Liberal MP causes consternation in House of Commons after appearing naked on camera in front of colleagues

(nationalpost.com)

'If you could remind our colleagues, particularly the men, that a tie and a jacket are obligatory, but also a shirt, underwear and pants'

Only in Canada 🙄

Fast and Furious 9 drops a new trailer ahead of June 25 release

(arstechnica.com)

First flying cars. Then an endless runway. Then a submarine. Now magnets.

Magnets? That could be interesting 🤔

As my colleague Jennifer Ouellette explained last year, "F&F9 will probably make about as much sense as its predecessors—in other words, not much sense at all. And fans wouldn't have it any other way."

Indeed. If I wanted to watch an action-packed movie with lots of cars and a logical story, I'd watch Pixar's Cars or Cars 3.

Lego has a new 2,354-piece NASA Space Shuttle set, and it's awesome

(arstechnica.com)

The ongoing collaboration between Lego and NASA continues to delight. Back in 2017, the Danish toymaker brought out a highly detailed Saturn V—a model ably assembled in time lapse by Ars' Eric Berger before its release. Two years later, Lego followed up with the Apollo 11 lunar lander, and in 2020 it was the turn of the International Space Station. And earlier this April, Lego released the latest set to bear NASA's famous worm logo: space shuttle Discovery, as it was for 1990's STS-31 mission. This was an important mission, reaching the highest orbit for a space shuttle to date. Discovery put the Hubble space telescope into orbit, and its crew even captured the event on IMAX cameras brought along for the ride.

Lego has made a number of space shuttle sets over the years, but none has been as detailed as this 2,354-piece set. The finished orbiter is a substantial 21.8 inches (55.46 cm) long with a 13.6-inch (34.6 cm) wingspan, and it lends itself well to reproduction in Lego bricks at this scale; the space shuttle was covered in blocky tiles, after all.

It’s a shame I can’t ask Santa for this …

A look under the hood: how branches work in Git - Stack Overflow Blog

(stackoverflow.blog)

Git has won the race for the most popular version control system. But why exactly is it so popular? The answer, at least in my opinion, is pretty clear: branches! They allow you to keep different versions of your code cleanly separated—ideal when collaborating in a team with other people, but also for yourself when you begin working on a new feature.

Although other version control systems also offer some form of branching, Git’s concept and implementation are just stunning. It has made working with branches so quick and easy that many developers have adopted the concept for their daily work.

This is a really clear writeup of how Git works, demystifying a good deal of it. I've shared it with a number of colleagues and it's good for anyone who might be interested in understanding how modern version control systems work1 👍🏻


  1. You'd be surprised how many file sync and backup tools have moved to a Git model for simplicity.

The forgotten director who gave us The Force, inspired 2001, and changed film

(arstechnica.com)

Kroitor, who died in 2012, was known for a string of innovations in movie-making. He was at the forefront of the cinéma vérité movement, typified by films like Lonely Boy as well as a pair of short documentaries on the legendary piano player Glenn Gould, and another that brings viewers into the life of Igor Stravinsky. Later, Kroitor pioneered multi-screen filmmaking and co-founded IMAX, the company that would deliver a giant-sized cinematic experience to viewers around the world. And along the way, he made a film that inspired Stanley Kubrick as he was making 2001: A Space Odyssey—plus Kroitor just happened to give George Lucas the idea for “the Force.”

But above all else, Roman Kroitor was a risk-taker who intuitively understood the elements of visual storytelling, recalls filmmaker Stephen Low, who often collaborated with Kroitor (as did his father, Colin Low). While Kroitor made dramas as well as documentaries, there was something about the latter format that fascinated him. As Low puts it, he “loved telling real stories that celebrated real people.”

It is Kroiter's contributions to documentaries that I appreciate most. What point is there of learning about humanity if all the humanity is stripped away, choreographed, and rehearsed?

NASA's InSight Detects Two Sizable Quakes on Mars

(www.nasa.gov)

NASA’s InSight lander has detected two strong, clear quakes originating in a location of Mars called Cerberus Fossae – the same place where two strong quakes were seen earlier in the mission. The new quakes have magnitudes of 3.3 and 3.1; the previous quakes were magnitude 3.6 and 3.5. InSight has recorded over 500 quakes to date, but because of their clear signals, these are four of the best quake records for probing the interior of the planet.

This is pretty cool to note. A seismically-active Mars makes for a slightly more viable colony location. Quakes mean the core is still molten to a degree, which acts as a dynamo to create the magnetic field that surrounds the planet. While there’s little we can do to increase the strength of a planet’s magnetic field1, being able to measure and determine the composition of Mars’ crust will go a long way to giving us the confidence we need in sending people there long term 🙂


  1. No, nukes won’t do it.

The End of AMP

(www.lafoo.com)

I am hopeful that 2021 will be the beginning of the end for two of my least favorite things – the pandemic and Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP).

For the past few months, I’ve been focusing on Google’s Page Experience update due to launch in May and what it means for publishers. The largest and most talked-about item in the update is Google announcing that sites with passing core web vitals will receive a ranking boost on mobile. However, there is another important item in the update – the end of special treatment for AMP pages.

While the stated goal of AMP – making the web fast – sounds noble, AMP also came with the unfortunate requirement that publishers let traffic sources such as Google cache their content and serve it from their domain, such as google.com. In practice, this meant that when a user clicks on a search result from the BBC, they didn’t go to BBC’s website; they view a copy of the BBC’s content on google.com. AMP created all kinds of problems, from analytics to ad serving to logins. Perhaps most importantly, it created a temptation that even Google couldn’t resist – encouraging users to stay on Google instead of consuming more content on a publisher’s website.

AMP going away would be a nice thing. It didn’t really add much value to begin with. If Google wanted a less-heavy way of reading site content, they could have made better use of RSS. This would encourage sites to stop being stupid with their “partial feed” crap and encourage a more open Internet.

Of course, an open Internet would be “bad” for a lot of companies, Google being one of them. It’s really no wonder they do what they do, be it evil or just “evil in disguise” 😕

When will the snow end, and the art of STFU

(phoneboy.info)

The fact is: the Internet is getting much smaller. If you put something on a web page, chances are someone will find it. Maybe the right someone, maybe the wrong someone. If you wouldn’t want someone to find out you said something, then practice the art of STFU: DON’T PUT IT ON THE INTERNET.

Very true 🤐

Red Hat statement about Richard Stallman's return to the Free Software Foundation board

(www.redhat.com)

Red Hat is a long-time donor and contributor to projects stewarded by the Free Software Foundation (FSF), with hundreds of contributors and millions of lines of code contributed. Considering the circumstances of Richard Stallman's original resignation in 2019, Red Hat was appalled to learn that he had rejoined the FSF board of directors. As a result, we are immediately suspending all Red Hat funding of the FSF and any FSF-hosted events. In addition, many Red Hat contributors have told us they no longer plan to participate in FSF-led or backed events, and we stand behind them.

And so it begins …

Hideki

(daily.matigo.ca)

The temperature in the city reached a high of 3˚C today and is expected to sit at 0˚ or below for the rest of the week with occasional bouts of snow. Very rarely does the weather in this part of the country get so chilly. So, while out with Nozomi, I picked up two hot drinks at a nearby vending machine. One for me, and one for Hideki; the homeless man who lives under a bridge near my home.

I recently listened to this old episode of DDM because today I learned that Hideki passed away in January while sleeping under the bridge near the place I used to live.

He rejected technology. He rejected modern living. He was angry about machines replacing people, a pattern we’ve seen repeated over thousands of years. He was angry at his ex-wife. He was angry at his previous employers. He was angry at the government. He was happy, though, when Nozomi and I would pay a visit with something to drink and a few minutes of conversation. I couldn’t understand everything he said, but I understood that he was someone unlike anyone I had ever met before. He chose to be homeless out of principle. His principles, but principle nonetheless.

And now he’s gone. The winter temperatures were a bit too much and he froze while I slept comfortably in a bed heated by an electric blanket.

Sometimes I wonder if I’m investing my time properly. Yeah, my family is taken care of, but there are a lot of people who could do with some basics … assuming they will elect to accept them.