Articles

Konstanz, Germany

May 16, 2016 (updated: Nov 10, 2020)
- Travel
We recently made a day trip to nearby Konstanz, right on the border with Germany. The city is a well-known shopping destination for Swiss people because of low prices and easy access but the city has more than that. Inhabited since the Stone Age, in the 1400s the town-state asked the Old Swiss Confederacy to become a member but they were weary of large members and they voted against it. It’s also the home of the Council of Constance, where the Church fixed a pesky situation with three people claiming to be the Pope.

Time

Dec 5, 2015 (updated: Nov 10, 2020)
It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important. ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince The recent movie is beautiful and full of life lessons. Recommended.

The Enchiridion

Nov 21, 2015 (updated: Nov 10, 2020)
- Books
The Enchiridion of Epictetus is a compilation of 51 tips on how to live a happy life based on stoic ideas. Here are two of the tips: Upon every accident, remember to turn toward yourself and inquire what faculty you have for its use. If you encounter a handsome person, you will find continence the faculty needed; if pain, then fortitude; if reviling, then patience. And when thus habituated, the phenomena of existence will not overwhelm you.

S07E05 – Maradona

Sep 1, 2015 (updated: Nov 10, 2020)
[Flashback starts]Aeson, a male elf wizard, Arveene, a female elf druid, and Rupert, a puppet-sized warforged are aboard a flying caravel along with the ship’s crew and they are about to crash-land. Arveene decides to take hold of the steering wheel to try to crash into trees instead of the hard rock they are presently directed towards. Aeson casts protection spells on everyone and they all brace for impact.[Flashback ends]

Simple rules for learning more effectively

Aug 31, 2015 (updated: Nov 10, 2020)
- Books
In How we Learn journalist Benedict Carey presents us with a collection of research-backed findings to help us learn better. Here are some of the ideas that I found most interesting: 1. If you vary your practice you will appear to progress more slowly in each practice session but you will actually improve your performance faster. Transfer is what learning is all about: it’s the ability to extract the essence of a skill or formula or word problem and apply it in another context, to another problem that may not look the same, at least superficially.

S07E04 – Cow Riders

Aug 26, 2015 (updated: Nov 10, 2020)
Gottesklingen, the leader of the Iron Shields, invites Miriel and Eva to hand themselves in. While the whole tavern is getting ready for combat a young patron starts talking, apparently about the morality of arresting people while they are having fun. Miriel, however, captures the hidden message and, after a brief exchange with the rest of the group, gives herself in along with Eva. As soon as the knights and their prisoners are gone, Nacho, offers the remaining heroes his assistance.

S07E03 – The Soothsayer

Aug 18, 2015 (updated: Nov 10, 2020)
The heroes recover from the flesh golem attack and then plunder the creepy ziggurat at ease. As part of the loot they get hold of a staff of the python, a silky robe that the mind flayer’s skeleton was wearing when he died and the magic cuffs that kept the monster chained to the floor and caused its death. Back at the cavern, after playing around with a faulty teleportation gate and, luckily, without major consequences the group receives an unexpected visit.

Risk Savvy or how to make decisions in an uncertain world

Aug 17, 2015 (updated: Nov 10, 2020)
- Books
I started reading Risk Savvy this book because I noticed that I have become more and more averse to making decisions for fear of not finding the optimal choice. This was either because I felt that I didn’t have enough information or because I didn’t have the mental energy to follow my adopted ten steps way to making smart decisions. Enter Gerd Gigerenzer, author of Risk Savvy. Most of the decisions we face in the real world are full of uncertainty which our brains have been conditioned to rebel against.

How to read more when you have no time

Aug 14, 2015 (updated: Nov 10, 2020)
- Books
For a long time I have shunned audiobooks. I considered them a lazy and inefficient way of going through a book. My mom suggested them to me months ago but my mind objected: “it’s inefficient and this is the digital domain, don’t listen Juan”. Then I recently came across another recommendation, this time from a 34 year old US Army four stars general with a love of reading but no time who listened to audiobooks during his workouts and morning routines.

Ebenalp

Aug 8, 2015 (updated: Nov 10, 2020)
- Travel
A few weeks ago I went with my team on a company offsite hiking trip to Ebenalp, the northernmost summit of the Alps. I loved the hike so much that as soon as the capricious weather allowed it I went back, this time with Loes and with my camera. After a two hours train ride we reached the entrance at the bottom of the valley. From there we could have taken a cable car up but we all know it’s the journey, not the destination, even when the destination is covered in a thick layer of clouds and you see people coming back with rain coats.