Today’s a bit of a health and fitness special to compensate for all the Thanksgiving excesses. But first, some programming.
All I Need to Be a Better Programmer I Learned in Kindergarten Sometimes the basics can be boiled down to just a few sentences. Sometimes I think I knew more when I was five than I do now. Of course, that’s a lie, but it’s worth thinking about.
Code Fearlessly I think version control is amazing. I’ve been using Git for a few years now (Subversion before then) and I keep all my writing as well as my code in repositories, backed up to Amazon and a VPS. The great thing about version control is how it lets you make mistakes and try out wild ideas without worrying about how you’ll get back to a working state if you break something.
Health and Fitness
The Creative Brain on Exercise I know, I know. Exercise doesn’t come naturally to most of us spending our days in front of our screens. But given how much of our work is creative in nature, it makes sense to take care of our engines of creation. I think the time spent in exercise will more than pay itself back over the years (in saved medical bills and lost work time if nothing else).
How Getting Buff Can Make You a Better Rubyist. In case you’re wondering about whether any of this exercise and diet stuff actually works or not, here’s some evidence straight from the source. This is worth watching even if you’re not a programmer, but just someone who has a normally sedentary work life.
Tim Ferriss on the 4-Hour Body at the NEXT conference I know that so-called “extreme” advice such as provided by Tim in his book always earns a skeptical look, but I find his idea of minimum effective dose quite interesting. If you’re looking for the most efficient ways to change your body for the better, this is a must-watch.
Eat to Live If you’d rather have advice from a medical doctor who’s also changed the lives of dozens (if not hundreds) of people, this book is your best bet. I tend to think of it as more of a primer on nutrition and health in general rather than just a diet or fitness book. It might take you some time to get through it (though it’s a small book) but again, the investment is definitely worth it.
A new medium requires a new literacy The times they are a changing, and keeping up is not a easy business. This article from the Huffington Post talks about how the idea that younger generations are automatically better equipped to deal with technology isn’t quite true and how education is perhaps more important either. It’s centric to the United States but could easily be generalized to the world at large.
Staying healthy and sane at a startup Most of us might not be working day-in-day-out to get our awesome startup off the ground, but this post from former Twitter API lead Alex Payne is useful to anyone working at an intellectual desk job. It discusses the value of diet, exercise and meditation and offers some sane and down-to-earth advice on how to keep yourself in shape (physically and mentally). I’m starting to implement these in my own life (especially diet and exercise) and I hope to see some good effects.
How web video powers global innovation YouTube often gets a bad rap for being a time and productivity sink and to a large I think that’s true. In this TED talk, TED’s CEO Chris Anderson talks about how the rise in online video is helping to boost global innovation on a multitude of levels. This doesn’t mean you’re justified in spending hours watching cats do funny things but it does mean that online video is more than just entertainment.
Google Voice If you’re not using Google Voice, you should be. Voice gives you a number that acts a “proxy” between the caller and you’re actual phone. Why is it awesome? Because it gives you an unprecedented amount of control over how you receive and handle phone calls. If you have multiple physical phones you can redirect calls to your Voice number to any (or all) of them. You can set rules for who gets to call you and when or you can just turn on the “Do Not Disturb” mode which sends everything to voicemail. Voice also presents voicemail in an email-like web interface so that you can see who called you in once glance. And lest I forget, you get free SMS too.