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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Changing my mind

My Computational Investing course sent me the intro saying that it would be starting soon. By the time I got around to deciding to not do it, I was already 2 weeks behind not knowing it had actually started. "You missed the starting gun..." Points for knowing where that line came from. Anyway, the intro mentioned that I needed Linux, or I could, if I insisted on using Windows, set up Linux in a virtual box. Then it listed the Python modules I needed. This was in passing, as an oh by the way in the letter. I do know how to install Linux, and have a Ubuntu CD I'm going to install on one of my laptops. I know how to do a virtual session. I know what Python is and could probably find what I need. However, I know enough about all that to know that I don't want to be dealing with doing all that to learn about investing. So, I unenrolled.

So, to make up for that I enrolled in a course on How to Reason and Argue. It says that I don't need anything except an internet connection and what they provide in the course. Works for me. It starts at the end of November. I'm still enrolled in the Cryptography course, which starts next week, I think. Guess I should check on that. Don't want "10 years have come and gone..." part of the quote to apply as well. This school stuff is reminding me why I didn't really enjoy college that much.

Not a lot else going on.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

More details

My upstairs neighbor came home (thank you God) and told me what happened. It was in a fireworks factory in the middle of town... and they were working to make fireworks for the next couple of months when people will be setting them off almost constantly. Someone made a spark, and the whole place went up. It also flattened 3 houses next to it and blew the roofs off others. 3 young men were badly burned, 2 may be dead (unsure if that is 2 of the injured or 2 others as well) including the owner.

My upstairs neighbor is a retired RN from the US who came down here 4 years ago with the Peace Corp. Since they pulled out last January he lives here and volunteers at an orphanage here in town. I didn't know where the orphanage was in relationship to the smoke and explosion, and in fact they were fairly close to it. Luckily no one there was hurt nor was there any damage.

Honduras, where they put fireworks factories in the middle of town...

Explosion

I was finishing hanging up my laundry when the entire building was rocked by an explosion. I could tell it wasn't in this building, but it wasn't far away. I went up to the roof (listening for any signs of political unrest close like small arms fire) and saw a large volume of smoke about 4 blocks away. Sirens and people looking up the street. I live on the street that is the nearest way to the hospital. I didn't actually see the people in the backs of the pickups as they sped by, probably just as well. From what I can sort of decipher, a store that sells fireworks blew up. In this day of instant news, here in a small town in Honduras, just a few blocks from whatever it is that happened, I wait to have someone who speaks English tell me any details. Of course, Murphy being what he is, my cell phone is back at work. If they do a call down of those of us who live in this town from post, I will most likely be in trouble for not having it on me. More sirens going by... Life in Honduras...

Friday, October 05, 2012

More free courses

Awhile ago I talked about how I like the fact that I can find free courses on pretty much anything I want to learn on the internet. Thanks to the blog zenhabits written by Leo Babatua, I have some more sites to share with you. His blog post is about Unschooling for kids, but I figure that can apply to adults like me as well.

Since I am ripping off his resources, I'll give the link to his blog first:

http://zenhabits.net/

The first place I checked out was https://www.coursera.org/courses I have already signed up for 2 courses there, one on Computational Investing and one on Cryptography. I'll be in waaaay deep, but maybe it will fire off some of the lazy brain cells that haven't worked much for a long time.

The next site I checked out was http://selfmadescholar.com/b/ which seems to be a listing of available courses online listed by subject.

I just spent 10 minutes doing a vocabulary game. I got to level 45 out of 60 before I really didn't know the words. I consider my vocabulary to be above average. Test yourself at http://freerice.com and let me know if I really do have as large a vocabulary as I think. : )

For more fun go to Leo's post and click away. The list of learning resources is at the bottom of the post.