Roy Tang

roytang.net

Programmer, engineer, scientist, critic, gamer, dreamer, and kid-at-heart.

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2019 April

  • Churchill on Giving In

    "Never give in, never, never, never–never, in nothing, great or small, large or petty. Never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense." - Churchill Persistence is a virtue, except when it isn't - there is some amount of good sense necessary to discern when one should just give in. As in most things, a balance is required. Unfortunately, good sense is not always in abundance in today's world.
    Posted by under blog at #quotes

    Also on: twitter / 71 words

  • Watching Lately: April 2019

    I've already written extensively about Avengers Endgame, but there are other things I watched this month too. Shazam came out early this month, and while it was unfortunately sandwiched between MCU blockbusters, it was a fun adventure romp and surprised me in a few ways. I wrote a short spoiler-free review over on Tumblr. TV-wise, I've been on a rewatch binge of 30 Rock that unfortunately started with season 4 due to Amazon Prime's weird way of presenting things. I've already blown past the series finale and wrapped around to the start and currently at season 2, so close to

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  • I already wrote about Avengers Endgame a bit in yesterday's post, but that was a bit rushed and I had more thoughts, so here we are. I figured I might as well get everything out. There will be unmarked spoilers for Avengers Endgame and Agents of SHIELD. Before even going into the movie that was seemingly sold out everywhere despite being on almost every cinema screen in the Metro, I was thinking to myself what a phenomenon. Endgame is the culmination of a decade's worth of movies, 22 in total, and even some number of shows, something unrivalled in all

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    Posted by under blog at #pop-culture #movies

    Also on: twitter / 3143 words

  • We're in the Endgames now

    Posted by under blog at #pop-culture #mtg #movies

    Also on: twitter / 732 words

  • Avengers: Endgame spoiler-free review!

    - I watched Endgame exactly 365 days after watching Infinity War! (And also 3 years to the day after watching Civil War)- I approve of this movie as a fitting end to the last decade of Marvel films. This is a slam dunk ending. They could end it here, with no additional MCU movies/shows coming out and that would be completely fine- I approve of how little information about the movie managed to leak, I approve of the trailers and the marketing campaign: just enough to get hyped but nothing too spoilery- There is a lot to unpack, but its

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  • Shaggy Dogs

    I was struggling to remember the term - I knew there was one - for the type of stories where it's long-winded and the narrator is generally trying to keep the audience hanging and eventually ending in an anticlimax. These are called Shaggy Dog Stories, there's even a subreddit for them. The ones I heard the most growing up were from my high school crowd, and I remember two of them: the "bloop bloop". Basically, a kid is asked what he wants to do when he grows and he says "I want to invent the bloop-bloop!" and the story proceeds

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    Posted by under blog at #pop-culture

    Also on: twitter / 282 words

  • The Ghurka and the map

    A Ghurka rifleman escaped from a Japanese prison in south Burma and walked six hundred miles alone through the jungles to freedom. The journey took him five months, but he never asked the way and he never lost the way. For one thing he could not speak Burmese and for another he regarded all Burmese as traitors. He used a map and when he reached India he showed it to the Intelligence officers, who wanted to know all about his odyssey. Marked in pencil were all the turns he had taken, all the roads and trail forks he has passed,

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    Posted by under blog at #self-improvement

    Also on: twitter / 153 words

  • Earthquakes

    Last Monday, a magnitude 6.1 earthquake hit northern Luzon. The rocking was felt strongly in Metro Manila; I normally don't feel any earthquakes and only learn of them after the fact via friends or social media. But this time I was on a bed and I could feel it physically shaking, which was impressive given I was only on a second story. Imagine what it must have been like to be in a high-rise condo. Many of my friends working in the business districts had to evacuate their high-rise offices via stairs, and I put off a planned trip that

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    Posted by under blog at #philippines

    Also on: twitter / 358 words

  • Project Management Tip: Kalma Lang

    A friend messaged me a while back asking for advice as he was going to be a first time project manager. I don't identify as a project manager (even though I have done quite a bit of project management work), so I didn't really have much to say. But I did meet up with a project manager friend later on and asked her if she had any tips. And she told me that one of the best tips she could give was one that I myself told her a long time ago: Kalma lang. (Keep calm.) Should be common sense.

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    Also on: twitter / 163 words

  • Rabbit Holes

    Since I'm easily distracted, I often tumble down rabbit holes way too easily. You know the kind of rabbit holes I'm talking about: you just want to lookup the name of that actor who appeared in that movie and suddenly you find yourself forty minutes into a Wikipedia dive with three different tabs open, none of them remotely related to what you were originally searching for. (Wikipedia could also be IMDB, Reddit, or TV Tropes). There's also the rabbit holes of video games - I've probably spent like 20 hours over the long weekend picking up a 2017 save game

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    Posted by under blog at #pop-culture

    Also on: twitter / 347 words

  • Holy Week

    My earliest memories of Holy Week are my grandmother telling us about how solemn the days off were supposed to be and that we kids were supposed to be quiet and not make so much noise and not be playing around so much. That, and the only thing being available on TV being The Ten Commandments starring Charlton Heston and Yul Brenner. In the early 2000s, what we often watched were the marathon episodes of Seventh Heaven shown on Studio 23 (the actor for the dad/pastor in that show later on confessed to being involved in a child molestation scandal,

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    Posted by under blog at

    Also on: twitter / 372 words

  • Mobile games have a short shelf life

    Rami Ismail of Vlambeer points out some of the problems with the mobile app ecosystem: platform SDKs update so often, so older mobile games often break, such that the reasonable option is to make freemium games that you update continuously rather than single purchase games that won't work a year later unless you burn capital on them: "... I’m just a little wary of the smartphone market right now. I don’t currently feel at ease developing for those platforms because the SDKs change, their hardware specs change and when you don’t update the game just breaks." I noticed this a

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    Posted by under blog at #tech-life #gaming

    Also on: twitter / 311 words

  • Shredder!

    No, not the TMNT villain or the kitchen utensil. Some years back I jokingly put "a shredder" on a Secret Santa wishlist, which I knew was way outside the roughly $10 range that locals usually set for Secret Santa gifts. I put a lot of other options on (usually food stuff like quezo de bola or Spam), so I wasn't expecting to actually get a shredder. But I did! It might be a bit weird to have a shredder at home, but I find it useful (occasionally). I use it mainly for shredding credit card and bank statements, for those

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    Posted by under blog at

    Also on: twitter / 226 words

  • Starcraft 2

    Posted by under blog at #gaming

    Also on: twitter / 887 words

  • Learning from failure

    Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts. -- Winston Churchill I already typed the above quote into the post, then realized I had already used it before. Whatever, just goes to show, I'm no stranger to failure. I was reminded of this quote because recently I prepared a demo for a project that didn't push through. At first I was annoyed at the wasted effort, but I realized that I had wisely taken the demo project as an opportunity to learn/sharpen some skills. Specifically, I used it to study the Django

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  • Tasks you enjoy

    There are two kinds of tasks you get done: there are the tasks that you just want to get over with, the ones you only do because you basically have to do or face more dire consequences later. An example going to the dentist. (Nobody enjoys going to the dentist right?) You can't just put it off forever, so you just want to get it done as fast as possible. and then there are the tasks you enjoy, the tasks you look forward to getting done, the tasks that give you a feeling of pride and accomplishment when you turn

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    Posted by under blog at

    Also on: twitter / 182 words

  • Forgetfulness

    I've been diagnosed as hypertensive for fourteen years now, so I've been taking these maintenance meds every morning. I'm terrible at it, mostly due to forgetfulness, so I often miss some days. Just this morning, I was watching a Parks and Recreation 10th Anniversary Reunion panel after coming back upstairs from breakfast, and I saw the meds on my desk and I was like "I should take my meds now. Wait, have I already taken my meds?" I don't think the problem is senility or old age, I've basically had this problem for as long as I've been taking the

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    Posted by under blog at

    Also on: twitter / 220 words

  • The Ship of Theseus

    I found myself poring over the Wikipedia entry for the Ship of Theseus the other day. If you're not familiar, it's basically a thought experiment along the lines of "if a given ship's parts are replaced at every port it visits, and eventually none of the parts are from the original ship, is it still the same ship?" The thought experiment questions the meaning of identity of a whole composed of many individual parts, such as a ship, or even a human. I thought about this while I was digging through time (read: old posts) the other day. In all

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    Posted by under blog at #quotes #self-improvement

    Also on: twitter / 250 words

  • It is necessary to be lost

    “It is necessary to be lost. There is a simple logic to this. You cannot find yourself without first being lost. You cannot catch what you do not drop. You have to open your fist and let what you are clenching fall." — Cary Tennis @ Salon via karigee
    Posted by under blog at #quotes

    Also on: twitter / 49 words

  • I usually log links to interesting articles that I read over on Pocket, which get fed into the links list on this blog, but that page only shows the most recent ones, so I thought I'd highlight some in a post as well. Recent science news: scientists have managed to image the event horizon of a black hole! Here's a nice article about why that's a big deal and some interesting science stuff behind it. This article on the advantages of stealth wealth reminds me how my mom always gets on my case for wearing old and ratty shirts when

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    Posted by under blog at #links #recent-links

    Also on: twitter / 129 words