A reading list for the existential period of mid-life

By Shabbir | July 11, 2014 | Comments Off on A reading list for the existential period of mid-life

Why the reading list? Quick, I’m in despair, what’s the one thing I should read? The full bibliography Why the reading list? After 40, a number of things start to give you a perspective on your own mortality that can be utterly terrifying if you’re not prepared for it, including: You start to attend funerals more…

Teach geometry in Minecraft

By safdarnet | June 1, 2014 | Comments Off on Teach geometry in Minecraft

Following on the success of my teaching basic logic circuits in Minecraft, my son wanted another lesson, so I went with geometry. For each of the following two dimensional shapes, build them on a flat surface in minecraft out of any kind of block.  Compute the perimeter and the area for each of these shapes.…

June 3rd SF ballot

By safdarnet | May 28, 2014 | Comments Off on June 3rd SF ballot

In the interest of provoking a thoughtful decision about my own votes (and yours) I’m posting my thoughts and recommendations for the upcoming election.  Because I live in a precinct with too few voters to have a poll, I vote by mail usually, so I have my ballot for weeks before the actual election.  That…

Teaching kids about electronic circuits with Minecraft

By Shabbir | May 8, 2014 | Comments Off on Teaching kids about electronic circuits with Minecraft

My son, like many other 8 year olds of both genders*, loves Minecraft.  I keep an eye out for people that have developed ways of letting kids learn-by-building in Minecraft.  Like many things, it’s a lot of talk and little actual action.   (* Seeing young girls at Minecon in Orlando, FL this year gave…

In memory of Gary Carson

By Shabbir | April 27, 2014 | Comments Off on In memory of Gary Carson

In early March poker author Gary Carson passed away.  I didn’t know him personally, but his impact on my thinking about how I approached the game of poker was profound.  I’m very sad to learn that he’ll never write another brilliant poker book.  To adequately explain to a non-poker player what Gary Carson did, I…

Yes, to do lists are awful. But what’s better?

By Shabbir | October 11, 2013 |

Late last week I read this article “To-do lists don’t work” published on the Harvard Business Review by Daniel Markowitz.  Markowitz’s thesis is that todo lists don’t work because they leave too much of the prioritization of tasks to the “last minute mind”. In other words you have a moment, you look at your list,…

Dog bites 7 year old, owner flees before police can catch, Father’s Day (June 16, 2013) near 9th Ave and Irving

By Shabbir | June 16, 2013 | Comments Off on Dog bites 7 year old, owner flees before police can catch, Father’s Day (June 16, 2013) near 9th Ave and Irving

Today (Father's Day) my 7 year old son was bit by a German Shepherd outside Jamba Juice at the corner of 9th Ave and Irving St in the Inner Sunset neighborhood.  The incident happened between 3 and 4pm.     The owner was approached by my neighbor who fortuitously happened to be there with his…

Military service of my grandfather, Jack Watson.

By Shabbir | May 27, 2013 | Comments Off on Military service of my grandfather, Jack Watson.

[You can read Jack’s obituary here. -Shabbir] Jack had a sizable military career, starting in World War 2 and running through 1965 when he finally retired as a Senior Master Sergeant of the Air Force. His whole military life he had been attached to Bomber squadrons. First the 305th Bomb Group at the end of…

Teaching kids to play poker: lesson 1, learning the rank of poker hands

By Shabbir | January 27, 2013 | Comments Off on Teaching kids to play poker: lesson 1, learning the rank of poker hands

My niece Zoe learning the ranks of poker hands the afternoon before her first adult game The first step of learning poker is to learn the rank of hands.   Teaching this has got to be more carefully done that shoving a list in someone’s face.   You want to drill these into the child…

Teaching kids to play poker

By Shabbir | January 27, 2013 | Comments Off on Teaching kids to play poker

My niece and poker student Zoe scoops in one of many pots If you are the sort of person that thinks teaching kids to play poker will lead them to a life of depravity,consider that they will also learn strategy and tactics, psychology and the power of observation, as well as some math and statistical…