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

“If an alien in a galaxy 65 million light years away is looking at us through a telescope right now, then they are looking at dinosaurs.”

“Current neuroscience research shows that gratitude practice begins the process of shutting down the default-mode network (‘monkey mind’), which is responsible for many of our distractions.”

I added the “monkey mind” part. This quote comes from my current favorite book, Right Concentration: A Practical Guide to the Jhanas.

Rolling Stone and Business Insider report that Elon Musk asks himself six questions “any time he needs to come up with an idea, solve a problem, or decide whether to start a business.”

Elon Musk's six questions (the scientific method)

I found this “roadrunner in hightops” in the catalog.

Roadrunner in hightops

I used Scrivener 2 in the process of writing Functional Programming, Simplified, and Scrivener 3 is now out. has a review of it.

Li Haoyi wrote an article, What’s wrong with SBT?, where he discusses (in detail) some of the problems of SBT.

I was wondering where the term “key fob” originally came from, and I found this article about its etymology.

Key fob meaning/etymology

Girl in a store: Mom, we have to get away from these candles, the smell makes me sick.

Mother: Oh, dear, you know that’s all in your head.

Me: Actually, it’s a possible indicator of mast cell disease.

*mother and daughter silently turn and walk away*

Some people come into your life and even if they don't stay in it for long, they make an impact that changes you forever. Happy birthday to two people today (November 19th), one who made my life miserable, and another who made it wonderful.

When I wrote the Scala Cookbook, I gave each recipe and then each chapter my full attention. I thought that if I wrote each recipe as well as possible, and included important recipes in each chapter, well, I wanted each chapter to be worth the price of the entire book. That was my goal.

As a result of this effort -- and perhaps to the chagrin of my editor -- the Scala collections chapters ended up being 130 pages in length.

Per, Amazon is going to be backing the ONNX AI/ML project.

Amazon is backing ONNX has this article about the iPhone X and a few quotes from Jonathan Ive.

Here’s a link to some slides from a Lightbend presentation titled, Scala 2.13 & Beyond.

“I view spiritual practice as the freeing of awareness from identification with anything ... One of the ways to do that is, for example, to pick an object of concentration and focus on that, and let everything else come and go. So let’s say I’m gonna follow my breath, rising and falling, rising and falling. Now my awareness can feel that muscle going up and down, that’s really where the focus is.”

Boston Dynamics’ Atlas robot can now jump on and off platforms, and also does a back flip. The video is here on YouTube. has this article about a Google study that shows that the best managers use emotional intelligence.

A nice thing about most hotels in Santa Fe is that they treat water like you’re living on the Space Station. They have signs like, “You may have noticed that there’s not a lot of water around here. Please don’t waste it! Thank you, the management.”

At restaurants they usually only give you water if you ask for it, and I remember one time a waitress asked if I was really going to drink it or just look at it.

All of which reminds me of being at a hostel one time, where there was a sign that said, “Save water, shower together.” :)

Water use in hotels in Santa Fe, New Mexico

“I can’t judge. There are two kinds of people in Alaska: those who were born here, and those who come here to escape something. I wasn’t born here.”

~ Rachel Clement, Insomnia