Author Archive: Paul Epps

Hour of Code

View this post on Instagram Two of the most important takeaways from the #HourOfCode: “Today I felt good about myself. Today I learned: you can have fun even if it is hard.” – Nicole (2nd grade). Thank you Mrs. Nerkizian for sharing A post shared by Code.org (@codeorg) on Dec 8, 2018 at 11:50am PST Read more →

Angelino Heights

The “Charmed” house: Scheerer House, Queen Anne cottage: Out of place amongst the Victorians: Heim House: Sessions House, 1889: The gardener said the house was used in a DiCaprio movie but didn’t know which one (Pretty sure it wasn’t Titanic.): The Michael Jackson “Thriller” house: Read more →

Elvis Costello at the House of Blues

First time I’ve seen a concert at House of Blues in Anaheim. It’s a general admission standing room venue that holds I’d say around 1,500 people plus a seated balcony that you can get into for a premium price. Pros and cons you can probably guess: You’ll have to stand for about 3 hours but once the show starts, you don’t really think about it. If the 64-year-old performer can stand for the whole show, so can I. On the plus side, you can get quite close to the stage. Maybe not right in front unless you’re first in line to get in, but the sides of the stage you can get to easily. Also, you get to see an A-list performer in a small room. I don’t go to concerts in large venues anymore — Staples Center, Honda Center, the Forum, Rose Bowl, etc. I wouldn’t enjoy that. I… Read more →

Troll College

Via Scott Adams: Improve your trolling with these tips and techniques Classic and effective troll responses Rules for custom created responses that own your target Read more →

Competitive Programming: SPOJ – Glass Beads

Link to problem Once upon a time there was a famous actress. As you may expect, she played mostly Antique Comedies most of all. All the people loved her. But she was not interested in the crowds. Her big hobby were beads of any kind. Many bead makers were working for her and they manufactured new necklaces and bracelets every day. One day she called her main Inspector of Bead Makers (IBM) and told him she wanted a very long and special necklace. The necklace should be made of glass beads of different sizes connected to each other but without any thread running through the beads, so that means the beads can be disconnected at any point. The actress chose the succession of beads she wants to have and the IBM promised to make the necklace. But then he realized a problem. The joint between two neighbouring beads is not… Read more →

Jesus and Mo: We’re 100% Certain

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The Saints Went Marching In

And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many. — Matthew 27:51-53 It is an easy thing to tell a lie, but it is difficult to support the lie after it is told. The writer of the book of Matthew should have told us who the saints were who came to life again and went into the city. and what became of them afterward, and who it was that saw them — for he is not hardy enough to say that he saw them himself; whether they came out naked and all in natural buff, he-saints and she-saints; or whether… Read more →

A Reading From the Book of Numbers

And Moses, and Eleazar the priest, and all the princes of the congregation, went forth to meet them without the camp. And Moses was wroth with the officers of the host, with the captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, which came from the battle. And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive? Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the Lord in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the Lord. Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves. — Numbers 31:13-18 The language is a bit archaic but you understand what’s happening: Kill the boys, kill their… Read more →

What Comfort Can You Give Him?

When you get a person to look at the sun as it bakes down on the daily carnage taking place on earth, the ridiculous accidents, the utter fragility of life, the powerlessness of those he thought most powerful — what comfort can you give him from a psychotherapeutic point of view? — Ernest Becker, The Denial of Death Read more →

Doe Library

View this post on Instagram “My favorite library, Doe Library.” ? #berkeleypov by @amincaptures #ucberkeley #library #books Edited by UC Berkeley A post shared by UC Berkeley (@ucberkeleyofficial) on Nov 13, 2018 at 9:46pm PST Read more →

Daily Affirmation

I start my daily commute by saying “OK Google, drive to work” into my phone, and Google responds by showing me the fastest route. This morning, Google thought I said “have to work”: Read more →

Competitive Programming: SPOJ – String Problem

Link to problem Substring of some string A is defined as one or more (not necessary succeeding) elements of the string with maintaining the sequence. There are given two strings, string VOKI and string TOKI. Write the program that will calculate the length of any shortest substring of string VOKI such as it is not substring of string TOKI. Input In first line of input file there is string VOKI and in second one is string TOKI. The only characters that will occur are lowercase characters of English alphabet (‘a’- ‘z’). String lengths will be less or equal to 1000. Note: input data will be such so there will always be a solution. Output In the first line of file you should print the length of wanted substring. Sample input banana anbnaanbaan Sample output 5 (eg. banna) Sample input babab babba Sample output 3 (eg. aab) Solution below . .… Read more →

Teaching Computer Science: Tips and Tricks for the AP CS Principles Performance Tasks

Your most valuable resource for the performance tasks is the AP Computer Science Principles Exam page. Look for the section titled Sample Responses and Scoring Information. There’s a rubric for performance tasks, but they’re graded by humans so scoring is somewhat subjective. This page takes the guesswork out of it. You’ll find multiple student responses from previous exam administrations, including scoring guidelines and commentary. Some of the responses are excellent, some are bad, and the rest are somewhere in-between. But they all come with a detailed explanation for each row of the rubric as to why points were or were not awarded. Don’t submit your performance tasks without ensuring that they most closely resemble the high-scoring examples on this page.   Teachers are limited in the type of questions they can answer regarding your performance tasks. It has to be your own work. That being said, if you have a… Read more →

More Words and Phrases I’m Sick Unto Death Of

“Calendar” as a verb: “Can you given me an estimated delivery date so I can calendar it?” I’ve never heard that before today and I’m already sick of it. Read more →

Competitive Programming: SPOJ – Palindromes

A palindrome is a word, phrase, number or other sequence of units that has the property of reading the same in either direction, e.g. ‘racecar’, ‘solos’. Task You are given a number k (2 <= k <= 30000) and a non-empty string S whose length does not exceed 30000 lowercase letters. We say two palindromes are different when they start from different positions. How many different palindromes of the length k does S contains? Input The first line contains K. The second line contains S. K does not exceed the length of S. Output The first and only line should consist of a single number – the number of palindromes found. Example Input: 5 ababab Output: 2 Time limit: 0.100s Link to problem Solution below . . . Read more →

Two Great Fears

We now know that the human animal is characterized by two great fears that other animals are protected from: the fear of life and the fear of death. — Ernest Becker, The Denial of Death Read more →

Competitive Programming: SPOJ – Distinct Substrings

Given a string, we need to find the total number of its distinct substrings. Input T- number of test cases. T<=20; Each test case consists of one string, whose length is <= 1000 Output For each test case output one number saying the number of distinct substrings. Example Sample Input: 2 CCCCC ABABA Sample Output: 5 9 Explanation for the testcase with string ABABA: len=1 : A,B len=2 : AB,BA len=3 : ABA,BAB len=4 : ABAB,BABA len=5 : ABABA Thus, total number of distinct substrings is 9. Link to problem Solution below . . . Read more →

Teaching Computer Science: Inequality = Bad?

I’m volunteering a couple mornings a week in a high school computer science class . . . “Why don’t schools and classes have sponsors?” I ask one of the teachers. “When my kid was in school, they were always complaining about not having enough money. So why couldn’t you, for example, come in and say, ‘Hey kids, before you come to 1st period, make sure you have a good breakfast at McDonald’s. I’m lovin’ it!’? “And McDonald’s pays you 100 grand or whatever to say that.” “My concern,” he says, “is that would lead to more inequality in education.” I’m not sure he really thought that through. It seems more like a mechanical response to an abstract notion, i.e., “Inequality is bad.” As a parent, I always supported inequality in education. I wanted my kid to get the best possible education, better than most other kids. As a classroom volunteer,… Read more →

Dawn Wells is 80!?

Here’s some information that will ruin your day if not your entire life: Dawn Wells is 80 years old! Read more →

We Didn’t Even Have Indoor Plumbing

In October 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a special report on “the impacts of global warming of 1.5 degrees C above pre-industrial levels.” “Pre-industrial levels” is defined in the report as the the period from 1850 to 1900. Not explained in the report, unless I missed it, is why I should feel confident in the scientific precision of air and sea surface temperatures taken in the 19th century. Read more →

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