Archive for the ‘Musings’

Sports is a socially acceptable outlet for xenophobia

June 19, 2015 By: erik Category: Musings, Soccer

Your Team SucksToday I heard one of the best explanations for sports fandom that I’ve ever heard. The team sports as war tribalism metaphor has been obvious to me for a while. What I want to discuss today is not how it feels to be a player, but more about the sports fan culture that is built up around different teams. As someone who doesn’t really participate in that – although I try every four years – it can be confusing seeing photos of my peers dressing their children in team colors and making really derogatory hateful comments about other teams and fans of other teams. But it has finally clicked for me as to why sports is so important.
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Meerkat and Periscope: Live Video Broadcasts From Anywhere

April 03, 2015 By: erik Category: Geeky, Musings

meekscopeIt has been fascinating to watch the results of the proliferation of smart phones in the last decade, both the imaginative apps that can be made and the cumulative effect of how having a computer, camera, internet communicator, and HD video camera in everyone’s pocket has been shaping out society. Events like the Arab Spring or the demonstrations in Ferguson, Missouri have been enabled by internet connectivity, and also reported on, not necessarily by journalists, but by citizens on the ground, in real time.
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Drone Terrorism: Coming to Skies Near You!

December 23, 2014 By: erik Category: Musings, Scary, USA

QuadcopterUnmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology is advancing incredibly rapidly. For several years now, I’ve been a fan of the Team BlackSheep YouTube channel, which regularly displays seriously impressive videos from the point of view of their drones, zooming around places that no manned aircraft could do. It’s about as close to a first person perspective from Peter Pan or Superman that we all imagine as you can find on the internet.
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The Fourth Mask: Parenting Airline Travel Tip

September 28, 2014 By: erik Category: Funny, Musings, Parenting, Travel

Airline Family SelfieThis weekend my family and I took a one hour flight to the other side of the peninsula. It served as sort of a dry run for next weekend when we will fly ten times further. My 17-month-old son is still allowed to ride on a parent’s lap, and doesn’t yet require his own seat, which is great, especially for our transatlantic hop, where the prices are non-trivial.

For those of you that have never had the pleasure of flying with another human on top of you, the airline provides a little baby belt that has a loop in it to put the adult’s seatbelt through so your offspring isn’t offsprung during extreme turbulence.
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A friend finder app that respects privacy

September 03, 2014 By: erik Category: Geeky, Musings

Anybody here?Ever since smart phones became endowed with GPS, the apps that attempt to show you where your friends are have become as ubiquitous as the horrified privacy backlash against them. I cannot claim to have ever really used such apps because I live in a rural community, most of my best friends are sprinkled sparsely across the globe, and the friends that I do meet up with are either not that tech savvy, use a different smart phone OS, or have the more common sense about the privacy problems than geeky desire to test out what an app can do.
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The sun sets late in Spain

June 24, 2014 By: erik Category: Musings, Spain, Travel, Weird

Crepuscular!If you’ve ever been to Spain in the summer, you’ll know that the sun sets very late, which suits Spaniards, who like to have dinner as late as 10 or 11 at night, very well. It’s not just because of the tilt of the Earth at the summer solstice, or the fact that all our days are getting longer. Tonight, for example, in late June, the sun will set at 9:58 PM, one minute later than it will set as far north as Copenhagen! What sense does that make?

I blame the Nazis.
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Garlic and Water, Blog Name Idea

June 04, 2014 By: erik Category: Musings, Photos

10.365Where I work, whenever we start a new project, we often don’t yet know what the final product (usually a website) will be called, but we need a name to refer to the project. The way we generate internal code names is through a word association exercise. For example, one of the projects we’re working on now involves golf. Thinking of golf makes me think of Jack Nicklaus, whose nickname was The Golden Bear, so we named the project Ursa, which is short, nice and pronounceable and quick to type…and means “bear” in Latin.
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Business Idea: Airfare Limit Orders

May 12, 2014 By: erik Category: Musings, Travel

toy planeEvery time I shop for airline tickets, I find myself thinking about how little sense airfare prices make to me, and I’m reminded of the variability of the stock market. There are so many forces and variables acting on the price of a stock (or an airfare) that prediction becomes a matter of guessing probabilities where even the experts don’t really have much of a clue. The frustration at checking airline prices reminds me very much of that of playing the stock market. Prices seem to fluctuate for no reason and deciding when to make a transaction is painfully difficult…and the price seems to always go in the wrong direction right after you buy.
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Rasmussen’s Law of Parenting

September 26, 2013 By: erik Category: Comic, Musings, Parenting

Rasmussen's Law of Parenting (square)Over my past few years of parenthood, as I have observed my emotions, I have noticed a strong correlation between where we currently are in the spectrum between “Idyllic Family Photo Album Moment” and “Screaming Frazzled Crazy Parent Birth Control Commercial”. It’s all a matter of how much of a hurry I’m in and what all else needs to get done, e.g. cooking, cleaning, errands. The idea coalesced into a single sentence a year or so ago, which I think I may have tweeted, and, as I go about my daily life of raising my kids, it comes to mind. Every. Single. Day.
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Lance Armstrong and the Psychology of Cheating

January 23, 2013 By: erik Category: Complaining, Musings, News, Photos, Videos

Pencil portrait, not yet finished..As I’ve mentioned before, I’m rather fascinated with the psychology behind decision-making. Both Dan Ariely and Jonah Lehrer are leading experts in the field, at least experts in writing best-selling popular psychology books about it. Ariely has recently moved into the study of lying cheating, and Lehrer moved into the practice of lying and cheating, getting caught for plagiarizing, if you can call it that, his own previous work and falsifying quotes from Bob Dylan to help support his conclusions.
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