The Weekend Nerdiary

Episode 12: Pi Day Edition

Happy Pi Day! (3.14)

I've added an online archive of this (and past) editions of the Nerdiary. If you've just joined the fun, you can check out all past issues there.

This week, in addition to eating pie, we'll play some chess, push 1980s hardware to its limit (and beyond), buy some art (and gold), and prepare for baby eagles! Onward...

[[ Shiny new things ]]

More rumors about and a fancy new rendinging of Apple's upcoming VR/AR headset. In short: Headset in 2022. Glasses in 2025. Contact lenses (!) in 2030.

** Play time **

The Kilobyte's Gambit - Can you beat 1024 bytes of JavaScript at chess? A fully-functional chess engine, playable in your browser, written in significantly less code than the image of itself below :)

Polygon maintains an ever-updating series of lists, one of which is The Best PC Games. It's a good list! If you're looking for a quick catch-up on the latest (and not-so-latest) and greatest, check it out.

=- Space invaders -=

A SpaceX gets ready to launch its next Starship prototype (SN11), photographer Austin Barnard caught a pretty excellent glimpse of it on the move...(click for video)

{ Code code code code code }

8088MPH is a simply mind-blowing technical feat. It's an 8.5-minute demo, coded in 2015, that runs on a 1981 IBM PC. It uses various forms of deep black magic, including a way to squeeze 1,024 colors out of a graphics system that was designed to display...4.

Here's the video:

And here's a way-deeper-than-you-asked-for explanation of how it all works.

?? How stuff works ??

Here's 20 minutes of Korey Kiepert, owner and engineer with The Gravity Group, going into an excellent amount of depth on the nitty gritty of roller coaster design and engineering. (This one's for you Paul...)

$$ Bits and coins $$

The big story making the rounds this week was the $69-million sale of digital artwork via NFT (Non-fungible token). I think NFTs are generally [unprintable expletive], but apparently they're a thing for the moment. Vox, as usual, has a great explainer if you're curious.

Here's a twitter thread by Justin Sun, a Chinese entrepreneur (and crypto gazillionaire) in which he shares video of himself getting outbid in the last few seconds of the auction. And you were pissed when someone sniped you on eBay for that used inkjet printer!

Here's the $69 million image to enjoy for yourself....for free. Who said this newsletter isn't a great deal!

Back in the physical world where you can touch the things you pay millions of dollars for, designer and entrepreneur Stuart Weitzman is selling some of his prized coins & stamps, including the only legal-to-own 1933 $20 gold coin (for which he paid $7.6 million about 20 years ago) and two of the rarest stamps on earth. "Weitzman, 79, said that owning the three items had fulfilled a boyhood dream of collecting that began as a rookie with stamps and coins."

The 1933 $20 coin is coin collectors' true unicorn and has a fascinating backstory. A handful were stolen from the mint after private gold ownership was outlawed, but this one, through some legal twists and turns, is the only one legal to own privately.

And lest you forget your internet history...(click for details)

!! Truth is stranger than truth !!

The World's Last Lost Tourist - Here's the charming story of Erwin Kreuz, who in 1979 got off an airplane in Bangor, Maine after mistakenly thinking the flight had landed in San Francisco.

|| Long(ish)reads ||

This is a slight departure from the usual nerdery, but as a product of the NYC private school system, I'm obligated to share this deliciously snarky dive into their world: Private Schools Have Become Truly Obscene.

"The Dalton parent is not supposed to be on the wrong side of a savage inequality. She is supposed to care about savage inequalities; she is supposed to murmur sympathetically about savage inequalities while scanning the news, her gentle concern muffled by the jet-engine roar of her morning blowout. But she isn’t supposed to fall victim to one."

.. /dev/urandom ..

Here's an amazing video of an eruption of Anak Krakatau in October 2018. Anak Krakatau means "Child of Krakatoa" - Krakatoa being the volcano famous for the 1883 eruption that produced, at 310 decibels, the loudest sound in recorded history.

And last but CERTAINLY not least, here's the livestream of the Big Bear Bald Eagle Cam, where you can, right now, watch Shadow (7) and Jackie (9) tend to their nest and upcoming 2nd clutch of two eggs. Yes, there will be tiny adorable baby bald eagles being born on camera in the next few days.

That's it for this week! Thanks again for playing along. If you enjoyed this, feel free to forward to someone else who might as well. If you got this from a friend, subscribe here.

Until the next one,

Copyright © 2021 NLH Heavy Industries, LLC. All rights reserved.

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