November 2009

fail, fail, fail, WIN!

fail, fail, fail, WIN!I’ve blogged a bit before about talking myself out of things and the art of failing. It’s something I have to keep telling myself about because even when I believe it I second guess myself. The basic idea boils down to this: stop worrying about it and do it, you might fail, in fact you probably will, but that is good because then you get to try again. The bigger idea is that we all have a whole bunch of bad ideas and a few really good ones, and the more of the bad ones we get out of the way the sooner we get to the good ones. Some people never try any of them because they are afraid of failing. The point of this is to embrace the fails as a needed step towards the wins.

A good example of that is this shirt. Fail, fail, fail, WIN! It’s a slogan I’ve had in my head for a while and I thought I’d make a shirt with it. The other day I finally did, and then when I was done I scrapped the idea. I thought it wasn’t strong enough to stand on it’s own. I thought it wouldn’t make enough sense. I told myself it was stupid.

Then I mentioned it in passing to some friends on the Crash Space mailing list and people liked it. In fact one said it was epic. Epic! Then I read this great post on Wil’s site about getting excited and making things. And I realized what I’d done. I’d made something and then talked myself out of it. So I decided to correct that and put the shirts online. Actually, shirts, stickers, and even SIGG water bottles. You can order them from this Cafe Press shop or this Spreadshirt shop, though Cafe Press has more options.

I don’t know yet if this is a win or a fail, but it’s something at least. And that’s good enough for me.

It’s math time, grab your 8+1

This math test was forwarded to me. I live in LA and so I figured I should go ahead and answer the questions…

The Math Proficiency Exam for the schools in South Central Los Angeles, CA

NAME: Sean Bonner
TAG: <blink>

1). Little Jimmy has an AK 47 with a 30 round clip. He usually misses 6 out of every 10 shots and he uses 13 rounds per drive-by shooting. How many drive-by shootings can Little Johnny attempt before he has to reload?

The info about how accurate Little Jimmy is is misleading and unimportant to the question. If he uses 13 rounds per, and has a 30 round magazine he needs to reload after the second attempt regardless of how many shots hit their target.

2). Jose has 2 ounces of cocaine. If he sells an 8 ball to Antonio for $320 and 2 grams to Juan for $85 per gram, what is the street value of the rest of his hold?

Assuming the 8 ball was sold at the going rate and not a friend discount or anything, Jose can sell the rest for $4630.

3). Rufus pimps 3 hos. If the price is $85 per trick, how many tricks per day must each ho turn to support Rufus’s
$800 per day crack habit?

Two of the hos would need to turn 3 tricks and one would need to turn 4. That is unless Rufus can talk up his bottom bitch (that would be pimp talk for his best ho) and up her price up to $100 per, then she could just do 3 as well.

4). Jerome wants to cut the pound of cocaine he bought for $40,000 to make 20% profit. How many ounces will he need?

Trick question. We don’t have enough information to answer this one. What is the selling price of cocaine on Jarome’s block?

5). Willie gets $200 for a stolen BMW, $150 for stealing a Corvette, and $100 for a 4×4. If he steals 1 BMW, 2 Corvettes and 3 4×4’s, how many more Corvettes must he have to steal to have $900?

That is an $800 take, so Willie only needs one more Corvette to put him $50 above the $900 mark.

6). Raoul got 6 years for murder. He also got $10,000 for the hit. If his common-law wife spends $100 per month, how much money will be left when he gets out?

If Raoul spends every day of the 6 years locked up then he’ll come home to find he only has $2300 remaining. However if he is on his best manors and gets out with the maximum reduction for good behavior he could have as much as $6400. That’s assuming of course that Raoul didn’t get word of her spendy ways while he was locked up and call James and request his services to “take care” of the problem, and if he offers James 50% of his stash then he might come home to $5K.

Extra credit bonus: How much more time will he get for killing the ho that spent his money?

Depends how much he learned while behind bars.

7). If an average can of spray paint covers 22 square feet and the average letter is 3 square feet, how many letters can be sprayed with 3 eight ounce cans of spray paint with 20% paint free?

WAT? I think this is another trick question – are average cans 8 ounces?

8). Hector knocked up 3 girls in the gang. There are 27 girls in his gang. What is the exact percentage of girls
Hector knocked up?


9). Bernie is a lookout for the gang. Bernie has a boa constrictor that eats 3 small rats per week at a cost of $5
per rat. If Bernie makes $700 a week as a lookout, how many weeks can he feed the boa on one week’s income?

A little over 46 weeks. The last day of week 47 his snake would be hungry. That said, give that this is almost a year, his snake might grow and require more rats each week which would complicate this question considerably.

10). Billy steals Joe’s skateboard. As Billy skates away at 35 mph, Joe loads his 357 Magnum. If it takes Joe 20
seconds to load his magnum, how far away will Billy be when he gets whacked?

Another trick question! First off 35mph on a skateboard? That’s not possible if he’s doing that himself which means he’s either holding onto a car which potentially puts a huge chunk of metal in between he and Joe, or he’s some kind of super human in which case we don’t even know if a .357 will effect him. And that is us assuming Joe is a better shot than Little Jimmy.

Some thoughts on Twitters new ReTweet feature

This morning I woke up to find this on my Twitter homepage:

Twitter / Home - RETWEET

I was immediately psyched. I’ve been a fan of retweets for a while and one of the main reasons I’ve continued to use TweetDeck despite it’s buggyness is how flawless it handles retweets. And after the awesome launch of ‘lists’ I instantly assumed Twitter was on a roll of bad ass feature launch-i-tude.

And then I saw it in action. (cue sad trombone)

This was not my beautiful house. This was not my beautiful wife. This was not my beautiful retweet.

I tried to give Twitter the benefit of the doubt and see if perhaps they had a better version of it. I used it several times myself and paid attention to how other people were using it. But I didn’t get used to it and as the day went on I got more and more bummed out by it. I kept thinking about what to say in the post I wanted to write about it but before I got a chance to write anything someone directed me to this post by Ev explaining why they did some of what they did and the problems they were trying to solve. It’s definitely worth reading – I assumed a lot of thought must have gone into some of the choices they made and this post confirms that – I just don’t agree.

More on Twitter Lists

The other day I made some predictions about twitter lists and after a week or so of using them I thought I’d report back at least how I was using them and how that was working for me. It’s taken a few days of use for me to sort out what works, in theory anyway, so I’ve changed thing up a lot.

Initially I made a bunch of lists like “People who I am sitting next to on the couch right now” which contained one person. This was kind of a joke, but funny enough some people started following those lists. So I did the only reasonable thing and deleted them.

Next up I made a ton of public lists. Los Angeles, San Francisco, Art, Music, Tokyo, Bikes, etc.. and started sorting my friends. This made sense because now I had some context for the peoples tweets as they’d roll up with out thinking about them. What I mean is, when looking at my “Art” list I know the people who were on there I’m following because they are in the artworld somehow. This puts some of the things they say, and some of the things I look for them to say in a different category than people who I put in a “Business” list. It’s subtle, but when you sort tweets that way you start to pick up on it.

I did this for a few days and then realized that I had a ton of lists cluttering up my twitter page for really no reason. Why does my “NYC” list need to be public? It’s just a handful of my friends in NYC who I keep up with and hang out with when I’m there – opening them up for browsing by the general public just seemed a little odd. So I went through and made my lists private.

But then I started think that was a little selfish and doesn’t really help with the discovery aspect of lists that is actually pretty valuable. But there are millions of people in NYC, and millions more people with NYC lists so that just seemed to be added to the noise. I decided that a valuable public list might be for something more niche, maybe things that people might not think of on their own.

So I created a list of vegans and made it public. This includes people I know who are vegan, people I don’t know who are vegan, celebs who are vegan, and some feeds and resources from vegan sites. It does not include vegetarian or animal rights tweet streams that are not explicitly vegan. It doesn’t include accounts I found that were named vegansomething but only had 2-3 tweets and still had totally default layouts. I hoped that would create a useful list for myself, but also for others. And people started following it right away so I think that did the trick.

This also was the first list I made were I added people I wasn’t already following, and you know, that was AWESOME! I can monitor the general overall discussion from a bunch of people without it clogging up my main page and getting in the way of people I’m friends with and know in real life. Over the course of a few days I started thinking in the same terms with my other lists – if I was only following an account because they had bike news, and I had them on my Bikes list, now I didn’t need to follow them anymore. Likewise when someone said something interesting about music or I cam across someone from a band I like, I could add them to my Music list but not worry about following them or not. It’s been pretty liberating.

Obviously this is still a new thing, but I’m really excited about where it might lead.