The American poet Edward Estlin Cummings (1894–1962) was famous for his eccentric use of spacing and capitalization, to the point that his name is usually styled as e e cummings. I wonder what he would think of an RxJS question that a friend asked me: “Is returning throwError the same as writing ‘throw error’?”

The short answer (whatever e e would say) is no. They are completely different, but the fact that he asked is interesting.

throwError() is a function; specifically, it’s a function that returns an Observable that immediately errs out.


מַה נִּשְׁתַּנָּה, הַלַּיְלָה הַזֶּה מִכָּל הַלֵּילוֹת

Ma nishtana, ha-laylah ha-zeh, mi-kol ha-leylot
Why is this night different from all other nights?

Two mathematicians are in a restaurant, arguing about how well the general public understands math. One says he is going to the restroom and goes instead to kitchen and talks to the waitress. He gives her a twenty-dollar bill and tells her, “When you come to my table, I’m going to ask you a question. You answer ‘x-cubed over three’. Remember that: ‘x-cubed over three’.”

The mathematician returns to his table and resumes the argument with his colleague. When…


AngularInDepth is moving away from Medium. This article, its updates and more recent articles are hosted on the new platform inDepth.dev

Ben Lesh has a terrific article called “Don’t Unsubscribe”, telling you why you are better off not explicitly unsubscribing, but instead relying on constructs that cause the unsubscriptions to happen. In that spirit, I wanted to title this article “Don’t Even Subscribe”, but the truth is, there are a few places where you have to subscribe, so I settled for the less-emphatic title you see.

When should you subscribe? The answer to that question is, “Only when you absolutely…


One afternoon several years ago, I was roaming the grounds of Angkor Wat, a giant abandoned temple complex in western Cambodia, when I spotted a group of four elephants, taking a smoke break.

When I say “taking a smoke break”, I mean that the elephants were taking a break from their work, which was hauling howdah-fuls of sightseers around the ruins, not that they were literally smoking cigarettes. I knew then and I know now that elephants are not biologically capable of smoking cigarettes. They don’t even have real lips.

Nonetheless, when I revive the scene in my memory, the…


When I was about four, I saw a ceremony on television. We were in the high-ceilinged living room of our apartment on the outskirts of Hanau, watching grainy Armed Forces Network footage of a black, station-wagon-like vehicle solemnly proceeding down a city street, servicemen in white hats marching behind it. “He used to be president,” my mother explained. “He died.”

Most of my life, I assumed that it was the immediately previous president, Lyndon Johnson, reposing in that slow station-wagon. It was only as an adult, once the Internet made looking up such trivia infinitely easier, that I learned that…

Michael Lorton

Michael is an engineer, novelist, and traveler based in San Francisco.

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