2022 02 11

Been a busy few days in terms of work and social activities. Yesterday I went with my office mates to a Brazilian restaurant that we had always heard good things about. We ordered a house sampler appetizer. It tasted very good and we were quickly eating it and then one of my friends asked “…is that a nail?” Sure enough there was a nail sitting on the plate that had previously been covered by food. I couldn’t help but laugh at the absurdity of the situation. The waiter was mortified when we showed it to her and she took it away and brought us another one. The portions here were already giant so we had no idea how we would be able to eat all of this food. My meal itself was a fried catfish that was excellently breaded and the fish itself had a great flavor. Unfortunately after the meal my digestive system found much of the food disagreeable and caused a lot of painful gas - I think it was all the meat in the sampler. I was also feeling sketched that there was a nail in the sampler and what else should I be concerned about? Probably nothing ultimately, but not what you want to see in your meal!

The scary meal of last night was more than rectified by a great lunch at Tu y Yo where our office started our inaugural “JCC 552 Fellows Lunch” where we invite a faculty member who has been anonymously recommended by a member of the office. We had talked about it last week as a joke, but quickly realized it was a great idea and have since acted on it to great success! It’s a great way to get to socialize in person with faculty after having been away for so long due to the pandemic. We made the idea even better by taking a picture which we have printed and proudly displayed outside our office.

Daily Listening

Listened to classic vaporwave song (do watch the video) that I’ve enjoyed and then listend to a new album by the same artist. Here’s a track I liked from that.

Daily Reading

Almost finished with Freedom’s Forge. Much of the last chapters are focusing on the production of the Boeing B29 bomber. The project ultimately cost more than the Manhattan project, which is maybe not that surprising given the production scale of the B29 relative to the atomic bomb. A new thing I learned is that the bomber had an analog computer assisted aiming of its turrets. The computer did all computations through circuitry and what it could not do is figure out where the planes were. So the human was there to guide the computer and serve as the computer vision system by identifying the distance and motion of the enemy aircraft. This training video does a remarkable job of teaching the complicated ideas going on behind the automated targeting. I wonder if we have any examples of guides like this today? Most modern technology seems to be “figure it out yourself” or “watch this youtube guide some random person made. Its really interesting to see the attention they put into this guide to train airmen how to aim properly and also that they should not feel ashamed for not having their skills as a marksman made irrelevant by the computer.