I Am the Bath Day Messenger

22 Mar 2014 /
Lightning and his Bear

Lightning and his Bear

My wife is preparing to give the dog a bath in the kitchen sink . . .

I say, “Lightning says be sure to warm up the water before you start spraying him with it.”

“I always do that.”

“He says that in his experience, the water is sometimes too cold . . . I’m just telling you what he said. Don’t shoot the messenger.”

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4 Links

20 Mar 2014 /

Death Row Headlines We’d Like to See

19 Mar 2014 /

I saw this headline on MSN News this morning:

Texas Set to Execute Aspiring Rapper

Here’s an undated photo of the musical murderer:

Ray Jasper

Ray Jasper

The fact that he was an aspiring rapper seems comically irrelevant to the fact that he was convicted of slitting a man’s throat — which didn’t kill him — and then stabbing him — which did.

Some future Death Row headlines we might expect to see from MSN:

  • Texas Set to Execute Aspiring Comic with 37 Twitter Followers
  • Texas Set to Execute Amateur Banjo Player
  • Texas Set to Execute Man With Irritating Laugh

EppsNet at the Movies: City Lights

19 Mar 2014 /

City Lights

Could there be a more perfect ending to a film? I’m a sap for a great ending, so I don’t even care that there were maybe a couple of moments where I caught myself thinking “This bit hasn’t really held up well over time.”

Rating: 5 stars

City Lights

The Tramp struggles to help a blind flower girl he has fallen in love with.

Director: Charles Chaplin
Cast: Charles Chaplin (as Charlie Chaplin) A Tramp, Virginia Cherrill A Blind Girl, Florence Lee Her Grandmother, Florence Lee The Blind Girl’s Grandmother

IMDb rating: 8.7 (71,016 votes)


The kind of man who demands that government enforce his ideas is always the kind whose ideas are idiotic. — H. L. Mencken


How to Answer Stupid Job Interview Questions

15 Mar 2014 /

Via Liz Ryan


The Best Advice I Got This Week

15 Mar 2014 /

Horowitz quote

I was watching a Paul Barton YouTube video about piano practice . . . he said that when someone asked Horowitz how he’s able to play so many difficult pieces, Horowitz replied, “You just got to really want to.”

That seems like excellent advice. It’s short, just a few words . . . you can remember it without even trying to. And I think it could be applied to almost any endeavor.

Imagine someone listening to Horowitz and thinking, “Wow, that’s great! I’d give anything to be able to play like that!”

But he wouldn’t really give anything. He wants to play like Horowitz but he doesn’t really want to play like Horowitz. He doesn’t want to practice 20 hours a day and give up everything else in his life.

In any endeavor, reaching a goal often requires more than someone is willing to give . . . not more than they are able to give but more than they are willing to give.


Disappearing Planes: Another Reason I Prefer to Just Stay Home

12 Mar 2014 /

The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 has left investigators, aviation experts and the authorities in several countries at a loss to explain what happened. . . .

From an observer’s point of view, air travel is a magic trick: you disappear from one place and you reappear somewhere else . . . unless the trick doesn’t work and you never reappear anywhere ever again . . .


A Mega Millions Lottery Ticket is a Good Investment

12 Mar 2014 /

Mega Millions uses 75 numbers for the first five selections and 15 numbers for the Mega ball.

The number of unique combinations of five numbers selected from a pool of 75 is

\frac{75!}{5!(75-5)!} = 17,259,390

Multiply that times 15 possibilities for the Mega ball and the odds of winning come out to 1 in 258,890,850.

BUT THE CURRENT MEGA MILLIONS JACKPOT IS OVER $350 MILLION!

Any time you can get 350 million to one odds on a 258 million to one bet, you’ve got to take it.


Rickie Lee Jones – Sympathy for the Devil (Live)

11 Mar 2014 /

Rickie Lee Jones “Wild Girl” Live

10 Mar 2014 /

Income Inequality Explained

10 Mar 2014 /

Via NPR:

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/02/14/277058739/1-in-4-americans-think-the-sun-goes-around-the-earth-survey-says


The Secret to Playing Difficult Piano Pieces

9 Mar 2014 /

Horowitz quote


Risk = Cumulative Cost – Cumulative Value

9 Mar 2014 /

Henrik Kniberg has a presentation online called “What is Agile?” It includes a method of visualizing risk as the gap between cumulative cost and cumulative value, as well as methods of visualizing risk mitigation strategies.

I found it valuable. Here are some representative slides:

Big Bang = Big Risk

Agile = Iterative + Incremental

Improving the Value Curve


Geoff Edwards, 1931-2014

6 Mar 2014 /

Geoff Edwards

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Geoff Edwards, the hip-looking 1970s and ’80s host of TV game shows including “Jackpot!” and two incarnations of “Treasure Hunt” died Wednesday, his agent said. He was 83.

“Geoff was one of the cleverest, funniest radio and television personalities I’ve worked with,” said fellow game show host Wink Martindale. The two were DJs at pop radio station KMPC in Los Angeles.

Shocking, shocking news . . . Wink Martindale is still alive?!

RIP Geoff Edwards


EppsNet Book Reviews: My Antonia by Willa Cather

5 Mar 2014 /

Woulda, coulda, shoulda . . .

Rating: 5 stars


Spa Day at the Vet and Erica’s Departure

2 Mar 2014 /

I dropped Lightning off at the vet for grooming . . .

“Make it like a spa day for him,” I said. “With lots of pampering. Don’t just put him in the sink and soak him down like we do at home. Make it free pampering though, nothing that will cause extra charges to accrue. By the way, where’s Erica?”

Erica is usually at the desk on weekends but today there was a new girl. The new girl, Lauren, said that Erica is moving to Arizona and won’t be working there anymore.

“She will be greatly missed,” Lauren said.

She sure will. People are insane when it comes to their pets and Erica was always extremely patient and attentive — extremely.

I wish I had the kind of personality that makes people miss me when I go away but oh well . . . I guess I have other qualities. Everyone’s different.

/

Later, when I picked Lightning up, they’d put a bow around his neck, which is a new thing. Usually they don’t decorate the dog.

“Oh that’s nice,” I said. “Is there an extra charge for that?”

“Yeah,” said Lauren, “it’s 50 dollars.”

I miss Erica . . .


On the Evaluation of One-Sided Evidence

2 Mar 2014 /

We examine predictions and judgments of confidence based on one-sided evidence. Some subjects saw arguments for only one side of a legal dispute while other subjects (called ‘jurors’) saw arguments for both sides. Subjects predicted the number of jurors who favored the plaintiff in each case. Subjects who saw only one side made predictions that were biased in favor of that side. Furthermore, they were more confident but generally less accurate than subjects who saw both sides. The results indicate that people do not compensate sufficiently for missing information even when it is painfully obvious that the information available to them is incomplete.

— Lyle A. Brenner, Derek J. Koehler and Amos Tversky, “On the Evaluation of One-sided Evidence” (emphasis added)

9 Links

1 Mar 2014 /
  1. Data Structure Visualizations
  2. Good Tech Lead, Bad Tech Lead
  3. Google Java Style
  4. Guide to 12 Disruptive Technologies
  5. How to Write a Cover Letter
  6. The Landing Page Optimization Guide You Wish You Always Had
  7. Selendroid: Selenium for Android
  8. UX Axioms by Eric Dahl
  9. Yelp’s got style (and the guide to back it up)

See You in Hell: The Fritz Pollard Edition

1 Mar 2014 /

Satan

[See You in Hell is a feature by our guest blogger, Satan -- PE]

The head of the Fritz Pollard Alliance, which monitors diversity in the NFL, expects the league to institute a rule where players would be penalized 15 yards for using the N-word on the field.

The N-word. Let’s see . . . the N-word is “National,” the F-word is “Football” and the L-word is “League.”

Wait — what?! I’m now being informed that the N-word in this case is “nigger.” That’s what the Fritz Pollard Alliance wants to penalize. OK, that’s a great idea, Fritz Pollard Alliance, and by “great” I mean “bullshit.”

Has anyone at the Fritz Pollard Alliance read the Harry Potter books? In the Harry Potter books, Voldemort is known as He Who Must Not Be Named. He’s so powerful and scary and evil that you’re not even allowed to say his name! The only person who’s not afraid to say Voldemort’s name is Harry Potter.

I wish someone would ban my name from being spoken. I hate to hear my name bandied about — “Satan this” and “Satan that.” It makes me seem unremarkable, like someone you might chat with at a dinner party or meet at Starbucks for a coffee.

If people were banned from speaking my name, every time someone did speak it, accidentally or on purpose, it would be like “AUUUUGH! SATAN HAS BEEN UNLEASHED FROM THE DEPTHS OF HELL!” I’d be 10 times more fearsome than I am already.

You see where I’m going with this, Fritz Pollard Alliance? Banning the use of a word makes the word more scary and powerful, not less.

Who knows better than me that if you make a thing forbidden, people will want that thing more than ever? I call that Satan’s Paradox.

 

Except for the N-word, all racial, ethnic or religious zingers, epithets and provocations remain A-okay with Fritz and his boys. The Kailee Wong Alliance has proposed that calling a Chinese player a gook or a Vietnamese player a chink, instead of the other way around, be grounds for automatic ejection, but adoption of the proposal is considered unlikely.

See you in Hell . . .


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