Why flatten a tree when you can just traverse it?

Michael Feathers wrote a blog post about avoiding explicitly traversing a tree recursively by taking advantage of its representation as nested arrays and using array operations to flatten. I was unhappy about this solution because it creates a bunch of intermediate arrays it concatenates arrays repeatedly, which is expensive for a very large tree the recursive solution seems more simple, clear, and efficient So I wrote up the recursive solution. Read On →

Pittsburgh Chess Club Championship 2013, Round 5: Surprised at move 4 of the opening!

Franklin in deep throught after move 4

Round 5 of the annual Pittsburgh Chess Club Championship involved a very unusual (for me) situation: being surprised at move 4 out of the opening! (Amusingly, Kurt was taking a bunch of photos at the time and happened to get a photo of me being surprised, and later sent it to me.)

I coped well and played what I thought to be perhaps my cleanest game yet in this tournament.

I report on the psychology of how to deal with opening surprises, and other turning points in the game.

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Attending J-Jam in Squirrel Hill but not playing music in it

February 10 2013 J-Jam flyer Today in Dunkin’ Donuts in Squirrel Hill was another J-Jam of music. I’d performed in a J-Jam in October over three months ago, but did not perform or attend the J-Jam in December. This time, I again did not perform, but did attend with Abby to watch and listen. The reason I did not perform is that I came back from a Scala conference just late yesterday night, so I was yet again too busy to meet up with Ben to prepare something to perform, and also even if we had something, I was not confident I would be up to performing just after coming home. Read On →

NE Scala 2013: my first Scala conference!

I went to my first ever Scala conference, NE Scala, held in Philadelphia, with Josh and Jamie, as mentioned in my report on the very first Pittsburgh Scala meetup group meeting. It was intense. Being a novice to Scala, most of the talks I attended covered stuff completely new to me. I returned determined to dig deeper into the Scala ecosystem and use the language effectively. Videos Videos of the talks are available at this play list. Read On →

Pittsburgh Chess Club Championship 2013, Round 4: fascinating attacking-defending game!!

Round 4 of the annual Pittsburgh Chess Club Championship had me playing one of the most fascinating games I have played in my entire life. My opponent tried to wipe me off the board with a brute-force attack in the early moves of the opening and I managed to defend, but there were various subtleties involved. He engaged in sacrifice after sacrifice, not all sound, but all interesting.

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Pittsburgh Chess Club Championship 2013, Round 3: attack, defense, and sacrifices

PCC Championship Round 3

Round 3 of the annual Pittsburgh Chess Club Championship had me playing another very long game, the last game to finish (which it did after four hours, when nobody else was around any more except the tournament director).

For once, I am actually fairly proud of my game, in which I pressed hard with an attack and won. I have submitted the score for consideration in the “Best Attack” special prize category for the tournament.

Our final position

This week’s chess theme is sacrifice in chess. The reason is that in my game, there were many possible points of sacrifice on my end (the attacker), but also, ironically, my opponent was the one who twice sacrificed material for a defensive purpose. Although the sacrifices were not sound, they had some practical merit that I will discuss.

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An unexpected afternoon tour: 9 miles of running, 1 Cathedral of Learning stair climb, 2 chess tournaments

I had an amusing, completely impromptu Saturday afternoon tour in which I ran nine miles (including a couple of miles with a friend I’ve never actually seen running before or run with before), did one repetition of the Cathedral of Learning stair climb, and visited two different chess tournaments in Pittsburgh.

As of Friday evening, I had only planned to go for a run on Saturday. Here’s how I ended up on my unexpected tour instead.

Cathedral of Learning

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A report on one month of daily meditation

As promised a month ago, here is a report on a month of meditation.

Despite some real challenges, I managed to complete a month of daily meditation, and found some tricks and strategies to keep going, and will report again in another month.

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Doing an unexpected workout

After work, I had originally planned to do the Cathedral of Learning stair climb as I have been doing for some weeks now, stuffing my coat and sweater jacket and shoes and socks into my backpack, before heading to the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh to pick up some items, but was running late, so I resigned myself to skipping the workout and just picking up the library items and heading home for dinner; the stair climb would have to wait for another day. Read On →

Why and how I am going to run the 2013 Pittsburgh Marathon

I surprised myself by deciding suddenly to run the Pittsburgh Marathon this year, 2013. This was not part of the plan when I was thinking about my running plans for 2013 a month ago!

This will be my second Pittsburgh Marathon, because the last time I ran it was in 2003, and that was my first marathon ever. It was quite an ordeal to finish, because of a lot of rookie mistakes, but I made it.

Here I am in 2003 near the finish line (photo courtesy of my sister Linda):

Franklin near finish line in 2003

And here I am wearing my medal for finishing in 2003:

Franklin inside with medal

So: why am I running the Pittsburgh Marathon again, now, ten years later? What do I hope to accomplish? And how?

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