~meliache/blog

blog/content-org/blog.org -rw-r--r-- 60.3 KiB
245d8e3fMichael Eliachevitch fixup! Update build with hut cli and environment vars a month ago
                                                                                
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#+HUGO_BASE_DIR: ../
#+HUGO_SECTION: posts
#+HUGO_WEIGHT: auto
#+HUGO_AUTO_SET_LASTMOD: t
#+startup indent
#+seq_todo: TODO(t) DRAFT(r) | DONE(d)
* Meta                                                                 :meta:
** First post and introduction to this blog                       :personal:
:PROPERTIES:
:EXPORT_FILE_NAME: first-post
:EXPORT_DATE: 2021-03-14
:END:
Hello and welcome to my new blog. I'm still not sure what exactly I will post here, but I want to try and keep up a regular writing habit. With writing I believe it's like with many other creative work that quantity must come first and only if you start writing much and often, you'll get more experienced and learn to write better. It's a fight against my urge for perfectionism.

I already used the coronavirus pandemic for working on my daily journal again and also started a note-keeping /[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zettelkasten][ zettelkasten]]  workflow with [[https://www.orgroam.com][org-roam]]. The step towards a public blog doesn't seem large to me. I don't want to publish my private journal and notes, so I'll keep this blog separate and orthogonal to those, meant for things that I think some reader might find value in. Also, I must be careful for this not to be too much of a time-sink for my procrastination.

I already had the idea for a blog a couple of years ago after my master thesis. Back then I spent some time figuring out the technical stuff of how to write a and deploy a static website with [[https://ox-hugo.scripter.co][ox-hugo]] and also wrote the [[id:9123840d-624f-4897-80db-44f4270fac27][About]] page (I seriously should update and shorten it down soon). However, at that point I stopped and didn't continue on this, as often happens, but now I decided to pick it up again.

At the moment I mostly use [[https://twitter.com/elimik31][twitter]] for occasionally sharing thoughts, but I don't really like the idea of a centralized internet centered around huge companies which are interested in my data (btw, I'm aware of decentralized microblogging services like mastodon). Blogs are nice in that regard because you can just subscribe to the via their [[https://www.lifewire.com/what-is-an-rss-feed-4684568][RSS feed]] (check out the feed for this blog) and receive their updates via your feed reader no matter what website they are hosted on. I stress this because I must admit that I only recently started subscribing to RSS-feeds and feel like I have been missing much until now. Also, as I use a static site generator, it means that all source files for this blog are under my control and if something happens to [[https://sourcehut.org/][sourcehut]], where this is hosted now, I'll be able to switch to any other hosting service.

Because the deployment set-up was some work, I might write a separate blog post about it soon. But I hope I'll also find chances to write some non-technical things here, so don't feel discouraged if you followed because you know me personally but all the tech-talk so far was intimidating.

** Blogging workflow with org-mode via ox-hugo and publishing on sourcehut :technical:emacs:orgmode:
:PROPERTIES:
:EXPORT_FILE_NAME: ox-hugo-and-sourcehut
:EXPORT_DATE: 2021-03-16
:ID:       514fde3e-362f-4751-a90e-7ef06da84f61
:END:
This is a technical post on my experience so far for blogging with [[https://ox-hugo.scripter.co][ox-hugo]] and publishing it on [[https://srht.site/][sourcehut pages]]. Both have very good getting-started guides (just click the links), so here I'll focus on my experience and the technical specifics of using both in combination. You can check out the source at [[https://sr.ht/~meliache/blog/][sr.ht/~meliache/blog]].
*** ox-hugo
:PROPERTIES:
:ID:       7ea81b18-7fdb-47e7-afb7-697028092e83
:END:
I use the [[https://orgmode.org/][org-mode]] of the [[https://www.gnu.org/software/emacs][emacs]] as my daily engine for note-taking (via [[https://www.orgroam.com/][org-roam]]), journaling and for planning my agenda. Therefore, it appealed to my to write a blog in it to reduce context-switching and facilitate making blog entries from existing notes.

I found [[https://ox-hugo.scripter.co][ox-hugo]] to be a nice solution to my needs. It is an emacs package that exports an org-mode file to multiple markdown files that are then used by the [[https://gohugo.io/][hugo]] static site generator to generator the website. This is not the simplest approach, there are emacs packages to generating static sites directly without the need for intermediate software (see [[https://orgmode.org/worg/org-blog-wiki.html][org-blog-wiki]]), alternatively I could have used hugo directly which also has rudimentary markdown support. But this seems to works for me, it's nice being able to leverage the full power of org-mode and also profit from the large hugo ecosystem and user-base (see [[https://ox-hugo.scripter.co/doc/why-ox-hugo][why ox-hugo]]). And I don't have to fear lock-in, since I have control over the org- and markdown-files on my computer and might switch over to any other system if I ever decide to. This is what I love about having a static site.

#+ATTR_HTML: :width 60% :caption Writing this blog post in org-mode
[[/images/screenshots/ox-hugo_2021-03-16.jpg][file:/images/screenshots/ox-hugo_2021-03-16.jpg]]

*** Publishing to sourcehut
I recently discovered [[https://sourcehut.org/][sourcehut]] as a git-forge and thus lightweight and privacy-respecting alternative to github, gitlab and the likes. Since recently it also allows hosting static websites via [[https://srht.site/][sourcehut pages]], so I decided to give it a try. What I liked from the start is that after getting an access token it allows deploying your website via [[https://curl.se/][curl]] with a simple command (see [[https://srht.site/quickstart][srht.site/quickstart]]), no other configuration needed. This helped getting started quickly without any further configuration needed and seeing my blog online was a definite motivation boost. All I needed was a simple shell command for building the hugo website (export to hugo happened from emacs) and deploying it, which I saved in a [[https://git.sr.ht/~meliache/blog/blob/7e63551ec6ad76d7a9717e4ba32eb06e87a06e3b/deploy.sh][deploy.sh]] shell script:

#+begin_src bash
hugo &&\
    tar -C public -cvz . > site.tar.gz && \
    curl --oauth2-bearer "$( pass access-tokens/sr.ht/blog  )" \
         -Fcontent=@site.tar.gz https://pages.sr.ht/publish/meliache.de
# cleanup
rm -v site.tar.gz
#+end_src

As you see, I insert access token via the [[https://www.passwordstore.org/][pass]] password manager, so I don't have to reveal it in the repository. I could extend on this script to fully automate the deployment, e.g. with git commit hooks etc. But I decided to try to automate the deployment with via a sourcehut build manifest. Since my set-up is a bit obscure, having a build-manifest ensures a level of reproducibility, e.g. ensuring that others will be able to fork the blog [[https://git.sr.ht/~meliache/blog][repository]] and build it without having to set up emacs and running interactive commands from within it and also without having to commit the generated markdown files. In addition, I just wanted to gain experience with build-systems.

What I was missing was an emacs lisp script that installs =ox-hugo= on the virtual machine of the build-system and then runs it to export the blog. After reading some blog/stackoverflow posts emacs scripting, I ended up with [[https://git.sr.ht/~meliache/blog/tree/master/build/ox-hugo-export-blog-script.el][ox-hugo-export-blog-script.el]], which can be run on a fresh system with

#+begin_src elisp
  (require 'package)

  ;; List the packages you want
  (setq package-list '(ox-hugo))

  (add-to-list 'package-archives '("melpa" . "https://melpa.org/packages/") t)
  ;; Activate all the packages (in particular autoloads)
  (package-initialize)
  ;; Update your local package index
  (unless package-archive-contents
    (package-refresh-contents))

  ;; Install all missing packages
  (dolist (package package-list)
    (unless (package-installed-p package)
      (package-install package)))

  ;; disable backup file generation, don't need this in script mode
  (setq auto-save-default nil)
  (setq make-backup-files nil)
  ;; allow all local variables, since interactive prompts are problematic in script mode
  (setq enable-local-variables :all)

  ;; open blog and export it to markdown iwth ox-hugo
  (find-file-existing "../content-org/blog.org")
  (org-hugo-export-wim-to-md 'all-subtrees)
#+end_src

This allowed me to build the website with the following [[https://git.sr.ht/~meliache/blog/tree/master/item/.build.yml][.build.yaml]]:
#+begin_src yaml
image: alpine/latest
oauth: pages.sr.ht/PAGES:RW
packages:
  - emacs
  - hugo
tasks:
  - ox-hugo-md-export: |
      cd ~/blog/build
      emacs --quick --script ox-hugo-export-blog-script.el
  - hugo-generate-site: |
      cd ~/blog
      hugo
  - package: |
      cd ~/blog
      tar -C public -cvz . > site.tar.gz
  - upload: |
      cd ~/blog
      acurl -f https://pages.sr.ht/publish/meliache.de -Fcontent=@site.tar.gz
#+end_src

This builds take about 37 seconds which is quite a bit longer compared to a simple =hugo= build due to the required installation of emacs and ox-hugo, but still acceptable. In my experience so far the build system sometimes still has upstream problems and might be a while in pending, so I still keep my =curl=-deploy script in case I'm impatient with deploying

*** Update: Alternative approach by /System Crafters/
Shortly after I posted this, the /System Crafters/ posted his own livestream on publishing an org blog on sourcehut, but he uses ~ox-publish~, so make sure to check that out:

[[https://youtu.be/618uCFTNNpE][System Crafters Live! - Static Websites with Emacs, Org Mode, and Sourcehut • Episode planning • Q&A]]

** Improved RSS feed                                              :technical:
:PROPERTIES:
:EXPORT_FILE_NAME: better-rss-feed
:EXPORT_DATE: 2021-08-05
:END:
I just improved this blog's [[https://meliache.srht.site/index.xml][RSS feed]]:

1. The feed now show the full content of each blog post. Previously, the RSS feed just showed the first paragraph of each blog post, which is the default in HUGO, but I didn't notice at first. I'm really annoyed that this is the default, as it seems an anti-pattern to me. Everybody should be able to read the entire blog from RSS if they wish so. Of course I wouldn't want that if I were interested in monetizing my blog or gathering user data. I fixed that easily by changing ~{{ .Summary | html }}~ to ~{{ .Content | html }}~ in my =rss.xml=, as I learned in:  [[https://jdheyburn.co.uk/blog/who-goes-blogging-6-three-steps-to-improve-hugos-rss-feeds/][Who Goes Blogging 6: Three Steps to Improve Hugo's RSS Feeds]] by Joseph D. Heyburn.

2. The feed on the home page now only shows blog posts and doesn't have entries for other sections like [[id:9123840d-624f-4897-80db-44f4270fac27][About]] or for static pages hosted on this blog. I learned how to filter the RSS feed on [[https://benjamincongdon.me/blog/2020/01/14/Tips-for-Customizing-Hugo-RSS-Feeds][Tips for Customizing Hugo RSS Feeds]] by Ben Congdon.


In the future I might consider adding an Atom feed. From what I read it is a more sensible standard, and most feed readers support both anyway, but configuring it requires some extra steps in Hugo, e.g. using the [[https://github.com/kaushalmodi/hugo-atom-feed][hugo-atom-feed]] theme component and duplicating the configuration which pages to show in the feed etc. and even if I find a way to unify this configuration, it's just more work and I'm not sure yet if that's worth it.

** New domain for my blog: =meliache.de= — Update your feeds!
:PROPERTIES:
:EXPORT_FILE_NAME: new-meliache-dot-de-domain-announcement
:EXPORT_DATE: 2022-04-15
:END:
I finally set out and bought a custom domain for my blog. Therefore, the URL changed from [[https://meliache.srht.site][meliache.srht.site]] to [[https://meliache.de][meliache.de]]. I still have ownership of the old sourcehut domain, so I put there HTML page with a link and a simple JavaScript snippet forwarding visitors to the new domain.

But, I realized that if somebody followed this blog via the RSS feed, that feed might be broken, so they (you) might need to re-subscribe the [[https://meliache.de/index.xml][new RSS feed address]]. But I just fixed that by copying the hugo-generated RSS-feed including this post to the old address [[https://meliache.srht.site/index.xml][meliache.srht.site/index.xml]], but I won't keep the feed at the old URL in sync indefinitely.

At least in the future I hope domain changes will be less frequent. One of the major reasons why I bought the new domain is that in addition to looking more professional I'll be able to change between hosts for my blog (github pages, sourcehut, …) without needing a change of domain.
* Personal                                                         :personal:
** TODO Coronavirus Hobbies: Making Kimchi                  :cooking:hobbies:
** Daily thoughts: PhD struggles & procrastination      :daily:productivity:
:PROPERTIES:
:EXPORT_DATE: 2021-03-25
:ID:       dc240ab6-261a-4c56-95ad-24f3a3efaede
:END:
*** Introduction to daily thoughts under the personal tag
One of the reasons I created this blog is because I want to produce something of value that other people find useful. But when I take this mantra of having to produce something valuable too seriously, it can easily lead to me not writing anything because I think this wouldn't interest anyone. Therefore, I decided I'll just occasionally write fleeting thoughts that go through my mind on that day or at the moment under the [[/tags/personal][personal]] tag as a kind of public journal, without any guarantee that I'll actually write every day.

*** Struggles with my PhD and procrastination and how I deal with that
I am currently working on my PhD and well, I am kind of struggling with it. Which I know is normal and expected, everyone who does a PhD knows that its an challenge and that is one of the reasons why we do it. My problems at the moment seem mostly not with the difficulty of the tasks that I have to do but with myself and this is nagging on my self-worth (probably also common among PhD students). On the one side, I am confident enough to know I have some strengths and here I'll list some to boost my confidence before I come to my weaknesses

- For a physicist, I'm pretty good at understanding, writing an debugging code and this is most of the work that an experimental analyst has to do in practice, so this gives me a good foundation. Though most people in science don't care much about code quality :shrug:
- I'm quick at getting new concepts and have a good memory. I actually think this is what helped me getting good at programming, but it applies to other areas as well.
- I'm lucky to have no difficulties in communicating both when explaining things or in talks and when it comes to writing, which will hopefully help me when it comes to thesis writing.

So, I can consider myself pretty lucky.  So how come I struggle? I think it  comes to time-management, organization, prioritization and procrastination.

Partly because of my strengths, I could get through much of my school education and my early university years without having to focus too much on school, learning for exams or similar. I wasn't lazy, I was quite conscientious about doing things such as homework and what I did, I tried to do well, but I always did and learned a lot on the side about what was interesting me the most at that moment. The good thing is that school and university still provided a framework and environment with a time table and things I had to do, so it kind of worked out.

Now, as a PhD student, I am more on my own and it's my own responsibility to structure my days and decide which tasks I work on. I heard of others that complained that they were always told what they have to do, but in contrast to that I always felt like I was free to do what I want to without /immediate/ consequences and this is even more so true in the Coronavirus pandemic when doing home-office. During my master thesis my supervisor told me that I'm good at supervising myself, but I'm not sure about that.

I have to mention that much of my procrastination isn't watching youtube-videos or browsing reddit, but working on things that aren't important /now/. I'm the kind of person who naturally has a strong urge to be liked and be praised and therefore, I say "/yes/" to tasks don't actually have to do with my PhD and sometimes I don't even need to be asked but give these tasks to myself. This can be e.g. improving the tools of our collaboration's software framework or answering questions on our collaboration-internal stackoverflow-like questions site or just pro-actively helping new students. I think this is connected to my insecurity, my resulting urge to be liked and these small tasks can give me this feeling of achievement, whereas the main topic of my PhD seems daunting with seemingly no end in sight and everything I do feels like failure.

And I must mention that I think that Covid is not the cause, but plays a part as well. I really miss seeing colleagues each day, talking with them about work and problems and just having this work environment, which always motivated me even when nobody was actively supervising me.

Well, the good thing is that I've reached the level of despair where I realize that something needs to change and I try to approach that in a pro-active way. Thus, again I got into a self-improvement/productivity phase. By again I mean I had such phases multiple times and usually they help me for a while, as long as I'm still actively reading books etc. on that topic, but too often after such a phase I drift back into old habits. I think I really should try to make self-improvement a sustained habit.

I've recently tried several past "tricks"  again, e.g. pomodoro-timers, time-tracking, using habit-trackers, reviewing my day and making plans for the next day and even these things have helped a bit, but it hasn't been enough. Or I was doing them wrong. E.g. today I planned too make a simple pull request for a python-package and I scheduled 30 minutes for that, but I ran into unexpected issues and that ended up taking several hours of focuses work, but not work that I can write anything about inn my thesis (The lesson in that: Schedule what's most important first and take self-imposed task deadlines seriously.)

This time, I started reading the book /[[https://www.neilfiore.com/now-habit/][The Now Habit]]/ by Neil Fiore and I'm only at the beginning, but many parts of what he describes resonate with me. The author argues that one major cause of procrastination is a judgemental, blaming attitude towards oneself and the fear of failure. Procrastination is a simple way to avoid or postpone that fear until a point where a deadline comes close and panic kicks in. I liked his analogy of walking across wooden plank. If it's on the ground, that's no problem, but if it's high above the ground between to buildings, even if it's easy to cross, most people would hesitate until one of the two buildings is suddenly one fire. I think that now I'm in a similar situation where I myself am raising the plank high above the ground by creating stories in my had.

Yes, a PhD is difficult and its challenging and there is a realistic chance of not succeeding. It's not just another job or just a hobby. It's important to me right now and that's good, but it's not the only thing in the world. I think somewhere between these lines is a wisdom that will help me. Well, I think I should just continue reading that book and I'm curious what the author will recommend next.

Another thing is just really making an effort to create a structure in my week and make sure that I'm working on what's important. I also try too seek more contact with colleagues and talk about what I'm working on to force commitment. I also want to try out the idea of a [[https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1368675916096933889.html][sync session]], i.e. be in a zoom call with someone trusted where both participants are muted and just tell each other what they will work on at the beginning and report back in the middle and at the end of the session.

And on a final note, in my search for anti-procrastination videos I found the popular TED-talk [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arj7oStGLkU][Inside the mind of a master procrastinator]] by Tim Urban. First of all, it made me realize that I'm not alone with my problems, they are common and people like us can still learn to do something amazing. And the end of the video was really inspiring, the realization that the worst procrastination is procrastinating on life, since we only have a limited time given. Before that, despite his popularity, I was not really aware of him and his /[[https://waitbutwhy.com][Wait But Why]]/ blog, but after the video I immediately ordered his [[https://waitbutwhy.com/2014/05/life-weeks.html][life-calendar]] and I think it will an important reminder each day.

If you want to discuss and comment either write to the public mailing list for this blog as describe under [[id:f2549066-5073-4496-b7f2-17f899eaea8d][Comment]] or feel free to write me a private email :).

** Short update: I'm back and doing well 🙂                       :personal:
:PROPERTIES:
:EXPORT_FILE_NAME: I-am-back-and-doing-well
:EXPORT_DATE: 2021-08-02
:END:
Since my first [[id:dc240ab6-261a-4c56-95ad-24f3a3efaede][post about my PhD struggles]] I haven't posted anything for five months. I got much more productive shortly afterwards. Back then I started being open with my struggles, which included writing about them, but also talking about them with colleagues. Being open about that is definetly important. It had helped and I subsequently did a lot of progress, which was good because conference deadlines were coming up. I was actually quite happy about that, because my supervisors started meeting with me very regularly and I enjoyed this, almost as if that were socializing. I'm definetly like feeling part of a team.

In the end not everything turned out as I had hoped, part of which was not under my control, but nonetheless I'm happy with the experiences and progress that I did.

However, in that time I didn't have much time to update this blog. For me writing is like therapy, it relaxes me, provides reflexion and perspective and I feel like writing gives me some control back over my life. Thus, when things are going well, when my life has structure and a good routine, I don't really /need/ that additional control anymore (though I still think it helps). And as a result, almost forgot about this blog.

In case you were wondering during that time if I'm still alive, kept active on [[https://twitter.com/elimik31][twitter]] and via [[https://crossposter.masto.donte.com.br/][a crossposter]] on [[https://mastodon.social/@meliache][mastodon]].

Today I got motivation to take it up again, because I got an email comment [fn:1] from someone telling me that they'd love to read more. This made my day 🤩. I can barely believe that someone found this and went through the trouble of messaging me, despite it not being much advertised anywhere. One of my greatest desires whenever I do something is create something of value [fn:2]. And even if only a single person sees value in something, that's a lot of motivation to keep going.

The timing is currently good because the post-conference summer is more relaxed now. At the same time, I sometimes have difficulties when there is little external pressure giving me structure, so I'll try to work on my own systems and habits, on of which might be writing.

So far I had been writing mostly when I was not feeling well, which might give this blog a selection bias and readers might think that I'm a pessimistic, fearful procrastinator, while most of the time I'm quite the contrary, only occasionally I have such moods.

I still have to find a niche what to write here. Should I mostly write personal things? Tell more about my hobbies? Post pictures? Those things might also overlap heavily with my twitter. Or should I strictly write professional programming posts so that I can link this blog to my linkedin? I'm not sure, I guess I'll just write and see what will become of this.

Cheers, Michael

[fn:1]: If you'd also like to submit an email comment, see the instructions [[id:f2549066-5073-4496-b7f2-17f899eaea8d][here]].
[fn:2]: I found that the desire to create value /quickly/ can also result in procrastination. For my research, as typical in academia, I often have to put in weeks of frustrating work until I can show a useful result and am lucky enough that the data makes sense. I found that I enjoy procrastinating by writing software tools to make an analysts life more comfortable, because often I can create something useful in a couple of days and don't have to worry about issues with the data. It's not just useless "immediate gratification" vs. something useful long-term, there are often useful projects with faster (but not immediate) gratification vs. long-term with weeks until you see progress. But sometimes the latter are those that really matter. This is why most anti-procrastination guides tell you to split your work into small managable chunks, do pomodoros intervalls etc.
[fn:3]: Btw, only by accident I found out that [[https://ox-hugo.scripter.co/][ox-hugo]]/[[https://gohugo.io][Hugo]] supports footnotes. Footnotes rock, they fit my overly verbose style. I will definetly use them more in the future.
** Trying minimalist shoes 👟👣
:PROPERTIES:
:EXPORT_FILE_NAME: trying-minimalist-shoes
:EXPORT_DATE: 2021-09-17
:END:
*** The joy of barefoot walking
I always enjoyed the freedom of walking barefooted, though mostly just at home. One major contributing factor was probably that I practiced Judo regularly since I was 11 (only on break since recently due to me moving, finishing my PhD and the COVID19 pandemic) and like many partial arts, it's a barefoot sport. The warm-up runs, games, gymnastics, strength and of course the Judo exercises and fights are all performed barefooted.

I just love the feeling of standing with my bare feet on the mats, just remembering this feeling sparks joy in me. For much of my life this feeling meant that I can forget all of the daily troubles and go full out and have the best fun during training (even if sometimes, /fun/ means suffering during exercise, but that is still fun for me).

Others might better relate to memories of summer days at the beach or playing in the grass as children. It's interesting how many memories I can contact with just some feeling under my feet. Of course the intensity of those memories has to do with all the experiences that we associate with those feelings (same reason why I have strong associations with certain smells). But another reason might be the high amount of sensory receptors on our foot soles. However, most of the time when we wear shoes they are deprived of much stimulation. The visual equivalent would be sitting in a room with white walls all day.

Especially during the very hot summers, I sometimes also walk barefoot outside. But this has the downside of having to wash your feet later and once I had a bad experience with stepping on a shard of glass in the basin of a water fountain. Also, there's societal expectations/norms and people laughing about you, but I usually try not to care much. Still, I can understand why most people don't walk barefooted.

I don't think the invention of shoes was a idea. They were invented for a good reason; because people needed them to get work done, to prevent injuries, to march long distances… I'm one of the privileged few with a safe office job in a high-income country. I don't have to do menial tasks my surroundings are mostly clean and safe (except the occasional glass shard). People whose daily life itself is a fight for survival don't often seek for adventure in their free time and similarly, I assume they don't wonder as much about sensory deprivation of their feet.

#+begin_quote
  "Diogenes did not need a study or a warm habitation; it's hot there without. You can lie in your tub and eat oranges and olives. But bring him to Russia to live: he'd be begging to be let indoors in May, let alone December. He'd be doubled up with the cold."

— Gromov in the short story /Ward No. 6/ by Anton Chekhov about the ancient Diogenes who was happy with living in a tub.
#+end_quote

*** What potential advantages I see for myself
There's also some believe that frequent barefooted walking might be have health advantages and might help to prevent foot problems. Several years ago I had pain in the right foot from running. An orthopedist diagnosed me with a mild form of flat feet and prescribed insoles. They definitely helped with the immediate symptoms. However, I didn't want to depend on them and also tried foot exercises (you can find many online, e.g. on youtube). After over a year I could switch back to shoes and running with no insoles at all without having pain. I don't know if that's because of the foot exercises, the insoles of just time, but since then I try to take care for my feet and exercise them as much as possible.

Recently, I was in the local running store for buying new running shoes, because my old ones wore out after a lot of regular running during the pandemic (luckily, the foot pain that I had several year ago never came back). The employer took my footprint and strangely enough didn't confirm flat feet :shrug:. Also they recommended me to do a lot of barefoot walking to improve my running form and stability[fn:5]. By that they didn't mean that I should go around my entire life without shoes (it's a store which sells /cushioned/ running shoes), but I should try to do it at home and in my free time as much as possible.

Later I did some online searches and found some articles that barefoot walking might improve foot strength and running form when combined with foot gymnastics. But I didn't see any scientific consensus that it might improve flat feet in adults (there were varying opinions), though I didn't dig into the scientific literature. However, there seems to be more consensus that barefoot walking is important in children to prevent conditions like flat feed. And there are frequent warnings that changing to barefoot walking to fast and doing much of it might actually /cause/ injuries, so be careful and listen to your body.

[fn:5]: Running store employees, youtubers etc. are not medical professionals and therefore I'd be sceptical. In case of medical issues, I would always visit and listen to your doctor first and foremost. This is the best that you can do for your health.

*** Discovering minimalist shoes
When hearing in the running store that I should walk more barefoot, I remembered that many of my climber/student friends wear shoes they refer to as barefoot or minimalist shoes (it seems that they are popular recently among this group of people). These are light shoes with thin and very flexible soles and large space in the front for the toes. They protect the feet, but still offer much freedom of movement and make the muscle in the foot work when walking. The lack of cushioning promotes not walking the heels and instead stepping on the mid- or forefoot. You can feel the ground under you much better than in normal shoes, but I still would not claim that it "feels like walking barefoot" because you can't feel the texture of the ground well and are missing much of sensory input of real barefoot walking. This is why I prefer referring to them as minimalist shoes. It seems that they are quite a hyped currently and not surprisingly, they are quite expensive, which prevented me from buying them when I first heard about them years ago. But now I have some income and a new incentives, so I went to the local store and bought a pair of "Groundies" and do the experiment for myself.

*** My experience so far
Walking in the minimalist shoes so far seemed surprisingly normal. When I first tried them, I could immediately start walking and it felt quite natural and not strange at all. I guess this is expected in retrospect since we all have walked barefoot in our lives. Walking in socks also doesn't feel strange, and minimalist shoes are like socks with laces and a rubber sole.

I also find them quite comfortable when working in the office. I just like the lightness and the freedom of movement that my feet and toes have. On hot days it's really nice how well my feet breath in the shoes, in contrast to other sneakers I don't miss my sandals or slippers.

However, I found that I don't enjoy walking on hard surfaces for a long time, like concrete, asphalt or cobblestone. There, I really have to be careful not to step to hard on my heels. On the other hand, walking of soft surfaces like grass or soft earth in those shoes feels very comfortable (though not as much fun as actually being barefooted). But even on hard surfaces walking is okay if I just walk more slowly and pay more attention to how I place my feet. I think this will get easier and more automatic the more used I get to this type of walking, but now, it still gets tiring after a while. So I don't recommend walking in them for long distances, especially if you are still getting used to minimalist shoes. From what I saw on the internet, changing the shoes to fast can also cause injuries. If you feel pain, just stop.

But one of the other great advantages that I didn't consider much when buying them, is that due to their light weight and flexibility, you can always take your minimalist shoes with you and they won't take up much space. Since it's still warm, I always wear either my minimalist shoes or my Teva trekking sandals and have the other pair of footwear in my backpack. Whenever I feel like my feet need cushioning and arch support, I change to the sandals. Thus, I can increase the volume of the distances that I walk in the minimalist shoes incrementally and get gradually used to them.

So far it has been not a life-changing experience, but it was fun so far. But I still need to wear them for longer and get really used to them before I can give my final personal verdict and decide if that's really for me. Next weekend I will have a short 6 km hike and I'm excited how it will be to wear the minimalist shoes there. However, since my feet might still get tired, I will bring my trekking sandals as well.

(Maybe I'll add some pictures later in an update of this post)
** Noticing the life around us                              :birding:hobbies:
:PROPERTIES:
:EXPORT_FILE_NAME: the-joy-of-noticing-the-life-around-us
:EXPORT_DATE: 2021-11-21
:END:
During the COVID-19 pandemic my perception of the world changed. Because of home-office, I spent more time alone at home. During my childhood, our cats at my parents home gave me a lot of comfort when being lonely. Unfortunately, I don't have any pets at my current home, thus I turned my attention towards what other life exists in front of my balcony and windows and in my home. I get pleasure in watching that life and I think it makes me more relaxed. I also started feeling more in touch with the world around me and I think for me that's part of mindfulness: Not being blind of the world we live in, not being scared or resistant of it, but noticing the ecosystem that we live in and being aware of it.

*** Birds 🐦
:PROPERTIES:
:ID:       aba8e046-cbc3-438f-8c4d-82a4b6e4c770
:END:
I started paying more attention to birds and got very interested in *birding*. I really love Corvids and here in Bonn I noticed that there are many magpies which are really fun to observe and super cute. Further, (since I moved here only recently) I was surprised to discover that we have a feral population of rose-ringed parakeet 🦜. I put some nuts on my balcony which the local magpies really seem to enjoy, but they are very shy and only come down to feed when they think that I don't see them. Therefore, this summer I used the Raspberry Pi that I had lying around to build a *birdcam*  with the instructions and software from [[https://mynaturewatch.net/][mynaturewatch]].

#+CAPTION: Magpie snatching a walnut.
#+ATTR_HTML: alt: Photo of magpie on bird house having a walnut in its beak.
[[file:The_joy_of_notice_the_life_around_us/2021-11-21_14-38-55_screenshot.jpg]]

#+ATTR_HTML: alt: Photo of magpie on bird house having a walnut in its beak.


[[file:The_joy_of_notice_the_life_around_us/2021-11-21_14-38-03_screenshot.jpg]]

#+CAPTION: Eurasian jay
#+ATTR_HTML: alt: Photo of Eurasian Jay on bird hourser
[[file:The_joy_of_notice_the_life_around_us/2021-11-21_14-38-22_screenshot.jpg]]

#+CAPTION: Our ninja-squirrel being sneaky
#+ATTR_HTML: alt: Squirrel on bird house stealing walnut
[[file:The_joy_of_notice_the_life_around_us/2021-11-21_14-44-06_screenshot.jpg]]

Later I also finally invested my money in a binocular which I like to use for both watching stars and birds.

Most recently I read the most excellent, fun, cut and informative book /[[https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/56271339-a-pocket-guide-to-pigeon-watching][A Pocket Guide to Pigeon Watching]]/ by [[https://rosemarymosco.com/][Rosemary Mosco]] and even found out how fascinating some of the most common birds in our cities are 🕊, that I admittedly was originally apathetic towards.

*** Plants 🪴
During the pandemic, for the first time in my life I decided to buy some edible plants and try to grow some of my own veggies on my window. I bought some tomatoes 🍅 because they are supposed to be beginner-friendly and some Habanero chilli peppers because I really like eating spicy 🌶. It was really fascinated how such a large huge plant can grow from the tiniest seeds. However, I discovered that the plants don't get much direct light on my west-facing window (with more shadow from the balcony roof) and I assume this (in addition to possible over-fertilizing) is why my cherry tomatoes grew very tall (up to the roof), but had only a very moderate yield. The chillies I probably planted to late in the year and they didn't have enough time to grow tall enough before fall. However, while the tomato died by now, the Habanero plant looks really healthy and I hope that it will yield fruit next year. Another thing that surprised me is just how much water the tomatoes need compared to e.g. the chilli plant. I now really get why they are among the most climate-unfriendly veggies (or fruit, botanically speaking) that you can buy due to the high water amount they need, so I'll try to restrict how many tomatoes I buy.


#+DOWNLOADED: screenshot @ 2021-11-21 15:33:31
#+CAPTION: Young tomatoes plants a couple of weaks after sprouting
#+ATTR_HTML: :alt young tomato plants sprouting
[[file:The_joy_of_notice_the_life_around_us/2021-11-21_15-33-31_screenshot.jpg]]

#+CAPTION: First tomato fruits
#+ATTR_HTML: :alt Green tomatoes on tomato plant
#+DOWNLOADED: screenshot @ 2021-11-21 15:33:41
[[file:The_joy_of_notice_the_life_around_us/2021-11-21_15-33-41_screenshot.jpg]]

*** Micro-organisms (Fermentation)
In addition to cooking, I got into fermentation during the pandemic. It started out with making my own Kimchi, followed by Sauerkraut and most recently Kombucha. Among those, Kimchi has the advantage that despite the initial effort, it requires the least waiting time and is already good after a couple of days (you can even directly eat fresh Kimchi after making it and it's good). Home-made Sauerkraut was something that I know from my Russian grandma who makes it every year and after making Kimchi it was surprisingly simple to make, though requires more patience. Kombucha I started only recently after I got hold of some started liquid (which contains the scoby, a symbiosis of yeast fungi and acid bacteria) and a pellicle (the characteristic biofilm created by the scoby). I had tried Kombucha once once when visiting the US and really missed that I couldn't easily buy it in Germany. The "Kombucha" in DM just tastes like fruit-tea. So making it myself seems like the only option here in Germany. Making fermented food is in my opinion easier than growing plants for food, yields results more quickly, is not comparable to what you can buy in the supermarked, but still, you have something that is /alive/ (though I admit plants make the better home decoration).

I doubt that these fermented foods are more healthy than simply eating fresh veggies. The scientific literature doesn't seem to show strong evidence yet (though more research is needed). However, for our ancestors that was one of the few ways to preserve veggies. And in addition, they just /taste so good/ 😋. That got me thinking how so many foods have their characteristic, complex taste due to fermentation with yeast or bacteria, e.g. cheese, wine, beer, bread…. But these micro-organisms are doing there work in the invisible. But thinking about it, they are everywhere around us.

Therefore, I really enjoyed the recent /Synapsen/ Podcast /[[https://www.ndr.de/nachrichten/info/42-Sie-sind-unter-uns,audio1011800.html][Sie sind unter uns]]/ (German) about the bacteria and other micro-organisms all around. In this podcast the scientist Rob Dunn was interviewed, who wrote the book /[[https://robdunnlab.com/science-portfolio/never-home-alone/][Never home alone]]/ about the biome in our homes. I just bought it yesterday and am really looking forward to read it. From the prologue:
#+begin_quote
  This book is the story of both the life that is likely living beside us in our homes and the ways in which that life is changing. The life in our homes speaks to our secrets, our choices, and our future. It influences our health and well-being. It is full of mysteries and shimmers with grandeur and consequence. We do not know the stories of most of the species in our homes, but we know some of them, and what we do know will surprise you. When it comes to the species mating, eating, and thriving alongside us, nothing is quite what it seems.
#+end_quote


#+DOWNLOADED: screenshot @ 2021-11-21 15:32:37
#+CAPTION: Kimchi making
#+ATTR_HTML: :alt Fresh kimchi in a plastic container
[[file:The_joy_of_notice_the_life_around_us/2021-11-21_15-32-37_screenshot.jpg]]

#+DOWNLOADED: screenshot @ 2021-11-21 15:33:02
#+CAPTION: Pickling cucumbers
#+ATTR_HTML: :alt Cucumbers in a plastic container with other ingredients for pickling
[[file:The_joy_of_notice_the_life_around_us/2021-11-21_15-33-02_screenshot.jpg]]

#+DOWNLOADED: screenshot @ 2021-11-21 15:33:10
#+CAPTION: Fresh Sauerkraut salad
#+ATTR_HTML: :alt Sourkraut in a bowl with raisings
[[file:The_joy_of_notice_the_life_around_us/2021-11-21_15-33-10_screenshot.jpg]]

*** Other activities
Like many people, during COVID I started taking more walks and running more and this is a great opportunity to get a closer connection to your surroundings, the nature, wildlife and not-so-wild life like cats and dogs (whom I still really love), so I can only recommend it. Go outside and keep your eyes open!
** TODO Learning bird identification with Anki 🐦🧑‍🎓       :birding:hobbies:
:PROPERTIES:
:EXPORT_FILE_NAME: learning-bird-identification-with-anki
:EXPORT_DATE: 2022-04-15
:END:
:LOGBOOK:
CLOCK: [2022-04-15 Fr 13:34]--[2022-04-15 Fr 16:13] =>  2:39
:END:
I have recently gotten more and more into birding as a new hobby. I always enjoyed watching animals including birds, but during the pandemic this intensified. Having moved into an area where I can often see many interesting birds might have also helped: From my window I can often see Magpies (I love them), Eurasian Jays, Kestrels, Buzzards, Green Woodpeckers, Great Tits, Robins etc. And for my region also a very exotic bird, namely the green /Rose-Ringed Parakeet/ 🦜, as I already mentioned that in the blog post on [[id:aba8e046-cbc3-438f-8c4d-82a4b6e4c770][Noticing the life around us]], where I explained how I made a bird wildlife cam and bought binoculars.

Since then, I discovered that among my colleagues from the US there is a birder. He took me on some walks to the botanical garden and I was amazed by the many species he could identify and how he could identify many birds by their songs and calls.




* Technical                                                       :technical:
** TODO How and why I am getting into web feeds                      :emacs:
It's not long ago that I started following blogs, news etc. via RSS/atom [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_feed][feeds]] instead of visiting websites directly. As far as I see it, the advantages are

- Avoiding lock-in: Many blogging and micro-blogging plattforms make it easy to follow people, blogs etc. withing their domain, e.g. Worpress, Tumblr, Twitter or the Korean website Naver, which I recently discovered as a Korean learner. But it's hard to follow people outside that domain and I don't want to feel locked or be dependend on a single company. The [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fediverse][fediverse]] aims to solve this by allowing to follow and share across sites. Feeds allow


 and being dependent on algorithms that decide what to present me. I new about the technology for long but didn't invest the initial effort to use it until I started listening to podcasts regularly during the Coronavirus pandemic, which also are nothing but feeds. There's plenty
** emacs elfeed: Browse specifically tagged feeds in eww automatically :emacs:
:PROPERTIES:
:ID:       8a9265c6-7d63-46fc-8985-326512ef08ea
:EXPORT_DATE: 2021-08-18
:EXPORT_FILE_NAME: elfeed-browse-tagged-feeds-in-eww-automatically
:END:
Since I got into web [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_feed][feeds]] recently, I am continuously tweeking on my feed reading experience. I like the [[https://github.com/skeeto/elfeed][elfeed]] feed aggregator package for the Emacs editor/lisp-machine and provides a wonderfully hackable experience.

Recently, Tassilo Horn (@tsdh) mentioned me in his blog post [[https://tsdh.org/posts/2021-08-12-make-your-rss-enjoyable-in-feed-readers-such-as-elfeed.html]["Make your RSS enjoyable in feed readers such as elfeed"]], where he explains how to configure elfeed to open feeds in /EWW/ (the /Emacs Web Browser/) with a prefix-arg (=C-u=) to the ~elfeed-search-browse-url~ and ~elfeed-show-visit~ commands. This is useful when a feed entry only shows a preview, instead of a full blog post or news article.

After reading that and adapting my own configuration, I asked myself: Since I know which feed URLs only show previews, why not save some button presses and automatically open certain feeds in EWW? For configuring which feeds to open in EWW, I decided to leverage the built-in tag-system (I mostly set tags via [[https://github.com/remyhonig/elfeed-org][elfeed-org]]) to decide which feeds to open in EWW instead of storing those feeds in a separate list. In my case, I decided to use the =browse= tag. Here is the code that I came up with:

#+begin_src elisp
  (defun meliache/elfeed-show-eww-if-tag (entry tag)
    "Browse elfeed ENTRY in eww if it is tagged with TAG."
    (when (member tag (elfeed-entry-tags entry))
      (let ((browse-url-browser-function #'eww-browse-url))
        (elfeed-show-visit))))

  (defun meliache/elfeed-show-eww-if-tag-is-browse (entry)
    "Browse elfeed ENTRY in eww if it has the tag `browse'."
    (meliache/elfeed-show-eww-if-tag entry 'browse))

  (advice-add #'elfeed-show-entry :after #'meliache/elfeed-show-eww-if-tag-is-browse)
#+end_src

I temporarily overwrite ~browse-url-browser-function~ with /EWW/ as the main browser for ~elfeed-show-visit~ to open the URL in /EWW/ independent of any other[fn:4] browser configuration.

I considered writing ~meliache/elfeed-show-eww-if-tag~ more generically to accept an arbitrary number of tags (via a ~&rest tags~ parameter), but better keep the complexity here low and anyway, elfeed has good functionalities for automatically tagging entries.

In the end, I implemented my function as an [[https://www.gnu.org/software/emacs/manual/html_node/elisp/Advising-Functions.html][advice]] after the ~elfeed-show-entry~ /function/, even though I prefer using emacs [[https://www.gnu.org/software/emacs/manual/html_node/emacs/Hooks.html][hooks]] if possible. There is a ~elfeed-show-mode-hook~, but it called before the buffer-local /variable/ ~elfeed-show-entry~ is set, thus I don't have access to the feed entry properties. As an /after/ advice, the ~elfeed-show-entry~ function is still called and thus the eww buffer is displayed nicely in the side window that I get from [[https://github.com/algernon/elfeed-goodies][elfeed-goodies]]:

[[file:Technical/2021-08-18_15-56-33_screenshot.jpg]]

The downside is that if I quit the buffer eww buffer with =q=, I still have to quit the elfeed-show buffer as well with another =q= press, which can be a mild annoyance. Probably guess it should be possible to completely replace ~elfeed-show-entry~ with my own function that prepares the buffer same as the former and then calls EWW.

So far, I only added the =browse= tag to the [[http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod.rss][APOD feed]] (/Astronomy Picture of the Day/), which only shows a miniscule thumbnail of the daily picture which is barely recognizable without opening the website. And as can be seen above, EWW offers a nice viewing experience for that purpose. However, for many news feeds, I /want/ to read the summary before deciding whether reading the whole article is worth it. In addition to that, the EWW experience is often suboptimal, I often have to scroll through several pages of header links until I get to the actual post. I think I will mostly add the =browse= tag to those horrible feeds where the feed contents are empty or offer no additional information over the feed headline (e.g. the [[http://feeds.nature.com/nature/rss/current][Nature briefing feed]]).

[fn:4]: After implementing tsdh's [[https://tsdh.org/posts/2021-08-12-make-your-rss-enjoyable-in-feed-readers-such-as-elfeed.html][suggestions]] to have /EWW/ be the secondary browser and open links in that when a prefix-argument is used, my first implementation just called ~elfeed-show-visit~ with a prefix argument [[https://stackoverflow.com/a/6156444][programmatically]], but this might not work for others.
* About
:PROPERTIES:
:EXPORT_FILE_NAME: about
:EXPORT_HUGO_SECTION: ./
:EXPORT_HUGO_MENU: :menu main :name About :weight -20
:EXPORT_HUGO_CUSTOM_FRONT_MATTER: :disable_feed true :outputs [html]
:ID:       9123840d-624f-4897-80db-44f4270fac27
:END:
** How to follow                                            :meta:technical:
For following this blog, I recommend subscribing to one of my [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RSS][RSS]] feeds. In addition to the [[/index.xml][overall RSS feed]], my blog generates feeds for each of the [[/tags][tags]]. For example, if you're only interested in [[./tags/personal][personal]] or only in [[./tags/technical][technical]] posts, you can follow the respective tags.

For discovering the tag feeds, you can just add ~/index.xml~ to the tag URL, but I recommend using a browser extension for RSS/atom feeds instead. Currently, I use [[https://addons.mozilla.org/de/firefox/addon/feed-preview/][feed-preview]] for firefox which displays a button if a website has a feed and shows a preview if I click on it. Usually, I just use that to copy feed URL's into my feed aggregator ([[https://github.com/skeeto/elfeed][elfeed]], which I only recommend if you're already an Emacs user). However, there are many in-browser aggregators. In most, you can export your list of feeds in the =opml= file format, which you can for example use to synchronize your feeds with your smartphone (I'm happy with [[https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.nononsenseapps.feeder.play][Feeder]] for android).

** About me                                                       :personal:
I am a German PhD student in experimental particle physics (also /high energy physics/ or HEP) doing data analysis and software development for the  [[https://belle2.jp][Belle II]] experiment.
*** Contact and web presence
- email: [[mailto:m.eliachevitch@posteo.de][m.eliachevitch@posteo.de]]
- PGP public key: [[/546908C782383AD0E7D894EC1B8F95C8125DCE31.asc][546908C782383AD0E7D894EC1B8F95C8125DCE31]] ([[https://keyoxide.org/util/qr/OPENPGP4FPR%3A546908C782383AD0E7D894EC1B8F95C8125DCE31][QR]])
- proofs of identity:
  (cryptographic proofs that my PGP key is associated with listed web presences and allow you to easily send me encrypted messages):
  - [[https://keyoxide.org/546908C782383AD0E7D894EC1B8F95C8125DCE31][keyoxide]]
  - [[https://keybase.io/elimik][keybase]]
- ORCiD: [[https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2033-537X][0000-0003-2033-537X]]
- code forges: [[https://github.com/meliache][github]], [[https://sr.ht/~meliache/][sourcehut]], [[https://gitlab.com/meliachevitch][gitlab]]
- social: [[https://twitter.com/elimik31][twitter]], [[https://www.linkedin.com/in/michael-eliachevitch-2053351b7][linkedIn]], [[https://mastodon.social/@meliache][mastodon]], [[https://pixelfed.de/@meliache][pixelfed]]
- [[https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Elimik31][Wikipedia]]

*** Interests and hobbies
- life-long learning
- reading
- software development
- emacs
- sports:
  - Judo
  - bouldering / climbing
  - jogging, especially now during the Covid19-pandemic when Judo or going to the bouldering gym is out of the question
- language learning (see below)
- cooking, also more since the Coronavirus pandemic. Love Asian cooking (e.g. Chinese and Korean), but also occasionally do traditional Russian dishes.
- I like animals, especially dogs, cats and birds

*** COMMENT Old, too verbose interest list               :ARCHIVE:noexport:
**** Particle physics
Me doing particle physics, this is pretty obvious. I was interested in it since my early school days. Now, I have ended up on the very experimental (and computational) side of particle physics, in particular [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flavour_(particle_physics)][flavour physics]]. I might not the best person to ask if you are interested in the mathematical details of some new grand unified theories. However, I enjoy talking about the technologies and techniques needed to verify or falsify such theories. And I can still try to explain the basics of particle physics to laypersons.


**** Other sciences / fields
Modern science is highly specialized and I my knowledge on other sciences and even even other fields of physics is very limited. Nonetheless, they are still interesting and I try to follow them at least on a superficial level.

Since I have always loved everything that has to do with space, I really like multi-messenger astronomy and astro-particle-physics, which also deal with high-energy particles, but originating in space instead of accelerators. Few people know about astro-particle physics experiments, so I might try to do some popular science writing about them, too.

**** Computing: programming, data analysis, ...
I am kind of a nerd who enjoys using computers for doing the stuff I want them to do. If you're an experimental HEP physicist who is not building hardware (e.g. detector parts), then you need to code. Particle physicists tend to embrace the hacker mentality, it's needed for what we do (and I like that). I write data analysis code and occasionally event reconstruction code for our experiment, mostly in python and some C++. I am also a linux geek and enjoy using libre/open source software.

**** Emacs
This is kind of an addendum to the above points. I am an emacs person. It's not for everyone, but I have fun with it and it helps me being productive. This deserves special mention, because this blog is written in emacs org-mode (with [[https://ox-hugo.scripter.co/][ox-hugo]]).

**** Judo and other sports
I have always been a high-energy-person and sports help me to stay balanced. Judo is a great passion of mine. I started it as an 11-year-old child and it has helped me a lot in becoming more self-confident and in growing as a person. I love it and it has become such a habit that I miss it if I can't attend training for a week. Additionally, I occasionally go for a run or swim or do some strength training. I also enjoy doing bicycle tours. However, to me this is more about exploring new places than an exercise.

**** Reading
As a child, I had been reading mostly non-fiction, such as popular science books. To me, books were a source of information and a way to learn stuff. And still are. After all, learning is damn exciting and stretches your imagination. In the recent years, in an effort to become less one-sided, I started a habit of reading more fiction — oh, what had I missed. Somehow, it still does not feel all that different, with good fiction I feel like a learn something important by reading it (though not in the school-homework type of way). And it also exercises the imaginative brain muscles.


**** Animals
Generally, I really enjoy being in the company of animals, be it cats, birds or dogs. About two years ago, I started occasionally walking dogs from our local animal shelter. Also, I am interested in nature and animal conservation and I thinkg that I should do more related to that.


*** Languages
  - German :: mother tongue
  - Russian :: My parent's mother tongue, fluent at speaking it, not as good when it comes to reading and writing.
  - English :: fluent
  - French :: 6 years at school, still can do some basic communication and understand if spoken slowly.
  - Japanese :: intermediate/beginner-level. Attended a course once per week while studying at university for over 3 years, but after the first year didn't do much self-study or homework, which is the most important for language learning. Never came around to properly learn [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kanji][Kanji]]. Currently not learning anymore.
  - Korean :: Until recently on intensive self study, because for personal reasons I am highly motivated to learn it and together with [[https://apps.ankiweb.net/][Anki]] and [[https://talktomeinkorean.com][talktomeinkorean.com]] progressed quicker than I ever did with Japanese (also the simple writing system helps), but currently on hold due to my Ph.D.

** TODO Goals of this blog                                   :noexport:meta:
With this blog, I aim to share some stories out of my PhD life and maybe explain some exciting particle physics and related techologies. However, this is mostly a personal blog. Thus, there will also be rambling based on various thoughts and ideas of mine and posts about my other interests and hobbies, some of which are given in the following.

** Source-code of this blog                                           :meta:
The git source of this blog is on [[https://git.sr.ht/~meliache/blog][git.sr.ht/~meliache/blog]] with most of the content being written in the [[https://git.sr.ht/~meliache/blog/tree/main/item/content-org/blog.org][blog.org]] file. See [[id:514fde3e-362f-4751-a90e-7ef06da84f61][this post]] on a technical explanation how I generate this blog from that source file.

* Comment                                                              :meta:
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At the moment I don't have a commeting system embedded into my blog. Instead, I think we can use good old mailing lists as an alternative. You can see the mailing list archives and post new comment mails via [[https://lists.sr.ht/~meliache/blog-discuss][lists.sr.ht/~meliache/blog-discuss]]. Or directly write a mail to [[mailto:~meliache/blog-discuss@lists.sr.ht][~meliache/blog-discuss@lists.sr.ht]]. Just be aware of the [[https://man.sr.ht/lists.sr.ht/etiquette.md][mailing-list-etiquette]].

To comment to a specific post, you can put the last part of the subdirectory of the URL (the part after the last =/=) into the email subject. But I don't think I'll be super strict about that, I think we can keep that informal and you don't need to restrict your emails to specific blog posts.

Just keep in mind that the mailing-list is public, so if you want to comment in private just write to [[mailto:m.eliachevitch@posteo.de][m.eliachevitch@posteo.de]].

In the future I might consider self-hosting an embeddable comment service like e.g. [[https://commento.io][commento]], but as of now this is not of great importance to me. After all this blog is not meant to replace social networks for me, if it's single-directional and might help even a single person out there, I'm happy.

Alternatively, if you want to engage with social-media-style interactions, just check out my social media presences on the [[../][homepage]].

Technical note for myself and for future reference: There is an ongoing [[https://lists.sr.ht/~sircmpwn/sr.ht-discuss/%3CYE36qe9GL%2BoCLoYe%40rock%3E#%3CYE36qe9GL+oCLoYe@rock%3E][discussion]] on on the [[mailto:~sircmpwn/sr.ht-discuss@lists.sr.ht][sr.ht-discuss]] mailinglist about using mailinglists for comments.

* COMMENT Local Variables                                          :noexport:

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