All three volumes of the Feynman Lectures on Physics online

Yes, it’s true. The great Feynman Lectures on Physics are now online. Volumes one, two and three, cover everything from mechanics to quantum mechanics. A must for anyone interested in physics.

I’d also recommend it to anyone looking to write pieces on how to explain something technical.

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A simple example of how to set up a PHP-MySQL application in IBM Bluemix (including the code you need)

While PHP is not one of the standard runtimes provided in the Bluemix catalog, the sample code in this git repo (
https://hub.jazz.net/git/u27275/blm-hello-world-php/) will show you how to bring your own buildpack, and this buildpack will allow you to have PHP code running in Bluemix that also can talk to a MySQL database running in Bluemix.

Among the files there is a PDF providing detailed instructions on how to set things up in IBM Bluemix.

P.S. This is sample code.  See the licence file in the repo for more details.

How much sleep do we need? Seven hours? Eight?

This WSJ article makes the case that you can probably get by with less than eight. Given the audience of the Wall Street Journal, I am not surprised they would have such an article.

For more reasonable people, this article in Real Simple (So Now We Only Need 7 Hours of Sleep? Not So Fast) makes more sense.

As I get older I lean towards getting more sleep, but to each their own.

Regardless, the weekend is coming up. Get some sleep.

P.S. The image, from the wikipedia section on sleep, shows the downside of lack of sleep.

Everyone should have a good minestrone soup recipe

And this one from Food52 could be yours. Once you get in the habit of making minestrone, you can really adopt any set of vegetables and beans you have to make the soup you want. Don’t like cabbage? Don’t use it. Out of chickpeas (garbanzo beans)? Use something else. It may not strickly be minestrone if you do, but who cares: it will still be delicious. Needless to say, this is a great way to use up bits and pieces of vegetables in your crisper.

 

Why Read the Classics? Italo Calvino has the reasons

It’s the weekend. You could use something to read. Instead of going to the latest books — which are no doubt very good — why not consider picking up a classic and reading it. If you are furrowing your brow at the thought, please take a moment and read Calvino’s argument for why you should in this NY Review of Books piece.

One thing that Calvino doesn’t mention is that the classics can be fun. Not all of them, of course, but many of them can be as delightful and engrossing as any book you might find.

Whatever your reasoning to select one, here’s hoping you start reading one this weekend. Enjoy!

(The image contains text from Calvino’s book, “If on a winter’s night a traveler” and it contains the best description of the process of reading. I don’t know if it’s a classic yet, but it will be and is also a great read.)

Teach your kids (and parents…and yourself) how to download software

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Why? Because they are going to do it regardless of whether or not you teach them, and if you don’t teach them properly, there is a good chance they will download malware or at least the wrong software.

To back up, my son was complaining last night he could not download some software for his computer. He had gone onto Google, entered “download software XYZ” and clicked on the first thing at the top of the page. Now often times the first thing is NOT what you want: it is some company that purchased the right to show up first. I told him to instead look at the URLs that are displayed, and look for the company name in the URL. I told him to be careful about what you click on. (The software he wanted was on the first page of the search results, but about 3 or 4 entries down.)

The safest thing is to always have them talk to you before they download something. Or you email them a safe link instead of them clicking on what shows up in Google.

Thought for the Day

Via Real Simple magazine.