Around the net Various

Flesch–Kincaid readability scores

Published by:

When i was posting something, one of my SEO tools told me – “your article scores bad on Flesch-Kincaid reading-ease test”. I had never heard of that and got curious – turned out hat this is very big.

This test was invented by two people (guest who by the name of the test) that were commissioned by the military to invent a standard test for manual reading difficulty assessment. It grew beyond that. The test shows how easily readable a material is. The higher score the easier to read. Scores are 0-100.

Score Notes
90.0–100.0 easily understood by an average 11-year-old student
60.0–70.0 easily understood by 13- to 15-year-old students
0.0–30.0 best understood by university graduates

src: Wikipedia

Now the test is used all over the place – some companies are even obliged to produce reading materials that have particular score. And they are obliged by law. Such an example is the insurance industry – the life insurance policies should score 45 and above. Ain’t that something?

For the most curious here is the formula:

Flesch–Kincaid readability formula

 

 

To be honest, the coefficients seem like magic to me but i guest there is good reason for them to be exactly 206.835, 1.105 and 84.6.

How understandable do you write?

Various

Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

Published by:

Confessions of an Economic Hitman

Confessions of an Economic Hitman

I recently read Confessions of an Economic Hitman and wanted to post a quick review.

The book is about a guy that is recruited by US Secret Services and commissioned by a big US engineering company  to go to underdeveloped but resource rich countries and make false economic predictions (overly optimistic) so that the international financial institutions are justified to lend these countries huge loans that are evidently impossible to pay back. This way these countries are put in dependency and used for their resources. The mentioned countries include Ecuador, Panama, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Iraq.

Some parts of the book didn’t sound very credible to me so i did my little research – that the author has really been in that company and worked that job. Stories about Panama canal agreement, Saudi Arabia rise and the allegedly invoked death of the Panama and Ecuador leaders due to their disobedience sound, astoundingly real.

I would recommend this book to anyone willing to learn some new things especially for Latin America politics. It is easy to read and historical events are told in a good way. Take stories with a grain of salt. though and you should be fine.

Various

How i chose my first motorcycle

Published by:

Since i have a driving licence i have been riding mopeds – first 50 cc and then 125 cc – both Peugeout. Riding on two wheels for me is an experience far better than the traditional “go from A to B”.

This summer i decided to go big and buy a real motorcycle – more h.p. and manual transmissions. I can tell you the decision was hard. As i said the motorcycle gives much more pleasure than the car and so the choice which one to buy is much harder. I finally came up with Honda Hornet. I will give you some background on the reasoning:

How many CC, H.P.?

Well that’s a hard one. Your options basically are 250-400cc, 600-700cc and 900cc+. If you have had a moped don’t be afraid to go straight to 600cc+. If this is your first two-wheeler stick to the 250-400cc range. Many people suggest to start with small engines and gradually go big but i find that misleading. As i said, if you have had experience on two wheels, being it moped, don’t be afraid to get on even 1200cc. It is not that scary – at the end of the day it depends how much you push it. I personally had experience on two wheels and decided to go with around the 600cc range. Could have done with 1200cc also but decided that i don’t need that for mainly commuting.

What kind?

Basic kinds are touring (choppers), street, cruisers, sport bikes and enduro, offroad. It depends what you need the motorcycle for. Touring are the ones where you place your feet forward and hands are relatively high – that is more of a life style motorcycle. Street a.k.a naked bikes (called like that because they lack the front screen) are city bikes that can take you also in the country for short rides. Cruisers are the ones that you will ride across Route 66 without getting too tired. Sport bikes are the super powerful noisy machines that you ride almost laying on top – if you see a killer with a bike in a movie – chances are that the bike is a sport bike:) Enduro is the kind of motorcycle that you can ride both on the road and also in wild terrains, and the off-road is self explanatory. I personally needed mainly a city bike, with the possibility to make 200-300 km rides over the weekends. That’s why i chose a naked bike. I must say that i miss the front screen on the highway – over 120km gets very windy.

Ok, I chose a city bike – what make and model?

I was wandering between – Suzuki Bandit, Honda Hornet, Suzuki GSR, Yamaha Fazer, Suzuki SV, Yamaha XJ6. The bandit is with air cooling and that turned me down. The Fazer is a good bike, but i didn’t like the look (what a missy). XJ6 and GSR are also hot bikes but were a little over budget. So i was in deep thought – Honda Hornet or the Suzuki SV. The SV has more cc (650 vs 600 for the Honda) but less h.p. (70 vs 100 for the Honda). However, the SV has a two cylinder V-stroke engine (that’s where the V in the name comes from) which gives great torque when you take off, while the Honda has a 4 cylinder inline engine which is more quiet in the low rpm but turns in a monster in the 10000+ rpm. I decided to go with the Honda because Honda has better reputation (Honda in the motorcycle world is considered Mercedes in the car world – i don’t know where the stigma comes from), i liked the 4 cylinder inline engine, the model is known as extremely reliable and last but not least it lacks most electronics which i find appealing.

First Impressions?

IMG_47124 months so far riding that bike and i can say that i am very happy with the choice. It is very reliable. It is calm in the 0-70 km/h range so it is perfect for the city – you always know what to expect. It gives you, however, enough torque and speed if you need it – it is 100 h.p., you know (my car only has 77). Only thing that i miss is the front screen when i am on the highway + the fuel indication. It usually consumes around 6 l/100km but if you push it hard, it can get to 10l/100km. Tank is small (around 15l) so beware of running out of gas, especially if you are more dynamic driver. The bike is small enough to get around cars in the traffic jam but big enough to feel comfortable on the highway with a second person behind + luggage. The stand is good, so you don’t get tired after a couple of hours on it.

 

Various

Time left

Published by:

I have always been fascinated by data visualizations – you tell a 1000 words with a picture/graphic etc., just as in the old saying. Put the next pic on your desktop and take a look every now and then – it will have a huge impact – tested!

how-much-time-we-have-infographic

 

Credit – http://fundersandfounders.com

Well Being

HomeGrew

Published by:

“Back to basics” trend has started to pick up. Home agriculture has become as popular as pop culture (the gut feeling intensifies if you watch german tvs – growing food in your garden is for some reason extremely popular with germans).

 

So i decided to give it a try and check out my balcony agricultural capacity. I was on the lookout for something easy to grow and that’s how i came up with beans (i am more a tomato fan but tomatoes are really demanding). So that’s the result of about 2 months watering and sunshine:

You need to stretch ropes from the pot as beans loves climbing.

beans (2)

 

beans (3)

 

That’s a rewarding feeling.

beans (4)

 

Not much but it makes great pleasure to eat what you grew be it tiny. From a standard pot, you can get out three batches as the one below

 

beans (1)

 

So at the end of the day, growing food on the balcony doesn’t really solve your nutrition needs but i assure you it is a very awesome feeling to watch things grow and then hold what you produced and eventually eat it.

Various

Wizzair false promotion

Published by:

Recently Wizzair announced a killer promotion – buy one and get one free which sounds great except that it is false – and here is the proof:

wizzairbusted

 

For one in the same flight promotion price is  6 leva or 3 euro higher that the regular price. Left hand side pic is from promotion day (19.5.2015) and right hand side pic is regular (20.5.2015).

Movies

Two days to kill – the movie

Published by:

two days to kill

I must admit that i usually ignore french movies as those are usually not that good (my opinion). But when i find a good french movie it is really big. This one stands out from the crowd. Very good plot (you don’t get what is going on until the end), the story is very moving, brilliant actor play. Definitely worth seeing.

Well Being

The Sicilian

Published by:

the sicilian

Even though this movie is rated 5.3/10 on IMDB, it is worth every minute of the 3 hours that you are going to “lose”. It is based on “The Sicilian” by Mario Puzo. Plot is not super original (as you can tell from the name, it is about Sicily, mafia, church, gangsters, poorness, hard life, justice etc.), but the way the story is told and the actor play are one of the best i have seen.

Various

#InternationalDayOfHappiness

Published by:

Today, the 20th of March is the #InternationalDayOfHappiness, as proclaimed by UN. I don’t know for which year the Scandinavian countries are leading the list and we, Bulgarians are stuck in the bottom 20%.

Many blame the rich/poor reason but that is the consequence, not the reason. It was very well summarized on TV today that the reason for the root of scandinavian happiness is trust among people, low crime rate and work-life balance. NOT MONEY.

It is ordinary to give the key for your house to the postman in Denmark. Here it is anatema, although we don’t have many belongings to guard. We distrust everyone and everything but still we become victims of the most trivial fraud and other crimes which crimes will never be resolved. So the feeling for injustice, distrust, no belonging to the whole etc is the reason for unhappiness and that leads to lack of money.

Make sense?