Tuesday, December 17, 2013

So Many Languages

"The global programming community is fashion-driven to a degree that would embarrass haute couture designers from New York to Paris."

-- Steve Yegge

Partial Application

One of the most handy and unusual techniques in JavaScript is applying functions, both in whole and in part, as well as transforming them on the fly. [more]
If only I could figure this out...

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Selling Out

It's what happens when you sell outside your niche.

A sellout convinces a group of supporters -- who are used to being abandoned by their champions -- that he is truly like them. And then once that subgroup is won over and makes his career, the sellout abandons them for the more lucrative world of mainstream success that his supporters gave him access to, the world where centrism and unoriginality is rewarded. [Read More]

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Pets in America

Every puppy sold or given away makes it more likely one in a shelter will be put to death.

...read more here

Tuesday, November 05, 2013


It came from over here


"mathematics cannot tell you if your hypothesis is true.

mathematics can tell you if your hypothesis is consistent with the data.

if the data is sparse and unclear,

then so is your conclusion."

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Killing Kernels

My computer’s been acting up since I upgraded to OSX 10.9, so I’ve been peeking at the Activity Monitor to see if I can learn why it's crashing.
After checking the Activity Monitor app a few times throughout the day, I started to recognize a pattern. Occasionally, I’d see a new process called kernel_task sitting up at the top, consuming almost a gig of RAM.
Hmm, I thought, something fishy’s going on here; I’ve never seen this process before… I’m used to Firefox, Chrome, Rubymine, or occasionally Emacs at the top, but kernel_task? Naturally, I immediately wanted to kill it. This (I decided in the moment) is why my computer’s been crashing. If I just kill kernel_task, I’ll free up memory for the rest of my programs and maybe even stop my computer from crashing.
Before I enthusiastically killed the thing, I thought I might as well google it. I wasn’t worried it was a virus; I was worried it was a weird bug in the new OS or something related to this greedy iPhone or Polaroid bluetooth thing called distnoted I caught getting away with 3.5 gigs a few weeks ago.
Good thing I landed on this forum post before I killed it. Turns out, kernel_task is the operating system itself. This is simply an informed guess, but I think OSX 10.9 may have changed the Activity Monitor’s default process view from My Processes to All Processes. I wasn’t used to seeing kernel_task in the list, so when it showed up I figured it didn’t belong. Lesson learned? Well, no, not really.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Bitcoin Rising

OK, this IS BTC we're talking about, but still, what goes up doesn't necessarily come down.

Wordpress is on board. So is Reddit.

Will BTC be the next Apple?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

An Atheist's Glimpse of God

An Atheist's Glimpse of God

One of the benefits of working for a startup like C42 Engineering (where I help build rubymonk.com -- the name is a coincidence) is the broad range of... ... Read more

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Monday, February 18, 2013

Pair Ducking

A few times a month, I'll look up at one of my colleagues and say, "hey, got a sec? I need to talk to the duck," and they know this means I'm going to talk to their head but they can basically keep doing what they're doing and nod occasionally.

This serves several purposes:

(1) It's less insane-sounding than actually talking to an inanimate object in an open work environment.

(2) It actually feels better and forces me to think more clearly when I'm talking to an actual person -- the cognitive focus is higher when the object of conversation can actually, in theory, think and talk back (YMMV).

(3) And finally, although it does require some focus on the part of the other coder, it's not nearly as taxing to them as actually helping me solve the problem or pairing up with me.

So it's a good compromise somewhere between pair programming and talking to an actual rubber duck. Again, YMMV. Maybe I'll call it "Pair Ducking."

the web has almost caught up to...1997

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Differentiating porn from pandering

In most states, producers of adult entertainment face possible charges of "pandering," or paying persons to perform sexual acts (a charge ordinarily levied against "pimps" and other coordinators of prostitution services). But the California Supreme Court's decision in People v. Freeman (46 Cal. 3d 419 [1988]) held that a person does not commit pandering if the purpose of the payment is the production of a legal entertainment product rather than the sexual gratification of an actor or observer. A New York district court recently reached a similar result (People v. Paulino, 6687/04 [2005]), but the production of adult entertainment in other states continues to present significant legal risk.


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Excel is Everywhere

"I've seen Excel used in amazing ways.

Yes, I've seen it used as a spreadsheet, to crunch numbers. I've also seen people sit down with a calculator and compute cell values themselves, blissfully unaware that the software could do it for them. Excel is a tool for lining up numbers.

We've all seen Excel CSV files used for reporting and data interchange because they're easy for programmers to generate. I've seen an application's configuration managed by tweaking a CSV file in Excel and uploading it to a server. Excel is a tool for separating labels from values.

I've had screenshots pasted into Excel and attached to an email. Excel is an ubiquitous file format.

I've received an entire application wireframed by the accounting department, with each screen drawn with filled-in ASCII-art columns on its own worksheet and every button hyperlinked to a worksheet showing the next application state.

That really threw me off when I saw it. But when I look back, I realize just how clever it was. Front-end developers are always praising grid-based design, aren't they? That's exactly what what Excel was being used for. Excel is the first layout grid many people encounter."


Tesla's robots uncover New York Times Journalist Jon Broder's deceit.

"Cruise control was never set to 54 mph as claimed in the article, nor did he limp along at 45 mph. Broder in fact drove at speeds from 65 mph to 81 mph for a majority of the trip and at an average cabin temperature setting of 72 F."

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Wikipedia: Xenu, the highlights

Within the Church of Scientology, the Xenu story is part of the church's secret "Advanced Technology",[7] considered a sacred and esoteric teaching,[11]and normally only revealed to members who have contributed large amounts of money.[12]


In 1988, the cost of learning these secrets from the Church of Scientology was £3,830, or US$6,500.[10][32] This is in addition to the cost of the prior courses which are necessary to be eligible for OT III, which is often well over US$100,000 (roughly£60,000).[14] Belief in Xenu and body thetans is a requirement for a Scientologist to progress further along the Bridge to Total Freedom.[33] Those who do not experience the benefits of the OT III course are expected to take it (and pay for it) again.[27]


The broad outlines of the story—that 75 million years ago a great catastrophe happened in this sector of the galaxy which caused profoundly negative effects for everyone since then—are publicly admitted to lower-level Scientologists. However, the details are kept strictly confidential, at least within Scientology.


The Church of Scientology forbade individuals from reading the OT III Xenu cosmogony without first having taken prerequisite courses.[35]Scientologists warn that reading the Xenu story without proper authorization could cause pneumonia.[35][36]


In a letter of the time to his wife Mary Sue,[42]Hubbard said that, in order to assist his research, he was drinking alcohol and taking stimulants and depressants ("I'm drinking lots of rum and popping pinks and greys").


Writing in the book Scientologypublished by Oxford University Press, contributor Mikael Rothstein observes that, "To my knowledge no real analysis of Scientology's Xenu myth has appeared in scholarly publications. The most sober and enlightening text about the Xenu myth is probably the article on Wikipedia (English version) and, even if brief, Andreas Grünschloss's piece on Scientology in Lewis (2000: 266–268)."[20] Rothstein places the Xenu text by L. Ron Hubbard within the context of a creation myth within the Scientology methodology, and characterizes it as "one of Scientology's more important religious narratives, the text that apparently constitutes the basic (sometimes implicit) mythology of the movement, theXenu myth, which is basically a story of the origin of man on Earth and the human condition."[20]Rothstein describes the phenomenon within a belief system inspired by science fiction, and notes that the "myth about Xenu, ... in the shape of a science fiction-inspired anthropogony,explains the basic Scientological claims about the human condition."[20]

LSD Thumbprint

On a normal large dose of LSD there is the high visual activity, sensory alteration, synesthesia, ego loss, etc, etc. On a thumbprint it feels like you completely short circuit your brain. All cognitive function stops. Like pouring water on a breaker panel it pops, then all connections and activity are fried. The cognitive filter is shut off and eternity is able to creep in. Obviously all brain activity doesn't stop because you keep breathing and your heart keeps pumping. The brain stem, hindbrain, medulla, pons and cerebellum are probably not affected. read on ...

Some Interesting Featured Articles from Wikipedia

Featured articles are considered to be the best articles Wikipedia has to offer, as determined by Wikipedia's editors. They are used by editors as examples for writing other articles. Before being listed here, articles are reviewed as featured article candidates for accuracy, neutrality, completeness, and style according to our featured article criteria. There are 3,800 featured articles out of 4,164,078 articles on the English Wikipedia. Thus, about one in 1,090 articles is listed here. Articles that no longer meet the criteria can be proposed for improvement or removal at featured article review.



Brown Dog Affair


Isaac Brock

CSI effect

Execution by elephant

1 - 2 + 3 - 4 + ...



1987 (What the Fuck Is Going on?)

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Friday, February 08, 2013

what have you achieved today?

jeremy ashkenas created coffeescript, backbone.js, and underscore.js. Currently, he works at the NYT. He is 26 years old.
He designed coffeescript in, oh, about 10 days. It's now the 11th most popular language on github
and backbone? Well, these guys built their sites with backbone:
Groupon Now
LinkedIn Mobile
NewsBlur [5]
Pandora Radio
USA Today.com
I've spent days learning backbone. It's hard. I write coffeescript almost every day. It's awesome.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

the caffeine tree

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Sunday, February 03, 2013

A Brilliant Parody of DRM

This is all rather funny. I definitely recommend reading the comments on the ipwatchdog post 

A Brilliant Parody of DRM
Gene Quinn, the proprietor of the IP Watchdog website, has never struck me a thoughtful commentator on public policy issues. He tends to devote the bu... Read more

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Fermented tea in boy's lunchbox brews trouble at school


3d printed success kid time lapse


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Saturday, February 02, 2013

Men in High Heels

"One of the best ways that status can be conveyed is through impracticality"


Sunday, January 27, 2013

IT is dead

"Further, this confused IT leader thinks his team can manage a service more reliably than a company whose entire existence depends on its ability to do so. To put it bluntly, Google has assembled the greatest collection of computer science talent in the world. Similarly Amazon has a multi-year lead in delivering compute power by the drop, with which it's happy to provide to you with the single-digit gross margins of a successful retailer. Your IT organization simply doesn't rate at this level."

... Read more

Mark Zuckerberg's Hoodie

It is June 2, 2010 and Mark Zuckerberg is sweating. He's wearing his hoodie-- he's always wearing his hoodie--and he's on stage and either the lights ... Read more

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Don't trust The NAACP...

New York mayor Mike Bloomberg's crusade to ban large-sized sugary drinks has some surprising new foes: the NAACP and the Hispanic Federation, two large nonprofits ostensibly dedicated to advancing the rights of minorities. In this case, they are advancing the interests of their own corporate backers at the expense of the people they are supposed to serve.

The Hispanic Federation's annual gala is April 11, at the Waldorf-Astoria. There, they will present their "Corporate Leadership Award" to The Coca-Cola Company, which is among their funders. The NAACP has recently received a $100,000 donation from the Coca-Cola foundation, along with another $35K to the NAACP New York State Conference. They recently gave an image award to PepsiCo (which will doubtless be repaid with donations). It's quite easy for large nonprofits such as these to ensure a robust roster of future corporate funding: all they have to do is scratch these companies' backs when called upon. This is what happens with civil rights organizations become co-opted by corporate interests.

-- Gawker


douchebag senator...

Louisiana Senator Wants to Know if E. Coli Could Evolve Into a Human
As it turns out, this whole "evolution" thing isn't just a phase. And now Louisiana has to figure out whether we should be teaching it in our schools.... Read more

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Plant Based Diet

Today is the second day of my transition to a plant-based diet -- from what I understand, "plant-based" is a politically neutral alternative to words like vegetarian, vegan, etc -- and so far I'm doing well. I bought some of Whole Food's pre-cut vegetables and tried stir-frying them in olive oil. Not bad. For lunch I've been ordering a vegetarian-style sandwich from Rubicon, a deli close to my work.
I'm trying this out because of the documentary Forks over Knives, which is essentially a video lecture arguing for the reduction of animal-based foods in your diet. That being said, I only recommend watching this documentary if you know what you're getting into -- otherwise you'll be left with quite a bit of self-guilt!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

wicked fast youtube skin


suicide and time

In one interesting study, for example, when compared to control groups, suicidal participants significantly overestimated the passage of experimentally controlled intervals of time by a large amount. Baumeister surmises, "Thus suicidal people resemble acutely bored people: The present seems endless and vaguely unpleasant, and whenever one checks the clock, one is surprised at how little time has actually elapsed."

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Absolute Beginner's Guide to Sass - Treehouse...

The Absolute Beginner's Guide to Sass - Treehouse Blog
Using Sass for your CSS preprocessing is a useful tool for executing responsive web design. Andrew takes us through the absolute beginner's guide to Sass.
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If-by-whiskey - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia...

If-by-whiskey - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
My friends, I had not intended to discuss this controversial subject at this particular time. However, I want you to know that I do not shun controversy. On the contrary, I will take a stand on any is...
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Dylan Conlin added you to his circles and invited you to join Google+

Dylan Conlin added you to his circles and invited you to join Google+.
Join Google+
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An easy way to share some things with college buddies, others with your parents, and almost nothing with your boss. Just like in real life.
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Lightning-fast group chat. Photos that upload themselves. A bird's-eye view of what's happening nearby. We built Google+ with mobile in mind.
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To which we all aspire?

To which we all aspire?
US employee 'outsourced job to China'
A US software developer was revealed to have outsourced his job to China, instead spending his workdays surfing the internet.
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Monday, January 14, 2013

Is There Sex After Death?

Driving through New York City in his Sexmobile, Dr. Harrison Rogers of the Bureau of Sexological Investigation searches out luminary figures in the world of sex...


Thursday, January 10, 2013

IBM's Watson Memorized the Entire 'Urban Dictionary,' Then His Overlords Had to Delete It

Watson couldn't distinguish between polite language and profanity -- which the Urban Dictionary is full of. Watson picked up some bad habits from reading Wikipedia as well. In tests it even used the word "bullshit" in an answer to a researcher's query.


Wednesday, January 09, 2013

This Invisible Drive-Thru Customer Prank is Simple, Brilliant

This Invisible Drive-Thru Customer Prank is Simple, Brilliant
On the Internet, drive-thru prank videos are a bitcoin a dozen. That's why when a really good one comes along, it's easy to miss. Happily, that's the... Read more

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The Flu Hell Cometh...

"We are in for what looks like it's going to be one of the worst flu seasons in nine or 10 years,"

-- director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci

Never Lie About Who You Really Are - Dan Pallotta


Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Monday, January 07, 2013

The future according to Google's Larry Page

The future according to Google's Larry Page

FORTUNE -- When Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP Group, the giant advertising agency, visited Google this past fall, CEO Larry Page sent a car to pick h... Read more

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