Reasons to be optimistic in 26 charts

The folks at Vox have put together this: 26 charts and maps that show the world is getting much, much better.

One of my favourite statistics/charts is this one:

Even hardcore pessimists have a difficult time with that one. :)

The other 25 charts are worth checking out. They highlight significant areas where life is getting better. If you need a reason to be optimistic or to be more optimistic (or to be less pessimistic), you owe it to yourself to see the Vox post and then think about it.


Git 201: how to get to the next level with git

There are quite a few really good introductions to git. I’ve written about them here. Once you get past “git 101″, where do you go to learn more and be more productive with git? I’d like to recommend this article:
developerWorks: Learn the workings of Git, not just the commands. It should help you get to the next level. I particularly like the diagrams: there are alot of them, and they help you better understand the flow that can occur when you really start capitalizing on git.

The problem with using “but” in expressing condolences

It has always struck me as wrong, when I read something along these lines:

It is a tragedy that Mr or Ms X died, but..

If it has you feeling the same way, I recommend you read this: BUT | Snakes and Ladders.

If I have sympathy for someone who has died, I express that. If I don’t, I hold my tongue until a more suitable time.

Why you should be wary of any tech pieces in the New York Times

I used to feel the urge to write posts whenever the New York Times did an article on something that was centered around IT, because they would get so much wrong. It isn’tt just something that happens occasionally either: it seems to happen often. That’s why you should be wary of tech pieces in the Times.

Case in point, the story about Sony being hacked. For this story,  someone has done the work for me: Anatomy of a NYT Piece on the Sony Hack and Attribution | Curmudgeonly Ways. I recommend this piece.

I would warn you to be careful in coming to any conclusions about a matter related to IT based on what you read there.

A good reminder that Kickstarter in not just for multimillion dollar projects

It is easy to think of Kickstarter as mainly a platform for massive projects. One example of that is the insane success of the recent Kickstarter project, Exploding Kittens (it raised the money it needed in 20 minutes and now is raking in millions of dollars), but it is only one example of many over the last few years.  I started to associate Kickstarter solely with such projects.

But Kickstarter is for lots and lots of people, many of them raising modest sums to do something worthwhile but on a much much smaller scale than “Kittens”. A good example of that is this project, Naked by Betty — Kickstarter.

The project is “A series of (self portrait) photographs capturing the beauty of the human body beneath the skin.” (The image above is from the project description.) The artist was looking to raise $680 to pay for material needed to complete the work. It’s a reasonable amount, and the ability for projects like this to be successful is what made Kickstarter great to me.

I highly recommend this project. (I also backed it.) And there are lots and lots of projects like that out there. I recommend you look past the high profile projects on Kickstarter and other such sites and look to the smaller projects instead. You (as a project sponsor) and the project owners will both benefit.

How to be more efficient online: the very big list

The folks at Buffer have put together a very big list of 100 tools, tips and tricks to work more efficiently online. I have gone over it and there are lots and lots of good tools and tips and other advice to help you be more productive and get the most out of being online. Stop wasting time on social media** and start being more productive by clicking on that link now.

** Reading this blog does not count as wasting time on social media. :)

Another tool to help with stress: the Online Meditation Timer

The folks at this site have a number of tools to help with stress, including this: Equanimity Project: Online Meditation Timer.

If you can sit quietly at your desk for awhile, it may just be the thing to help you calm your mind and get back to a more peaceful state before you proceed with your day.