Switching to Colemak, 10 days in

Ten days ago, I decided to try and switch to the Colemak keyboard layout. At first, it was about as painful as you might imagine. I went from somewhere around 90wpm down to basically hunt and peck. Five days in, I was at around 15 wpm.

Now at ten days, I’m at about 30 with weird little bursts up to around 60 for words my fingers have figured out. It’s quite spurty, but I’m able to get things done and use it all the time. Even with all the typing practice, my hands have felt fine, which is great.

Here’s a graph of some of my progress so far.

Screen Shot

Man Versus Nature, Mostly Space Bears | mgoblog

Basketball from the perspective of an Andre Drummond or a Shaq is a simple thing. You come into possession of the ball. You hold it between two fingers, bellow something designed to induce a flight or fight response, survey the various and sundry “flight” responses, and dunk explosively on anyone who chose… poorly. If someone tries to do the same when you are on defense, you fling him into the nearest body of water.

Later, you have a snack.

Basketball from the perspective of Spike Albrecht is a multi-dimensional differential equation in which almost all answers are emphatically wrong ones. To avoid being postmarked to Lake Michigan, Albrecht has to swoop through the lane several times to induce dizziness in the opposition and then find the one local minima that will result in a shot instead of an Ent-shaped man flexing.

via Man Versus Nature, Mostly Space Bears | mgoblog.

No, Starbucks’ Chai Tea Latte is not real chai

Originally posted on Quartz:

Chai in the West has become synonymous with the overly sweet, oddly spicy blend that Starbucks sells as a Chai Tea Latte. But in India, chai takes on different flavour profiles, snack accompaniments, and even drinking vessels depending on the region or city or town.

First, a brief history of chai: “chai” translates to “tea” (so Starbucks is being redundant—Chai Tea just means “tea tea”).

Tea came to India from China, but was popularised largely in the British colonial era when large plantations were established. And as a form of marketing, the tea was often gifted to British factory owners in the subcontinent. The owners fed that tea to Indian workers as a source of energy and cheap calories, with cream from northern Europe and sugar harvested from slave plantations in other British colonies. Basically, New York University food studies professor Krishnendu Ray says, this early form of chai was a steaming cup of the British empire.

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Rwugchukd gy Cyifmae (Switching to Colemak)

After listening to Matt’s interview with Tim Ferris, I decided to give an alternate keyboard layout a shot. I’ve always been skeptical of the alternate layouts, especially after doing some research into it as part of my undergrad degree. Though I’m skeptical, I’m also starting to get some minor hand pain, especially in my right (mousing) hand and around my left ring finger, so … why not? Most of the people that have switched report that they mostly retain their QWERTY knowledge, so even if this turns out terribly, I have a fallback.

I use Emacs a fair bit, so Dvorak seemed like a bad fit, as it moves Control-X to a weird spot. Colemak, however, keeps most of the common keyboard shortcuts in the same place, but moves enough keys around that you still get most of the efficiency and movement benefits of Dvorak. Plus, a handy online keyboard layout analyzer indicated that Colemak would be just as efficient for my writing style. So, I’m going to give switching a shot over the next month.

Just a record of where I am, roughly, on QWERTY: 77wpm and 97% accuracy, according to http://10fastfingers.com/typing-test/english. I’ve taken other tests in the past and I usually grade out somewhere between 70 and 120 wpm, depending on what I’m typing.

And, for the record, I typed this out using QWERTY. I’ve only started to learn the home row on Colemak so far.

Why do I make spoons?

Ben Lowery:

“After I finished the book, I couldn’t concentrate. My mind was swirling around about how to live, what is important, what is dross. The only book I could pick up in the days after finishing it was Thoreau’s journal.”

Originally posted on Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes:

spoons

Why do I make spoons? people ask me, but I ask myself as well. Not for money, the way I make & sell them is cumbersome at best. I do sell them, and it brings in some money, but the time I spend at it negates some of the “profit.” I am always appreciative when someone buys one of my spoons, it means a lot to be to have that sort of support. I am not interested in pursuing production runs, efficient sales, etc – that’s not my bag. If I were to get serious about that, I should do it with furniture, which is more lucrative. I’m faster at it, and it’d  be a better return for my time. But for me, that’s not what woodworking is about.

It’s not as if a household needs dozens of spoons. sure we can use a lot of them in cooking, serving &…

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