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Nick OHara
Lives in West Des Moines, Iowa
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Nick OHara

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"I was really, really interested in how it seemed, anecdotally, that some groups seemed to celebrate success and push their members out. Other groups seemed to potentially discourage success, and I wondered what could produce that type of thing. I thought about this more generally. This was not just about blacks and whites in the U.S. This was about the Buraku outcasts of Japan, who have a long record of holding people back. This was about the Maori of New Zealand."
A conversation with one of the top young economists in the country about race and education.
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After the first one ended up being amazing, I feel skeptical optimism towards a sequel. 
The surprise blockbuster directed by Matthew Vaughn and starring Colin Firth just topped $400 million at global box office
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In my psychology class in college I learned our brains start out at birth with tons of weak neuro connections. As we age, most of these connections disappear but the remaining connections grow stronger. This is why it's so much easier to learn new things when you're younger, and where the phrase "kids' brains are like sponges" comes from. This video does an excellent job of showing this in action, by forcing an adult to form new connections and strengthen that connection.

Years ago I was taught a "life pro tip" of sorts to help mitigate this effect. Change something about your surroundings every day. For example, I've rearranged the clothes in my dresser, shifted the items in my closet, and I've moved around the icons on my phone. By doing little things like this every day, you keep your brain more bendable, more plastic, and it helps you become more open to new things.
 
This is fascinating! The brain is a crazy thing.
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+Tim Fletchall It's crazy how easily we can be distracted even when we're doing the simplest things. Even when typing a youtube comm
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My wife (who is 20 weeks pregnant with our first child) just shared this blog post with me and it's an excellent read. A few things that really resonated with me.

1. There was a famous writer who, when asked if she loved writing, replied, “No. but I love having written.”
- I'm grateful someone was able to capture this into an easy quote. In the days/months/years after completing Ironman Wisconsin in 2012, people asked me if I enjoyed it and I often responded with an emphatic "Yes! Loved it!" In reality, no, I hated 95% of the 14 hours it took me. But, like the writer, I love that I've done it.

2. Carpe a couple of Kairoses a day.
- You'll never appreciate every moment of every day, not possible. But live for those special moments and appreciate them when they happen. I remember that well known quote that goes something like "People won't remember what you said, only how you made them feel." You won't remember all of those Karios moments, but you'll remember having felt them a couple of times a day, and that's what's important.
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Nick OHara

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"...don’t become a slave to the process. Develop a radar for how your work fits into the organization. You’ll learn where changes should be made and how to communicate the changes for maximum impact. Great leaders are fascinated by perfecting their processes."
 
Good leaders spend less energy on what happened, and focus more time on why
Author Shari Nasim shares 5 critical practices for emerging leaders to apply in order to build credibility.
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Quite an amazing story.
It was a scene that could have been ripped from the script of "Mission Impossible." This is the story of a Vietnam war hero you've never heard of.
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While a little vulgar, I found this review to be refreshingly geared towards the average user; not blubbering a dozen facts about each niche feature.

I got this phone for my wife to replace her Galaxy S4 and I have been incredibly jealous ever since. I'm upgrading to the S6 soon unless the LG G4 is able to dazzle us next week.
 
A week with the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge: A Review

The Samsung Galaxy S6 is the most surprising phone released within the past year. Why? Because I didn't think Samsung could make something this good. Usually tied up in figuring out how to add every feature under the sun, Samsung's "selling points" were quickly becoming annoyances. The S5 was waterproof - but you had to pry off a protective cover every time you wanted to charge it. It had a micro SD slot - but holy god was it slow when loading your gallery. It had facial recognition, eye tracking, tilt scrolling, and some gestures I've long forgotten to ignore calls - but none of them made the phone easier to use. All of it made for great commercials, but none of it made for a good user experience.

This year, Samsung went back to the drawing board, isolated a few nerds, and created the best Android phone that has ever been made. Period.

Hardware and Design
When HTC, maker of the elegantly manufactured M8, was facing off against Samsung at Mobile World Congress, no one could have expected that Samsung, maker of cheap feeling plastic phones, would be the one getting all the praise for exceptional hardware. But man, does Samsung deserve that praise.

What I like most about Samsung, as a brand, is that they've been able to swallow their pride. While HTC rests on its laurels with a three-year-old design, Samsung said, "Hey. You're right. Our flagship line does feel a little cheap. Let's spend the cash to improve that experience for you." And it did. The S6's Gorilla Glass 4 back replaces the S5's removable, BandAid-textured plastic back and real aluminum replaces last year cheap, chrome-painted plastic rim. The metal rim has the volume and power buttons at EXACTLY the right place. Seriously. It's magical. They are perfect. Now, hearing about the glass back may sound like the phone is more fragile than previous iterations and conjure horror stories of the iPhone 4 and Nexus 4, but it shouldn't. Corning's Gorilla Glass has been massively improved and a few drops from yours truly can confirm that it holds up. More thorough drop tests on YouTube confirm that the phone is exceptionally tough.

The front of the phone is made from the same glass. It's just as tough. On the front you'll find a physical home key with a fingerprint reader a la iPhone 6 and capacitive buttons for back and multitasking in lieu of on screen buttons. I actually prefer this approach to on screen buttons, but wish the back button was swapped with the multitasking button since I have large, scary, manly hands. (Or just relatively large, very normal hands. You know, whatever....)

The headphone jack is on the bottom (thank god) and the micro usb charging port faces the right way with the longer end on the bottom and the shorter end on top (THANK GOD). Why manufacturers ever swapped this is a mystery to me. The bottom is also where you'll find the lone, stereo speaker. The bottom is also where you'll see every tech site ever compare the S6 to the iPhone. They'd be right. But I don't care. Android steals from Apple. Apple steals from Android (cough notification bar cough). Everything copies everything. Get over it.

I've heard some criticize the S6 for having a flat back and feeling slippery to hold, but I couldn't disagree more. The back has a good grip on your hands and the flatness of it makes the phone feel especially premium. That doesn't mean the phone lays flat however. Man, there is quite the camera bump on this device (about 1/4th the thickness of the entire phone), but it's not a deal breaker - even if I have to be a little more thoughtful about making sure none of my phone overhangs off the table when I put it down. More on the camera later. Also on the back is a heart rate scanner I will never use next to the flash. 

Waterproofing, Removable Battery, and Micro SD
All three are gone. Why? Because most people don't use that shit and Samsung wants this to be the best selling Android phone in the world. Don't like it? Sorry. Samsung has decided to focus on the mass market and, thankfully, that includes increasing the quality of the hardware at the expense of some geeky features (and the expense of your wallet if you want the 64GB or 128GB version). That may sound abrasive, but ask yourself.... Did you REALLY use any of those that often? 

Thankfully, fast charging is here and it works like a dream. "But I don't WANT to carry around a fast charger! I want to carry around my batteries and always wonder which ones are charged and which ones aren't and the special battery charger for my spare batteries!" Shut. Up.

The Screen
I bet you want to hear what I think about the edge part of the Edge. It's coming. But as for the screen? Fucking. Shit. This is the best smartphone display out there - and I'll tell you why: OLED. OLED displays have come so far in the last couple of years, with Samsung's investment in them clearly paying off. If you didn't know, OLED displays are different than LCD displays (like the one found in the iPhone) because they can light up individual pixels to use less power. Black or dark colors use less power than whites or bright colors. The colors on the S6 absolutely dazzle, but, if the saturation is too much for you, you can change the screen calibration in settings. 

Now, let's talk about that resolution: 2560x1440 with 577pixels-per-inch. You can't see a pixel on this phone, no matter how close you look. While this would normally be a huge battery drain, Samsung's AMOLED technology makes sure the screen is uber-power efficient - and it is. Is this resolution necessary? Who the fuck cares what's necessary? Half the shit you own isn't necessary. What's true is that it's awesome, crystal clear, and makes my friends say, "Wow." Mission. Accomplished.

TouchWiz and Performance
I don't care if my phone can run Grand Theft Auto while updating all of its apps while accessing the Pentagon. I care about my phone feeling fast when I'm doing day to day things like opening photos, switching apps, loading webpages, and won't buckle while multitasking. The S6 completely succeeds at this. To get geeky, the S6 uses Samsung's own 14 nanometer Exynos Octo-core chip clocked at - ugh. It doesn't matter. What does matter is that Samsung packed a hugely powerful chip that they've been able to easily optimize. It shows.

After I halved all of Android Lollipop's animations in developer settings, the phone flies. Switching apps is seamless. Editing photos is quick and easy. WiFi is super speedy. The download booster that downloads files using 4G and WiFi actually works. The camera opens in just over one second with a double tap of the home button NO MATTER WHAT. Navigating menus never stutters. It's seriously impressive. Despite all that awesomeness, sometimes my widgets take an extra second to load, but it's nowhere near as show stopping as with my past Android devices. 

Samsung's TouchWiz is..... generally annoying, too bubbly, and difficult to navigate. This time though? Not so much. I barely notice it. The settings menus still isn't perfect and having to press 'Sort A-Z' after installing every app is mind-numbingly stupid, but other than that? It's fine. Very close to stock Android with some genuinely useful tricks, like that double tap of the home button to open the camera. I don't have much else to say about TouchWiz. It will probably anger some people more than it does me and other people won't notice it at all. For me, it's good enough in the most polite way possible.   

The Camera
That bump in the back is worth it. This camera is the best camera on an Android phone. Ever. Photos are always crisp, saturated, in focus, and beautiful. The 16MP rear shooter is a camera you can feel confident about whipping out. It will stand toe-to-toe with the iPhone 6 and, in low-light situations, it will beat the iPhone 6 (albeit with some warmer tones). The interface is dialed back (just like TouchWiz) and the shutter is snappy. 

The 5MP front camera was a surprise. It's.... really good. Like, almost better than my M8's main camera. That's not saying much for the M8, but the point here is that this front camera is stellar. Subjects look far enough away that selfies are beginning to look like someone else took the photo for you.

There isn't much else to say about the camera. Sure, it can shoot 4K video, has auto-focus tracking, and can take slow-mo videos, but the coolest thing about this camera is that you don't really have to think much about it. If you've owned an Android (or considered switching from iPhone), I'm sure you've asked yourself whether it was worth the sacrifice in the camera departure, both in regards to features and quality. Worry no longer. The S6 delivers.

Battery Life
I use my phone. A lot. Here's my day: unplug phone, go to work, use phone, charge phone before leaving work at work, use phone, go to bed, and charge phone. That's been my routine for the past four years. It continues to be my routine. The S6 doesn't have out of this world battery life. In fact, some days I've wondered how it got so low so fast. But I've wondered that with my iPhone 6 too. Bottom line is that fast charging really is your best friend and that this won't won't disappoint, but also won't wow, in the battery life department.

If you're in a jam, power saving and ultra power saving modes are available. And they kick ass. Use in dire situations. 

Audio
I don't know who these people are that want surround sound on their phones and who are willing to make the design sacrifices for giant, front-facing speakers and a big black bar (zing to HTC. Again.). Honestly, 90% of the time, my phone's audio is coming out of headphones or my car or a Jambox or my sound bar. The other 10% of the time, I just want it to be loud enough to hear my podcasts in the shower. The S6 is loud. That's for sure. The audio is not the best quality, but it's not noticeably bad. It IS noticeably loud. This was the right call for Samsung to make and I no complaints in the sound department. This includes call quality. 

The Edge
And now for the part you've been waiting for: the edge of the Edge. The Edge does not have a killer "feature" or functionality to revolutionize the way we interact with our phones. You may hear a lot of criticism about for the phone for those reasons. But here's the deal.... Those people don't know what they're talking about. The Edge is awesome because it looks (and feels) awesome. That's why it exists and that's a good enough reason.

Because the screen tapers off, the metal sides are thinner. I don't feel like this makes the phone feel too sharp or slippery, but I can see how certain hands could feel that way. To me, the thinner metal sides let the screen's bezels melt away and the curved glass makes video / images more immersive than ever. Hey! Maybe that is a feature! Again, who cares. It looks and feels awesome, but I recommend playing around with it before dropping the extra $100 for something that looks cooler. This decision totally depends on your situation.

As for me? I made the right choice. I like new and different things. I want my phones to be eye-catching and interesting. The S6 Edge is both. 

Overall
There are some features I didn't go into (like wireless charging or the still annoying Verizon bloat or the Edge's my favorite 5 people feature I use more often than I thought I would), but the bottom line is that all of the main criteria that should decide whether or not you should buy a phone are met - and not just for Android, but for every phone out there. Snappy performance. Worry free camera that produces striking shots. A screen that wows (and can be easily seen in broad daylight). The Samsung Galaxy S6 literally has it all. Phones aren't perfect yet, but man. This phone comes damn close.

I was fully expecting to get the M9 this cycle (thanks, in large part, to leaks that ended up being fabricated), but Samsung has won me back. Here's to hoping this is the start of a most customer-centric company that continues to push boundaries in both hardware and performance. I like this new Samsung - and I love my S6.

#Android   #Samsung   #S6   #S6Edge   #Google   #Apple   #iPhone  
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Apologies. I type the way I talk. Sorry mom ;] 
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A child’s long-term well-being is more profoundly shaped by influences in pregnancy than used to be realised http://econ.st/1JjTrOh
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"Because if there’s one thing Americans like more than spending money, it’s pushing buttons."
Just when you thought American capitalism had reached its peak, Amazon is announcing the Dash Button. The idea is simple: You push a branded button, and Amazon ships that brand’s products to your home. The Dash Button is free for Prime Members. Just don’t let the kids near it.
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Currently
West Des Moines, Iowa
Previously
Ames, IA
This place rarely disappoints and is exactly what you'd expect from a sports bar and grill. Lots of nice, big TVs showing a variety of sports, and the wait staff has generally been very good, or at least not bad. EDIT: I cannot remember when I wrote that review, but as of early-2014 the place has gone downhill dramatically. Their food is not as good as before, and their wait staff seem like they're unhappy/bitter.
Public - a month ago
reviewed a month ago
Sometime during mid-2014 the management staff was switched out and the place got noticeably better. Employees were nicer and more on top of things. Bathroom is always clean. Only complaint, it's loud. The really high ceilings seem to amplify the noise of the soda and other drink machines so there's a dull roar in the place at all times.
Public - a month ago
reviewed a month ago
It's a local chain with this location "specializing" in pork. I haven't sampled much of the menu, but what I have had was as good as expected. The atmosphere and wait staff are excellent, though it can get a little loud when busy due to its very open nature, so don't plan on private conversations over a meal. Also, I eat here for lunch a few times per month and the food quality is very consistent. Two complaints: 1. The parking lot is very small. It probably fine for dinner, but at lunch the nearby Jimmy Johns is busy and uses up the little extra parking available. 2. Around late-2014 they switched from Heinz to their own ketchup. It's slightly sweeter and I've gotten used to it, but if given the chance I'd have them switch back. More restaurants seem to be doing this so it must be a cost saving measure.
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Public - a month ago
reviewed a month ago
We went here because the famous Maui Revealed guidebook recommended it very highly, and i can see why. Very professional staff, excellent facilities, private beach front to ensure privacy to luau guests, and outstanding food and drinks. Oh, and the show was top notch as well. We even had Miss Hawaii do a hula before the main show as a surprise. More expensive than hotel luau's, but you get a lot more value.
Public - 2 months ago
reviewed 2 months ago
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I walk here for lunch quite frequently. After a few weeks the staff started to recognize me and now they've started making my sandwich as soon as I walk in the door. They're very friendly and good at their job, plus they seem to know how conversational you want to be, not being too talkative or too quiet. Food quality is also been very consistent, only occasionally getting slightly old bread (usually when I get a late lunch after 1:00pm).
Public - a month ago
reviewed a month ago
Great view, but the everything else was over rated. Thankfully we were early and didn't have a wait, but I've heard waits can reach over an hour. Go elsewhere.
Public - 2 months ago
reviewed 2 months ago
I (30) and my wife (28) have stayed here twice together (2011 & 2015) and she stayed here with her family back in 1995. There's a reason for the repeat visits. While the units aren't the most modern looking, they work like newer ones (WiFi steamed HD video quite well). The pool is fine, but kids probably won't like it all that much, but we don't use the pool since the beach is a 10 second walk away. Ultimately, we keep coming back because it's a great value. $300/night for a studio with a full ocean view during peak season is excellent. We love Ka'anapali because of the 2.5 mile long, well groomed beach and the culture of Whaler's Village and nearby Lahaina. Our favorite activities are walking the beach and eating lunch on our balcony watching the whales <1 mile from shore.
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Public - 2 months ago
reviewed 2 months ago