Sunday, October 26, 2014

Completely non-software-engineering things I'm reading

It rained a little bit yesterday. Nothing like it's been raining in Oregon and Washington, but maybe it's a start. I can see from the chart that Lake Shasta is still falling, but yesterday, for the first day in a long time, inflow exceeded outflow.

  • The Astonishing Story of the Federal Reserve on 9-11
    I had planned to spend this week on the thrilling topic of the discount window. It was plain old curiosity that took me to the internet to find out what the Federal Reserve did on 9-11. As it turns out, it was not an easy story to unravel and between late Sunday night when I first started reading and Tuesday night when I started writing I read several hundred pages of reports as well as the tiny amount of media reporting available. Here’s the thing I didn’t know and I’ll bet you a wheelbarrow of carrots you didn’t either, on 9-11 and the days which immediately followed, a relatively small number of people did some genuinely, physically heroic things in order to keep the economy from going off the rails and none of them were named Alan Greenspan.
  • “Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.
    And across Piute Canyon from it there stands another big peak, unnamed. On the maps it’s marked 12,691. If named after Thoreau, the two peaks would then form a gateway, like Scylla and Charybdis, through which hundreds of hikers would pass every year. Peak 12,691 is somewhat lower than Mount Emerson, but much more gnarly and interesting; the two peaks have much the same relationship that Emerson and Thoreau had, not just in size and aspect but in position, being close to each other but separated by a huge gulf of air. It was just like that in Concord.
  • Expert Critique of Burmese Cat Project
    However, keeping a colony of 40 cats is a vastly different proposition from keeping two or three cats in a home environment. With such a large colony, it is vitally important from a health perspective that cats are kept in a fresh, breezy environment at all times. I indicated that the solution would be to build an enclosure that surrounded Heritage House from water level to tree top and a shade cloth roof to provide some shade and protection from the rain.
  • Starship Size Comparison Chart
    Scale: 1 pixel = 10 meters
  • How Rebounds Work
    Much has been made about the player-tracking revolution in the NBA and how it will advance the state of basketball analytics. This is truly a brave new world; to date, a vast majority of the energy spent researching advancements has been aimed at developing richer characterizations of player performance and constructing newfangled scouting reports. That makes sense, but basketball is bigger than any one player or team, and it’s also important to realize that the same data set that tells us Chandler Parsons and Jimmy Butler ran a lot, or Patty Mills runs the fastest, also holds incredible information about how basketball works. This goes beyond properly evaluating individuals; we are on our way to being able to map basketball itself. This work will eventually help coaches, players, and press more elegantly understand ball movement, defensive positioning, offensive architecture, and, yes, rebounding.
  • What A Former Olympian And NFL Player Can Teach Us About Advertising And Marketing
    I’ve seen firsthand in football and business how victims can bring down the morale of an entire team. It’s impossible to build anything with a victim mentality.
  • FORGET VIDEO GAMES: Here's What It's Like To Put On A Costume And Go Live-Action Role Playing
    Live-action role-playing (or LARPing) was born on the fringes of American pop culture, a descendant of much-maligned hobbies like Dungeons and Dragons and other table games.

    In LARPing, players spend their weekend dressing up in costumes, adopting elaborate personae, and inhabiting a complex imagined world.

I don't have a Halloween costume this year. Maybe I'll go as Programmer of a Certain Age.

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