Quotes from PAX East

Quotes from PAX East

I attended my first PAX East last weekend and picked up a few gems of quotes from one panel titled “The Good. The Bad, The Community Manager/PR Rep. AKA How Keeping it Real Can Go So Wrong.” While I still have yet to recount my whole experience of PAX East, I really enjoyed the panel about community management. One of the panelists, for the sake of time (even when the awesome enforcers let us stay longer), turned the Q&A portion into a lightning-round of questions. Some of these quotes are from that Q&A. Others are from the regular session.

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A Melted Candle

A Melted Candle

Melted Candle

And that’s why…. you don’t leave candles unattended.

Anyway, I thought it looked cool when I saw this. You could peel back the layers of melted wax (the lower ones being more settled and solid). My kitchen also just happened to have those objects there at the time which gives this a nice splash of color.

RunKeeper Healthy Button Plugin for WordPress

RunKeeper Healthy Button Plugin for WordPress

Earlier this year, I was made aware of a partnership between Stack Exchange and RunKeeper to install a Healthy button on the Fitness & Nutrition Stack Exchange site. As a member and moderator of the site, I thought it was an excellent idea to help promote good and healthy content to a fitness audience in addition to other major social media channels. RunKeeper made an official announcement on their blog about a month ago, and the button was officially unveiled on Stack Exchange. I thought that since it was such a neat idea that it would be great to also have it on the Fitness Stack Exchange blog.

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Warrior Dash for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Warrior Dash for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

I’m running the 2012 Warrior Dash event in New York for fun and to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Hospital. For more information and to donate, visit my donation page:

Why am I running the Warrior Dash?

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Asking Questions on Stack Exchange

Asking Questions on Stack Exchange

I’ve been an active member on Stack Exchange for almost a year now, mostly on the Fitness & Nutrition site (for which I was appointed a pro tempore moderator). Other than that, I passively browse Stack Overflow whenever I have a programming related question. The whole Q&A format of the site makes it so simple yet the philosophy behind it is what really sets it apart from other Q&A sites.

What I’ve learned so far about Stack Exchange is that thought-out, well-written questions are of “higher quality” and tend to produce better answers. It’s fairly straightforward communication — being to state something clear and concise so that others can understand and properly interpret the question at hand. Just reading what other people have written has taught me to read things a bit more carefully and also really try to dig deep at what people are really asking.

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Playing with JavaScript, Twitter Bootstrap, and Rails

Playing with JavaScript, Twitter Bootstrap, and Rails

Over the past few weeks, I had been playing around with various JavaScript frameworks namely node.js and backbone.js. I was trying to see if I could recreate my company’s web application (which is built on a Rails/Flex stack) entirely within a JavaScript environment and create a single-page app. I got the inspiration for doing this from Fog Creek’s blog post on the Trello tech stack.

Node.js was pretty nifty, but rewriting a whole server to do all the (sort of) complexity our current web application is doing was just a little too daunting. I had also looked at express.js for doing some of the heavy-lifting for me, but ultimately decided in the end that this was still too cumbersome for what I wanted to do. After stumbling on some backbone.js tutorials, I thought it would be best to try and integrate that with the Rails stack we currently have.

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Mechanical Keyboards Rock

Mechanical Keyboards Rock

I am now the owner of a Das Keyboard Model S Professional, and it rocks the socks off any other keyboard I have ever used. For years and years I have used keyboards that were either rubber dome or membrane switches. When I discovered mechanical keyboards from Jeff Atwood’s blog, I was intrigued but scoffed at the high price of a such a keyboard. Last summer, I upgraded my keyboard from a plain, old keyboard that comes with a Dell computer to a Logitech Illuminated Keyboard.

My typing was never very good. I can sort of touch type, but my fingers a slightly more tuned to hit my keyboards in certain patterns for gaming or coding. The rubber dome Dell keyboard I had been typing for nearly 10 years showed a lot of wear. Switching to the Logitech keyboard was a slight improvement, but getting used to a low-profile scissor switch keyboard was a bit of a hurdle. It took time for me to get used to typing on it, but I was never truly comfortable with it. Sometimes I would miss keys, or my accuracy would be off because I was typing too quickly. It was the closest thing I could have to the Apple Aluminum Keyboard that I use at work. However, even I was getting tired of that keyboard.

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Eye See You

Eye See You
When I was taking my Science Writing course at RIT in Spring 2004, one of our assignments was to find a professor, interview that person about the research he or she was conducting, and then translate that into a format readable for a non-scientific public audience. I had planned on interviewing Jeff Pelz from the Center of Imaging Science at RIT about his research on eye tracking. After some time, I found out that he had been out for a while, and I was referred to Roxanne Canosa of the RIT Computer Science Department who was also doing research in this area.

Have you ever had that creepy feeling when you go to the gym and you catch someone glancing at you in the mirror? Have you ever noticed how professional poker players were sunglasses? Have you ever secretly given a cue to someone with your eyes? What about when people roll their eyes or look away in shame? Our eyes make over about two to four movements a second and over 100,000 movements per day. We rely on our eyes so much but are often unaware of its activity. It is often said that the eyes are the windows to the souls. At the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), eye tracking research is providing windows into how people think about tasks and goals.

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