Showing posts from August 28, 2011

xah lee blogs and what you like to see?

Xah Lee Blogs and What You Like to See?Recently on g+ i asked where people know me from and what they like me to post on g+. (See: Source One conversation leads to the fact that some people don't know i have webfeed of separate topics. So, here's a Reminder, and a poll.If many subjects in my blog are not interesting to you, you can subscribe to individual topics, e.g. emacs only, programing only, math only, arts only, etc, at this page: Subscribe to Site Feed.This blog at is a aggregate of all, but except english vocabulary subject, which you can subscribe at also on g+, twitter, facebook. In these places, i post links to new articles, and selected old articles few times a day. Also random chat (mostly on g+).if you like my articles, please retweet or tell friends. Thanks for helping.

Emacs Lisp: Writing a Date Time String Parsing Function

Perm url with updates: Lisp: Writing a Date Time String Parsing FunctionXah Lee, 2011-09-02This page shows a example of writing a emacs lisp function that parses a date time string.The ProblemWrite a elisp function. The function will take a string argument that's any of common date time format, e.g.2011-09-02T05:29:26-07:00 (ISO 8601)2011-09-02 (ISO 8601)Fri, 2 Sep 2011 11:14:11 +0200 (unixy)09/02/2011 (USA)Sep 2, 20112 Sep, 20112 September, 2011and output a canonical form 2011-09-02.SolutionIf you've worked with elisp for a while, or from a web search, you'll know there's a time parsing function “parse-time-string”, from the file 〔parse-time.el〕, with feature name 'parse-time (that is, you call (require 'parse-time) to load it). (See: Emacs Lisp's Library System: What's require, load, load-file, autoload, feature?.)Here's its inline doc: parse-time-string is a compiled Lisp function in `parse-ti…

today's Wordy English, and what makes a great essayist

today's Wordy English: gaunt, and what makes a great essayist:

Are Googlers the Minions of Google Marketing?

Perm url with updates: Googlers the Minions of Google Marketing?Xah Lee, 2011-09-01it's somewhat disappointing. Vast majority of googlers on g+, they all seem to be doing marketing for google. It's all nice tweets, new features of g+, how great g+ is, news of another net celebrity joining g+.maybe they just love the company they work for? But if you look closer, i don't think it's peach-n-cream like that. They seldom, basically never, tweet about actual work, or any thought that might be negative to google, in fact, vast majority don't tweet anything non-google at all (except generic crowd-pleasing cat pics or piping thru luke-warmed news).a job is a job. Even though google caters a great and fun environment for its employees, am pretty sure there are still pressures, conflicts, or just tiredness, at least occasionally.then, outside of g+, there are a few dedicated blogs of ex-googlers. There, it's usually al…

Women in Tech: Today's G+ Recommendation? You Decide.

Perm url with updates: in Tech: Today's G+ Recommendation? You Decide.Xah Lee, 2011-09-01due to g+, recently i got acquainted with a couple of online video shows. One of them is TWiT. (it has nothing to do with Twitter, btw. It stood for This Week in Tech, started by Leo Laporte (g+) (i just looked up Leo's profile. O yeah, i remember him, a jolly comedian-like fellow, because recently i've watched one of his show, also featuring Gina Trapani (g+) , who is a coder among startup things, and she espouses Java! (that's a LOL)))This TWiT show, was what prompted me to write about how TV Has Arrived on The Web (which, the host dully spend some 30 secs to recite a passage about the greatness of NetFlix in lively personalized detail. Catherine Fitzpatrick (g+) , the communism expert, reminded me that the proper word for it is Infomercial.)anyhow, probably for many of you guys, that what first prompted you t…

poem: iron ball

2011-09-01 iron ball, rusted and scarred, tittering on the window sill, wondering, when he's gonna fall

Beauty: Ghost Plants, Indian Pipe

Perm url with updates: Gorgeousness You Cannot Deny: Ghost Plant, Indian PipeXah Lee, 2011-08-31A Supreme Beauty. These beautiful things are called Monotropa uniflora (aka Indian Pipe, Ghost Plant).img srcimg srcimg srcimg srcThe Flaming CyclamenPhoto: Cherry, Venus Flytrap, and the Lure of SexSeashell Gallery: Pink-mouthed Murex

Cherry, Venus Flytrap, and the Lure of Sex

Orchid. Photo by Dror Ben David Source (used with permission) Cherry, Venus Flytrap, and the Lure of Sex

Perl Expert Randal Schwartz = Fun Chatty Fellow

Linux Outlaws - Interview with Randal SchwartzRandal Schwartz, the perl expert, is caught on video in this interview.A very fun, chatty interview. Randal tells you how much you'd make if you write a successful O'Reilly book, and on Perl 6, singing in karaoke, attending tech conferences and his record of free pass for ~15 years, his visit to Stonehenge (Randal's company is and much more.The interview is informal, more or less random chat among 3 geeks, which you get to know Randal the person.The hosts are Fabian A Scherschel (the German guy drinking beer) and Dan Lynch (UK guy, on voice only). They run Linux Outlaws, which publishes podcast on linux and tech.Perl Books Survey 2002

Math Mysticism: is Hurricane Shape a Fibonaci Spiral?

Perm url with updates: Mysticism: is Hurricane Shape a Fibonaci Spiral?Xah Lee, 2011-08-28Please beware of the golden ratio math mysticism trash spreading online.Illustration giving the impression that hurricane Irene has a shape of so-called “Fibonacci spiral” Source imgur.comI'm seeing people sharing this image online (e.g. Reddit, Twitter, Google+). It is true that the hurricane has the general shape of a equiangular spiral (aka logarithmic spiral), which is the shape that many (but not all) natural growth takes (e.g. Seashells), but putting that golden-ratio block "spiral" there is completely baseless.The so-called “Fibonacci spiral” you see in the pic is made up of parts of circles, stacked on blocks of rectangles who's ratio of the sides is the golden ratio. Such spiral is only a approximation of one particular equiangular spiral. (equiangular spiral is a family of spirals. See: Equiangular Spiral.)Als…

emacs tutorial update

Of those who bought my emacs tutorial recently, there's a new free update. (fixing a error on outbound links) Just email to with subject “xah emacs tutorial update”, then i'll email you the download location.If you haven't bought it, you can buy at Buy Xah Emacs Tutorial.