Archive for September, 2008

Books: Brain Rules

Friday, September 26th, 2008

picture-333.pngOne of the questions is: How does the brain actually work? Beside the fact that even nowadays the scientific community can’t really tell us an answer, the other question is then: What do I have to know to more efficiently use that organ? And here Medina’s Rules are very interesting to learn about:

EXERCISE | Rule #1: Exercise boosts brain power.
SURVIVAL | Rule #2: The human brain evolved, too.
WIRING | Rule #3: Every brain is wired differently.
ATTENTION | Rule #4: We don’t pay attention to boring things.
SHORT-TERM MEMORY | Rule #5: Repeat to remember.
LONG-TERM MEMORY | Rule #6: Remember to repeat.
SLEEP | Rule #7: Sleep well, think well.
STRESS | Rule #8: Stressed brains don’t learn the same way.
SENSORY INTEGRATION | Rule #9: Stimulate more of the senses.
VISION | Rule #10: Vision trumps all other senses.
GENDER | Rule #11: Male and female brains are different.
EXPLORATION | Rule #12: We are powerful and natural explorers.

Especially the first two thirds of the book are really interesting and sometimes funny. Very useful information, which can be used for everydays learning, as well as for example presentations. Here is a nice PPT from PresentationZen:

Brain Rules for Presenters
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: reynolds garr)

CodeIgniter: PHP Programming Environment

Friday, September 26th, 2008

pastedgraphic.pngCodeIgniter is based on the Model-View-Controller development pattern. MVC is a software approach that separates application logic from presentation. In practice, it permits your web pages to contain minimal scripting since the presentation is separate from the PHP scripting.

The Model represents your data structures. Typically your model classes will contain functions that help you retrieve, insert, and update information in your your database.
The View is the information that is being presented to a user. A View will normally be a web page, but in CodeIgniter, a view can also be a page fragment like a header or footer. It can also be an RSS page, or any other type of “page”.
The Controller serves as an intermediary between the Model, the View, and any other resources needed to process the HTTP request and generate a web page.
CodeIgniter has a fairly loose approach to MVC since Models are not required. If you don’t need the added separation, or find that maintaining models requires more complexity than you want, you can ignore them and build your application minimally using Controllers and Views. CodeIgniter also enables you to incorporate your own existing scripts, or even develop core libraries for the system, enabling you to work in a way that makes the most sense to you.

Get Information about an IP

Thursday, September 25th, 2008 is a community-based project to geolocate IP addresses, making the database freely available (see below).

Stumble Upon

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

stumbleupon.pngStumbleUpon discovers web sites based on your interests. Whether it’s a web page, photo or video, our personalized recommendation engine learns what you like, and brings you more.

Dock Stack for “Recent Applications”

Thursday, September 18th, 2008

This simple Terminal hack will create a custom Stack on the Dock that will show your recently opened applications. Just open (/Applications/Utilities/) and type in the following command:

defaults write persistent-others -array-add '{ "tile-data" = { "list-type" = 1; }; "tile-type" = "recents-tile"; }'

Once you type in the command, you will need to restart the Dock by typing “killall Dock” and pressing enter. If you decide you don’t want the newly created Stack, just drag it off the Dock like any other Stack.


Count Your Words

Monday, September 8th, 2008

picture-312.pngWordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like. You can print them out, or save them to the Wordle gallery to share with your friends.

The cloud above is from the intro of UNEP’s GEO-4 report, by Klaus Töpfer.

Get Column Names & Data Type (Postgres)

Friday, September 5th, 2008

a.attname as Column,
pg_catalog.format_type(a.atttypid, a.atttypmod) as Datatype
pg_catalog.pg_attribute a
a.attnum > 0 AND
NOT a.attisdropped AND
a.attrelid = (
pg_catalog.pg_class c
pg_catalog.pg_namespace n ON n.oid = c.relnamespace
c.relname ~ '^(dams_pt)$' AND