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Shiny Things

Sep. 29th, 2012

01:09 pm - What Good Is It?

Some of the commenters on this video asked why anyone would waste 600 hours creating such a thing:



But 5,173,197 people spent 7 minutes each watching it. Just counting the 43,189 people that liked it, he created 5039 hours of enjoyment. That's an 840% return on investment. I think any creation that gets even a 1 for 1 return of enjoyment time for work time is a success.

Sep. 28th, 2012

06:24 am - The Last Safe Investment

I remember thinking when the real estate bubble crashed that home mortgages had always been touted as a safe investment, but human nature being what it is, that system had been exploited to the point of unsustainability. And the only "safe investment" remaining was the student loan, sold on the basis that it increased your earning potential and thus was sure to pay for itself. It seemed obvious to me at the time that it was only a matter of time before a financial bubble was built around that idea as well, and that it had probably started already. Here's more evidence that the student loan bubble is getting ready to burst:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/09/27/nyu-professor-are-student-loans-immoral.html

I used to hear people say, "If you think education is expensive, try ignorance." We can't afford ignorance. A well-educated populace is critical to the operation of a democracy. In a political season where blatant lies that can be dispelled in a few moments of fact checking are paraded as truth, that's increasingly obvious as well. But if we don't do something about the cost of education, about making sure our people can afford to be as smart as we can make them, we will be trapped not just in our own ignorance but that of our neighbors as well.

Sep. 10th, 2012

10:34 am - Reaction!: 3D Printing Plastic Records

I had one of these Fisher-Price record players, and I loved it. When (not if) I get a 3D printer, I will have to track one down. I hope there are lots of downloadable files for these records by then.

3D Printing Plastic Records

Aug. 29th, 2012

07:34 am - Basic Instructions: Why I Make a Point of Telling People That I Don't Like Sports

Yes. Exactly.

Why I Make a Point of Telling People That I Don't Like Sports

Aug. 20th, 2012

05:10 pm - Raptitude.com: The body is in charge, and won’t let you forget it for long

This seemed especially insightful to me today, when I'm sleep-deprived from Gen Con.

The body is in charge, and won’t let you forget it for long

11:03 am - Not Just for Dessert

11am.
Carl: Are those cookies you're eating a late breakfast or an early lunch?
Colleague: Breakfast. They're oatmeal.

Aug. 11th, 2012

07:01 am - Getting Up Earlier

On weekdays, my alarm goes off at 4:51am. That gives me a snooze cycle to get one last snuggle in (or two or three, depending on how many times I hit the button) before I get up for my favorite part of the day.

The Happiness Project: Try Getting Up Earlier

I try to reserve this time for the projects I want to work on, usually game design. Sometimes I think I need to use this time for something else, but that's usually a mistake, and my mood suffers for it the rest of the day. Sometimes I stay up too late (my target bedtime is 10pm but I'm usually not asleep until much closer to 11) and I know I'll be tired the next day, but I still want to get up around 5am. It's my time to be me, before I have to do what everyone else needs me to do.

05:53 am - I Love XKCD (boom de yada, boom de yada...)

I finally picked up the XKCD: Volume 0 book (my Amazon order was $5 short of free shipping so I threw it in the cart), which is pretty awesome, and found the following comment on this comic:

"To everyone who did YouTube covers of this, I love you all."

So of course I had to go find some.

Aug. 8th, 2012

10:45 pm - Gizmodo: Is This the Best or the Most Evil Parenting Trick Ever?

Some days, this is very tempting. I may yet have to try it on the youngest.

Is This the Best or the Most Evil Parenting Trick Ever? [Internet]

However, when it's already a question of whether or not to obediently do the work assigned to you, there's a certain contrary motivation that's likely to make the kid say, "Screw this, if work is just the price of using the internet, I can do without the internet." Karen and I both remember being told to make our beds before we could watch cartoons on Saturday mornings (wow, I just dated us: sorry, dear), and sitting on our beds for hours rather than taking a few minutes to comply. Our motivations mystify me sometimes.

10:40 pm - Good News Network: Science Shows Smiling is Helpful When You're Stressed - Even if You Fake it

I've experimented with this myself, in traffic. It does seem to help.

Science Shows Smiling is Helpful When You're Stressed - Even if You Fake it

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