1. After four months I completed the Duolingo German tree!

    I have thoroughly enjoyed using Duolingo and would recommend it to anyone who wants to learn a language it supports. Having said that, there are many things it will not teach, for which I recommend and am using these additional resources:

    • The Memrise Beginners German (A1) course — the vocab complements the Duolingo course, is more strict about umlauts, and has proper native speaker audio
    • The Your Daily German Online Course is a collection of articles which explain a lot of interesting grammar points you will have absorbed from the Duolingo course. They also do a “word/prefix of the day” blog series which is extremely helpful. Don’t be put off by the weird, long-winded writing style, it’s a lot of fun and contains a lot of excellent explanations.
    • Deutsch, Warum Nicht? from Deutsche Welle, is an old radio course which I’ve been using to improve hearing comprehension. As well as being a good course, it has nice classical music breaks and endlessly amusing details. Anyone who enjoys Look Around You will love Deutsch, Warum Nicht.

    Online Deutsche Welle CEFR placement tests put me at A2 right now. Good thing too, as I’m headed for Germany later this month…

  2. scientific instrument malfunction gives insight into Kerbin’s internal structure; continents rest on dense mushroom soup layer; nature of lower levels still unclear:

  3. My geeky system datetime format: longnow variant ISO8601 dates with ordinal day of year:

    02015-01-30 (030)

    Protip: leave out the longnow preceding 0 in the short/medium formats as otherwise the created/modified datetimes in the Finder column view will be truncated to just the date by default.

  4. I’m getting too used to (puredata.info) — I just right-clicked a python class and expected a hypermedia “help” option with params, example usage etc.

    Jetbrains PyCharm does have an inline documentation feature, which (when invoked via a complex keyboard “shortcut”), produces this gem:

    Even when this feature does work, it shows code “documentation” in a monospace font, typically with no usage example or links to other relevant documentation, as is standard in puredata.

    Our tools are inadequate.

    Update: added puredata documentation for comparison:

    In case it’s not clear from the screenshot, that usage example is live code — it can be interacted with, changed, copied and pasted, played with, experimented with. We typically can’t do that with existing text-based code, let alone mere usage examples.

    More thoughts I want to add to this, but I will write them up as a full article.

  5. Finally landed on the mün manually in ! Here’s my little kerbal looking relieved to be out of the lander at last. It’s a good thing they don’t need anything to eat — it might be a while before I can fly a more substantial base out there.

    A kerbal stands proudly on the moon next to a small, three-legged lander. In the background is Kerbin, set against the milky way.

  6. Why not to make assumptions about where your site visitors come from send to do a hyperlink’s job:

    (That link didn’t work, obv)