Xia Jia on time

Posted on Thu 28 February 2019 in Dispatches • Tagged with quote • 1 min read

I gave a lecture on time travel where, using the “butterfly effect,” I explained that we cannot predict the weather or one’s trajectory in life accurately. Every second in our past matters equally.

It has taken all the moments of my life for me to become who I am …

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NYT on the Secret History of Women in Coding

Posted on Mon 18 February 2019 in Dispatches • Tagged with history, tech • 2 min read

The NYT recently ran a wonderfully in-depth story covering the history of women in coding. The issue of note for the article is that in the beginning of computer science the gender balance among programmers was basically equal. In fact, it was seen as one of the most viable careers …

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Your prescribed dose of garden photos

Posted on Sun 17 February 2019 in Dispatches • Tagged with personal, photos • 1 min read

One of my favorite places to visit is Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA. Exhausted from the gray and brown of winter, today my family made the trek out there for their Orchid Extravaganza. Here are a few of my favorite photos from the visit.

Pink orchids on display


Wife and daughter hugging beneath an arch made of orchids.

Snuggles under the orchid …

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The Terror of a Future America in Vigilance

Posted on Wed 06 February 2019 in Dispatches • Tagged with books, reviews • 2 min read

Cover of Vigilance

Vigilance by Robert Jackson Bennett

In his latest novel, Vigilance, Robert Jackson Bennett shows us the plausible terror of an America which has utterly given up preventing gun violence and instead embraced it. In this near future sci-fi story, fear of the other has isolated the U.S.A., allowing …

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Cal Newport on digital minimalism

Posted on Sun 27 January 2019 in Dispatches • Tagged with quote, tech • 1 min read

To succeed with this approach, a useful first step is to remove from your smartphone any apps that make money from your attention. This includes social media, addictive games and newsfeeds that clutter your screen with “breaking” notifications. Unless you’re a cable news producer, you don’t need minute-by-minute …

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New Fiction: “Memories of Stars”

Posted on Sun 20 January 2019 in Dispatches • Tagged with featured, fiction, meta, writing • 2 min read

There’s a new short story in ye olde fiction section. Well, I say, “new”. This is actually a couple years old, but it felt like a good time to share it.

It’s a story about creatures that came to destroy our world only to find that we’d …

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Migrating a Django application from Heroku to AWS Elastic Beanstalk

Posted on Sun 16 December 2018 in Dispatches • Tagged with aws, development, django, elastic beanstalk, heroku, python • 14 min read

Here’s the scenario you find yourself in: you’ve built and deployed a cool little Django app, and successfully deployed it on Heroku. You’ve followed all the great advice out there and are using django-environ to help manage all the various configuration variables you have to retrieve from …

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Halloween is big money

Posted on Wed 31 October 2018 in Dispatches • Tagged with halloween, quote • 1 min read

Thus, a new American tradition was born, and it has continued to grow. Today, Americans spend an estimated $6 billion annually on Halloween, making it the country’s second largest commercial holiday after Christmas.

 Halloween 2018 - HISTORY

From the same article I also learned that 25% of all candy purchased …

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Numenera Discovery and Destiny: Lightning Round Review

Posted on Sun 19 August 2018 in Dispatches • Tagged with gaming, numenera, rpgs • 4 min read

Numenera Discovery and Destiny in their slipcase cover

Numenera Discovery and Destiny are here, and they do not disappoint. As always, Monte Cook Games nails the production quality, with some beautiful volumes filled with incredible art. I wish I had time to do the detailed review that these new books …

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Saddle Up! We’re on our way to the Ninth World.

Posted on Mon 21 May 2018 in Dispatches • Tagged with gaming, geeklycon, numenera, rpg • 2 min read

This July, I’ll be running my first convention game of an RPG at GeeklyCon. I’ve been a DM for many years, but my focus has been running long term campaigns for my friends. I recently wrapped up a 5+ year 4E campaign, and we kicked off our replacement …

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