Reading is to the mind what exercise is to your body.
It gives us freedom to roam the expanse of space, time, history, and offer a deeper view of ideas, concepts, emotions, and body of knowledge.
Roberto Bolaño says, “Reading is like thinking, like praying, like talking to a friend, like expressing your ideas, like listening to other people’s ideas, like listening to music, like looking at the view, like taking a walk on the beach.”
Your brain on books is active — growing, changing and making new connections and different patterns, depending on the type of material you’re reading.
If you like to play diligently and kindly with the Emacs community, you will end up reporting bugs or asking for new features to your favourite package maintainers.
My skills at bug reporting have improved over the years. From the angry “it doesn’t work, man!!1!” to more polite questions, I am always looking for better reports to help debug and solve the problems I encounter.
Usually, package maintainers ask you to reproduce the bug in a clean emacs -Q environment. And that’s good. But they are also happy when you provide as much information as possible about the system you are using.
That’s why I came up with a custom function to gather details about my Emacs version and where I am running it. It all started with this answer from Drew Adams on Emacs StackExchange. His code does way much more than I need, though, so I stripped down the inessential […]
May 25 is Towel Day, when fans of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy jokingly adorn a towel and praise the household item as if it prepares the owner for any sticky situation. Author Douglas Adams was a master of these tongue-in-cheek references to our modern existence, helping the reader (and listener) feel as if they might one day walk across their livingroom and into a silly, star-spanning adventure.
As The Guide says, “A towel is just about the most massively useful thing any interstellar Hitchhiker can carry. Partly it has great practical value.” But the true power of a towel is its role as a symbol: “More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value… any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the Galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through and still knows where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with.”
Possession of a towel is a calming force, a reification of the mantra printed across the cover of The Guide in big letters: “DON’T PANIC”.
Built in 718 AD, Hōshi is the second oldest ryokan (hotel or inn) in the world and, with 46 consecutive generations of the same family running it, is hands down the longest running known family business in history. But, after 1300 years of tradition, change is in the air. The Hōshi ryokan, in Komatsu, Japan, is a beautiful space that has a beautiful story, told well, in this short video by filmmaker Fritz Schumann.
Former Obama administration solicitor general Don Verrilli gave a commencement address this week. His topic was President Trump. He has it exactly right, and all those conservatives who’ve (as I characterized it at length several months ago) “sold their souls” should take heed. An excerpt of the address is below and this link is to the full text. As we look to Memorial Day and remember those who have died to defend America’s exceptional system of government, let us resolve to do better.
Let’s not mince words. Our civic faith is undergoing an extreme test. I am not talking about disagreements over policy. In our democratic system we will always debate and disagree about policy, and we should. That is how we learn and grow and prosper as a nation. Something much more important is at stake. We have a President who tries every day to undermine the public’s confidence in the rule of law – who sows doubt about the integrity of the women and men of the Department of Justice and the FBI (women and men whose integrity and commitment to public service I saw up close every day for the better part of eight years when I was in the government), a President who demands that his political adversaries be thrown in prison, who attacks the integrity of judges when they rule against him. We have racists and Nazis marching with torches in Charlottesville Virginia chanting “blood and soil” like they did in Germany in the 1930s, and a President who refuses to call them what they are. We have unprecedented attacks on the free press, criticism dismissed as “fake news” and critics threatened with financial ruin. And some version of this occurs virtually every day, to the point that it is now defines what is normal in our political discourse. And it’s not just the President. Our political leaders routinely forsake compromise, demonize opponents, and sell out the long term health of our constitutional system in order to gain maximum short-term partisan advantage. This is taking an enormous toll. More and more people believe that the system is rigged, that our institutions are corrupt, that our Constitution and laws are just words on a page – just tools to be manipulated in the service of selfish interests. This is a test of faith.
And if I’m in the right mood, I might even serve the fried chicken alongside a stack of waffles, to tame the tingling spice dust and mop up my sticky honey fingers. It just so happens that this recipe, when made alongside Stella’sbuttermilk waffles, uses exactly one quart of buttermilk in total. That can’t be a coincidence, right?
Turning my notifications off mediated this somewhat, I am no longer poked to go back to Twitter by dings. I have never really viewed those notifications as important that need instant attention. The answer has been simply removing the app from my phone, I have drastically reduced my exposure to Twitter, and I really do feel better for it.
My Twitter usage is now restricted to when I want to ‘go and check’ Twitter on my computer. The downside is that I don’t reply to messages and mentions like I used to, and also my tweets will come in short bursts of quite a few in a short space of time. So I must apologise for the time line spam, however I will still continue to share things to Twitter using Linky, and posts to micro.blog will appear there also. I am not gone, just using Twitter far more intentionally and it has worked wonders.
A lot of concerns have been bandied about in anticipation of the regulation’s launch, so I’ve taken the initiative to outline the key national security and data-privacy threads worth tracking after GDPR goes into effect:
My grandfather, as I am sure many grandfathers do, always seemed to carry a handkerchief. Typically, I would see him pull it out to wipe his nose, or actually blow it (shudder). Always seemed weird to me, and I never understood it.
And then I happened to put one in my briefcase and it came in handy — a fair amount. And my youngest daughter will tell me “this is handy, you should always keep these for me.” So for the past ten months I’ve been carrying a handkerchief with me whenever I leave the house, wondering what good it could be. And these are also very popular in the everyday carry (EDC) community, so I wanted to figure out what the draw was. Here goes…
I don’t recall either of my grandfathers using handkerchiefs, but I am sure that they carried them. I don’t know how they used them. My Dad does, and he could maybe benefit from allergy medication.
I’ve carried a handkerchief in my front left trouser pocket for a long time. I also carry a larger bandanna in my suit coat or blazer front right pocket. The idea is that, if I need to sneeze or something more concerning is coming, whatever hand is most free can grab something useful to absorb what’s to come. If I’m not wearing a jacket or blazer, then I tuck the bandana in my bag where I can quickly access it.
The “gross” uses of the handkerchief, blowing the nose and whatnot, are part of the equation and utility. In Tokyo, we have the advantage of street barkers handing out tissue packets.
The bandanna, as second fiddle to the handkerchief, is maybe more useful. It’s a:
As a longtime record collector (first because it was before CDs were invented) and a budding audiophile (because vinyl does sound better than digital, have at me in the comments if you must), I appreciate a good story about the search for perfect sound. But Takeo Morita takes it to a new level.
In the Wall Street Journal story above, we learn that the 82-year-old has installed a 42-foot utility pole next to his house. Why? To get that clean electricity to his system, not that shared, filthy electricity from a common-as-muck utility pole. Electricity is like blood, he explains, and the cleaner the blood, the better for the system.