1. What I dislike about Python

    Sunday, May 22, 2016 By Alec Brooks

    try: assert Python == great

    Python is my favorite programming language. It’s easy for beginners without limiting experts, it’s fun to use, and there’s a great community of people working on it. However, no language is perfect, and occasionally I get frustrated by its limits.

    Quite a few ...

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  2. Todoist: The Unexplained Parts

    Monday, December 14, 2015 By Alec Brooks

    I keep track of tasks using Todoist, a cross-platform to-do list tool. It’s flexible without making simple things hard, which I appreciate1. For example, adding a task with a deadline and a tag is as simple as clicking the plus button and typing “Call landlord @telephone today”.

    Since ...

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  3. Review: Melancholia (2014)

    Saturday, September 12, 2015 By Alec Brooks

    Note: minor spoilers for Melancholia.

    In movies, Apocalypse tends to be a gritty affair. Not in Melancholia. Lars von Trier’s film about two sisters’ last days on Earth is as composed and beautiful as a movie about apocalypse could be.

    In contrast to the shoestring special effects of a ...

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  4. MU campus dense in parking citations

    Monday, March 31, 2014 By Alec Brooks

    Justin Peters parked on 16th Street in front of Cramer Hall two weeks ago. His plan: to deliver cupcakes to two of his favorite professors.

    “I just wanted to run in and leave,” said Peters, a senior in the College of Health Sciences. “I was going to be quick, so ...

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  5. Winter Series” premiers brand-new ballets

    Monday, March 31, 2014 By Alec Brooks

    The Pabst Theater is a small, cosy theater, with all the dignity of an 119-year-old building — the perfect atmosphere for fresh choreography. The small audience feels appropriate for the premiers of four works in “Winter Series,” and the theater’s age serves to gently remind the audience how old an ...

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  6. New medium, old trope

    Sunday, March 31, 2013 By Alec Brooks

    Anika's stuffed rabbit is stolen by a huge eagle early in the game.

    A common archetype in children’s fantasy is the lonely child escaping her ordinary life to explore a fantastic world. Examples include some of the most famous works of children’s literature: Alice in Wonderland, The Phantom Tollbooth, and The Wizard of Oz. The character braves various dangers, maybe saves ...

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  7. Simple Tiles tips

    Friday, March 29, 2013 By Alec Brooks

    I’ve been experimenting with Propublica’s Simple Tiles, and I’ve run into some pitfalls. Starred entries are not in its documentation.

    1. *When doing queries on KML files, Simple Tiles or OGR takes the name of the layer from the tag. But for SHP files, it takes it from ...

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  8. #LongLiveTheTrib

    Tuesday, February 19, 2013 By Alec Brooks

    About a week ago, I heard the stunning news that the Marquette Tribune would likely be cut to eight pages per issue, down from 16 and 20 on Tuesdays and Thursdays respectively. As a former Tribune staffer and current reader, this distressed me. So when offered the chance, I submitted ...

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