Demonic Plants of SoCal: Pt. 1 - Pitchfork Weed

🔖 other 

The first thing I noticed when I moved to Santa Barbara and started going outdoors was that everything just seemed a little more hostile than what I was used to. There are the ever present threats of overwhelming heat, lack of water, exposure and poison oak. By now, I’ve come to know some of the more subtle actors as well.

One of them I met today: Pitchfork Weed aka Bidens frondosa or, the Devil’s Beggarticks, Devil’s Pitchfork, Tickseed Sunflower… Would you believe it is closely related to the lovely sunflower? Neither would I, the family resemblance is illusive. Trust me, you don’t want to run through a field of these, and their seeds are not pleasant.

2016-05-08-demonic-plants-of-socal-pt.-1---pitchfork-weed.markdown

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Now You Too Can Become A Syntax Tyrant

🔖 code 

So I really like code linters. My coworkers know this. Actually, I got called a syntax Nazi today by a fellow developer. I’m OK with that. I believe in readability and consistency.

In my projects I make it impossible to make a git commit before the source code passes a flake8 check. How to perform this minor miracle you ask? With a simple git pre-commit hook:

myproject/.git/hooks/pre-commit

#!/bin/sh
flake8 .

When I commit, the hook executes. Since git knows a return of anything besides 0 means abort, it stops the commit from happening. Awesome.

Here is a terminal recording of it in action:

Don’t forget to make your pre-commit hook file executable!

Sane Django Development with Docker

🔖 code 

Recently I started a new Django project, and this time I decided to go all in on Docker. No virtualenvs, no local databases - containers all the way.

There are about a million and ten articles about how to dockerize webapps by now. However, none of them seem to address one simple fact: we don’t simply want to dockerize our applications, we want to develop them too!

sane-django-docker contains a sample django project webapp as well as the necessary config files to run both a development and production server.

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Why I Still Prefer Unity: It's All About Real Estate

🔖 linux 

I’ve been pretty good about not becoming a open source pundit. But today I feel like writing something useless.

My laptop’s ssd crapped out yesterday so I spent the day restoring backups and installing operating systems. I’ve been using Ubuntu for a few years now, so I thought it would be great to revisit Gnome and see how the 3.x development is coming along, maybe even switch back.

Nope.

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The new Star Wars is Already Full of Fail

🔖 other 

I was waiting in line at the supermarket this morning when I came across this cover of the June 2015 Vanity Fair:

2015-05-22-the-new-star-wars-is-already-full-of-fail.markdown

Immediately something struck me as very, very wrong.

I know we all hope the new Star Wars will be good and make up for the complete travesty of episodes I, II and III. But I’m going to make a quick and uninformed judgment based solely on this magazine cover and say: no, no it won’t.

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Upgrading Wheezy to Jessie: Nginx and PHP5-fpm

🔖 code 
I just upgraded this VPS from Debian Wheezy to Jessie. The upgrade went pretty flawless, excpet some minor issues with postgres and the new bad systemd smell. However, if you are running NGINX + PHP5-fpm, you may want to read the news that gets displayed during the upgrade: nginx shipped a modified `fastcgi_params`, which declared `SCRIPT_FILENAME` fastcgi_param. This line has now been removed. From now on we are also shipping fastcgi. Read more...

100 Observations Logged on AstroChallenge!

🔖 featured  astrochallenge  astronomy  code 
I created AstroChallenge to scratch my own itch: to have a place to keep an observation journal for astronomy and to share it with the rest of the community. In that I believe I’ve succeeded, check out my profile and journal. Since then the word has gotten out and other astronomers have been logging their own observations. Now, only 2 weeks after making AstroChallenge public, over 100 observations have been logged! Read more...

Feynman on "Computer Disease"

🔖 other 
The following is a excerpt from the book I am currently reading by Richard Feynman, Surely You Must be Joking, Mr. Feynman! that I found amusing. Well, Mr. Frankel, who started this program, began to suffer from the computer disease that anybody who works with computers now knows about. It’s a very serious disease and it interferes completely with the work. The trouble with computers is you play with them. Read more...

Reviving fchart to Create Beautiful Astronomical Finder Charts

🔖 astronomy  code  astrochallenge 

I’ve spent a good deal of time in the last few days searching for a good library to draw star charts (finder charts) that I could use to integrate with AstroChallenge. While there are plenty of utilities to create star maps, they mostly consist of desktop software or websites that are not open source.

2015-02-25-creating-finder-charts-for-astronomy-using-fchart.markdown

Eventually I found fchart which resembled was I was looking for. A set of python scripts with minimal dependencies that would output star maps! This I could use.

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GraniteMaps: Soquel Demonstaion Forest/Nisene Marks released!

🔖 granitemaps  code  cartography 
After much ado, the latest map from GraniteMaps is now available. This map covers 2 distinct areas; The first is Soquel Demonstration Forest, well known in the mountain biking community as having miles of challenging, technical singletrack. The other is the Forest of Nisene Marks which shares a ridge with Demo and provides trail users of all types some of the most pristine redwood forest trails available in California. This new map is much improved over the last version for Santa Cruz by having a brand new base layer. Read more...