What was meant to be a year of LDR turned to 5 years…and counting

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Image by Bingo Naranjo from Pixabay

My boyfriend and I have about 9.4k miles between us.

We’ve been together for a total of 7.5 years, with 5 of those years being long distance.

It hasn’t been an easy journey and it took us over a year to find how to navigate a long-distance relationship. While it’s still not easy now, I can say that we’ve found a good routine and the distance is more manageable now.

If you’re in a similar situation, our story might help and give you the confidence to carry out your long-distance relationship.

We met in university in the United States and were both international students. We met and got together in Spring 2013 during the second semester of our sophomore year. …


I used to be a cardio bunny who was afraid to touch weights. But now I wish I had started strength training from the get-go

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Photo by Alora Griffiths on Unsplash

There’s an invisible barrier between the weights section and the cardio area in a typical gym. It’s almost always all men in the weights area and all women in cardio.

I used to be one of those women who’d just stick to cardio and wouldn’t dare to venture into the weights section.

I thought doing cardio would give me the best results in terms of weight loss. I had no desire to gain muscle and didn’t have any idea of the benefits of strength training.

I thought lifting weights would make me bulky.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Why most women are afraid of lifting weights

1) Fear of becoming too muscular or bulky. One particular comment I remember clearly (when I had just started lifting weights) was when a former Miss Malaysia told me I should be careful that I don’t grow arms like men. …


What DuckDuckGo has to offer that Google doesn’t

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Photo by Mitchell Luo on Unsplash

This is not an article where I espouse how Google is evil and how we would be better off without using its all-seeing and all-knowing search engine. That would be a silly thing to proclaim.

I still use Google search, albeit occasionally. I ditched it — for the most part — because I found a good alternative in DuckDuckGo, a search engine created by a small company out of Paoli, Pennsylvania.

I started using DuckDuckGo a few years ago, mostly out of curiosity. Today, it has pretty much replaced Google as my go-to search engine.

Why?

Because DuckDuckGo is awesome. In a lot of ways, it is similar to search engines like Google and Bing, but it has quite a few tricks up its sleeve that set it apart from the big dogs. …


Impress your friends with these useful tips and tricks

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Photo by Michael Dziedzic on Unsplash

There’s a treasure trove of useful Python tips and tricks online. Here are some fun, cool tricks you can use to beef up your Python game and impress your friends at the same time — kill two birds with one stone.

Without further ado, let’s jump right into it.

1. Download YouTube Videos With YouTube-Dl

You can easily download YouTube videos (and videos from many other websites) using the youtube-dl module in Python.

First, let’s install the module using pip:

pip install youtube-dl

Once installed, you can download videos directly from terminal or command prompt by using the following one-line command:

youtube-dl <Your video link here>

Alternatively, since youtube-dl has bindings for Python, you can create a Python script to do the same thing programmatically. …


“&” was the 27th letter of the English alphabet

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Photo by Dmitry Ratushny on Unsplash

I have always been interested in words and their origin.

Let’s take a short journey into the fascinating world of some of these words/phrases/symbols and their origins.

1. Why do we use “A1” (e.g., “This car is in A1 condition”) to mean the very best of something?

The term was coined by the British company Lloyd’s Register and was used to classify ships that were in excellent condition.


Tips and tricks to handle NULL values in T-SQL

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Photo by Jeremy Perkins on Unsplash

Preface

A friend who has recently started learning SQL asked me about NULL values and how to deal with them. If you are new to SQL, this guide should give you insights into a topic that can be confusing to beginners.

What is NULL?

NULL is used in SQL to indicate that a value doesn’t exist in the database.
It’s not to be confused with an empty string or a zero value.

While NULL indicates the absence of a value, the empty string and zero both represent actual values. …


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Do violent video games cause real-world violence?

Ever since the ‘90s, when the video game industry really started to flourish, there have been a tirade of claims that video games, especially the violent ones, desensitize children and make them violent or aggressive.

Video games can teach you violent ways to think.

Video games make children more aggressive.

Gamers lead an antisocial life and are largely apathetic.

Video games, especially the ones that are violent, should be banned.

How many times have we come across these comments against video games?

A number of studies done over the years have backed up these claims. Most of these studies, however, fail to account for factors outside of video games, such as a person’s socioeconomic status, family life, the consumption of other violent media, etc… These studies, at best, show a correlation between the consumption of violent video games and actual acts of violence. …


Mistakes made and lessons learned from my crazy journey

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Photo by Jordan Whitfield on Unsplash

Preface

Last year was big for me — both in terms of career and skills progression. It was also the year when I decided to get serious about saving money for moving to Canada (I’m Malaysian).

Not only did I need enough money saved for the move, but I also needed funds for grad school. While I was already getting a decent salary from my full-time job, it wasn’t enough (the MYR to CAD exchange rate doesn’t help).

The next logical step for me — apart from controlling my spending habits — was to get a part-time job to have an extra stream of income. What I didn’t plan for was ending up with 5 jobs.


Waking up at 5 AM was an experiment that ended up becoming a part of my lifestyle

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Photo by Chris Curry on Unsplash

I decided about two years ago that I wanted to become a morning person — not just a morning person, but a person who works out in the morning.

It was a decision based on my fitness goals. Fitness was (and is) a huge part of my life. I wanted to dedicate time in a day to optimize my time at the gym.

Working out after work sucked. I found that most days I was too tired — both mentally and physically—after a long day of work to push myself at the gym.

Even worse, I simply wasn’t seeing any changes despite going to the gym at least 5 times a week. …

About

Nabilah Abu Bakar

A marketing hustler in the startup industry and fitness junkie who has two constant things on her mind — the customer journey and her next workout.

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