Gitvix links publications submitted to arxiv with code hosted on Github. Nice idea!

In recent years, a highly interesting pattern has emerged: Computer scientists release new research findings on arXiv and just days later, developers release an open-source implementation on GitHub. This pattern is immensely powerful. One could call it collaborative open computer science (cocs). GitXiv is a space to share links to open computer science projects.


Growing structures

I find it fascinating that the complexity of any biological structure, and the brain in particular, is the result of a low-dimensional encoding, simple developmental mechanisms and external input. This visualization of abstract growing structures gives a pretty good idea of how we can think of this process. Apart from that, these structures look absolutely stunning.

3D Models by NASA


For all 3D and space enthusiast, this might be very interesting. NASA offers 3D models for many of their spaceships, satellites and devices they used in the past (e.g. the opportunity rover, the Apollo lunar module) as free download on their website. Most models are in 3ds or obj-format which should be readable by most 3d-tools. Some of them are even in Blender.

Learn music the right way

After you know the basics for an instrument and you can play a few songs, it becomes more and more attractive to play freely any song you hear and like. This is not that difficult ones you know the chord progression for a song. Hooktheory is a huge database for chord progressions but, in contrast to other websites, it gives you the relative chords for a certain key (like VI-IV-I-V) and not the name of the chords in a certain key (like Am-F-C-G). This is exactly the way a musician needs it when you have your favorite keys in which you like to play and you are just interested in the progression itself. It is also a much better way to understand the principles behind music. Hooktheory is a great website for this as the database has a very high quality standard, provides the chords along with a midi-file and a Youtube-video of your song and displays the chord progression for any key you like.

And to get an additional boost of motivation to learn how to play any song you like, I recommend all the videos created by Collective Cadenza.

Apocalyptic events

Just discovered on Wikipedia the List of Dates predicted for Apocalyptic events. I guess, we can be lucky that we are still alive so far. According to this list, right before Christmas, on Dec 21, we will have “the next one”.

Several scenarios for the end of the world including galactic alignment, the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar, a geomagnetic reversalnuclear war, collision with Nibiru or some other interplanetary objectalien invasion, and the Earth being destroyed by a giant supernova. […]

Let’s enjoy the few days we have.

Learning Piano Improvisation

If you are interested in playing the piano just by your ear, to improvise or to reinterpret common songs, you need to improve your technical skills and gain a deeper understanding of the principles behind certain musical styles. Bill Hilton created numerous videos that cover various aspects of piano playing that are very helpful to autodidactically improve your skills.