• Invictus

    Ever so rarely, I find a poem that gives me goosebumps every time I read it. One such poem is Invictus, by William Ernest Henley.

    The poem is perhaps best known for having been a favourite of Nelson Mandela, who used to recite it to his fellow inmates.

    This tribute by the one and only Zen Pencils is therefore something I keep coming back to.

  • The New Colossus

    Given the news lately, The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus seems very relevant.

    Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
    With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
    Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
    A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
    Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
    MOTHER OF EXILES. From her beacon-hand
    Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
    The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

    "Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
    With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!
  • Is -0 a number?

    Reproducing an old answer of mine from Quora.

    Is -0 a number? Yes it is, and it is equal to 0.

    Interestingly though, signed zeros are a necessary representation in computing because of rounding off errors and limitations with floating point precision. In certain classes of computations, the sign of a number before it was rounded off to zero is of practical importance.

    Here’s an example from the Wikipedia article on signed zeros:

    Informally, one may use the notation “−0” for a negative value that was rounded to zero. This notation may be useful when a negative sign is significant; for example, when tabulating Celsiu temperatures, where a negative sign means below freezing.

  • The Garden of Earthly Delights

    Today, my colleague Udi introduced me to Hieronymus Bosch’s “The Garden of Earthly Delights”. I’m far from being an art connoisseur, but I’m speechless.

    More than an hour in, I still haven’t made it past the central panel.

  • Defended

    And I finally defended my PhD thesis.

    Drawing