Category Archives: advice

The surprisingly easy way anyone can start an art collection

If you love art, but believe you have to have tons of money or an art history degree to have an art collection, then take a few minutes and watch the above videos from the good people at art interiors (two of whom are in the video). After watching it, you’ll feel it’s something you can achieve, I’m sure.

Next step? I recommend a visit to their site and store to see what they have that suits you.

Good luck!

Sixteen ways to think about and improve your life

Over the last year or so, I’ve found these worthwhile pieces on how to think about life and how to improve it. If you find one of these worthwhile and it improves your life as a result of you reading it, then I think collecting and writing about these is worthwhile.

  1. If you are feeling lonely and want to understand and deal with it better, consider this: The Science of Loneliness: How Isolation Can Kill You – New Republic
  2. One idea you can consider: talk to strangers. Hello, Stranger –
  3. If you need new ways to live a better life, courtesy of a famous person….7 Steps to Living a Bill Murray Life – Vulture
  4. Or if you like to write, try to improve your life via writing: Writing Your Way to Happiness – (I am guessing some writers would not agree with it)
  5. If you struggle to be happy, this could help: Everyone wants to be happy. Almost everyone is going about it wrong. – Vox
  6. If you want to be more optimistic, consider the big picture, presented here: A Cockeyed Optimist –
  7. If you think you are working too much and are often thinking of cutting back, this could help you: Keynes’ 15 Hour Work Week Is Here Right Now
  8. Lots of good ideas via a collected stream of tweets, here: Things @GhostfaceKnitta Learned in 2015 (with tweets) · valerieinto · Storify
  9. Why should you give away money and be happier: Giving money away makes us happy. Then why do so few of us do it? – Vox
  10. Don’t hesitate when it comes to improving your life. You have less time than you think. See this to see why: These graphics will make you rethink your life – Tech Insider
  11. Being laid off will happen to everyone. If that’s you now,  and you are struggling with it, consider: Advice For the Recently Laid Off – Medium
  12. Self Confidence makes for a better life. Here’s how to become that way and more so: The Truth On How To Become Self Confident
  13. Change your mind, change your life. How? One way: Rewire your brain: Why Practice Makes Perfect: How to Rewire Your Brain for Performance
  14. If you struggle with your thoughts (e.g., worry too much), read : BBC – Future – Why we should stop worrying about our wandering minds
  15. Sometimes the way to improve our lives is not to have more, but to seek less and not be caught up in the trappings of status. To live a simpler life, like this: Here’s why one of the world’s richest men wears hand-me-down clothes – The Washington Post
  16. More on how to live with less. Living With Less. A Lot Less. – The New York Times

(Image from one of the articles linked to on

Democracy in action – An Introduction to Field Organizing

If you want to do more than vote in an election, especially if you are an American, then read this: THIS ELECTION IS FREAKING ME OUT, WHAT CAN I DO!? (An Introduction to Field Organizing). Obviously this is geared towards Hillary Clinton supporters for president, but read it regardless of you who you plan to vote for and at what level.  It should help you get to the point of at least knowing the right questions to ask and where you might go next to get more involved.

Voting is important, but there is much more to democracy than that. If you step up, your involvement will make a difference, regardless of your role. Good for you for taking that next step.

Zara makes good fragrance for young men

My teenage son was wanting to wear fragrance, and I found that when it comes to this, there is something of a dilemma. On one hand, low cost fragrances (e.g. under $20) smell awful. (Think fresh cut lime juice mixed with a bottle of cat urine.) Fragrances that are appealing, on the other hand, can easily cost $50, $60, $70 and more. This wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t for the fact that teen age boys (based on my limited observations) go through a lot of fragrance.

A way out of that dilemma is to buy fragrance from Zara. The fragrances above cost around $15 and they cover a range of scents. Some have more citrus, others more floral, some have dominant woody notes. In short, you can likely find a scent he will like that won’t cost you a fortune.

Do these fragrances have the richness or complexity of a product from Issey Miyake or Tom Ford? Nope. But he’ll smell better than his buddies drenched in Axe, even if he puts on too much at first, which he probably will. Your pocketbook and the people who have to share close space with him will thank you.

P.S. The two fragrances above come from a line of Zara fragrances named after famous streets. The packaging looks like the kind you would get with high end fragrances. I recommend them. That said, Zara has a number of fragrance lines. It will likely be painful, but try and get him to go and check out the fragrances himself so he will pick one he’ll like and wear.

P.S.S. These fragrances are not just for teenage boys,  of course. Anyone can wear them if it appeals to them.

Developers and IT people: you need to have more than a good resume/CV

If you are a software developer or someone working in IT, you need to consider having more than a good resume or CV. You should consider having:

  1. an up to date profile in LinkedIn
  2. a professional web site (at least a one pager). It could be a blog, or an page…something that provides information about yourself in a summary form.
  3. some repositories on github showing your work or an example of what you can do.

If you use to host your professional web site, you get to cross off #2 and #3 with one effort.

I was reminded of this when I went to check out this page: DevProgress Tech Volunteer Questionnaire. You can see them asking for this information. It makes sense: if you are looking to hire a developer, it would be great to see not just what people are saying about them on LinkedIn, but what their code looks like too.

For some employees, putting code on github may not be an option. In that case focus on the first two and have a page somewhere on the web that discusses why you can’t host code there.


Want to understand what artificial intelligence and machine learning is?

If you want a better understanding of artificial intelligence or if you want to gain some insight into the future of machine learning, I recommend these two free reports, found here: Free AI Reports from  O’Reilly Media. There’s so much hype and speculation about AI: these reports cut through all that noise and they will give you a better understanding of what A.I. really is and where it is going.

P.S. If you like them, check out the many great non-A.I. related reports as well. You don’t have to be a technologist to be able to read them.

Should you take St John’s wort for depression, and other advice on supplements

This is a wonderful interactive chart that shows you how worthwhile (or worthless) certain supplements are, based on evidence (as opposed to anecdote or worse): Snake Oil Supplements from Information is Beautiful.

If you are a fan of a certain supplement, you can use this chart to discover what it is good for. And if you have a certain health concern, you can use the chart to determine what may work and what’s a waste of money.

If you like this, check out more of the charts on the information is beautiful site. They have lots of good charts.