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  • 11:26 pm on May 30, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Neat.. the fitness center I started going in November last year has already made it to the top 13 of all places I’ve been to, since like 2010.

    Top 1 and 3 are current and past home.

    Seeing how my church does not make it into the rankings, and how some of the numbers are too low, I think it only counts automatic location tag as a visit when 1) there are no other competing business locations overlapping within the same GPS margin of error, or 2) I have confirmed the location manually on Google Maps. (Although I don’t think my church would be near anything else..?)

     
  • 2:54 pm on May 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    My Pixel 3 phone has this feature where it can filter through potential scam/robo/ad calls by going through an interactive script with the call using voice synthetizer, and the phone holder can monitor the conversation live (if they want) via text through voice transcription. Google calls this “AI Call Screening”

    I got one such call just now and put it through the screener. They hung up, then called again, so I picked up. Turns out it was a robo call for my doctor’s appointment. So these two voice scripts were talking to each other for a bit. Nice.

    Image: Wikimedia REEMS.jpg

     
  • 12:26 am on April 11, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    The southern Indian Ocean is huge. When I learned that there was a small set of islands smack right in the middle of it called the Kerguelen Islands, with the apt alternate name of Desolation Islands, I was strangely hooked. I kept thinking of how cold and helpless the place was, and how lost it would feel to experience a shipwreck and wash ashore this island. It felt extremely scary and helpless, and for some reason I was fascinated. I combed through a bunch of Wikipedia entries and photos of the island.

    The island is more than 2,000 miles away from a continent, in any direction – Africa, Australia, Antarctica, the Indian subcontinent. Unlike islands sprinkled throughout the Pacific Ocean, which everyone knows is huge, this one has a strange appeal. I just imagine the huge swatch of ocean extending from South Africa to Antarctica to be unexpectedly huge, with cold, merciless giant waves. South Africa under the Apartheid government is said to have experimented nuclear weapons in this ocean in the 80’s. Also, islands in the Pacific are at least in general not too far from another island. Kerguelen Islands is 800 miles away from the nearest island with people in it.

    And that’s how the Thalassophobia subreddit became a favorite, and I spent multiple days hooked to a space simulator called SpaceEngine. The universe is so huge, and there are so many strange stars and formations. One of the most intense staring experiences in the simulator is Sagitarius A*, the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy. (Does it mean it’s holding the galaxy together, in a way, with its gravity?) It’s 25,000 light years from the earth.

    As an extension of the lost far away in the ocean scale, Sgr A* is an excellent candidate – it’s a very well known black hole, so there is plenty of material to read about on the internet; it’s hopelessly far from Earth (but not senselessly far, like some other galaxy – it’s still in the Milky Way) so if you get to see it with your bare eyes, there is no hope of returning to Earth or making it out alive; and its huge accretion disk, with its incredible amounts of matter that is spinning near light speed and therefore extremely hot and violent, casts a sense of doom. If you get close enough to this thing, you will not only suffer spaghettification near the event horizon due to tidal forces, but just become a microscopic part of a cosmic scale storm.

    Today, an international group of astronomers released a photo that depicts the event horizon, black hole shadow, accretion disk, and accretion disk doppler effect(I think?) of Sgr A*. Looking at it in SpaceEngine felt scary, but now with such a close up shot, it feels especially deadly.

    First Images of Black Holes!

    Watch this video on YouTube.

    Veritasium did a video one day before the release predicting its shape (which was generally known information) and using very simple techniques to explain some characteristics of the expected photo.

    How to Understand the Image of a Black Hole

    Watch this video on YouTube.
     
  • 9:43 am on April 9, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    What, we mispelled our former Executive Director’s name?

    Oh lol. Carry on then. I looks like your automated spam script failed to account for diversity within the English speaking world. Systemic mistakes like these can ruin your spam product’s non-existing credibility.

     

     
  • 7:35 am on April 9, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    WCKNC Elections Witness Statement 

    I submitted a witness statement to the city regarding what I saw happen at the April 4 WCKNC election for multiple people filing election challenges.

    The following information contained herein is within my own personal knowledge and relates only to facts and circumstances surrounding the Election Challenge submitted by _____________ on ____________ regarding Wilshire Center-Koreatown Neighborhood Council.

    My name is Yongho Kim, and I live in the Wilshire Center-Koreatown Neighborhood Council (WCKNC) District 4. My mailing address, 900 Crenshaw Blvd #B, Los Angeles CA 90019, is my workplace where I can receive mail reliably. On April 4, 2019, at 5:40pm I voted at the Los Angeles Neighborhood Council elections at the at the polls at Seoul International Park.

    (More …)

     
  • 6:57 pm on April 5, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    Unidentified partisan canvassing at the WCKNC Elections 

    Yesterday I voted at the Los Angeles Neighborhood Council elections at the Wilshire Center Koreatown Neighborhood Council (WCKNC). I went to the polls at Seoul International Park around 5:40pm.

    As I headed to the park gym, I could see two booths – one with personnel who seemed Korean, and another with personnel who seemed.. South Asian? As I walked by them, someone at the Korean booth looked at me. I looked at her.

    • Uh.. is this the election booth?
    • Well… just come over here; we’ll help you.

    She handed me a form that read something along the lines of “Neighborhood Council Voter Registration”.

    • Please fill this out.
    • I already voted in a Neighborhood Council elections before. Do I need to register again?
    • Yeah, you have to.

    She asked me a few questions  to help me fill the form correctly. I also overheard another person telling another voter next to me “they will ask you to point on a map where your house is”.

    I gave her the completed form. Then she said that I could turn that in at the polling site, and gave me a paper with a list of candidates. It was not a paper with all the candidates on it – just a few that apparently they were campaigning for.

    She said “I’m giving you these names for your consideration.. just as a reference” (In Korean: “이 후보들을 고려해주세요.. 참고만 하시라구요”) So then I asked her, “are you with the official elections administration?”. She fumbled the answer, and then said “Just go in and please vote”, and again adding “consider those candidates”.

    (More …)

     
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