Alvin Alexander | Java, Scala, Unix, Perl, Mac OS X

There are many nice cartoons/illustrations in Eckhart Tolle’s book Guardians of Being: Spiritual Teachings from Our Dogs and Cats, and this “Shtop Thinking” cartoon is one of my current favorites. (The book is a collaborative effort between Mr. Tolle and Patrick McDonnell, artist/illustrator/cartoonist who may be most well known for his “Mutts” cartoons.)

Shtop Thinking - Guardians of Being

I haven’t tried it yet, but from all of the images I’ve seen, Elementary OS looks like the prettiest desktop Linux distribution I’ve ever seen. I hope to install it this weekend and take it for a spin.

Elementary OS: The prettiest Linux desktop yet

Yesterday I just churned the numbers from the surveys, but last night I started thinking how cool it is that there are one million Scala developers in the world.

I remember when I was wandering around Alaska in 2011 and first stumbled upon Programming in Scala, I found that very few people knew about Scala, maybe numbering in the thousands or tens of thousands at most. I hope Martin Odersky & Company are having a little celebration this year for their success. (And on to two million!)

“Since I had started to break down all my writing and get rid of all facility and try to make instead of describe, writing had been wonderful to do. But it was very difficult, and I did not know how I would ever write anything as long as a novel. It often took me a full morning of work to write a paragraph.”

I was curious how many Scala developers there are in the world, so I did a little research. There aren’t a huge number of data sources, but here’s what I found.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, here’s a thousand words about what the Republican and Democratic parties look like in the United States.

What the Republican and Democratic parties look like in the U.S.

This is probably the coolest and creepiest thing you’ll see all week: Baby owls in the loft.

Per Dr. Tania Dempsey, one of the leading researchers in the mast cell field, “MCAS/MCAD causes chronic inflammation in multiple organs/tissue/systems, with or without allergic-type problems and sometimes even abnormal growth and development in various tissues, and there can be acute flares of symptoms.”

Anyone who has seen the inside of my body through MRIs, CT scans, and ultrasounds will agree with that statement. (I write that with Surgery #8 coming up in about three weeks. As usual, a very experienced doctor used words like, “I’ve never seen that before,” “abnormal,” yada yada yada.)

MCAS/MCAD causes chronic inflammation in multiple organs

The most interesting story for me yesterday was that a mile-wide meteor hit Greenland, possibly as recent as 12,000 years ago, and created an impact crater 19.3 miles wide. The impact would have released 47,000 times the amount of energy that was released by the Little Boy nuclear bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima in 1945. The impact crater was hidden by a half-mile thick sheet of ice until recently. (The image shown comes from the article I linked to.)

A mile-wide meteor hit Greenland and was hidden by an ice sheet

I just saw that the first person to take a chance on me out of college — and a person who would become a mentor to me — passed away last November. Frank Jordan, thank you for everything you did for me. You are missed, and I’m sorry we didn’t stay in touch.

“Since I had started to break down all my writing and get rid of all facility and try to make instead of describe, writing had been wonderful to do.”

“Better to be on the edge of a party, don’t you think?”

Better to be on the edge of a party, don't you think?

I’ve been working on a Kotlin book on and off for the past few months, and this morning I pulled a Steve Jobs on myself and canceled the project, even though it’s about 75% complete (by chapter count).

The problem with the book is that at this point it doesn’t contain anything unique, although arguably my way of explaining things might be better than other approaches. Unlike the Scala Cookbook, which provides solutions to common Scala problems, and Functional Programming, Simplified, which provides a unique approach to explaining functional programming in Scala, I don’t feel like there’s anything new here.

So, in short, without getting into the details of what’s next, the “vision guy” part of me decided that there are better things to do with my time. (And if you’ve ever been on a project that was canceled and you thought it was hard to take, imagine canceling your own project.)

“You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work backwards to the technology.”

~ Steve Jobs, as heard in this 1997 video

As a quick note today, if you ever need some examples of how the Kotlin collections methods work, I hope these examples are helpful.

Sample data

First, here’s some sample data:

val a = listOf(10, 20, 30, 40, 10)
val names = listOf("joel", "ed", "chris", "maurice")

“Why, darling, I don’t live at all when I’m not with you.”

“I didn’t want to kiss you goodbye — that was the trouble — I wanted to kiss you good night — and there’s a lot of difference.”

“Fear is the cheapest room in the house. I would like to see you living in better conditions.”

~ Hafiz (here’s a link to the full poem)

My MacBook recently told me I was running out of disk space. I knew that the way I was backing up my iPhone was resulting in me having multiple copies of photos and videos, so I finally decided to fix that problem by getting rid of all of the duplicate copies of those files.

So I wrote a little Scala program to find all the duplicates and move them to another location, where I could check them before deleting them. The short story is that I started with over 28,000 photos and videos, and the code shown below helped me find nearly 5,000 duplicate photos and videos under my ~/Pictures directory that were taking up over 18GB of storage space. (Put another way, deleting those files saved me 18GB of storage.)

A brief conversation about the symbolism of flowers, from the movie, Midnight in The Garden of Good and Evil:

MANDY: You want to send some flowers?

JOHN: I think so. I don’t know, though. It’s kind of complicated.

MANDY: For whom? What’s she like?

JOHN: I don’t know her that well.

MANDY: Roses are a favorite ... a bit presumptuous. How about poinsettias?

JOHN: Perennials might give the wrong impression.

MANDY: Too long-term?

JOHN: Yeah, it’s hard to say.

MANDY: This is complicated. How about petunias? They’re pretty without being presumptuous, smell nice, and in 3 days you throw them out. Sound like what you’re looking for? (pause) Sorry, we’re all out of petunias.