Archive for August, 2010

Another Stint of the Paleo Diet

19:23 31 Aug 2010

Starting tomorrow, I’m going to go on the paleo diet again, in preparation for Tough Mudder. This time I’m going to cut down on dairy, although I’m not sure I’ll cut it entirely. I’m hoping to stick to the diet just as strictly as I did last time, although there’s no threat of 100 burpee pullups hanging over me.

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Perfectionism is Hard

23:50 30 Aug 2010

I haven’t been that happy with my blog posts recently. It’s not that I think all of them are terrible, or that the quality suddenly dropped off a cliff, but I feel as if there’s been a decline. It’s tough to measure this, of course, with no clear criteria. But that I feel this way is indicative of some problem.

At the same time, I feel as if I haven’t been writing what I want to write, mainly because I’ve shied away from a lot of topics that I’ve wanted to write about.

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19:00 29 Aug 2010

SteamBirds is a rather cool turn-based steampunk air combat Flash game. If that sounds like a weird combination to you, I’d have to agree. It’s very simple, and is extremely easy to get into, while not being actually easy. In addition, I came across it via a very interesting presentation on the Flash games industry by its creator Andy Moore.

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Scott Pilgrim vs. the Matrix

22:20 27 Aug 2010

I haven’t seen the movie or read the comics, but I’m still impressed by this:

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Baseball and Luck in Competition

22:30 26 Aug 2010

Aptly-named Yankees blog It’s About the Money has an excellent post up about luck and competitive balance in the baseball post-season. One of its key points concerns how likely a given team is to win a particular series, and how that translates into their odds of winning the whole thing.

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SF Heat

22:09 24 Aug 2010

The temperature in San Francisco hit 101° Fahrenheit today, the hottest it’s been since May 2001. I’m not comfortable at such high temperatures, and was pretty sluggish all day.

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Courtney Stoker, Patriarchy, and Geek Misogyny

22:26 23 Aug 2010

This is one of the better discussions on prejudice in geek culture that I’ve come across: “Courtney Stoker on Feminist Geek”. I like where Stoker is coming from—perhaps unsurprisingly, for like me she has an academic background in English literature and is also a science fiction fan. But she is far more community-oriented than I am; despite the fact that my geekery goes back decades and despite my involvement in something like Fantasy Bedtime Hour, my engagement with science fiction is primarily either private, or shared through meatspace discussion, or expressed on this blog. None of those things are involvement with large-scale communities such as those Stoker is discussing.

One of the reasons this particular interview with Stoker is important is that she sensibly addresses the influence of anti-geek prejudice on male geeks.

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Nurture, not Nature

22:54 22 Aug 2010. Updated: 10:54 22 Oct 2014

I’m posting a link to this article primarily because the article agrees with me: “Male and female ability differences down to socialisation, not genetics”—I’ve believed for years that behavioral differences between genders (or between other sets of people, really) are due to cultural and social factors, not differences that are somehow “innate”. That article is a good summary of scientific findings that back up my belief.

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Lightsabers are Still Cool

23:29 20 Aug 2010

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Music is Weird

20:40 19 Aug 2010

It might just be my musical taste that’s weird, but I prefer the larger generalization.

I’ve never listened to Justin Bieber before, but apparently I quite like “U Smile” when it’s been slowed down 800%.

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Andre Agassi’s Open

08:58 17 Aug 2010. Updated: 15:46 17 Aug 2010

I read Agassi’s autobiography during a five-hour layover in Philadelphia airport this weekend, and have to say I was impressed—with the book, not the layover. I had expected it to be of interest mainly for its hardcore tennis content, with some celebrity stuff thrown in, but I found it gripping throughout and was very impressed with Agassi’s voice.

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This Might Make the Other Writers Jealous

21:46 16 Aug 2010

Not safe for work:

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Ending a Long Span of No Soccer

13:43 15 Aug 2010

Last Friday I played soccer for the first time in almost two decades. I managed not to disgrace myself, and enjoyed it a great deal. It was a variant of five-a-side, although we played first with six players per side and later with four. I was with a group of regular players at SportsCo in Ringsend, and the quality of the pitch there was pretty good. Not that I’m an expert, but it’s the best surface I’ve played on.

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Dublin Foxes

09:17 13 Aug 2010

I first saw a fox in a city setting somewhere around eighteen years ago, cycling home very late one night along Woodbine Road. It was about eighty meters away, running across the road. It saw me and was quite skittish, running into a garden for cover as fast as it could.

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Swimming: Adriatic and Irish Seas

09:03 12 Aug 2010

I’m not that fond of the water. I can swim, just about, but I don’t generally like to. Before doing boogie boarding for a couple of years, I hadn’t been in the water in a long time. I haven’t even done that since 2006, and as I did boogie boarding while wearing a wetsuit, it’s been a long time indeed since I did much more than just touch the water.

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Best Way to Quit a Job Ever

09:05 10 Aug 2010

Sliding down a chute, beer in hand.

I don’t like that he’s facing felony charges. His actions are misdemeanors at worst. I hope he doesn’t get fines or jail time.

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Video: “Love & Theft”

10:00 09 Aug 2010

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17:10 08 Aug 2010

I like it when I think that an app should exist and then find that it does. That’s what happened when I realized that a) I couldn’t use my phone’s GPS capabilities with its native (Google Maps) map application without a data connection and b) that it should be possible to download maps that work with GPS but no data connection.

The answer: MapDroyd. It does precisely that, letting you download vector maps to your phone and see where you are on them. I’ve used it a little bit over the last three days, and it’s been pretty good. There have been a few odd bits on the maps—a major street in central Manchester appeared to be missing, for example—but overall it’s been great, and the utility of having maps of more or less everywhere that can point to where you are on them should not be underestimated.

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Controlling Discourse in the Internet Era

13:37 06 Aug 2010

This article on manipulation of Digg stories doesn’t surprise me, but it’s definitely sad, and demonstrates the fragility of online forums (and, perhaps, democratic systems in general). I’m also interested by the dedication of those involved, and their determination to suppress opposing viewpoints—while, naturally, maintaining a sense of persecution.

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Proposition 8 Overturned in California

08:43 05 Aug 2010

Judge Vaughn Walker ruled that the ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional yesterday in San Francisco. The decision has been stayed pending appeal, so no same-sex marriages can go ahead for the moment, but it’s still a step forward.

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poco dolce Chocolate

06:41 03 Aug 2010

My friend Jennifer Greenwood recently recommended poco dolce chocolate, so I picked some up as gifts. Having sampled it, I can confirm that their “Bittersweet Tiles” are fantastic. They’re from San Francisco, which may or may not influence you. So far, everyone I know who’s tried them has loved them.

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Three Routines

10:22 02 Aug 2010

I don’t tend to think of myself as a particularly disciplined or organized person, a view often at odds with how others perceive me, but I will admit to liking to organize and order things in specific ways. This may be related to my left-handedness, and/or to my attraction to precision (which attraction falls short of achieving precision, although I hope that in language I occasionally come close).

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Travel, Ebooks, and Real Books

09:27 01 Aug 2010

Despite my techie nature, I’ve never been enamored of books in electronic format. I love the feel of books, and while I have no trouble reading large amounts on screens of various kinds, I don’t like the idea of doing so for books.

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