Sasha from Pyramiden

Sasha from Pyramiden

Pyramiden, located far above the Arctic Circle on Norway’s Svalbard archipelago, has been all but abandoned since 1998 – with only 6 year-round residents.

Aleksandr Romanovsky, who likes to go by the nickname ‘Sasha from Pyramiden’ has worked as a tour guide at the Russian settlement since 2012 when, he thinks, he was the only person to apply for the job. A loner by nature, Romanovsky has come to feel at home in this unusual, otherworldly place, where he spends the time between giving tours and warding off polar bears by enjoying solitary pursuits, such as playing guitar and learning Spanish.

Chicken for a pet

Chicken for a pet

We had chickens – and everything they’re experiencing is exactly what we did. The fact cats are afraid of him, cannibalism, and being a general jerk at times.

Love it.

Slowing down the past

Slowing down the past

Hot on the heals of Peter Jackson’s They Shall Not Grow Old, restoration of old films using lots of fascinating new techniques is hitting mainstream. One of those technologies being to slow down the old hand-crank ~10fps movies that play too fast when put on modern ~30fps transfers.

Videographer Guy Jones slows down film from the late 1800s to early 1900s to more accurately match the speed at which modern footage is recorded and played. In addition to editing the pace of the century-old film, Jones also adds in sound effects to make the scenes more relatable.

Check out his Youtube channel for more of these amazing edits.

First Pope to speak at the UN and how to create true peace

First Pope to speak at the UN and how to create true peace

Excerpts from Pope Paul VI to the fledgling UN in 1965 that is just as relevant today as then.

As you know very well, peace is not built merely by means of politics and a balance of power and interests. It is built with the mind, with ideas, with the works of peace.

The edifice you are building does not rest on purely material and terrestrial foundations, for in that case it would be a house built on sand. It rests most of all upon consciences. Yes, the time has come for “conversion,” for personal transformation, for interior renewal.

The appeal to the moral conscience of man has never before been as necessary as it is today, in an age marked by such great human progress. For the danger comes neither from progress nor from science; if these are used well they can, on the contrary, help to solve a great number of the serious problems besetting mankind. The real danger comes from man, who has at his disposal ever more powerful instruments that are as well fitted to bring about ruin as they are to achieve lofty conquests.

To put it in a word, the edifice of modern civilization has to be built on spiritual principles, for they are the only ones capable not only of supporting it, but of shedding light on it and inspiring it. And we are convinced, as you know, that these indispensable principles of higher wisdom cannot rest on anything but faith in God.

It’s a reminder that efforts that reduce problems to just power, politics, money, etc are missing the root of issue and just playing whack-a-mole. Temporal tools like laws, money, and power dynamics are useful in guiding our courses – but unless hearts are changed – these efforts are at best a never ending practice of building sandcastles that are washed down with the next tide.

If you feel that politics can’t find the answer, if laws aren’t the answer, if controlling money or power doesn’t seem to bring peace – then you are right. It is the human heart where peace is made and to be found. Let each human heart seek to be reformed, and the rest will fall into place.

What am I doing this advent to reform my heart – especially with the work of peace?

Replacement fans on 2016 Razer Blade 14″ laptop

Replacement fans on 2016 Razer Blade 14″ laptop

I recently bought a used 2016 14″ Razer Blade M970 (RX09-01652E22) gaming laptop for about 20% the price of a new one (seems the only things that lose value faster than a Porsche driving off the lot are gaming laptops with last gen technology). I needed this one since it had a high-end GPU that allowed me to do modern DX12/Vulkan work, while being in a nice transportable 14″ slim form factor (it had a M970 graphics card).

While a screaming deal, there was one other noise problem: the fans. Gaming laptops are kind of notorious for needing powerful fans to cool their graphics cards. Both the fans in this laptop were starting to make bearing noises. The temps were fine and the fans worked ok – they were just a little noisier than they should have been. I took them out and cleaned them, but same result.

The originals are Cooler Master FB07006M05SPA312’s. DC 5v 0.5A, 4 pin connector.

Unfortunately, finding these guys turned up next to zero hits. Best options I could find were:

  1. Live with it – but know the fans might be dying/making more noise soon.
  2. Send it in to Razer and they’re replace them out of warranty. They charged a flat $100 rate + parts (they quoted me about $20) + shipping. About $150. Ouch.
  3. Buy used fan/heat-sink assembly off eBay. They were still charging around $40, and the fans were definitely all used. They could have the same noise issues as I was having – or have them soon.
  4. Dig deeper.

Found:

I opted for #4 and found a company on AliBaba that hit the spot. I found this vendor selling off-brand versions that looked and speced out right. I took the gamble since the price was $32 for 2 fans – a SCREAMING deal:
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/2PCS-CPU-fan-for-GIGABYTE-Razer-Blade-14-RZ09-01161E31-RZ09-01161E31-R3U1-laptop-cpu-cooling/32841110492.html

They arrived about 2+ weeks later as I opted for the free shipping. I popped out the old ones and can confirm these look and fit identically to the originals – sans the CoolerMaster stickers. They appeared to be brand new. Temps all appeared fine after gaming for well over an hour. They revved up to full power and then back down to idle perfectly. Best of all – they were nice and quiet. Success!

Alternative:

If you are looking for originals, I found these at $65/each, but that’s pretty steep to me:
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Emacro-for-Cooler-Master-FB07006M05SPA312-Server-Round-Fan-DC-5V-0-5A-4-wire/32887795069.html