Critical Section

cool stuff

Thursday,  02/13/20  10:19 PM

star eat starI've been traveling and reading and have some cool stuff to share...

This is a *real* picture of a red giant star "swallowing" another star.  How cool is that?

quadratic equation solverThis professor's amazing trick makes quadratic equations easier.  Cool!  In addition to being easier, this method makes more sense, so that you can remember it or even re-derive it when necessary.

Economist: Britain after Brexit.  After not having supported Brexit nor having understood why the majority of British people voted to leave the EU, the Economist editors double down by hoping Boris Johnson will follow Liberalism as his lodestar.  This is *not* the Onion, but you could be forgiven for thinking so.

More Economist: Who will be Donald Trump's most forceful foe?  Before you click through, ask yourself who do you think is the answer to this?  And then read their answer: Joe Biden (!?).  Um ... no.  I believe the editors have lost the thread entirely.

Apropos: In Dem primary field, the idea of a moderate is a myth.  Obama was the second most liberal person in the Senate (behind John Kerry), and literally all of the current Democrat candidates are to the left of him.  Including [former Republican] Michael Bloomberg.

the rock - a new huge diamond is discovered, and disrupts the industryFrom the New Yorker: The Rock.  In which a huge new diamond is found, and disrupts the industry.  I always like reading about diamonds as the classic case of marketing to create demand ... did you know that diamonds are not rare?  (And are in fact more common than many gemstones which are less valuable?)  Anyway, cool.

solar flare!Good news: A new spacecraft will examine the sun close up.  "On February 10th a rocket blasted off from Florida carrying Solar Orbiter, a European space probe designed to solve some of them. This craft will spend the next two years performing fly-bys of Venus and Earth, using the gravity of both planets to kick itself into an unusual orbit that will take it well above the ecliptic, the plane in which all of the sun’s planets orbit."  Yay.

Founders at work: Steve Wozniak.  Linked via Paul Graham who comments "lots to learn from in this".  No kidding.  A great overview of what makes great engineers, and great products.  I love the emphasis on elegance; I believe Woz would agree with W=UH :)


Black Sabbath : Black Sabbath - 50 years ago!Did you know?  It's the 50th anniversary of Black Sabbath's eponymous debut album.  "What is this that stands before me?"

Ladysmith Black Mambazo : The Lion Sleeps TonightFinally this: The Lion Sleeps Tonight.  Bummed to hear of the passing of Joseph Shabalala, founder of Ladysmith Black Mambazo.  One of the best concerts I've seen from a band I didn't know at all when I saw them was LBM.  They were at the Greek Theater - it was filled - and just about everyone in the audience sang along.

this date in:
About Me

Greatest Hits
Correlation vs. Causality
The Tyranny of Email
Unnatural Selection
Aperio's Mission = Automating Pathology
On Blame
Try, or Try Not
Books and Wine
Emergent Properties
God and Beauty
Moving Mount Fuji The Nest Rock 'n Roll
IQ and Populations
Are You a Bright?
Adding Value
The Joy of Craftsmanship
The Emperor's New Code
Toy Story
The Return of the King
Religion vs IQ
In the Wet
solving bongard problems
visiting Titan
unintelligent design
the nuclear option
estimating in meatspace
second gear
On the Persistence of Bad Design...
Texas chili cookoff
almost famous design and stochastic debugging
may I take your order?
universal healthcare
triple double
New Yorker covers
Death Rider! (da da dum)
how did I get here (Mt.Whitney)?
the Law of Significance
Holiday Inn
Daniel Jacoby's photographs
the first bird
Gödel Escher Bach: Birthday Cantatatata
Father's Day (in pictures)
your cat for my car
Jobsnotes of note
world population map
no joy in Baker
vote smart
exact nonsense
introducing eyesFinder
to space
where are the desktop apps?
still the first bird
progress ratches