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Disclaimer: any errors on this website are in fact an attempt to transcend the reality circumscribed by the limits of language.


Hi, I'm Drew Pendergrass. My artisanally-crafted, boneless, GMO-free website is lovingly built from whatever I decide to post online. It hosts a variety of projects, resources, and ephemera made over the years, including experimental music, my writing, a video game, a fake startup that sells logs on wheels, a stupid Chrome extension, and esoteric sorting algorithms, as well as my research papers and conference presentations in atmospheric science and related fields.

Currently, I am a doctoral student in Environmental Engineering at Harvard University, studying under Daniel Jacob, and I freelance on the side for publications including Harper's and The Guardian (send me stories at drew@drewpendergrass.com). More importantly, I have never traveled to an exoplanet, I am not to my knowledge a victim of a mummy's curse, and I proudly possess object permanence.

The latest science!

Pendergrass, D. C., D. J. Jacob, S. Zhai, J. Kim, J-H. Koo, S. Lee, M. Bae, and S. Kim. (2021). Continuous mapping of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) air quality in East Asia at daily 6x6 km2 resolution by application of a random forest algorithm to 2011-2019 GOCI geostationary satellite data. Under review at Atmospheric Measurement Techniques. PDF. Publisher's preprint. Associated dataset available from Dataverse.

Beijing pollution event zoomed

Figure: Daily PM2.5 concentrations during a pollution event in the North China Plain, around Beijing (December 16-21, 2016). Predictions from the random forest algorithm (background, on 6x6 km2 grid scale) are compared to observations made on the ground (circles). We see that the model is able to reproduce even this extreme level of pollution.


You can learn more about my research on the projects page, or you can read through all of our scientific papers and presentations on their respective pages.

Pre-order our book here (out April 19, 2022)!

We can move beyond the crisis Half-Earth Socialism book graphic.
Computer!

Writing spotlight

My feature on dirt, and the scientists who study it, for the June 2020 issue of Harper's Magazine: "Ground Control."

A Brief Q&A

Q. Who are you?

A. Well, to start off, I have never advocated on behalf of, or against, the Free Silver movement, I am not a closed, non-orientable, boundary-free manifold, I am not a substitute for a medical doctor, I have absolutely no intention of running for Senate in the great state of Minnesota, and I am reluctant to resort to black magic. If you for some strange reason would like to know something substantial about me, you can check out my projects page or my CV.

Q. Why does this page keep changing?

A. This page is randomly generated by the server on each load. Most of the page's contents are not displayed on one particular load, so for the full experience reload a bunch of times.

Q. Why don't you just host this crap on Github like a normal person?

A. Github only allows static websites. I wanted my website to be different for every visitor. DrewPendergrass.com, like life itself, must always be in flux. You could say I'm an artist.

Q. How can I contact you?

A. You can follow/DM me on Twitter, but I'm trying to stop using it so much, so it's best to email me at drew [at] drewpendergrass [dot] com (or the academic address in my CV). However, if your email is unpleasant, you should direct it to grievances@drewpendergrass.com, an inbox I definitely read.

This website proudly supports Otto Neurath and the ISOTYPE picture language

Neurath

Please represent all social facts pictorially in your correspondence with the owner and proprietor of this website. Do your part to help build a pluralistic and anti-metaphysical theory of knowledge.

Some true statements

I have never commanded an army composed of more than 100,000 soldiers ... I have nothing to do with explosions ... I did not orchestrate the Camp David Accords ... I hold no world records ... I accept the axiom of choice ... my mind's eye exists only in a figurative sense ... you cannot prove I have sympathies for the former state of Burgundy ... I am not reptilian ... I take my eggs over easy ... I am capable of reading English ... I keep all my eggs in separate baskets ... I have no trouble distinguishing my right from my left ... to my knowledge, there is no portrait of me that ages in my place ... I appreciate knowledge of the outcome of a given situation ... I keep the old gods ...

A Moving, and Random, Quotation

Man is only a reed, the weakest thing in nature, but he is a thinking reed. The whole universe does not need to take up arms to crush him; a vapor, a drop of water, is enough to kill him. But if the universe were to crush him, man would still be nobler than what killed him, because he knows he is dying and the advantage the universe has over him. The universe knows nothing of this. Our dignity consists, then, in thought. It is from this we must raise ourselves, and not from space and duration, which we could not fill. Let us labor, then, to think well. This is the principle of morality.

-Pascal


Read more here.

Play Alchemy!

"So fun you won't even need friends!"


Box Cover

Bonus Content Zone!

Three Cryptic Messages Regarding Matters of Supreme Importance

  1. Please belittle your perceptions before they vandalize your beliefs.
  2. All idols have been seized. It is time to watch the dreams.
  3. The ideas will be rejected.

One randomly-generated sorting algorithm, please!

Do you have an unsorted list of N natural numbers? Do you just hate it when programs are guaranteed to terminate? Do you get angry when algorithms do better than factorial time? Then you're in luck! The following algorithm has been generated just for you:

  1. Feed your list into a black hole, permanently destroying the information. The list is as good as sorted now! If people shake their heads and insist you actually sort the list, just generate a new one and proceed to the next step.
  2. Uh oh! You've triggered a penalty step. Before you proceed, you must perform a task. Andrew Wiles's proof of Fermat's Last Theorem is 109 pages long. Assuming each page contains roughly 2000 characters, the text can be encoded in order 1,000,000 bits. Generate this number of bits and check to see if they prove Fermat's Last Theorem. If they do not, repeat this step. If they do, proceed! You've paid the penalty. (This step was defined in collaboration with Mirac Suzgun).
  3. Produce N blockbuster action films, each with an advertising budget proportional to a number in the list. For consistency, ensure each film is released in the same theaters at the same time of year. (Practically, this means the list cannot exceed a dozen or so items. If N>12, simply delete all but twelve items from the list). Read off the box office earnings for each film in order, printing the number corresponding to each.

Congratulations! Your list is now sorted. You can find a permalink to this particular algorithm here.

Computer!

Facts about Robert Bork or facts about Björk?

Click the line you think is about Robert Bork!

Example 1

Example 2

Example 3

Score: 0 • Streak: 0

All facts lovingly taken from Wikipedia.

You should google Graham Starr