Subterranean Lake Discovered on Mars

Scientists revealed the discovery of a lake beneath the southern polar region on Mars. The lake was detected using an instrument called MARSIS on the European Space Agency’s Mars Express spacecraft. It’s apparently not necessarily a large lake, but it’s still exciting to have found. Read more about it here.

Riding a Riese & Müller Load

I can’t stop myself. I am turning into a big fan of Riese & Müller bikes. The Packster has been in the shop for a while to replace a faulty power cable (more on that when I know what’s going on, but it’s a little concerning). In the meantime, I was able to get a loaner bike: a Riese & Müller Load.

The IceCube Neutrino Observatory

There is a scientific instrument called the IceCube Neutrino Observatory spanning a cubic kilometer of Antarctic ice more than 1.4 kilometers below the surface. This observatory is designed to detect neutrinos that pass through the instrument and interact with matter nearby. This is extremely rare because, although neutrinos are extremely common, they have a very low chance of interacting with matter.

Spiders Use Electricity to Fly

I’ve always found it pretty cool that some types of spiders can “fly” using webs. I had believed it involved airflow, but that’s apparently not it. According to “Spiders Can Fly Hundreds of Miles Using Electricity”, that doesn’t even make a lot of sense. Instead, a pair of biologists have demonstrated that spiders can use electric fields to lift them into the air. From the article:

Greenpeace Boat Tour

By request, I was taking the boys to the Science Center on Father’s Day. We were on the Packster and I saw a Greenpeace ship in South Lake Union. Tours were being hosted on board! It’s not often that I have a chance to tour an ocean-going ship, but the boys resisted and we moved on.

Rust Code of Conduct Conformulator

A while back I created the Rust Code of Conduct Conformulator to help address a consistency problem.

Initializing EC2 Instances with SSH Keys

In most situations I prefer to not use key pairs with EC2 instances. I just want to use my own SSH keys. Thus, most of the time I opt out of specifying or creating a key pair in the last step of launching an instance. Instead, I use cloud-init to install my keys when the instance is created. This isn’t groundbreaking, but I have to look up the syntax each time I do it. Hopefully putting it here will save me time in the future.

I've Been Learning Rust

Over the past several months I’ve slowly, but surely been learning Rust in my spare time. I started back in December by working my way through the first nine, or so, chapters of The Rust Programming Language (a.k.a. “The Rust Book”). After going that far I yearned to actually apply some of what I learned, and I did that primarily through contributions to rustfmt.

Playing and Writing Stories

I’ve been enjoying watching Playing & Writing Stories with Shanna Germain and Charles Ryan. Shanna and Charles (and the host, Darcy) are members of Monte Cook Games, a tabletop roleplaying game company. I’ve additionally been occasionally reading the Numenera core book and watching videos of MCG employees playing.

Fossil SCM

SQLite’s use of Fossil – a software configuration management system – came up today on Hacker News (thread). Like Git, Fossil is a distributed SCM, but it also has integrated bug tracking, a built in web interface, and other features. There’s discussion on those pages comparing it to Git. If I had a reason to try out other source control systems, Fossil might be fun to take a look at.