Brad Lucas

Programming, Clojure and other interests

Building A Weather App In Clojure

June 22, 2017

Overview

I stumbled upon this service called Dark Sky the other day which supports an API to return weather reports. I thought it would be interesting to create a small command line application which would query this API and print out a short summary weather report. Yesterday, I took up the challenge to build such an application in Clojure.

The results are up on GitHub in the following repo.

https://github.com/bradlucas/weather

For those who are interested I'll go through a process to build the application.


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Gist mode for the win

June 21, 2017

If you have a GitHub account you are probably aware of gists. Small mini repos which allow you to send links to their content easily. You can create secret and public gists and I've found them to be excellent for sending examples, lists and notes to others in a more contained format than email.

For example, you create a todo list and want to share it with your team. You create a gist of the outline and send everyone the link. The team can all see the outline, add comments and see updates much like a full git repo. All of this without the full setup of a repo.

Now if you use Emacs there is gist mode which makes creating and editing gists even easier.

The mode is available here https://github.com/defunkt/gist.el.


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Competition Vs Comparison

June 20, 2017

Competition is something we are all aware of in our society. It is taught to us and bred into us from an early age. In fact you are pretty much setup to think that to get ahead you need to be competitive. Be better than anyone else and you will win. What you'll win isn't really mentioned just the idea of competing with others.

This of course makes sense in sports. You need to compete to win and to win is competing. That's fine. But how about in life? In work? Are you competing with others? I suppose you are in a general sense. You interview for a job and get it. Supposedly there are others wanting the job so you did compete and win in that situation.

But what about in other parts of your life? Are you competing with your friends, your neighbors the guy you just walked by? I don't think so but you might and by this I think you might because you compare.

I think constantly comparing yourself to others is a hidden form of competition that you learned throughout your life. I addition to learning to compete at sports or in school or in other places you also learned through marketing and advertising. Think about all the ads and TV shows that show others in more favorable situations. I say more favorable because the message is typically just that. Look at this person who has something you don't and is so happy because they do. The message is clear in that others have things, good things, expensive things that become things you want. You compare yourself to these other people and that is when you end up feeling bad.


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Escape Games NYC

June 19, 2017

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of trying to escape a room over at Escape Games NYC on Leonard Street in New York. For a first timer at this sort of thing I can say it was well worth it and very fun.

Without giving away too much I can tell you that the idea, 'escape the room', is pretty much what you are in for. You and a small group are put in a room and have to figure out how to get out. Beyond that I can say each room has a theme and you need to just figure it out. There are 'things' in the room and you need to investigate and go from there.

The scenario for the room I signed up for had an outer space theme. There are others and each is rated on a difficulty scale. In learning about the room upon arrival I found that each room is custom built and upon finishing can say the people who built it are very clever.

Turns out that room escape games are a thing and there multiple places in New York and others throughout the country. Definitely, something to do. Which one is next?


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Father's Day

June 18, 2017

Today, our culture where I live celebrates fathers. Today, fathers will be treated a little bit better. They may allow themselves to sleep a bit later and may be absolved of chores for a day. Some may get a gift or two and may end up feeling a little bit special for the day. Others may not.

For me, I found myself this morning remembering the two father figures in my life. The first, my own father and the other, my grandfather who was my mom's father were the two male role models for me growing up.

My dad was very gregarious, at least as I remember him. He was friendly, quick to laugh and had many friends. My grandfather was quiet, stoic and kept to himself. While physically big and strong in a John Wayne sort of way, he could handle himself and generally did things for himself. My dad on the other hand relied on a group of associates and friends to get things done.

Dad


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