Monument Valley screenshotEvery once in a while, I like to browse the the App Store for good casual games. I'm not much of a gamer in any sense, but I do really enjoy a good puzzle game every now and again.

Monument Valley is as close to the perfect puzzler that I've ever seen. At the beginning, I nearly gave up because it seemed a little too simple, but the beautiful visuals kept me playing, and it did get more difficult. The world that you control your character through is something of a 3D maze, but because it is isometric and has no perspective, various sections that seem to be at different heights end up matching up together. As the game becomes more complex, and twists like having the camera angle change can completely change the layout of the maze.

Autocorrect is only noticed when it fails

The Oatmeal sums it up nicely: autocorrect hates you because you don't give it any credit. We have all these sites full of screenshots of funny things that people have said, and blamed autocorrect for making it funny and making them "famous".

Autocorrect is like the sound engineer at a concert. No one really notices him, no one gives him any credit for his work, and no one cares about him, unless he messes up. The moment there's feedback or a mic cuts out, everyone shares their hate for the sound engineer.

It being "the holiday season", here's a podcast episode with some backstory on a common feature of our Western culture's festivities: the elf.

Homemade bread

Okay, it's not that secret. But it is one that my Dad came up with after much tinkering with recipes for breadmakers.

This recipe works with most breadmakers, and makes a 2lb loaf (the 1.5lb recipe follows). It works with any mix of whole wheat and white flour, though it's best with slightly more whole wheat than white.

People seem to think that the best way to get noticed on social media is to be active everywhere. It's not.

There are many variables when it comes to how fast a webpage will load, and most of them are out of the developer's hands. Thankfully, there are a few things we can do to optimize how the page is delivered to the user, speed up the whole browsing process, and also use less bandwidth.

I'm frequently asked for TV series recommendations, and I frequently ask for recommendations myself, so I thought it'd make life simpler if I just listed my favourites here.


The IT Crowd

Here's a fun British comedy which accurately describes the terrors and triumphs of the corporate IT department, and on a wider spectrum, geekdom as a whole. Don't worry, it's written in a way that doesn't alienate non-nerd too much (to the point where my wife even enjoyed it).

  • Does not require watching sequentially, but does have an ongoing story arc
  • No longer in production

For me, and a lot of people that I've talked to, the most difficult part of waking up in the morning is getting out of bed. Being able to just reach over and snooze — or completely turn off — the alarm and fall back asleep is just too easy.

A very common solution to the issue is place one's alarm clock on the far side of the room, so they have to get out of bed to turn it off. This works rather well, as long as you have the self-control to not just climb back in bed. This is what I currently do, but I have a better plan (and it doesn't involve buying a clock that runs/flies/hides or something silly like that).

A glass of ginger beer

Here's a simple recipe for ginger beer, with no other flavour additives (I'm still experimenting with those). 

Ingredients

  • Fresh ginger root (I use one chunk, about the size of my palm)
  • Sugar (1 cup)
  • Yeast (½ teaspoon)
  • Water (2 litres)

We live in an age of striving for positive feedback from our peers, but also making it so easy for our peers to give positive feedback that the effect is diluted. One can show that they "Like" a Facebook post or "Favourite" a Tweet in just one tap. Instagram makes it even easier, and lets you double-tap an image to give it your love, so you don't have to take the time to find and tap the heart button.