Back when I worked for Transfer Solutions we had an internal weekly newsletter that appeared every end of the week. At the end of it there was a small section by me called “weekendlinks”: 3 or 4 things I found on the Internet that were interesting, funny or thoughtprovoking for people to look at on the Friday afternoon. When I left Transfer Solutions I’ve been on the lookout for a place for my weekendlinks, but either the company where I worked didn’t have a similar newsletter, the culture was too serious or “not a good fit” otherwise.
But since this is my blog and I might just as well do as I please here, I decided to revive my weekendlinks here. It will be my Five Bullet Friday. So here goes:
An illustrated children’s book to Apache Kafka
Teaching complex matters to people is an art. Explaining modern software concepts to children is even more a challenge. But there are people who try it. There already was a Children’s Illustrated Guide to Kubernetes. Well, now there’s one for Apache Kafka too. Expect some tortured analogies though.
Maybe I should write a children’s book to data engineering one day?
Wallpaper-ready photos from the ISS
Astronauts on space station ISS have a beautiful view of Earth from the Cupola module. And they usually bring their cameras. ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet really has an eye for good photos. You should really check his Flickr account. Like these images of Lake Baikhash, Guinea Bissau, Copper Creek and below photo of the Bahamas and Cuba.
He is not the only one who is good with a camera. Russian cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev has beautiful photos on Instagram. But I don’t think you can download them as wallpaper sized images.
What I’m cooking
Long time ago I ran into American cooking shows on a no longer existing torrent site called Digital Distractions. There I found the wonderful Good Eats and America’s Test Kitchen. Nowadays I regularly update my The Complete America’s Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook. My current version (2019) is full of bookmarks of recipes I like. One of them is their recipe for Dolsot Bibimbap.
Another recipe I tried recently was from their vegetarian cookbook: Tempeh Tacos. It really makes you forget there’s no meat in it.
What I’m reading
Project Hail Mary – Andy Weir
All the space related podcasts I’m listening are spoiling the heck out of this one. So I decided to start reading Project Hail Mary quickly.
It is a great science fiction story. I’ll try to spoil as little as possible, but a lot is happening right from the start. Astronaut Ryland Grace awakes and it turns out he is the sole survivor of a crew of three that has been sent by humanity to another star. He suffers from amnesia, so the facts slowly dawn on him: he has been sent to save the world from a bug that has infested .. the Sun!
Wonderfully enough this story is grounded in as much science as possible. What we have here is a space faring microbe, the astrophage, with a complete life cycle. And once it arrives in our solar system it reduces the output of the Sun to a point that life on Earth and humanity will suffer. Also, I think Weir deserves high praise for creating an original alien creature in the book. Finally a scifi story with not your average human-like biped alien, that’s all I’m going to say.
What I’m watching
No, no Netflix or HBO. I’ve seen noctilucent clouds (“clouds that shine at night”) the last few days. These are high altitude clouds (70-80 kms high) that reflect sunlight after dawn and can be seen at higher northern latitudes, usually around June. Here’s one photo I took yesterday, when they were pretty bright:
I also took a timelapse:
Two years ago they were even more spectacular. Just look at those wave patterns.
Noctilucent clouds were a mystery until only a few years ago. Why they were are bright one year or not visible at all the next, none knows.