I had a delightful and relaxing American Thanksgiving weekend where I did not think about programming languages hardly at all. My general plan for the weekend was to (1) roast a turkey to feed 19, (2) make soup from the bones, and (3) do jigsaw puzzles with friends while eating soup.
Missions accomplished: (As always, click for larger versions.)
Many thanks to my crew of helpful friends who did most of the work putting Aragorn together.
I roast a turkey every year; people often ask me how to make it come out well. The answer is simple:
1) Brine the turkey for 12+ hours in a clean, food-safe five-gallon bucket with eight litres of water, half a kilogram of salt and two bottles of the cheapest chardonnay you can find.
2) Carefully follow the instructions in the Joy of Cooking. That is, truss the bird, roast it upside down at 325F for the first half, then flip it to roast breast side up for the second half. This solves the problem of undercooked legs and overcooked breast. Increase the temperature at the end, and measure the temperature inside the thigh. I find that going all the way to 175F is unnecessary; I've never had a problem with undercooked legs after the thigh gets to the mid to high 160's. I stuff the cavities with apples and have someone else make the bread stuffing separately.
Next time on FAIC: Back to C# with another look at the method type inference algorithm.
As I mentioned in my interview with George London, I have too many hobbies. Long-time readers of this blog know that I started a second blog, Fabulous Adventures in Casting, because I was building a backyard foundry to learn how to cast aluminum. Starting a new job on top of everything else was too much and so I decided to put that hobby on hold for a year or so, but I've started up again recently. And since this is not just my MSDN-hosted work blog anymore, I'm going to gradually move that content over here and occasionally post about stuff I'm doing that does not involve C#, like casting and woodworking.
Hello all, I am back from vacation, but rather than get right back into programming language design, let's have some fun for a Friday.
Most of you are probably familiar with iambic pentameter, which is the poetic meter that Shakespeare wrote in: most lines in Shakespeare are ten syllables, divided up into five iambic feet. Each foot has an unstressed syllable at the beginning and a stressed syllable at the end. As Hamlet says:
O, THAT this TOO too SOlid FLESH would MELT
Thaw AND reSOLVE itSELF inTO a DEW!
Very serious, iambs. Continue reading
EXCITING NEWS EVERYONE! Like Eric Lippert, Neil Gaiman enjoys soup!
That probably didn't make a whole lot of sense without context, so I should start by reposting My Buddy Neil Totally Agrees With Me from 2011:
Good morning and happy solstice everyone; no computer stuff today. On today's fun-for-Friday FAIC, here's a photo I snapped last weekend of the strangest set of rainbows I have ever seen in my life. (Click for a larger version.)
The photo was taken on the 15th of June at 7:30 PM Pacific Daylight Time in Seattle, so the solar altitude would have been about 14 degrees. The sun is just out of shot below the bottom of the frame. All day long there had been a 22 degree halo and most of the time it was a full circle. The 22 degree halo is pretty common; it's a circular rainbow around the sun caused by hexagonal ice crystals in the upper atmosphere. And indeed there were a lot of high cirrus clouds that day. I see these fairly frequently because I look for them; most people don't look towards the sun when looking for rainbows.
I can't believe it took almost ten years, but someone just asked me for the first time where the name of this blog comes from. Why "fabulous adventures"?
Some fun for Friday. I just opened up a box containing a brand-new bit of telecommunications equipment, and the power supply arrived looking like this, fresh out of the box. (Click for a larger version.)
How bad does your quality assurance have to be to ship to customers a power supply that cannot possibly fit into a power socket?
Today, another of my ongoing series of reruns of my fun-for-Friday non-computer posts. Here's one from the dot-com recovery of 2004.
The economy must be picking up -- I'm getting cold calls from recruiters again for the first time in about four years. Today was the second - and third - this month.
However, apparently some of them are just a wee bit disorganized. I just had the following conversations:
Me: Hi, this is Eric.
Her: Hi, this is Barbara at XYZ Recruiters. How are you today?
As promised last time, a fun-for-Friday rerun from the early days of FAIC. But before we get started, a quick physics refresher.
Force is the ability to change the velocity of an object by a certain amount in a given amount of time. One newton (N) of force is the ability to change the velocity of a one kilogram object by one meter per second, in one second. The earth applies a force of gravity of 9.8N on every 1kg mass near it.
Work is the application of a force to an object as it moves a certain distance. Energy is the ability to do work. One joule (J) of energy is the ability to apply a force of one newton to an object as it moves one meter.
Power is the rate at which energy is consumed in time. One watt (W) of power is the consumption of one joule of energy per second.
Charge is, like mass, a fundamental property of matter. The easiest way to manipulate charge is by manipulating electrons. Charge is measured in coulombs (C). Current is the movement of charge and is measured in amperes (A); one ampere is one coulomb of charge moving past a given point in one second.
Electric potential, better known as voltage, is to charge as gravity is to mass, and is measured in volts. Applying a potential of one volt to one coulomb of moving charge consumes one joule of energy. A better way to think about it though is to divide both sides of that equation by time and get that one volt times one amp is one watt.
Resistance is the tendancy of an electric conductor to resist the movement of charge, and is measured in ohms (Ω). If there is a conductor where the difference in voltage between the two ends is one volt, and the resistance is one ohm, then there will be a one amp current in the conductor.
A few years back a bunch of my coworkers and I got to discussing the space program over lunch. Someone asked why it is that we continue to launch devices into orbit by strapping a big old tank full of liquid oxygen to the device and then set it on fire. Why haven't we developed better technology using magnets or something?
As you probably know, I've been re-running some of my fun non-computer posts from the last decade. This Friday I'm going to rerun my post on the impracticalities of large-scale coilguns, and I thought that as a precursor to that I might talk a bit about tabletop coilguns. So, no programming language design this week.
A couple years ago my friend Morgan expressed an interest in learning about electronics so I thought that a homemade coilgun would of course be a perfect gift for a ten year old. This is a great project to teach kids about circuits because it has all of the basic parts except transistors, and each part has a clear purpose.