted for two millenia, and what we can learn from this (their concrete was better in some ways)
Modern concrete construction might last 100 years with maintenance, but some Roman structures have survived for 1,000 years or more essentially unassisted
“You can’t see it as a tourist, but the reason the Colosseum is still standing is because of its incredibly robust concrete foundation,” said Jackson. That concrete foundation is packed with dense, heavy lava rock aggregate and is a full 12m thick, she added. Without such a strong, long-lasting material at its foundation, the Colosseum would have been reduced entirely to rubble by the region’s earthquakes.
Inside the Pantheon’s rotunda, the distance from the floor to the very top of the dome is virtually identical to the dome’s 43m diameter, inviting anyone inside to imagine the huge, perfect sphere that could be housed within its interior. When trying to appreciate the Pantheon’s dome, “unreinforced” is really the key word.