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Month: March 2017

No country for Old Men

No country for Old Men

Sailing to Byzantium
W. B. Yeats, 18651939

That is no country for old men. The young
In one another’s arms, birds in the trees
‚ÄĒThose dying generations‚ÄĒat their song,
The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas,
Fish, flesh, or fowl, commend all summer long
Whatever is begotten, born, and dies.
Caught in that sensual music all neglect
Monuments of unageing intellect.

An aged man is but a paltry thing,
A tattered coat upon a stick, unless
Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing
For every tatter in its mortal dress,
Nor is there singing school but studying
Monuments of its own magnificence;
And therefore I have sailed the seas and come
To the holy city of Byzantium.

O sages standing in God’s holy fire
As in the gold mosaic of a wall,
Come from the holy fire, perne in a gyre,
And be the singing-masters of my soul.
Consume my heart away; sick with desire
And fastened to a dying animal
It knows not what it is; and gather me
Into the artifice of eternity.

Once out of nature I shall never take
My bodily form from any natural thing,
But such a form as Grecian goldsmiths make
Of hammered gold and gold enamelling
To keep a drowsy Emperor awake;
Or set upon a golden bough to sing
To lords and ladies of Byzantium
Of what is past, or passing, or to come.
Syrian Lingerie

Syrian Lingerie

I’m on vacation and decided to spent some time catching up on my travel magazines. I saw an interesting piece on traveling in Syria – and learned something new – “The most outrageous and exuberant lingerie in the world comes from a place you’d probably never expect: Syria”. And when they say outrageous, they really mean it.

Since it’s slightly not safe for work, I’ll include a link to an Amazon book on it. Or Google ‘Syrian Lingerie’ which has some page samples when you’re in an appropriate¬†location.

Inamo – a unique London dining experience

Inamo – a unique London dining experience

My brother and I went to London a few years back, and I realized I never really wrote about many of the cool things we saw and did there.

One of the cool things we did was going to a unique Japanese-style restaurant called Inamo. The food was very good, but the most memorable part was the dining experience itself.

After you are seated, your whole dining table becomes interactive. There are no waiters, just food delivery folks. Instead, you order everything from the tabletop itself.

The table is projection mapped and controlled by a small touchpad in the surface of the table. You can select different tabletop decorations instantly. Even more interesting is that while you browse the menu, the items you select appear on your plate so you have a great idea of what you’re ordering. You select everything you want and submit your order.

While you wait, you can play simple games against others at your table. You can also get live feeds of the kitchen and browse drink menus etc.

Soon enough, like magic, your food is delivered by a runner. Did you run out of a drink or want another side? Just order it from the tabletop. It was awesome because you could order drinks and refills without having to wait until you run out of your current one.

When you want to leave, the bill is instantly ready for you. You can even order a cab from the tabletop and wait at your table until it arrives.

Overall, I loved the experience. It was novel, fun, and much more efficient (IMHO). I’d do it again in a heartbeat, and it’s highly likely I will since I keep getting emails from them about their latest deals. ūüôā

VR reveals why nobody should handle a weapon until they have basic training

VR reveals why nobody should handle a weapon until they have basic training

VR has been fascinating for revealing human nature.
In the course of 75 seconds on this video, this guy makes more fatal or near fatal weapons handling mistakes than just about anyone I’ve ever seen. The one at 2:46 is particularly cringe-worthy.
A new sandbox game called ‘Hot Dogs, Horseshoes, and Hand Grenades’ allows anyone to fire all kinds of weapons. What makes this video very relevant is that the mistakes this guy makes are almost all the classic ones that someone with no training does in real life. More than a few people have been killed and maimed by the exact behaviors this guy demonstrates.

Some of the ones you’ll see here are:

  • Unsafe muzzle direction (lack of any muzzle awareness really – countless times. Roof, self, other lanes, etc)
  • Sweeping body/others if they were anywhere around him
  • Accidental discharge
  • Looking down the barrel
  • Finger on the trigger when not intending to fire (see 3rd one)
  • Not knowing how to make the weapon safe – both unloading or checking chambers
  • Not making the weapon safe before putting it down
  • Not knowing how to load the weapon or check if it’s loaded
  • Lack of respect for the weapon

Any one of these would get you kicked off of any weapons range or training course. That’s saying the people around you didn’t tackle you first due to the mortal danger in which you were putting yourself and everyone around you.

12 Companies Hiring now that can let you travel the world

12 Companies Hiring now that can let you travel the world

It’s always a good idea to keep your eye on opportunities being created by our increasingly globalized world.

These 12 well-rated companies are well known for both permanent outpost positions or just making a few annual business trips for those that like to travel and work.

  1. kCura¬†–¬†Develops e-discovery software Relativity for managing large volumes of electronic evidence during litigation or investigations.
    Where Hiring: Chicago, IL; Hong Kong; Kraków, Poland; London, England; Reston, VA
  2. Hubspot¬†–¬†HubSpot is an inbound marketing and sales platform that helps companies attract visitors, convert leads, and close customers.
    Where Hiring: Berlin, Germany; Boston, MA; Dublin, Ireland; Portsmouth, NH; Sydney, Australia; Tokyo, Japan
  3. WeWork¬†–¬†WeWork transforms buildings into beautiful, collaborative workspaces.
    Where Hiring: Austin, TX; Buenos Aires, Argentina; London, England; Mexico City, Mexico; New York, NY; San Francisco, CA; Shanghai, China; Tel Aviv, Israel and many more
  4. ACI Worldwide¬†–¬†ACI Worldwide delivers electronic banking and payment solutions for more than 5000 financial institutions, merchants, billers and processors around the world.
    Where Hiring: Auburn, AL; Bogot√°, Colombia; Elkhorn, NE; Limerick, Ireland; Midrand, South Africa; Munich, Germany; Naples, FL; India; TimiŇüoara, Romania; Watford, England and more
  5. GovTech¬†–¬†Transform the delivery of Government digital services by taking an ‚Äėoutside-in‚Äô view.
    Where Hiring: Singapore
  6. Gett¬†–¬†[Enables] consumers and businesses to instantly book on-demand transportation, delivery and logistics.
    Where Hiring: London, England; New York, NY; Tel Aviv, Israel
  7. DocuSign¬†–¬†Serving more than 250,000 companies and 100 million users in 188 countries to sign, send and manage documents anytime, anywhere, on any device, with confidence.
    Where Hiring: Bonn, Germany; Dublin, Ireland; KŇćbe, Japan; Paris, France; San Francisco, CA; Seattle, WA; Tel Aviv, Israel; Tokyo, Japan; Warrenville, IL and more
  8. Etsy¬†–¬†Marketplace of individual sellers/creators of handmade or vintage items, art, and supplies.
    Where Hiring: Berlin, Germany; Brooklyn, NY; Dublin, Ireland; Hudson, NY; London, England; Paris, France; San Francisco, CA; Toronto, Canada
  9. ThoughtWorks¬†–¬†A global technology consultancy [that helps] you invent what‚Äôs next, and bring it to life with technology.
    Where Hiring: Barcelona, Spain; Beijing, China; Belo Horizonte, Brazil; Chicago, IL; Cologne, Germany; Denver, CO; Hyderabad, India; London, England; San Francisco, CA; Singapore and more
  10. Ancestry¬†–¬†Helps everyone, everywhere discover the story of what led to them.
    Where Hiring: Dublin, Ireland; Helena, MT; Lehi, UT; London, England; San Francisco, CA
  11. Tenable¬†–¬†Transform your security program with continuous visibility and critical context, enabling decisive action.
    Where Hiring: Columbia, MD; Dublin, Ireland; New York, NY; San Francisco, CA; Paris, France; Singapore; Stockholm, Sweden; Sydney, Australia; Toronto, Canada; Uxbridge, England and more
  12. Kronos¬†–¬†Offers the industry‚Äôs most powerful suite of tools and services to manage and engage your entire workforce.
    Where Hiring: Bracknell, England; Chelmsford, MA; Hong Kong; Lake Mary, FL; Melbourne, Australia; Mexico City, Mexico; Montreal, Canada; Noida, India; Port-au-Prince, Haiti; Zellik, Belgium


From the original article on Glassdoor

Tanya’s plan to avoid the fallacies of crunching and bad work habits

Tanya’s plan to avoid the fallacies of crunching and bad work habits

Tanya Short gave one of the best talks I’ve heard in a long time about the fallacies of crunching and bad work habits many people have. The video is now up for free at the GDCVault. Her talk starts at 6:00 :

Summary of her points:

When trying to hit deadlines, she starts out by observing that most of the time we think ‘getting X done’ is our highest priority. It’s not. It’s actually #3:

Your real priorities:

  1. Don’t burn out¬†(i.e. don’t die)
  2. Always keep in mind you’re going to do another – and you should be excited to do the next one even better.
  3. Get it done

That sounds great, but it also sounds a bit idealistic. She says it is not easy, but lays out these points.

Step-by-step roadmap to not dying:

  1. Believe it is possible to hold those priorities in that order
    Many great studios work and ship games without crunch. It can be done, she does it. You just have to be disciplined.
  2. Stop working ‘all the time’. Set work hours.
    It is a fallacy to think working all the time is better. Especially in creative fields. Creative work and creative problem solving require a relaxed mind to do it. Time away from work helps us be more productive. So set work hours and stick to them.
  3. Prioritize your tasks and re-prioritize as often as needed.
    In order to hit your deadlines, you need to¬†know what you’re working on RIGHT NOW is important,¬†not just urgent. If you focus just on the ‘urgent’ emails/tasks/etc, then you’ll never get into the steady workflow that is what makes your work great.
  4. Estimate your tasks. Re-estimate when needed.
    When you finish your task, ask if it took the time you thought it would take. You should do that with every task. It helps you get better at estimating.
  5. Cut the scope before you bleed out.
    If you’re 3 weeks out and realize you won’t make it, don’t immediately think about working more/harder/longer. 3 or more 60 hour weeks is scientifically less productive than 3 or more weeks of 40 hour weeks. You are doing worse work. Even if you think you are a special exception. Why can she say that? A study was done on 100 people that claimed they needed less than 7 hours of sleep. Only 5 out of the 100 could actually do it.
  6. Don’t give up – iterate steps¬†1-5 again and again
    These steps (production) is a skill. Skills can be developed. Skill development requires practice. So congratulate yourself when you do it pretty well, forgive and be kind to yourself when you don’t treat yourself as you deserve.
    We are primates. Primates need to be taken care of in a way computers and games don’t, so don’t act like that towards yourself. It’s not about how many hours you spend because everyone is different.

Other quotables:
A few long nights won’t kill you, but a few long months might. Especially if combined with other health and life factors.

Burnout is the feeling of being dulled as layer after layer of exhaustion accumulates. Burnout is the void left behind where your career could have been.

Then she has a real Benedictine moment: The moment right now will never come again. Every one of us will die. No matter what we create, all we have is right now. Don’t use up that joy, love, and creative energy you have by burning yourself out.

Keep death always before your eyes.
‚ÄĒSt. Benedict: The Rules: Chapter 4.47

She doesn’t cite the studies, but I found some: