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Kate Mercado katemonkeys

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katemonkeys /
Last active Jun 27, 2020
all five trimesters of a healthy pregnancy

Things to do and buy for all five trimesters of a healthy pregnancy.

Introduction, or: What, you thought there were only three?

This post is just like, my opinion, man, and unlike everything on standard mom blogs, has neither pop-science citations nor affiliate links. Having babies is fun and great and they do need attention but they don't need products. I don't like clutter and I don't like smart home devices or basically anything digital or electronic at all -- really. Like not even a monitor. Overall you'll be fine if you just remember not to panic.

Boy warning: Girl things.

Zeroeth trimester / planning phase

katemonkeys /
Last active Dec 30, 2019
How to have opinions at work

How to have opinions at work Lightly edited transcript of a talk originally presented at a staff all-hands meeting at Forward, October 9, 2019. Opinions mine.

Lots of people at Forward like to express opinions, and one of the things that makes me proud of our culture is the fact that we’ve hired for the sort of people who explore the contours of their beliefs by finding areas of logical consistency and inconsistency rather than the sort of people with the best polish to everything they say. What I don’t want, however, is a habit of provocation and offense, where anyone feels silenced or belittled or excluded. So this is a two sided talk: on one side, I’d like to talk about having real opinions (even controversial ones) and expressing them in an ethical and professional way. On the other side I’d like to talk about hearing opposing opinions in the context of a well-intentioned but superficially abrasive colleague (not naming names :p). The whole rest of my ten minutes presupposes genu

katemonkeys / gist:e17580777b57915f5068
Last active Sep 24, 2021
Everything Wrong With The Withings API
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Top Six Things You Need To Know About The Withings API*

*where “you” is probably a developer, or at least a strange user

I should preface this by saying that I got a Withings Smart Body Analyzer for Christmas last year and I’ve been generally happy with it. It purports to be able to take my heart rate through my bare feet and that seems not to work for my physiology, but overall I’m a fan. If if their Wikipedia page is to be believed they are having a pretty rad impact on making the Quantified Self movement more for normal people and they only have 20 full time employees. Also they try hard to use SI units, which I can get behind. Anyway, on to the rant.

I originally called this post “Everything wrong with the Withings API” and I meant it. For every useful field I can extract from their “award winning” app, I have spent an hour screaming at the inconsistencies in their implementation or inexplicable holes in their data

katemonkeys / gist:674cdc9c2f3814651a3a
Last active Apr 12, 2019
Magnetism is the best science
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#Magnetism is the best science #####by @katemonkeys for @indutny

Magnetism is by far (a) the coolest and (b) the most educational quantum mechanical phenomenon. It’s fabulous because it is both deep science and actual real-world applications you use every single day (computer hard drive, anyone?). Finally, it can be understood on a crazy range of length and timescales: ridiculous magnets in the National High Magnetic Field Lab that are so strong they implode on themselves, blocks that move themselves, single atoms with localized moments that have to be understood by extrapolating their single particle wave functions, whatever. I contend that learning about magnetism will give you an awesome window on the rest of QM.

Enjoy :)

##My absolute favorite books on the subject:

katemonkeys / .gistup
Last active Aug 29, 2015
Lunch Money Debts This Quarter