The Gene – Poetry, History and Science

It is difficult to describe what happened next—except to say that it is a moment that occurs uniquely in the histories of refugees. A tiny bolt of understanding passed between them. The woman recognized my father—not the actual man, whom she had never met, but the form of the man: a boy returning home. In Calcutta—in Berlin, Peshawar, Delhi, Dhaka—men like this seem to turn up every day, appearing out of nowhere off the streets and walking unannounced into houses, stepping casually over thresholds into their past.
– Siddhartha Mukherjee, The Gene: An Intimate History

As 2016 draws to a close, I find myself engrossed in one of the year’s best received book -‘The Gene: An Intimate History’ by Siddhartha Mukherjee. I am only halfway through this 900-page behemoth but am already so in love with every page that I can’t stop myself from sharing it. “When you are in love, you want to tell the world,” said Carl Sagan, and that perfectly describes my predicament. Mukherjee’s last book, ‘The Emperor of all Maladies: A Biography of Cancer’, published in 2010 took the world by a storm. Readers were so impressed by the poetic writing style and the thorough, well-researched history, that it won him the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction that year. This time the author has returned with a ‘meta’ story – a biography of the emperor of all cancers, the gene. Continue reading “The Gene – Poetry, History and Science”

Duke Bot-Battle (or How I Learned to stop Worrying and love Hackathons)

There is this thing about high pressure situations – They force you to do your best work with ruthless focus and reckless abandon! I learned this when, over the weekend of September 23rd, I decided to shoot my social life in the foot and participated in the ‘Triangle Health Innovation Challenge’.

Continue reading “Duke Bot-Battle (or How I Learned to stop Worrying and love Hackathons)”

Using Multiple SPI Slave Devices with the Raspberry Pi

Recently I ran into an issue. The Raspberry Pi Kernel allows no more than 2 SPI Slave devices. Or at least, it provides file descriptors for only 2 slaves. My project needed 3 devices however, and I was too late in my schedule to get a different control board. Turns out there is an easy way to step around the problem. In this post, I will demonstrate the solution using WirirngPi and Python.

Continue reading “Using Multiple SPI Slave Devices with the Raspberry Pi”