Why soda bans don't work

I just saw an article, “Soda Bans in Schools Have Limited Impact”. It boggles my mind that anyone would advocate soda bans in school as a policy in isolation.

Here are my thoughts on the economics and politics, and health and cultural aspects of the issue.

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The real reason for the CoffeeScript/JavaScript flame war

I have been slightly (but not entirely) surprised by the current flame war over the programming languages CoffeeScript versus JavaScript. Michael Woloszynowicz finds the rise of CoffeeScript “alarming”. He gives possible reasons people are interested in CoffeeScript and possible pitfalls in choosing to use it rather than straight JavaScript.

I believe that all that is happening is simply a repeat of history, with a small twist.

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Pittsburgh Geek Out Day #4: "Design"

Today was the fourth session held of Pittsburgh Geek Out Day. I enjoyed it, as I have all previous sessions of this unique local event.

Introduction to Pittsburgh Geek Out Day

Pittsburgh Geek Out Day was started earlier this year, with the first session being held on Saturday, April 2, 2011, in the morning. It was my very first Open Spaces event experience, and a truly profound one for me on multiple levels: I really enjoyed this format of sharing and learning from one another, and meeting people involved in software development (in one role or another, not necessarily as developer) passionate about what we do. (Recently, the Pittsburgh Java User Group had an experimental Open Spaces evening.)

Pittsburgh Geek Out Day completely changed my life, not only bringing me out of my social shell but also returning me to active engagement with a variety of software developers and just plain getting to know really interesting people. I have been really inspired and excited by this new community.

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Daylight Saving Time should be abolished but here's why it won't be

It’s time for that funny ritual that takes place twice a year: making your clocks “fall back” or “spring forward”. There are many reasons I support the abolition of Daylight Saving Time. I won’t go through them in detail because there are many resources online that give the arguments. Fundamentally, the artificial change addition and subtraction of an hour once a year wreaks havoc on our health, the health of animals who live on our clock, and time handling by computers. Read On →

Against just putting in the time

Recently I saw a blog post by Scott Berkun that made me profoundly sad. He described not liking running on a treadmill but doing it anyway and watching the clock, and he turned around and praised this attitude.

I totally disagree with this with every fiber of my being, and here’s why.

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One of these breakfasts is not paleo

Over a week ago, I briefly discussed my plans to experiment more with a paleo-style diet. I decided to quit eating oatmeal for breakfast, cold turkey (no pun intended). I was going to stay off oatmeal for at least two weeks. Well, fourteen days of no oatmeal have gone by.

Here are some photos of actual breakfasts I’ve had during these two weeks.

Warning to the purists: one of these breakfasts is not paleo.

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I don't know whether to get a flu shot

Every fall I am bombarded by reminders to get a flu shot. The reminders come from where I work, as well as from my health insurance provider. I never know whether I should really get one.

Today, I got my flu shot after all. Why? And why my resistance?

Franklin getting flu shot at CMU in 2011

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Is time money?

Recently I came across a blog post claiming that “time is not money”. Reading it, and the many comments that supported the author’s thesis, I felt oddly concerned.

I am not here to refute “time is not money”, but to briefly explain my concern.

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Lower than the angels

This strand of hair, fading and gray: a frail tightrope spun between the falcon's hungry cry and cliffs melting in the sun.

Harder to play music in a group than alone

I’ve decided to make special efforts to improving my music-making as part of a group.

Friday evening, I joined four other recorder enthusiasts to sight read some ensemble music as a quintet. This is the third time I’ve played with this group of people (the first time as a quartet when I was filling in for someone who couldn’t make it but has been present the last two times I went).

Usually I mostly play alto, and secondarily soprano (and I started learning bass recently), but on Friday I tried to mostly play the fourth of five parts, on a tenor recorder.

There are several reasons I found playing the tenor quite challenging.

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