Something's odd about Mr. Krabs today.

Yet another parasite that turns an animal into a zombie…Sacculina is a kind of evil barnacle that invades crabs and eats them from the inside. It lives throughout the body of the crab and makes the crab act like it’s laying its own eggs. But it’s actually spreading the eggs of the Sacculina and caring for them as its own. The sacculina becomes the replacement for the crab’s egg sac. You can see it in this picture…the oval yellowish thing on this poor zombie crab.

Eschew obfuscation. Espouse elucidation.

I get annoyed when a nice, straightforward term is replaced by something obscure and new people can’t easily enter the conversation. For example, in the field of exercise, core has replaced “stomach and back muscles”. Easier to say, yes…but it makes understanding difficult for the new guy. I guess that’s why Wikipedia’s so helpful…they usually give a total beginner’s guide to the subject without the assumption that you already know what they’re talking about. But they fail sometimes too. Look up domain-driven design there and try to figure out what a domain is (assuming you’ve never heard it). (Domain, in this case, means “the activity or business of the user”.) But they just assume you know what it means and it may deflect the interest of a beginner before they’ve even begun. I used to like using the most concise word available even if it was scholarly. But now I think the point of language is to be understood no matter what the cost or number of words is. People in groups usually just nod their heads anyway, even if they don’t understand what’s being said. It’s politeness and the fear of being seen as stupid. So on the other side of the coin, I’ve come to enjoy asking the stupid questions…especially when “obvious” code words like this come into play. My point? Write and speak so that a sixth-grader or someone new to the language can understand you. If you have to use code words, explain them at least once. Especially do this for websites about an obscure topic. There’s nothing more annoying than going to THE website for a subject and being frustrated that you can’t even figure out what the subject is. (And then they make sure to hide any contact info so that you can’t tell them about the problem.)

Babies!

A few things about new babies…

  • Who came up with that terrible umbilical clamp design? That thing is so terribly oversized that it’s just begging to be tugged when the baby kicks. The only way it could be worse is if it were made of rusty metal.
  • Watch your position and posture when changing the baby or lifting. Stooped lifting adds up pretty quickly to back pain. Before you know it, you can barely lay down.
  • New babies emit some pretty odd stuff in some pretty odd colors. If you don’t know, you don’t wanna.
  • New babies often have pretty bad skin. Don’t worry. It goes away after a while.
  • To simulate holding a crying newborn, tape a fire alarm to your shoulder and set it off. Nothing better to teach you some patience.

How fast type you, Highlander?

Test yourself! I did it this morning on a normal keyboard at about 55 words per minute with 2 mistakes. Then later on a split keyboard, 70 and 77 words per minute…both without mistakes. So, the split may make a difference. It also seems to make a difference whether you’re typing things in simple American English or Shakespearean stuff, which be tougher.

You are a disgrace to that sponsorship, Mister!

In men’s Olympic beach volleyball, we were seeing a couple of guys playing with sunglasses…well, actually just the sunglass frames. This article claims their sponsor, Oakley, doesn’t make them wear the glasses all the time. It claims they just get used to having something on their faces, even when they don’t need the sunglasses. So…Oakley sunglasses are just that awesome? I will see if I can get the other developers in our department to wear Oakley frames while they code.