JavaScript Code City

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These might not appeal to everyone of my readers, they are more of a computer programmer’s domain, I think they are pretty dang ace though.  Using a code analysis tool, they pushed though the entire code base of a bunch of JavaScript libraries to see how the code is structured visually.  Each set of functions is called within other functions and classes, and things, giving you a pretty good hierarchy of the order, then using that structure, a 3-D library is used to build a cityscape representation of the code base.

Here’s one of the more famous libraries, it’s pretty much in use everywhere on the internet right now.

jQuery

jQuery city

When you go to the rendered page, you can move around and play with the city.  You can zoom in and see each individual building, and what they’re mostly made up of.  Spoiler, most of them are all anonymous function, many levels deep.

This longer, lower city block is react.js

react city

Things are much more spread out in this city, not as dense, but still it does quite a lot of stuff.  React.js powers my photo/vacation site – steve.deadlycomputer.com.  Take a look at the fully interactive version, it’s quite fun.

In total, there are 60 different JavaScript libraries or frameworks represented in the city format.  For those of you that are front end developers, you’ll probably recognize most of them.  It’s really neat to see the make up of those libraries, how concentrated some are, how big and bloated some are, and how tall some are.  I thought it was neat, I hope you do too.

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Orion Over Sky

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Sriram Murali created the above video to show the effects that light pollution has on the beautiful night sky.  In it, he focuses on the constellation Orion, and how our perception of it changes based on the light density of the area we view it from.  The entire thing is a great example of one of the major downfalls of city life – loss of the night sky.  However, the entire thing also does suffer from a major unintended side-effect.  In order to take impressive night sky shots, you must take long exposure photos.  In the process of taking those photos, and in the post-processing necessary on them, you get many more stars visible than the human eye usually sees.  That makes the darker skies even more impressive in the time-lapse.

Regardless, it’s still a good teaching tool.  Hopefully you take the time to drive 100 miles from the city where you live to really experience the night sky!

{Peta Pixel}

Hidden Tombs

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Europe is full of old stuff.  So many old things are so old that it’s not a surprise to people when records are misplaced, and memories lost to time.  That just so happens to have been the case under the floor of St. Mary’s Church in London.  While renovating the church in order to turn it into a Garden Museum, construction workers uncovered a 300-400 year old tomb under the alter that contained numerous coffins.


These weren’t just anyone’s coffins either, included under the most sacred spot of the Church were the bodies of probably five Archbishops of Canterbury.  I say what could be five because of an interesting phenomenon of burring human bodies in old lead coffins – the bodies decompose into a black viscous liquid appropriately called coffin liquor.  That sounds lovely doesn’t it?

If that wasn’t enough, I think the greatest part of this entire thing is the fact that the contractors, and the researchers and everyone involved managed to keep this thing a secret for nearly an entire year.  That’s right, they uncovered this find months ago, did research, entered the tomb to see if it was stable, identified the remains as best they could, and then, on Easter Sunday, released the findings to the greater world. Impressive.

It makes you wonder, that scene from The Last Crusade in Venice, how many other ancient Churches in Europe have hidden treasures beneath their floors?

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360 Drone Racing

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More like a practice run if you ask me.  I’ve flown drones like this before, they are not easy to control, I know I would crash it trying to make those sharp turns.  One thing I think should be kept out of these drone videos though is the audio.  I don’t want, or need to hear the high pitched whine of the 4 small motors spinning the blades.  It’s distracting.

I think attaching a 360 camera, and flying the drones though a forest would be way cooler though.  Watching the bare concrete parking lot is pretty boring.  Maybe if there were a few other drones flying at the same time, but I guess not.

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Cosmonaut Day

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Cosmonautics Day Stamp

On April 12, 1961 the Soviet Union made history by sending Yuri Gagarin into space.  He was the world’s first astronaut, and he was the one who shot the United States in the arm and made us realize that we had a long way to go if we wanted to beat the commies at their own game.

In 1962, the USSR commemorated this day as a national holiday – Cosmonautics Day.  In 2011 some random international agency declared it the International Day of Human Space Flight, whatever that means.

WAR!

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Turns out, World War I wasn’t really good for anything except messing up things.  Anyway, last week marked the 100th anniversary of the deceleration of war on the Empire of Germany.  The exact date was April 04, 1917.  In real terms, there were lots of Americans in the war in one way or another, but now, the full military might of the United States of America was in it to win it.

Up until this point, America wasn’t really seen as the mighty super power it was.  The main benefit of America’s joining was the influx of new troops to the front lines.  Slowly, over the course of the war, and the years that followed, America transformed itself into the global power that it would soon be famous for.

Voyageurs Northern Lights

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In 8K!

Well, if you can even render 8K on your puny monitor that is.  This was taken up in Voyageurs National Park, way up in northern Minnesota, like, way up there on the border of Canada.  It’s not a place that’s easy to get to as much of the park consists of lakes and rivers, but that makes it unique in its own right.

One day I’ll make it to this park, hopefully it will be at a time when I can experience those beautiful norther lights in person!

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Alternate History Thursday: Times Square

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With just days to go before the new year, the world was on it’s toes.  The City of New York was already on lockdown, Streets were closed, screens were being erected, and just as many people were leaving the city as were entering it.  The festivities were reaching a fever pitch as celebrities were slowly streaming into the city ahead of their New Years Eve performances.  Security was tight, and no one knew who was going to be playing what when or where.  It was chaos.  But the good kind of chaos.  Remember, this is a pre-9/11 innocent New York, nothing can go wrong.  That’s exactly the mentality that would prove their downfall.

On New Years Eve, as the time passed by spotty reports from around the globe started to come in of computer failures.  Remember however, this is the early days of the internet, and no smart phones, much of the news was difficult to corroborate or confirm.  People didn’t want to be brought down to reality on this party, so they ignored it.  Cell coverage was spotty at best because of the super saturated towers and lines so no one thought twice when connections were dropped.

It’s countdown time. TEN. NINE. EIGHT. SEVEN. SIX. FIVE. FOUR. THREE. TWO. ONE. BLACK.  Right as the ball was supposed to drop and confetti rain down, Times Square was plunged into darkness.  The majority of the people in Times Square thought this was all a part of the plan.  After all, what better way to celebrate something doom and gloom but by making fun of it.  Since the backup generators that are there for just an occasion kicked on in under 10 seconds, all seemed fine.

To those who were watching on television at home it was a different story.  All at once their TV feed cut out, their electricity turned off, the water stopped working, and phone died.  For those at home, it was no joke.

The state of New York had gambled against Y2k and lost.  But in the beginning it wasn’t apparent how widespread the loss was. It was probably for the better that things like smart phones weren’t around at the time, because it would have caused mass hysteria quicker had they been there.  The people living in the suburbs of New York were left to their own devices.  Since the following day was a holiday, most went to bed after the lights were out and figured it would all work itself out in the morning.  Most all the cars were not effected by the issue simply because they were not technological enough at the time, and those that did work were owned by people who had personal drivers who didn’t use those cars anyway.

All in all, at 12:01 AM January 01, 2000, New York State was in a state of denial.  The populace wasn’t fully aware of the gravity of the situation, and neither was the authorities.  As the night wore on, those who worked for the authorities were woken up to loud bangs on their doors.  The only way to reach people was in person.

Even when the morning newspapers didn’t arrive, most of the general populace didn’t think much, just delivery guys who partied too hard the night before.  No, it wasn’t until around noon that day that word had spread to enough of the people to hit a breaking point.  Y2k happened, and it messed things up.

Now what?

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