Friday, August 26th, 2022

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Python spelling correction deep dive

Ran across this old article about how Google does their spelling correction on searches. You search for 'speling' and they say 'Returning results for 'spelling'' - It's a bit of a deep dive for anyone who isn't proficient with programming.

8/26/2022 6:47 am | | Tags: programming, python

The White House social media account has grown teeth in the last few weeks, this article introduces us to Megan Coyne who is part of the reason why

8/26/2022 6:50 am | | Tags: us politics, white house, social media, new jersey

Follow up on Swastika Mountain

My brother got curious and actually looked into it, this is what he sent me:

I got curious and looked it up. Wikipedia says "The mountain took its name from the extinct town of Swastika, which was reportedly so named because a rancher there branded his cattle with the image of a swastika."

Was this rancher a Nazi, I wondered? One of the citations on Wikipedia was to a book called In Search of Western Oregon that's available on the Internet Archive. I had to sign up for an account but was able to browse the book (which is excruciatingly boring), and it turns out the town was called Swastika at least as early as 1909.

So it's definitely not Nazi-related. Clayton E. Burton was the rancher with the swastika brand. He was a settler from Minnesota, and Wikipedia says the swastika moved from India into Scandinavia, so that's presumably how it got to this Minnesotan rancher. It pops up a lot in old northern US/Canada, such as this Canadian women's hockey team called "the Swastikas" (photo from 1922):

8/26/2022 8:10 am | | Tags: geography, oregon

"Tedros: Tigray, the Triple Billion, and a second term"

As Ukraine's coverage grew I recall seeing a few call outs that the media was hammering on Ukraine while there were a number of other countries undergoing invasions / wars / crises which got nowhere near as much coverage. This editorial highlights Dr. Tedros' calling attention to the Ethiopian crises and calls out the lack of western news coverage.

"Maybe the reason is the colour of the skin of the people in Tigray." Dr. Tedros confronted world leaders last week for their neglect of "the worst disaster on earth"—a storm of conflict in Ethiopia, extreme weather across the Horn of Africa, and soaring food, fuel, and fertiliser prices exacerbated by Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Tedros is not politically neutral, given his Tigrayan background and former high-level roles in the Ethiopian Government. But his suggestion that racism underpins the world's apparent indifference is worthy of consideration, by both the political and health communities.

8/26/2022 8:37 am | | Tags: ethiopia, africa, war, climate change, economics

NWSL kicks off their first-ever free agency period

The NWSL (National Women's Soccer League) is one of the most tragically underrated sports leagues in the country. It is filled with world class talent playing the beautiful game. And it's overlooked because it's soccer and more-so, that it's being played by women. The NWSL, which is the latest iteration of the country's top-tier women's soccer league, started ten years ago and this year they will give players who qualify free-agency to control their team and destination.

To many US sports fans, this entire thing seems weird. US soccer is a weird combination of American sports structures (single-entity) and the structure which dominates the rest of the world, where the teams are fully independent organizations. I won't delve too deep into it this morning, but I felt it was definitely worth highlighting that the NWSL has crossed this milestone.

8/26/2022 8:43 am | | Tags: soccer, womens sports, nwsl

As I sit here, realizing I forgot to bring lunch today, I am questioning what it would do to my fast food consumption to not allow myself to utilize drive thrus. Would being forced to get out of my car and go inside raise the bar for what I am willing to eat and thus push most fast food out of that range?

8/26/2022 11:19 am | | Tags: fast food, healthy choices, cars

A good breakdown of NASA's Artemis program

NASA's new moon program is poised to smash all kinds of records for human spaceflight. Named for the Greek goddess Artemis, Apollo's twin sister, this initiative will put the first woman and first person of color on the moon. If all goes as scheduled, in 2025, these astronauts will become the first humans to step on the lunar regolith—or dusty moon soil—since Apollo 17’s Gene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt walked there in December 1972.

In addition, the Artemis program will establish the first long-term human presence on the moon, by putting a space station in orbit and constructing a base camp on the lunar surface. These measures will lay the groundwork for yet another first in the future: sending astronauts to Mars.

8/26/2022 12:28 pm | | Tags: space, nasa, moon

T-Mobile + Starlink

They held an event this week announcing the team up of T-Mobile and Starlink. It popped into my head this morning that I wonder what, if any, added tracking this gives them?

Not like I am someone who lives off the grid. I am infinitely trackable digitally; my cellphone already has GPS, etc. Does this change things in some way? Does this Starlink partnership make T-Mobile customers even more digitally harvestable?

I will want to review the terms and conditions I guess. I know, fairly recently, T-Mobile also drew criticism for plans to sell customer data (with the ability to opt out.) Are they related? Probably not directly, though I can't imagine this is anything but good for the deal, in some way.

8/26/2022 12:39 pm | | Tags: cell phones, satellites

Egypt has the pyramids, Iraq has the Ziggurat of Ur

I had no idea! I knew the term ziggurat because of gaming, but fascinating to learn about this historic site.

"In Mesopotamia, every city was believed to have been founded and built as the residence of a god/goddess… who acted as its protector and political authority," Rumor said. In Ur, that was Nanna the moon god – for whom the ziggurat was constructed as an earthly home and temple. "The cult of Nanna developed very early around the lower course of the Euphrates (at the centre of which was Ur) in connection with the herding of cows and the cycles of nature that increased the herd," she said.

8/26/2022 3:47 pm | | Tags: iraq, history, archaeology
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