Be Like Dan, Why Not

Truman's Map 7: Rationalists Should Win

A stranger would think I was studying for a test there in my forklift. I calmly turned the pages, soaking in everything I could. Only my eyebrows betrayed the roiling chaos of my wonder, anger, and sheer embarrassment. I had to understand why They had put me through this. Months before my escape... Continue
dankuck May 22, 2022

Truman's Map 6: Politics Is The Mind-Killer

I was sure that the missing article from Volume U-V was USSR. It only made sense now that I knew the USSR had built the dome over Seahaven Island. And I thought I knew how to check: The USSR posted agents to monitor the use of their dome… There was a small community of Russians in Seahaven… The... Continue
dankuck July 29, 2021

Truman's Map 5: Loss Aversion

I hauled the three boxes over to my forklift so I could read the encyclopedia and still be ready to make my escape. I was The Truman of The Truman Show, whatever that was specifically. When I didn’t find my name in the 2020 World Book Encyclopedia, I had taken it as good news. I was only a pris... Continue
dankuck April 03, 2021

Truman's Map 4: Inferential Distances

How many more escapes will I have to devise? I was picking the lock on the first door I had come to. My heart was pounding out of my chest, and I was sure someone was going to come down the corridor at any moment. The map of the edge of the world said this was the door to a storage facility and... Continue
dankuck February 27, 2021

Truman's Map 3: The Map is Not The Territory

The darkness was complete when I closed the door behind me. I was beyond the edge of the world for the first time ever. Of course it was dark there. Then off to my left a utility lamp flickered on over another door. A speaker there crackled to life. “Mayor Burbank,” said the same nowhere Voice ... Continue
dankuck June 26, 2020

How I Failed to Teach Java Using a MUD

When I was a computer science teacher, I put a lot of effort into making a text game with the intention of using it to teach. It was unsuccessful, though fun. I've learned a lot since then about wasting effort and about simplifying things for audiences. I might even be able to teach if I gave it ... Continue
dankuck May 15, 2020

Truman's Map 2: Making Beliefs Pay Rent

The edge of the world is a blue wall painted with clouds. Painted? Maybe it’s something more sophisticated. I couldn’t be sure, but the clouds might have been moving. “Mayor Burbank,” a booming voice from nowhere addressed me. This was new. I was spending too much time thinking over things that... Continue
dankuck May 14, 2020

Truman's Map 1: The Discrete Conspiracy

I did not expect to find the edge of the world when I set sail that morning. I just tacked out of the harbor toward wherever the Gulf of Mexico met the first light of dawn. The timing was right and my hiding spot would be useless in the daylight. Before that day, I had already estimated that the... Continue
dankuck April 17, 2020

Which Laravel Collection methods use dot-notation?

average, avg, contains, containsStrict, duplicates, duplicatesStrict, every, except, firstWhere, groupBy, implode, keyBy, max, median, min, mode, partition, pluck, pull, some, sortBy, sortByDesc, sum, unique, uniqueStrict, where, whereBetween, whereIn, whereInStrict, whereNotBetween, whereNotIn, ... Continue
dankuck September 06, 2019

Terrorist Activity In Hill Valley, California

The terrorist cell met with Manhattan Project physicist Emmett Brown. FBI files show that Brown is the only scientist in Hill Valley with nuclear experience (see reference 1). Continue
dankuck May 08, 2019

Make Any Mystery Picture Graph

Make graph puzzles quickly and easily using Mystery Picture Graph. A mystery picture graph is a set of coordinates that you can plot on graph paper like a connect-the-dots puzzle. You remember… from math class? I built Mystery Picture Graph to meet a need for myself. There are lots of great exe... Continue
dankuck February 22, 2019

Your Project Deserves a Requirements Doc

In the last ten years as a software developer, I’ve worked on two major commercial products, three supporting projects, and countless personal projects. All of these were produced without any formal requirements documentation. We had plenty of documents. Pages of paragraphs about what the softwa... Continue
dankuck January 23, 2018

Quora: Would the existence of magic spell the end of science?

I found this question on Quora. Here’s my answer: Magic is not really a thing. Magic is a way of thinking. Imagine you see a man in wizard robes gesture at a car just before it bursts into flame. If you think “Wow, magic!” you are engaged in magical thinking. If you think “I wonder how that ... Continue
dankuck November 17, 2017

Review: Catch Me If You Can

The film version of Frank Abagnale Jr.’s Catch Me If You Can hit theaters fifteen years ago on Christmas Day. If you saw it and liked it, the book is stupendous. I listened to the audiobook narrated by Barrett Whitener. It’s billed as the true story of Frank Abagnale Jr. a now famous impostor w... Continue
dankuck November 16, 2017

Quora: What should I know before I start learning programming any language?

I found this question on Quora. Here’s my answer: Every line matters. In your code every line matters. There are no lines that do nothing. (If there are, you should delete them.) So if your code doesn’t do what you expect, go back and see if you didn’t understand one of the lines. In the book... Continue
dankuck November 14, 2017

Review: "The Cat Who Saw Stars", The Sleepiest Audiobook of 1998

“The Cat Who Saw Stars” is book #21 in a series I’d never heard of called “Cat Who…” by Lilian Jackson Braun. And it is sinfully boring. You can always tell when a book is part of a series. You squirm a little when a sentence is obviously supposed to inspire a familiar laugh. But a good book in ... Continue
dankuck November 03, 2017

Just Kongin' Around

I made this for the rUUUse Facebook group. It’s part of my #rUUUseMinusrUUUse series where I remove conspicuous things from photos. #rUUUseMinusrUUUse— Dan Kuck-Alvarez (@dankuck) November 2, 2017 Continue
dankuck November 02, 2017

Quora: Why is the idea that both statements are true until observed acceptable in science?

I found this question on Quora. It included this explainer: “To clarify, I mean ideas such as Schrodinger’s Cat. I don’t know the consensus on the idea.” Here’s my answer: It’s not. Experiments in quantum physics consistently show that a quantum particle can be put into two conflicting states... Continue
dankuck November 01, 2017

Quora: If astronauts had a baby in space, would the baby be considered an alien or would the baby be human?

I found this question on Quora. Here’s my answer: A human child born in any place not within the Earth’s atmosphere would correctly be classified as an extraterrestrial. It would still be a human. Extra means “outside” and terrestrial means “of Earth”. If there were a word for beings that did... Continue
dankuck October 03, 2017

My Little Friend Minus Me

I made this for the rUUUse Facebook group. It’s part of my #rUUUseMinusrUUUse series. #ruuuse #rUUUseMinusrUUUse— Dan Kuck-Alvarez (@dankuck) September 20, 2017 Continue
dankuck September 22, 2017

Quora: Why does Quora not introduce the upvote feature for questions asked?

I found this question on Quora. Here’s my speculative response: I’ll hazard a guess. The Quora team needs metrics that help them find good questions to put in front of the audience. Now while you’re looking around, you might think a question is good. But the Quora team might define good diffe... Continue
dankuck September 21, 2017

What Did Obama Do To The Boy Scouts?

The Claim Do you remember when Barack Obama tried to shut down the Boy Scouts of America? Human memory is pliable. If you remember the event above, that’s your memory being pliable, because that never happened. I learned a few things about Obama and the Boy Scouts of America while researching ... Continue
dankuck September 20, 2017

Tremors Minus Tremors

I made this for the rUUUse Facebook group. It’s part of my #rUUUseMinusrUUUse series. #ruuuse #rUUUseMinusrUUUse— Dan Kuck-Alvarez (@dankuck) August 25, 2017 Continue
dankuck August 26, 2017

Quora: Women demand equality, yet when it comes to divorce, they are most likely to win child custody and child support, putting the father into poverty. How do we fix this?

I found this question on Quora. Here’s my answer: Equality would fix this. First, it’s important to note that this has changed dramatically in the modern era. Fathers get primary custody very often now. Still, due to the inequalities that remain, mothers are often the primary care takers of th... Continue
dankuck August 25, 2017

The Memorial

I made this for the rUUUse Facebook group. It’s part of my #rUUUseMinusrUUUse series. #rUUUseMinusrUUUse #ruuuse— Dan Kuck-Alvarez (@dankuck) August 2, 2017 Continue
dankuck August 03, 2017

There Are No Alternatives To EXTERNAL_ID

You may have a bunch of fields in your database called external_id. This may distress you. An external ID is a unique name for a record coming from some outside source. For example: You may need to store a record about a Facebook user. So you need to keep that user’s ID in your database. You... Continue
dankuck August 02, 2017

Quora: Do you think The Truman Show would make a good television series, why or why not?

I found this question on Quora. Here’s my answer: Do you mean The Truman Show the show or The Truman Show the movie as converted into a show? The In-Universe Show An actual show about a regular guy whose life is manufactured would be very boring. On the other hand, a lot of Norwegians and I l... Continue
dankuck July 28, 2017

Air Jet Ski

I made this for the rUUUse Facebook group. It’s the beginning of my #rUUUseMinusrUUUse series. #ruuuse #rUUUseMinusrUUUse— Dan Kuck-Alvarez (@dankuck) July 24, 2017 Continue
dankuck July 27, 2017

Time Travel Movies Ranked

I’ve seen and read a lot of time travel fiction. Here are my ratings for all the time travel movies I can remember. I don’t think it’s smart to compare dramatic time travel with comedic, so I split them up. Dramatic Dramatic Good PrimerEntrepreneur engineers accidentally discover ... Continue
dankuck July 26, 2017

Quora: Why should I believe in science?

I found this question on Quora. It was originally “Why must I believe science?” but someone merged it with an older question. Here’s my answer: You should have beliefs that work. For a belief to work means that it helps you predict what you’ll experience. If you believe you live in the jungle... Continue
dankuck July 25, 2017

Cat Shark

I made this for the rUUUse Facebook group. #ruuuse— Dan Kuck-Alvarez (@dankuck) July 24, 2017 Continue
dankuck July 24, 2017

Was The End of Planet Of The Apes Really a Surprise?

Planet of the Apes blew audiences away in 1968. After an hour and fifty minutes of a great movie, the end riled up the audience so they could drive home and tell their friends one at a time on their rotary dial telephones. In 2017, most of us know the ending before we see Planet Of The Apes. And... Continue
dankuck July 22, 2017

Quora: Will killing everybody end all of humanity's problems?

I found this question on Quora. Here’s my pithy answer: Killing everybody would replace all of humanity’s problems with the one problem of Not Existing. Not Existing is counter to most of humanity’s objectives, so it would be a big problem. No humans would object once it’s done, but they would... Continue
dankuck June 08, 2017

Thankful Tears

I made this for the rUUUse Facebook group. #ruuuse #thankful— Dan Kuck-Alvarez (@dankuck) June 6, 2017 Continue
dankuck June 07, 2017

Database Reporting Is Hard

The king of data storage is a kind of software called a relational database. MySQL, MS SQL, Postgre, and Oracle are some popular examples. They keep data in tables with rows and columns. Say you have an account on a website. There’s a row in a table in a database somewhere with your name, your s... Continue
dankuck June 02, 2017

Quora: What is wrong with me since I was born two weeks earlier?

I found this question on Quora. Here’s my answer: Births are timed at 40 weeks after the last menstruation of the mother. This is an estimate which can be wrong by several weeks. Being born two weeks early is within the normal range. You were probably only early compared to what your parents e... Continue
dankuck May 31, 2017

Rainbow Fire

I made this for the rUUUse Facebook group. My daughter was very impressed. #ruuuse— Dan Kuck-Alvarez (@dankuck) May 30, 2017 Continue
dankuck May 30, 2017

The Trouble With Tags

Last year I lead a project to produce a web service that included a lot of tag-type data. Along with all the major data, like posts and stories, there were keywords, categories, and a few variations on that theme. A tag is a simple phrase attached to data to help categorize and find it. Since t... Continue
dankuck April 29, 2017

Quora: What can I do today that will make me die in peace?

I found this question on Quora. Here’s my answer: Make a recurring donation to Against Malaria which saves lives every day by giving bed nets to people in malaria-affected regions. Of all charities, it saves the most lives for each dollar you give according to GiveWell. That’s another way of s... Continue
dankuck April 19, 2017

David de Milo

I made this for the rUUUse Facebook group. I think it wasn’t very popular because the statue of David is hard to recognize without his arms. #ruuuse— Dan Kuck-Alvarez (@dankuck) April 17, 2017 Continue
dankuck April 17, 2017

Simulator for Guess Who to Find the Best Strategy

Guess Who has gotten popular at my house and now I’m obsessed. It’s a simple elimination game. Each player has a secret card with a face and name printed on it and a secret board of cards. On each turn, the player asks their opponent a Yes/No question about their secret character. Then they eli... Continue
dankuck April 07, 2017

Quora: What does in my mind's eye mean?

I found this question on Quora. Here’s my answer: Most people experience a kind of image in their mind when they think of situations and things. It’s kind of like a dream, but unlike a dream there is no sense that the images are coming from the physical eyes. The phrase “mind’s eye” refers to ... Continue
dankuck April 06, 2017

Oreo Pez

I made this for the rUUUse Facebook group. #ruuuse— Dan Kuck-Alvarez (@dankuck) April 5, 2017 Continue
dankuck April 05, 2017

Computer Languages Are Rude

When I was a high school computer science teacher, students liked to stump me with English phrases to translate into the computer language Java. Computer languages are designed as actual languages, not just magic spells you chant over a keyboard. So there should be translations for anything from... Continue
dankuck March 31, 2017

Quora: Where would I look to find the current consensus of professionals on a given issue?

I found this question on Quora. Here’s my answer: A researcher finds the scientific consensus on a topic by looking at all of the published research on that topic. That’s hard for one busy layperson to do. Instead we need to look for people who’ve already done this. I’d do a search on Google S... Continue
dankuck March 30, 2017

Jesus & The Whales

I made this for the rUUUse Facebook group. #ruuuse— Dan Kuck-Alvarez (@dankuck) March 28, 2017 Continue
dankuck March 29, 2017

Bolivia Understands Free Markets

I have done a lot of traveling to just one country, and so I tend to start too many sentences with “In Bolivia…”. After a few of these stories, someone pointed out to me that Bolivians are creative at money making in ways that haven’t caught on in the US. I’ve been struck by how similar South Am... Continue
dankuck March 24, 2017

Quora: Why aren't there alot of waves in Florida?

I found this question on Quora. Here’s my answer: Florida has lots of waves but not many that are as large as in the Pacific Ocean. The Pacific Ocean is deeper and wider than either the Atlantic Ocean or the Gulf of Mexico that Florida lies between. Waves are created by the circular orbit moti... Continue
dankuck March 19, 2017

Zebra Piñata

I made this for the rUUUse Facebook group. #ruuuse— Dan Kuck-Alvarez (@dankuck) March 17, 2017 Continue
dankuck March 18, 2017

Train Simulator

To help me learn about Vue.js I built a train simulator. It’s based on some shareware I remember from the early nineties. It generates a track of 50 squares and puts two trains on it. The track meanders, so there are intersections. Each intersection has a green mark on one side to indicate the ... Continue
dankuck March 14, 2017

Quora: Do most students go to university because they are pressured by society and their parents?

I found this question on Quora. Here’s my answer: A 2014 survey by New America revealed that most students go to university for some reason other than parental pressure. Parental pressure rated lowest, at 42%, among options on the survey. College Decisions Survey: Deciding to Go to College ... Continue
dankuck March 13, 2017

Tractor On Roof

I made this for the rUUUse Facebook group. The idea is from A. my six-year-old daughter. #ruuuse— Dan Kuck-Alvarez (@dankuck) March 10, 2017 Continue
dankuck March 11, 2017

You Can Find Any Opinion On Twitter

A standard part of TV news is to turn to Twitter and see what people had to say. Most of this is useless, because you can find any opinion on Twitter. Twitter has 319 million active users all over the world. Every newsworthy event will have tens of thousands of reactions on Twitter. Meaning news... Continue
dankuck March 10, 2017

Quora: How far is a drive from Miami to Florida?

I found this question on Quora with the following explanation. I live in Miami and want to know how long it will take to get to florida. Edit: Some people seem to be confused. I live in Miami, Florida, and want to know how long it will take to get to the state Florida. Here’s my answer: The... Continue
dankuck March 09, 2017

Minion Laugh

I made this for the rUUUse Facebook group. #ruuuse— Dan Kuck-Alvarez (@dankuck) March 7, 2017 Continue
dankuck March 08, 2017

The Time I Didn't Revolutionize Social Networking

I once created a brand new social network called the Socknet. Like email, it was distributed; anyone could open their own site on the Socknet and have full control of it. It went exactly nowhere, and I let all the domains expire five years later. It was an entirely predictable failure, but I lea... Continue
dankuck March 06, 2017

Quora: Can splitting a Netflix Family plan with friends that I don’t live with be considered a federal crime?

I found this question on Quora. Here’s my answer: Not a lawyer here, and this is not legal advice: A Netflix account is not a cable TV service, so it definitely doesn’t fall under laws that prevent you from sharing cable with your neighbors. But you didn’t ask that. The Computer Fraud and Abu... Continue
dankuck March 04, 2017

Knowledge of Good & Evil, Inc.

I made this for the rUUUse Facebook group. #ruuuse— Dan Kuck-Alvarez (@dankuck) March 2, 2017 Continue
dankuck March 03, 2017

Business for 6 Year Olds Part 5

I’ve been talking about business with my oldest kid off and on for a few months. As promised, I left the subject alone for a while. But a few days after visiting Chuck E. Cheese’s, I got into a conversation again. This time about what value a business has aside from its material goods. My memory... Continue
dankuck March 02, 2017

Quora: Should children be implanted with neurostimulators for behavior modification?

I found this question on Quora. The original title was Should children be implanted with neurostimulators and such so that they can make better decisions and avoid parental stresses turned violent? The asker offered the following explanation: My nephew gets beaten for not finishing food. If h... Continue
dankuck March 01, 2017

Darth Obstinate

I made this for the rUUUse Facebook group. #ruuuse— Dan Kuck-Alvarez (@dankuck) February 27, 2017 Continue
dankuck February 28, 2017

JavaScript and Broken Promises

I Googled to see what happens if a JavaScript Promise never resolves. Google wasn’t very informative; it only gave more questions. So I’m going to work it out. The TL;DR is that it depends on the code you give it. There are no bad consequences, such as memory leaks, unless you give it code that ... Continue
dankuck February 24, 2017

Quora: Do athletes “gamble” just by competing?

I found this question on Quora. Here’s my answer: The word gambling is usually reserved for things with unknown outcomes where the actor has no ability to affect the outcome. Gambling is different from games where the outcome is determined by the actor’s skill. Roulette is gambling. Poker is a... Continue
dankuck February 23, 2017


I made this for the rUUUse Facebook group. It was too subtle to generate any interest. ¯\(ツ)/¯ #ruuuse— Dan Kuck-Alvarez (@dankuck) February 20, 2017 Continue
dankuck February 22, 2017

What Is Fire?

I asked what fire was in a science class once. I didn’t receive an answer that made any sense. Which is weird, because fire is just a gas. It looks like a gas. Just look at it. It’s a gas. It’s only weird because it’s hot and it glows. Which gas it is specifically depends on what chemicals are m... Continue
dankuck February 21, 2017

Quora: Is being biased always wrong?

I found this question on Quora. Here’s my answer: Bias has wrong in its definition. If you’re trying to find a right answer to a question, you use some sort of process to discover the answer. Bias is the word for parts of that process that cause it to sometimes give wrong answers. Often bias ... Continue
dankuck February 16, 2017

Trump Moon

I made this for the rUUUse Facebook group. #ruuuse— Dan Kuck-Alvarez (@dankuck) February 14, 2017 Continue
dankuck February 15, 2017

Get It In Writing

You take writing for granted. You’ve been using it all your life. You can barely take a shower without reading a shampoo bottle. But you know there was a time when writing was uncommon among lay people even in developed nations, just two hundred years ago. And there was a time when it was unhear... Continue
dankuck February 14, 2017

Quora: In your opinion, which branch of science is most important?

I found this question on Quora. I took “important” to mean “impactful”. Here’s my answer: The branch of science with the greatest impact on people historically is medicine. Its primary effect has been to prolong lives. Its secondary effect has been to allow people with prolonged life expectanc... Continue
dankuck February 11, 2017

Trump Heap

I made this for the rUUUse Facebook group. #ruuuse The Trump Heap— Dan Kuck-Alvarez (@dankuck) February 9, 2017 Continue
dankuck February 10, 2017

Mr. Smee Is Bad

In Disney’s interpretation of J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, the lines are clearly drawn. Peter Pan is a Good Guy™ followed by his loyal lost boys. Captain Hook is a Bad Guy™ with his horde of evil pirates. But Captain Hook’s first mate Mr. Smee is just silly. He’s always causing hijinx for Hook, ev... Continue
dankuck February 09, 2017

Quora: Why is music much more popular than podcasts for recreational activities?

I found this question on Quora and responded. Any answer is going to be conjecture. So here’s my conjecture. Music is… Accessible: People are more familiar with common music apps like Spotify and IHeartRadio because they advertise. I’ve never seen a podcast app advertised. Easy to follow: Mus... Continue
dankuck February 08, 2017

Penguin Makeup

I made this for the rUUUse Facebook group. #ruuuse— Dan Kuck-Alvarez (@dankuck) February 6, 2017 Continue
dankuck February 07, 2017

Use the Basket Bus for Messes

Use a laundry basket to clean your messy house. Like this. Clean just one room at a time, such as the living room. As you organize that room, put away anything that belongs there. Everything else, and anything you’re not sure about, goes into the basket. You’ll be surprised how quickly you are ... Continue
dankuck February 06, 2017

Quora: My almost 7 year old daughter is a voracious reader. She can go through like 3 chapter books one evening. Is this too much of reading at this age?

I found this question on Quora. Here’s my answer: There are just two things to be careful of: That she is spending time on other things as well, including socialization with other children. That you review the things she is reading so that you can guide her in growing up. If the books she... Continue
dankuck February 05, 2017

James Dean Vaping

I made this for the rUUUse Facebook group. It is probably one of the most sacrilegious, vile things I’ve created. #ruuuse— Dan Kuck-Alvarez (@dankuck) February 3, 2017 Continue
dankuck February 04, 2017

History Is Still With Us

When you’re young, learning about history, you think of historical events as A Long Time Ago™. As you grow up, the past gets closer and closer. WWII was ancient when I was 12, but now it feels like just a few years ago. The invention of the Gutenberg printing press feels like just a moment befor... Continue
dankuck February 03, 2017

Illegal Prime

A friend on Facebook posted the link to Illegal Prime on Wikipedia and asked this: can someone clarify this: [One of the earliest illegal prime numbers was generated in March 2001 by Phil Carmody. Its binary representation corresponds to a compressed version of the C source code of a ... Continue
dankuck February 02, 2017

Oreo Sleeve

I made this for the rUUUse Facebook group. Unfortunately it is a pun. #ruuuse— Dan Kuck-Alvarez (@dankuck) January 31, 2017 Continue
dankuck February 01, 2017

Words Are Shortcuts

Lindsey Bernstein interviewed Daniel Dennett on Point of Inquiry and at one point she asked him if there was a limit to what humans could understand. An intuitive answer could go either way. To a person who has just started knowing things, it seems obvious that it just takes time to learn everyt... Continue
dankuck January 30, 2017

Quora: As a teenager, if you've screwed up a few times in the past, how do you ask your parents for a clean slate, if you're trying to start over?

I found this question on Quora. Here’s my answer: You might choose to setup an accountability system with them. I’ll choose school grades as an innocuous example. If you want them to trust you to do your homework, get them to check up on you every day. If they do that, it will annoy you into ... Continue
dankuck January 27, 2017

Banky Remote

I made this for the rUUUse Facebook group. Someone tagged it thank mr banky, and I have to agree it comes off that way. #ruuuse— Dan Kuck-Alvarez (@dankuck) January 25, 2017 Continue
dankuck January 26, 2017

The Time I Hedged My Bet and Won Big

Once I entered a hockey bracket for US$10. I don’t know anything about hockey, but hockey stats are easy to find, so I went ahead and bet the teams with the best track record for each round. For the last round, I didn’t have good data to differentiate the teams, so I picked the teams with the mo... Continue
dankuck January 25, 2017

Quora: How can you select hair accurately in order to layer in Photoshop?

I found this question on Quora. Here’s my answer: Select the hair including a little area around it using a lasso. Make that a layer. Use the grass-shaped brush to erase the extra parts of the layer including small parts of the hair. Ultimately, you won’t get the hair exactly as in the... Continue
dankuck January 24, 2017

Sliced Bulb

I made this for the rUUUse Facebook group. #ruuuse— Dan Kuck-Alvarez (@dankuck) January 22, 2017 Continue
dankuck January 22, 2017

Swing Letters

When A. had learned all her letters, the next step was to teach her to recognize them when they are used. So I came up with a game. Her absolute favorite activity on the playground had always been swings. Since she couldn’t swing herself yet, I saw an opportunity. I’d start swinging her: Dan... Continue
dankuck January 20, 2017

Quora: What are some ways people can use the placebo effect on themselves for their own advantage?

I found this question on Quora. Here’s my answer: Placebos “can work for conditions that are defined by ‘self-observation’ symptoms like pain, nausea, or fatigue” according to Harvard Medical School Dr. Ted J. Kaptchuk. His study on patients with irritable bowel syndrome showed improvements ev... Continue
dankuck January 19, 2017


I made this for the rUUUse Facebook group. #ruuuse— Dan Kuck-Alvarez (@dankuck) January 18, 2017 While I was making it, it wasn’t working well and I almost gave up and did something else. Once I finished it, I made the something else much faster. It was more po... Continue
dankuck January 18, 2017

Glitcher 2.0

A few weeks ago, I built a simple app to open an image and mess up its bytes. That was fun, so I redid it. Glitcher You open or paste an image and it immediately generates five glitchy versions of it. Click the version you like and it generates five more glitchy versions starting with that ... Continue
dankuck January 17, 2017

Jaws + Tremors

I made this for the rUUUse Facebook group. It’s a mashup of the Jaws and Tremors theatrical posters. I don’t think their similarity is a coincidence. #ruuuse— Dan Kuck-Alvarez (@dankuck) January 12, 2017 Continue
dankuck January 13, 2017

Quora: If a child went missing when they were extremely young (say 4 or 5), would their parents still recognise them if they were found as a teenager?

I found this question on Quora. Here’s my answer: People can go through a lot or only a little change in appearance in 10+ years. So instead of just recognizing them by sight, there are a few other things parents could do: Four is an age where kids are fully aware of their world. If the pa... Continue
dankuck January 12, 2017

Religious Investment

I don’t follow a religion. At the same time, I don’t blame people for thinking they should. The Big Questions that religions discuss are valuable. How should we behave? What should I do now? Why are things so unfair? Which things can I eat? When the questions don’t seem very pressing, we’re hap... Continue
dankuck January 10, 2017

Manatee Udders

I made this for a meme and then repurposed it for the rUUUse Facebook group. #ruuuse— Dan Kuck-Alvarez (@dankuck) January 9, 2017 Continue
dankuck January 09, 2017

What is difficulty?

The ThinkFun Tilt game comes with 40 cards showing where to start each puzzle. They are grouped into four difficulty levels labeled Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, and Expert. They’re also numbered and the numbers seem to go in order of difficulty, too. I wanted to make my Tilt Solver tool ind... Continue
dankuck January 06, 2017

Quora: Is six months old too old to try the cry it out method?

I found this question on Quora. I almost skipped this question because many other answers said the most important thing: “Do not use the Cry It Out method”. But if someone is going to do something bad, I hate to see them do it even worse because they don’t know how. I think the consequences of e... Continue
dankuck January 05, 2017

Glitch Art

A cat with no glitches. Computers are the coolest when they mess up. It’s called a glitch. Defensively-written software will detect glitches and stop operating. The idea is that it’s better to stop than to do things wrong. But it’s more fun when the computer doesn’t notice the glit... Continue
dankuck January 04, 2017

Big Bird Up High

I made this for the rUUUse Facebook group. #ruuuse— Dan Kuck-Alvarez (@dankuck) January 3, 2017 Continue
dankuck January 03, 2017

The Generations are Full of Holes

This post is not about semantics. In the U.S. we like to group people according to what range of years they were born in. This is appropriate about 10% of the time and the rest of the time it allows people to generalize about each other. But what use is a generation if not to generalize? Anywa... Continue
dankuck January 02, 2017

Quora: Are all animals rational?

I found this question on Quora. Here’s my answer: No animals are rational. Animals that are capable of reasoning don’t use their reason most of the time. This includes humans. Humans rarely weigh all the choices they could make and then make the choice that leads to the best outcome. And this ... Continue
dankuck December 30, 2016

Lobster Bulldozer

I made this for the rUUUse Facebook group. #ruuuse— Dan Kuck-Alvarez (@dankuck) December 29, 2016 Continue
dankuck December 29, 2016

Tilt Solver

ThinkFun makes great puzzle games. Tilt is innovative, basic enough for a 5 year old, and just complicated enough to make a 34 year old spend a weekend building a web tool to solve it. See below. The goal is to get those green tiles into the hole in the middle and keep the blue ones out... Continue
dankuck December 28, 2016

Business for 6 Year Olds Part 4

So I think I adequately explained to A. what the difference is between a job and a business. But she was getting bored of talking about business all the time. So I’ve been looking for places to sneak in discussions about business that don’t use the word. Since every business has an industry, I’ve... Continue
dankuck December 22, 2016

Quora: Can lying during parenting be justified?

I found this question on Quora. My answer: A lie-to-children is an over simplified statement as a starting point to get people to understand a concept. Things like “the Earth is a sphere” when it’s really an oblong sphere. Or saying that a president is like a king. The difference doesn’t matte... Continue
dankuck December 21, 2016

The War of the Worlds Wouldn't Work

Spoilers for The War of the Worlds H.G. Wells’s The War of the Worlds was a sensation when it was written in 1897. As much as anyone knew it might as well have been realistic. Us young folk forget how little anyone knew about Mars. Its ending was especially realistic. But only sort of. ... Continue
dankuck December 20, 2016


I made this for the rUUUse Facebook group. #ruuuse— Dan Kuck-Alvarez (@dankuck) December 19, 2016 Continue
dankuck December 19, 2016

Quora: Why do people believe MLM is a scam?

I found this question on Quora. MLM means Multi-Level Marketing. Some popular examples are Amway and Herbalife. These businesses are in some degree similar to a pyramid scheme, though the difference is real and MLM members will gladly tell you why. In these systems, each member has the job of se... Continue
dankuck December 15, 2016

Home Style Waffle

I made this for the rUUUse Facebook group. #OC #ruuuse— Dan Kuck-Alvarez (@dankuck) December 13, 2016 Continue
dankuck December 13, 2016

The Four Sciences

You might have noticed that the science taught to kids in school looks different from the science you’re supposed to know all about when you argue on the Internet. And they both look different from science as practiced in TV shows. There are actually four things called science. These are them. ... Continue
dankuck December 12, 2016

Quora: What should I study in high school if I want to study computer science?

I found this question on Quora. “So I’m looking to study Computer Science and I am retaking high school ( I am 20 ).I can only take 3 subjects, I have chosen English, Pure MATH, and the third one I have no idea what to study. I get to choose out of HS subjects ( physics, Chem, bio, history etc )... Continue
dankuck December 09, 2016

Baby Bubbles

I made this for the rUUUse Facebook group. Baby bubble— Dan Kuck-Alvarez (@dankuck) December 8, 2016 Continue
dankuck December 08, 2016

Big Hero 6 Teaches Empathy Just Right

Spoilers: Big Hero 6 This morning A. and I were discussing Pearl Harbor Day. I gave her a run down of WWII, and I explained that Japan attacked Hawaii and I didn’t know why. Now I’ve looked it up and it’s not complicated. When I told A. that I didn’t know the reason, but I figured they had some... Continue
dankuck December 07, 2016

Business for 6 Year Olds Part 3

A. now has a good knowledge of what businesses are, but I’m pretty sure she can’t distinguish them from jobs yet. So I launched into that. Unfortunately I got off on the wrong foot. Dan So business A. Ugh, why do we talk about business, we talked about it all weekend! Oops, do not start conver... Continue
dankuck December 06, 2016


I made this for the rUUUse Facebook group.— Dan Kuck-Alvarez (@dankuck) November 28, 2016 Continue
dankuck December 05, 2016

Business for 6 Year Olds Part 2

I’ve been ramping up A.’s knowledge of business. So first we discussed what a business is and we worked together to find some examples. Later that night we discussed what a business has: Dan So A., remember this morning we talked about what a business is? A. Yep! Dan Do you know we know someo... Continue
dankuck December 05, 2016

Business for 6 Year Olds Part 1

I’m of the general impression that everything is accessible to a child unless it involves writing words or writing math. So I’ve got this idea to explain business to my oldest. She’s 6 years old and quick to analyze things if you can make them appeal to her. I don’t want to explain the dull stu... Continue
dankuck December 03, 2016

Quora: Is The World A Computer Screen

I found this question on Quora. The analogy to a computer screen fails in some ways. A computer screen is the part of a computer that shows information that has been calculated somewhere else. An analogy to an entire computer would be more appropriate. The universe appears to do all its own cal... Continue
dankuck December 02, 2016

Trump Pepper

I made this for the rUUUse Facebook group.— Dan Kuck-Alvarez (@dankuck) December 1, 2016 Continue
dankuck December 01, 2016

We Do Not Eat Coins

When my daughter was two years old, I needed a way to kindly teach her that we do not put coins in our mouths. So I made it a simple game. Do we eat oatmeal? Yes! Do we eat cheese? Yes! Do we eat coins? No A popular one was “Do we eat sharks?” Then she would ask me questions. Pretty soon she s... Continue
dankuck November 30, 2016

No More Comments

NPR has done away with comments. They didn’t need them anymore because comment usage was on the decline, while all real discussion was on social media platforms. I realized I don’t need them either. Mostly because nobody has ever commented here. This isn’t really a conversation site. It’s more ... Continue
dankuck November 28, 2016

I Launched a Webcomic!

I’m jumping into the world of webcomics with By Watching You. It’s about memes that wake up into the horrible, horrible world that is the Internet. We are the ones to blame for this, you guys. What’s a meme? Doesn’t matter. Anyway, go check it out. Keep reading Episode 5: You Murdered It! or ... Continue
dankuck October 15, 2014

Cure Hiccups by Drinking Water Upside-Down and Backwards

The key is to be backwards. I get hiccups about as often as any one else, but when I do they last for hours. Occasionally they have lasted for days. Did you know there’s an injection for hiccups? I got it recently. It lasted about 24 hours. Then I was on my own again. I have occasionally had s... Continue
dankuck August 22, 2014

Roll For It Game, And Secretly Teaching

I got the game Roll For It to teach to my 3½ year old and it has had a great impact. If your kid is good at numbers and matching, this is a perfect game for teaching some of the skills that games need. And it’s fun! Continue
dankuck July 11, 2014

How to Lock an SVN Directory

You can lock files in svn with svn lock. But you cannot lock directories. Here’s a workaround. Continue
dankuck June 27, 2014

Just Like Those Tobacco Scientists

I just love this ad campaign. Remind me again why doctors aren’t scientists? This ad is pure camp. But the most delightful part is the way this episode of US history is being spun for pseudo-science right now. Just about any flavor of pseudo-science brings it out as a failure of science. T... Continue
dankuck June 12, 2014

DOMX: Use It On Webpages

Current Status Jul/17/2019: This script doesn’t appear to be working anymore, probably due to the great security enhancements in modern browsers. So now DOMX is just a curious thing I used to use a lot. Before browsers had the “Inspect Element” option, I built this tool to let me explore a pag... Continue
dankuck April 17, 2014

Tabitha & The Book

(I thought this one was boring and forgot it, but my kid actually requested it so I had to think it up again.) One time at school, Tabitha was reading a book. Remember, Tabitha never washes her hair. So little black spots dropped out of her hair onto the book as she read. She couldn’t read the... Continue
dankuck April 11, 2014

Tabitha's Stinky Hair

(I’m not proud of this one, but I think I swung it in a good direction.) One time, Tabitha met some other kids and they had a lot of fun. They played on the swings and on the see-saw. Remember, Tabitha never washes her hair. When the kids came near her to play tag they said “What’s that smell,... Continue
dankuck April 11, 2014

Tabitha Plays Hide and Seek

One time, Tabitha and her friends were playing hide and seek in the park. The It player started counting and Tabitha ran off to find a hiding place. She found a really great place to hide in a bush. After all the other kids had been found and only Tabitha was left hiding, the It player called ... Continue
dankuck April 11, 2014

Tabitha Grows A Tree

One time Tabitha was walking down the sidewalk and a seed fell in her hair. Remember Tabitha never washes her hair and so it was very dirty. And seeds love dirt. So the seed began to grow. Continue
dankuck April 11, 2014

Tabitha Doesn't Meet Ariel

One time Tabitha was waiting in line to meet Ariel. Remember, Tabitha never washed her hair, so it was very dirty. Continue
dankuck April 11, 2014

The End

You have reached the end of the content of this website. This is the first post. Click here to stalk me, you weirdo. Continue
dankuck March 31, 2014