Monthly Archive: October 2007

Oct 25

Observations on Downton DC

There are about 200 restaurants within a 2 block radius of my office, including two malaysian places and two “House of Kabobs”.   Five Guys Burgers is the rough equivalent of the Varisity in Atlanta. Food in general is quite expensive, but there are several places where it’s fairly cheap, if you hunt around a bit.  …

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Oct 25

Free rice

FreeRice.com – A vocabulary game where the more obscure words you know, the more rice the site donates through the UN to hungry people. I peak at 43, and maintain 41-42 pretty consistently.   Most recent failure – dipsomniac.

Oct 25

Interesting stuff

Democrats have built their own lobbying machine on K street (2 streets down from where I work) At any given time, 14% of female sailors are pregnant On the second topic, in the population as a whole, there are 6 million pregnancies per year, so assume 4.5 million at any given time.  This is out …

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Oct 24

Too many ongoing threads in Gmail?

If you’re uninterested in a thread of conversation, but it just keeps coming back, try this: Open up one of the messages in the thread, and hit ‘m’.   You’ll be transported back to the main view, and up top it will say “This conversation has been muted”

Oct 24

Giant Trash “Island”

CoyoteBlog is skeptical of stories of the Giant Trash Island. Snopes is silent on the subject.   Wikipedia has some details. In any case, we can learn something interesting by doing some specific calculations.   3.5 million tons, spread out over twice the size of the State of Texas: 3.5 million tons == 7 billion …

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Oct 22

Some very good advice for programmers

Reg Braithwaite has a very strong case for being more open-minded in your programming research/learning. Having said that, this is probably the difference between the Myers-Briggs INTP and INTJ subtypes.  INTJs (which is very common amongst programmers) are prone to judging and rejecting information that they disagree with.   INTPs less so. Having said that, …

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Oct 21

Bookr – a web app for young readers

It all started when I realized that my younger son was struggling with reading. Not with the letters, or the words, really, but with his own expectations. He didn’t like making mistakes, and didn’t like that his older brother didn’t make many mistakes. So he refused to read, because he wasn’t good at it.  Catch …

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Oct 19

Books

Hat tip – NoodleFood What Kind of Reader Are You? Your Result: Dedicated Reader     You are always trying to find the time to get back to your book. You are convinced that the world would be a much better place if only everyone read more. Literate Good Citizen     Fad Reader   …

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Oct 17

Ron Paul and MMO characters

My coworker Paul jests that Ron Paul would win in a landslide if our MMO characters could vote. He’d certainly get my, er, 23 votes.

Oct 16

Ask A Gamer

How long should I wait before I kill an NPC? Priceless.   If you’re into that kind of thing….

Oct 16

Escape from New York

In keeping w/history, this review of Escape from New York is quite good, but I think the author missed one detail. At the end, when they’re “neutralizing” the explosive charges in Snake’s neck, the timer has already expired. In other words, there never were any explosive charges in Snake’s neck.  He was never actually in …

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Oct 15

Verizon Opt Out

It took me just 1 minute to opt all of my Verizon phones out of this data sharing service.   It’s not the most obnoxious service ever, but hey, it only took a minute!

Oct 15

Spinning Woman Illusion

Some people see the woman spinning counter-clockwise, others clockwise.    With effort, you can see her reverse directions, sometimes haphazardly. But this isn’t a computer gimmick – I had multiple people in my office, and they saw her spinning opposite of each other at the same time, which means it is perception based, not a trick.

Oct 14

Quantum Immortality (nee Suicide)

How Stuff Works on Quantum Suicide Quantum Suicide is a misnomer, however, because it doesn’t have to be you who pulls the trigger, the effect is the same.  In fact, there doesn’t have to be a human pulling the trigger at all – the machine that reads the quantum spin could check it at regular …

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Oct 12

What’s the alternative

One of the questions I am pretty good at asking myself when presented with a conclusion is “what’s the alternative.” The benefits of 80 million years without sex from PhysOrg.com Scientists have discovered how a microscopic organism has benefited from nearly 80 million years without sex. […] 80 million years is quite a long time.  …

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