COVID-19 Polar Express

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Arctic Ocean

Several hours after leaving bed, I was above the Arctic Ocean. It was like a dream.

Before going on the trip back to China, I had been trapped, or prisoned, at my residence in Baltimore for almost half a year.

We have been used to the “illusion” of modern time. We have been used to measuring distance in terms of the time our modern transportation tools takes to travel from one place to another. We have also been used to the regularity delicately contrived by...

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The uneasy digital life of CJK Chinese characters

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Table of Content

The font problem

When I constructed this site in 2017, the first problem I need to solve is how to correctly display CJK characters from different CJK languages on webpages. CJK languages here means all kinds of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean languages and dialects. I was not able to find a good solution...

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Review material for Scientific Revolution survey course at JHU

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I prepared this document for the Scientific Revolution survey exam at JHU. This page was converted to markdown from a docx file using Pandoc. Something went wrong with the format. The original document can be downloaded here (docx or PDF).

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Sort tags and categories by post count or alphabetically in Jekyll without plugins

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This post introduces a solution of sorting tags and categories by post count or alphabetically in Jekyll without plugins. Since no plugin is needed, this solution works on Github Pages. Preview it on my site. Because liquid template does not support direct sort of array by a value (here the post list in site.tags)’s property, I have to do some dirty work by passing tags’ name and post count, separated by delimiters, to a string and sort the string by post count or alphabetically. Anyway, liquid is good at dealing with strings.

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Font display problem of Chinese characters in CJK languages

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Currently, there is no good solution for simultaneous proper display of Chinese characters in Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Japanese and Korean in web browsers. Google’s Noto CJK (or Adobe’s Source Han 思源字体) covers all CJK languages, but how to display Chinese characters correctly in browsers is another problem yet to solve. In most occasions, this site displays Simplified and Traditional Chinese correctly but not kanji or hanja unless a Japanese or Korean font or a lang HTML attribute is specifically set. The latter may not work.

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