Partial Solar Eclipse in California 2024

On April 8, 2024, California experienced a partial solar eclipse with 35% coverage. Back in 2017 I got lucky and saw a complete solar eclipse in Oregon and also managed to take a picture of the totality. I didn’t have any specific equipment then nor today, just my 200mm lens and an ND filter. ButContinue reading “Partial Solar Eclipse in California 2024”

Snowshoeing on Mt Rainier for New Year’s Day

We went snowshoeing on Mt Rainier on the last day of 2023. It was great to have most of the mountain to ourselves. And the twins took to the snow shoes like a fish to water. It was the perfect way to end the last year and start a new one. Exactly 12 years agoContinue reading “Snowshoeing on Mt Rainier for New Year’s Day”

OpenAI had explicitly added a warning to investors asking them to view their investment as a donation

OpenAI explicitly added a warning to investors asking them to view their investment as a donation because the company they were investing in was fully controlled by a non-profit whose mission was to only benefit humanity, not investors. The board was explicitly empowered and tasked with doing what it did. Whether they made the wrongContinue reading “OpenAI had explicitly added a warning to investors asking them to view their investment as a donation”

An example of what HDR images capture

Modern devices can display a significantly wider dynamic range than what was possible a few years ago. What that means is that there can be a larger difference between the darkest and brightest parts of an image, closer to what the human eye can perceive. Above is a very quick example of what that looksContinue reading “An example of what HDR images capture”

Rationalism is not very useful without values

I always thought that being rational was the best way to protect against bad decisions. But now I think it’s even more important to know our values and know how to stand by them. It’s easier to be rational – far more difficult is to be value-driven. But without values rationalism is a rudderless engineContinue reading “Rationalism is not very useful without values”

Can super intelligent AIs ever be “safe”?

Sitting at an airport lounge, it’s kinda interesting to see this headline on the screen with a “robo cart” right in front of it, along with a human whose job will change once these carts become “smarter”. What is hard for many of us to conceive and yet is probable not too far from nowContinue reading “Can super intelligent AIs ever be “safe”?”

The Lake on Badwater Basin on Death Valley National Park

Badwater basin, within Death Valley National Park, is a dried up lake entirely coated with … table salt! It’s the lowest point in the United States and is also the hottest place in the United States. The area gets about 1.9 inches of rain annually but the evaporation potential is 150 inches a year soContinue reading “The Lake on Badwater Basin on Death Valley National Park”

Documenting California Precipitation 2023: Full Lake Folsom and Snowcapped Sierras

The effect of all the precipitation in the past 5 months in California can be easily seen in this pic. That’s Folsom Lake. That tree has been on dry ground for the past few years when you could hike up to it just walking on the lakebed of rocks and pebbles. Now a good chunkContinue reading “Documenting California Precipitation 2023: Full Lake Folsom and Snowcapped Sierras”

Mt Shasta juxtaposed with our consumerist selves

Mountains can be teachers. They can show us our place, help keep our ego in check, and give us the dose of awe we need to stay grounded. We were driving back from Mt Lassen when we stopped for a coffee and from the parking lot of a Starbucks I caught this view of MtContinue reading “Mt Shasta juxtaposed with our consumerist selves”