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Andrew Wooldridge
Works at ROBLOX Corporation
Attended Murray State University
Lives in California
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Andrew Wooldridge

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Super attractive bad boys. Emotionally unavailable girls with a scarred past. An overload of angst. Love triangles. Jealousy. “My life sucks” mentality. Sound familiar? Yep. I just described the bulk of YA characters. In ...
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Andrew Wooldridge

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Mr. Tower's spherical steam engine

In the 1800s there was an intense exploration of different designs for steam engines.  One of the most unusual is this spherical steam engine designed by a fellow named Beauchamp Tower.    It got a lot of publicity around 1885.   It was actually used for generating electricity to light carriages on the locomotives of the Great Eastern Railway in Britain!   It was also used on some ships.

 But it needed a lot of steam for the power it produced - perhaps due to leaks - so it never really caught on.

I got this picture, made by Bill Todd, from Douglas Self's wonderfu online museum of old technologies.  He writes:

The operation of the engine is not easy to comprehend, but goes something like this: The "cylinder" is spherical, and contains two quarter-spheres, with a thin circular disc between them. The two quarter-spheres rotate and engage rather like a universal joint, creating four cavities in the sphere, two of which are expanding and two contracting at any moment. By suitably timing admission and exhaust, rotational power is generated.

For much more, see:

http://www.douglas-self.com/MUSEUM/POWER/tower/tower.htm

Beauchamp Tower's main claim to fame was not this engine, but his discovery of full-film lubrication: with a suitable flow of oil, the surfaces of ball bearings will never actually touch, and they won't wear down.  He also invented a slide rule that uses metallic tapes that wind from one roller to another. 

A true steampunk!  The energy and crazy cleverness that goes into computer technology today, went into mechanical devices back then.

#steampunk  
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Replacement Dials for Vintage Pocket Watches. Reproduction dials. Replica dials. Custom dials. Pocket watch dials. All of these can be found on this site.
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Can I Wear My Santa Outfit Yet?
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good news for google plus
 
Google+ finds itself.

Google launched Google+ to be the everything-for-everybody site. It was designed to be the future of Google itself, functioning as a news discovery site, a blogging platform, a lifestreaming engine and a replacement for every previous form of human communication. 

But the journalists and news junkies stuck to Twitter; and Facebook strengthened it's unbreakable network effect monopoly on everybody. 

Both Facebook and Twitter -- and for that matter Pinterest, Instagram and Snapchat -- continued to be dominated by fluff, celebrity, spam and cat GIFs.

Google+ became the one place online (that I know of) where serious nerds, enthusiasts and makers can have detailed and stimulating conversations with a large number of brilliant people. 

So today Google announced that they're re-designing Google+ to focus on what Google+ is truly great and indispensable for: passions. 

Specifically, Google+ will emphasize Communities and Collections, which is to say that Google+ will stop pretending to be everything for everyone and instead focus on being the best place -- OK, the ONLY place -- for real conversations among people who share the same obsessions. 

More: https://googleblog.blogspot.com/2015/11/introducing-new-google.html
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Flow

I've been staying at home for the last two days writing a paper about information and entropy in biological systems.  My wife is away, and I'm trying to keep distractions to a bare minimum, trying to get into that state where I'm completely absorbed, there's always something to do, and it's lots of fun.  That's what I love about writing.  At first I feel stuck, frustrated.  But gradually the ideas start falling into place - and once they do, I don't want to be anywhere else!  

This state is called flow, and it's great.  But life can't be all flow, it seems.

I like this chart.  I like any chart that takes psychology and maps it down to a few axes in a reasonably plausible way.  I don't have to 'believe in it' to enjoy a neat picture that pretends to tame the wild mess of the soul. 

Apparently this chart goes back to Mihaly Csikszentmihaly's theory of 'flow'.  According to Wikipedia:

In his seminal work, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, Csíkszentmihályi outlines his theory that people are happiest when they are in a state of flow— a state of concentration or complete absorption with the activity at hand and the situation. It is a state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter.  The idea of flow is identical to the feeling of being in the zone or in the groove. The flow state is an optimal state of intrinsic motivation, where the person is fully immersed in what he is doing. This is a feeling everyone has at times, characterized by a feeling of great absorption, engagement, fulfillment, and skill—and during which temporal concerns (time, food, ego-self, etc.) are typically ignored.

In an interview with Wired magazine, Csíkszentmihályi described flow as "being completely involved in an activity for its own sake. The ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing jazz. Your whole being is involved, and you're using your skills to the utmost."

Csikszentmihályi characterized nine component states of achieving flow including “challenge-skill balance, merging of action and awareness, clarity of goals, immediate and unambiguous feedback, concentration on the task at hand, paradox of control, transformation of time, loss of self-consciousness, and autotelic experience.”

What does autotelic mean?  It seems to mean 'internally driven', as opposed to seeking external rewards.  Csíkszentmihályi says "An autotelic person needs few material possessions and little entertainment, comfort, power, or fame because so much of what he or she does is already rewarding."  Anyway, back to the Wikipedia article:

To achieve a flow state, a balance must be struck between the challenge of the task and the skill of the performer. If the task is too easy or too difficult, flow cannot occur. Both skill level and challenge level must be matched and high; if skill and challenge are low and matched, then apathy results.

But in this chart, 'apathy' is just one of 8 options, the one diametrically opposite to 'flow'.  I like the idea of how 'relaxation' is somewhere between flow and boredom, but I'm not sure it feels next to 'control'. 

It's all very thought-provoking.  We have these different modes, or moods, and we bounce between them without very much thought about what they're for and what's the overall structure of the space of these moods.

Moods seem like the opposite of mathematics and logic, but there's probably a science of moods which we haven't fully understood yet - in part because when we're in a mood, it dominates us and prevents us from thinking about it analytically.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mihaly_Csikszentmihalyi
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Flow

I've been staying at home for the last two days writing a paper about information and entropy in biological systems.  My wife is away, and I'm trying to keep distractions to a bare minimum, trying to get into that state where I'm completely absorbed, there's always something to do, and it's lots of fun.  That's what I love about writing.  At first I feel stuck, frustrated.  But gradually the ideas start falling into place - and once they do, I don't want to be anywhere else!  

This state is called flow, and it's great.  But life can't be all flow, it seems.

I like this chart.  I like any chart that takes psychology and maps it down to a few axes in a reasonably plausible way.  I don't have to 'believe in it' to enjoy a neat picture that pretends to tame the wild mess of the soul. 

Apparently this chart goes back to Mihaly Csikszentmihaly's theory of 'flow'.  According to Wikipedia:

In his seminal work, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, Csíkszentmihályi outlines his theory that people are happiest when they are in a state of flow— a state of concentration or complete absorption with the activity at hand and the situation. It is a state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter.  The idea of flow is identical to the feeling of being in the zone or in the groove. The flow state is an optimal state of intrinsic motivation, where the person is fully immersed in what he is doing. This is a feeling everyone has at times, characterized by a feeling of great absorption, engagement, fulfillment, and skill—and during which temporal concerns (time, food, ego-self, etc.) are typically ignored.

In an interview with Wired magazine, Csíkszentmihályi described flow as "being completely involved in an activity for its own sake. The ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing jazz. Your whole being is involved, and you're using your skills to the utmost."

Csikszentmihályi characterized nine component states of achieving flow including “challenge-skill balance, merging of action and awareness, clarity of goals, immediate and unambiguous feedback, concentration on the task at hand, paradox of control, transformation of time, loss of self-consciousness, and autotelic experience.”

What does autotelic mean?  It seems to mean 'internally driven', as opposed to seeking external rewards.  Csíkszentmihályi says "An autotelic person needs few material possessions and little entertainment, comfort, power, or fame because so much of what he or she does is already rewarding."  Anyway, back to the Wikipedia article:

To achieve a flow state, a balance must be struck between the challenge of the task and the skill of the performer. If the task is too easy or too difficult, flow cannot occur. Both skill level and challenge level must be matched and high; if skill and challenge are low and matched, then apathy results.

But in this chart, 'apathy' is just one of 8 options, the one diametrically opposite to 'flow'.  I like the idea of how 'relaxation' is somewhere between flow and boredom, but I'm not sure it feels next to 'control'. 

It's all very thought-provoking.  We have these different modes, or moods, and we bounce between them without very much thought about what they're for and what's the overall structure of the space of these moods.

Moods seem like the opposite of mathematics and logic, but there's probably a science of moods which we haven't fully understood yet - in part because when we're in a mood, it dominates us and prevents us from thinking about it analytically.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mihaly_Csikszentmihalyi
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NASA's Curiosity Mars Rover Heads Toward Active Dunes

In the next few days, the rover will get its first close-up look at these dark dunes, called the "Bagnold Dunes," which skirt the northwestern flank of Mount Sharp. No Mars rover has previously visited a sand dune, as opposed to smaller sand ripples or drifts. One dune Curiosity will investigate is as tall as a two-story building and as broad as a football field. The Bagnold Dunes are active: Images from orbit indicate some of them are migrating as much as about 3 feet (1 meter) per Earth year. No active dunes have been visited anywhere in the solar system besides Earth.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Read more: http://buff.ly/1l3234P
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Keep Out! An action-packed adventure playable for free in your browser. Explore the dungeon, fight monsters and unlock epic weapons!
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Web Developer
Employment
  • ROBLOX Corporation
    Sr. Web Developer, 2914 - present
  • Yahoo! - javascript , gaming, and storytelling fan
    webdev, 2014
  • Ohai
    Web Developer, 2011
  • ebay, raptr, yahoo, netscape, ohai
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California
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Murray, KY
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Web developer. Indie RPG fan. YUI Evangelist. Web game builder. Javascript coder.
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Javascript developer. RPG fan.
Education
  • Murray State University
    Psychology
  • Indiana University
    Comp Sci
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Male
Apps with Google+ Sign-in
  • Forsaken World
  • Elune Saga
  • Google Play Android Developer
  • Marble Monster Mobile
  • アスディバインディオス
  • Adventure Town
  • Need A Hero
  • Monster Warlord
It's a no-nonsense laundry with many brand new washers and dryers. I've always been able to get in and out quickly without a lot of fuss and the place is open early so you can get your laundry done in the mornings. My only problem with it is that the parking lot seems always full right in front of it even though the folks that park there aren't actually going to the laundry, so you might have to carry your clothes across the parking lot.
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reviewed 3 years ago
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