More or Less: Tulipmania Mythology

2018-05-17 podcast

The story goes that Amsterdam in the 1630s was gripped by a mania for Tulip flowers. But then there was a crash in the market. People ended up bankrupt and threw themselves into canals. This story is still being trotted out when people talk about financial markets lately as a comparison to buying and selling bitcoin. But how much of what we know of the Tulip craze is fact, and how much is myth? We speak to Anne Goldgar at Kings College London who explains all.


2018-04-17 bookmarks video

Amazing how persistence of vision causes our brains to insist that this has to be the same object moving/changing shape, as we never evolved to consider rapid switching of images to even be a possibility...

Org-mode formatting improvements

2018-03-13 posts code emacs

org-mode is so much better with some rich formatting. It really makes it appealing as a text format with embedded and actionable code — whether that is as a source file for literate-programming or just some notes with code snippets.

I've added the following to my .emacs, based on Org as a Word Processor:

;; org-mode formatting improvements

(require 'org-bullets)
(add-hook 'org-mode-hook (lambda () (org-bullets-mode 1)))
(add-hook 'org-mode-hook (lambda () (whitespace-mode -1)))

(setq org-hide-emphasis-markers t)

(let* ((variable-tuple (cond ((x-list-fonts "Source Sans Pro") '(:font "Source Sans Pro"))
                             ((x-list-fonts "Lucida Grande")   '(:font "Lucida Grande"))
                             ((x-list-fonts "Verdana")         '(:font "Verdana"))
                             ((x-family-fonts "Sans Serif")    '(:family "Sans Serif"))
                             (nil (warn "Cannot find a Sans Serif Font.  Install Source Sans Pro."))))
       (base-font-color     (face-foreground 'default nil 'default))
       (headline           `(:inherit default :weight bold :foreground ,base-font-color)))

  (custom-theme-set-faces 'user
                          `(org-level-8 ((t (,@headline ,@variable-tuple))))
                          `(org-level-7 ((t (,@headline ,@variable-tuple))))
                          `(org-level-6 ((t (,@headline ,@variable-tuple))))
                          `(org-level-5 ((t (,@headline ,@variable-tuple))))
                          `(org-level-4 ((t (,@headline ,@variable-tuple :height 1.1))))
                          `(org-level-3 ((t (,@headline ,@variable-tuple :height 1.25))))
                          `(org-level-2 ((t (,@headline ,@variable-tuple :height 1.5))))
                          `(org-level-1 ((t (,@headline ,@variable-tuple :height 1.75))))
                          `(org-document-title ((t (,@headline ,@variable-tuple :height 1.5 :underline nil))))))

And then I start the .org files with the following parameters:

#+STARTUP: indent
#+STARTUP: odd
#+STARTUP: hidestars
#+STARTUP: showall
#+TITLE: document title