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

They are called escape rooms. They sell an experience. The experience is escape, both literal and metaphorical. For around $30, you and a handful of friends/colleagues/strangers are “trapped” in some kind of space together and must collaboratively puzzle through a series of challenges to win your freedom.

The clock is ticking: You get 45 minutes, or 60, or 90, to escape, although if you fail, they let you out anyway. Usually, the game offers some kind of story to help explain why you’re solving puzzles in a room with a countdown clock.

Escape is big. There are, by the most recent unofficial count, at least 2,300 escape rooms in the United States.

~ from this story about escape rooms

Related to some work/research I’m currently doing I thought I’d share these links about the Scala 2.13 collections classes:

This older link is also good:

I haven’t read this yet, but here’s a link to an electronic version of a free book titled, The Science of Functional Programming. Who knows, it may one day have an impact on my book, Functional Programming, Simplified.

I just found this tweet from Grzegorz Kossakowski, and agree with it all the way. For Scala, the fusion of OOP+FP is a founding principle — and it’s well-explained in the book Programming in Scala — so lets see where it takes us.

Scala founding idea: Fusion of FP + OOP

My monitor is still a little too low. I guess I need to write a few more books.

Need to write more books

I have my own personal motivational speaker. I discovered him on a trip to Los Alamos, New Mexico. (Sadly, the bookstore in Los Alamos where I found him is no longer in business.)

Albert Einstein doll

With the fireweed blooming in Alaska, summer will soon be yielding to fall and winter.

Fireweed blooming in Alaska (and winter coming)

When people tell me, “You’re gonna regret that in the morning” I sleep in until noon because I’m a problem-solver. :)

I'm a problem solver

I don’t know the original source of this photo, it’s been passed around Facebook a lot, but it’s funny.

Do not trust atoms, they make up everything

Enjoyed Cowboys & Aliens at Wasilla’s fancy new stadium seating movie theater. How strange to walk out of a theater and into a valley of fireweed surrounded by misty mountains.

(A Facebook post from Wasilla, Alaska, August 9, 2011.)

“To do the best design you have to live and breathe the product.”

~ from the book, Jony Ive, The Genius Behind Apple’s Greatest Products

I recently bought a 2013 Sticks calendar in Boulder, Colorado, and it got me interested in the artist. This is another work from, a variation on The Thinker, by Rodin.

The Thinker, from a Sticks calendar

A Honey badger don’t care coffee mug. Very funny, if you’ve seen the video. You used to be able to buy it at this link at Zazzle.

Honey badger don’t care coffee mug

Hello Peter, this is me ... your father ... Walter Bishop. (From the tv series, Fringe.)

Hello Peter, this is me ... your father ... Walter Bishop.

I enjoyed the tv series, “The Finder”, it’s one of my favorite tv series that lasted only one season. I like pretty much everything about it, and loved the quotes from the character played by Michael Clark Duncan. RIP, MCD, you are missed.

Michael Clark Duncan

“The need for discipline disappears when you love what you’re doing.”

~ paraphrasing Tony Gonzalez from a Hall of Fame interview this past week

Back when I was writing Functional Programming, Simplified I started to write a little Scala/FP “To-Do List” application that you can run from the command line. For reasons I don’t remember, I decided not to include it in the book, and forgot about it until I recently started using GraalVM (what I call Graal).

Graal includes a native image feature lets you compile JVM classes and JAR files into native executables, so as I thought about things I can make faster, I was reminded of the To-Do List app and thought about how cool it would be if it started instantaneously. So I found the old project, blew the dust off of it (updated all of its dependencies), and made a few additions so I could create (a) a single, executable JAR file with sbt-assembly, and (b) a native executable with Graal.

Someone on reddit says their therapist has this painting of Cookie Monster wearing a kimono.

Cookie Monster painting

Noting Gone may lead to a spontaneous spirit of love and service (bodhicitta). As I’ve said, where sensory events go to is where they sensory events arise from. Gone points to the source of your own consciousness ... so Noting Gone can lead to a spontaneous sense of oneness with — and commitment to — all beings.”

From the book, The Science of Enlightenment: How Meditation Works by Shinzen Young.

“In the beginning, meditation is something that happens within your day. Eventually, the day becomes something that happens within your meditation.”

~ From “The Science of Enlightenment: How Meditation Works