Last weekend, like millions of other people stuck at home, I watched the film version of Hamilton on Disney Plus. I went in cold: I’d heard bits and pieces of it, but I don’t think I’d heard any of the songs all the way through.

My first reaction after watching it was “Huh, that’s what everyone was so worked up about?”. I imagine it’s quite a tough job translating a musical to film, and that even though (by all accounts) the film version was faithful to the original, it’s still a different experience than viewing the production in person. But… a week later and “You’ll Be Back”, “Washington on Your Side”, and “What’d I Miss” have stayed firmly stuck in my head. It’s been years since I’ve had something stuck in my head this badly. 😛

I’m not a huge fan of musical theater, but “Hamilton” feels like one of those uniquely good pieces of art that transcends folks’ normal genre preferences. I don’t really have any interesting opinions on it other than I enjoyed it thoroughly (after I let it sink in for a bit), and I’d suggest that if you watch it, you also listen to the soundtrack a few times.

Nerd Sniping

A few of my coworkers use the phrase “nerd sniping”, and I never really knew what it meant until I looked up the XKCD comic it originated from. I’d assumed that “nerd sniping” was a variant of “well, actually”-ism, or a flavor of pedantic “technically correct”-ism.

As it turns out, I was wrong. Nerd sniping is actually something that I experience frequently, but didn’t have a phrase for: You know when someone asks a technical question, or poses an interesting problem or thought experiment in such a way that you fall down a rabbit hole, unable to concentrate on anything else until you’ve solved that problem? That person has just “nerd sniped” you.

Source: XKCD

Personally, I still prefer yak shaving or “falling down a rabbit hole”, but I’ll add “nerd sniping” to my vocabulary. 😄

(My favorite yak shaving example)

  • This week, I learned that the origins of the phrase “Two Buck Chuck” is Charles Shaw wine. I thought it was a generic term for crappy generic wine, but I was surprised to learn that not only can you still buy a bottle of $2 Charles Shaw wine in 2020, but they actually market their own wine as “Two Buck Chuck”. Know thy customer, I guess…

  • Coding Adventure: Procedural Moons and Planets. Sebastian Lague’s “Coding Adventure” series is consistently good, but this week’s video was excellent. In 22 minutes, he covers shaders, terrain generation, and usage of random noise to make some truly cool procedurally generated planets.