This, the ninety eighth edition of the WHV, looks back at the week of Monday August 10 to Sunday August 16, 2015. Today we took a brief walk up into the mountain, as one does around these parts. This is what False Bay looks like from the Helderberg Nature Reserve: When life hands you lemons, build a battery Genetic Offspring Unit (GOU) #1 had to do a show and tell at school, so I helped her to construct a battery from 4 lemons.
This, the ninety seventh edition of the WHV, looks back at the week of Monday August 3 to Sunday August 9, 2015. John Scalzi (famous and successful SciFi author) describes how he works in this post on lifehacker. What I found really interesting was that when he’s working on a book or other project, he switches off the internet between 8 and noon. I just discovered that Four Tet’s mom is South African-born.
The week has resulted in a terribly nerdy list of bullets. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK! (there’s a beer recommendation or three at the end to compensate) It turns out that the terrible Samsung trim bug which would eat all of your data, as discovered by Algolia, was a Linux kernel bug after all (now patched by Samsung) and that it would only affect RAID setups. Let’s hope there are no surprising new turning outs.
The Cape Wheel with Table Mountain in the background. NERD-ALERT: There are a whole bunch of awesome SciPy 2015 presentations online! I really liked these so far (due to good work and good presentation): A Better Default Colormap for Matplotlib by Nathaniel Smith and Stéfan van der Walt – Besides the fact that Stéfan is a friend AND SOMETIMES EVEN READS THIS BLOG (!!!1!), this work is a super useful contribution not just to matplotlib, but to general awareness and practical application of sensible quantitative colour maps!
This WHV deals with the weeks from Monday June 29 to Sunday July 19. I skipped an edition or two whilst away on vacation, as I was quite busy with, you know, being on vacation. So, about that vacation: Last year I explained about the Kruger National Park, or KNP. Well, we went again this year, and again it was lovely. It helps that in the Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces, “winter” at this time of year seems to mean “lovely balmy days with temperatures between 25 and 30 degrees Celsius”.
The week of Monday June 21 to Sunday June 28 as seen through bullets: On Monday I received a super sweet email from an ex-student of one of my DataVis courses at the TU Delft. My course got a “one of the best” rating, but more importantly, the gentleman in question explained that it had inspired him to make a career in DataVis (and judging by his work record up to now, he’s doing a really good job of it!
A random winter’s day view from Del Vera, where father’s day was celebrated. The week of Monday June 15 to Sunday June 21 in bullets: Ran around organizing all kinds of things for the new house. The various institutions have been cooperating very nicely. Spent days trying first to fix an implementation of a GPU algorithm to simulate car paint, and then to implement an alternative algorithm by the clever boys and girls at NVIDIA.
So after exactly no-one asked me when the Weekly Head Voices would be back, or why they stopped, I decided to reverse my almost-decision of quitting. This hiatus made me realise that the WHV are one of the few tenuous connecting lines between me and a tiny group of readers, people I am quite fond of, dotted around the world. Sunset at AfrikaBurn 2015. Again inspired by the information-and-entertainment-dense way that Swimgeek manages to do it, I’m going to try this in bullet form.
The public’s unwillingness to learn basic scientific concepts and scientists’ inability to communicate those concepts lead the public to reject promising research (such as genetic modification), ignore serious problems (such as global warming) and embrace dangerous nonsense (such as anti-vaccination rhetoric). — Proposition from the Ph.D. thesis of Dr Wynand Winterbach, via Francois Malan on Facebook. (This important message was brought to you by cpbotha.net, trawling facebook for interesting tidbits so you don’t have to!
Exactly ten minutes after having made a single discreet phone call, a truck arrives at one’s house with thousands of pieces of lovingly chopped braai wood. The amount of one’s choosing is then lovingly yet efficiently stacked right by the holy altar of meat scorching, after which the truck leaves on its next mission. (P.S. The wood is rooikrans.)