Life-Mod: Waking Up

I spent 2-3 weeks in November making an attempt to wake up without an alarm clock. The hope behind this was that I’d be able to wake up more naturally and feel more refreshed. Turns out this was difficult. My initial plan was to set an alarm for later than usual, and get to sleep early enough that I’d wake up before it went off. Unfortunately, I just ended up waking up and then laying there or falling back to sleep a lot of days. On the days when I actually managed to wake up earlier and get up, I … Continue reading Life-Mod: Waking Up

WTF does “Pasteurized” mean?

So I was looking at a carton of milk in the fridge the other day, (like you do…) and inadvertently reading the word that I’ve seen probably a million times (ok maybe not that many) “Pasteurized.” It occurred to me: what does that even mean? I think we assume that it’s a good and natural part of how we get our milk, but why? I figured I’d try to do some research and figure that out. Pasturization is a process developed by Louis Pasteur which uses heat to destroy human pathogens. According to the International Dairy Food Association, “‘pasteurized’ and similar terms … Continue reading WTF does “Pasteurized” mean?

Focusing Life

I’ve recently discovered Tim Ferriss’ blog and have been making my way through some of his older posts and some videos. I can’t believe I’ve never seen it before. He has an interesting and valuable approach to life. I’m going to steal a few of his ideas and try them out for myself. In his post on the Superstar Effect, Ferriss paraphrases Steven Martin, stating that “the key to diligence isn’t the work applied to your pursuit, but instead the work you don’t apply to other pursuits.” This phrase hit me. I’m constantly trying out new pursuits, often to the … Continue reading Focusing Life

Making something of infinity

Let’s start off with some XKCD: I go through a mid-life crisis about every 2-3 months. I probably think too much about everything, but I can’t help it, so I might as well make the most of it. Actually my usual crisis is something along the lines of the comic above. Because we only get one path through life’s infinite possibilities, every second that passes narrows our field of possible outcomes, so I might as well make them count right? In this string of causality that is daily life, introspection into the routine is important. Maybe I’m already making good decisions, … Continue reading Making something of infinity

Book Review: Strangers to Ourselves

Warning: I started writing this review about 4 months ago so I’m going off memory here. I recently finished reading a book with my grandmother had given to me entitled “Strangers to Ourselves: Discovering the Adaptive Unconscious” by Timothy D. Wilson. (My grandmother has a Ph.D in Psychology so it’s not all that weird a selection.) I actually enjoyed it a considerable amount. It was, as you might expect quite dense, but I’ve read worse. It was cohesive and presented information in a carefully considered manner. The book describes a modern model of the human unconscious. It begins by taking … Continue reading Book Review: Strangers to Ourselves

Popular Django apps at DjangoCon 2010:

The most valuable thing I got from attending Djangocon last week was a giant list of technologies. Some we already use at Mahalo (it was nice to hear that we were doing something right), and some that I hadn’t heard of before. Here’s the list, hope it helps you find something useful: django-config – a project aimed at working with profiles for multiple settings files. haystack – a search app for Django brabeion – an app for adding badges to your project zeromq – not a Django thing, but I heard this mentioned on several occasions. I still don’t understand … Continue reading Popular Django apps at DjangoCon 2010:

Learning “Questa o quella”

I started working on this song a few weeks ago. It’s an aria from Verdi‘s Rigoletto. This opera itself has a rather interesting background (assuming we can trust wikipedia). Verdi was commissioned to compose the opera with the understanding of both him and his sponsor Piave that they risked censorship by the Austrian government. The Austrians controlled much of Northern Italy at the time and the opera was intended to be performed in Venice. The reason for this censorship was the libretto’s portrayal of the primary figure, a French king, as both an immoral figure and a womanizer. Such things … Continue reading Learning “Questa o quella”

Installing and using reverb in Audacity on Ubuntu Linux

So I recently opened up Audacity for what I assumed would be a pretty quick operation. I just wanted to add some reverb to a track I’d recorded at a voice lesson. Sounds like something the Audacity should, in all it’s glory, be able to handle with its eyes closed. Unfortunately it seems I’m mistaken. None of the included filters include this ability. So I went searching. As it turns out, there are different libraries available for Windows, Mac, and Linux as plugins for adding reverb. The Linux ones are not as easy to install (or even find directions on … Continue reading Installing and using reverb in Audacity on Ubuntu Linux

Fooling Ourselves

Recently, someone sent me an interesting article which discussed looking for love. The article was primarily about how to find people that you can connect with in a significant and intimate way. At the end of the article, it presents you with a short task which involves writing down all the traits which you would find desirable in someone whom you’re romantically involved with. It then has you pare down your list with a few different tactics. All seems pretty logical and reasonable right? Well around the same time as I read that article, I happened to also be reading … Continue reading Fooling Ourselves

Learning “Pourquoi me réveiller”

I’m working on learning this aria from an opera called Werther by Jules Massanet. It’s pretty gorgeous, so I thought I’d share a video of Pavarotti singing it. It comes at a point in the opera when Werther comes to see the woman he loves, but whom he can never be with. He proceeds to read her a French poem (which happens to be this song). She realizes that she returns his love, and they embrace shortly before he leaves the stage. Shortly thereafter Werther kills himself, distraught with the knowledge that he can never be with the woman he … Continue reading Learning “Pourquoi me réveiller”