WeekEnd Review January 31st, 2016

Not much in the way of opening remarks this week. I was hit hard by a cold end of the week and am posting this from bed. So less baking than I’d planned, less of everything aside from tea and hot toddies. But plenty of links, and a consuming mention below.

WeekEnd Links

TWSBI Eco Fountain Pen Review - The Pen Addict
This is a fantastic pen, especially for the price. As much as I love it, I’m also in the camp that it’s not the most attractive pen in the world. I think it makes up for that with price/features. That said, I’ve shown it to a few folks in my life who have reacted really positively from the get go about its looks. Brad, as always, does a nice job of summing this one up.

Pencils and Postcards - From the Pen Cup
I had completely forgotten about my high school and college obsession with old postcards, so this was a fun post to read this week. I loved old postcards for all the reasons mentioned in this post. They’re often beautiful, and have these tiny glimpses into another person’s life. In Austin, TX I used to love wandering around Uncommon Objects, picking up handfuls of old family photos and postcards. I’d stick them in letters, use them with mixtapes, etc. Maybe when I’m back in Austin in March I’ll go scrounge for some postcards!

Google AI Beats Human Go Player - Wired
This is fascinating to me! By day I manage a team of folks who help build systems that in part rely on machine learning. In that world, this is pretty big news. Go has been an unsolved challenge, and as is mentioned in the two links above, most conservative estimates were that a machine learning approach beating a human was maybe a decade away. Up above is the more approachable article from Wired, here is the article from the Google lab directly.

Women in Tech
Again, I work in technology, and while I’m relatively lucky in a bunch of ways to work where I do, the industry as a whole has a host of really deep seated problems. Diversity being a major one. I think the shift mentioned in the article, away from what women can do, and towards what the men who dominate can do to fix the culture is long, long overdue.

Why the Lamy 2000 is my EDC - Nib and Ink
I really liked this post for the simple reason that it’s a unique take on the review. I love reviews like this, with a view into not just whether a pen is “good” or “bad”, but why a person uses the pen in question, what hole it fills for them, and why its features/characteristics help fill that hole.

Last but not least, if you are reading this for pen content, and don’t know about this tumblr put together by Ray of Fountain Pen Quest. It’s a great resource as he casts a really wide net for pen blogs. (I also snuck in his post on the FC Model 20, which is rising on my list of wants with every new post/picture I see of it.)

WeekEnd Bake

Still getting to know Slime Season, the new all dark rye starter. This is the third bake with it, and visually they are some of the better loaves I’ve made, especially the one with the simple slash. Will let them rest just a little more and then have a late breakfast before going back to bed.


A lighter week this week, after my marathoning. I caught up on some articles saved to Instapaper in my downtime, and spent an evening coordinating with family to plan a trip to Austin, TX.

I started a couple things, and finished a short book of poetry that I was very enamored with, The Self Unstable by Elissa Gabbert. Each page a small stanza of what could be prose. They feel like little poem riffs on a suite of ideas all centered on the self, and identity. I’m planning to go back to it in a few weeks for a second run.

And with that, I'm off to fall asleep for many hours!