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Aaron N. Tubbs

Dragon chaser.

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For my current job, I get up in the morning, go to work, work 10-12 hours, and come home having learned nothing of interest. One of the things I miss about school is that I felt like I learned something new each day, even if it was not in the classroom — be it by reading, lectures, or events (again, not always related to my coursework). In those days, even if I had gone through hours of banging my head against some graduate-level theory problems and getting nowhere, I could at least go to sleep at night knowing that I had learned something new. I have been inspired by the BBC’s recent article, and indeed their “10 things we didn’t know this time last week” segments, neither of which I had been exposed to in the past.

As such, I’m going to try to set a goal of learning something new each day, and will with luck document some of those bits of trivia here. I’m not sure how well this will work, and there will be days in which I don’t collect anything, or fail to document it. Maybe I’ll learn something in the process. Sometimes it might be something specific, technical, and uninteresting. Other days it could be something of general interest. Some things will be simple facts. Others will be new concepts or ideas to which I’ve been exposed. My ultimate purpose in this is not to achieve some sort of enlightenment, but to be content each night knowing that I’m not letting my mind rot. If there is an applicable book/net source, I’ll post it, whereas if it’s something based on my own observation, not much can be done to ensure it has any validity.

These bits will be flagged with the new category “knowledge” but unless you’re visiting the site directly (this isn’t currently being fed in the atom/rss feeds), there isn’t a particularly good mechanism for restricting to or excluding such posts.

So I’ll kick the series off with what I’ve learned today:

  1. I was introduced today to the concept of a third place. In terms of a succinct explanation, Dom’s Urban Design offers an explanation of the third place concept, along with a brief discussion of its importance. In essence, a third place is a casual place to gather and converse, distinct from the first (home) and second (work) places. This could mean a coffee shop, library, bar, etc. I came across this term alongside discussion of what makes Starbucks so successful, and how to compete.
  2. I learned that as the coffee roasts get darker, the bitterness increases, and the acidity increases. I happened upon this while reading about the factors that influence espresso quality, which I skimmed after reading the article on Starbucks.