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See With Eyes Closed Digest - Issue #1

See With Eyes Closed Digest - Issue #1
By Benjamin Hollon • Issue #1 • View online
Hey, everyone! It’s been quite a while, I know, and I’m sorry about that. Glancing over my blog, I realized that my last post was back in October. Wow. Well, I guess I don’t really have a good excuse.

Anyway, despite my negligence, blog-wise, I have been busy. I redesigned my entire website from the ground up with new coding languages and with some features that I’m pretty excited about. Here’s a run-down of what’s changing:
  • My emails are now coming to you through Revue, a newsletter service that’s going to take a lot of weight off me and give me some pretty cool features. You should take a look over their Privacy Policy (I checked and didn’t see anything I thought concerning).
  • I’m going to try to go back to my original plan of a weekly update. Though now, with Revue, this update doesn’t necessarily have to be a blog post. I hope to send out an email each week with a quick summary of everything I’ve been working on, including any new blog posts.
  • My new website is live! I’m really proud of it, so please do take a look through; I updated the homepage (the music and writing sections are still placeholders, but I have plans) and there are now pages for writing and projects, where you can see some cool stuff I’ve made but never published until now.
  • I got a Twitter account! It was an assignment for a class, but I’m enjoying it so far so I’ll probably post there every once in a while. I’ll summarize most of it here though, so if you just want the emails, that’s great too.
Without further ado, here’s some stuff I’ve been doing recently:
Coding Galore
In the last few months, I’ve been doing a ton of coding. A ton. According to my Github profile, I created 1o repositories (coding projects) in the last two months. Most of them aren’t finished yet, but here’s a list of some published ones:
  • My website! As I said, I re-coded it from the ground up, but I also released the source code on Github in case someone else wants to use it.
  • I remade and published a tool to help people learn different musical clefs! If you enjoy music, check it out and let me know what you think.
  • As a space enthusiast, I decided I wanted to be able to see an updated count of how many astronauts are in space. And so I present to you Astronaut Counter. Currently, the data’s coming from Wikipedia, but I hope to find a more official source.
My projects can be found on a snazzy new page of my website, and all of the source code is on Github.
I’ve always loved space (like many children, I wanted to be an astronaut when I grew up), but I’ve really been stepping up my game in the last month to learn all I can about it. Here are the coolest things I’ve learned:
  • Saturn’s famous rings, if put between the Moon and Earth, would span 2/3 of the distance (384,000 km), but they’re only ten meters thick. For scale, if Saturn were shrunk down to the size of a piece of paper, the rings would be 1/1000 the thickness.
  • All of Uranus’ moons are named after characters from Shakespeare’s plays!
  • Jupiter’s moon Europa has a subsurface liquid ocean that astronomers estimate to have twice as much water as all of Earth’s oceans combined.
Speaking of which…
I got to watch the landing of NASA’s Perseverance rover live yesterday morning and it was an awesome experience! You should definitely go take a look at it if you haven’t already.
Coming soon...
I’ve got a writing project I’m really excited about at the moment. I had an awesome idea for a story and then thought, why not release it serially on my website, a new chunk of the story published each day? It would be a fascinating medium and force me to try out a ton of new techniques to keep the story engaging.
No news yet on when that’ll start being released, but I promise you’ll be the first to know. I’m keeping the premise secret for now, but I’m using the working title A Place to Stand (from Archimedes’ quote about a lever to move the world). That’ll probably change, but have fun guessing what the story’s on!
Thought of the Week
Here’s a new thing I’m going to try: I’ll put a quote that grabbed my attention here every week. I might do a bit of commentary, but the focus will be the quote. Here’s this week’s (it’s the quote I named my site after):
And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.
– Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince
Have a great week! If you have any questions or concerns about this weekly update, please do let me know by replying to this email!
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Benjamin Hollon

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