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

This page is a work in progress, but if you need to create a secondary class constructor in Kotlin, I hope it’s helpful.

I haven’t read it yet, but I’m told that Cats, Cubits, and Teleportation is a clear description of quantum computing.

This is the amino acids supplement chart from the excellent book by Julia Ross, The Diet Cure. With this chart you look at the first two columns to find whatever “deficiency” problems you may be having, then look for the amino acid supplement(s) that are known to help with those problems.

I originally learned about this when my thyroid was failing in 2011. L-tyrosine was a major help in living through that problem.

The Diet Cure: Amino acids supplement chart

If you’re into puzzles and games of math and logic, The Riddler looks like it will be a good book when it comes out.

The Riddler - a book of puzzles, math, and logic games

I’ve been looking for a way to make Functional Programming, Simplified smaller, but haven’t yet found a way to do that while keeping all the essential information in it. But IMHO, it’s still a heck of a lot easier than reading all of these books on the right:

Once upon a time I lived in Alabama and had a 52-mile daily drive to work at a NASA facility in Mississippi, which gave me a lot of time to think. At one point on the trip you pass eight churches in ten miles — a friend referred to that stretch as “The highway to heaven” — and seeing weddings, funerals, and other gatherings at those churches led me to think about life, death, and spirituality.

I was very aware that I was a spiritual being since I was 16, but despite that I never cared for a religious framework; every church I’d ever been to seemed superficial compared to what I had experienced. That being said, I always thought prayer was a good thing — it helped to create a proper state of mind — so I tried to come up my own prayer, something I could believe in.

One idea I came up with was to write some sort of prayer that would honor the ancestors that led to my life on Earth. But, I thought, a problem with this approach was that my ancestors weren’t all that honorable. My mom is probably the nicest person in the world, so there was no problem there, but without getting into details, my dad, my grandparents, aunts and uncles ... there weren’t many people I was concerned about honoring.

Apparently 3M, which many people think of as a nice company, has known about the dangers of PFOA and PFOS — which is used to make Teflon and other products — for a long time. Per this story, “Internal studies and other documents show that 3M knew by the 1970s that PFOA and PFOS were toxic and accumulating in people's blood.”

Gimp 2.10.4 was released on July 4, 2018, and has some nice new features.

Gimp 2.10.4 is available

One thing I was reminded of recently is how consistent the Scala language is. Unlike other languages that have special conditions and special operators for those special conditions — leading to a big vocabulary for those languages — Scala is ... well, it’s just very consistent, and that’s a great thing.

(As a bit of background, I used to be annoyed that Scala didn’t have ++ and -- operators for integers, but after working with other languages, I now understand what Martin Odersky & Co. were trying to avoid.)

Table of Contents1 - Kotlin Arrays2 - Kotlin List functions3 - Kotlin Map functions4 - Kotlin Set functions5 - Summary: Kotlin List, Map, and Set creation functions

With Kotlin you can create lists, maps, and sets with standard functions that are automatically in scope. Here are those functions.

Here are three nice diagrams drawn by Mariko Kosaka that explain HTTP and HTTP2.

I can’t do most of these yoga poses right now (because of the whole colectomy surgery thing), but here’s a nice list of 12 yin yoga poses to awaken dormant energy and stuff.

Random thought of the morning: When I was young — maybe an early teenager at the oldest — I was talking to Sister #3 and said I wanted to have a baseball team worth of children. But then a few years later my dad got a woman who was not my mom pregnant, and my parents were divorced. Whatever notions I had about wanting a family and children were wiped out.

Part two of that random thought is that over the years I’ve been fortunate to meet a number of women (over 1,000 if you include school, work, and social events), and out of all those women there are only two who ever made me think, “I can see having children with this woman.”

“There’s only ONE rule, but it’s an important one: all of your values must be functions. Not programming functions, but math functions.”

I think I read that quote in an earlier version of this article. The quote is about functional programming, and it influenced something I wrote in my book, Functional Programming, Simplified: Functional programmers think about themselves as being mathematicians, and think of their code as being a combination of algebraic equations, where each function is a pure function that you can think of in mathematical terms.

From eso.org: “Observations made with ESO’s Very Large Telescope have for the first time revealed the effects predicted by Einstein’s general relativity on the motion of a star passing through the extreme gravitational field near the supermassive black hole in the centre of the Milky Way. This long-sought result represents the climax of a 26-year-long observation campaign using ESO’s telescopes in Chile.”

Straight out of high school in Illinois I made the decision to go to a college in Kentucky. In high school I had never known anyone with a southern accent, so it was really neat to hear everyone talk. (I had also never seen a revival tent, but that’s a story for another time.)

One guy at school — I think his name was Joe — came from Tennessee. He would later become famous for loudly chasing his roommate down our dorm hallway with a baseball bat at 2am because he thought the roommate was too loud when he came back in after a night out.

Joe’s accent was so thick I could barely understand what he was saying, and one day in something of a Seinfeld skit I ended up going to the shopping mall with him just because I would nod my head “yes” and say things like “uh-huh” when I didn’t understand him. Fortunately this was before he attacked his roommate with the bat, and his roommate had a sweet 1950s car that we borrowed, so it was a fun ride, even if I didn’t understand most of it.

Now I think there’s at least a slight chance that Joe might be my new neighbor. He looks like him, and I can’t understand a word he says. But this time I’m being careful not to agree to anything.

espn.com has a good article about Josh McCown and ‘brain training’. (It’s a good article, I only wish it was a little more specific.)

If you’re interested in understanding the Cats library, I’m a big fan of the book, Scala with Cats (formerly known as Advanced Scala with Cats). Noel Welsh and Dave Gurnell have a simple writing style, with good examples. Being an older person, I only wish a print version was available.

Advanced Scala with Cats

(This is a Facebook post from July 27, 2016.)

Since nobody uses Facebook on Wednesday, I’ll just slip this one out here while no one is looking ...

Last night I was base-jumping spacetime with some other astral entities, and a being in the group kept not-doing something she was supposed to do. Since we were interdimensionally (similar to “internationally”) working together as a group, this just wouldn’t do.

After the Nth time this happened, I stopped the group mid-flight, and with spacetime flowing around us, I telepathically (and compassionately) asked, “Why aren’t you doing what you’re supposed to do?” Her answer, loosely translated in human terms, came down to, “I’m afraid.”

The moral of this little interdimensional story is that wherever, whenever, and whatever you are, conquer your fears or they’ll conquer you.