Weekend reading: "Naughty nuns" edition
- Naughty Nuns, Flatulent Monks, and Other Surprises of Sacred Medieval Manuscripts (Hunter Oatman-Stanford, Collectors Weekly)
- The Big Coin Heist (Alexander Huls, Hazlitt)
Maybe because I'm not a coder to begin with, it never ceases to amaze me how much I can accomplish with just a few lines of PHP. Girasole PHP script is a case in point. It's so short and simple that it hardly deserves to be called an application. Yet it fulfills a huge need I've had for quite a while. It may have something to do with age, but the older I get, the more I appreciate the joy of reliving memories through my photos. I'm not keen on uploading my entire library to Google Photos or a similar service to make use of their "photos from the past" functionality. Because 1) pushing several terabytes of data would take forever and a day, 2) would be prohibitively expensive, and 3) I'm not enamored with the idea of entrusting my most private data to a third party, no matter how good their privacy protection track record is.
The best way to learn new words and phrases is to use them actively. The next-best way to learn new words is to be exposed to them as much as possible. And since the wallpaper that adorns my graphical desktop environment is what I stare at most of my waking hours, I thought that it'd only make sense to add words and phrases I want to memorize there.
Half an hour after the eureka moment, I had a working hack consisting of a plain text file with words and phrases along with their translations, a wallpaper template PNG file, and a simple Bash shell script. The latter pulls a random line from the text file, and uses the template to generate a new wallpaper with the picked line. Below are all the gory details worth knowing if you want to roll out something similar.
Three years ago to the day, I wrote about two collared doves, who decided to build a nest right above our kitchen window. I'll be forever thankful to them for brightening our days during the worst pandemic days.
But the story didn't end there. In 2020, they didn't manage to finish the nest, so they returned in 2021. They didn't finish the nest then either. So in 2022, they were back. Alas, a storm took down their unfinished work. It's 2023, and guess who is back?
We're now lovingly referring to them as "The Engineers" and their nest as "Berlin Airport".