Category: Link

Two links: the survivor of an SR-71 accident and a giant nuclear fusion reactor

The first: http://roadrunnersinternationale.com/weaver_sr71_bailout.html

This one is relatively short. Bill Weaver, a test pilot for the SR-71 Blackbird in 1966, survived a forced ejection from the plane… because it ripped itself to pieces while traveling over Mach 3.

The second: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2014/03/03/140303fa_fact_khatchadourian?currentPage=all

This one is relatively long, but fantastically written. It details the story of ITER, a multinational group of scientists working to build what would be the world’s largest and only self-sustaining nuclear fusion reactor. Fission is the principle every other nuclear reactor operates on: fusion is much more difficult, and has never been done on a large enough scale to generate more energy than is required to start it. The entire thing smacks of over-complications, mad-scientist architectures, grandiose visions of the future, and if it were to succeed, the eventual solution to the continuing energy crisis.

ITER has been a thing since Reagan and Gorbachev in the 80s, and their end-goal, which is essentially a tiny nuclear cloud, like a star, in a giant magnetic bottle, is a distant dream. Still, this is one of the most inspirational things I’ve read in a long long time. It makes everything else in the world seem smaller and less important in comparison. Well worth your time investment.

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History of Programming Languages, with Big Pictures

http://thequickword.wordpress.com/2014/02/16/james-irys-history-of-programming-languages-illustrated-with-pictures-and-large-fonts/

Having worked with the later half of these languages, I can confirm that this ridiculous article is in fact 100% accurate.

Notebook Drawings: new blog!

Just a heads-up, known to those of you following me on Twitter: I scanned bits and pieces of my childhood notebooks and am getting the best of the best and posting them to another blog, along with some names and concepts and other things I wrote up back in my creative heyday.

You can follow that blog separately over at http://notebookdrawings.wordpress.com/ if you’re interested (or follow the link up top), I won’t post about it much here.

And just a friendly reminder, the Manfighter Dev Log (link also above) is still alive and kicking, progress is slow and steady!

Manfighter Developer Log: new blog!

So I’m working on a small text-based fighting game called Manfighter, in which you fight mans. Because I like to program things like this, and because I like to talk about the things I program, I decided to put up a blog to keep track of my thoughts on the game as it progresses.

That blog can be found here: http://manfighter.wordpress.com/, and contains links to the GitHub page as well as a first post explaining the concept of the game and the direction I want to take it.

In the near future, there will be easily-playable release versions of the game in .jar format so more people can download it and give it a whirl. I’m hoping to work on it all throughout this semester, so stay tuned — day-to-day updates will stay exclusively on the Manfighter blog but major releases / other profound topics will be crosslinked here. Thanks for checking it out!

Two notes on Haskell

First, this comic from xkcd: haskell

Then this link, a metaphor for cheating on your regular programming language (be it Python or anything else) with the impressively kinky Haskell.

In one of my CS classes last semester, we had to use Haskell. It’s interesting, sure, and elegant for small, useful functions. But for large projects? I’d rather take the long way around in a traditional language and know exactly what I’m doing.

Incredibox: Create your own music!

With no introduction, you need to give this a try: http://www.incredibox.com/v3/

With an introduction: this website lets you drag and drop beats, sounds, melodies, and small voice parts, 7 at a time, into the window for cartoon beatboxers to sing for you. It’s hypnotizing, well-put-together, includes a secret video, and has a shuffle mode you can just leave on (which I am).

Give it a shot. For background music, it almost can’t be beat.