Category Archives: mood

Ionic Man

My last internal combustion engine died on me, and I bought a new car. That was the plan all along – I wanted to keep my convertible as long as possible for I really enjoyed driving with the roof down, and get an electric car as a replacement–  but the engine failure came as a surprise.

In a sense, it came at just about the right time.  I don’t have a garage, so  I need to rely on the public charging infrastructure. I decided to buy a Ioniq 5, for its has an intriguing design, a very decent range (300 miles), and it has fast charging capabilities, an interesting feature when fast charger are starting to materialize all over California. The best thing is that I get 2 years of free charging – so I drive essentially for free.

Charging my car at night feels very Blade Runner

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Rest in piece, Twitter

A lot has been said on the death of Twitter, a medium I enjoyed.

But Twitter was always more than a news source, or a conduit for information. It was a place where a sense of goofiness and comfort allowed communities to form—Weird Twitter, Philosophy Twitter, BTS Twitter. Such communities allowed users to find the platform endearing, even as they called it the “hellsite.”
What We Lost When Twitter Became X – Sheon Han, The New Yorker

You can now follow me on Threads, at @anto_nymous.

I’ve tested Mastodon and bluesky, but it never really did it for me. I’m try to communicate about science on LinkedIn, but is has the vibe of a hostage situation – except that it’s filled with humblebrags and emojis used as bullets to list platitudes.

The pi rule

These days things are getting pretty busy on my end – so many cool projects to engage with and only 24 hours a day.

And you end up doing more things that you can accomplish. The reason often lies in the unrealistic assessment of the time it would take to complete a task, and I came across the “pi” rule, initially posited by my mentor Ken, with a pretty neat explanation from my colleague Val:

If you estimate it will take one unit of time to complete a task, the task will effectively take 3.14 (≈π) times more than you initially anticipated.

The reason for the difference between dream and reality  is that we generally do not factor in:

  • (1) the time it takes to ease into the task (e.g. collecting documentation, emails) and
  • (2) the time requires to document the work done (reports, emails)

Taken together with the times its take to accomplish a task, you end up with roughly a factor three – and you end up feeling terrible during the week-ends trying to catch up what you were set to do during the week, but got busy doing (1) or (2)

A corollary of the pi rule is the “next up” rule: if you work on project with a relatively large team, it generally takes the next unit of time to complete it (e.g. one hour become one day; one day becomes a week; a week becomes a months), generally because of the friction at the interfaces. Reducing these frictions at the interfaces should therefore be a priority.

Engineering interfaces in big science collaborations

I recently learned that my colleague Bertrand Nicquevert has worked extensively on a model to describe interactions between various counterparts:

Modelling engineering interfaces in big science collaborations at CERN: an interaction-based model

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Dr. and Drs.

Last week, my partner and I got married, and we both decided to take the same surname.

I will now be known as Antoine İşlegen-Wojdyla – edit your contact info!

Golden Gate Bridge (credit: Jake Ricker)

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Turkish delights

Lately, I’ve been very much into Turkish all things for some reason. It turns out there’s a lot of great music emanating from this country, at the intersection of continents, from artist there and abroad

Altın Gün

Altın Gün is a band from Sweden, but they do a kind of psychedelic music that I love. I really enjoyed their album Yol, but the latest album Aşk goes even beyond!


Anadol is an artist based in Berlin, somewhere between dreampop and ambient music – so good!

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In one FEL swoop

“I suppose in about fortnight we shall be told that he has been seen in San Francisco. It is an odd thing, but everyone who disappears is said to be seen at San Francisco. It must be a delightful city, and possess all the attractions of the next world.”
― Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Lately, many of my colleagues have been leaving DOE light sources (Berkeley Lab and SLAC National Lab) to work for startup companies, and it seems that they all try to build better sources (probably based on Free Electron Lasers.)

Such companies are Tau Systems, xLight and a third one which seems to be stealth but looks light a giant black hole, given the pool of talent it managed to attract.

Good EUV sources have always been a problem, and the current solution using laser pulsed plasma, blasting 40kW of CO2 laser power onto 100um tin beads at khz rates to generate ~200W of EUV is totally crazy, but it works. Still, there must be better ways to do it, and given the unit cost of a EUV litho scanner ($200M), improving the uptime and productivity even by a few percent would be extremely valuable…

I’m wishing good luck to my colleagues going his route, this is quite exciting!

When we were young

I grew up on the island of Guadeloupe (before moving to Saint-Martin.)

Since then, the kids I used to splash on the lagoon of Saint-Anne have grown quite a bit, and they’re now sharing the beauty of their islands and their many travels – enjoy!



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I’ve added a few old drone videos on youtube. Here are my favorites (the playlist is here)

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How do you spell croissants

Finding the best croissants in the San Francisco is an essential quest. Here are a few great options:

  • Rotha (East Bay) – 1051 San Pablo Ave, Albany, CA
  • Arsicault (San Francisco) – 97 Arguello Blvd, San Francisco, CA
  • Marvel Cake (South Bay) – 1614 W Campbell Ave, Campbell, CA

I won’t dare to mention pastry shops that bake monstrosities such as Cronuts, Croffle or Croffin (there must beat cosmic justice, Mr. Holmes went down.)

I’ll take a minute to say a word about Bakesum (3249 Grand Ave,  Oakland, CA), a French pastry / Asian flavor fusion that started in Berkeley during the pandemic, very close to where I lived and brought me a lot of joy when I needed most.

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A fabulous man

I watched The Fabelmans by Steven Spielberg, a beautiful tribute to the physicality of the movie making process.

I on the advice of my friend John Keitel (who lives in LA) and I was particularly struck by the invisible link between the “Ditch day” scene in The Fabelmans, and his short film “An All-American Story” (~1991), a tale of coming out in the 90s. It’s a a heartfelt movie, and an occasion to look at the progress we’ve made since – hopefully we’ll never go back to these days.

While we’re talking about memories on reel, I can only recommend you to watch Jonas Mekas’ As I Was Moving Ahead Occasionally I Saw Brief Glimpses of Beauty (streaming on Mubi), one of my all time favorite movies – over four hours of bliss.