For creativity

Miro - Thinking ...

I once (in the autumn of 2001, at VIP) heard Șerban Alexandrescu (Headvertising) speak about leisure time within an advertising agency.

His affirmation (large approximation, here) was something in line with: if you run an advertising agency, you need to give your employees some spare time. If they work long hours, they don’t have the time for leisure, like watching plays, movies, going out, which will limit their ability for creativity.

This is so true. A lot of time, people focus on the working parts – “Oh, I’ll work so-and-so hours, I don’t need to read the news, watch some movies, listen to podcasts, listen to music, in other words – educate myself. No! All I need to do is work-work-work”.

There are two problems with that:

  • First, unless you do really repetitive work, and you’re highly motivated, it’s very hard to work long hours in a day.
  • Two, you won’t get inspiration. There are some really technical jobs right now (working with repetitive tasks, just doing the same things over and over again), but, generally, it should help if you can have some creativity in your job. And, in the future, I expect more and more of the repetitive jobs will be put aside, replaced by machines (digital or physical). So, I think it would be nice to know what happens around you.

How to get more creative? I think there are two solutions:

  • Get more dots. Get more things to connect with. Expose yourself to various situations – see movies, read books, listen to things. Find out where information lurks, and get into the abyss.
  • Connect the dots. Write some blog posts connecting ideas. Keep a journal, but don’t just mention “Today I did so-and-so”, but more into “Today I did this, which reminds me of, which also reminds me of, which I can relate to another situation”. This is rather hard – connecting the dots. It’s not hard to watch a movie, it’s hard to write an essay about ideas you got in the movies, and how does the movie fit the bigger picture (pun intended). It’s not that hard to read a book, but it’s rather hard to connect the ideas within it. Make it a habit, and it should become easier as time passes by.

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Good news vs. bad news – which one should I give first?

Marian Rainer-Harbach - Spring Cleaning, Negative

According to a study:

If you are on the receiving end, Legg says, experiments showed that an overwhelming majority—more than 75 percent—wanted the bad news first. “If people know they are going to get bad news, they would rather get it over with,” she says. Then, if there is good news to follow, “you end on a high note.”

Good News or Bad News: Which Do You Want First?

I generally focus on giving the bad news first. I’m happy that this is how people would actually expect it.

Why do this? It helps overcome fears. If someone has constantly in their head – “Oh, what will the bad news be?”, they might ignore the good news altogether.

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Despre hoții de buzunare

Ian Livesey - Stop.... Thief

Am întâlnit în câteva instanțe hoți de buzunare în autobuzele sau troleibuzele din București. În aproape toate situațiile era vorba de mașini foarte aglomerate. Te suiai în ele și erai strâns lipit de alți oameni.

Ce recomand ar fi să eviți să te sui în dreptul ușii într-un autobuz foarte aglomerat. Adică te poți sui într-un autobuz aglomerat, dacă ești undeva în mijlocul autobuzului. Dar dacă ești foarte aproape de ușă, aceea e o zonă cu risc mai ridicat.

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On the WOOP method – for wishes, preferences, habits

Kevin - Trapped leaves

I found out about WOOP via a great online course (“The Science of Well-Being” by Yale University | Coursera).

WOOP is a science-based mental strategy that people can use to find and fulfill their wishes, set preferences, and change their habits. (Home — WOOP my life)

What is the WOOP method?

  • W: Think about your wish;
  • O: The best outcome;
  • O: Potential obstacles;
  • P: Your if/then plan.

(via »)

There’s also a book: Gabriele Oettingen, Rethinking Positive Thinking: Inside the New Science of Motivation (a nice introduction to the work on using implementation intention and WOOP in your daily life).

And an article: Stop Being So Positive. And another one: WOOP – Science’s #1 Tool For Goal Achievement and Habit Change.

A quote related to the obstacles:

“When is a monster not a monster? Oh, when you love it.” ― Caitlyn Siehl

Some thoughts:

  • It reminds me of a video in which Horia-Roman Patapievici talks about the present moment » (it starts at around 32:54).
  • It matters a lot if I want to change something in myself, to imagine the process. And I can go really deep into this, I can imagine all the details. I can describe all the mental images, via various senses (image, audio, sensorial, smell).
  • Imagining the best outcome helps me really get involved. I can see the positive final result.
  • Potential obstacles are also useful because I can try and manipulate the image. How do I refer to the obstacles? How much of an obstacle are they, really? I can also get used to them.
  • If I can get to love the obstacle, I can relate to them much better.
  • The if/then plan allows me to set up a thing that will help me avoid a bad outcome.

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How do I lose weight?

Ed Yourdon - Summertime lunch at Bryant Park, Aug 2009 - 50

How can you tell whether someone is vegan ?

Answer: Because they tell you… again, and again, and again

One of the key things in losing weight is, at least for me, keeping track of what I eat using (Free Calorie Counter, Diet & Exercise Journal).

If today I eat something with a large number of calories, and with high-calorie density (highly processed foods, sweets), by weighing myself the next morning I will likely see an increase in my weight. Tracking very thoroughly my calorie intake also helps with this – it helps me keep in my mind the fact that I need to lose weight.

Other than that, I try to do some basic calorie restrictions and having a longer time frame of not eating.

I do some sports, it surely helps, but I consider the impact at a minimum level.

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Site-uri adăugare diacritice automat

Holger Prothmann - Letters I've Written...

Cum se pot adăuga diacritice într-un text?

Sunt două mari soluții:

#1 Folosind un site dedicat cu inteligență artificială:

#2 Folosind alte site-uri, care sunt, totuși, surprinzător de bune:

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Sitting, standing

Nicolò Paternoster - Istanbul - In a cup of çay

It surely happened to you – you entered a room with a dilemma, and the first thing you say is, after a “Hello!”, “How can we solve the dilemma?”.

While this might appear a fine in solving the issue, it might actually be a wrong step.

What I suggest instead is to take a while.

Enter the room, ask a silly introductory question (about the weather, for example), do some small chat, take a sip of water, and only afterwards confrunt the elephant in the room.

Don’t rush it in, don’t jump right to the conclusion, don’t force things into solving hastly.

While it might appear that you’re losing precious time if you don’t go ahead and jump to the conclusion, you might actually be losing a step in the right direction for solving the problem.

So, don’t stand and solve the issue, sit, drink some tea, get into the amtosphere, and only then solve the issue.

While I might be wrong, I associate Turkish people with this kind of approach. And I applaud it!

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Future evaluation

Timothy Valentine - Fuzzy DIce

Sometimes, I get invitations to connect on various social networks. But there’s a maximum limit on the number of people you can add to your network.

Sometimes, I meet new people, some of them at the start of their careers. Who should I consider to be more successful in the future?

Sometimes, I need to evaluate a website on its future value. How will it grow, how will it decline?

Sometimes, I need to evaluate a partnership between a YouTube channel and a sponsor. How will the partnership go?

The thing is, life, both personal and professional, is full of surprises. A hard-working and bright person has the future in their hands, and a website, business, or YouTube channel that does things correctly now, will likely do so in the future.

But it’s very very hard, for me at least, to correctly predict luck and fortune. I don’t easily evaluate what would the career of a person look like 10 or more years in the future. It’s hard, close to impossible, to know if a business will be still on the market 5 years later, or if it will be a hit 10 years later.

The solution? Accept invitations to connect, do meet the people, do consider them capable of success in the future, do consider the potential of a business / YouTube channel / website to grow.

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Plastic vs. Wooden cutting boards

Jonathan Cutrer - Sliced Pineapple #jcutrer

Plastic cutting boards, Cliver found, are easier to sanitize. But cutting on them also leaves lots of grooves where bacteria can hide. Wood is tougher to sanitize, but it’s also (often) tougher in general – you won’t find as many deep scratches in the surface.

Fast Facts About Cutting Boards and Food Safety in Your Kitchen | NC State News


The tests results indicate that the surface of a wooden board will actually stop dangerous bacteria from multiplying and the germs simply die out after a period of about three minutes. Following the experiment, the scientists at the University of Wisconsin found that 99.9% of the bacteria placed on the wooden chopping boards had died out completely within minutes whereas some of the cheaper plastic boards had very little effect in terms of killing dangerous microbes.

Myth or Fact: The Antibacterial Properties of Wood


The study indicated that an antibacterial effect of wood, especially for pine, is caused by the hygroscopic properties of wood and the wood extractives.

(PDF) Wooden boards affecting the survival of bacteria?


The only situation where plastic appeared less contaminated than wood (when sampling had been done by contact agar) was just after a drastic cleaning and disinfecting. But we do not know how long this difference was maintained during the working period, or whether the wood had been scraped before cleaning and disinfecting.

Sanitary quality of meat chopping board surfaces: a bibliographical study – ScienceDirect


There was a significant difference in bacterial recoveries from wood and plastic. Bacterial numbers decreased faster on the wood surfaces than on the plastic surface.

Wooden boards affecting the survival of bacteria? A. Schönwälder, R. Kehr, A. Wulf and K. Smalla

& Also »

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Criteriile după care se alege un furnizor de hosting

Cable management

Pentru a alege un furnizor de hosting, sunt necesare niște informații de pe site-ul furnizorului, precum:

  • Dacă se oferă acces la un cPanel;
  • Dacă se face backup cu o anumită frecvență;
  • Care sunt limitările ofertei (număr maxim de domenii, adrese MySQL, căsuțe de email, spațiu, bandă de trafic, tip de conținut găzduit); alături de numărul de domenii găzduite, spațiul de găzduire contează și el, este important să știi dacă poți găzdui un singur site sau mai multe la un furnizor anume;
  • Contează și gradul de particularizare a serviciului, există găzduire dedicată pentru WordPress, care include anumite optimizări pentru WordPress, sau servicii precum backup și viteză sporită;
  • Posibilitățile de scalare ulterioară – e posibil să pornesc o afacer acum, și, ulterior, să descopăr că am nevoi mărite; este furnizorul de hosting capabil să se adapteze la nevoile mele ulterioare?
  • Legat de CDN (Content Delivery Network, un sistem prin care, de exemplu, imaginile sau alte resurse, sunt încărcate din servere de tip cloud), din ce estimez este util pentru cei care au un volum de trafic foarte ridicat, eventual din mai multe țări;

Există însă și niște elemente pentru care este necesar să se facă un research anterior achiziției:

  • Durata de uptime a serviciului;
  • Promptitudinea și calitatea serviciului clienți.

Aceste două ultime elemente au un rol important în alegerea furnizorului de hosting. Majoritatea furnizorilor de hosting cu care am lucrat personal au avut un uptime ridicat, dar niciodată, din ce rețin, nu a fost 100%, uneori site-ul mai e picat.

De asemenea, serviciul clienți variază de la un furnizor de servicii la altul.

Când e să aleg un furnizor de hosting, prețul e un element care contează destul de puțin. Desigur, nu voi alege un pachet de hosting care este net nepotrivit cu nevoile mele – nu am nevoie de server privat virtual, de exemplu, pentru un hosting obișnuit.

Dar când am de ales între doi furnizori asemănători ca ofertă, prețul contează mai puțin. Mă uit la recenzii, caut să înțeleg cât de calitativ este serviciul oferit și încerc să îmi dau seama dacă voi fi mulțumit de serviciul oferit.

Legat de securitate, în general prefer să achiziționez din terțe părți un certificat de SSL. Uneori apar probleme cu furnizorii de certificate SSL gratuite, dar pentru site-urile mici sunt suficiente și acelea.

Tot legat de securitate, în general un furnizor mai mare va lua măsuri de protecție bună împotriva atacurilor pe server. Aș căuta aici un furnizor mai mare, chiar dacă poate fi o țintă și pentru niște atacuri pe care pentru un furnizor mai mic nu ar fi un motiv de îngrijorare.

De ce mă leg de numărul de clienți? E mult mai puțin probabil ca un furnizor cu mulți clienți să aibă niște proceduri slabe. Sigur, dacă mă uit la prețuri și văd că prețurile unui furnizor sunt foarte mici, îmi pun unele întrebări despre calitatea serviciului. Dar dacă văd un furnizor cu prețuri medii sau un pic peste și numeroși clienți (din ce pot deduce), e un semn bun.

În ceea ce privește viteza, contează ca imaginile să fie livrate în două formate: odată JPG sau PNG, și, în același timp, dacă se poate, să fie livrate și în formatul WebP.

Dacă nu este facilă folosirea WebP, citți despre cum se optimizează imaginile.

Designul unui site e uneori luat în considerare când se realizează un site, dar contează mai puțin pentru furnizorul de hosting. Atâta timp cât se suportă tehnologiile principale ale site-ului (de exemplu PHP, sau un CMS particular precum WordPress), designul are un rol secundar.

Cred că dacă ar fi să sumarizez criteriile în alegerea unei găzduiri web, ar fi ca serviciile să fie de calitate înaltă. Costul pentru un serviciu de hosting sunt, în general, reduse. Merită, în multe situații, să investești în viteză, securitate, suport clienți și, la finalul zilei, un somn liniștit că site-ul e pe mâini bune.

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