Untethered, by Jinky de Rivera


I haven’t made it to much local theatre recently, but thanks to Facebook I heard about an old high school friend of Joanne who’d written a new play. I hadn’t run across Bindlestiff before, but it’s a small theatre on 6th Street that’s focused on Filipino artists and culture, and Jinky’s play came out of a workshop there. Last night we went to see it performed as one of six single-act plays that came out of that process, and her short piece ‘Untethered’ turned out to be one of the highlights for us. There was a lot of acting talent visible in all of the plays, but her piece about love, loss, and family had an amazing script too. It was technically complex, with time-jumping, different actors playing the same characters, and a narrator addressing the audience, so it could easily have been confusing and stilted, but everything came together in a way that was moving and natural. It felt autobiographical, but part of that may just be because the characters felt so fully-drawn and real.

If you get a chance I highly recommend trying to catch the show while it’s still playing. You’ll be seeing works that are raw and in-progress, so you’ll need to be prepared for some ups and downs across the evening, but ‘Untethered’ is a consistent delight, and we came away with something good from all of them.

Five short links


Picture by Jan van Scorel

A quick programming note – I’m now at Google! This blog will continue to be my personal collection of random things and occasional rants though.

Frida – Greasemonkey for arbitrary binaries! You can hook into all sorts of function calls with Javascript, even on binaries you didn’t build yourself. I love the idea of being able to mash up desktop apps.

Spotting Tumors with Deep Learning – My friend Jeremy Howard has launched a new startup to apply deep learning to medical problems. Great to see the technology being applied to more things that matter.

Mechanical Turk Worker Protection Guidelines – It’s aimed at academics, but anyone who employs human data raters should read this as a guide on how not to be a jerk.

GPU_FFT – Andrew Holmes on how he created his super-fast FFT library on the Raspberry Pi, with lots of detail on the hand-coded assembler and memory access optimizations. Geek heaven!

fork() can fail : this is important – The crazy tale of a pathological edge case with fork(), and how code that doesn’t check return values very carefully will wipe out all the processes on a machine in a mysterious fashion. “Unix: just enough potholes and bear traps to keep an entire valley going.