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Sheogorath's Blog


Depending on the time of the day a friend, a colleague, a wise guy. The beauty of the world is its sense of humor to show humans their way by letting them search their own.


  1. Microplastics in your garden

    Today I learned that mowing your lawn with a string trimmer or “wheat eater” as some people seem to call them, causes microplastics to be spread around your garden. Obviously one might says as the line those trimmers use are made of plastic but it took me to watch a slow-motion video about how they work to realize that. Microplastics are by definition pieces of any plastic with a size less than 5 millimetres. What happens is that when the string hits something more solid (like the metal blade in the back of cover that keeps it all the same length or a garden fence) it breaks into pieces and obviously those are not collected by you or anyone else afterwards. Instead they fall down in the grass and the ground remaining there. Note: Microplastics are considered harmful for the environment and ecosystems. Due to the food chain, even when it was only consumed by organisms in your garden it might ends up in your or someone else’s food or water. …


  2. Claqueurs

    Today I learned that in France there was a profession for clapping and cheering around theatres. Someone executing this profession was called “claqueur”. While the job is named after clapping their actual duties/offerings were much more diverse. From “chauffeurs” who were praising the event at announcements, over “connaisseurs” who provided positive feedback among the audience members during breaks, to “bisseurs” who were calling for an encore at the end of a play. All that was obviously paid for by the theatre or someone who wanted the play to be successful. And as it turned out, at some point in history that was even a well-paid job. …


  3. Calibrating hygrometers

    Today I learned that one has to calibrate hygrometers. Hygrometers are used to measure the humidity of the air surrounding them. The measurements are not always completely accurate and differ over time.1 Therefore they need to be calibrated on a semi-regular basis of roughly 6-12 months. In the case of my analogue hygrometer, this is done by a screw on the back, but of course it’s individual per model. While there are various methods to do this, the easiest way I found was to take a wet towel and put the hygrometer inside. After 5-10 Minutes check the hygrometer, it should show 100%, if it doesn’t adjust it so it does. It’s not perfect, but works reasonably well and doesn’t need special tools or hours of preparation such as the salt test or one-time-use packages. Why exactly that’s the case, I wasn’t actually able to figure out, just that it happens. ↩ …


  4. Tulips continue to grow

    Today I learned that Tulips continue to grow even after being cut and when put in a vase with water as part of a floral bouquet. This is due to their cell size growth, which happens as part of the plant absorbing water. Tulips are able to massively grow their cells which causes them to grow much more and bigger than other plants in a typical floral bouquet. …


  5. Geodesic dome

    Today I learned that the name for a dome made of triangles is called Geodesic dome. Besides the fact that this way of building a dome some very nice structural advantages due to the even distribution of stress through our the structure, I also learned that it’s alluding to geodesy, the science of accurately measuring the earth. …


  6. No ESNI in China

    Today I learned that China is blocking TLS 1.3 connections that use the new ESNI standard. ESNI stands for “Encrypted Server Name Indication” and is part of experimental TLS 1.3 features. Other TLS version such as 1.2 use SNI to identify what certificate a client requests. What this means is, even while the entire communication between the server and the client is encrypted, during the initial handshake, the client sends the expected server certificate name in cleartext. This allows Firewalls and other middle boxes to snoop on those names and detect suspicious domains. This is often used to block those connections. ESNI encrypts those names during the initial connections as well and this way prevents this snooping. This means, for the first time, the TLS connection itself doesn’t provide any useful Meta-information about the target of the connection. China doesn’t seem to like that as it would allow any host to easily proxy all kinds of connections with no way for the “Great Firewall” to apply their block lists except of IP addresses. …


  7. Jekyll, RSS and absolute URLs

    Today I learned that I did absolute URLs overly complicated. In this blog I use absolute URLs for almost all links in order to make things RSS standard compliant. In Jekyll this can be achieved in various way, and so far, I used a very explicit way looking like this: {{ site.url }}{{ site.baseurl }}/assets/images/2016/03/some-picture.png. But the same thing can be achieved so much easier but simply using {{ "/assets/images/2016/03/some-picture.png" | absolute_url }}. …


  8. Colour balancing

    Today I learned about the maths behind colour balancing. Colour balancing is the act of correcting all colours in the picture to represent their real colour based on a selected pixel within the picture which colour code is known. Usually this pixel is white, which is it’s also called white balancing. There are obviously multiple algorithms to do that, the simplest one, is a matrix multiplication. In images colours are usually represented by a vector of the 3 RGB-base colours (red, blue, green) and their intensity ranging from 0 (off) to 255 (maximum). When all base three colours are on 255 the result is white, when all of them are 0 the pixel is black. With that said, what happens now, is that the selected known white pixel is taken, it’s current picture represented colours are used to divide 255 as part of of a diagonal matrix. Afterwards the resulting diagonal matrix is taken to calculate the new value of each pixel by multiplying the matrix with the pixel’s vector representation, resulting in a new vector, representing the pixel. …


  9. Hugo provides an own web server

    Today I learned that the hugo server-command can run be used in production. According to the Hugo documentation it’s considered a valid use-case but you might want to disable the live reload feature. It sounds contra intuitive as Hugo itself is a static page generator and one would usually use it to generate a page and then let it be served by another webserver/CDN/…. …


  10. The UX of LEGO

    Today I learned that one can categorize and describe the usability of LEGO “computers” and use this for educational purposes. In the article I read today I organized all those LEGO “computer interfaces” into categories from all screen to no screen and from organized to chaos. Basically pointing out that some of those designs make little sense, while others are done rather well. The gist is, that a good interface is usually following the user’s flow, not the engineer’s and that switches with different purposes should be notably different from each other. It literally makes a difference of life and death in some situations. …