Cool stuff

Why ‘ji32k7au4a83’ Is a Remarkably Common Password [text] – a neat thing that’s been making the rounds on the internets recently

For the Easiest Duck Confit at Home, Go Sous Vide [text with images] – I like duck confit. I have a sous-vide water circulator. I sense experimenting in my near-ish future. (Just need to find duck legs around here…)

Awe-Inspiring Winners of the 2019 Underwater Photographer of the Year Contest [images] – some nice underwater pictures

Why Synergies are the Secret to Slay the Spire’s Fun | Game Maker’s Toolkit – some analysis of what makes Slay the Spire so good 🙂

Before Envelopes, People Protected Messages With Letterlocking [text] – a cool article about the research around letter folding.

Top 20 things likely to be overheard if you had a Klingon Programmer[text] – because I chuckled.

NASA Captures First Air-to-Air Images of Supersonic Shockwave Interaction in Flight [text, images] – those are pretty images. And a cool achievement.

Angry Metal Album Art Neural Networks [text with images] – neural networks classifying metal album art, I found that thing hilarious 😀

Google Cloud Topples the Pi Record [text] – “oh, we accidentally computed 9 trillion digits more than the previous record”

Lessons learned: writing really long fiction [text] – a post from Charlie Stross where he talks about writing (long) series of books.

Who the fuck is my D&D character [text] – a profanity-filled background generator for D&D characters. Goes with HERE IS SOME FUCKING D&D [text, GDrive folder with PDFs in it], a micro-RPG, because why not 😛

Cool stuff

Photographer follows red squirrels daily for six years: here are 30 of his best and cutest shots [photos] – because we can all do with more cute squirrels.

The real reason the sound of your own voice makes you cringe [text] – apparently, hearing one’s own voice also makes us hear the “extralinguistic content” of what we say, and that’s the cringeworthy part.

Under Pressure (Piano Cover) – Peter Bence [video, music] – that guy does piano covers of various stuff and I really enjoy his stuff. And I can’t resist a good Queen cover.

A List of TPK’s Free Printable Calligraphy Practice Sheets [files, images] – my primary school teachers may laugh a lot if they saw me working on calligraphy drills 😉 But still.

Why programming is hard [text] – what the title says 😛 And a nice (and funny) reminder.

Strange Planet [comic] – a funny comic with aliens. Or… are they?

Differentiation and Integration [comic] – XKCD made me chuckle on that one. “It’s funny ‘cuz it’s true.”

Flightradar24 — how it works? [text] – a neat article that explains the real-time tracking of airplanes, including how to roll your own receiver for the planes in your area.

Cool stuff

Elemental haiku [interactive text] – a periodic table with haiku associated to every element. Cute 🙂

Juno image gallery [images] – images from the NASA Juno mission, orbiting Jupiter. I sense some of these will eventually end up in my desktop wallpaper images.

Winners of the 2019 International Garden Photographer of the Year Competition [images] – some very pretty garden-related pictures. Slightly larger res pictures (and more of them) are available on the contest website: International Garden Photographer of the Year.

A robot that teaches itself to play Jenga [text, video] – I like robots that do cool stuff. Playing Jenga is cool. (Or, at least: watching a robot playing Jenga is cool.)

Divisive factorials! [text] – some fun considerations about the question “what happens if we replace the multiplication by the division in the definition of the factorial?”. Part of the answer is: “it depends how you do that.”

Opportunity did not answer NASA’s final call, and it’s now lost to us [text] – Opportunity was declared lost this week, and it’s strangely emotional. I actually learnt it via XKCD: Opportunity Rover [comic], which may be the most moving XKCD in a while. Generally speaking: I think that’s the first time I read an obituary for a robot.

Bohemian Git-sody [text] – a re-writing of Bohemian Rhapsody lyrics around Git. Very relatable.

Cool stuff

Halting [image, comic] – because never not post halting problem comics.

Why Gen Z Loves Closed Captioning [text] – as someone who will rarely watch TV, even in French, without closed captioning (and my hearing is fine, I had it tested ;)), I can relate to that a lot 🙂

Aeon’s End: A Functional Review [text] – a game review that made me curious about a game I may have dismissed otherwise. I still don’t think this would be the game for me, but now I kind of want to play it.

How To: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems [text] – woo, Randall Munroe just announced a new book!

DIY Miniature Modern Party Home (with Real Swimming Pool) – I got fascinated by the assembling of this miniature 🙂 (And there’s a whole channel of it!)

How colliding blocks act like a beam of light…to compute pi – the third video in the series I started talking about in a previous Cool Stuff post.

Someone clever once said women were not allowed pockets [text + images] – it IS quite obvious that pockets in women jeans suck, but now there’s DATA. (And this is why I’ll continue shopping for jeans in the men’s section. Well, that and stretchy fabric. Brr.)

it all started with a big bang [text] – Wil Wheaton talks about his time on The Big Bang Theory, and it’s nice and wholesome and good.

What happened to Limit on Jaina? [text] – one of the major World of Warcraft raiding guilds got beaten on the latest raid for “first guild to finish the raid”, and they explain how that happened. I’m pretty fascinated by the “problem-solving” that goes behind the scenes of being the first players to discover the content and write the strategy guide for it 🙂

Invisible formatting [image, comic] – too real, XKCD, too real.

Cool stuff

Ernő Rubik: The Cube Represents Man as a Thinking Being [text] – an interview of Ernő Rubik, from Rubik’s Cube fame.

I ordered a box of crickets from the Internet, and it went about as well as you’d expect [text] – well, exactly what the title says. Beware: live crickets.

What Life Is Like When Corn Is off the Table [text] – an article that describes what it’s like to be severely allergic to corn (apparently it’s a thing). Particularly fascinating for the amount of stuff in which corn can sneak… (Apparently, it’s also way more prominent in the US. Still: color me fascinated.)

Laws and Sausages – The Electoral College [comic, multiple pages] – To quote them, “The goal of Laws and Sausages is to be a comic about politics, without the politics. […] We aim to be the civics education you either never got or chose to ignore.” And it’s also educational for people outside the US 😉 The latest episode explains the electoral college.

Warhammer 40,000 Funko Pop! Figures [images + text] – Sooo. I’m not a fan of Funko Pop! aesthetics in general. When I first clicked on that link, I was half-expecting an April’s Fools joke. And now… I kind of REALLY WANT a Funko Pop! UltraMarine. And I’m obviously waiting for the Orks. And there’s a few earlier drawings and thought process at the bottom of the article, which is always nice.

Lunar Eclipse over Cologne Cathedral [photo] – a pretty cool composite of this week’s lunar eclipse.

The most unexpected answer to a counting puzzle – now THIS is probably the coolest thing of the week (and we’re only Tuesday at the time I write this). It starts with “okay, consider two blocks that move on a friction-less plane along a wall and let’s count the total number of collisions”. And I’m not going to spoil it, because that wouldn’t be fun. And then the next video in the series (don’t look at the title to avoid spoilers 😉 ) explains the math behind it and it’s even cooler. And the person doing these videos promises an even-even cooler explanation for the third video. I can’t wait 😀

​Shooting to kill – how many men can do this? – this one is interesting and somewhat disturbing. It explains how hard it is for most of the human population to actually pull the trigger in a war context, and how it’s apparently feasible to train them so that’s it’s easier. And asks the question of what happens to these people when they’re back to civilian life.

Marble Marcher – A Fractal Physics Game – some stuff about collision handling with a fractal-generated terrain.

Cool stuff

I used to gather some “cool stuff from the Internet” a long, long time ago on my French blog. Since then, that sort of “content gathering” has mostly been moved to social networks; let’s see if I can put that back in blog form instead. This could actually be a nice Friday post 🙂

Q: Why Do Keynote Speakers Keep Suggesting That Improving Security Is Possible? A: Because Keynote Speakers Make Bad Life Decisions and Are Poor Role Models – a very funny keynote by James Mickens, with an intro to machine learning in the middle, and a lot of snark about machine learning, internet of things, and the tech environment in general. (I typically do NOT watch ~1h videos on my computer. I watched that one.)

A Mercator globe [animated image]: that cracked me up 🙂

The weird power of the placebo effect, explained [text] – a fascinating article about the placebo effect. I was aware of a fair amount of the claims already, but still – that’s mind-blowing.

Matt Leacock’s 2019 Game Selection Guide – a funny flowchart about Matt Leacock’s (known in particular for Pandemic) games.

Modern Mrs Darcy’s 2019 Reading Challenge – I discovered MMD late last year, and I quite like what she does, even though we don’t necessarily have much in common (so far?) literature-wise. The Reading Challenge seems pretty fun, so I’ll try to tick the boxes this year.

To Wash It All Away [text, PDF] – an hilarious piece by James Mickens (yeah, the same one as in the video of the first link) about the terrible, terrible state of web technologies. It’s awfully mean, but delightfully and well-writtenly so.

The speed of light is torturously slow, and these 3 simple animations by a scientist at NASA prove it [text + animated images] – a neat article with a few animations to show, indeed, how slow the speed of light is.

Orders of Magnitude [image] and Observable universe logarithmic illustration [image] – some very pretty illustrations of the universe (one in layers at different scales, one in logarithmic scale) from Pablo Carlos Budassi, taken from the article above.

Gygax – 2nd Edition Review [text, music] – a review of one of my favorite albums this year – and actually the review that made me listen to it in the first place. GUYS: IT’S D&D METAL. IT’S BRILLIANT. The only annoying thing is that it tends to make me dance at my desk more often than other albums.

The Hot New Asset Class Is Lego Sets [text] – if you need an excuse to buy LEGO, you can just say it’s a way to diversify your portfolio, ‘cuz Bloomberg said so. Or you can just buy LEGO for the sake of it.