Two bash functions for interactive scripts

I just made two cool bash functions for use at work. One checks if a Debian/Ubuntu package is present and installs it if it isn't. The second takes a string bash command and echos it before running it, exiting the script if there's an error.

Do you believe in your own values?

I'm an environmentalist, so I like the idea of reducing consumption. It's almost an axiom of economics by now that eduction leads women to have less children, thus reducing a nation's consumption.

But at some point, all nations will be developed. China's citizens are now "getting their car", and soon there will be millions more from Africa "getting their car".

Simple way to have a better files directory link in Drupal

I maintain a Drupal website with several hundred files in the /sites/default/files folder. It's a big mess - they're unsorted, many are no longer referred to, and so on. That's another topic.

I was wondering if there was a way to make future links nicer. People accessing the website or sharing links to files on our website don't want to type "sites/default" - that's stupid!

The lies we tell in social work

I feel like I tell lies as a part of my job in social work. With more frequency than I'd like.

This is more pronounced at the summer camp I work with, since we work with children. I'll talk about that, but I experience a similar feeling of "I'm being patronizing right now" when working with adults at my workplace.

At camp, we lie to campers for many reasons.

Leadership Camps

When I was in grade 12, my entire class went to a leadership camp day. We did team building and group exercises. I'm not sure what kind of leadership I did. The student council stayed behind for 2 or 3 more days to do more leadership training.

Now that I'm a camp director, I'm responsible for staffing a leadership camp of my own. For two weeks a summer, 16 teenagers learn to be leaders. They do team building, a canoe trip, and learn a lot about the style of leadership Jesus used.

Ubuntu's lack of new features is exciting!

I've used Ubuntu on a daily basis since version 8.04 in 2008. I used to follow the new releases religiously, reading up on the new features and getting excited. I used to install beta versions, then moved to installing the version on the day it came out, then to waiting a month after release. Nowadays I use LTS releases only and I wait the extra month.

Accessing the Canada Post Sell Online API using curl

I've been trying to access the Canada Post Sell Online API (if it's even still called that, in 2014) and I'm having lots of trouble. I'm using an Ubercart module (uc_canadapost) and it doesn't seem to work or something. It looks like you used to get a Merchant ID when you used Sell Online, and with Canada Post's new APIs you get a username and password as your API key.

It took me a good 2 hours to figure out how to successfully use curl to access the REST API. I'm now going to document the examples of successful curl commands that have actually worked.

Moral outrage

I have a problem with moral outrage. 

On the one hand, I often believe in the causes people are outraged about. On the other, I get so sick of the way they treat the causes as God's own truth. Let's pick an example cause: people being angry because they want a higher minimum wage.

I think the best salespeople truly believe in what they're selling. So it's a good thing that people really believe that there should be a higher minimum wage. On the other hand, the argument that a higher minimum wage would lead to less jobs has its merits too.

Parkinson's Law

I just found out about "Parkinson's Law", which simply stated says that "work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion". Students, take note! You could spend hours in the library procrastinating on Facebook and saying you don't have time to hang out with your friends, or you could hang out with your friends and then do the work on a deadline and get it done decisively.

A Slashdot Thread

Re:If you make this a proof of God...  (Score:4, Insightful)
by marcello_dl (667940)  on Friday April 11, 2014 @09:52AM (#46724593)

Let's simplify.

Conway's game of life creatures became sentient.
They discovered they are made of cells.

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