Friday, April 17, 2015

Amazon Prime Now in Atlanta is awesome!

It's now available in Atlanta. And it's amazing! Here are a few pluses.

  1. Uses much less packaging! One thing I don' like about online order is it often uses A LOT of packaging (e.g., one tiny pen wrapped with a gigantic box), which is bad for the environment and makes be feel guilty. Amazon Prime Now uses mainly recyclable paper grocery bags (similar to grocery bags). This means I no longer need to break up boxes, bring them to recycling, and feel too guilt, etc.
  2. It's faster to shop using Amazon Prime Now's app. I like choices, but I don't want too many choices -- overwhelming is often the feeling I get when I browse on, and that causes me to spend more time on their site than I want to. Sometimes, I want to just buy something, and forget about it. The Amazon Prime Now app allows me to do just that (most of the time). It sells mainly popular, highly-rated ones. So no more browsing through hundreds and hundreds of brands! Simplicity wins.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

How to lighten up a dim room with minimal effort and cost

Get one of these Y socket to your floor lamp, then add a bulb, to double the brightness!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Template for beautiful Latex table

Latex source copied from
Great, general design tips from Markus

% Professional Table
% LaTeX Template
% Version 1.0 (11/10/12)
% This template has been downloaded from:
% License:
% CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 (
% Note: to use this table in another LaTeX document, you will need to copy
% the \usepackage{booktabs} line to the new document and paste it before
% \begin{document}. The table itself can then be pasted anywhere in the new
% document.


\usepackage{booktabs} % Allows the use of \toprule, \midrule and \bottomrule in tables for horizontal lines


\begin{table} % Add the following just after the closing bracket on this line to specify a position for the table on the page: [h], [t], [b] or [p] - these mean: here, top, bottom and on a separate page, respectively
\centering % Centers the table on the page, comment out to left-justify
\begin{tabular}{l c c c c c} % The final bracket specifies the number of columns in the table along with left and right borders which are specified using vertical bars (|); each column can be left, right or center-justified using l, r or c. To specify a precise width, use p{width}, e.g. p{5cm}
\toprule % Top horizontal line
& \multicolumn{5}{c}{Growth Media} \\ % Amalgamating several columns into one cell is done using the \multicolumn command as seen on this line
\cmidrule(l){2-6} % Horizontal line spanning less than the full width of the table - you can add (r) or (l) just before the opening curly bracket to shorten the rule on the left or right side
Strain & 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & 5\\ % Column names row
\midrule % In-table horizontal line
GDS1002 & 0.962 & 0.821 & 0.356 & 0.682 & 0.801\\ % Content row 1
NWN652 & 0.981 & 0.891 & 0.527 & 0.574 & 0.984\\ % Content row 2
PPD234 & 0.915 & 0.936 & 0.491 & 0.276 & 0.965\\ % Content row 3
JSB126 & 0.828 & 0.827 & 0.528 & 0.518 & 0.926\\ % Content row 4
JSB724 & 0.916 & 0.933 & 0.482 & 0.644 & 0.937\\ % Content row 5
\midrule % In-table horizontal line
\midrule % In-table horizontal line
Average Rate & 0.920 & 0.882 & 0.477 & 0.539 & 0.923\\ % Summary/total row
\bottomrule % Bottom horizontal line
\caption{Table caption text} % Table caption, can be commented out if no caption is required
\label{tab:template} % A label for referencing this table elsewhere, references are used in text as \ref{label}

A reference to Table \ref{tab:template}.


Friday, September 13, 2013

My favorite Doodle alternative

Doodle is great for intersecting calendars with collaborators to come up with times for meetings.

However it doesn't provide a fast way to quickly mark time slots for "yes" or "no".
I've participated in Doodle poll that have over 100 slots for me check! Just imagine how tedious it is  having to check off each one...

My new favorite is Excellent user interface! Super simple to use.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Essential PhD skills

  • Mentoring
  • Communication
  • Negotiation
  • Computer
  • Networking
  • Grant Writing
  • Professional Ethics
  • Management
  • Teaching
  • Marketing Yourself
  • Time Management

Must read for PhD students

Probably the best few minutes you will spend in your PhD life. Life-changing advice!
How to have a bad career in research/academia by Prof. David Patterson