“If you’re going through hell, keep going.” ~ Winston Churchill

“Never let the fear of striking out get in your way.” ~ Babe Ruth

“In a functional program, input flows through a set of functions. Each function operates on its input and produces some output. Functional style discourages functions with side effects that modify internal state or make other changes that aren’t visible in the function’s return value. Functions that have no side effects at all are called purely functional. Avoiding side effects means not using data structures that get updated as a program runs; every function’s output must only depend on its input.” (from python.org)

Mary Rose Cook has written a great, simple introduction to functional programming. The image shows the introduction to her article. I find it interesting to think of certain aspects of functional programming as writing pipelines, as in Unix/Linux pipeline commands. If your methods/functions have no side effects, you can write pipelines in your functional code.

I’m still in the eval period, but Artboard looks like a good, simple Mac OS X drawing application. I currently use GIMP for almost everything, but it’s not really intended for certain things.

This short interview titled The Tao of The RZA reminds me of the movie Ghost Dog:

“According to what one of the Elders say,
taking an enemy on the battlefield
is like a hawk taking a bird;

Even though it enters into
the midst of a thousand of them,
it pays no attention to any bird
other than the one that it has first marked.”

Time magazine has a list of the best inventions of 2014. Some of them are kind of a joke to me, but a personal nuclear reactor and wireless electricity would be welcome.

When my thyroid was first failing, my face would be really green when I woke up in the morning. In a weird way I kinda miss that.

I was just reminded that functions are values just like Int, String, etc. Beyond the “typical” use cases, this is also true when it comes to supplying a default value for a function parameter that you’re passing into a method.

As some quick background, as I showed in the Scala Cookbook, you can define a method that provides default values for one or more of its parameters like this:

After moving into my new apartment, my Raspberry Pi Radio (also known as “Al Radio” or “Radio Pi”) kept dropping its WiFi connection. I couldn’t figure out why, but finally realized it did it whenever I ran the microwave oven. After a few hard RPI reboots I realized that I needed to find a solution, and I just found this “Rebooting the Raspberry Pi WiFi” article.

This quote is from San Antonio Spurs’ head coach Gregg Popovich. I know the feeling.

One thing I like about Functional Programming (FP) is that it makes programming much easier. Whenever fear and doubt creep into my mind when I’m writing code I think, “A pure function depends only on its inputs and outputs, and as long as (a) I get the right inputs and (b) I know the equations, then (c) I know I can write one function,” something like that. Put another way, when things get overwhelming, it helps to have a motto of, “One function at a time.” (Image from the book, Haskell: The Craft of Functional Programming .)

I run into this at least once or twice a year, and it drives me crazy that people still require you to use fax machines. I don’t mind a fax as an option, but for some businesses like pharmacies, doctors, rental agencies, and financial institutions, it’s how they operate. (Image is from this Twitter post.)

Over the course of a few hours this past week I created a little “scratchpad” text editor I named AlPad. It’s gone through several names, but since I’m just writing it for me, the name seems appropriate.

It’s not really correct to call AlPad an “editor”; it’s really just an app where I can keep a collection of miscellaneous notes I usually make when I’m working. It has very few features, just some ones I want and can implement easily:

I just got this in the mail. A local town is having a “cookie exchange,” and being something of a cookie connoisseur, I may have to check this out.

A few “lessons learned” from watching White Christmas last night.

This image is from the book, Functional Programming for the Object-Oriented Programmer. It provides a good, basic definition of functional programming.

This is a painting of a roadhouse in Wasilla, Alaska, circa 1957. It reminds me of living in Talkeetna. I found it on the “Last Frontier Magazine” Twitter page.

“People care about things that are thoughtfully conceived and well made ... our success is a victory for purity, integrity -- for giving a damn.” ~ Jonathan Ive, Apple

Wow, I have to say, I’ve never gotten out of an airplane to push it when it was 58 degrees below zero.