Target Gift Card

Six Springs ago, J. Wu gifted me a Target Gift Card. This evening, I finally used up its balance. Thanks!

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Schoolbook Cookies

Shown below: the bottom layer of a container of Trader Joe’s® Cinnamon Schoolbook Cookies.

Also shown below: my tendency to significantly prioritize cleaning out the already-broken entities first before the still-whole entities.

alpha_crackers

Want to contact me? A very quick guide to response speeds of means of communication.

UPDATE: this information is now presented on a page.

[on average fastest]

1. Telegram (the app)
2. Signal
3. Discord
4. Phone Call (Why would this be slower? Because I may be somewhere I don’t want to take a phone call, that’s why.)
5. Zephyr

[everything above this line is quite fast, almost always at most 3 hours if I’m awake]

6. GChat
7. E-mail
8. Walking to the standard places I am in real life, and physically engaging in conversation, if you live in Cambridge
9. Making field art in Ingress that writes out the message you want to tell me
10. Snail mail
11. Slack
12. Literal telegram

[on average slowest]

What about iMessage? I’m convinced more than half of those don’t successfully arrive or depart.

Sextuple Rook Pawns Puzzle

Try to construct this position (from chess’s starting position) in as few moves as possible.

six_pawns

I’ve found a way to do so in 32 moves (highlight to view):

1. a4 b5 2. axb5 a5 3. Rxa5 Bb7 4. b6 Na6 5. Rh5 Nh6 6. d4 Nf5 7. Bh6 Bd5 8. b7 Nc5 9. bxa8=Q gxh6 10. Qc6 Bg7 11. Qg6 Rf8 12. e4 fxg6 13. exf5 Be5 14. dxe5 Rf6 15. c4 Re6 16. cxd5 gxh5 17. dxe6 dxe6 18. b4 Qd6 19. bxc5 exf5 20. Qg4 fxg4 21. cxd6 cxd6 22. g3 dxe5 23. Bh3 gxh3 24. f4 exf4 25. Nf3 fxg3 26. Ng5 Kf8 27. 0-0+ Kg7 28. Rf6 exf6 29. Nd2 fxg5 30. Nf3 gxh2+ 31. Kh1 Kh8 32. Nh4 gxh4

I’m pretty sure arriving at this position in fewer whole moves can’t happen, given the amount of time required for White to position pieces where necessary captures are to take place. What I think could be the case, though, is that there’s a solution that’s a half-move faster, as Black unlike White does not need this many moves (Black could castle to accelerate processes, but the limiting factor is whether the pawn captures could be expedited accordingly.

Not Yet Conspiracy Theories

Saddened by how the world has become that densely packed with unhinged conspiracy theorists? Relax! Check out this list of topics that, in quotes, yield zero Google results, at least before this post was written.

“51 pegasi b conspiracy theory”
“aegean sea conspiracy theory”
“agar.io conspiracy theory”
“alphago conspiracy theory”
“aquafresh conspiracy theory”
“coq au vin conspiracy theory”
“dugong conspiracy theory”
“estonia conspiracy theory”
“franklin pierce conspiracy theory”
“genghis khan conspiracy theory”
“ingress conspiracy theory”
“inventati conspiracy theory”
“john q public conspiracy theory”
“kaliningrad conspiracy theory”
“kyoto protocol conspiracy theory”
“leeroy jenkins conspiracy theory”
“mandelbrot set conspiracy theory”
“mcafee conspiracy theory”
“methionine conspiracy theory”
“nazca plate conspiracy theory”
“oboe conspiracy theory”
“proxima centauri conspiracy theory”
“rho conspiracy theory”
“rot13 conspiracy theory”
“rm -rf / conspiracy theory”
“somaliland conspiracy theory”
“stata center conspiracy theory”
“stewart’s theorem conspiracy theory”
“sun landing conspiracy theory”
“time tesseract conspiracy theory”
“tristan da cunha conspiracy theory”
“windows 95 conspiracy theory”
“xmonad conspiracy theory”
“ylvis conspiracy theory”
“zinc conspiracy theory”

on the other hand

Aggressively Seeking Malice

Okay, so I’m Asian, and suppose I’m with two other people, A and B, of which at least A is White.

Suppose A says “Wow, there’s lots of Asians around here”. Then B stares at A and subsequently tells A that is racist.

If you’re A, you have not done anything that will cause me to want to distance myself from you. You were just remarking that there seems to be a high quantity of Asians in the vicinity. It’s not like you’re saying or even implying something prejudiced about Asians. I saw no racism in that statement, and I wouldn’t even have contemplated the possibility until B decided to remark on it.

If you’re B, then you have signaled to me that you heard that utterance and saw racism in it where I still do not see racism after your remark. You have somewhat persuaded me that I should distance myself from you, because if you heard that and decided there’s malice in it, then I don’t want to be around you, because even though I’m in the demographic you’re happening to believe to protect at the present, I’m sure somewhere down the road I’m bound to make a statement I think is innocent but that you will judge me as malicious for, given that you saw this in that statement.

Matching-Highest-Degree Vegetarianism

As some of you may know, I am (at the present) not a vegetarian.

As some of you may also know, I tried being vegan once about four years ago, and stayed so for about two months, and then backed off to some alternation of being vegetarian and being vegan most days for a few more months after. Then I reverted to my normal dietary state.

I do wish to contribute a part to keeping the planet a healthy nice, place, and eating less meat is one of the best things an individual can do.

The problem is that my appetite is enormous.

Some of you that know me in the physical world may know a restaurant around here called The Friendly Toast. A lot of people call that a place to get a large meal. Yeah, I was really surprised when I first heard people say that. Most meals from The Friendly Toast don’t make me full. If I don’t have part of an appetizer, I’ll usually go also eat something else afterwards.

One serving of Soylent does not make a meal for me. It’ll last two hours before I get hungry again. I need two Soylents when I don’t feel particularly hungry, three if I am hungry. One Soylent is a snack.

(And apparently portion sizes are large here in America. I’m truly amazed, really.)

And in particular, I’ve found that it takes a lot of vegetables to be able to add up to the amount that meat is able to make me full, and thus find it quite hard to sustain vegetarianism or veganism for too many meals in a row.

But starting at the publication of this post, I will adopt this new dietary policy:

At meals, I will be as vegetarian as the most vegetarian person I’m eating with at that meal.*

As in, if a bunch of us sit at a table to have a meal, and what is being eaten is determined after we get together, if there’s someone vegetarian in the group, I’m at least vegetarian, and if there’s someone vegan, I’m vegan, for that meal.

As such, I will both average out to eating less meat than normally while also not engaging the level of eating I’ll need to sustain full-on vegetarianism, and also contribute to possible additional comfort for vegetarians and vegans in groups.

*I’m not going to be vegetarian if the only vegetarian options involve asparagus or mushrooms.