The Trumpet of Conscience – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. was only 39 years (and 2 months and 19 days) old when he was murdered. Thirty-nine. I never realised this — until I am 39 myself now. When he died he had already received a Nobel prize and over 100 honorary degrees from all over the world, but more importantly, he had changed America forever. Much has been written about MLK and by MLK. And it… Read More »The Trumpet of Conscience – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again – David Foster Wallace

David Foster Wallace could write. And not just write, he could really write extraordinarily well. In related news: water is wet. Wallace’s writing struck me as an epiphany, a beacon of light, a clear and unmistakable differentiator between merely good writing and exceptional writing. I have known about DFW for some time now, and I have seen his famous commencement speech several times. It strongly resonates with me. As some… Read More »A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again – David Foster Wallace

About WordPress, emojis, MySQL and latin1, utf8 and utf8mb4 character sets

PSA: the MySQL utf8 character set is not real Unicode utf8. Instead use utf8mb4. So you landed here because some parts of your website are garbled. And this happened after a server or website migration. You exported your database and imported this export or dump on the new server. And now your posts look like this: When they should look like this: These are screenshots from this website. This website… Read More »About WordPress, emojis, MySQL and latin1, utf8 and utf8mb4 character sets

Thomas Dekker: The Descent (Mijn Gevecht) – Thijs Zonneveld

I finished this book in one sitting. Partly because Zonneveld has a pleasant writing style. But also because the rather recent story of a hugely talented and (very) young cyclist who early on in his career got involved with dope and raced towards destruction is fascinating. It’s the (auto)biography of Thomas Dekker but it is just as much the biography of the cycling world in the early 2000s. And this… Read More »Thomas Dekker: The Descent (Mijn Gevecht) – Thijs Zonneveld

Slaughterhouse Five – Kurt Vonnegut

Slaughterhouse Five is a well-known classic. And I had been wanting to read it for quite some time now, and now that I finally did, I must say it was absolutely not what I expected. In a good way. The book is a sort of autobiographical non-chronological story about the bombing of Dresden, but it is also about time travel, space travel and aliens and different thoughts on philosophy. So… Read More »Slaughterhouse Five – Kurt Vonnegut

The Fall (De Val) – Matthias M.R. Declercq

Matthias M.R. Declercq pulled of two remarkable things. Not only did he manage to find this extraordinary story about friendship, ambition and sacrifice, he was also able to write it down in exceptional fashion. The events described in ‘The Fall’ (‘De Val’) are real, but the book is not necessarily a biography. The story revolves around a group of five Belgian riders (flandriens) who are pretty well known in the… Read More »The Fall (De Val) – Matthias M.R. Declercq

Why We Sleep – Matthew Walker

Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker is one of the most profound books I have ever read. It has directly impacted my attitude towards sleep and subsequently altered my behaviour. Books that change your behaviour are rare and this is one of them. You should read it. We all know that sleep is important. But Walker dissects study, after study, after study to describe how important sleep exactly is, and… Read More »Why We Sleep – Matthew Walker

Humor schept evenwicht (Humor creates balance) – Jaap Bakker

Jaap Bakker, a local storyteller from a small rural town in the Netherlands (Urk), has written down anecdotes and jokes from the last hundred years or so. Either things he experienced first hand or that were told to him. So expect hundreds of fun little stories. Stories anyone can identify with, about human interaction and small town life, that make you smile, laugh or even burst out. Needless to say,… Read More »Humor schept evenwicht (Humor creates balance) – Jaap Bakker

Use PostgreSQL REPLACE() to replace dots with commas (dollar to euro)

If you have set up your database tables correctly you might be using double-precision floating numbers to store currency values. This works great because dollars use dots to represent decimals. The problem starts when it’s not actually dollars you are storing but euros, and maybe you need to copy query output to Excel or LibreOffice Calc to work with these Euro values. Both of these spreadsheet programs don’t know how… Read More »Use PostgreSQL REPLACE() to replace dots with commas (dollar to euro)

The Effective Executive – Peter Drucker

Pick up any good management book and chances are that Peter Drucker will be mentioned. He is the godfather of management theory. I encountered Drucker many times before in other books and quotes, but I had never read anything directly by him. I have now, and I can only wish I had done so sooner. The sublime classic The Effective Executive from 1967 was a good place to start. After… Read More »The Effective Executive – Peter Drucker

Getting Things Done – David Allen

For some reason I had never read the David Allen classic Getting Things Done. But I found out that 18 years after its release it’s still a good introduction to time and action management. David Allen tries to make the natural, systematic. He does so by introducing a 5 step workflow: capture, clarify, organize, reflect, and engage. Allen does a great job of explaining these steps with real world examples… Read More »Getting Things Done – David Allen