Things That Didn't Suck 2013
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- Quantum Computing Since Democritus, by Scott Aaronson
- World War Z, by Max Brooks
- Word Freak, by Steven Fatsis
- I Am A Strange Loop, by Douglas Hofstadter
- The Mind’s I, by Douglas Hofstadter and Daniel C Dennett
- Chesapeake, by James Michener
- Star Trek: The Next Generation - The Best of Both Worlds - OK, it’s really a TV show, but it was a 2-parter played back-to-back in a theater.
- World War Z / Man of Steel double feature at a real-life drive in theater - Man of Steel was stupid, WWZ was great, until I read the book, and then I thought it was bad.
- Deceptive Practice - Ricky Jay is the most interesting magician alive.
- Catching Fire
- All is Lost - I was stressed out the whole time. I learned a lot about sailing that I didn’t already know.
- American Hustle
- The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug - I saw this last night. I liked the dragon, was largely unimpressed otherwise. WTF is a Tauriel? And was there a character briefly mentioned named Elros? What?
- Apollo Robbins is a Pickpocket
- North Korea
- Dear Leader Dreams of Sushi - Japanese man makes sushi for Jung-il and Jung-un
- The Forbidden Railway - Turns out you can/could until recently take a train from Vienna to North Korea.
- It Takes Planning, Caution to avoid being ‘It’ - High school friends play a game of tag spanning 2 decades.
- This Russian family was lost in the taiga for 40 years.
- How the Chess Set Got Its Look and Feel
- On Getting Drunk in Antarctica
- How Does Copyright Work In Space?
- The 150 Things The World’s Smartest People Are Afraid Of
- The Great Canadian Maple Syrup Heist
- A whole bunch of Aaron Swartz stuff, none of which in particular stand out to me.
- Similarly for Edward Snowden.
- Similarly for BitCoins, except this one
MATH & PHYSICS FUN TIMES
- Chain of balls jumps out of container - I am working on doing the physics of this on the side now. Lots of smartness.
- The Big Move - There was a magnet at Brookhaven on Long Island that they needed at Fermilab outside of Chicago. So they moved it. The magnet is 50 feet in diameter, and weighs 700 tons, and needed to be kept within a quarter inch of its true shape during transit to do science.
- Helium (P)reserved -The government established a strategic helium reserve in order to flood the sky with dirigible warships. Even though that didn’t pan out, the helium reserve is incredibly important.
- The Dwarves Delve Deeply and Greedily. You Know What They Hope to Find in The Darkness of Khazad-dum - dark matter.
- Magnetic Putty is Super Weird.
- Professor Team Teaches With A Recorded Video of Himself
- Water & Sound - It’s as though there were a strobe light, but there isn’t.
- Many Worlds & The Copernican Principle - You sort of have to read back and forth between Aaronson’s blog and Landsburg’s blog to understand the discussion.
- Nobody Agrees what Quantum Mechanics Means, but Everyone Agrees What it Predicts.
- Feynman explains what a computer is and how it works.
THE TV SHOWS
Mostly just the Red Wedding over and over again. I was sitting at home, reading a book. I heard a scream, and immediately recognized it as Catelyn’s. I ran downstairs and my roommate was just staring at the TV with wide eyes and agape.
- Triathalon Juggling World Record - If you don’t yell at your computer when he gets in the water…
- No Direction, Period - Bob Dylan wrote every pop song since 1965.
- NYC Subway Train Conductors are obligated to point at the black and white ///////////// sign
- Crazy Combination of Sculpture, Machine, and Movie
- Marble Adding Machine - This is how your computer works, basically.
- Interesting People Who Make Fonts
- What if the Star Wars Prequels Were Good?
- Louis CK Tells The Classics
- Heart performs Stairway to Heaven at the Kennedy Center for Led Zeppelin
- The Takoma Park Folk Music Festival
- Katie and Joe - The Revolution
- Sheltered Turtle - Runaway Sketchbook
- A whole bunch of classical music and a whole bunch of CDs I brought home from India got me through my thesis.
- Louis CK live at the Kennedy Center
- American Utopias, by Mike Daisey - Let’s go to Burning Man!
- Romeo and Juliet in the round at Signature Theatre in DC.
- Punderdome 3000
- Second City
- The Neuroscience of Magic - A magician and neuroscientist team-teach a lecture, where the magician does a trick, the neuroscientist explains why you don’t understand what happened, the magician re-does the trick, explaining to you how he fooled you, and then the magician does some more tricks using the same kind of technique that you can’t catch even though you know exactly what to look for.
THE PODCASTS / AUDIOBOOKS
- True Story
- The Lord of the Rings, by BBC Radio
- The Martian Chronicles, by Ray Bradbury
- A Game of Thrones
- Thurn & Taxis - Spiel de Jahres 2006
- Qwirkle Cubes
- Quoridor - It’s a maze game.
- Lost Cities
- Liar’s Poker - I played it a lot in India. My grad school friends a lot like it now.
- Ginkgopolis - I played this in Seattle at a game store.
- Boardgame Remix Kit - I haven’t actually played with this, but I want to.
- Gerrymandering Puzzle
- Color Zen - It’s a fun, beautiful puzzle app.
- India & Nepal
- DC ⟶ CA Road Trip
- Camping at Pismo Beach and seeing the monarch butterfly grove there.
THE OTHER MISCELLANEOUS THINGS
- Sugru - Magical, moldable rubber that cures in 24 hours.
- DCist Exposed 2013 photo gallery.
- My roommate got a dog, which was fun.
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