Explorations #1

8 minute read

Hey, Curious minds!

Do you know what topic holds the record for most blog posts? It is the apology post for not writing frequently, you know where I am getting to 😉.

This series My explorations is a new initiative where I list out places of the internet I found interesting over the week. Since this seems to be less time taking than researching on a single topic, I hope to be more frequent.

Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated to any of the websites/services mentioned below.

Here, let’s start:

  • (Social media, Blockchain) steemit: A redefined social media where users are rewarded for sharing their voice. It’s a new kind of attention economy, I mean cryptocurrency. The best part is that not just posting, but commenting and voting is also rewarded. This made me realize the importance of curation (while content creation is also crucial) and inspired me to start this blog series.
  • (News, Tech) MIT’s silent speech interpreter: Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri are great and entering our homes faster than ever. But I feel embarrassed to talk to artificial assistants in public places. This innovation from MIT tries to solve this problem by understanding our speech even when silently spoken with an added bonus of using bone-conduction transmission letting you listen to sounds around you too.
  • (eLearning, Blockchain) BitDegree: A growing platform that offers online courses, with a twist of Blockchain technology. They describe themselves as Coursera + HackerRank, powered by the decentralized blockchain technology. Simply said, they give you crypto-coins for your achievements in the courses and let businesses recruit tech talent. Course registration may not be free later, hurry up!
  • (Video, Science) Hacking Particle Accelerators: What do you think we do with all the old, massive particle accelerators? Those experiments did produce exciting and crucial results back then but are not useful anymore to produce new physics. Scientists are now coming up with unconventional ways to ‘hack’ like finding possibilities of diamond rain in planets like Neptune and Uranus, making movies of how photosynthesis works at the molecular level and a lot more. Check out the description of the video for references.
  • (Cool Github Projects, Tools) Pix Chart: Give it a picture and this turns it into a histogram telling you what proportion of colours are present, my favourite being The Falcon from Star Wars. This is a very beautiful way to visualize Fourier transformation. This led me to think if an arbitrary colour (a mixture of RBG) can be represented as another frequency in the spectrum (though this project does not use the spectrum), because that is clearly not the case of sound, keep an eye for a blog post about my findings.
  • (News, Tech, Science) Microsoft wants to use Majorana particle to build Quantum computers: You know what Microsoft is (hopefully), a Majorana bound state is to an electron what the real and imaginary part are to a complex number and Quantum computation is hot and trending subject to itself. Let me know if you want me to write a detailed post about this, cause its pretty hard to explain what they are doing in a single paragraph here.
  • (Tools, Android) Running Jupyter and the Scipy stack on Android: If you did not understand what this does from the title, you may not enjoy it, give it a pass.
  • (News, Science) A new era of precision for antimatter research: A laboratory at CERN reported their measurement of antimatter’s spectrum. They made some anti-Hydrogen atom (basically a +ve charged positron going around a -ve charged antiproton, for more details, check this and found out what colours (frequencies) of light is it emitting and absorbing. Unsurprisingly and Eureka!, its spectrum is exactly same as that of Hydrogen.
  • (Tools, Writing) R Markdown: Want to write professional looking scientific articles? My best bet is LaTeX, but it feels intimidating for most. And this solves it like a champ, you type down in markdown (the easiest formatting syntax out there, if you know to use WhatsApp, trust me you can learn in 5 minutes) and gives the output in multiple formats including pdf, slides, MS Word, Website and a lot more. You can use LaTeX equation straight in, insert images, code (in R, Python or SQL). Knowing R is not required and I found this video to be a good 13 min introduction and know-it-all.
  • (News, Science) We found a Galaxy without any Dark Matter: For years now, we knew of Dark matter’s existence from its gravitational influence on visible objects, also that it dominates over the ordinary matter by a ratio of 5:1. And all of a sudden we find a Galaxy with no Dark matter!? Surely all astronomers are baffled! I am not an expert here, so read more technical details here.

While I keep listing interesting web pages in this series, most of them might only deserve one visit. So, I am also maintaining My favourite websites listicle, the ones I keep visiting repeatedly, and such a thing has to be dynamically updated (duh!).

I am looking forward to knowing what places (on the internet, obviously) you’ve explored recently, put ‘em in comments below ⬇️.

See ya next week, same place.  👉😎👉.