Quarantine Logs 2020-04-20
I’m going to try to do this weekly. I’m not the kind of person to be able to pull out a full-fledged technical project with a write-up every week (last week was more of a half-finished technical project with a full-fledged write-up, to be honest), so a lot of these weekly posts will be a lot more chill. Tomorrow, I have my very last final exam of my undergrad (go me!) so this one is going to be one such chill post.
It turned out to be a big list of recommendations.
First, a couple of shoutouts are in order.
- My friend Eugene, who mostly inspired my new glut of posts. Whenever I’d text him some of my thoughts he’d say “you should write a blog post about it”. And that’s right, I should. A lot of the things I say or think about are lost forever after I forget about them, and I really enjoy writing stuff. So I owe it to him for prodding me to actually do this. Go and read his post about bad automatic translation.
- My friend Dmitry, who gave me some good feedback on this website’s CSS; I’m still working on it.
- A (non-public) friend who commented on my Facebook share of the circuits post with some really useful advice about how to proceed with it.
- All of the people whom I’ve been in calls with during the course of this pandemic. Thanks so much for your time.
Here’s some things I’ve found interesting this week:
- 8051Enthusiast/regex2fat: Turn a regular expression into a FAT32 file system.
- Tackling Climate Change with Machine Learning, by Rolnick et. al. This looks to be a fantastic starting point for any aspiring researcher or anyone searching for machine learning projects to do. I see it as a springboard—one reads it by finding topics in the paper that are interesting and checking that section’s references to find out more.
- One section of this paper (the one about CO₂ removal) led me to check out a bunch of applications of ML in computational chemistry. Checking the references led me to the paper Automatic chemical design using a data-driven continuous representation of molecules by Gómez-Bombarelli et. al., showing a method of generating molecules for chemical design (for things like drug discovery) using RNN-powered variational autoencoders.
- 3Blue1Brown’s video about the Riemann zeta-function where I learned a whole ton about analytic continuation and realized I still have much to learn about complex analysis.
- The trailer for Sea of Stars, an upcoming indie RPG. Long ago I dreamed of making my own high quality Chrono Trigger-style game, and it seems like this studio’s done it.
- Taking screenshots in Google StreetView.
- The “London Districts” YouTube channel which goes into the history and current state of the different districts of London. Really shows you the diversity of the place, and also the sheer size. Would that I could travel this season :(.
- In a similar vein, John Rogers’ YouTube channel which consists of him going on historical walks through London. Often a friend will join him and sometimes there’s a theme, like following the path of a plot of a particular historical book.
(More mainstream/polished) media I’ve been consuming:
- Tower of God. It’s just so well done. I am, on and off, also going through the original webtoon.
- Robin Hobb‘s work; for the past few months I’ve been reading the Realm of the Elderlings cycle. At this point I’ve read the Farseer trilogy, the Liveship Traders trilogy, and the Tawny Man trilogy. I recommend her work to anyone who wants to get into fantasy or anyone who likes good character writing in fiction in general.
- Bon Appétit’s YouTube channel. I admit I don’t have the ingredients or the motivation to follow along with most of the recipes but this is some of the best food content I’ve seen online. The ones where Chris Morocco recreates dishes from taste is sneakily more informative than the ones where any of the chefs straight-up go through recipes.