You

The Spacing Effect: Forgetting Makes It Stick

I love this simple idea about learning: information sticks better if you learn it in smaller chunks over time and forget a little bit in between.

It’s the exact opposite of cramming like we did in college. ๐Ÿ˜†

๐Ÿ‘‰ Teach Yourself How to Learn Better

As it turns out, forgetting the information for a while helps makes it stick for longer if you revisit it later. ๐Ÿคฏ. It may seem odd, but it make sense.

If you force your brain to bring back knowledge itโ€™s starting to forget, then it puts a sticker to remind itself it shouldnโ€™t forget.

This same idea came up here a few months ago in a different post. And seeing it again now, fittingly enough, really solidifies the concept for me. ๐Ÿ™ƒ

Software Dev

Motion ๐Ÿ’“

This ๏ฃฟ-centric open-source animation library looks promising.

๐Ÿ‘‰ Motion on GitHub

Motion

Motion is an animation engine for gesturally-driven user interfaces, animations, and interactions on iOS, macOS, and tvOS.

I’ve been a little skeptical of open-source animation platforms since I had to toss out one app and then another as cocos2d morphed into cocosd2x and broke everything. Damn that x! But still, this looks cool. ๐Ÿ‘†

Via iOS Dev Weekly.

Books · Quotes

“The misery with them all…”

I try to read A Christmas Carol this time every year ๐ŸŽ„ to glean its lessons anew. Ebenezer Scrooge is a nice little annual kick in the butt!

This year, Marley’s ghost and his minions especially spoke out to me. ๐Ÿ‘ป

The misery with them all was, clearly, that they sought to interfere, for good, in human matters, and had lost the power for ever.

The story is not just about being a better person and having some heart, but is also about the pain of regret: failing to impact the world for the better while you have the chance.

No space of regret can make amends for one life’s opportunity misused.

I definitely recommend the Patrick Stewart reading of this book. He brings out the urgency and freshness of it, even though the book is nearly 200 years old!

History · Travel

Christmas Night Drama: Washington’s Crossing

Next time I’m in New York City ๐Ÿ™, I’d like to see the original Washington Crossing the Delaware painting.

I’m sure you’ve seen this painting before, but it would be amazing to see it in its original, massive form (12′ by 21′) at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

There are so many fascinating things about this painting. Here are a few highlights, but I recommend listening to at least the intro of Washington’s Crossing to really appreciate it.

  • The painting depicts the secret Christmas-night 1776 launch of the momentum-grabbing surprise attack on the British and German soldiers occupying New Jersey.
  • At the time, five months after the Declaration of Independence, the new American army had seen defeat after defeat and was 90% destroyed. Thus the gloomy atmosphere with a hint of sunshine in the background.
  • The painting was made by German-American painter Emanuel Leutze in 1850 with a goal of promoting democracy in Europe and fighting slavery in the United States. ๐Ÿคฉ
  • The painting makes efforts to show all kinds of people from all over America literally in the same boat together. This includes a black man, a big statement back in 1850 during slavery. The paining was used for abolition fundraising.
  • The copy in NYC was the second one painted by Leutze. The first went to his native Germany and was destroyed by a British bombing raid during World War II — Britain’s final revenge on the American revolution. ๐Ÿ˜†
Washington Crossing the Delaware, Emanuel Leutze (American, Schwรคbisch Gmรผnd 1816โ€“1868 Washington, D.C.), Oil on canvas, American
You

Genius Happens When You’re Not Thinking

I love the idea that your brain makes its most interesting breakthroughs and connections when you’re not actively thinking. It is well stated in this article.

๐Ÿ‘‰ Your Unconscious Mind Is a Supercomputer. Use It to Achieve Breakthroughs.

With really interesting problems, you usually don’t need to think harder. You need to relax and let you mind do its thing while you sleep or do errands. That is when genius strikes. โšก๏ธ

Creativity is all about making interesting connections. Albert Einstein called it “combination play.”

In my experience, this unconscious combo play is important for figuring out what do to and not so much how to do it. Once the what is clear in your mind, it can be followed by all the conscious thinking and hard work to get it done. Unfortunately, that part does not happen in your sleep. ๐Ÿ˜‰

As a side note, there is also a beautiful space when your mind is so immediate and present that is simply doesn’t have time to think. This is what I like about improv. And also baseball.

You canโ€™t think and hit at the same time.

Yogi Berra (maybe)
Software Dev

The Mac Developer’s Swiss Army Knife

I get so annoyed when I find myself using random websites ๐Ÿคฎ or all different apps ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ to do things like format JSON, test regex’s, encode/decode Base64, encode/decode URLs, or convert Unix time strings.

This nifty little Mac app does all the basic things any developer regularly needs natively, locally, and offline. And it’s free if you build it yourself. Or pay for the official build. Up to you.

๐Ÿ‘‰ DevUtils.app – Developer Utilities for macOS

DevUtils.app screenshot

Via iOS Dev Weekly. See also: Mac-assed Mac Appsย ๐Ÿ˜†