The Weekend Nerdiary

Episode 14

This week we'll melt some drones, play some Tetris, lose (or gain?) an hour of sleep, and yes, we'll talk about the stuck ship.

-=[]=- The ship -=[]=-

There's so much excellent nerdery about the stuck ship this week that I'm giving it its own section.

Here's a short video made from AIS (Automatic Identification System) tracking of the ship that shows exactly how it got stuck:

There are many think pieces being written: "I Like That The Boat Is Stuck"

"I like that, so far, we all seem to agree that the boat is stuck. There's no debate over whether or not the big boat is stuck: it is a big boat, and it is stuck, and we are all aware of those facts, even those of us who are currently located in outer space.

Furthermore, most of us share the opinion that it's disagreeable, logistically, for the boat to be stuck. The boat being stuck is inconvenient. It's a big disruption! Nobody can say it isn't a big disruption. None of my distant relatives will get into arguments on The Face Website about whether or not the stuck boat is making a nuisance for lots of people. I like that."

Of course you can get 24/7 stuck ship status at

But we all know the real answer to un-stuck the ship is to call in Irrigation Dog! (watch this video - it is truly weird/awesome)

=- Space invaders -=

** Play time **

The Revolution in Classic Tetris - A great piece in The New Yorker about our love affair / obsession with competitive Classic Tetris.

And if you don't have a version of Tetris that fits the bill for your particular style of play, why not make your own? Here's an absurdly in-depth piece by someone who reverse-engineered Tetris on the original Nintendo to add a new feature (the Hard Drop)

After reading both of those stories, I decided to hop online to see what the current state of the art in competitive Tetris was like. I used to obsessively play in high school while on the phone, and I managed to develop muscle memory and, what I thought was a reasonable amount of skill.

And then I found this video, of a world champion player getting 40 lines in 17.5 seconds (which I guess doesn't sound crazy...until you see it), and once again I realized that no matter how good you think you are at something, someone on the Internet will humble you to pieces. This is a real human playing:

// Life, The Universe, and Everything //

Twice a year, like...clockwork...everyone starts talking about why Daylight Savings Time should be permanent and health benefits and and and (and I agree, btw!)

But it turns out we tried it before and it didn't go as planned.

{ Code code code code code }

I recently finished up a truly excellent 3-part Coursera class called Programming Languages. It's a "meta" course - it's not so much about "How to program in ___", but rather just "How to program". If you're looking to level up and really understand the fundamental differences between functional and object-oriented programming, I strongly recommend it.

Related: here's a great thread with other recommendations of top-rated Coursera classes.

Two exciting updates on software projects that are near and dear to my heart:

First, the Crystal Language hit v1.0.0 this week, which is a huge milestone and years in the making. Crystal is a strongly-typed, compiled language with a Ruby-like syntax, and it's truly a pleasure to work with.

Second, SvelteKit was released to beta. SvelteKit is a full-stack toolkit for building web applications using Svelte, which is a truly excellent reactive frontend framework. This talk goes into a bit more detail:

|*| Nature is metal |*|

The big nature story this week is the eruption of Iceland's Fagradalsfjall volcano. Since it's just 25 miles from Reykjavik, lots of people have been visiting and there is a TON of ridiculously cool footage.

Here is some stunning drone footage:

Here's a 24/7 livestream!

And here's someone who melted his drone in the name of some direct overhead footage :)

And on the opposite end of the spectrum, here's some pretty incredible video of an avalanche in Dagestan as it made its way through a town:

:: Pretty pixels ::

The Musée du Louvre recently made its entire 480,000-work collection available online. Here's a direct link to the Mona Lisa since I know you're going to search for that first :)

.. /dev/urandom ..

Ever wonder how an ejection seat works in a helicopter?

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,

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