Paying tribute to the only perfect fighter.

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Photo credit: Esther Lin/MMAFighting.com

Khabib Nurmagomedov sobbed into the canvas upon beating Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 on Saturday. As he wept on live television, I couldn’t help feeling that he was the loneliest man in one of the world’s loneliest sports.

Viewers understood that the tears he shed were likely for his late father Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, who tragically fell victim to Covid-19 in July. Khabib’s undying bond to his father is well documented. Abdulmanap was a lifelong coach, mentor, and friend.

How strange and awful it must have been to have competed your whole life under the tutelage of your father, relishing every victory with him, the one whose admiration you prized above all others, and in your final, most impressive win, to turn to “father” yet again and be met with a void. …


A poem of the San Francisco Bay

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Credit: Kym Mackinnon — Unsplash

I emerge from my den in damp December,
The flames of fall abated.

O sprouts, O buds, O breaking earth,
Thy cool wet verdure
Bestows life unto me
Unto this canyon.

Inferno I remember,
You who burn to cinders
And tear asunder,
How long will this our treaty last?

Further now,
I tread the sodden earth, ‘neath the oak bower,
Steam effusing in this morning light,
Moss cleaving to winding, twisting boughs,
A dim green radiance displaying.

I enter halls of eucalyptus,
Towering and shaggy.
You shed gum and strips and silver globes,
Thy vigorous scent, thy balmy odor arresting. …


If I can do it, you can too.

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It’s one thing to write an article that goes viral, garnering thousands of views and hundreds of dollars in a single night. But to write a piece and, over several years, only achieve viewership in the double-digits—views so few in number they’re not worth counting—well, that is another thing entirely.

I bear the distinct honor of having written such an article. You can find it here. In 52 months (four years and some change), this post has accrued a staggering 68 views. If my article was a bird, and ‘views’ were its food, then it’d be the most haggard, malnourished creature ever to grace our skies. …


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Photo by Fallon Michael on Unsplash

I’m a product marketing manager for a tech company. Before that, I was a content marketing manager. I’ve also borne the titles of content marketing manager, content marketing writer, marketing writer, freelance content marketing writer strategist thought leader, and other such labels. All that to say, for the last several years, I’ve worked as a “corporate writer” in one form or another. The chief skill for which I’ve been compensated is writing.

It has recently come to my attention that my profession is under siege. A menace threatens to rob me of my livelihood. This blood-sucking, job-stealing reprobate is not one of flesh and blood, however. No, it is made of different stuff than you and I. It is a merciless tyrant who will not rest until it has devoured my job as well as the jobs of every other corporate writer out there. …


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Photo by Matthew Ronder-Seid on Unsplash

Celebrating an otherworldly tree

A few months ago, I decided I wanted to write something of a tribute to coast redwoods (sequoia sempervirens). They are rare and majestic trees. And they only grow naturally in California, save a tiny patch of southern Oregon. As a California native, who has lived within driving distance of coast redwoods for most of my life, I feel a connection to these sacred trees. Perhaps I even feel a sense of duty to record my thoughts about them.

My initial plan was to go to some of the prime redwood destinations I had yet to visit such as Redwood National Park and Jedidiah Smith Redwoods State Park. Though I have been to other parks containing old-growth redwoods, I wanted to broaden my exposure before sitting down to write. …


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In a recent post, I explored ideas on ethical product design. Among other things, I talked about how apps and IoT device makers can engage users without compromising users’ well-being. As more stories come out like that of Samsung TVs recording people’s conversations and Bose headphones spying on customers, people will want assurance that the apps they use are designed with integrity. Ingredient brands can help.

Ingredient solutions enable host products to build trust with their customers. At the same time, they enhance the capabilities of the host product, thereby attracting new users.

Ingredient solutions enable host products to build trust with their customers. At the same time, they enhance the capabilities of the host product, thereby attracting new users. …


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Credit: Gaelle Marcell

Exploring what it means to captivate app users in a healthy way.

Addictions tend to leave people worse off than they found them. The same is true for digital addictions. A longitudinal study published by researchers at Yale and U.C. San Diego, “Associations of Facebook Use with Compromised Well-Being,” reveals that using Facebook harms our mental health. As context, people spend an average of 50 minutes a day on the social media site, while dedicating a paltry 17 to exercise.

Reading those figures, I couldn’t help reflecting on my own habits. Even though I’m someone who strives for balance, I often yield to urges — checking my phone, watching untold numbers of sea otter videos, mindlessly swiping at screens — that don’t ultimately improve my life. …


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Photo credit: Jamie Street

Today’s most prevalent diseases/conditions are both preventable and manageable. In most cases, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and other conditions can be avoided and offset by healthy living. A healthy lifestyle often requires people to change certain behaviors. And, as we all know, behavior change is hard.

People are adopting mobile health apps and Internet-connected medical devices to help them in this effort. New machine learning technology will greatly augment the ability of these apps and devices to spur the desired behavior changes.

In this case, I’m referring to machine learning algorithms that create behavioral profiles of end-users based on their actions in the physical world. These algorithms convert raw sensor data from a user’s phone and connected devices into insights about their habits, activities, and meaningful locations. …


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Photo credit: Federico Bottos.

Personalization: not just a “nice-to-have.”

Last week, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos shared with an audience in Washington, DC, about the pivotal role machine learning has played for the $430 billion company. While the firm’s AI pursuits have spawned intriguing devices like Alexa, a voice-activated assistant, Bezos insisted the real power of Amazon’s machine learning engine lies in things like improved “search results” and “product recommendations for customers.”

The real power of Amazon’s machine learning engine lies in things like improved “search results” and “product recommendations for customers,” according to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

If you’ve browsed Amazon.com, then you’ve seen the razor-sharp precision of its product suggestions and the magic of its personalizing algorithms. …


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The day my wife made me walk up Colorado’s tallest mountain.

Three months ago, my wife and I were planning a trip to Colorado. From what I gathered, there were mountains there, and they were high. Some soared to above 14,000 feet, earning themselves the rank of “14er”. I had no intention of climbing one of those.

My wife felt differently about the matter and suggested not only that we hike a 14er but that we summit the tallest one — Mt. Elbert.

Specs

At 14,433 feet, Mt. Elbert is the tallest member of the fearsome Sawatch Range in the Rocky Mountains. Elbert can be identified by its semi-pyramidal shape, a gorge hollowing out its left flank, and bulging ribbed slopes along the right. Though it’s the second tallest mountain in the contiguous United States, in terms of technical difficulty, Elbert is an easy hike. …

About

Matt DeLaney

Nature, technology, short stories (sometimes).

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