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Mini-documentary about tricking using loopholes in Mario Kart's video game

Mini-documentary about the race to conquer Mario Kart's Choco Mountain in seconds

It's amazing to see the dedication some people have to some small niches in the world -- in some ways it seems to me the best part of humanity..

Enjoy this surprisingly dramatic and gripping YouTube mini-documentary about one of gaming's strangest and most obsessive cults: racing around Mario Kart 64's Choco Mountain track. Thanks to glitchy shortcuts, racers winnowed times down to just a few seconds. But getting the trick right for all three laps of a time trial?




What books are you reading? - Relationship book recommendations

Ok here is a summary of some of the best (partner/marriage) relationship books I have been reading lately:



If I had to pick only one general best one, it would be "The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work" by John Gottman.  This is a book by someone who has studied relationships academically, and he has written many books on the subject.  His observations and advice are not groundbreaking, but they are useful, and have been well developed and honed.  His main hook is the idea of "bids" -- small mundane interactions where one person is making a bid for their partner's attention -- and the reactions to such bids, and how improving how you react to such bids can yield large improvements.

sevenprinciples.jpg



And if you are interested in relationships that extend beyond your partner -- to relatives and even work, he applies the same concepts in another book that also covers partner relationships but others as well, called "The Relationship Cure".  There's a lot of overlap so I wouldn't recommend you get both.

relationshipcure.jpg



One of the major insights I got in reading these books is how large a role the differences between introverts and extroverts can play in a relationships.. I found the following book very helpful, and would highly recommend it to anyone in a relationship where one person is an introvert and the other is an extrovert:  "The Introvert and Extrovert In Love by Marti Laney  and Michael Laney".  I think it will help each person see their partner in a new more positive light.

introvert.jpg



As one might predict, some relationship self-help books seem to sometimes be directed at an audience of people who might be said to have unusually difficult times in relationships, or who have major issues that they feel they need to overcome.  While I don't find myself in this category, one interesting book for those who think that their are childhood issues getting in the way of them having healthy relationships was "Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples by Harville Hendrix". There is plenty of advice and insights that would apply to all relationships, but there is also quite a bit of a focus on repairing childhood issues that may have been caused by parents.  I'm not sure I agree with some of his theories but there were some thought provoking ideas.

gettinglove.jpg



If you have an appreciation for buddhist/zen approaches, as I do, another book that I quite liked was "How to Be an Adult in Relationships: The Five Keys to Mindful Loving by David Richo".  I would say, like the Hendrix book above, this one has more of a focus on people who may have deeper issues to resolve, but it is unique in the books I've read in combining practical advice and insight, with a constant thread of being mindful (aware of, non-judgemental, acknowledging but not struggling against) about the world around you and your fears and issues.

adult.jpg



If you're more interested in the sexual/romantic side of relationship building and relationship struggles, a book I found quite thought provoking was "Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence by Esther Perel".  Esther Perel is a couple's therapist. This is a slightly unconventional book with a distinct theory and approach.  I guess the best shorthand explanation for the author's theory is that couples need to pro-actively create a kind of healthy tension in their sexual relationship, being careful not to let loving/comforting/nurturing attitudes interfere with it.  So she stresses the importance of independence,which isn't too controversial, but also suggests value in not taking for granted that your partner will always be around and will never leave you.  There is also some insightful discussion about cultural effects on sexual taboos, and why people have certain sexual preferences and the healthiness of play and fantasy.

mating.jpg



Another book that I find quite illuminating was recommended to me by a donationcoder member who shall remain anonymous: "Love and Limerence: The Experience of Being in Love by Dorothy Tennov".  This is a very narrowly focused book by an academic, on a particularly intense phenomena of falling madly in love, that seems to only effect a minority of the population.  The author describes the emotional state of limerance as a very intense desire for someone (often someone who the subject does not know well), with intrusive thoughts and preoccupation, that can generate a richly satisfying and addictive kind of attachment.  And the attachment and feeling of love and need is typically heightened by the unavailability of the object of one's affections.  I'm probably not doing it justice here, but the bottom line is that if these kinds of feelings resonate with you and describe the kinds of experiences you have had falling madly in love with someone you barely know, you may find this book a revelation and incredibly helpful.  It may also help you put things in perspective and snap out of a silly fixation on someone who, by their very nature, is not going to be good for you.

limerence.jpg



Here's an early good book I read that I forgot to add to my initial write up.  "The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts" by Gary Chapman.  This one seems to have really hit home with people and has spun off a few additional related books.  The take home theory of this book is that different people (and very often men and women) may have different ways that they need to hear that they are loved. Different things that affect them most strongly.  For some people it's touch, for some people it's shared activities, etc.  And that people tend to think that the way *they* want to have love expressed to them is *not* the same as the way their partner needs to hear it.  So that it's important to figure out how your partner needs to feel loved in ways that are different from the way you need to.  Pretty cool.

langauges.jpg



Some final closing thoughts on relationship books is that just the act of reading and discussing these with your significant other seems like it is such a good healthy thing, and taking an active interest in improving your relationship skills seems like something we could all benefit from -- it's something I wish I had been encouraged to examine earlier in my life.

In general, all of these books are way too bloated with the same information repeated over and over again...  All of them could have half of their pages removed without losing anything.  And I think you could probably get 90% of the benefits by reading any random relationship book -- the overlap in the ideas is substantial..  So the bottom like is just: Care enough about your relationships to read about the subject!  Even for people who have a great relationship, I think seeing something written down that confirms things you already know and do will be useful.



Anyone else have relationship book recommendations?

Read more and discuss..


Clever simple gadget - usb stick that lights up in color on notifications

Screenshot - 6_1_2018 , 11_55_41 AM_thumb001.png
Here is a cute little idea and you can code your own scripts to have it notify you about different events.  It's $30.

blink(1) is a small USB light to give you glanceable notice of anything on your computer or the internet. blink(1) makes it easy to connect data sources in the cloud or on your computer to a full-color RGB LED so you can know what’s happening without checking any windows, going to any websites or typing any command. Connect blink(1) to IFTTT, your mail, URLs or your favorite scripts.

https://blink1.thingm.com/

posted by mouser donate to mouser
discovered on http://kk.org
(permalink) (read 6 comments)

Fake reviews are now a firmly entrenched business model

Screenshot - 5_31_2018 , 7_03_23 PM_thumb001.png
It isn't just fake reviews, it's also fake accounts on web services, etc.  It's an arms race where business are constantly trying to one-up their competitors and everyone has accepted that fake reviews and inflating their user numbers is, at the very least, a necessary first step to jump-starting their product.


Outside the publishing industry, the practice known as “review brushing” exists on a vast, industrial scale. In 2014, Haitao Xu, a thirty-year-old researcher now at Northwestern University, monitored five black-market Internet boards where companies and individuals advertise jobs posting positive reviews of their products and services, along with negative ones on those of their rivals. In just two months, Xu saw more than eleven thousand unique sellers post close to a quarter of a million jobs, paid at anywhere between “tens of cents, up to five dollars,” he told me. Since consumers typically see positive customer reviews as a more reliable indicator of quality than advertising, the effects can be major. “Stores using brushing services can increase their reputation ten times faster than normal seller stores,” Xu, who, in 2016, spent six months working in Alibaba’s fraud-detection team, told me. “A store with a high reputation is displayed higher up a Web page, attracting more customers and increasing sales.” Online sellers who do not employ brushing services, meanwhile, often find their products overlooked.

https://www.newyorke...-war-on-fake-reviews


Working with time on computers

Screenshot - 5_30_2018 , 8_44_15 AM_thumb001.png
OSNews recommends today a nicely put together multimedia rumination on the issues of representing and working with time on computers. Looks pretty good.

This is one of the best articles - experiences? - I've ever read. It's funny, well-written, deeply informative, and covers everything from programming with time, to time and UI design, to time and accessibility. This is simply an amazing piece of work.

https://zachholman.c...h-for-everyone-right


A simple one-parameter equation that can be used to reproduce any plot

Screenshot - 5_29_2018 , 11_08_46 PM_thumb001.png
Pretty neat stuff.  The full short paper PDF is linked on the page below.

In a very surprising paper Steven Piantadosi shows that a simple function of one parameter (θ) can fit any collection of ordered pairs {Xi,Yi} to arbitrary precision. In other words, the same simple function can fit any scatter plot exactly, just by choosing the right θ. The intuition comes from chaos theory. We know from chaos theory that simple functions can produce seemingly random, chaotic behavior and that tiny changes in initial conditions can quickly result in entirely different outcomes (the butterfly effect). What Piantadosi shows is that the space traversed in these functions by changing θ is so thick that you can reverse the procedure to find a function that fits any scatter plot.

https://marginalrevo...it-scatter-plot.html



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