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#367 - Short Book Review: Broken Angels

Motto: You can probably just stop reading.

This post is not for anyone. I wanted to write it, though. TL;DR - I read two books, one was good, one was not. Also - you should look to see if your local library has an app that you can get audiobooks from. Ours uses an app called Axis 360, and since I've discovered that my reading has skyrocketed. It's really really great. 

I recently read Broken Angels by Richard K. Morgan, the sequel to his first novel Altered Carbon. This Column is a review of that book... spoiler free-ish until the bold warning line. The Top 5 and quote are spoiler-free.

I came to it by way of watching the Netflix series Altered Carbon. It opened my eyes to strong scifi, which I didn't know I liked. I've always been a fan of superhero stuff, which in a way is science fiction; but I've never been more than a casual fan of Star Wars, and I find Star Trek pretty unapproachable on the whole. 

Altered Carbon introduces a couple of pieces of new technology, a…

#366 - Feature: Google Takeout

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Motto: Google is God
There's a Google product you should know about; it's called Google Takeout. It is not a food service, so don't get excited. Don't make the same joke that literally 5 people I've told about this have made.
Google Takeout is a service that allows you to take out your data from Google - in theory so that you could go to some other service and keep your data. In reality, it's probably best just for seeing an aggregate list of everything they have of yours and about you. I requested an archive of everything they had associated with my account, leaving out Google Drive (because I have 500GB+ in the cloud & don't need them to send me my own files back to me). Then I spent a week's worth of free time going through it all & taking 5 full pages of notes about what I found. This post is primarily the contents of those notes. Now, before we get into that.
I am pro-Google. I use or have used almost every one of their publicly-offered servi…

#365 - The One That SHOULD Have Been about Date and Time, but is about Counting

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Motto: Opportunity Missed

Remember how I said I want to write a book, and how I might dump stuff on here that's from the book? This is counting.

----------------------- start snippet -----------------------  1.1Counting Counting is the most important thing you'll ever learn in school. Everything in math is goes back to counting. Everything in physics we describe in terms of math, which goes back to counting. Everything in chemistry is attributable to physics, which is described in terms of math, which goes back to counting. Biology is just applied chemistry. Sociology is just applied biology. All of it goes back to counting. Counting is a fundamental element of science. We count using numbers. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Zero One Two Three Four Five

#364 - The Engineering Binder (Working Title)

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Motto: Free the Beast

I want to write a book. 

I don't to write a book so that I can "I'm a guy who's written a book", but because I have something have I wanted to create since 2011, right before I graduated college. I've have vague and specific ideas about this thing I want to write. 8 years ago I started a Word doc to get some thoughts down. I've sat down many evenings since then and added to it. Right now it's a 57 pages... of mostly just outlines for content to come.

The struggle I'm having is how to describe what I want the book to be.

I want to write a study guide for every test I've ever taken. 
I want to make a reference book that also teaches fundamental concepts. 
I want to explain the concepts I learned in school how I wish they'd have been explained to me.
I want to be funny.
I want to be serious.
I want to have something to give my son that teaches him what I've learned over the past 30 years.

I want to cover everything I've …

#363 - Time & Date

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Motto: This Column was Meant to be about Many Topics

I have been thinking some about how stupid our conventions are for times and dates. I wonder if I could come up with something better. This Column is basically a thought experiment, as it progresses.

The year is (roughly) 365 and 1/4 days long. We break that up into 52 weeks, each 7 days long. 

52 x 7 = 364

So inherently we've got a flaw there. 

The prime factorization of 365 is 73 x 5. So we COULD do 73 weeks, each 5 days long. Of course, then our structure for "weekday" and "weekend" would be all messed up. People would either have to work 4 days a week (8.6% more than a standard work week now) or 3 days a week (11.4% less). Also any sort of social structure that's set up to operate "every other day" would have a weird time dealing with weekends.

BUT! A year isn't 5 x 73 days long, either. It's more like 5 x 73 + 0.2422 days long.

So, no set number of days would make a year whole without hav…

#362 - Things I like. Things I don't.

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Motto: Do You Have Any Apple Fritters?

I read an article (like this one) about a psychology study in which the takeaway was: telling somebody you were going to achieve a goal, made you less likely to achieve that goal. I thought "I should stop telling people I'm going to do things before I do them!" Then I promptly pulled open my messaging app and typed a message to my wife saying: 
"I think I'm going to stop telling you about things I want to do to better myself befo"...

Then I realized the irony of the message, and pressed 'delete' instead of 'send'.

I say it here because I thought it was funny.

You ever make a table like this?


If you haven't, maybe think about doing it. 

Or don't. I expected it to be more enlightening than it was.

I have a Podcast. It's got a website in case you're not interested in Podcast apps... it's nothing fancy. Just a thing we do for fun.

Top 5: Things I Learned About Communication at Work
5. ... I only …