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My ratings (R) are from 1 to 9. My Dates are also permalinks. Click on the column headers to sort Jots. Feel free to use the address bar like a command line interface by setting the optional query string parameters: Dtm1 (10, 20, 30, YYYYMMDDhhmmss), Dtm2 (YYYYMMDDhhmmss), IsJot (Jot or Not), Tag (zero+ times), NotTag (zero+ times), OrderBy (PostForDate, PostTitle, PostLink, PostText, PostSource, PostRating, PostSize) & Desc(Desc), and Limit(integer).

  1. Learn programming for free TAGS: Computers. Education. Programming. TECH.
  2. Landing TAGS: Beauty. Comics. Cool. Funny. Inspiring. Space. TECH.
  3. Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey TAGS: Beauty. Biology. Chemistry. Cool. Evolution. Fauna. Flora. Geology. Inspiring. Math. Nature. Physics. Science. Space. TECH. TV. Videos.
  4. Neil deGrasse Tyson explains why the new Cosmos matters so much TAGS: Cool. Inspiring. Science. TECH. TV. Videos.
  5. Notes on Meetup with Health Data Liberation TAGS: Chicago. Databases. Healthcare. Open Source. Thoughts.
  6. 10 Simple Rules for the Care and Feeding of Scientic Data TAGS: Open Source. Science. TECH.
  7. A few panels on Introversion TAGS: Comics. Images. Introversion.
  8. Find beauty with the mind and heart, as well as the eyes, mouth, and ears. TAGS: Beauty. Chill. Inspiring. Mind. My Stuff. Ramblings. Thoughts.
  9. My Birthday Wishes -Kirk Douglas on his 97th TAGS: Cool. Inspiring. Life. World.
  10. Gut Bacteria Might Guide The Workings Of Our Minds TAGS: Biology. Fauna. Flora. Nature.
20150225 153825 Z Different first page header? /productforu … 8pYMU/discussion Google, Software, TECH, Writing Glory! After 26 pages of forum discussions since 2011-09-28, Google Documents now allows you to have a first page with a different header/footer from the other page. 0-index!
20150208 161737 Z Breakthrough DNA Editor Borne of Bacteria /www.quantam … editor-bacteria/ Biology, Biotechnology, Cool, Nature, News, Programming, TECH The CRISPR-cas system is nature's DNA editing tool (Find, cut, copy, insert, replace, etc.). Scientists are just beginning to explore and use this tool!
20150208 144514 Z Researchers developing more efficient solar panel using photosynthesis as model www.cctv-ame … nthesis-as-model Biotechnology, Cool, News, Solar, TECH Past attempts at artificial photosynthesis focused on inorganic techniques to split water to make hydrogen fuel. Lakshmi's attempt takes an organic approach to make electricity directly. Very promising!
20150206 193836 Z AHRQ Announces Interest in Research on Health IT Safety - See more at: grants.nih.g … T-HS-15-005.html Healthcare, Standards, TECH The AHRQ just published special emphasis notice (SEN): NOT-HS-15-005 []. That is, there is several hundred thousand dollars of grant money for anyone who has a qualifying Health IT Safety project.
20150127 220831 Z Pluralsight and Code School: Your learning potential amplified ww2.pluralsi … Computers, Cool, Education, Free Gratis, Programming, TECH

Pluralsight just acquired Code School. In celebration, both sites are making their courses free until 2015-01-30 Fri noon.

I might do more studying for the next few days.

20150114 184401 Z 'Strange taste' in water caused by human remains in supply tank www.statesma … supply-to/njngx/ Death, Funny, News, Quirky, Sad Pay attention when your water tastes a bit putrified. These poor folks have been drinking it for a year! Thank goodness she had implants.
20141212 170533 Z Building a space elevator starts with a lunar elevator by 2020 www.gizmag.c … -liftport/35119/ Cool, Space Elevator, TECH A Moon-to-orbit space elevator seems feasible by 2020 and would be a great leap to developing an Earth-to-orbit space elevator.
20141205 162051 Z Successful Launch of Orion Heralds First Step on Journey to Mars … rs/#.VIHabDHF_wt Cool, Space, TECH Orion, the NASA program to Mars, is off to a great start with today's successful launch. Men are scheduled to land on Mars in the 2030s!
20141205 161237 Z Why More Solar Panels Should Be Facing West, Not South www.nytimes. … 0&abt=0002&abg=0 Solar, TECH Why west instead of south? Because the Grid needs more assistance later in the day. If you're not doing it for the Grid, then that's another story.
20141027 151434 Z Isaac Asimov Asks, "How Do People Get New Ideas?" www.technolo … e-get-new-ideas/ Cool, Inspiring, Mind, Psychology, Reading, Text "On Creativity" (1959) by Isaac Asimov, just published. A small group of creative, relaxed, jovial folks having a cerebration session sounds like a lot of fun!
2014-12-15t15:28:41 Z | TAGS: Computers, Education, Programming, TECH
Learn programming for free

Since people ask about learning programming for free, I figured I'd make a post with today's answer. (No, none of them are paying me to advertise for them.)

There are many avenues for learning computers and programming, but the following are free and very good.

Learn web programming for free on these links:

For possible paths see these links:

For free courses from universities, see these links. Note that these links also offer courses beyond computers and programming:

2014-11-17t15:39:36 Z | TAGS: Beauty, Comics, Cool, Funny, Inspiring, Space, TECH
Landing []
The account of the comet landing: Nerve wrecking + wonderful = nerve wreckerful.
2014-06-10t14:33:01 Z | TAGS: Beauty, Biology, Chemistry, Cool, Evolution, Fauna, Flora, Geology, Inspiring, Math, Nature, Physics, Science, Space, TECH, TV, Videos
Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey
Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey []

My family and I have thoroughly enjoyed watching "Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey", the recently concluded 13 episode science documentary TV series. A sincere thank you to Neil deGrasse Tyson, Seth MacFarlane, Ann Druyan, Fox, the National Geographic Channel, and the many who worked on Cosmos.

The show was thoroughly aligned with content my wife and I encourage for our kids. A sense of curiosity and wonder. Openness to different ideas and people. Awareness of the danger and responsibility of climate change: A climate change of a few degrees (or a few ppb of CO2) leads to an Ice Age or a Heat Age. The beauty and explanatory power of evolution. The importance of epistemology and the scientific method, and how it can stray.

I'll conclude with five simple rules that Neil mentioned in the last episode.

  1. Question authority. No idea is true just because someone says so, including me.
  2. Think for yourself. Question yourself.
  3. Don't believe anything just because you want to. Believing something doesn't make it so.
  4. Test ideas by the evidence gained from observation and experiment. If a favorite idea fails a well-designed test, it's wrong! Get over it. Follow the evidence, wherever it leads. If you have no evidence, reserve judgment.
  5. And perhaps the most important rule of all: Remember, you could be wrong.
2014-03-03t21:19:29 Z | TAGS: Cool, Inspiring, Science, TECH, TV, Videos
Neil deGrasse Tyson explains why the new Cosmos matters so much
Neil deGrasse Tyson explains why the new Cosmos matters so much []
We've been distracted by the stunning advances that information technology has brought us, to the exclusion of very deeply held needs that we have in society.

In college I could barely do chemical engineering because I was so distracted by computers! The Web wasn't even up then, so people have even more distractions now.

Cosmos has, as its mission statement, the effort to convey to you why science matters. That is a different motivating factor than "Here's all this science I want to teach you."

There is so much mind in science that people forget that it has so much heart in it too.

2014-01-16t17:36:27 Z | TAGS: Chicago, Databases, Healthcare, Open Source, Thoughts
Notes on Meetup with Health Data Liberation

Last night I attended the inaugral meeting [] of the Meetup group "Health Data Liberation" []. The meeting was run by Dr Rebecca Wurtz, an Epidemiologist at Northwestern. 2-3 dozen attended including doctors, folks in BI & analytics, several in the open data movement, a fellow from payers, etc. There was a vigorous and enthusiastic discussion, that was not dominated by any one individual.

There was much discussed, and I just want to hit on a few key points.

Issue: Trust. Different systems already have our data. But who do we trust to merge data? How can we trust them? The data merging entity would have to promise to be the end-of-line as far as identified data, if they want to share the merged data, then they could only share de-identified data. The entity would have to have strong security and impoorting arrangements. Each person would have the right to their own data and to pull out at any time.

Issue: De-identifying data. There was much involved in suspending disbelief that we could actually de-identify data --especially once a data set has been merged with other data sets. The HIPAA standard for de-identification (45 CFR 164.514) does not stop people from using their Sherlock skills to identify people in merged data sets without the name, gender, address, date of birth, etc.

Issue: Name. It also became apparent that since we want the data to be as wide and complete as possible. The term "health data" is too restrictive. Perhaps "life data"?

Issue: Falsified data. We may like the concept of the quantified self, but did you really do 1000 push ups in 30 minutes today? It seems that we need external parties to provide some degree of validation of the data.

Issue: Select which data sets to share. People may be OK sharing most health data but not genomic data or book purchases. The People should be able to choose which data set (hospital, pharmacy, payers, labs, medical & exercise devices, Google, Amazon, genome, banks, utilities, etc) they want merged into the open data set. They should be able to do this in batches or stream, scheduled or one-offs.

Issue: Sharing data. I'm guessing that this will probably go the Semantic Web route with RDF, but in the meantime we have to deal with HL7 v2, HL7 v3, HL7 FHIR, EDI 837s, XDS, etc, etc. And that's not even talking about the non-health data sources.

Issue: Analysis. Open life data is in the twilight zone between collecting data and analyzing it. While systems already collect and analyze internal & proprietary data, no one is up to sharing the data for de-identification and open analysis yet. We didn't discuss the kinds of open analysis that could be done, but perhaps that would need to be a separate discussion because the other issues overshadow this one.

Issue: Starting. My guess is we'd have to start with small set of people who volunteer to make their life data open (but de-identified!) at some site X. Then they can choose which data sets to share their identified data with X. Site X would merge different identified data set but only share a de-identified data set to anyone. If successful, then there will probably be ways to incentivize people to participate in the data liberation.

2014-01-10t18:03:15 Z | TAGS: Open Source, Science, TECH
10 Simple Rules for the Care and Feeding of Scientic Data
10 Simple Rules for the Care and Feeding of Scientic Data []

Open data, open source. For the tldnr crowd:

2013-12-26t16:47:21 Z | TAGS: Comics, Images, Introversion
A few panels on Introversion
A few panels on Introversion. []
A few panels on Introversion. I've kept a copy of it if the imgur link ever dies.
2013-12-19t15:46:55 Z | TAGS: Beauty, Chill, Inspiring, Mind, My Stuff, Ramblings, Thoughts
Find beauty with the mind and heart, as well as the eyes, mouth, and ears.

This morning I walked by a building where some parts were covered with with windows and other parts with embedded stones. I saw people with window-washing scaffolding on the stone parts, so I assume that they were not window-washing but stone-washing.

An image popped into my mind of mountain water running over mountain stones. An image of water cleaning stones year after year, scrubbing stones down molecules at a time. I found it to be a beautiful concept. It was natural, clean, out of the city. It was redemption of mind, a renewal of spirit. The concept of it was more beautiful than the image.

Find beauty with the mind and heart, as well as the eyes, mouth, and ears.

2013-12-10t15:33:56 Z | TAGS: Cool, Inspiring, Life, World
My Birthday Wishes -Kirk Douglas on his 97th
My Birthday Wishes -Kirk Douglas on his 97th []

Happy Birthday Kirk Douglas!

Just in case the link ever goes bad, here's his list:

2013-11-23t17:41:56 Z | TAGS: Biology, Fauna, Flora, Nature
Gut Bacteria Might Guide The Workings Of Our Minds
Gut Bacteria Might Guide The Workings Of Our Minds []
This animation is the most human/kid friendly exploration into the human biome. If you human biome interests you, then consider checking out and too.

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