This is an archive version of my newsletter. It was sent on the 8th of November, 2022. If you’d like to receive this kind of email as well, you can sign up here.

It has been raining quite a lot in Malta these last few weeks. Because of that I’ve been suffering from a severe case of man-flu (a.k.a. only being 15% sick, but completely shutting down all activities). The effects of that on my life can summarised as:

  1. Staying indoors
  2. Watching TV
  3. Studying generative art
  4. Running a terrible half marathon with wet socks

1. Thought – The algorithm that won an academy award

In 1983 American researcher Ken Perlin developed an algorithm that outputs, what is now known as, Perlin noise. He used it to generate 3D landscapes for the movie TRON and he ended up winning an academy award for his efforts. It is a wildly interesting algorithm that outputs pseudo-random values.

Think about that for a while… psuedo-random values…

A very interesting concept. 

I’ve been using it a lot in my generative art. Instead of the chaotic nature of completely randomness, Perlin noise provides an organic smoothness that is very pleasing to the eye. 

I wrote an article about it. Exploring the history and the mathematics behind this algorithm.

2. Art – The White Lotus

Last week Becky and I watched the 2021 HBO TV series called The White Lotus. And we absolutely adored it.

It’s a very clever, satirical character study of a selection of rich white people that visit the White Lotus hotel resort on Hawaii.

I would describe the vibe as the decaying white flesh of late-capitalist decadence. It’s smart, funny, sharp, painful, very dark and sinister. Or as this Guardian review calls it ‘a clammy vision of hell’.


The writing is excellent. But besides that, they did a brilliant job with the cinematography, the music and the colour grading. Absolutely wonderful. The last TV series I’ve seen that managed to nail the combination of all of those factors was the legendary House of Cards. So, that’s a big compliment I believe.

3. Quote

“There was no sadness or nostalgia, only disgust that I’d wasted so much time on unnecessary labor when I could have been sleeping and feeling nothing.”

Unnamed narrator, from the book My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh

An incredible emo quote. I can see that. But I had the man-flu, so that should justify it, right? I read the book a few weeks ago and I love it. It’s a clever, funny, depressing, sad story of an attempt of hibernation by a pretty, rich, white girl in New York City.

4. Sport – Zurrieq Half Marathon

Last Sunday I ran the half marathon of Zurrieq together with my friend César. All in all it was my worst half marathon experience thus far. Yeah, don’t let my smile in those pictures fool you. That was all just for the camera. Here is what happened:

  1. I felt sick. 
  2. I was ill prepared. 
  3. I stepped in a puddle at the 1K mark.
  4. Ran with wet socks for 20K.
  5. Felt even more sick.
Sabbatical Jaer Zurrieq Half Marathon
Sabbatical Jaer Zurrieq Half Marathon

5. Picture

Sliema car fire

Here is a picture I took on Sunday morning 5:19 on the Sliema promenade. It was a minivan that had completely burned down (zoom in on the smoke in the background). 

A few minutes before this Becky and I drove by in the car of a random Maltese girl we had met at a party earlier and we could feel the intense heat of 5m high flames entering the car. 

For some reason, the Maltese girl was completely unfazed by the whole ordeal. 

It reminded me of when we witnessed an attempt at boat arson earlier this year. 

Someone threw a jerrycan of gasoline on a boat and a bit later someone threw a burning cloth on the same boat.

At that same moment, there were two Maltese fishermen (20m removed from the boat) who witnessed it all and just continued fishing as if nothing had happened.

Maltese people are just a different breed haha… unbelievable 🙂

PS of course we helped to save the boat together with a random stranger and then we called the police. You can read more about it in this news article. It was quite an adventure.