January 11th, 2015

The Internet is a Paradise for Lifelong Learning

Seniors in an internet cafe

Online education isn’t a new thing, but in recent years it has grown in leaps and bounds, both in volume and in quality. This is great for pupils still in school: projects such as Khan Academy build on the traditional school curriculum and support students in finishing their educations. Online resources also offers more tools to educators, allowing them to capture the fleeting interest of their students with multimedia, interactive material. But it doesn’t stop there. Educational platforms targeted at more mature audiences are also available online, enabling people to keep learning throughout their entire lives: lifelong learning. And learning outside of the classroom can have a number of advantages.

The Internet is a Paradise for Lifelong Learning continued »

November 23rd, 2014

Android Wear: almost there, but not quite

Android Wear is Google’s take on what a smart watch could be. Whereas Apple’s smart watch won’t come out until early next year, the first watches running Android Wear started appearing last summer. Unfortunately, of the several models of watch that were announced the model people wanted most – the Moto 360 – was delayed quite a long time. Last week I finally got my hands on one.

Moto 360 running Android Wear

Android Wear: almost there, but not quite continued »

November 19th, 2014

Surface Pro 3: Review

In this post I will be reviewing the Microsoft Surface Pro 3. About a month ago, I got the core i5, 256G SSD, 8GB RAM version with type-cover. And I won’t make you read to the bottom to give you my overall conclusion: this device is freaking amazing! Let me tell you how came to that realization.

Surface Pro 3 with and without type cover Surface Pro 3: Review continued »

October 26th, 2014

Life without regrets

“Live as if there is no tomorrow!”

Bullshit.

Like many platitudes, this one certainly sounds enthusiastic and inspirational. But it has no practical application. If there were no tomorrow, people would be spending what money they have today, desperately trying to fit as many pleasant experiences in what few hours we had left. We’d have no regard for consequences or the state of the world around us because hey, it’ll all be gone tomorrow anyway, right?

In reality, tomorrow does come, rent will be due, and you have to be at work on time. Telling people to live as if there is no tomorrow is like teasing a draft horse for not breaking its bonds and racing off into the great wild outdoors. Our existence is not free of consequence, and no sane person would live their life as if it were. Life without regrets continued »

October 12th, 2014

What’s the worst that could happen?

Although admittedly I have lived a pretty sheltered and blessed life, I have faced some setbacks just as everybody has. I have been fortunate enough to have found some effective ways of dealing with such things. Thanks to this, I have a very robust mental health which I’m quite proud of. I want to share some of the strategies I use, in the hope that they may be of use to others. Because I would love nothing better than for all people to be happy and content. I think that any person being unhappy or depressed is simply a terrible waste if it can be avoided.

So lately I’ve been having some problems with work. This has been weighing on my mind, to the point that even during my off-time I couldn’t relax. I kept running simulations in my head of conversations I might have with my supervisors to discuss these problems: what I’d say, what they’d say. I care about what they think of me: this company is run by kind people, and they’ve been very flexible in meeting some of my earlier concerns. I worried that I’d seem ungrateful by bringing these things up, even to the point of imagining doomsday scenarios where I’d be fired in anger and never find another job again. What’s the worst that could happen? continued »

July 27th, 2014

A Walk in the Park

Methought I walked in a dream
in the park, on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
Each man and woman content
in their own world, a story of a lifetime fleetingly glanced,
side by side, a library of books read only by a few.

Yet peace shines through the covers and needs no words.
Enough to walk or rest here, together yet alone,
lifes touching without connecting
as we share a dream outside of time
of a lazy Sunday afternoon that never ended.

July 25th, 2014

Soylent: how to make your own

For my final post on my new Soylent experiment I thought I’d give you a little glimpse of how I make a batch of Soylent. The whole process takes maybe five minutes, and makes for three square meals.

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I sometimes add some chocolate, strawberries or other stuff to add some flavour, but that’s optional.

So I’ve been on Soylent for over three weeks now. I think it’s safe to say I won’t be going back to only regular food any time soon. I eat Soylent for breakfast and lunch on most days, and dinner when I don’t want to bother with preparing anything. Grocery shopping has become completely optional, which saves money but more importantly is far more convenient. Also I hardly ever need to wash any dishes anymore. I feel fit and I have more regular and pleasant trips to the toilet than I’ve had in years. I have learned to put my Soylent lunch in the fridge when I get to work in the morning, or else by noon it’ll have spoiled. Other than that I haven’t had any drawbacks to speak off. In conclusion I’m all set to stay on Soylent for years to come.

July 23rd, 2014

Soylent: days seven and eight

Days seven and eight of my Soylent experience.

Not much to tell about my one week anniversary. More colleagues were interested in the subject, although none of them dared a taste. They looked at soylent.me and some other sites, and tentatively agreed that it might be convenient, but just too weird for their tastes.

On day eight I had another day off work. I finished my last Soylent for breakfast, then headed out to buy some utensils to make it even easier to prepare more. I bought a plastic container to hold the whey protein powder, a funnel so I can fill up a normal bottle with Soylent if I want, and a new pitcher (so far I’ve been storing my Soylent in the fridge in my blender jar). The plastic container turned out to work well, so I’ll pick up more of them to hold the other powders.

Once I’d brought my haul home, I mixed up a fresh batch for lunch. So far I’d been using raspberry-flavoured whey protein powder, but this time I also threw in a sample of peanut-chocolate flavour that I got free with my purchase. Turns out the peanut-chocolate flavour is far stronger, and very tasty. I’ll order that flavour for my next protein powder shipment, but that’ll be a while yet: I still have over 4 kilos of the stuff left, which should last me well into august.

I took my lunch with me in my trusty flask and once again spent most of my day outdoors. The book of the day was Delusions of Gender by Cordelia Fine. I found it very interesting, but it’s written to disprove popular science about neurological differences between genders, which I didn’t put much faith in to begin with. Still, I was surprised at the research showing how deeply ingrained our conceptions of gender are in our minds. The peanut-chocolate Soylent was tasty at first, but quickly faded into the background. All in all a very fulfilling day.

July 23rd, 2014

Soylent: days five and six

Days five and six of my Soylent experience.

Over the weekend I tried out my new recipe, but it didn’t work very well. I’m guessing that 1900kcal is just too low: I felt slow and weak. So for dinner, I cooked myself a nice tikka masala. It was especially tasty and satisfying after a few days of only Soylent. Now that I’ve tested out living on Soylent alone, I figure from now on I’ll go back to regular dinners whenever I have time to cook properly. And I’ve adjusted my recipe to 2100kcal, the same as the original.

Other than that, it’s been a pretty miserable weekend all-round. The weather is hot, I got sunburn, I could hardly sleep and the house is stifling yet marginally cooler than outside. I’m looking forward to returning to our air-conditioned office come Monday.

July 23rd, 2014

Soylent: day four

Day four of my Soylent experience.

I had to rush to the toilet this morning. I guess the pizza experiment is officially a failure. Maybe I’ll try something a little easier next time, like a nice salad.

Anyway, the recipe I’d been using, tasty and complete v3, got updated to “Complete Food v4“. It drops the hemp protein in favor of pea protein. Great! Here I got all enthusiastic and bought 5 kilos of hemp protein, even though the recipe only calls for 40 grams a day. So that should last me — let me do the math — 125 days. I guess I’ll be sticking with the old recipe for a while longer…

Soylent: day four continued »