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Gus Van Horn blog

Reblogged:Friday Hodgepodge

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Four Things

1. Over at Hacker News, is a post titled "Ever Worked With a Service That Can Never Be Restarted?," by an IT professional facing a problem that combines a high degree of technical difficulty with ample opportunity to become a scapegoat. Nevertheless, I'll admit that this part of the problem statement made me laugh:
The service has current up time of 55 months.
Whether or not you also laugh, take a look at the comment thread. Some of the advice about how to handle problems like that without getting burned is worth reading.

2. I enjoyed watching the below video, titled "Seeing Through the Sea." It's about an artificial intelligence-based method, developed by oceanographer Derya Akkaynak, of removing the blue-green cast from underwater images.


3. When you have kids, you end up keeping an antenna out for news about dinosaurs. Worth passing on to other adults is this report from the BBC: "'Beautiful' Dinosaur Tail Found Preserved in Amber." And yes, in case you haven't thought much about dinosaurs in a while, it has feathers.

4. A recent installment of pharma blogger Derek Lowe's "Things I Won't Work With" series ends its discussion of a recent paper humorously enough.
The [Senior Investigator] strongly warns readers that the preparations therein must not under any circumstances be scaled up, and that is clearly the advice of someone who has has your best interests at heart. Even at the amounts described, you will want an excellent and well-maintained vacuum line, access to noncommon nonhousehold reagents like the aforementioned bromine pentafluoride, a willingness to do things like redistill anhydrous [hydrogen fluoride], and you will at all times want to be suited up like you're going to going to spay a velociraptor. Ah, the halogen chemist's life for me, me hearties, yo-ho-ho and a barrel of ... well, we still don't know what to name it. Dang. [bold added]
You may enjoy the rest of the post, too, especially if you have a background in chemistry.

-- CAV

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