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This year, I graduated from college in my pajamas from a living room in Montana, bonded with a cat through quarantine, traveled across seven different states to be reunited with that cat, and learned about the subtleties and quirks of a crazy 2020 world.

Here’s some of what I learned:

  1. Poorly ventilated rooms negatively impact cognitive ability and decision-making. [Joe Romm]
  2. Only two individuals have their own zip code in the United States: the President and Smokey the Bear. [Matt Gray]
  3. Hummingbirds enter a state of hibernation each night to avoid starving to death in their sleep. [James Gorman]
  4. When…

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Photo by Nicole Wolf on Unsplash

Few things are so easy yet have such a great impact down the line

My first exposure to programming came my freshman year of college. A bright-eyed kid sitting in the back of a stuffy lecture hall staring at that first Introduction to Programming & Problem-Solving in Java slide.

After introducing variables and their declarations, our professor devoted an entire section of the PowerPoint to variable and class naming; a seemingly trivial subject: how hard could it be to give a variable a name? If I need a variable to represent the current index of an array, just call it curIndex or something like that.

Easy peasy lemon squeezy.


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Photo by Allie Smith on Unsplash

Staying physically distant but socially close

These past three weeks have been the most turbulent of my life; plans canceled, packing up and moving across the country on a moment’s notice, a constant fear of infection and infecting.

And yet, my problems are minute in comparison to those of the newly-unemployed, the grieving, the nurses, the doctors, and the infected. I cannot begin to imagine the pain and chaos that surrounds this time for them; my mother is a nurse and my father is a doctor — simultaneously, my admiration and worry for them grow by the day.

This virus has affected all of us in…


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Brought dad’s old film camera back to Europe 40 years after its first trip abroad

This year, my face was put on billboards around Denmark, I learned I was the 10,000th baby born in Washington State the year I was born, and I read, a lot. Here’s some of what I read.

  1. Glow-in-the-dark kittens are helping fight feline AIDS. [Charles Q. Choi]
  2. Denmark contributes two-thirds of Greenland’s budget revenue. The rest comes mainly from fishing. [BBC]
  3. In 1628, a 2,420,000 pound Swedish warship sank on its maiden voyage after just 10 minutes of sailing. It sat forgotten on the bottom of a Stockholm harbor for three-hundred years before being rediscovered and brought—intact — to the…


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At long last, the rolls from abroad have been developed and as promised, here they are in all their grainy glory

I know I said I had retired from posting about study abroad but I know you all have been waiting eagerly by your computer screens for the 35mm pictures I alluded to in past photo drops. Don’t fret, your two-months of waiting will not go in vain.

Buckle up for a wild and crazy journey through Europe via 35mm film.

The Story Behind the Camera

Here’s what I wrote on my DIS application essay before coming abroad:

I further hope to engage with Danish culture and the city of Copenhagen through photography. About a month ago, while cleaning a cabinet in my house, I discovered…


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Photo by Jonny Caspari

Cryptocurrency

Crypto-mining, in simple terms

Bitcoin, Bytecoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Monero, Vertcoin, Electroneum, Dogecoin and whatever other ___coin is released in the future all structure themselves around the concept of mining.

Cryptocurrency mining does not involve swinging a pickaxe in a poorly-lit, claustrophobia-inducing mineshaft. It does not require years of tutelage under the expert dwarf miners of Erebor. Quite the opposite — cryptocurrency mining can be conducted from the comfort and safety of your own home. …


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Photo by Jo Jo

A quick explanation of the most Financial FOMO-inducing word of the decade

Bitcoin and other crypto coins rely on the core idea of the blockchain.

Oh yeah, I know you’ve heard of “the blockchain.” Yet another buzzword that surrounds all things cryptocurrency. You probably heard Dave toss around the word at a barbecue and if you ever thought “oh that’s too confusing for me,” well, here’s an explanation in easy-to-understand, tech-jargon-minimal form.

Cryptocurrencies and the blockchain are a method of moving away from old, archaic methods of transaction processing that hinged on a central organization like a bank that takes care of money balances and transfers. Cryptocurrencies decentralize that process and move…

Thomas J. Mallick

🚀 Computer Science and Political Science student @VanderbiltU interested in using technology for social good 🦖

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