Thursday, July 31, 2008

Prince of Persia is much more marketable than Prince of Iran.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

As I was walking last night, I got to peek through the window at the students at the adult education center here in San Juan Capistrano. I love seeing people get smarter! (No degrees being offered, just people increasing their skills.)

Monday, July 21, 2008

How to save the earth

If human beings breathed less often, there would be less CO2. QED, yo.

Another solution would be to offset our carbon emissions with an equal amount of plants. You could wear a tray of plants around your neck. Heavier breathers could wear a larger tray.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Awesome sentences

Over confidence and in particular the idea that we are special and will live a long life suggests the error is saving too much. Note that we also tend to think that our partner will be alive as well. My wife once asked me whether we were saving enough for "our" retirement. "Sure," I said, "don't forget one of us will probably die before the other and I'm not saving for your future husband." "Why," she replied with a sigh, "can't economists be more human?"

Saturday, July 19, 2008

If you're giving advice to someone falling out of love and you feel normal, telling them how to feel is completely wrong. Likewise, if you're giving advice to a depressed person, realize that they're in a completely different state than you. Give them time and send them strength.

(And yes, I know I've been a hypocrite in this area before.)

To all the girls at the Irvine Spectrum

I don't actually need to see your shirt opened up and your bra exposed. If you're showing everything, I assume that you are deeply insecure (which is not a crime, but not being aware of it is). You're probably high maintenance, accustomed to crowds of weak men doing what you want them to do and lazy about actually carrying your weight in a relationship.

If you've got it, you don't need to show it. If you've got it, I'll be able to tell. Promise!

Higher gas prices makes better produce?

I was disappointed at Trader Joe's to see how small the oranges were. I bought them anyway and they have been fantastic, as sweet as any I've ever had. One nice side effect of high gas prices is that it has to put pressure on farmers not to grow big stupid watery oranges, since a larger number of smaller oranges can fit in the same load.

The economics of paper plates

It makes sense to buy two sizes of paper plates: one smaller and one larger. Most items are small, so if you were to use the larger size for everything, you are leaving all that surface area around the item empty and so probably paying too much and executing more trees than is necessary.

Better Facebook status updates

1) Don't write "is ___ing" anything. If you write "Dave Smith is thinking that dwarves are sexy", just change it to "Dave Smith thinks dwarves are sexy".

2) Don't tell us that you're eating or sleeping. These are things that everyone does already and uninteresting to boot. Tell us that you shot a pheasant today, or heard someone having sex next door, or cracked the Da Vinci code and are now flying to Paris.

3) It's ok to mention how you feel: this is interesting to others since people often keep their emotions behind locked door(s).

4) If you don't have anything interesting to say, it's ok not to say anything at all!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Why stop at 2?

The marine flatworm Pseudobiceros bedfordi has two penises with which they fence, attempting to smear sperm on the other without being fertilized themselves.

-- Power, Sex, Suicide

Brains have multiple pieces

A split second before I nearly stepped on that rattlesnake a few years back, some primitive lizard part of my brain knew that something was wrong (even though I didn't consciously know what it was), even as my leg continued to step forward and hit the ground less than a foot from the snake.

Going long on my education

If I have to decide between an ideal looking resume and actual skills, I choose skills. It has worked for me in the past, when I spent time actually learning how to program games and graphics instead of doing decently in college (The owner of a computer repair company told me to my face that "I make the other half of the class look good" when he asked my GPA and I told him "2.0". Brutal. (Never forget that a letter grade is only a proxy for understanding! Grades can be optimized for by cramming for tests, only studying things likely to be on a test, etc., but actual understanding is deeper and more important. If you insist on being with someone with a higher GPA than you, reconsider so you don't let a gem get away!) Carrying this attitude ultimately made me competent enough to do good work at Blizzard. (It's shocking that the distance between this and working on WoW could only be 5 years.)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Super depressing thought of the day

Living organisms are throwaway survival machines for their genes.

-- from Nick Lane's excellent Power, Sex, Suicide

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Life is Weird

It's good to remember that we're all flying around a freaking ball of fire right now. Hat tip to Richard Feynman for reminding me.

The eternal (infernal!) question

When somebody asks what I do, it's much easier to say that I'm a game programmer, or I'm building a website than be honest and say: 90% of my day is reading and walking.
Tourists can only be other people. When I go to a new place I'm (of course!) perfectly in the right to be there.
When driving around Orange County, you can actually start to think that having a nice car is an important achievement in a human life.

To guard against this thinking, I pledge to maintain a healthy layer of dirt and avian feces on my ride.

Steps for getting along with others

1) Actually understand that others may think you have a douchebag personality.
2) Accept that there may be no possible action you can take to fix this.

Bam, you're done.