Yellowstone (I want to go back)

I went to Yellowstone back in September with a group of friends, and it was amazing. Hiked and camped the entire time, with the highlight for me being the 3-day backcountry hike into pure wilderness, and a campsite that was like a little slice of heaven – utterly silent except for the babbling from the two creeks surrounding the site.


To alternative medicine and back again

This is a fascinating account of a family who were way down the alternative medicine rabbit-hole to try to treat their children who were diagnosed with autism. That the Laidlers are doctors is somewhat surprising, but that Jim Laidler also has a PhD in Biology and stumped for chelation for years is even more surprising.

Using substances known as chelating agents, the Laidlers also worked to rid Ben and David of heavy metals thought to be accumulated through vaccines and environmental pollutants. With a PhD in biology as well as his MD, Jim Laidler had become an expert on chelation, speaking nationally and internationally about it at conferences dedicated to autism and alternative approaches.

What is interesting about the Laidlers is their evolution of thinking, their eventual realization that they had been wrong:

Then, after months of soul-searching, Jim Laider took to the internet to announce his “de-conversion” from alternative medicine—a kind of penance, but also a warning to others. “I had this guilt to expunge,” Jim says. “I helped to promote this nonsense, and I didn’t want other people to fall for it like I did.”


I’m a sucker for points and experiments, so I’m going to try Bing instead of Google for the next 30 days. Bonus – Microsoft is giving people who use Bing rewards points that can be redeemed for actual money at Amazon and the like. You can too, sign up here.

USA Today had a little write-up on how MS is trying to catch up with G. 20% market share for March 2015 is more than I expected.

SSTP on Xubuntu 14

This how-to allowed me to connect to my Windows 2012 SSTP VPN server. I still have not been able to successfully route to internal resources, though I think that is just an IPv4 configuration issue.

Basically you just need to follow this part:

For SSTP VPN connection you need download and install additional packages from

From sstp-client folder
for 32 bit version you need download (version may very, use latest one)

for 64 bit version you need download (version may very, use latest one)

From network-manager-sstp folder
for 32 bit version you need download (version may very, use latest one)

for 64 bit version you need download (version may very, use latest one)

Once you have the 4 files above downloaded for your version, you run sudo dpkg -i *.deb in a terminal window in the folder where you downloaded the files (usually Downloads). This adds the SSTP VPN option to the built-in Ubuntu network manager. Screenshot:

Screenshot - 03282015 - 04:18:17 PMScreenshot - 03282015 - 04:25:47 PM

Also, if you accidentally hit “Never show these notifications” on your network notifications, this is how to add them back:

Network notifications:

gsettings reset org.gnome.nm-applet disable-connected-notifications
gsettings reset org.gnome.nm-applet disable-disconnected-notifications    

Wireless notifications:

gsettings reset org.gnome.nm-applet disable-wifi-create     
gsettings reset org.gnome.nm-applet suppress-wireless-networks-available

VPN notifications

gsettings reset org.gnome.nm-applet disable-vpn-notifications