Found This Week #21

In this week’s post: VR UIs, Interstellar discoveries, learning for fluency, emotion detecting radio waves, learning machine learning, Rugby Corner, Bruce Lee and a powerful video.

Each Friday I share some of the best things I encounter, from the internet mostly but also from real life! Hopefully what I find interesting will also be interesting to you :-)

Photo Of The Week

Summer is coming to an end, Autumn is approaching and with it, a drop in temperatures but also some beautiful sunset skies.

Lessons in VR UI Design

James Hsu worked on VR UI design for Disney. Here are 4 lessons he learned on building VR UIs. Interestingly, one lesson is to always mockup the UI in VR, even if it’s not fully built yet. I suppose this is similar to always testing on device for mobile app development.

Scientific Discoveries From the Movie Interstellar

If you didn’t hear at the time, the makers of Interstellar worked closely with physicists to portray the depths of space and blackholes as accurately as possible while making the film. It turns out, the graphics rendering engine they built was so accurate, it resulted in some new discoveries about how space bends at nearly the speed of light at the event horizon of a black hole. Researchers were about the actually see this phenomenon using the rendering engine, which was originally built with such accuracy in order to look good in IMAX theatres.

Learning For Fluency

Nautilus has a great article that tells the story of Barbara Oakley, a professor of engineering who adapted language learning techniques based on achieving fluency to learning mathematics and engineering as an adult. The approach describes combining learning to achieve understanding with structured rote learning to build fluency, in particular sub conscience learning or chunking, similar to what Malcolm Gladwell describes in Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking.

Emotion Detection Using Radio Signals

Researchers at MIT have developed a system that uses radio waves to detect the emotions of a person. The system appears to detect respiration and heart beat signals from the reflective pattern of the person and then infer emotion.

Netflix Test Film

Netflix made a 12 minutes film packed with as many challenging visual scenes as possible to allow developers of codecs and streaming software to build better products, which ultimately leads to a better Netflix watching experience. This is a new take on dogfooding.

Learning Machine Learning

Want to learn Machine Learning in a week?

Here’s how to go about it.

Rugby Corner — Dragons V Munster

Jean Kleyn scoring his first Munster Try

This week Munster travelled to Rodney Parade to take on the Newport Gwent Dragons. I was pitchside to take photos for the MRSC on a beautiful evening for rugby. The match was a bit dogged but even, both teams in with a shot. Munster held their lead at the end against a late Dragons push and got the win. Check out all my photos from the match here.

Bruce Lee the Philosopher

Brainpickings have featured newly released notebooks from the Bruce Lee estate which show how he used notebooks to amplify and solidify his own philosophies on willpower and building self confidence through positive emotion. Many of these concepts are familiar or even standard in the world of emotional intelligence and self awareness now, but I can imagine integrating these Eastern philosophies into life in post-war hollywood was quote a challenge.

Repeal The 8th — Face This Land

The 8th Amendment to the Irish Constitution introduced a ban on abortion in Ireland by a 66% majority referendum in 1973. In the decades since, the public opinion in a once staunchly Catholic Ireland has slowly changed. In 2012, the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar highlighted the need to revisit the ambiguous laws surrounding the 8th amendment. Since then, a campaign encouraging the 8th Amendment to be repealed has been growing. In July 2016, Maser’s Repeal the 8th street art mural on The Projects Arts Centre in Dublin was removed due to threats of planning violations, and has since been replicated. The powerful video below, Face This Land, was released this week and highlights the struggle of women who are denied full control over their own bodies. In my opinion, the arguments of the past are just that, in the past. Who are any of us to say another cannot have choice and control over their own body? 11 women leave Ireland every day seeking an abortion abroad. Repeal The 8th.

See you next week :-)

About Me

I’m a web consultant, contract web developer and technical project manager originally from Cork and now based in Swansea, South Wales. A lot of my work is done with clients in Ireland & the UK, where I offer strategy, planning and technical delivery services. I also offer freelance CTO services to companies in need of technical bootstrapping or reinvention. If you think I can help you in your business, check out my details on