Tag Archives: Humor

Podcasts I listen to

I got a 4 MB blue iPod Nano 2nd Genfor my birthday last June, and while I do have a few music playlists, I almost exclusively listen to podcasts. I can’t believe I went so long without one of these. Putting together the list below led me to some others that I might give a try, but for now here’s my list:

Education

  • In Our Time – A weekly BBC production discussing various events, people, or ideas in history (recent or ancient). Always interesting. About 45 minutes long.
  • Philosophy Bites –  A weekly interview with someone about a specific philosophical topic. About 15 minutes long.
  • Talk of the Nation: Science Friday – Weekly show about all sorts of issues relating to science. It’s in a very easy-to-listen-to format. Broken into segments. About 1hr per week.
  • Science Talk from Scientific American – I don’t think I like it as much as Science Friday, but it’s still very interesting. It’s usually focused on one or two topics per episode, sometimes recording of lectures by prominent scientists. Weekly, about 30 minutes.
  • Grammar Girl – Nice and short, answers to tricky grammar questions. Often plays off current events. Weekly. 5 minutes.
  • Get-It-Done Guy – I’m a fan of Getting Things Done, as I kind of discussed in my entry on Outlook. This is a nice, short podcast with simple ideas for efficiency in your life. Weekly. 5 minutes.
  • Legal Lad – Answers to interesting legal questions. Weekly. 5 minutes.
  • Fundamentals of Piano Practice – really just somebody reading out loud the online book of the same name. I play piano, and I’m learning a ton of fundamental principles from this book that help. The hands-separate method? I’ve played for 8 years and never had it explained to me so clearly. It’s obvious in retrospect, but that’s the kind of good thing you learn in this book. Unfortunately, new readings haven’t been added since October. Varying length and frequency.
  • Learn Jazz Piano – I haven’t listened to any of these yet, but I’ve always wanted to play jazz. Infrequent (but still being updated!). 30m.
  • WordNerds – Interesting discussion of words and language. I always learn something interesting. Every three weeks. 30-60 minutes.

Business

  • MarketPlace – I like to follow the business news, and their format is really good. Entertaining, informative. Daily. 30 minutes.
  • MarketPlace Money – Their weekly show that goes into more depth on topics, discusses more “timeless” issues, answers questions. I really like this one. Weekly. 1hr.
  • Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders – Forums at Stanford with lecture and questions by famous entrepreneurs. These are frequently interesting, especially if you want to start a business someday. Weekly. 1hr.

Fun

  • Car Talk – how can you not have this on the list? They’re hilarious. And I do learn something about cars. Mostly, just fun, though. Weekly. 60 minutes.
  • LAMLradio: LEGO Talk Podcast – Interviews with LEGO builders, and others in the online LEGO community. I like it, but you probably have to be familiar with the community to follow it. Weekly 15 minutes.
  • MunchCast – A weekly show about junk food! I’ve only listened to the first episode, but I’m hooked. It’s more interesting than it sounds. Weekly. 30m.

Technology

  • .Net Rocks – Very well put-together show about .Net development, upcoming technology, interviews with industry pros. Twice weekly. 1hr+
  • This Week in Tech – Casual discussion of the week’s computing news with Leo Laporte. Highly entertaining. Has the cranky John C. Dvorak on often, but the panel rotates. Weekly. 60-90m.
  • Windows Weekly – Covers Windows-specific news (mostly) with Paul Thurrott and Leo Laporte. Also interesting stuff. Weekly. 1hr
  • Security Now – With Steve Gibson and Leo Laporte. They talk about all sorts of security-related topics. Very interesting, very well done. They have a knack for explaining difficult concepts in a way that’s easy to grasp. One of my favorites. I am not a security guru, but this is fascinating stuff. Weekly. 1hr.
  • HanselMinutes – with Scott Hanselman who now works at Microsoft. Discusses various technical topics, usually related to programming. To be honest I don’t like this one as much very often, but I still listen to it occasionally. Don’t know why…a little dry?
  • NPR Technology News – stories culled from various NPR programs into a 20-30 minute collage. Weekly.
  • The Tech Guy – another Leo Laporte show, in a longer format, with interviews, callers, and more.

Honorable Mentions

  • The Restaurant Guys – Discusses “food, wine, and the finer things in life.” If you like food, you’ll probably enjoy this podcast. I was probably interested in about half of their shows but something about them bugged me so I’ve dropped them for now in favor of other things. I may add them back soon. Daily. 1hr.

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The Nerd Handbook

Found The Nerd Handbook via Phil Windley. I sent it to my wife and told her she needs to read it. A highly-accurate depiction of nerds, I would say. At least in the generalities…

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How to really have Middle East peace

With the talks in Annapolis this week between Middle East governments, peace is on a lot of people’s minds. A meeting like this, while it won’t solve anything immediately, does illustrate the point that you can’t reasonably talk and fight at the same time. With that in mind, I have a permanent solution.

How do you avoid getting things done at your job? You have meetings. You have meetings to plan your work. You have meetings to plan the meetings to plan your work. You have meetings about why the last meeting failed. You have meetings to decide to continue the meetings.

So let’s schedule everybody for a meeting once or twice a year for the next 500 years. Send them all a recurring Outlook appointment.

Of course, you’d have to make the punishment for not showing up pretty severe (like getting fired). Maybe just create an elite international team of kidnappers that will retrieve a missing president. (By the way, it wouldn’t do for the presidents to send delegations–they all have to come in person).

But what to do at these meetings? After a hundred years or so, they will have discussed everything in detail, so I suggest moving on to games. We’ll start with something formal and proper, like chess. After a few hundred years of international presidential chess (televised live, of course), they’ll begin to loosen up and we can move on to more interesting things, like Twister or water polo. Anybody who starts a war that year gets picked last.

 

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How to make money from telemarketers (or just annoy them)

My father-in-law is absolutely fed up with telemarketers calling. But rather than just hang up on them, why not try to get some money out of them? So he made a recording, to be played next time he gets a call:

Listen to this recording he made.

Ok, it’s a long shot, but I think it’s hilarious. If it works, he can take himself off the Do Not Call Registry!

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Writing High-Performance.NET Code, 2nd Edition by Ben Watson. Available for pre-order:

Simpsonize Me

If you haven’t seen this by now, you really need to check it out.

Simpsonize Me – upload a photo of yourself and it will analyze it and generate a Simpson-ish lookalike. Very cool, and a big time waster. 🙂

Update: here’s mine. Should have put it up earlier…

my simpson image


Check out my latest book, the essential, in-depth guide to performance for all .NET developers:

Writing High-Performance.NET Code, 2nd Edition by Ben Watson. Available for pre-order:

Funniest Spam Ever

I just got hit with the funniest link spam ever on this blog. It contained an obvious link to a porn site, but before that was this sentence:

Cameron Diaz takes a big swig of soda and shows the world that she can belch!

Nice. 🙂

 

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Check out my latest book, the essential, in-depth guide to performance for all .NET developers:

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My Wife’s Logic (or Women’s Logic Explained?)

For all of you who learned boolean algebra in your CS courses in college, I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news: your education was incomplete. The list of boolean tautologies and truth tables that you may have memorized or learned over time was wrong, with some startling and glaring errors.

To rectify this, I present some new truth.

First, an example in real life, which really happened. For context, Leticia is my wife, has beautiful, olive skin, with dark brown eyes, and hair with various colors of brown, and the little girl in discussion was as white as can be.

Leticia: Look at that little girl–she’s so beautiful! Do you think we’ll ever have a girl who looks like her?

Me: No.

L: So you think our daughter will be ugly!

M: Uhhh……no. I don’t think she’ll be white.

Transforming this little conversation into boolean logic:

A: This little girl is beautiful

B: Our future daughter will look like this girl

C: Our future daughter will be beautiful

So my wife says that AB–>C, and that if I say !B, then !B–>!C. I always knew that, but what I didn’t know is that the other options I thought existed aren’t actually valid! (i.e., that !B–>C is also true, or in other words, that C can be true regardless of the value of B) Who knew! So I present below corrected truth tables. Wikipedia, take note.

Standard Truth Table for Implication

Improved Truth Table for Implication

X Y X–>Y
F F T
F T T
T F F
T T T
X Y X?Y
F F T
F T F
T F F
T T T

So you see that the correct form of implication when dealing with this logic is the same as equality.

Now you know, beware.


Check out my latest book, the essential, in-depth guide to performance for all .NET developers:

Writing High-Performance.NET Code, 2nd Edition by Ben Watson. Available for pre-order:

It isn’t Infectious…

My father-in-law was visiting this week and the first thing he said to me, extending his hand to shake mine was:

“Don’t worry, it isn’t infectious.”

 

(He has a temporary skin condition)


Check out my latest book, the essential, in-depth guide to performance for all .NET developers:

Writing High-Performance.NET Code, 2nd Edition by Ben Watson. Available for pre-order: