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Pocket Reading List : Week 2.2 of April

How We Found the Dinosaur Doomsday Site : Please tell me that I wasn't the only person who didn't know that scientists were fairly convinced of the location of the asteroid that supposedly killed off the dinosaurs! And the scientists are now conducting an expedition to drill and extract tons of rock from the location on the sea floor to study the rock and understand the event that even toddlers know about!

You have no idea where camels really come from : Science is an amazing thing! It's surprising how every day there's something new to learn. Today, you'll learn that the erstwhile camels that are ubiquitous in the deserts might actually be from the arctic! Hooves thought to have evolved to help them move in the slippery sand could have actually evolved to help them walk on snow! Humps that were supposed to have evolved to help them store water and energy in the desert could have actually evolved to do the same in a frozen arctic!

Mind-Blowing Magic Magnets - Smarter Every Day 153 : You can skip the first minute or so of the video because it gets really interesting afterwards. As we all know, magnets have two poles, North and South, which are usually on opposite sides of a chunk of material. This video taught me that not only can we print magnets on to a material, we can also place the North and South poles of the magnet on the same side leading to a stronger magnetic field near the surface!

One Man’s Impossible Quest to Read—and Review—the World : This is the story of a man who, as mentioned in the title, wants to read about everything in the world! What I found interesting about this man was how he was able to draw similarities between disparate authors and works to talk about how one could have inspired the other or how two people wrote about the same event, decades apart!

Buck v. Bell: Inside the SCOTUS Case That Led to Forced Sterilization of 70,000 & Inspired the Nazis : Nazi scientists were put on the stand, after Hitler surrendered, or rather died, and Germany was defeated and asked the question as to how they could justify killing off and sterilising Jewish people! And surprisingly, the Nazi scientists pointed their finger back at scientists, and the Supreme Court, of the USA and how forced sterilisation was not only legal but widely rampant in pre-1940 USA.

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Animation using GNUPlot

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I've tried doing this using the animate function in matplotlib, python but i wasn't able to make it work - meaning i worked on it for a couple of days and then i gave up, not having found solutions for my problems on the internet.
And then i came across this site, where the gunn-peterson trough and the lyman alpha forest have been depicted - in a beautiful manner. And this got me interested in using js and d3 to do the animations and make it dynamic - using sliders etc.
In the meanwhile, i thought i'd look up and see if there was a way to create animations in gnuplot and whoopdedoo, what do i find but nirvana!

In the image, you see 5 static curves and one dynam…

Pandas download statistics, PyPI and Google BigQuery - Daily downloads and downloads by latest version

Inspired by this blog post :, I wanted to play around with Google BigQuery myself. And the blog post is pretty awesome because it has sample queries. I mix and matched the examples mentioned on the blog post, intent on answering two questions - 
1. How many people download the Pandas library on a daily basis? Actually, if you think about it, it's more of a question of how many times was the pandas library downloaded in a single day, because the same person could've downloaded multiple times. Or a bot could've.
This was just a fun first query/question.
2. What is the adoption rate of different versions of the Pandas library? You might have come across similar graphs which show the adoption rate of various versions of Windows.
Answering this question is actually important because the developers should have an idea of what the most popular versions are, see whether or not users are adopting new features/changes they provide…

Adaptive step size Runge-Kutta method

I am still trying to implement an adaptive step size RK routine. So far, I've been able to implement the step-halving method but not the RK-Fehlberg. I am not able to figure out how to increase the step size after reducing it initially.

To give some background on the topic, Runge-Kutta methods are used to solve ordinary differential equations, of any order. For example, in a first order differential equation, it uses the derivative of the function to predict what the function value at the next step should be. Euler's method is a rudimentary implementation of RK. Adaptive step size RK is changing the step size depending on how fastly or slowly the function is changing. If a function is rapidly rising or falling, it is in a region that we should sample carefully and therefore, we reduce the step size and if the rate of change of the function is small, we can increase the step size. I've been able to implement a way to reduce the step size depending on the rate of change of …