I finally found a calorie counting iOS app that I like. It's called CalorieCalc.

It's crazy dead simple, which is what I prefer. Don't give me a giant food database to pull from, don't try to track my exercise, and don't ask me to care about micro-nutrients. Just let me tell you my calorie limit for the day and then allow me to burn down from that limit by manually entering calories for each meal/snack.

I suspect that I'm in the vast minority in wanting such a limited calorie counting app.

OMG! A new single from the utterly flawless Hayden James.



One of my more favorite moments in life: The day Hayden James retweeted me.

Having Rubocop tell me that my Ruby code is stylistically flawless makes me feel very good. No, really.

I did some iPhone house cleaning today, and I'm surprised by how refreshed it makes me feel.

I changed my "lock screen" image:

Best of all, by categorizing all of my apps I forced everything onto a single page.

It's the little things...

How to Rob is a 1999 song from 50 Cent (that I just discovered). It's apparently what initially put 50 on everyone's radar. 

Aside from being a great track, its approach is interesting: 50 envisions himself robbing the world's biggest hip hop and R&B artists (at the time), one by one. The song's Wikipedia page even lists out each artist that 50 targets (in the order in which they are mentioned):

  • Lil' Kim
  • P Diddy
  • Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston
  • Brian McKnight
  • Keith Sweat
  • Cardan
  • Harlem World
  • Mase
  • Ol' Dirty Bastard
  • Foxy Brown and Kurupt
  • Jay-Z
  • Case
  • Trackmasters
  • Slick Rick
  • Stevie J
  • Big Pun
  • Master P
  • Silkk The Shocker
  • Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith
  • Timbaland and Missy Elliott
  • Joe
  • Jermaine Dupri and Da Brat
  • DMX
  • Treach
  • DJ Clue
  • TQ
  • Raekwon, Ghostface Killah and RZA
  • Sticky Fingaz
  • Fredro Starr
  • Canibus
  • Heavy D
  • Juvenile
  • Blackstreet
  • R. Kelly (though not by name, is referenced within the lyrics)
  • Boyz II Men and Michael Bivins
  • Mike Tyson and Robin Givens
  • Mister Cee
  • Busta Rhymes and the Flipmode Squad
  • Kirk Franklin

My favorite two lines turn out to both be fat jokes (which I normally don't condone). On Big Pun:

I'll rob Pun without a gun, snatch his piece then run
This n____ weigh 400 pounds, how he gonna catch me, son?

And on Missy Elliott:

Run up on Timbaland and Missy with the pound
Like, "You, give me the cash; you, put the hot dog down"

The song apparently won 50 both a bunch of admirers and a slew of enemies, which is not surprising. All of the lyrics are on Genius.

Today I finished the Mogul: The Life and Death of Chris Lighty podcast. I enjoyed it.

If you're not familiar with Lighty, he was a "500 pound Gorilla"-level manager of major hip hop artists. When I started the podcast, I didn't think I had heard of him, but it didn't take me long to recognise him as A Tribe Called Quest's manager that is a talking head in Michael Rapaport's outstanding documentary Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest (I vividly remember Lighty from that documentary, because he used the term "esoteric" in his interview in referring to Q-Tip, and I remember that was the first time I had heard that word used before). Lighty's was a true rags-to-riches story, which ends in a tragic suicide.

Aside from being a well-produced, thoughtful deep dive into an interesting subject, I was struck throughout the podcast by how wonderful it is that someone would take the time to tell this story. Lighty isn't a big enough name to carry a film documentary, and that's where the podcast medium really shines. It allows you to do deep dives into subjects that have (seemingly) small audiences, but using a richer medium than long-form written journalism.

Below is a trailer of the podcast.

Childish Gambino's new music video This is America is something special, to say the least.



Provocative, disturbing, and dense...while somehow still catchy. Donald Glover continues to surprise me.

I quickly surged through the entire Heaven's Gate podcast. I had obviously heard of the group before, but I only knew the big broad strokes. Below are three new things that I learned from the podcast:

  • While Herff Applewhite was the face of the group (and the face that I remember from news coverage), the group's dominant leader/founder was Bonnie Nettles (who died 12 years before the mass suicide). Nettles and Applewhite were known as Ti and Do, respectfully
  • A number of the male members castrated themselves while in the group. From a Rolling Stone article:
    Applewhite and other members underwent the procedure to help ensure they remained celibate. Applewhite, who had been fired as a music professor at the University of St. Thomas in 1970 after administrators learned he had sex with a male student, sought cures for his homosexual urges. He wanted to find a way to have "platonic relationship where he could develop his full potential without sexual entanglements," said one reporter who infiltrated the group in 1975. Castration, Applewhite believed, could make that easier. Ultimately, the group instituted a strict "no sex, no human-level relationships, no socializing" rule.

    Though decisions like this were always left up to the members, eight followers were castrated voluntarily, including Applewhite. "They couldn't stop smiling and giggling," former member DiAngelo told Newsweek. "They were excited about it."
  • While 39 members committed suicide as a group in March 1997, four additional members (who weren't present during the group suicide) killed themself later, on their own.
Below is a trailer for the podcast. I recommend it.

Below is a good example of someone brand new to Ruby (me!) and someone with Ruby experience (not me!) solving the exact same problem. These two methods have the same goal: accept a string, reverse and return it.
def solution(sentence)

  sentence_as_array = sentence.split(" ").reverse!

  reversed_string = ""
  sentence_as_array.each do |x|

    reversed_string = reversed_string + x + " "

  end

  return reversed_string.chop

end

def better_solution(sentence)

  sentence.split(" ").reverse.join(" ")

end

It's crazy how much more elegant the second method is.

I enjoyed the Chef's Table episode on Christina Tosi and her Momofuku Milk Bar. Her menu is fun to look over, especially Cereal Milk Soft Serve, which is, "Made with milk, cornflakes, brown sugar and a pinch of salt, it tastes just like the milk at the bottom of a bowl of cornflakes!"

Parkinson's Law claims that:

  • Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.
  • If you wait until the last minute, it only takes a minute to do.
  • The demand upon a resource tends to expand to match the supply of the resource (If the price is zero).
  • The amount of time that one has to perform a task is the amount of time it will take to complete the task.
I'm scared to admit that this is very likely true, especially with things that I work on. When I'm sometimes forced to push something out with very little time and under pressure, I'm often surprised (and secretly bummed) that no one notices. Time boxing and forcing mechanisms are probably good things, in many cases.

Reverend Carlton Pearson was a popular and traditional Evangelical leader; a mentee of Oral Roberts. And then one day, he realized that he no longer believed in hell. He now believed that God saves all, through universal reconciliation.

When my little girl, who'll be nine next month, was an infant, I was watching the evening news. The Hutus and Tutsis were returning from Rwanda to Uganda. And Peter Jennings was doing a piece on it. Now, Majesty was in my lap, my little girl. I'm eating the meal, and I'm watching these little kids with swollen bellies. And it looks like their skin is stretched across their little skeletal remains. Their hair is kind of red from malnutrition. The babies, they've got flies in the corners of their eyes and in their mouths. And they reach for their mother's breast. And the mother's breast looks like a little pencil hanging there. I mean the baby's reaching for the breast. There's no milk. And I, with my little fat-faced baby, and a plate of food, and a big screen television -- and I said, God, I don't know how you could call yourself a loving, sovereign God, and allow these people to suffer this way, and just suck them right into hell, which is what was my assumption. And I heard a voice say within me, so that's what you think we're doing? And I remember I didn't say yes or no. I said, that's what I've been taught. We're sucking them into hell? I said yes. And what would change that? Well, they need to get saved. And how would that happen? Well, somebody needs to preach the gospel to them and get them saved. So if you think that's the only way they're going to get saved is for somebody to preach the gospel to them and that we're sucking them into hell, why don't you put your little baby down, turn your big screen television off, push your plate away, get on the first thing smoking, and go get them saved? And I remember I broke into tears. I was very upset. I remember thinking, God, don't put that guilt on me. I've given you the best 40 years of my life. Besides, I can't save the whole world. I'm doing the best I can. I can't save this whole world. And that's where I remember -- and I believe it was God saying, precisely, you can't save this world. That's what we did.
This realization eventually sent his career into a death spiral.

This American Life covered this story in 2005, but re-ran it again recently in promotion of their upcoming Netflix series "Come Sunday."



I haven't watched the show yet, but the podcast was moving. I found myself rooting for and sympathizing with Pearson. He seems like a genuine and brave man that is following his heart despite the costs.

Fortune has a solid piece on Mark Karpelès, the former owner of Mt. Gox. If you haven't heard of Mt. Gox, it was once the world's largest bitcoin exchange, which flamed out in epic fashion after mysteriously losing 850,000 of its customer's bitcoins. But wait, the plots thickens.

It wasn’t until his lawyers had gone home for the day that Karpelès could retreat to his computer, and that’s when he noticed the shocking number on his screen. Following his company’s collapse, he’d spent days methodically double-checking Mt. Gox’s old digital wallets, where the secret alphanumeric keys for accessing Bitcoins are stored. One after another—a dozen so far—the wallets had come up empty. But this time, when the blockchain-scanning program finished running after six hours, it had silently served up an unexpected result: He’d found 200,000 Bitcoins, stashed away in an archived file in the cloud—apparently forgotten and untouched for three years.
So great, you're thinking: he found 200,000 of the 850,000 missing bitcoins. Yes, but also, by that time the price of a single bitcoin had sky-rocketed. This meant that the 200,000 re-discovered bitcoins were worth ~10x more than lost bitcoins. Now what?

I'm constantly re-using the same exact code snippets, for which I never remember the exact syntax. Today I found the free and awesome Snippet Bar, which lives in my macOS menu bar and will prevent me from having to re-look up each code snippet's syntax every time that I need to use it. Win!

Progress Bar OSX is an adorable menu bar app that lives in your toolbar and tells you how much of your day, month, and year you have remaining.



At first glance I thought this was charming and useful. After thinking about it more though, I could see myself forgetting about this app within minutes of installing it. I really want to like it, for some reason.

I've been listening to a lot of Dawn Golden lately.



I tend to gravitate (not exclusively) towards music that feels apathetic and effortless. Golden certainly meets that criteria. His music reminds me of Bob Moses.

It's hard not to love this Spike Jonze-directed advertisement for Apple's new HomePod.



I'm torn on the HomePod. It looks like a beautiful piece of hardware (from the best design shop on the planet) -- but I'm skeptical that Siri can be as helpful as Alexa, especially considering Alexa plugs into the Amazon's rich shopping eco-system.

I'm not quite half-way through Open Culture's five-part, meticulously crafted series on Paul Thomas Anderson. Part 1 is below, the rest are here. Good stuff.

It only took me about 20 years to discover this Fiona Apple music video covering The Beatle's "Across the Universe." It was directed by her then boyfriend P.T. Anderson.



My god those eyes. She's haunting.

I enjoyed a GQ article from 2009 about the day-to-day life of an air traffic controller. It's a high-stress job that pays poorly, requires overtime, and has really shitty tech.

"These airplanes are headed toward each other on intersecting runways. Too fast. Too soon. Here it comes. The MD-80 is not over the threshold.… Fuck. “Go around!” Cali says into his headset, instructing the RJ to abort its landing. It’s too close to the MD-80. It’s too close… The plane swoops down, then up abruptly, like a gull with a fresh kill." […] "LaGuardia has thousands of go-arounds a year. At an airport like this, everything is a close call, everything is dependent on split-second decisions, snap judgments, jets constantly barreling toward each other. It’s people, just people, with nerves of steel and uncommon courage, keeping the planes from bashing into each other. Just people."

I always assumed the whole operation was mostly automated. It's terrifying to learn how manual and error-prone it all is, plus how unhappy most of the controllers are.