1. couples counseling for PHPStorm and MySQL

    I have drunk the koolaid, and it is purple and orange. Swirled. Without mixing. Because magic.

    I thought JetBrains just made Eclipse knockoffs until I started watching the short AngularJS tutorials at egghead.io. Resident guru John Lindquist wields WebStorm like a syntax-highlighted scalpel, flying through line after line of auto-generated code as easily as most of us breathe. I got excited just watching. The AngularJS tutorial content is great too, but that editor. I'm fast in vim, but not that fast.

    On the other hand, WebStorm doesn't really touch my mostly-PHP day job. Enter Mathias Verraes and ...

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  2. on algorithms and boundaries

    I'm taking the Algorithms I class from Coursera that just started up again. (I'm going to finish it this time.) (No really!) The first programming assignment has students building a Monte Carlo simulation for the percolation problem, using a weighted quick-union algorithm. We'd already covered union finds and the internals of a WQU during the lectures and exercises, so the assignment focused on applying it efficiently.

    I built a slow prototype that mostly worked, then made it a decent amount faster, then fixed an edge case that I'd broken while making it faster, then got stuck ...

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  3. more fun with btsync

    I've already gushed over the amazingness that is btsync, but it just solved another problem for me, so here I am again.

    My new VPS provider (yes, that is an affiliate link; sue me) recently announced that their backup interval would be increasing from weekly to monthly. I'm coming from a daily backup environment, so weekly was already uncomfortable; it was time to set up my own backup system. But my primary machine (and therefore backup host) is Windows--am I supposed to set up some kind of rsync service? Muck about with Scheduled Tasks? Ugh. Headaches all around ...

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  4. who left the burner on?

    Researchers in Uppsala, Sweden, accidentally left a reaction running over the weekend and ended up solving a century-old chemistry problem. Their work has led to the development of new material, dubbed Upsalite, with remarkable water-binding properties. Upsalite promises to find applications in everything from humidity control at home to chemical manufacturing in industry....

    When one mixture was accidentally allowed to react over a long weekend, researchers came back to find a gel. It turns out the gel was formed because methanol molecules had been trapped within the material. When heated to 70°C, which is above the boiling point of ...

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