I’d like to introduce you to MyRunPace (myrunpace.com) a very simple web based application for runner’s to calculate their pace. This is another project in the wild for me, which is very satisfying and also one that I really built for me.
I started building this because there were two things I couldn’t find in all of the existing calculators that I’d used…
Simplicity: I only need a calculator to convert between Pace/Speed, Distance & Time, and nothing else,
Share: I want a way to share my calculations, including some kind of commentary with Twitter/Facebook, but not every time.
The other motivation, at the time that I started building it, was that I hadn’t done anything in HTML/CSS for ages and wanted to ‘reactivate’ those skills.
The application does exactly what I wanted an application to do: you enter values in one or more of Pace, Speed, Distance, Time and the application will calculate all others possible.Â There are also buttons to share the calculation via Twitter of Facebook.
Wow, so that’s my Boston Marathon qualifying target 4:30 per k to run 42k in 3:8:59
My favourite part though is that there is also Google Gadget for your iGoogle homepage.
Check the app out now at myrunpace.com – I’d love to hear what you think about the app.
I’ve been trying to be a bit more consistent in engaging with Twitter. I think this infographic (from http://visual.ly/twitter)Â which analyses my use of Twitter suggests I’m still a bit rubbish at it!
And, I’d love to know what the alogorithm is that decides, based on my tweets, that I’m wearing a pink shirt and a waist-coat. The book obsession looks right though.
I’d like to introduce you to MeCizinec, my Czech language learning blog that is going to keep me focused on learning Czech and hopefully help a few others towards this lofty goal. A project in the wild is always a satisfying thing. It’s not finished per se, as it’s an ongoing endeavor but it’s nonetheless satisfying, I’m very please to be able to say it’s been ‘live’ for 2 months now.
First and foremost MeCizinec is about me learning to speak Czech. The accountability, I have to get 2 posts out a week or someone will notice, is good motivator for me but also learning something well enough to try to explain it to others is a good way to make sure I’m really learning what I think I’m learning. I also very much like creating things, it’s just fun.
It’s more than that though. I have some ideas about how I think language learning should be different to the way it is ‘normally’ done. In short, I think you have to take responsibility for your language learning and for finding your own path to meet your own goals.
learning a language ‘in country’ or anywhere where you have good access to native speakers and native language resources ought to be different to the traditional school-room, / night-class approach,
being spoon-fed by a book or class alone will just take too long,
the right approach for you will be unique to you, to your life, what interests you and how you learn,
you have to go to class and learn the nuts and bolts, there is no question about that,
the goal in the first instance is always communication, not elegance or finesse,
the fastest way to learn is to get yourself as fast as possible into situations where you can interact with the language in a natural way hearing it / reading it / using it (and the traditional path doesn’t always do this).
MeCizinec, then is just one component of my (still evolving) strategy of how I’m going to do this with Czech. The rough approach with MeCizinec then is as follows…
to first lay a foundation of enough grammar and enough of the language ‘glue’,
to then add the context specific vocabularly,
so I can read and converse in situations that are relevant to my life and interesting to me,
OK, OK, I know it’s February but here are your updated 2011 (in fact, this time they’re good for a decade) daily task and weekly goal planners.
I know a few of you out there in the internets still use these, if you’re not familiar you can read all about your day to week effectiveness here.
Few changes this time round…
Date format is 201 - - so they’re good for the next ten years.
There is an updated version of the Weekly Goal planner which allows for variable numbers of goals for a project. (The picture below shows this in action, along with an Example of the Daily Task Planner)
I’ve added a really simple weekly hours tracker which I use to keep track of hours against a project as I now have to do this.
I’ve put the whole lot, including original word files and example online. Go nuts.
There has been a lot of discussion in our office about ebooks, ebook reader devices and ebook reader applications for other devices (i.e. iPad, etc) over the last couple of months.
I love books, I love reading, I love the way they smell, I love having them on a bookshelf at home so I can refer to them, lend them or just for the vanity of it.
But for me the advantages (especially living abroad) of an ebook reader have tipped the balance in favour of ebooks and a ebook reader. I read a couple of books using the Kindle and Stanza apps on the iPhone and was very excited to receive a Kindle for Christmas.
At some point during the ‘discussion’ in the office someone sent me this video (which is very clever)…
But I have to be honest my first thoughts having watched it were, yeah but…
How do I search it?
How many 1000s of them can I carry in the palm of my hand?
How do I share it with people elsewhere in the world?
How do I annotate it and then edit / remove the annotations later?
What happens if lose / damage it, where can I re-download it from?
How does it get updated when there are changes?
If it refers to another source how do I jump to that address?
How do blind people use it?
How do I switch it to â€˜speakâ€™ mode so I can listen to it?
How do I increase the font size (as I get older )?
How do I access the built in dictionary to look up words Iâ€™m not familiar with?
How do I get out-of-copyright versions for free?
How do I create my own for free and send them all over the world?
I recently read Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath. As part of reading the book you take the online test The Clifton StrengthsFinder, which they describe thus:
The Clifton StrengthsFinder measures the presence of talent in 34 categories called “themes.” These themes were determined by Gallup as those that most consistently predict outstanding performance. The greater the presence of a theme of talent within a person, the more likely that person is to spontaneously exhibit those talents in day-to-day behaviors.
The test tells you what your key (i.e. top five) strengths are. The premise behind the whole thing, which I would find it hard to disagree with, is that you should focus on developing and using your strengths rather than trying, vainly to make any significant inroads with you weaknesses.
A large part of the book is then devoted to providing you ‘suggested actions’ based on your strengths and to a lesser degree some ideas on how to work with people with certain strengths.
They also suggest you share these with people with whom you collaborate, so here you go…
Futuristic People who are especially talented in the Futuristic theme are inspired by the future and what could be. They inspire others with their visions of the future.
Activator People who are especially talented in the Activator theme can make things happen by turning thoughts into action. They are often impatient.
Focus People who are especially talented in the Focus theme can take a direction, follow through, and make the corrections necessary to stay on track. They prioritize, then act.
Responsibility People who are especially talented in the Responsibility theme take psychological ownership of what they say they will do. They are committed to stable values such as honesty and loyalty.
Strategic People who are especially talented in the Strategic theme create alternative ways to proceed. Faced with any given scenario, they can quickly spot the relevant patterns and issues.
I don’t know if I would have picked exactly these five but there are certainly a lot of things that I didn’t get that definitely aren’t my strengths so, maybe… If anything the excercise has reassured me that I’m working towards the right goals, which is nice.