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In programming, whenever we find ourselves copy/pasting or rewriting bits of code over and over again, we naturally put the relevant code in a function that can then be called (invoked) anytime the functionality of the code is needed. This saves a great deal of time and typing.

Similarly, on the command line, one can save a lot of typing and improve workflows by using aliases for complicated (or even not so complicated) commands. For example, you might want to simply clear the current terminal, that can be done with the clear command. If you get tired of typing clear


Since 2006 all major browsers have had ‘tabs’ that allow you to have multiple webpages open in a single window. This greatly improves the user experience, but as soon as you have more than 10 or so tabs open you run into a pretty serious problem…

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Is this really the best design?

With more than just a handful of tabs open, you can no longer see the title of the page and you don’t know which pages you have open (you have to click them all to see what’s what).

One very reasonable solution is to have the tabs laid out VERTICALLY. Firefox has a great…


a line a square a cube a hypercube
a line a square a cube a hypercube

In (data) science and mathematics in general it is often necessary (or at least very helpful) to have a mental picture of how things are arranged in some space. We live in a 3-dimensional world, and so our mental pictures are also 3-dimensional. Left/right, up/down, in/out are what is familiar to us.

You may think that you can also visualize a 2-dimensional object, but chances are that when you do that you are picturing that 2-D object embedded in a 3-D space. When I think of a 2-D square, I “see” it from the top (i.e. I actually use a…

Martin Carr

I love physics and computer science.

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