Theology, philosophy, math, science, and random other things

Impressions from my trip to Ukraine during the war

So, how did I end up going to Ukraine during the war? I assure you this was initially not my own idea, but I do pride myself in being convincible. It all started when I met Nadia Gordynsky at my church, when she gave a presentation for her "Save-a-Life International" organization. I was especially interested […]

A quick update on my trip to Svalbard

If the movie "Frozen II" takes place in fantasy Norway, then Svalbard would be the location of Ahtohallan. Glaciers are rivers of ice, and I never understood that as much as I did when I took this picture:

A record of the total solar eclipse on 2023-04-20

I chose to observe this eclipse from Australia. I'd considered Indonesia and East Timor, but eventually decided against them: Australia had better weather for the eclipse, I could cross it off from the list of continents, and I wanted to keep the trip in English. So my plan was to observe it in Exmouth - a small town in the northwest corner of Australia. Then I threw in the Philippines as another English-speaking country in the area that I had heard good things about.

From my job: technical career storyline

I've mentioned before that I work as a data scientist. I've been at it for a long while now. Long enough, in fact, that they interviewed me at my job about what it was like to be me, and published the interview internally as part of their "technical career storyline" feature. The following are the contents of that interview, reproduced with permission and some minor editing.

My multi-purpose home office setup, with two 85-inch TV monitors

I've been working on a new home office, which has been challenging enough that I thought I should write about it. The centerpiece of my setup are two 85-inch TVs, which I'm also using as computer monitors. Not only are they large and delicate "furniture pieces" in and of themselves, but they also required rearranging […]

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing my favorite Christmas carol. It has been so since I heard Jewel's rendition of it on a random road trip, and I somehow understood all the lyrics in all the verses, through the music and the poetry to their meaning. The second and third verses hit me particularly hard in their novelty, as I hadn't heard them before. Here are the lyrics:

A record of the total solar eclipse on 2021-12-04, in Antarctica

Unfortunately, the best pictures I have of totality are poorly lit and out of focus, and of course we couldn't see the eclipse itself. This isn't what I wanted. It's not what I would have chosen. But it was still beautiful and magical in its own way, in its darkness and flaws. I've always held that reality, compared to any alternate possibility, has a goodness all its own - simply because it's real.

A record of the total solar eclipse on 2020-12-14

The covid pandemic added a new layer of difficulty to everything. Combined with the other challenges intrinsic to such an endeavor, I felt like everything was fighting me every step of the way. In fact, I initially conceptualized this trip as a sequence overcoming these difficulties: I was going to impose my will upon the world in the face of these challenges, and bring about my intended results. We'll see how that turned out.

A record of the total solar eclipse on 2019-07-02

I was at La Serena, Chile for the eclipse on 2019-07-02. Here are some pictures from the trip. This was the view from my room. The beach at La Serena is quite pretty. You see that cross-shaped structure in the distance, which juts out into the skyline? That's the Cruz del Tercer Milenio, in the […]

My facebook post on Easter 2019

This is a copy of my post on Facebook, which I put up on Easter. It is here as a fixed-link reference for people who don't frequent Facebook. The $20,000 offer is currently only open to people who are at least a friend-of-a-friend with me. But I do want all of my readers to know […]
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