My inner child thinks I am a sniper.

My inner child believes that I can shoot guns accurately with no training.

After my American uncle explained how to line up the gun, I shot the bullseye.

This target was shared between four people. I hit the bullseye twice.

bullseye

The adult part of me is glad that I have access to handguns only when I am visiting the United States.

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Mister Rogers Remixed & Autotuned

By Symphony of Science’s John Boswell for PBS Digital Studios

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Still Not A Player / The Boy Is Mine remix

I finally figured out how to mix songs together. I used Audacity, a free, open source audio editing program.

When I was younger, a friend (Tina) thought that Big Pun’s “Still Not a Player” and Brandy/Monica’s “The Boy Is Mine” would sound good remixed together. I think it sounds pretty good. (Update: Link broke.)

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Productivity Protip: RedFlagDeals + Google Alerts

If you want to wait for an item to go on sale, but you don’t want to waste your life on RedFlagDeals.com, you can create a Google Alert to automate the act of finding deals applicable to Canadians. Benefit from Canadian crowdsourcing, but have only customized information delivered to your inbox.

Let’s say you want to wait for olive oil to go on sale. Just create a new Google Alert with a search query like:

site:redflagdeals.com "olive oil"

This is a Google search for the term “olive oil” only within the domain redflagdeals.com. Set the “Result type” to “Everything”, “How often” to “As-it-happens”, and “How many” to “All results”.

Whenever somebody creates a new forum post on RFD with the term “olive oil”, you will be notified of the post! Not all notifications will be about deals that you want, but it’s a better system than manually hunting for bargains.

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Easy JavaScript Colour Gradients

RainbowVis-JS is JavaScript library I wrote for colour data visualization. Easily map numbers to a smooth-transitioning colour legend.

Mappings

Default

0 -> #ff0000
10 -> #ff4d00
20 -> #ff9900
30 -> #ffe500
40 -> #ccff00
50 -> #80ff00
60 -> #33ff00
70 -> #00e619
80 -> #009966
90 -> #004db3
100 -> #0000ff

Custom

-0.5 -> #ff0000
-0.4 -> #ff3333
-0.3 -> #ff6666
-0.2 -> #ff9999
-0.1 -> #ffcccc
0 -> #ffffff
0.1 -> #ccffcc
0.2 -> #99ff99
0.3 -> #66ff66
0.4 -> #33ff33
0.5 -> #00ff00

Data Visualization

This is a heatmap-style colouring that represents the relative popularity of Linux distros. Red is hottest and black is coldest.

Linux Distribution Popularity (average hits per day)
Mint 3065
Ubuntu 2170
Fedora 1693
openSUSE 1398
Debian 1365
Arch 1197
CentOS 980
PCLinuxOS 950
Puppy 876
Mageia 770

Canvas Drawing

I drew this with HTML5 Canvas, but the below image is just a screen capture.

Rainbow arc originally drawn with HTML5 Canvas
A working demo of these examples—with source code—are in the example.html file in the github repository.

Continue reading

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My grandmother was a diva.

Rebecca Liang
1924-2012

My grandma dressed in fashionable Western clothes and wore her hair in a beehive during the 1960s. She spent her income on chocolates and countless pairs of silk stockings, silk stockings being a luxury item at the time. My grandma thought that being a secretary was the ideal job for a woman, because she thought that secretaries were glamourous.

She thought that red was the prettiest colour, and she hated the colour black. The colour silver was not good enough to her; she deserved gold.

When we went to grandma’s place, there was always an open box of chocolates, which she encouraged us to eat. My grandma sometimes made us a sweet, peanut, dessert soup that tasted like liquid peanut butter. However, she wasn’t always a good cook. Her version of “spaghetti” was fried pasta noodles with ketchup. But she made it for us, because my sister and I liked spaghetti.

Whenever I was bored, I could pore over her National Geographic collection, which she subscribed to for many years. My grandma was smart. She could do lightning-fast mental arithmetic and made sure people didn’t shortchange her. She was literate in English and Chinese, and she learned French and Japanese.

In her later years, my grandma started to forget, and became more depressed and silent. She started having trouble counting. When someone told her that I was her granddaughter, she told them they were crazy. She started losing her appetite, so we gave her Ensure or Boost meal replacement, in chocolate flavour.

My grandmother was 87 when she passed away in her sleep on the morning of January 1st, New Year’s Day. My grandma was a diva, and she was fabulous.

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Best Monospace Font

Here are my top four monospace fonts displaying “In 100 years, Gates and Jobs will be forgotten, but Torvalds’ name will live on.”

1. Consolas

In 100 years, Gates and Jobs will be forgotten, but Torvalds' name will live on.
I first noticed this font when looking at my friend’s printed Java code before a test. I had never seen such a nice-looking monospace font, since I usually work in Ubuntu Linux. I found out that she printed it out in Notepad++, and it was a Windows font named Consolas designed by Lucas de Groot. I prefer free fonts to proprietary (especially Windows) fonts, but Consolas looks the best.

2. DejaVu Sans Mono (‘Monospace’ font of Ubuntu 10.04 Terminal)

In 100 years, Gates and Jobs will be forgotten, but Torvalds' name will live on.
This is the default Terminal font of Ubuntu 10.04. It is listed as ‘Monospace’, but ‘Monospace’ is an alias for DejaVu Sans Mono. DejaVu fonts are free. It’s not as nice as Consolas, and the zero is dotted instead of slashed, but it looks very nice on the console.

3. Inconsolata

In 100 years, Gates and Jobs will be forgotten, but Torvalds' name will live on.
Inspired by Consolas, Raph Levien designed the free font Inconsolata and released it under the SIL Open Font License. It has a slashed zero, and the dots of the i’s and the periods are circles instead of squares, but the font looks a bit vertically stretched.

4. Anonymous Pro

In 100 years, Gates and Jobs will be forgotten, but Torvalds' name will live on.
Anonymous Pro is another free font. The letters are aesthetically proportional and the zero is slashed, but it is a bit over-the-top with some overly serifed numbers and uppercase letters.

Dan Benjamin has a similar list in Top 10 Programming Fonts, if you want to see more favourably-reviewed monospaced fonts.

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