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Showing posts from February, 2019

Ashtrays in airplane toilets

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I was traveling by air recently and I noticed the ashtrays in the airplane toilets. It reminded me of a question I had earlier about why airplane toilets still had ashtrays even though smoking on airplanes got banned a long long time ago.

And then I remembered this video I watched earlier which answered the question :


Basically, the reason why modern airplanes still have ashtrays in their toilets is to safegaurd against human stupidity. Even though smoking on airplanes is banned and is punishable by fines and/or jail time, people apparently still do it. And smoking on airplanes can lead them to make emergency landings.

If you don't understand why smoking on airplanes is a problem, think for a moment about how air circulation works on a tin can flying tens of thousands of feet in the air.

Apparently, fires were started in airplane bathrooms because smokers threw the lit cigarettes into the trash cans.

Now you know.

GitHub papercut - Forgotten branches

As you can see below, once you login to GitHub, you will be able to see the Pull Requests and Issues that are relevant to you. Issues that are assigned to you, PRs that you opened, PRs that your review was requested for etc. But one thing is missing.

Branches.

Branches are what lead to Pull Requests in the first place and there are a few times when I choose to push a branch but not open a PR against it.

It might be because I am not done working on it.

It might be because I am not sure if it will be reviewed quickly at the moment.

It would be nice if GitHub allowed me to see all branches I pushed to GitHub and their statuses, especially the branches that aren't under review as PRs.

Keep this in mind if you are not sold on the value of this request. When the company you work for uses GitHub, you might touch ~5-10 repositories over the course of an year. Not all work can be reviewed and merged immediately. Not all work is ready for review in the first place. You could definitely arg…

Watch random on Netflix/Prime

I'm in love with Netflix. The catalogue of interesting movies and tv shows I have access to is mind-blowing and incomprehensible. One might say that I spend a little too much time watching stuff on Netflix.

But.

BUT.

There is one thing I miss about regular old television.

The opportunity to randomly stumble across something I love and haven't watched in a long time. The possibility of coming across something that is amazing that I would have never found, if not for the fact that I was flipping through channels randomly.

I'm a little surprised that Netflix doesn't already have a Random button that let's Netflix decide what I should watch, given how much it knows about my interests.

At the same time, I would love to see a Watch again button that would play something I've watched and liked. Heck, it would be doubly awesome if Netflix just played the movie or tv show from the middle, instead of starting from the beginning.

Finally, I wish Netflix would one day le…

Single term for elected officials

I was watching Stephen Colbert interview Trevor Noah for the Late show and Trevor Noah brought up a point that reminded me of debates I've had with friends. He briefly talks about how all politicians should have term limits. He goes to an extreme and says that the all politicians should only get one term. Period. One term.

This reminded me of debates I had around this topic with friends of mine. Not all of us were in favor of term limits. If I remember correctly, I was also in favor of very short terms i.e. one or maybe two at the most for all politicians.

One of the counter-points I remember for not setting very short term limits on politicians is how slow the government moves. The fact that changes in the government happen and propagate very slowly, setting very short term limits on politicians will prevent them from having any meaningful impact. Therefore, it will further prevent people who want to do good from entering politics, for fear of wasting time and energy.

I just rea…

[Podcast] 99 percent invisible - The Secret lives of color

A lot of my colleagues at the Austin office talk about what their favorite podcasts are, when they have time to listen to them and what not. For some reason, I never really made the time to listen to the podcasts they recommended. That changed yesterday.

I was on my way back from a friend's wedding. On a train that takes 7+ hours. I'd watched all the movies I had downloaded on Netflix and Amazon Prime. And my phone was at < 15% battery so I couldn't spend anymore time browsing the internet. I needed to do something to cope with my boredom which wasn't a drain on my phone's battery. Which was when I remembered the podcasts I had downloaded on my phone, along with the movies.

One of the podcasts my colleagues highly recommended was 99% Invisible.
99% Invisible is about all the thought that goes into the things we don’t think about — the unnoticed architecture and design that shape our world. I had a bunch of their episodes on my phone and I chose to listen The S…