Links

An ever expanding list of people/places/things I like well enough to endorse for free.

Writing Resources

I have been collecting online writing resources over my academic career, and have a few that I feel are worth sharing. It’s often difficult to recognize errors in one’s own writing. These readability websites help analyze text so one can see trends in writing if they don’t have an editor. l like Readable.io because it uses several readability formulas, offers editing suggestions, and also tracks passive voice and cliches. Another tool I use is Expresso which has the option to highlight problem areas. I like Readability formulas because it assigns grade levels to writing samples, but it’s not a clean (pretty) as either Readable.io or Expresso.

I am also a member of the Society for Technical Communication, their Twin Cities community group, and the STC Technical Editing special interest group. The STC has some nice perks for its members, and I very much enjoyed the free webinars I’ve been attending.

While I’m still looking for other writing blogs, the best one I’ve come across is Tom Johnson’s I’d Rather Be Writing. Mr. Johnson has insightful things to say about current industry trends.

Electronics

Without Adafruit I would be light years behind where I am today. Not only have Lady Ada’s kits and tutorials inspired me to take my education in a different path, but constructing, tinkering, troubleshooting them has actually helped me gain confidence in other pursuits.

I’m also a fan of both Evil Mad Scientist and Wyolum. Wyolum is the crew behind one of my favorite clocks: The Clock ThreeJr.

Makers

I have a lot of heroes, and Jimmy Diresta is without a doubt in the top 5. He’s skilled at so many different things, he constantly blows my mind.

Adam Savage of Mythbusters fame also comes to mind. I love his work method; fast, yet methodical. One of these days I’m going to build a set of tool storage units modeled after his.

Mathematics

Were it not for Khan Academy, I likely wouldn’t have passed Math 700, let alone made it all the way through multi-variable calculus and differential equations… When I was a student in my youth, math was my least favorite (and subsequently worst) subject. I have come to believe that this was because of the way maths are taught. Sal Khan’s videos and training exercises have been a huge benefit to me, and I would have struggled greatly without them.

While we’re on the subject of how poorly math is taught; I recommend “A Mathematician’s Lament” for another (and I believe better) way of looking at how math instruction should be.

Web Comics

I wouldn’t be a proper geek if there wasn’t a place in my heart for xkcd. I also enjoy Questionable Content quite a bit. It’s my soap opera.

Jiu Jitsu

My gym, Next Level Combat, where they teach 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu.

My previous gym, Combat Jujitsu deserves mention as well. To my knowledge, it’s the longest running martial arts school in Minneapolis.

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