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

A record of the total solar eclipse on 2024-04-08

Everyone who has actually seen totality is unanimous in how awesome it was. None of them even use any kind of reserved or qualifying language: nobody says that it was "kinda nice", or "pretty cool", or "quite pretty". No, their descriptions are always in the superlative form: "incredible phenomenon", "so beautiful", "10/10", "absolutely amazing". One man actually described today's eclipse in such terms to me, then only afterwards mentioned - almost in passing - that he had proposed to his girlfriend during totality.

Ten year anniversary for the blog!

This is a rare post, and I consider myself to have been tremendously blessed to make it. Not many blogs make it to the 10-year mark. As for me, I was fairly certain that I would never run out of material. But I did wonder about other factors, like reaching enough readers to keep up […]

Travelogue: Europe in the summer of 2023

(All the pictures in this post can be seen at their full resolution here, and my reflections specifically on the Ukrainian part of the trip can be found here.) Svalbard The first stop in my trip was in Longyearbyen, Svalbard - probably as far north as I'll ever get to go: I embarked on a […]

Impressions from my trip to Ukraine during the war

(All the pictures in this post can be seen at their full resolution here, and my post about the whole trip in a larger context, including Norway and Moldova, can be found here.) So, how did I end up going to Ukraine during the war? I assure you this was initially not my own idea, […]

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.
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