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Showing posts from December, 2013

Why World of Warcraft?

Jana and I started playing World of Warcraft in early 2010. It pretty much immediately became and stayed our main hobby, and a major source of our enjoyment.

Most people - including us before we started playing - have the idea of WoW players as insufferable nerds, addicted to a game, with poor hygiene and no social contact. In addition to that, there's the concern about paying $15 per month for a game.

So let me tell you why I think World of Warcraft is the perfect hobby.

First off, the price. $15 per month is probably the biggest bang for the buck you're ever going to get for entertainment. Compare it to the cost of a single dinner with friends, or tickets to a movie. Then consider that you're likely to play WoW a lot more than the two hours it takes you to watch a movie.

WoW occupies as much or as little of your time as you want it to. You can play it 3 hours a week, or 30. There's always something to do - raiding and battlegrounds if you feel like high-stress action…

World War Z vs. The Last of Us... and other games

World War Z came out the same week as The Last of Us, but I only saw the movie now. I played the game in August.

World War Z is a movie version of the game. You got your deserted hallways with flickering lights, inhabited by clickers, who trudge around with zombie steps and are disadvantaged in the vision department, but are keenly attracted to sound. Once they hear you, they rush at you and you're dead unless you bash them with a crowbar, or hit them with several bullets (they never stop after just one).

If you're going to play the game, you obviously also have the time to watch the movie. It's not bad. But if, for some reason, you had to choose - play The Last of Us. The relationship between Joel and Ellie; the story that unfolds; the genius melancholy music... it comes together so well. If you only watch World War Z, it's... a much more plain and shallow play at the topic. The game is intense, frightening, moving; the movie, Jana and I watched as a comedy, laughing …

Insulin, diabetes, exercise, and frequent urination

I've been meaning to get around to this follow-up for a while.

I posted in May about how I got scary glucose and insulin results in a blood test. This was a sign of growing insulin resistance, which would lead to Type II diabetes if allowed to progress. I suspected two factors might be to blame: (1) the high quantities of zero-calorie soft drinks I was ingesting, and (2) despite my strict diet and general fitness, a lack of aerobic exercise.

For the following 3 months, I addressed both suspected causes. I eliminated most artificial sweeteners from my diet, and I started to exercise heavily. I believed exercise would work because: (1) studies show that regular aerobic exercise mitigates the risk of Type II diabetes; (2) all pregnant women develop insulin resistance, yet 99% get better afterward, so the condition must be reversible; (3) it would be compatible with my hypothesis about the workings of the underlying mechanism.

My hypothesis is naive, but it's compatible with my ex…

Unnecessary engineering

Look at this guy.

He crashes his old Citroen in an African desert. He's 20 miles away from the nearest village - about a day of walking, perhaps 2 on rough terrain - but he "didn't want to risk making the trek on foot". Instead, he spent 12 days in the desert, surviving on scarce supplies of food and water, sheltering under the car's chassis during sandstorms. He used that time to convert the Citroen into this ridiculous, dangerous motorcycle. Then he rode the motorcycle to the nearest village, arriving about 10 days later than if he just walked on foot.

This reminds me of how programmers often go about things... Instead of doing an awkward task by hand, we think of a clever way to do it with a program! Then we spend three times as long writing and debugging that program, as it would have taken to do it by hand. :)

Rick & Morty

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I just discovered Rick & Morty. It's ridiculous. And by ridiculous, I mean it's awesome. :)

Here's a quick GIF, just so you get the idea:

Oblivion

Just watched Oblivion.

Wow.

If you haven't seen it, this is a very good film.

More photos! #3

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Aaron is now nearly 7 weeks old. :-)

Here's a third set of photos from last time - oldest to newest:
















As you can see, he's starting to get blond hair. :)



Paintings!
Also, we finally received, and were able to get help to hang, the paintings from our St. Kitts apartment!

This is how they look in our new place:








Monogamy kills

Check out this awful story:
Wife and I have been together for 14 years, and on October 24th we celebrated our 12 year anniversary. Together we have 3 children: Martin 10 years old, Casey 7, Tiffany 4. Wife was a fantastic woman, and even better mother.

A month before her suicide she was acting very strange. She began withdrawing affection from me. It has always been a routine that before I would head out for work I would give her a kiss. However, whenever I went for a kiss she would always pull away.

When it came to talking, she would rarely give me eye contact. I tried many times to try to see what was going on and she would just play it off.

Last week, when I came home. I noticed that the kids were home alone. I started calling my wife, after 3 hours of no answer. We ended up calling the police. The next day she was found in her car dead; she had committed suicide. There was a suicide note, where she confessed to cheating on me, and that she could no longer handle the guilt.

My heart…

Zero-tolerance schools kill

I don't normally post stuff that's on top of the Reddit front page anyway, but - this really pisses me off:

Ontario mom urges schools to let asthmatic kids carry puffersRyan Gibbons, 12, died after a severe asthma attack during recess at Straffordville, Ont., school

Many schools in the US and Canada have zero-tolerance policies, in which everything - including essential emergency medicine, like inhalers and epi-pens - is considered a dangerous drug that must be kept out of kids' hands, whatever it takes. An asthmatic kid can't carry an inhaler. An allergic kid can't have an epi-pen. Instead, if an emergency arises, the kid has to go to the principal's office, or to the school nurse, and kindly ask for her emergency medicine. You know - if she doesn't die on the way there.

Obviously, this is dangerous. At the very least, the delay makes any health incident worse. Reasonable parents work around this policy, and give their kid a spare inhaler or epi-pen, to hid…

My experience with an (NSA?) prankster

Remember the movie The Mothman Prophecies? A major feature of the film is Richard Gere's interaction with an entity who calls itself Indrid Cold; a being with supernatural abilities who apparently knows everything there is to know about the present, as well as the future.

A person claiming to be Indrid Cold appeared in YouTube comments one day. It impressed other people who commented, by sharing apparently supernatural knowledge about them. Some people exchanged correspondence with it in private, and it impressed them with its abilities even more. One of those people posted about it on Reddit, and that's how I got to know about Indrid Cold.

I was naturally curious, so I sent Indrid an email. More than a month later, I received this reply:

Hello, Mr. Bider,

Your are the co-founder of a software company called 'Bitvise'. You are originally from Slovenia but moved to the Leeward Islands with your wife, Jana. You both enjoy fresh seafood and online gaming. You recently canc…

This is how I feel about sports

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