Articles

Add-on habit serratus anterior at stop lights

An add-on habit is a habit you attach to something positive you are already doing. One positive, but somewhat time consuming, activity is driving my car from place to place. When stopped at stoplights, I work on my serratus anetior muscles. This has been very helpful in decreasing my sudden rib pains. Actually, I haven't had any sudden rib pain now in a few months. Maybe it's gone.

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Add-on habit toothbrushing squat

You might have noticed that it is hard for people to form positive habits. There is a gap between how people wished they behaved and how the do. There are plenty of people who have advice for what you should be doing with your time, but few explain how you can actually transform your habits to implement their prescriptions.

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IMAP RSS reader

Google Reader was going away; I needed a replacement. I tried lots of other webapps but none of them seemed to have the feature where you have to explicitly mark something as read. Also, wouldn't it be nice to take control of my feed reading data, securing it from prying eyes? My solution is to use a server to fetch RSS feeds and turn them into email. It turns out that IMAP is already a great protocol for handling a steady stream of messages. I have been using this system for a week and it has worked well, syncing across multiple devices and operating systems.

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Voting against an amendment

At the Clark County Republican Central Committee meeting, there was a resolution about gun control and the recent Sandy Hook incident. The resolution had language talking about the killer using an assault rifle. A man made a motion to amend the resolution because he said that it had been recently learned that the killer had an assault rifle in his car, but did not use it in the killings. He vaguely asked to amend it to remove mention of the assault rifle from the resolution. The man argued that we should remove mention of the killer using an assault rifle because, otherwise, we would be lying. When the vote commenced and the nays voted, the man who made the motion got up, and pointed at people close by to him who voted nay and shouted “Liar, Liar, Liar!”.

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Emacs Marmalade with-demoted-errors

www.marmalade-repo.org was down today, which caused my emacs to crash on start up. Here is a quick way to get around the crash. Instead of:

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Observational humor case study 1

My Toastmasters Club, Powerhouse Pros, has a section of the meeting called Observational Humor. It is a chance to tell jokes about your observations throughout the meeting. I will give you the setup of the jokes and my monologue. Keep in mind that these jokes are meant to be funny and custom-tailored to the audience.

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Low-fuss syncing for Chrome Secure Shell sessions

Chrome Secure Shell is a relatively-new SSH and terminal emulator as an App for Chrome. I am investigating whether I can use it as an alternative to PuTTY. As I explore this option, I am going to be trying to address my main gripes with PuTTY:

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PV-GS180 Windows 7 drivers

On Windows 7, you can download a video off of the PV-GS180 video camera without any additional drivers being installed. You go to the video preview mode on the camera, change the menu USB function to “DV DATA,” and plug it in to a USB 2.0 port. Then, you open Windows Movie Maker, and click File -> Import from Device, and then select the device called “Video Edit.”

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libmysqlclient-dev is a dependency of node js db-mysql installation

I was trying to install db-mysql and I ran into this error:

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Why does my garlic burn when I sauté it?

When I want to make something garlicy, I usually try to sauté it in a pan. Unfortunately, when I add olive oil and garlic cloves or minced garlic. It usually ends up burning up and making a nasty mess. The key to sautéing garlic in oil is to use a low flame and cook for longer. It should be hot enough that there is just a hint of bubbling but no more.

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Rainbow smudge artifact on Pro8200

I have a ViewSonic PRO8200 1080p DLP Home Theatre Projector. After cleaning my house, the projector got a artifact that looked like a rainbow smudge. It is not the same as the “rainbow effect” that I read about while trying to research this problem. I thought maybe the front lens got dirty while I was cleaning, so I cleaned that with a microfiber cloth. It didn’t help. I thought maybe some dust had gotten inside and I blew compressed air into the side of the projector. Amazingly, that fixed the problem!

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How to survive Angel's Landing

I recently hiked Angel’s Landing at Zion National Park with my girlfriend. We are both 26 and in fairly good shape. The hike to Scout Lookout is strenuous, uphill for 2 miles. The last 0.5 miles up to Angel’s Landing is technical and dangerous. The sign says 6 people have died since 2004. We brought about 3.5 liters of water and we ran out at the last mile going down. Here are my tips for making it more likely that you will survive:

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How to Make Your Own Free Website in 20 Minutes

By following this post you will have a website that you can visit in your web browser just like this one, for nearly free(less than 5 cents a year) in 20 minutes. In addition to being easy to set up, your website will be on top of a highly scalable and reliable architecture which will handle traffic spikes with ease.

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Writing Review

As promised, I will review the writing of my latest blog entries. By reviewing on my own writing, I hope to learn more about my writing and improve it. If you have any comments about my entries, I would love to hear them, and I will post them in my reviews.

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Money Burning Charity

Charities usually have a mission. The mission says who to help and how. It helps to be specific. Charities that focus on cleft lips tend to do better than ones focusing on heart disease. The charity I thought of is quite specific with its mission. The mission is to destroy all of the money donated to it.

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Learning to Write Well

The purpose of starting this blog again is to learn to write well. So far I have been trying to learn to write consistently first. The only way to learn to write well is to first develop a steady stream of writing. I have been cranking out a stream of marginal paragraphs for the last ten days, but I have not been applying an editorial process to my words. All I have done is briefly review each post before posting it. Since I want to get better at writing, I need to apply a feedback cycle to my work.

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Google Finance Definitions

Have you ever visited Google Finance and wondered what all of those abbreviated names at the top of it are? Well I am going to explain them to you.

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What I Learned Playing MUDs

Multi user dungeons (MUDs) are online games that use text as the primary means of interaction. I created a MUD called DeimosMUD back in the year 2000, and it is still running today. Over this time, I have spent countless hours working on it. The hours were spent coding new features for the game, building new worlds, and mainly dealing with people. The time I spent dealing with people's complaints, training people, arbitrating disputes, and punishing offenders far outweighed the time I spent doing anything else. Some people would say that the reason I spent more time on these issues was because I was an inept administrator of MUDs, and they would be right. I started this game just after 8th grade! Handling these issues taught me a lot.

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Programmers Will Form Labor Unions

We will have programmer labor unions. Labor unions arise when a workforce is stable, there are few opportunities for advancement, and the owners of the businesses are achieving large returns on capital. When these three conditions occur programmers will unionize.

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Non-violence in Iraq

I have come up with a solution for how to get America out of Iraq quickly. The solution is non-violent resistance. If the Iraqis decide to stop providing services and goods from Americans, and stage non-violent sit-ins at Baghdad the US army will have no choice to but to leave. The Iraqis must become stronger, they must decide that it is not worth working and living, if they are doing so under an oppressor.

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Cancun

Cancun is a city on the northeast corner of the Yucatan peninsula in the state of Quitana-Roo in the country of Mexico. It is known primarily for its party scene but there is a lot to do besides that. I have visited Cancun four times in my life and each time I had a wonderful time.

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Admitting You Suck

The best way to learn is to admit you suck and then fix it. If you think that you do not suck at something you are done learning it. Being done learning is bad. When you stop learning, you stop improving, and it is only a matter of time before you suck so much that you can not deny it. Not sucking is always a moving target, and it is always relative. Remember you suck and fix it.

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Systematic Exploration

Whether you are visiting a new place, or visiting a very familiar, systematic exploration can help you become familiar with your surroundings. Systematic exploration is the process of exploring every possible dimension of the place you are in. A simple example is that you go to the grocery store. Instead of visiting only the aisles that contain things of interest to you, visit every aisle in sequence. While you are doing this hold in your mind the intention that you will find something cool that you've never seen before. This works for new grocery stores and ones you have frequently used. One time, I was in Walmart and I decided to systematically explore the grocery section. Just from this decision I found some great textured vegetable protein hidden in the freezer section.

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Capital Preservation

One financial skill that I have been most interested in lately is capital preservation. Capital preservation means that once you decide to invest some money, you try to never spend that money on a non-investment related activity, or lose it on bad investment. Operating from this frame of mind does two things for you. One, it keeps you thinking about ways to invest your money, and two it forces you to save for the future.

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Opportunity Monitoring Company

Often I think of ideas for companies that sound great. Upon further inspection, I find that there is some small economic detail that needs to be true before the idea can be a success. For example, my friend David Grayson and I thought up an idea for putting LED stickers on the bottom of glass beer bottles. We figured that we could sell them to beer distributors as a way to promote their glass bottle offerings. The trouble is, the cost of LEDs plus batteries plus stickers is currently too much to make the offer tenable. The price of the promotion needs to be some small fraction of the gross margin on the bottles for this to be attractive to the distributors.

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Title Insurance Prices

Title insurance is this idea that the title of your home might be encumbered by some liens and the person you are selling it to might be worried that they don't have the right to buy the property and would get embroiled in legal issues. Title insurance insures agains tthis happening, and in the case that it does they are the ones who pay for it. They should only be charging a rate that is close to what they pay out handling these claims, but I don't believe this is happening. I tried to search for title insurance prices on google but it came up with nothing. I decided that I will try to compile a list of prices people paid for title insurance.

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Cutting Out the Midddleman

Cutting out the middleman is one of the best things you can do to improve service, satisfaction, price and overall system efficiency. In supply chain theory there is a concept called the Bullwhip Effect. It says that the more middlemen you introduce into a supply chain the less efficient it can be. As a distributor makes an order he causes demand to whip up as seen the upstream supply chain members and even when obeying the most efficient ordering algorithm, the upstream member has to order more than the demand, leading to a amplification of the demand. Left unchecked this demand can get out of hand and become a giant surplus.

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Cheap Memory Foam Mattress

The Tempurpedic mattress commercials have always intrigued me. The promise is great: a material that conforms to your body without poking you the way coiled spring mattresses do. This was enough to make me want to try one. I went to a local mattress store to try one and was amazed by two things. One was how good the bed felt underneath me, and two was the price. The beds cost at least 5 times as much as comparable coiled spring mattresses. This was confusing because the process for making a foam bed is actually a simpler process than constructing many metal coils and putting them in the right orientation. With a foam bed all you need is a mold of the right size and the right mix of materials at the correct temperature. My gut told me someone would be selling these beds for less.

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Compact Fluorescent Lightbulb Efficiency

Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs (CFLs) are quite the rage in home lighting these days. I've replaced most of the bulbs in my house with CFLs. Let us examine the energy and financial efficiencies of these bulbs.

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