How to pick up girls (and gain new friends)

After coaching lots of people on this (myself included), I’ve boiled it down to four simple questions that will get you close to most people in a matter of minutes. For this to work, you need to open up yourself and reveal your own answers to these questions along the way. A free two-way flow creates good trust, knowledge of the other and a basis for friendship or beyond. Try it out on some strangers and tell me how it went. But remember, be direct, blunt even – no beating around the bush:

  1. If you were granted three wishes, what would they be?
  2. What are your 5 strongest sides?
  3. What are your 2 weakest sides?
  4. What have you done in life that has given you the worst conscience?

Get answers to these and share your own and you will both know if you have a potential friend right there.


My computer setup

Here’s a HyperList of my current computer setup – for reference in case someone is looking for inspiration:

PC = Samsung NP900X4C

OS = Ubuntu Linux (16.04) (

Shell = zsh (

Terminal = urxvt (

Text editor = VIM (

Document production = LaTeX (

Programming Languages

Mail User Agent = mutt (

  • Mail filtering = mail_fetch (from GMail accounts)

SMTP client = msmtp (

Instant communication = Weechat (

HP-41 link = pc41 (

Newsreader (RSS) = Newsbeuter (

Window Manager = i3 (

Information display = Conky (

Browser = Qutebrowser (

Office suite = LibreOffice (

Presentation viewer = Impressive (



Tech stuff: Julia, Vim & Vizardry

Been doing lots of tech stuff lately. Here’s a sharing of some highlights.

Through the years I’ve been programming in more than a dozen different languages. Since many years I have more or less settled on Ruby besides my HP-41 projects programmed in FOCAL and MCODE. Now and then I get this urge to learn a new programming language, and after an extensive search for something neat, I finally landed on Julia. I’m trying her out while reading the book, “Getting started with Julia Programming Language“.

The book is good. The programming language seems excellent. It boasts a complete GitHub-based package system to extend the language with various modules. Although it’s a general purpose language, its strength lies in maths and natural sciences. It’s very fast and with a pretty clean and natural syntax. You can even do straight forward math like this:

f(x) = 2sin(3x)^2

And by then executing the function “f” with x as 0.8, you get the answer straight:


There is a chance I could be falling in love here:-)

I’ve also been doing lots of work on my Conky setup resulting in this as my “bare” desktop:


If you have any questions about scripts or conky setups, just ask by leaving a comment here.

Then there is VIM – perhaps my the tool I use the most. I’ve been using VIM for writing everything from HyperLists and notes to e-mails, short stories and books since around 2001. It’s a fantstic text editor. But it lacks a good package manager for add-ons:-/

But then I found Vizardry. Using Pathogen as a base to install extensions, Vizardry will let you search for add-ons, install it with a breeze and remove it just as easily. If you’re a VIM user, this is a must. Go get it! You will thank me:-)

Superior pilots

Truly superior pilots are those who use their superior judgement to avoid those situations where they might have to use their superior skills

I read this excellent quote today in the 70th anniversary magazine for the Scandinavian Airline Systems (SAS). It’s applicable to life in general.


Calling BS on Hubbard’s “The role of Earth”

For anyone outside of Scientology this will sound pretty crazy. For Scientologists, this is gospel, this is real, this is the truth. Here’s Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard from the lecture “The role of Earth“:

The space stations exist out here in the solar system. They use the asteroids. It’s a very peculiar system. This solar system has a planet which is broken up, the asteroid belt. It gives a low-gravity platform for takeoff and so on, and that broken planet is of considerable interest as a space station, that is to say a galactic jump.

Now, there aren’t any planets up at this end of the galaxy which form a good galactic entering spot for incoming transport and other ships. But this beautiful, broken-up planet here with a light-gravity sun and so on, makes a very ideal spot.

And as a result, this area of the solar system got into prominence. It got into a little bit of prominence, and it’s slightly a bone of contention.

And there was – the Fourth Invader Force was here. The Fifth Invader Force came in to use this area, and the name of this solar system is Space Station 33. They started to use this area without suspecting that the Fourth Invader Force had been there for God knows how many skillion years, had been sitting down, and they have their installations up on Mars, and they have a tremendous, screened operation.


This isn’t from one of his sci-fi novels. This is part of Scientology proper. Hubbard is serious about this. He is also dead wrong. Scientologists would normally swallow everything Hubbard says without question (questioning anything he says will get a Scientologist in trouble with the Church). And who could blame them? Hubbard is known to present theories as fact – theories that cannot be disproven, and as such one may as well go ahead and believe them.

But this one is hereby blown to bits. By the magazine, “Universe Today” in an article titled, “Why isn’t the asteroid belt a planet?“. And I quote:

If you were to take the entire asteroid belt and form it into a single mass, it would only be about 4% of the mass of our Moon.

And then:

There’s a popular idea that perhaps there was a planet between Mars and Jupiter that exploded, or even collided with another planet. What if most of the debris was thrown out of the solar system, and the asteroid belt is what remains?

We know this isn’t the case for a few of reasons. First, any explosion or collision wouldn’t be powerful enough to throw material out of the Solar System. So if it were a former planet we’d actually see more debris.

Second, if all the asteroid belt bits came from a single planetary body, they would all be chemically similar. The chemical composition of Earth, Mars, Venus, etc are all unique because they formed in different regions of the solar system. Likewise, different asteroids have different chemical compositions, which means they must have formed in different regions of the asteroid belt.

So there you have it. Hubbard’s assertion that the asteroid belt is a “broken-up planet” is BS. So does this put the rest of that lecture into question?


Straight from Ed’s blog:

Many take pride in being able to do several things at once. Unfortunately, unless you are one of those very rare people who can actually do it, multitasking means doing things more poorly than if you had singletasked each task…

Source: Singletasking