Five Points – 18

Tough Mothers by Jason Porath – 

Friends doing awesome stuff alert!!!

I mentioned last year when Jason‘s first book, Rejected Princesses, was published and bought a copy for my own collection and my nieces.  It is a timeless tome of women generally being badass.  Check it out here:

On the heals of that release is his second stanza and it looks to be just as amazing!  The research, the writing, the illustrations…the fact a single human did all this is down right remarkable.

From his site:

What’s in it?

50 thoroughly-researched stories of history’s most badass moms from all around the world, most of whom you’ve never heard of. Each entry has a page of illustration and a page or three of text.

What age group is this good for?

Short answer: 12 and up. Younger readers could enjoy most of it, but you’d probably want to read it with them.

Long answer: There’s harsh material at the very end, but every entry has content warnings and a maturity level. In terms of US movie ratings, it’s probably 35% PG, 60% PG-13, 5% R. This isn’t a book to censor history or try to put a pretty spin on things, but it also doesn’t get explicit regularly or without reason. Some of the most harrowing entries are online, to help you gauge how bad it gets: check out Tamar of GeorgiaKate Leigh and Tilly Devine, and Ranavalona I.

Who’s in the book?

The full table of contents is available below – click here to jump to it. Many chapters are available for you to preview!

How Can I Get a Copy?

Option 1: Get a signed copy with dust jacket!

You can get a signed copy by preordering from Book Soup! By doing this, you get a signed book and a special alternate cover foil-stamped dust jacket!

Option 2: Get the Premium Bundle!

You can get all of the above, plus a personalized sketchenamel pinset of stickers, and bookmark for just a few dollars more by preordering the Premium Bundle from Book Soup!

Option 3: Preorder wherever!

First off, it’ll be available at bookstores everywhere, so support your local bookstore!

Failing that, it’s also totally available for order online. Click any of the icons below:

Harper-CollinsBarnes & NobleBooks-A-MillionIndieBound

Why train wheels have conical geometry – 

I found this quick gif pretty interesting

Fortune favors the bold ~ Latin proverb – 

Ain’t that the truth…


When Charles Best, founder of the nonprofit, emailed Ripple co-founder Chris Larsen with a big ask, he was worried the crypto company exec would “be offended by the ridiculousness” of it, Best tells the San Francisco Chronicle.

He sent the pitch anyway: “I kind of dared myself to send an email pitching an idea 10 times bigger than I’ve ever pitched before.”

Larsen and Ripple responded with a $29 million donation to, the crowdfunding platform Best founded in 2000 that lets teachers post classroom project requests and donors choose which projects they want to support.

On Tuesday night, Ripple pledged to fully fund the site’s more than 35,000 classroom requests.

Read the full monty here:

Burning Man art is coming to the Renwick Gallery at the Smithsonian –

What’s on the radio –

Ain’t No Sunshine – Matt Andersen

I find it awesome to listen/watch someone get caught up in their music..

Five Points – 17

Spacebook and Instaham –

Yeah…so social media…

I don’t think it is very good for us.  I do not believe our brains’ have evolved to fully cope with the volume of stimulation these platforms supply.  I do not believe that our (my and your vs the platform’s) interests are aligned.

I purge ‘likes’ and ‘group affiliations’ and ‘links’ with regular frequency.  And I follow no one on Instagram, so as to not fall to deeply into the scrolling trap.  And I direct folks out of the platform to email or phone for communication.  And I have them all locked down to the very best of my ability.

But the data….

Whew, Cambridge Analytica really blew the lid off of the idea that all of the data we freely share with social media could be weaponized.

And Cambridge Analytica is the most famous one, given it’s proximity to Trump.  How many hundreds or thousands of apps out there had/have the ability to glean this data and other types?

Here’s a few ways to level the playing field:

Share as little as possible with Facebook without deleting it –

How To Change Your Facebook Settings To Opt Out of Platform API Sharing –

And perhaps most importantly, log out of Facebook/Google and clear your cache when you leave the sites.  Facebook and Google control nearly ALL online advertising.  In as much, a cookie gets placed on your browser so that as you surf around the web, relevant ads can be displayed to you.  And in fairness, I’d much rather see an ad for camping equipment than hair brushes, but that’s not the point.  In addition to the login/cookie allowing Facebook/Google to serve you ads, those digital breadcrumbs (all of the pages you’ve visited, never mind, liked) can very easily identify you…which I find on the near side of creepy.

And in related news:

Change Your Screen To Grayscale To Combat Phone Addiction –

I have also found a lot of value in putting my phone on “Airplane Mode” before dinner until after breakfast and not charging my phone in the bedroom (to discourage viewing in bed).

Water Quality Testing – 

I have spring water feeding my house.  It’s tasty, but I was curious to learn more about it’s make up.  This tool and kit were inexpensive and super helpful.

HM Digital TDS-EZ Water Quality TDS Tester ($14.87) –
Health Metric Water Test Kit For Municipal Tap and Well Water – Simple Testing Strips For Heavy Metals, Bacteria, Nitrates, Chlorine ($19.97 now out of stock)  –

Snails in the creek at my house – 

As soon as the freeze broke, these little creatures have turned out droves.  It’s cool, as they are generally a proxy for pure water.

Poem for thought – 

Maximus, to himself – Charles Olsen

Read by the author, 1963 –

I have had to learn the simplest things 
last. Which made for difficulties. 
Even at sea I was slow, to get the hand out, or to cross   
a wet deck. 
               The sea was not, finally, my trade. 
But even my trade, at it, I stood estranged 
from that which was most familiar. Was delayed, 
and not content with the man’s argument 
that such postponement   
is now the nature of 
               that we are all late 
               in a slow time, 
               that we grow up many 
               And the single   
               is not easily 

It could be, though the sharpness (the achiote)   
I note in others, 
makes more sense 
than my own distances. The agilities 

               they show daily 
               who do the world’s   
               And who do nature’s   
               as I have no sense   
               I have done either 

I have made dialogues, 
have discussed ancient texts, 
have thrown what light I could, offered   
what pleasures 
doceat allows 
               But the known? 
This, I have had to be given, 
a life, love, and from one man   
the world. 
               But sitting here 
               I look out as a wind   
               and water man, testing   
               And missing 
               some proof 

I know the quarters 
of the weather, where it comes from,   
where it goes. But the stem of me,   
this I took from their welcome, 
or their rejection, of me 

               And my arrogance 
               was neither diminished   
               nor increased, 
               by the communication 


It is undone business 
I speak of, this morning,   
with the sea 
stretching out 
from my feet

What’s on the radio – 

Barnt:  Mayan Warrior and Robot Heart Tie Up @ Burning Man 2017 – Sunrise Set

Five Points – 16

What I’m reading – 

Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress – Steven Pinker

Data proves we are living better today than ever before.

And that is what this book is about.  My friend Matt asked a few folks if they were keen to read this book and then discuss, and I’m glad he did, as it is so refreshing to be reminded that the world we live is actually doing quite well.

If you suffer from the blues and anxiety after clicking on a news site (like I do) or catching a glimpse on the telly, I highly recommend this book.  But don’t take my word for it.  Bill Gates reports “My new favorite book of all time.”

An Amazon Best Book of March 2018: Given the 24-hour news cycle to which we have grown accustomed, it’s difficult to navigate life and think that everything is peachy. But Steven Pinker has set out, first in The Better Angels of Our Nature, and now in Enlightenment Now, to illustrate that there has never been a better time to be a human being. In his new book, Pinker points out that the slow creep of progress is not as newsworthy as, say, an earthquake or an explosion. So it’s clear why we don’t always have the sense that things are getting better. But the Enlightenment—with its dedication to science, reason, humanism, and progress—has led people to live longer, healthier, freer, and happier lives. And Pinker uses charts, data, history, and a firm dedication to his cause to empirically prove that we are living in better times. It makes sense to be skeptical of a scientist arguing that that science is the answer. And his optimism won’t always jibe with your personal experience or judgement. But there’s lots to chew on here—and it’s so easy to obsess on the intrusions and negatives of technology and “advancement” that this book can serve as a kind of antidote. —Chris Schluep, the Amazon Book Review

Stack Overflow 2018 Developer Survey –

I really enjoy looking over stats and survey results such as these.

Stack Overflow is the preeminent destination online for software developers to discuss code.  If you can’t figure out how to squash a pesky bug, go there.  They will help.

This year they surveyed over 100,000 developers across the world to learn more about them…where do they live, how long have they been building software, what are the preferred languages, what platforms are dreaded the most…and a lot more.

Friends doing awesome stuff alert – 

Camille Childs, better half to my good friend Bryan Jones, wrote a book!

Feelings and Dealings – An empathy game for young kids

What’s on the radio – 

Mr. Bojangles – Sammy Davis Jr. –

Steven Hawking 1942 – 2018 –

He inspired so many with his intelligence and humor and determination.

This week especially, I’ve been pondering some of his quotes..

Dying – “I’m not afraid of death, but I’m in no hurry to die. I have so much I want to do first.”
Humor – “Life would be tragic if it weren’t funny.”
Women – “Women. They are a complete mystery.”
Depression – “Black holes ain’t as black as they are painted. They are not the eternal prisons they were once thought. Things can get out of a black hole both on the outside and possibly to another universe. So if you feel you are in a black hole, don’t give up — there’s a way out.”
The meaning of life – “Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at.”

Five Points – 15

USA Rugby – 

It’s true magic to watch a group of boys play their game and win it all.  That’s what happened this past weekend in Las Vegas, where the good guys in red, white, and blue won their home tournament for the first time ever.  Perry Baker and Danny Barrett are pure class.  Hat tip to Dallen Stanford for a few chirps on the world wide telly.

Semi-final and final highlights –
USA vs Argentina Final (full match) –

Request for start ups –

Now sure where to start in starting a start up?

Y Combinator has revised and republished their request for start ups –

Once you have an idea that you know will put a dent in the universe, apply – I think going through and actually answering the application questions is good measure, whether you actually apply or not.

LA Hacker News – 

Y Combinator ( is the premier start up incubator in the world.  They’ve funded quite a few companies you may about – reddit, airbnb, dropbox, heroku…and about 1,600 you may not know about.

Hacker News ( is the preeminent destination on the web to learn about the intersection of technology and entrepreneurship.

LA Hacker News ( the physical meetup for folks keen to connect in person in Los Angeles.

I starting attending not long after the group started. Then I started to volunteer.  When the creator of the group, a good human, Andrew Cholakian, moved to another state, I took the reigns and led the group for a few years.  We hosted the “How to Start a Start Up” course via Stanford and over 200 folks attended for a semester.  We coded and shared and watched nerdy movies together.  We grew to over 2,000 members.

Having left LA, I have now passed the torch to equally good human, David Guttman, whom also hosts (, the premier Javascript meetup in LA.

I’ll miss being a part of the group on a regular basis.

Deadmau5 – 

Deadmau5 is famous for his mask/helmet.  I can imagine playing a set or more would be challenging for one that is’t a mau5.

What’s on the radio –

LOVE. – Kendrick Lamar ft. Zacari –

Say Something – Justin Timberlake ft. Chris Stapleton –

Five Points – 14

Berkshire Hathaway Annual Report – 

Warren Buffet penned and published the annual report for Berkshire Hathaway on February 23.  He is so sharp and somehow, effortlessly down to earth.  He also exudes confidence, not only in the managers of the businesses he owns, but in America.

I recommend the read for those interested in learning more about how a true operator answers to his stake holders.

Korea –

I find this image to be mind boggling.

Sardines – 

I’ve been cutting red meat out of my diet more and more since getting a second kidney stone last year…and so I don’t just fat in peace out here in the woods alone.  Instead of sausage for breaky, I’ve headed to fish.  While lox and nova are my favorite, I find sardines to be a great substitute.  They come in a can, which makes them super convenient and less prone to going bad.  They are packed with the nutrients I need and I find them tasty, even if a bit fishy sometimes.  And its been reported they way less heavy metals than other fish, as they are on the bottom of the aquatic food chain.

These are worth a try:

What’s on the radio – is an app I’ve been a fan of for a long time.  I can’t listen to music with lyrics when writing or building software or strategizing on something hard and complicated.  The words distract me and take me somewhere else. has several tracks that are great for studying, focusing, meditating, and sleeping.  And they employ some heavy science to support their claim that their audio is the best.

also, a throw back

By My Side – Sade –

Quote I’m Pondering- 

“God walks out of the room when you’re thinking about money.” ~ Quincy Jones

*** Some of the realist *ish I’ve read.  I absolutely believe this.  I first heard this lesson, although I didn’t listen all that well at the time, from Nick Segal, a wise man and my manager many years ago.  And over the years I’m continually reminded of its merit.  In a creative endeavor or in sales or a relationship…as soon as the amount of money one might make becomes a priority, entropy exponentially increased.  In other words, you can bet that if you put your $$$ ahead of anything else, you might as well quit, ’cause the will absolutely stop.