The winter is nigh, and warming beverages are in order.

Cocoa recipe - for two cups

  • 600 ml of milk
  • half a glass of hot water
  • 30 g of cocoa powder
  • spices to taste (I use cinnamon and cloves)
  • sugar to taste (2 teaspoons is a good start)

Put dry components in a pot, distribute evenly around the bottom and pour boiling water in. Thoroughly mix cocoa with water and make sure no dry powder is left. Then pour the milk in and put on the stove. Adjust the fire so that it takes about ten minutes to almost boil the milk. Take the pot off the stove just before boiling and pour to cups. Preheat them if you feel fancy.

Some remarks to this recipe are in order.

1) Try adding some pepper, red or black, to make the beverage more “warming”. Try nutmeg or any spice you have in the counter.
2) Hot water in the beginning is important: it wets hydrophobic cocoa powder and extracts plenty of teste from it and spices.
3) Try adding cornstarch - it doesn’t have flavour but makes the drink thicker.

Credit to Max Frei and the most entertaining cookbook I have ever read.

2021-09-18

Being articulate and precise is very important. Usually this is related to speech or writing. But there is no reason to not expand this statement to other domain. Be concise in your words and actions, in your code and your drawing. Say, write, draw and program exactly what’s necessary, in the most compact and efficient way possible. Your ability to align action with intent is what separates failure from triumph. This - and luck, but you can’t exactly control your fortune, so focusing on former makes more sense.

2021-09-15

There is a subject in my university called “basics of life safety”. In order to pass it, the student needs to submit hand-written notes for each lecture two days before the next one starts. Because of remote learning in the university, the teacher just sends us slides and asks for photocopied notes. It takes roughly three to four hours to make notes he’ll be satisfied with, weekly, and the subject has nothing to do neither with my major nor with objective reality (we can’t choose courses here).

This made me think a lot about the sense of meaning and how it is important to me. It’s much easier to do something whenever there is a clear result and, even better, a correlation between your actions and the result. It is obviously not the case with this course and with large part of the curriculum. Even my laboratory research largely depends on others’ work an I can only do so much - so few, in fact - to speed things up.

This lead me to post a CV on a popular cite. I crave meaning and almost none is left in things I do routinely. This seems to have an impact on me, more significant than I initially thought. Things need to be sustainable and now they aren’t. I’ve visited one interview already and waiting for another one. Maybe this is a beginning of something new and exciting, who knows.

2021-09-07

Lazy Sunday morning: autumn sun is hitting window glass, throwing shadows all around the place, and your significant other is happily asleep in the next room. You need a warm, lazy breakfast, to accompany this blissfull carelessness. I suggest the souffle omelette. It’s easy, I promise; let me guide you.

For two persons:

  • two eggs;
  • a glass (200ml) of milk;
  • tablespoon worth of flour.

Throw everything into a large bowl, whisk thoroughly for a minute. Now put some olive oil on a pan, set the stove to the lowest heat possible and pour the eggs. You can put your favourite topping now, or omit this altogether. Close the lid and wait for a while - ten minutes or so, until the middle is nice and solid. Serve with toasts or anything else that comes to mind.

So I recreated Obsidian’s ability to build a graph chart of notes that shows links between them. The script renders it in the browser using a pyvis package. My very first github repo, yay!

github.com/academicalnerd/node

2021-09-01

Time to get back to my writing habit here, on qoto. I had a good holiday this summer, finally, but things got rough towards the end of August. I’m looking for people to tutor math and chemistry now, with an occasional English lesson on side. This is pretty much the only way I can earn money while studying and keeping my grades decent, as classes alone will take ~20 hours every week, not including homework and revision.

Here are some things I’ve been up to.

1) Maps Of Meaning - a series of lectures on philosophy, psychology and symbols and human culture. I highly recommend giving it a shot, especially in the form of a podcast (I use google podcasts).

2) Vim - lerning keystrokes and pretty much using it as my main editor except for matlab IDE. It is convenient once you get used to moving around.

3) Linux - still Pop OS with alacritty. Cosmic desktop is cool, but I barely use any features. I must say, however, that the whole thing runs smoother than before and most bugs from precious releases are eliminated.

4) Writing - daily or almost daily, in markdown. This very text is being written in markdown, actually, I’ll just copy it from today’s note. Everything is in vim (or markor on phone), synced via syncthing.

5) Python - I decided to learn the bloody thing. After a long time of working primarily with C++ and, out of necessity, with matlab. I don’t like the indentation and dynamic types bug me, but I must admit that it is quite convenient tool, especially for quick and short solutions.

2021-08-22

This summer was quite challenging in a lot of ways. I think there will be a longer post near the end of August, detailing lessons and achievements for the past two months.

2021-07-24

Learning some shell scripting in the most relaxed way possible, with youtube in the background and a nice cup of tea. It feels nice to relax once in a while.

“Overwhelmed” by Royal & The Serpent pretty much bescribes how I feel. Behund, stuck, left out. Even though I’m better off than a lot of my peers. Comparing myself to others never was a problem for me, but it won’t bail me out of this emotional rut either. Most of my plans crumbled under the weight of burnout and unexpected work tasks. Maybe I’ll be able to figure this out and het everything together, fix my life. Maybe not, we’ll see.

2021-07-06

Day 6 of summer project.

Baby steps. Still recovering from the vaccine, but at least the fever is gone. Managed to do some lab work and fiddle with backend for the personal database app. Also started reading “Money” by Y.N. Harari. I liked his other book, “Sapiens”, and this one I got in English paperback, which is rare here in Russia.

2021-07-05

Today I am suffering side effects from the first dose of “sputnik” vaccine. Temperature gets up to 38 C and I have to take paracetamol every 4-6 hours.So it’s day off for now.

Approx. 5 hours after the first shot, arm hurts moderately when moving, mostly triceps, in the last hour it spreaded to forearm as well. Can’t say I’m a fan but it’s better than I expected. It should also be noted that I took 25mg of chloropyramine 20 minutes before getting a vacccine.

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First shot of . Let’s see hiw sputnik performs.

I hesitated getting this because of allergy and autoimmune condituin I have. These aren’t life threatening, but annoying and potentially conflicting with vaccines. Especially engineered once, like sputnik. Also, most of 20-30 years old people who get it lay in bed for two days and I couldn’t afford this during exams.

Now the exams are done and even pregnant women are vaccinated, and there is no choice left but to get a shot and hope for the best.

2021-07-04

Day 4 of summer project.

The main concept in CRUD-centered programming is information flow. You are a plumber, essentially, whose job is to carefully direct information from database to the end user. Then present it in desired form and prevent any leaks along the way. A fancy, well-paid, office-sitting plumber. Bedroom-sitting, in my case.

I managed to hook a script to local psql database with some dummy data today. Not too bad, considering that it’s the first JS code I’ve ever written. Even though these things are mostly based on tutorials and simple to do - the end goal is to combine a bunch of simple things to build something more complex.

Side note: using vim for this stuff it surprisingly convenient, I set up a test command in config file and simply call “:!npm test” when necessary.

2021-07-03

Day 3 of summer project.

Managed to remember some basic js and found electron-postgres interface. Turns out it’s just “npm install pg”, nothing fancy. I think I understand now the reason people like developing with electron. It’s possible to roll out an MVP in a week without much trouble. Even though the executable size and performance are suboptimal to say the least.

And I managed to make a helloworld app in electron. Now I need to learn enough JS to hook it to my database…

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2021-07-02

Day 2 of summer project.

Life gets in the way. Sometimes it gives you lemons, sometimes - hits you in the face with a hemmer, or something in between. Anyhow, I managed to make an outline for the project and construct PSQL database. Nothing fancy, four tables within a single database with some “on delete cascade” and foreign keys. My sql skills are a bit rusty so it took some time to remember all the tricks, especially setting constraints.

2021-07-01

Day 1 of summer project.

I decided to go for two different projects in order to switch between them whenever I get bored. This usually works well for me and there is no reason to limit myself with just one direction, since summer projects are supposed to be fun. Besides, this goes along with my lab work and other duties.

So, two projects.

1) Storytelling. I probably won’t be able to pull of the entire book yet, but short diaries and stories are fun to read and don’t take as much resources. I’m not sure which language to write them in and where to post them. I’m open to suggestions!

2) Personal database. Mostly a resume-type project, although I intend to build a decent app for it to keep my notes and stuff in order and synced decently. The idea came from Kalle Halden. I should be able to draft both projects this afternoon.

Progress reports will appear here, of course.

2021-06-30

I heard an interesting concept in some podcast a few days ago: transparency about your current work in social media is, essentially, a proof of work in crypto. There is a guy on youtube who streams 12-hours pomodoro sessions and occasionally makes a lifestyle video, and you know it’s real, because you have that proof of work. Whenever an artist tells a story as he creates something - you know it’s legit, because the creation process was unfolding before your eyes.

I’d like to turn this account into something similar. I’m not sure yet whether to work on my usual lab projects or take on something new entirely, but no matter what I decide - tomorrow will be day one. Hopefully I make something worthwhile out of these two months.

2021-06-30

Done. The semester is over with all the horrors and exams and whatnot. I have a few days to relax and plan everything, and after that the grind starts anew.

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