Archive for July, 2012

Play Speed Scrabble in Spanish

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

Spain¡Juego de velocidad scrabble en espanol!

Supernifty se complace en anunciar que ahora es compatible con la velocidad de Scrabble en español.

Si tu eres un nativo hablante de español, o si quiere practicar el idioma español, juega con velocidad Scrabble en españole!

Guessing words on the Spanish Speed Scrabble

To play Speed Scrabble using the Spanish dictionary:

  • Visit Speed Scrabble
  • Login
  • Click “Play”
  • Click the pencil next to “English”, to change it to “Spanish”
  • Click “Start game”
  • Make words in Spanish! ¡Excelente!

This is a new feature so if you encounter any problems, please
contact us.

Thanks Brunina for the Spanish translation 🙂

How to track your daily goals and form new habits

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

For some time I have been trying to develop useful daily habits in a quest for self-improvement.

Things like:

  • exercising daily,
  • learning a new language and
  • finishing my masterpiece.

A bad way to learn a new skill or form a new habit is to have a short-lived exuberance of enthusiasm before returning to the old you. This has been my usual strategy.

This boom-bust cycle is deflating and makes the next effort even harder.

The solution!

Doing a little each day and tracking progress appears to be quite successful at maintaining motivation.

Supernifty’s habit-forming tool can help out with this.

Daily goals

Set your goals, then click in the appropriate day when you complete a goal. Simple.

If you’re like me, or Jerry Seinfeld, then you are well on your way to cementing some valuable habits.

Stars and Streaks and Jerry Seinfeld

The story goes that Jerry Seinfeld needed a way to keep himself motivated when writing, so came up with the “Don’t break the chain” method. Each day he would draw a line on his calendar to indicate that he had done a little comedy writing that day.

After a short time, the motivation became to keep the chain going.
Soon after, Jerry Seinfeld had created one of the most popular sitcoms of all time.

Supernifty’s goal tracking tool shows a “streak” statistic to emulate this idea. Keep the streak going! Be like Jerry!

Long Term Progress

One motivating factor in the habit-forming game is to try to maintain or improve my performance compared to previous weeks.

Click on “All weeks” to see how your habit-forming is progressing. It’s also easy to filter on a specific habit.

Goals analysis


If you’ve had trouble forming new habits in the past, then this goal tracking tool could be the ticket.

This same web page includes a tool to track how you spend your time – just hide this if you are only interested in the goal tracker.

Feedback is always welcome. If you have ideas or thoughts, or it has helped you out, let us know!

Book Review – Fitness for Geeks

Sunday, July 8th, 2012

Fitness for Geeks attempts to teach fitness principles via “real science, great nutrition and good health”.

The book includes sections on nutrition, eating habits, exercise, sleeping and other lifestyle decisions.

Many of the principles advocated in this book mirror those of the “paleo” movement, which is based on the diet and exercise patterns of humans from the paleolithic age. The theory is that the human body hasn’t had time to adapt to the modern life.

The author begins by describing why the human body is not well suited to the modern life. Sitting around all day eating a diet high in saturated fat is less than optimal. Makes sense.

The next section covers nutrition. This section of the book is informative and well written, first covering the “macronutrients” – carbohydrates, protein and fat, before moving onto vitamins and micronutrients. All very interesting and useful. Many useful resources are provided for analyzing what you eat and assessing your diet.

Next is a chapter promoting an idea not heard too often – the health benefits of fasting for significant periods. It’s an interesting idea – usual dietary advice is to have a good breakfast; this chapter advocates skipping breakfast.

The book progresses to exercise and the author recommends intense, short workouts – he cites the Tabata workout. Also recommended is variety in exercise regimes by using systems like crossfit.

The section on resistance training was good, however much of the fitness advice is simply the preference of the author and doesn’t seem to be based on any particular best practice.

This book reminded me of “The Four Hour Body“, which was primarily a book of ideas to investigate further, rather than advice provided by an expert in the field. Both books lack the scientific rigour to back up much of the supplied “wisdom”.

The connection to “geeks” was tenuous. For example in the section on sleep, there was, inexplicably, a page of source code to connect to the Zeo sleep monitor. A variety of gadgets for health tracking were reviewed in the book.

Overall, the sections on nutrition and resistance training were great, sometimes the rest felt a little patchy.

Note: This book was provided by O’Reilly Media as part of their blogger review program.

I review for the O'Reilly Blogger Review Program