Scribo Ergo Sum
More fun with the Fried Liver Attack

After writing my previous post about the Fried Liver Attack, I realized that I left out some more interesting lines that you might encounter. In this post, we will look at other positions you will likely encounter as you use this opening more often.

Long-running GPU-powered Jupyter notebooks

With AI/ML hype at an all time high. Many people are interested in experimenting with the latest models, learning how to train them, and learning how to deploy them. But, the main stumbling block for most of the nouveaux arrivants is getting their hands on an NVIDIA GPU. Essentially every ML library uses CUDA, an API for running parallel computations on graphics cards, which is available on every NVIDIA GPU. These days if you want an NVIDIA GPU, you have two options:

Why do the days fly by?

Take a moment to consider this painting by Caspar David Friedrich. It’s called Wanderer above the Sea of Fog. The wanderer stands over a precipice, gazing into a rocky landscape shrouded in a dense fog. When I look at this painting I am captured by a sense of the difficult journey ahead, of all the obstacles that must be overcome to traverse the terrain below. Each step feels heavy and consequential, because you don’t know what lays under each rock, or whether your next foothold will be firm. Each second passes like an hour, as your mind expands to overcome each new obstacle. Every step is a journey of its own. If you’ve ever tried a new hobby, or a new sport, then you know what I’m talking about.

Install D2L beta library without errors

If you’re doing the Dive into Deep Learning (d2l) course or reading through the book yourself, you’ll have to eventually install the d2l library (specifically the beta version).

The Lion and the Fox: Chhatrapati Shivaji

When we think of the history of India, most people think about various religious figures, and a few large empires that spanned mostly the north of India. A brief history that shows up in many textbooks might be that the Indus Valley Civilization declined, the Mauryan Empire rose and fell 1500 years later, the Mughals invaded another 1500 years later, and then the British Empire occupied the country. Part of this is simply that large empires that battle with outside forces generally have more written about them. For example, we know a great deal about the Sakas even though they have produced little writing or history themselves, due to their interactions with the Greeks, Persians, and Chinese. So, to fill in some of these gaps in Indian history, in this article I will be writing about Chhatrapati Shivaji Bhonsle (b. 1630; d. 1680), one of the most energetic and successful leaders in recent memory. His actions and methods show him to be a true princeps, and after his death, his Maratha Empire would span all of India, acting as the primary power on the subcontinent in between the dominance of the Mughals and the British Raj.

Protecting your Python API with Firebase Auth

Suppose you’re using Firebase to authenticate users on your client webapp, but then you add a backend API that you would like to protect with Firebase authentication as well. In this article, I will show you how to protect your Python Flask API’s endpoints with Firebase authentication using the Firebase Admin SDK.

Abortion and Hinduism

When people discuss the issue of abortion and stem-cell research, the issue is often seen as one that pertains to Christianity. As a Hindu, I was curious what the classical Hindu literature has to say on the subject. One of the things that stood out in my exploration was how explicitly they are against the practice of abortion, but moreover how little time is spent justifying that claim. The belief that abortion is wrong comes across as a given, like stealing is wrong, or murdering is wrong.

Building code for a utility process with Electron Forge and Webpack
Open external URLs from an Electron app

Oftentimes in an Electron app, you’ll want to open a URL that points to a page outside of your app. By default, the app will open the URL directly in your app rather than the user’s browser. To change this behavior, we first have to register a window open handler on your app’s BrowserWindow:

The Future of Search

I recently came across DKB IO’s post called Google Search is Dying on Hacker News. It’s definitely good food for thought, and really gets at some of the problems that make search a difficult space. In particular, the post brings up how people often search for things in Google by adding reddit to the end of their search queries. They may also append amazon, stackoverflow, or stackexchange depending on what they’re searching for.

OAuth flow in Electron Apps

The purpose of OAuth is to obtain a token that allows your app to make requests to a third-party service on behalf of a user. This let’s you do things like access their GitHub repositories for code analysis, access their Slack messages to create a bot, or access their Google Sheets to import them into your tools.

Why we need money: my mental model

We are rapidly approaching an inflection point in the history of money. With the rapid increase in the number of U.S. dollars in circulation, the meteoric rise of cryptocurrencies in the public consciousness, and the waning of the American cultural and economic empire, now is the most important time in U.S. history to understand how money works. There are three important questions we need to answer about our current economic state:

The Fried Liver Attack

In this post I wanted to share one of the chess openings that I love playing as white, The Fried Liver Attack. It is not considered a great opening for master-level players, or even strong players below the master level. But for everyone else, The Fried Liver Attack is an extremely aggressive approach that most players will have trouble defending well.

The Lone Gunman Myth

A lot of the prominent political killings of the 19th and 20th centuries were committed by lone gunmen. These gunmen have killed prominent politicians and world leaders. These were events with enormous consequences for both domestic and foreign policy. Yet, we are told that these men largely acted alone without the backing of powerful state actors and motivated by ideals not power. We were told that they were not members of the government, not foreign agents, not soldiers, and not usurpers, but simply rogue criminals. In other words, there was no conspiracy, just a killer on the loose. Let’s take a brief look at some of these assassins.

The Machiavellian Ethics

Niccolò Machiavelli’s Il Principe, or The Prince, is one of the most misunderstood texts of the last thousand years. When people think of The Prince, they think of a manual for tyrannical sociopaths. Certainly, its many notable fans, such as Benito Mussolini, Josef Stalin, and John Gotti add to its reputation. Its most famous fans may have been sociopaths, but were they following what Machiavelli actually advised? The two notions that fuel the popular narrative about The Prince are that a Machiavellian ruler would be oppressive, and that Machiavelli outright recommends that it is better for the ruler to be feared than loved. These misconceptions cause most people to miss the overall mission of The Prince.

Why I won't get the COVID-19 vaccine

It is a shame that what should be a personal medical decision has become an extremely political one. We are inundated with ads, political messages, and news segments delivered in hushed tones about the imminent danger of COVID-19. We are made to feel that our own safety and everyone else’s safety is dependent on getting the vaccine. But, what are the facts?

Take this idea: TouchEdit, the IDE for mobile devices

This is just an idea I had while trying to implement a gamepad navigation API for Blockly. Feel free to take it, and implement it. If you do, let me know, because I’d like to check it out.

Building a home gym in the time of COVID

Before COVID-19 went into full swing, I had been doing the Starting Strength program on and off for a couple years. But, I was at a plateau with my progress. By March 2020, I was doing:

LitElement connectedCallback vs. firstUpdated

Recently, as I was trying to fix an issue with Emblem Snake, I learned some more about the lifecycle methods in LitElement and thought I would share what I learned.

Introducing Emblem Snake: creating an app with LitElement and Docker

In Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, you play as Venom Snake, a soldier for the Militaires Sans Frontières (MSF) mercenary group who has been in a medically induced coma for 10 years. He discovers that the MSF has been dissolved and replaced by the Diamond Dogs. Apart from completing various missions, Snake is tasked with improving and defending the group’s Mother Base, an offshore military base near the Seychelles. To customize your Mother Base, the game allows you to design an emblem. This custom emblem will then be emblazoned all over Mother Base, displayed on vehicles used by the Diamond Dogs, and worn by Venom Snake himself. But, it isn’t possible to export the image out of the game, so I decided to make a webapp to turn my emblem into a phone or desktop wallpaper. It became an excellent opportunity to learn about LitElement and Docker. Be sure to check out the app on, and find the code on GitHub.

How to do Web Scraping and Data Analysis with Scrapy, SQLite, and Jupyter

This is a walkthrough of the tech stack that I use to gather and analyze sports. It should apply just as well to any data on the internet though. I’ve used this tech stack to publish a couple of articles, Dispelling Eagles Injury Myths and Is the NFL serious about concussions?, using data from Pro Football Reference. I’ve also published the code on my nfldata GitHub project.

How I Made This Website

When I made this website, I learned quite a bit about domain names, hosting, HTML, CSS, and more. So, I thought I would share some of the steps in my process to help others make their own websites.

Is the NFL serious about concussions?

The NFL has caught a lot of flak for its handling of concussions and head injuries to their players over the past few years. There were a number of players that were diagnosed with CTE posthumously, such as Junior Seau and Jovan Belcher.

Dispelling Eagles Injury Myths

Coming off a miraculous 2017 title run, the 2018 Eagles have been mediocre at best. Last season, the Eagles won the Super Bowl, despite a rash of injuries, most notably to MVP candidate Carson Wentz. They were lauded for having a complete team with tremendous depth.