Author: dmonkreflects

#Links 2017-03-19

How many possible ways to construct Sudoku puzzles exist? aka how long can a #Sudoku constructor milk the revenue stream? #Math
Joi Ito is the Director of the MIT Media Lab, & is, to say the least, a rather busy man. He asked publicly for help to manage his “partial attention at meetings” problem due to the volume of email, & got some really interesting tips. Definitely read the comments. #productivity
The 30-second habit – little steps that have a profound change #habit #productivity
Practice anything for 10,000 hours & you’ll be an #expert, claims Gladwell in “Outliers”. Research is disproving it, claiming It perpetuates a cruel myth. #productivity
Do you know how much your computer can do in a second? (not an exact science here, but just to get your head around things) #Technology
Workaholics take note: Have a life outside of work, if you want to be happy #health #happiness also relevant: The biggest #health threat for middle-age men: Loneliness #health cc: Happiness Initiative – Great Place to Work
A simple yet stunningly powerful #visualisation from Bloomberg: What’s really warming the world?
Three tips from Susan Huggett’s impressive #presentation at the #Toastmasters event last Wednesday: Be Aware, Be Yourself, Know your stuff.
28 years old, Benjamin Clementine is mature beyond his years. He’s a survivor, battling homelessness, depression & penury – & his lyrics bring them all to life. Listen to Condolence to know what I mean. I watched his performance on the NPR Tiny Desk concert a few weeks ago, & I’ve been hooked ever since. #music

#Links 2017-03-12

Your personality changes over time: the longest running personality study #neuroscience
Time & energy #investments that have disproportionately high returns.
The daily #routines of a few accomplished people.
True #leadership when things go wrong. More lessons from the Oscars.
The word “#algorithm” has become a cultural fetish, the secular, technical equivalent of invoking God. The Cathedral of Computation #Technology
Leveraging super-fast binary search in #Vlookup #Excel
Video of the week: On the second anniversary of Sir Terry Pratchett’s death, the Sir
Richard Dimbleby Lecture titled Shaking Hands With Death that the actor Tony Robinson delivered as Terry Pratchett’s voice, at the Royal College of Physicians in 2013. Far from being morbid, it will make you laugh while it makes you think.

#Links 2017-03-05

“The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function.” – Prof Albert Bartlett (1923-2013). Watch him explain, in a lecture on arithmetic, energy & population. There’s a wealth of information at this website maintained in his honor.
Seth Godin on #Urgent vs #important: The reason we go for urgent is that it makes us feel competent. We’re good at it. We didn’t used to be, but we are now. Important, on the other hand, is fraught with fear, with uncertainty and with the risk of failure.
Self-talk language shapes self-perception. Fascinating examples of the frame of reference that LeBron James & Malala Yousafzai use to describe themselves. A few other good stories in this series called “The Changing Lives of #WomenWomen of nbn might be interested in this series.
Bruce Lee’s #correspondence & diaries shed light into the #philosophy that ruled his life. From images of his self-affirmation in his neat #handwriting, to a letter written when he was 21, this link was a treasure find.
Maria Helena Braga, & her 94-year old co-inventor of the lithium-ion battery John Goodenough, have #invented a new solid-state battery technology that seems to last 5 times longer, & has faster charge & discharge cycles. Huge implications if this does take off.
What word describes the last remaining of a species? (There’s a neat connection to Sydney too!) #language
Why #typography matters – lessons from the mix-up at some recent movie awards apparently! #visualisation
Who cares about #AnnualReports, really? Well, try this for a change. Warren Buffet writes an annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders. The letter is unlike every other annual report – simple #language, clear ideas, & full of wisdom (& humor!). Letters going back to 1977 can be be found here.
While not quite in the same league, a few companies are starting to take heed of Buffet’s way of #communicating. Here’s Kickstarter’s Benefit Statement for 2016. I shared Bill & Melinda Gates’s letter to their biggest donor, Warren Buffet last week
Verbal #communication is the most important candidate skill, even if you’re just starting off in your career. nbnToastmasters can help!
Jumping to a Pivot Table’s Data Source, the #VBA way. Handy macro to save in your #Excel toolkit

#Links 2017-02-19


You’ve probably seen the ‘most beautiful #graph in the world’ floating around – child mortality halved since 1990. It’s from Bill & Melinda Gates’ annual letter to the single largest donor to their foundation, Warren Buffet, worthy of reading in its entirety. #Storytelling
Andreessen Horowitz’s Connie Chan has this (25 minute video) on Trends in China #Mobile. Don’t write off QR codes, the applications for integration into mobile is stunningly demonstrated.
India’s space research agency planned, & launched 104 satellites in one go. The previous record for this was a Russian launch of 37 satellites in 2014 #Technology
Jobs of the future? 3 employees, a whole bunch of bots. No outsourcing. An example from the music distribution industry. DistroKid has dozens of automated bots that run 24/7. These bots do things that humans do at other distributors. For example, verifying that artwork & song files are correct, changing song titles to comply with each stores’ unique style guide, checking for infringement, delivering files & artwork to stores, updating sales & streaming stats for artists, processing payments, and more. #Technology #Robotics
But not all’s well. Here’s a counterbalance story: Automation of Trust is Illusory is about the lessons to be learnt from the #Blockchain company called Ethereum
The important question of whether a Snuggie is a blanket or a garment has finally been settled, in a Court of Law, no less. #Law
Don’t believe everything you read on the internet: Inside the Macedonian Fake News Complex #Technology
Alike is an animated movie about Copi, a father who’s trying to teach his daily way of life to Paste, his son. #Inspiration
A profile of the father of modern #neuroscience, Nobel Prize winner, Spaniard Santiago Ramón y Cajal, Hunched Over a Microscope, He Sketched the Secrets of How the Brain Works

Productivity / Tools/ Software

Hold Ctrl & Drag a sheet to make a copy of the sheet #Excel #TechnologyTips
IM’s springing up when presenting? Use Win + X key to turn on Presentation mode #TechnologyTips
Learning is the new procrastination? Guilty as charged #Learning
A great way to improve vocabulary & general knowledge is by doing crosswords. (here’s one about the letters SS on ship names) Despite being a word nerd, I’ve been terrified of cryptic crosswords until a colleague took the time during a few lunch breaks to show me how to approach them. Here’s a handy list of articles that help with clues, if it so catches your fancy. #crypticCrosswords
#Links 2017-02-12

#Links 2017-02-12


Psychologist Stephan Lewandowsky & John Cook wrote a guidebook ‘ The Debunking Handbook’ for avoiding the backfire effect when confronting vaccine & climate change deniers. Originally meant to be an instruction manual for science #communicators, it can be applied to just about any situation where the facts are on your side yet the people who need to hear them are dead set on keeping belief-threatening ideas out of their heads.
Venture capitalist Fred Wilson on the trends he sees re the ‘Future of Labour#Work
Tributes flow to the man who made #visualization & #statistics dare I say it, sexy. RIP Dr. Hans Rosling. NYTimes, Robert Kosara from Tableau. Andy Kirk lists a few others, as well as some awesome videos of Rosling’s talks here
Onions – bring a tear to your eye. In more ways than one. #humor
I hadn’t seen this TED video until now: The agony of trying to unsubscribe – James Veitch #humor

Productivity / Tools/ Software

Mike Alexander of Data Pig Technologies threw out a challenge at the beginning of 2017. The goal of the contest was to see the various techniques the #Excel community uses to quickly pull together #reporting. Incredibly useful tips in this YouTube playlist of 13 submissions.
Find & Extract to a worksheet – a #VBA approach from Chandoo when you want to not just Find stuff in an Excel workbook, but also put what you find somewhere
Introducing Excel users to R to do repeatable data analysis #R #Excel
Clean your data in 5 easy steps – practical advise for Excel users #DataAnalysis
Nathan Yau has a few handy tips on how to spot Visualisation lies #Visualization