Pretty excited about Gutenberg

Gutenberg 4.0 has arrived. I’m planning to spend a lot more time using it in the week ahead. I’m really looking forward to it rolling out as the default WordPress editor!

It works pretty well on mobile too! 😁

Earth’s 5 continents

My daughter informed me that, according to her teacher, there are 5 continents:

  1. The Americas (because North and South America are connected)
  2. Africa
  3. Australia
  4. Europe
  5. Asia (no comment on how connected Europe and Asia are)

Antarctica is apparently just a really big block of ice …

The world really has changed since I was at school … 🌎

Update: One of my colleagues pointed out that there are a few ways to count the continents (SPOILER: Each method includes Antarctica).

Scientific papers shouldn’t be published as PDFs

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Jupyter notebook examples
Examples of Jupyter notebooks

I enjoyed James Somers’ article in the Atlantic titled “The Scientific Paper Is Obsolete” about how the standard format for scientific papers, namely PDF, is no longer the appropriate format for such data-intensive work.

This is, of course, the whole problem of scientific communication in a nutshell: Scientific results today are as often as not found with the help of computers. That’s because the ideas are complex, dynamic, hard to grab ahold of in your mind’s eye. And yet by far the most popular tool we have for communicating these results is the PDF—literally a simulation of a piece of paper. Maybe we can do better.

The article recounts the history of Wolfram’s Wolfram Mathematica notebook model, and the rise of Jupyter notebooks as an open source alternative that’s also rising to prominence in the space.

I love the idea of more open, more dynamic formats for sharing knowledge, capturing ideas, and promoting access to knowledge.

Solo was fun! A terrific addition to the Star Wars movie catalogue.

Watched ‎Solo: A Star Wars Story on iTunes from iTunes

We just watched Solo for the first time. I really enjoyed it. It may not have the same tone as the core Star Wars movies, but it’s a fun background story for Han Solo and Chewbacca.

Featured image source: DasWortgewand on Pixabay

The end of a busy week

Checked into

Finishing off a busy week, ahead of my trip to the USA for the Automattic Grand Meetup.

Modiin, Central District, Israel

Also on:

Break Through it all with this track

Listened Break Through - Club Mix by Sons of Maria from Spotify

I’ve been listening to the Lounge – Soft House playlist on Spotify a lot lately, and the Sons of Maria track, Break Through – Club Mix, really appeals to me. I have it on repeat at the moment.

You can now read important Jewish texts like the Talmud online

Liked Putting the Talmud online by Jason Kottke (kottke.org)
Sefaria is a free online resource for Jewish texts, specifically the Talmud, which (amazingly) wasn't previously easily availabl

This story appeals to me on so many levels. Perhaps the biggest reason why it excites me is that I’m very much in favour of important works like the Talmud being made freely available online, if anything, as an important cultural and historical resource.

After a prolonged negotiation process, and a substantial gift from the William Davidson Foundation, Sefaria was able to secure the copyright. Then, they ceded their rights and made it available free to the public, a move common to nature conservancies but vanishingly rare in the publishing world, since copyright and exclusivity are major guarantors of revenue.

I’m not even remotely a serious Jewish scholar, but the fact that these resources are available online to anyone who wants to read them, is a powerful way to ensure that our history is preserved for future generations. It’s also a terrific way to accurately communicate who we are as a people.

I enjoyed reading Alastair Reynolds’ Elysium Fire

Read Elysium Fire by Alastair Reynolds (goodreads.com)
This book follows soon after the first Tom Dreyfus story. By this time, you're more familiar with the main characters, so you can explore their personalities a little further through the story. The story focuses on a new crisis that grips the Glitter Band, with a seemingly unrelated side story. The emphasis in this story seemed to be more on Dreyfus, his two deputies, and the Supreme Prefect, than the underlying crisis. It felt like a bit of a reverse of the first Tom Dreyfus story in this respect, and made this book a little more sentimental than the first. I like how Reynolds' books are...
Elysium Fire by Alastair Reynolds
Elysium Fire by Alastair Reynolds

I just finished another of Alastair Reynolds’ books, the second Tom Dreyfus story titled “Elysium Fire“. I finished this one pretty quickly, considering that it took me a bit longer to get into the first book. If you enjoy Reynolds’ style of writing, this is well worth reading.

I like how Reynolds’ books are a little edgier than other popular sci-fi books that I’ve read (not exactly a fair representation of sci-fi generally, though). This one didn’t feel as edgy. Still, I enjoyed the book and was a little surprised to see that I finished it in about five days.

Next up is Century Rain, and then Galactic North. I’m heading to Automattic’s Grand Meetup next weekend, so I’ll have plenty of time to read on the flights there, and back.