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Personal Growth

How Social Media will change Marketing

Posted in Analysis, Business, Geek, Marketing, Personal Growth, Societal Values on May 20th, 2010 by leodirac – 7 Comments

A number of years ago, a bunch of my friends were reading Naomi Klein’s book No Logo and getting really riled up by it.  The book is certainly written to make you angry, describing how brands and logos have become more and more prominent in our society as the marketing industry has become more sophisticated at […]

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Learning to do Math in your Head

Posted in Geek, Personal Growth on January 23rd, 2010 by leodirac – 1 Comment

I recently picked up a book called Secrets of Mental Math written by one of my college math professors.  It has very practical advice on how to learn to multiply large numbers in your head.  He gives practical advice on necessary skills like addition, subtraction, and related mathematical trivia.  To practice multiplying numbers in your […]

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2009: A Year of Commitments

Posted in Community, Economics, Ego, Personal Growth on December 17th, 2009 by leodirac – 1 Comment

As the year wraps up, I’d like to share some of the major events that have happened in my life recently. Many of my readers will be well aware of these events, but I recognize that personal news travels through a variety of channels, and all of those channels are unreliable. (I’ll save the diatribe on why Facebook is a horrible way to keep up with friends for another day.) For readers who are looking for insightful analysis of technology, my apologies. Note the “ego” tag. This is a personal update but does contain a little insight into real-estate finance….

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I’m working for Google

Posted in Ego, Google, Personal Growth on October 29th, 2007 by leodirac – 2 Comments

I caved. I took a job with Google as a Product Manager. I start today. I’m down in Mountain View all week to have kool-aid forcibly injected intravenously. Make note of this day and see if you can sense a shift in tone of my posts as time continues. We’ll see when I start thinking and posting about Google in first person. This change is important to you my dear readers for a couple of other reasons. Most significantly is around intellectual property. Google’s IP policy for its employees can be effectively summarized as “All your base are belong to…

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Floating on a ton of MgSO4

Posted in Hacks, Personal Growth on October 15th, 2007 by leodirac – Comments Off on Floating on a ton of MgSO4

Okay, not quite a full ton. The Lilypod only needs 1,500 lbs of dissolved epsom salt to make the water dense enough that you can float on it. In 250 gallons of water that gives the solution a density of about 1.7, which makes it quite easy to float on. Heat it to about 99 degrees Fahrenheit, put in ear plugs, turn out all the lights, and concentrate on your breathing. It’s a great recipe for some deep relaxation. I’m looking forward to borrowing some time on it, hoping it will be a good way to help focus my mind….

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Economics of Personal Time

Posted in Economics, Personal Growth on October 10th, 2007 by leodirac – 7 Comments

Please excuse a bit of rambling, but I’ve got a seedling of an idea I’d like to publicly explore. The classic definition of economics concerns the allocation of finite resources to unlimited desires. Resources here are physical goods and services that people buy or trade. There’s only so much stuff in the world that people might want. If you add up what everybody wants, it’s more than the amount of stuff available to go around — classically it’s infinite. Economic systems manage this discrepancy. I increasingly find myself facing a related problem: trying to allocate my finite time to seemingly…

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Google Calendar for the 28-hour day

Posted in Hacks, Personal Growth on September 25th, 2007 by leodirac – 2 Comments

XKCD is a rad web-comic. Today’s makes passing yo-mama jokes while discussing the concept of the “28-hour day.” It’s an interesting idea. Six 28-hour days make up a week. 6 x 28 = 7 x 24 = 168 hours. {math corrected} If you sleep 8 hours out of 28, then you’re getting 48 hours of sleep a week, which is equivalent to just under 7 hours of sleep a night on a regular schedule. (6 hours 51 minutes). Personally, I’m optimal at about 7 hours 25 minutes a night on a long-term basis, but I can go 6 hours a…

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RSI in the pinkies

Posted in Ego, Health, Personal Growth, Tech Industry on July 10th, 2007 by leodirac – 5 Comments

A number of folks have been courting me for positions as a software development engineer recently. Many of them sound really fun. I love writing code, and even though it hasn’t been my professional focus for years, I think I’m still alright at it. But I’ve had to come to a sober realization that I simply cannot take a job where writing code is my primary function. I’m just not physically capable of it. I just about cried during a job interview once when explaining this. People come in my office and say “that’s a cool keyboard.” My response is…

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Naturopathy: the Difficult choice

Posted in Cooking, Hacks, Health, Personal Growth, Science on June 13th, 2007 by leodirac – Comments Off on Naturopathy: the Difficult choice

My girlfriend has an auto-immune skin condition called psoriasis that gives her rashes. For some people the condition gets serious enough that patients and MD’s turn to drugs that suppress T-cells, the part of the immune system which causes the inflammation. Turning down the volume level on your immune system has all sorts of easily predictable side-effects, but for people whose immune systems are just a little too enthusiastic it can be the right choice. My girlfriend’s condition has gotten worse in recent months, to the point where immuno-suppresents seem reasonable. But instead, she’s opted to do something much more…

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Temper, Temper!

Posted in Biking, Personal Growth on April 26th, 2007 by leodirac – 2 Comments

I lost my temper today. It doesn’t happen often, but it always gives me pause to reflect on how I might have handled the situation better. In this case I think it’s pretty clear. I was biking home from work, riding up Pinke on my normal commute route. A bus was stopped in the right lane so I moved into the next lane to pass it. As I did this, a white SUV (IIRC license plate 974-PPF) pulls up close behind me, revving its engine and honking repeatedly. The driver yells out of the window “Get out of the road!”…

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