Is it better to use MySQL or NoSQL in terms of ease of developement

If scaling is not an issue, I highly recommend using MySQL. But of course we need to understand when scaling becomes an issue. If you are using PHP or Python with a MySQL database with more than 100M rows and more than 10 GB of data, scaling becomes a problem. You can try optimizing MyISAM or Innodb tables, but you won’t see more than a 30% performance gain in most cases. If you have 470M rows with 200 GB of data in a MyISAM table, you are probably at the limits of what MySQL can do for you (unless you shard and use master-slave tables).

In terms of scaling, NoSQL is great. It’s not as easy or intuitive as MySQL, but MongoDB has pretty good documentation, and a smaller learning curve than most NoSQL databases.

How hard is it to transfer to UCLA?

Didn’t get into UCLA the first time around? How hard is it to transfer after completely 2 years at a community college? In Engineering, somewhere around 20% of the students are transfers. The GPAs of transfer students vary by major, but in engineering the average GPA of transfer students is about 3.8.  Other majors in the college of letters and science have average GPA’s ranging from 3.5 to 3.7. If you live in LA, the best bet is to go to Santa Monica College which has special relations with UCLA and an  honors program that just about gaurantees you admission if you do all the coursework and have above a certain GPA.




How is ballroom dancing judged?

How accurate is Dancing with the Stars relative to how real dancing competitions are judged? Turns out there are several aspects for a real ballroom dancing competition, like Posture, Timing, Hold, Line, Poise, Togetherness, Musicality, Expression, and Presentation. Judging is always subjective and can vary, but the skating system is usually used to place couples by ordinals with up to 7 couples on the dance floor during the finals. Judges score couples in the top 50% and they move on to the next round .


This is in contrast to Dancing with the Stars where judges score the couples between 1 and 10 for a total score of 3-30 (since there are 3 judges. The criteria (as many viewers have noticed) is far more subjective.

How to fix squeaking noise when you brake which isn’t caused by thin brake pads

I started to hear a loud squeaking and creaking noise every time I applied my brakes, so I immediately suspected that my brake pads were wearing thin. Sure enough after raising my car with a jack, and taking the tire’s rims off, I saw that the rotor was uneven and rusting. Lucky for me, it wasn’t paint that was eating away at my rotor, it was just that the brake pads were not evenly being applied to the rotor. The pads weren’t even wearing thin, so all I had to do was replace the brake rotors on my 2002 Buick Century, which cost about $25 for 2 new rotors.

The Spectacular Now Book Ending

Now that you’ve seen the movie The Spectacular Now, you want to know how the book by Tim Tharp ends.

Here is the last page:

I open my arms wide and let the wind flow over me. I love the universe and the universe loves me. That’s the one-two punch right there, wanting to love and wanting to be loved. Everything else is pure idiocy—shiny fancy outfits, Geech-green Cadillacs, sixty-dollar haircuts, schlock radio, celebrity-rehab idiots, and most of all, the atomic vampires with their de-soul-inators, and flag-draped coffins.

Goodbye to all that, I say. And goodbye to Mr. Asterhole and the Red Death of algebra and to the likes of Geech and Keeeevin. Goodbye to Mom’s rented tan and my sister’s chargecard boobs. Goodbye to Dad for the second and last time. Goodbye to black spells and jagged hangovers, divorces, and Fort Worth nightmares. To high school and Bob Lewis and once-upon-a-time Ricky. Goodbye to the future and the past and, most of all, to Aimee and Cassidy and all the other girls who came and went and came and went.

Goodbye. Goodbye. I can’t feel you anymore. The night is almost too beautifully pure for my soul to contain. I walk with my arms spread open under the big fat moon. Heroic “weeds rise up from the cracks in the sidewalk, and the colored lights of the Hawaiian Breeze ignite the broken glass in the gutter. Goodbye, I say, goodbye, as I disappear little by little into the middle of the middle of my own spectacular now.

I highly recommend the book if you liked the movie. While the movie gives some hope that Sutter and Amy will end up together, the book leaves no doubt that they have no future together. What do you think? Leave a comment!


By Brian Roizen

Chrome for Windows Sunspider gets way better results than Mac Chrome

I just did a SunSpider 1.0.2 benchmark test on my MacBook Air 2012 and my HP Envy 15 (purchased in April of 2010). Using the exact same browser but different operating systems, I got radically different SunSpider results.

MacBook Air (2012): 

HP Envy 15 laptop (2010): 

By Brian Roizen