Category Archives: blog

What Part of “School” Don’t You Understand?

I received an apologetic email from HackerSchool an hour ago, that was sorry to tell me they couldn’t admit me this fall – quizzically I was not gutted. HackerSchool is part of the wave of “Hacker Education,” where you exchange something with a company for programming education. HackerSchool differentiates in that you don’t pay them upfront, or necessarily at all – they just want a cut of a potential recruiting bonus when they pawn you to another company. They also have good perspectives on lightweight social rules and gender equality which piqued me.  Still, let us not mince, this is private education.… Read the rest

Morten’s Rule of Airports

This is Morten’s Rule of Airports, it’s history, and some of its benefits. The rule states:

If [the length of your layover] minus [the time it would take to comfortably get to the city centre and back] is greater than or equal to one hour, then you should exit the airport.

Or for those of you who read nerd:

morten_math

Origins

During an expedition to see my friend Morten in British Colombia, in which I was struggling with travel-stress, I was struck by a story of enlightened travelling genius. Morten told of a tale where a flight of his was delayed at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris by several hours.… Read the rest

Sneak Peek at Wikimedia’s New Bold, High Concept Iconography

Wikimedia’s User Experience team invited me and a few others into the office to be part of focus group concerning a proposed new iconography.

20140528_005
The are two proposed new design languages, and an icon or “mark” for each Wikimedia project.
A selfie with two of the fablous design team, May and YuFei.
Penchant for selfies. Myself (left) with two of the fabulous design team, May (centre) and Yufei (right).

With free pizza proffed, the UX team Jared Zimmerman, May Galloway, and Yufei Liu, (pictured right) launched right into the need for these new set of icons, or “marks” as they are calling them.

  • The current logos don’t scale to 16 pixels square, and don’t overlay well.
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Kleins search for Klajnbohms; an ancestral research trip to Zwoleń Poland

Third Generation
Third Generation
Fourth Generation
Fourth Generation
Fifth Generation
Fifth Generation

With my father, and his father, we went to find my Grandfather’s Grandfather (all on the paternal sides if your keeping up). The most we knew about this 5-generations ago man was a snippet from naturalisation papers –

“Solomon Klajnbaum, born 1880, from Zwolen, a Russian subject.”

On 30 of April 2014, having flown to Poland, we took the last leg to Zwoleń for Krakow, by way of hired private tour guide.

Note: very unfortunately our main camera was stolen later on in Poland, so here I stitch together what I can from camera phones, Google Street View screencaptures, and http://deathcamps.org/occupation/zwolen.html.… Read the rest

The Need For Hacker Conference Yoga

The Need For Hacker Conference Yoga

Postdlf from w [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons
]1Postdlf from w [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons

I’ve take an maintained a daily yoga practice, almost exceptionlessly for the last six months, and without reiterating the standard roster of reasons why, I will just concur that it makes me feel good.

In daily, routine life its easier to keep this practice up, but at events like Conferences and Hackathons finding the time and space becomes more difficult. That’s when I thought I could solve the problem of haivng squeezing in this not-on-the-schedule activity, by putting it on my schedule.… Read the rest

Lessons from Dogsitting: The Necessary Collar

Livrustkammaren (The Royal Armoury) / Matti Östling / CC-BY-SA [CC-BY-SA-3.0 or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
At age 10 a dog as big as I violently bit me for the apparent transgression of kicking a football in a park. A decade later I perceived losing a friend to their dog obsession. With these strikes against dog-ownership, I became convinced that pet-ownership was immoral. However last month I took on 10 days of dogsitting to overcome my anti-dog prejudices. While the coordinates of my reality were not shattered, I did uncover an illuminating shared philosophical dilemma with canine-kind.

Of all the core dog-care activities – feeding, petting, etc.… Read the rest

2013: Numeric Year in Review

What were significant events or accomplishments in 2013? Let’s review by the numbers.

By JMyrleFuller (talk) (Uploads) (JMyrleFuller (talk) (Uploads)) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
  • 117 Yoga lessons at Earth Tribe Yoga
  • 17 key positions replaced by moving from QWERTY to Colemak (and registered qwfpgj.com)
  • 8 new countries visited in Portugal, Spain, Italy, Croatia, Serbia, Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore…
  • Having started a vow to take 15 weeks of Holiday per year.
  • 3 o’clock and Interstellar, my first trip to Burning Man Festival, with Café Negrø
  • 51 conversations with new and old friends that I can distinctly remember when challenging myself to write them down.
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Nuclear Icebreakers For Your Group Meeting

Yamal Nuclear Icrebreaker | By Pink floyd88 a (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
You’re a busy and galactically activated group, but maybe not everyone knows each other, your meeting starts in 5 minutes and you need an icebreaker. Except the concept of such a cheesy introduction is spoiled by painful juvenile memories. The fact is you respect the intelligence of your collaborators inasmuch as you they can be asked open-ended questions – and you earnestly want to pry into their minds.

I sometimes facilitate weekly general meetings at the hackerspace sudoroom, where we have encountered the problem of making more than just cursory introductions, in a non-patronizing way.… Read the rest

Book Review: 23rd Century Romance

23rd Century Romance by Jake Hartnell : CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform: 202 pages. Paperback ($9), ePub and PDF (Free). http://23rdcenturyromance.com/. ISBN: 978-1492134237

Imagine a human on Alpha Centauri such that physics dictates that you can never physically be in the same time or space as this human. Now add the twist, that you have a magical instant messenger or Skype connection with that human. Would you consider having a (not necessarily monogamous) relationship with that person? That is the “Alpha Centauri relationship” thought experiment – would you consider having an entirely online having boyfriend or girlfriend? Some would say that despite the lack of physical connection, a meaningful psychological one could still be had, and that Alpha Centauri relationship could be part of a larger mosiac of relationships which could together be completely fufilling, if we do not require partner exclusivity.… Read the rest