Archive for the 'books' Category

Mad Libs: Just like 6th grade all over again

September 10, 2008

Just spent the last forty-five minutes doing some Mad Libs (Test Your Relationship I.Q.) with Ang. I’d have been just as much in love with her in 6th grade as I am now. She does a mean Mad Lib.

“Goodnight doorknobs, see you in the moistened broccoli.”

People have asked where to get them. Certainly at Barnes & Noble, but Amazon is also a good spot. Here’s the one I just ordered: Best of Mad Libs

I’ve got a couple for the kids in the shopping cart too. EXCELLENT way to teach your kids adverbs, adjectives, nouns, verbs, and exclamations — even if they’re all “poopily”, “poopish”, “poop”, “poop” and “Poop!”

Malcolm Gladwell is turning my mind inside out

March 6, 2006

I’ve read Malcolm Gladwell’s Tipping Point and Blink in the past few months and cannot speak highly enough for the profound change to my brain this has made. If you read these books you can’t help but to see things in a very different light. I read “The Tipping Point” late last year after I had what I thought was a good idea for a web-enabled product (I still think it’s a good idea and hope to some day find the way to”tip” the idea — as well, and probably more importantly, my partner). Gladwell has a knack for writing on sociology in such a way he crafts every bit the page-turner that (insert latest Oprah Book Club Selection here) is. This is unusual — and makes me hope he’s around for a very long and productive time. Please don’t die Malcolm.“Blink” is a fantastic book. In it, Gladwell looks at how we make decisions and the value of those instantaneous initial flashes we have when we see a thing or situation for the first time. Why do we make these choices? Are they valid? How do we get to the point where we can make them? The book is filled with cases that defy conventional thinking — something he is exceptional at. The expert who can determine whether a marriage will last based on only a few moments of taped, seemingly innocuous conversation, the kouros that wasn’t quite right, and the time Paul van Riper kicked the U.S. Military’s ass in war games in the Gulf, by not relying on the voluminous data.

There are also the cases where the “thin-slicing” (get the book, everyone will be talking about “thin-slicing” in the next year or so) didn’t work. The Amadou Diallo killing is covered in much detail. I’ve never felt so much a part of a shooting since I saw “Resevoir Dogs” in the third row of the theater.

This is the kind of book that makes you need to read more about the individual cases presented — and keep checking (his now blog is a good read) for news of upcoming releases.

The Joys of Programming (books)

January 12, 2006

I like being a developer. I like the acts of designing software, developing software, and I like reading about developing software. What I don’t like is the shelf-life of the books. I bought quite a few books last year on ADO.NET and various .NET topics and now less than a year later, they are of little use. It’s not that there isn’t decent information in them, rather the newest version of .NET has enough differences from its predecessor to make finding answers in these books only partially useful and in many ways futile.I’m going to make a resolution right now to find a good title for each of the following topics and but them. Then, I’m taking a box of the old ones to to Half-Price Books.

* IIS 6.0
* ASP.NET (2.0) with C#
* C# .NET (2.0)
* ADO.NET (2.0)
* SQL Server 2005
* Biz Talk (the new one — I’d like to know more about this product)

If you have any suggestions, let me know.