Excursions by Amit Gawande

Kai Brach delivers a brilliant advise as part of this week’s newsletter of Dense Discovery. I have been trying my best to also live a trivial life in these trying times.

It never felt so comforting watching someone clean their car. On my screen, the world ends any minute. But from my balcony, life goes on, one sponge wipe at a time.

So let’s think and read and write and talk about trivial stuff, too. Trivial is OK. Trivial is life.

Wed, Apr 1, 2020 thoughts

I am always fascinated with the idea of a book club - may be because I just haven’t got a chance to be part of one. How does it work? In today’s time of lockdown, this would be wonderful to experience. Are there any that are done on web, say via Zoom?

Tue, Mar 31, 2020 thoughts

I have been working with David Merfield on a little side project. The idea started simple - what if there was a simple posting interface for Blot? In extension, something that one can use to write and publish a post to Dropbox. Blot is simple as-is for writing and posting (it’s all files). But there are times when I do want to quickly post from my web browser. And for such times, I still need a simple writing interface.

That thought was enough to interest both me and David. We got to work. The project got neglected in between. And then was picked up again. And I think, it is in a state now where it can really be useful to a few. I can attest to that because I, myself, have been using it for few days now.

Here’s Wall — a web-accessible text-editor over Dropbox, works nicely with Blot.

I believe this would be useful for many. It is clean. It is light, pure-client side application. It supports local drafts. It can export markdown. It can publish to Blot. Perfect for all those text posts.

I have my own fork of the project where I want to use the editor and support publishing to multiple places. To start with, I have extended it to post it anywhere in Dropbox.

I have hosted it here as Scribe. I plan to extend it next to be used as a micropub client. Still in works, though.

Of course, this is not perfect yet. For one, it does not work well on smaller screens. But it is a good enough. Do give it try.

Mon, Mar 30, 2020 dev update

I don’t think it must be surprising to anyone — the use of that dumb, forgotten app on your smartphone is on the rise again. The phone. People are calling others more. They are talking to them longer. If you can’t meet others physically, your mind reaches out for other ways.

Sun, Mar 29, 2020 thoughts

I watched Parasite today — I didn’t like it. I believe if a movie with the same premise and same treatment was made in US, it would have no chance at Oscars. This did win because it was foreign. Very similar to Slumdog Millionaire.

Sun, Mar 29, 2020 thoughts

I’ve been working with IndieWeb for quite some time now and I still get confused with implementing a simple IndieLogin workflow before a micropub request. There’s just too much back and forth between multiple endpoints. Time to put the head down and get this working!

Sun, Mar 29, 2020 thoughts

I’m getting tired of the Coronavirus coverage around. I don’t want to watch it, read it. Anyway there’s hardly any news that’s not regular anymore. Of course, avoiding it means avoiding Television and internet altogether. My Kindle’s been the only savior. Dependable as always.

Sat, Mar 28, 2020 thoughts

Apparently, the lockdown and stay at home orders have caused the podcast downloads to decline. I guess it’s mainly due to the lack of any form of commutes. Has been, for sure, the case with me. Contrarily, I believe the podcasts episodes being released must be on the rise.

Sat, Mar 28, 2020 thoughts

It has been a wonderfully productive day today. There’s a dev project that had been stagnant for long. Almost forgotten. All that was needed was some focused, distraction-free time. I managed to find that today.

And that leaves me absolutely delighted!

Fri, Mar 27, 2020 thoughts

Dear people, we are divided by Nation. Region. Race. Religion. Launguage. Culture. Economies. And many more things. But I believe it is time now to be united by one resolve - stay the fuck at home. Don’t listen to your deranged peers. Your idiotic leaders. Even your families.

Fri, Mar 27, 2020 thoughts

Coronavirus looks pretty much the same, no strains more deadlier that others - and that is a good news. What that means is it has not been mutating at a rapid pace. In more technical terms, the virus has a proofreading machinery, however, and that reduces the error rate’ and the pace of mutation”. Here’s Benjamin Neuman of Texas A&M University contrasting the coronavirus with influenza, which is notoriously slippery”.

Flu does have one trick up its sleeve that coronaviruses do not have — the flu virus genome is broken up into several segments, each of which codes for a gene. When two flu viruses are in the same cell, they can swap some segments, potentially creating a new combination instantly — this is how the H1N1 swine’ flu originated.

Thu, Mar 26, 2020 thoughts

It was exactly a year ago that I had given up on Stoop, the newsletter app. I had a smaller device, an iPhone SE, and I didn’t like the app then. Today I find it so useful, not sure if it’s due to the larger display of my OnePlus or the testing times we are living through.

Wed, Mar 25, 2020 thoughts

Food Safety and Coronavirus: A Comprehensive Guide

In today’s time of confusion and uncertainty, safety of the food, our essential need, is equally important. Serious eats has a brilliant essay on just this topic. I think the writer or me are not alone who are troubled with all these concerns, and the essay is must read in that regard.

Even so, plenty of folks—myself included—have been confused or curious about the safety of allowing restaurants to continue preparing and serving food. Is it actually safe? Should I reheat the food when I get it home? Is it better to support local businesses by ordering food, or am I only putting workers and delivery people at risk? And if I’m cooking my own food, what guidelines should I follow?

Wed, Mar 25, 2020 thoughts links

7.5-inch e-ink display is powered completely by NFC

E-paper (or e-ink) displays have the unique property of not needing power to maintain an image. Once a charge blasts across the display and correctly aligns pixels full of black and white balls, everything will stay where it is when the power turns off, so the image will stick around. You might not have thought about it before, but in addition to data, NFC comes with a tiny wireless power transfer. This display is designed so that NFC provides just enough power to refresh the display during a data transfer, and the e-ink display will hold onto the image afterward.

Fascinating use of available technology. This would be brilliant for passive viewing - for dashboards or billboards or all sorts of boards that do not need regular change of content.

Tue, Mar 24, 2020 thoughts links

I feel too stressed out these days. It is not from the pressure of work. Or from the fear of getting infected by Coronavirus. But from the factors that I have no control over.

How people I do not know just refuse to behave in the larger interest of the community. Or how media ignores being responsible in covering the biggest tragedy the world is facing in a long time.

Or how few people are taking the pandemic too lightly. So much so that they are putting the lives of many at risk, even their near and dear ones. Or how few people are taking the same pandemic way too seriously. So much so that they have simply stopped living. Obsessing non-stop over the negativity and gloominess all around.

Where do I fall? I realized today that the inner turmoil has started to affect the way I behave. The way I express. The way I carry myself. I better find a solution, a distraction. Soon.

Mon, Mar 23, 2020 thoughts covid