Benny's Adventures

in Life: One Habit to Rule Them All!

As of late I’ve been trying my darndest to develop good habits and improve my discipline. This has been a Herculean task for me over the last four years and my failure to adhere to a good work ethic has nearly caused my mental and academic collapse multiple times.

I’ve come to realize though that part of the problem is my own nature – I’m forgetful! I forget almost anything and the trouble only compounds when I have a lot of things to remember. I’ve forgotten things as large as events I have to run to little things like e-mails I have to respond to… and they all add up to create catastrophe.

HOWEVER in my quest to reign it all in and deliver myself from stagnancy I have stumbled upon a system that works! And I’m going to share it with you, for a low low price of… just kidding. Here it is in one step:

1. Maintain a to-do list.

That’s it.

This entails writing down things to do, and making sure you look at it and cross things off.

Here’s the explanation: For everything you want to do, just write it down on the list. Don’t try to keep it all in your head. Write it down and make sure to look at the list. That’s where I always had trouble. I’d make a list but I’d forget to look at it. But remembering to look at a list is one thing versus remembering to do everything I need to do. Deciding to focus solely on that has improved my ability to actually get things done. On top of that as I’ve continued to keep up the habit of keeping a to-do list I’m actually remembering more things thanks to a combination of remembering to add things to the list and the actual process of adding to the list.

Furthermore, remembering the list helps build other habits because whenever there are things I want to do repetitively I just put it on the list every day. And with that habit those things become habits as well.

Funny, I think, but scarily efficient.

Here’s how I do it: I have a Motorola Droid (which I like to take pictures with when I notice something interesting, like this or this) and I downloaded Mobisle Notes, a free app that creates simple but effective To-Do lists. Since I have my phone with me most of the day, whenever I think of something I simply whip out my phone and add it! That way I don’t have to deal with the phenomenon where I think of something but then a two minutes later don’t remember what I thought of. And I get to be productive!

29 June 2010 Posted by | Life | , , , , | 1 Comment

in Programming: Project Euler, Problem 1 (Python 3.0)

Problem 1:
If we list all the natural numbers below 10 that are multiples of 3 or 5, we get 3, 5, 6 and 9. The sum of these multiples is 23.
Find the sum of all the multiples of 3 or 5 below 1000.

This isn’t a problem that can be done very quickly by hand, so let’s just let the code speak for itself:

import timeit,time


while counter<1000:
if counter%3==0 or counter%5==0:



The time tools let me time how long it takes. When running this from the command prompt I get a time of .0019998550415 seconds, and it gets the right answer (which I’ll leave out in case you don’t want the spoiler).
Does anyone have a better way of getting code published on here?

28 June 2010 Posted by | Programming | , , , , | Leave a comment

on the Internet: Wireless Broadband Availability Expanding!


President Obama is moving forward with an initiative that makes more frequencies available for wireless use. This could mean the rise of broadband services that bypass the limits of wired infrastructure and eventually transcend wired networks with advancing wireless technology.

I just hope this means that more broadband initiatives could pass (assuming this passes, of course) and leads to increasing speeds to keep us competitive with the rest of the world.

It will be interesting to see how Congress responds to this.

28 June 2010 Posted by | Internet | , , , | Leave a comment

in Music: The Swinger

This little wonder takes any song you have and converts it into a swing beat. Check it out because it is really wonderful and kinda surreal to listen to songs like Daft Punk’s Around the World or Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing in swing rather than straight.

28 June 2010 Posted by | Music | , , | Leave a comment

in Life: Grocery Shopping and Bathroom Cleaning

Life in an apartment has been interesting. In staying at this place over the summer doing research I’ve gone through some experiences that I haven’t had to pay attention to before very much: grocery shopping and bathroom cleaning. Granted they were there before but just didn’t become notable until now.

Going to Kroger was a daunting experience. All those isles of ingredients that could potentially become something deliciously edible if only the right combination of procedures was applied to it. Holy cow, where to start? Having no guidance I had no idea. But I’ve decided that when I go home for the last 5 weeks of this summer I will learn to cook at home with my mother.

Today I also spent some time cleaning the bathroom. I probably should have done it much earlier but I was lazy. I got the necessary material from Kroger, however and spent about an hour cleaning. Having had previous experience this wasn’t so bad, but dorm life didn’t require me to do this. In the apartment I don’t have Resident Life and Housing Services staff cleaning the bathrooms every day. I do have one thing in my favor – I like to clean! Cleaning the bathroom was thus not a bad experience and now my bathroom is much cleaner!

I made a vow to myself today that I will become much more adept at mundane things like grocery shopping, cooking, and so on.

We’ll see how that goes.

27 June 2010 Posted by | Life | , , , , | 2 Comments

in Photography: Trail

Photo taken with: Motorola Droid

Just an interesting view I saw on my way back from lab again.

…Life seems to revolve around lab, doesn’t it…

22 June 2010 Posted by | Photography | , , | 1 Comment

on the Internet: Verizon offers FiOS trials and month-to-month service


This summer I’ve been really frustrated with internet services when I tried to find a service for the apartment I was going to live in. The biggest issue is that broadband services in the US are TERRIBLE. On top of that the providers tend to offer their higher-tier services only on long-term contracts. Not that their higher-tier services are really that high to begin with.

However, FiOS was the light that descended from the heavens for me… until I realized it too was marred by the same defects… until now! I think Verizon has made the right move and am eagerly waiting to see where this goes. FiOS will be the first thing I get (assuming it’s in my area) when I go out into the real world, so Verizon – you can count me as one of your future customers for broadband service.

Until then, though, I have Duke University’s network to use and boy oh boy is it a joy!

21 June 2010 Posted by | Internet | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

in Photography: Loneliness

Photo taken with: Motorola Droid

I saw this rose when I was walking to the bus stop and thought it was interesting. Who knows what could have transpired to end up with this flower being placed there! I’m envisioning a boy trying to woo a girl, but having his heart broken and thus leaving behind the flower as he walks away. Who knows…

21 June 2010 Posted by | Photography | , | Leave a comment

in Gaming: Playing Dawn of War II

I recently got into Dawn of War II over summer without intending to. I didn’t particularly like the game to begin with but it became much more engaging when I lowered the difficulty on the campaign and was able to play through without exhausting my brain and clicking finger every level. I will go back and play through on the higher difficulties for sure but it’s been very satisfying to level up my squads and feel them becoming more powerful. I noticed that the advancement is much more noticeable and the pace is very good so that you’re never left wanting for anything for too long, but instead your desire propels you to play just one more mission, and then another, until suddenly you’re coming to the close of the campaign.

I think I’m very close to the end of the campaign and it’s quite exciting. I must say Dawn of War II has been a great game to play and I think I’ll have to get the expansion for sure. In the mean time there’s plenty of reason to replay the game by outfitting my squads differently. For example, in the current campaign I actually made Tarkus (primarily a medium ranged squad) into a melee squad and that’s been very interesting. Who knows what I’ll do next time, but regardless it will be exciting.

For anyone who hasn’t picked up this game but likes real-time strategy games I think it’s definitely worth picking up. It doesn’t have the base-building that traditional RTS games have (in fact I’d almost call Dawn of War II a real-time tactics game), but the RPG elements are compelling and the combat is engaging. The story isn’t too bad either, though not the most innovative. All-in-all a game worth playing, methinks.

19 June 2010 Posted by | Gaming | , | 1 Comment

in Blogging: Hello Internet!

My name is Benny and I’m a rising senior in college at the time of writing. I have an eclectic set of interests and often don’t pursue any interest as far as I’d like because I lose the motivation or perhaps just don’t know what to do with it. Programming is a good example. Thus, I have created this blog to catalog my diverse interests to primarily keep track of it for myself and also hopefully to see if anybody out there in the world wide web has any input for me.

We’ll see how it works out, eh?

18 June 2010 Posted by | Blogging | , | Leave a comment


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