Since my last post, I’ve gone backpacking a few times, and each time I try to bring a little less. No, I’m not ultralight yet (often defined as base weight under 10 pounds), but I’m pretty close. My last base weight was 12.1.
Once I went through the relatively easy phases of lightening my bag (bring smaller bottles of things, stop bringing changes of clothes, weigh my meals), I started to fantasize about buying another backpack. This time, I thought to myself, I would get one which was incredibly light. My current pack weighs almost two pounds (17% of my base weight!) and I was desperate to take a little weight off.
Over the long weekend, I took a trip with a few friends out to Seneca Rocks, WV. My friends are big rock climbers, so they spent all day on the rock face. I decided to use the time to take a step towards a long-term goal.
I’ve always wanted to go ski-camping. I have a really sweet pair of Alpine Touring (AT) skis, and I’ve used them to ski around a few resorts and state parks in my home state of Vermont.
I’ve played pretty much all the big modern submarine simulations (Dangerous Waters, 688I, Silent Service, Sub Command, etc.), and in my opinion, Cold Waters is the most fun by far. It’s not the most realistic game: there is pretty much no parallel between Cold Waters and how sonar, tracking, classification, etc. work in real life. Damage control is pretty simplistic. Driving the submarine is easy. That’s all okay, because that isn’t what Cold Waters is about. The fun part is dodging torpedos.
When I tried to design a movement controller for a submarine in Unity, I felt up to the challenge. After all, exerting forces on objects is my main way of interacting with the world. I’ve written previously about my submarine game project; essentially, I’m making a fun little game, inspired by my personal experience, where you drive a submarine around, hunt other submarines, dodge torpedos, etc. The game was never supposed to be a faithful representation of real life, it’s just for fun.
I have a confession to make.
All of this code is on Github, so check it out, if you can!
My wife, Jackie, is a medical student at UCSF, but this week she visited me! So far, we've had a ton of fun in Norfolk, and we have some great plans for the weekend.
Without fail, Jackie brings me new interesting problems every time she comes here. Right now, she's working on determining the distances from patients' homes to the hospital. For anonymity, only patients' zip codes are used. Essentially, the problem can be stated like this:
I caught COVID at work earlier this year, so I ended up with a few weeks at home in isolation. In order to pass the time, I decided to try and learn a bit about the Unity game engine. I had a blast with it, and started to wonder how hard it would be to program a (simple) video game. The 3D physics simulation within Unity reminded me a lot of the phase spaces in continuous dynamics, which I have studied a fair bit, so I felt up to the challenge.